Mead Lover's Digest #0392 Wed 22 March 1995


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor



yeast and violet flowers (Wolfram v.Kiparski)
Re: misc Q's & A's (
Re: Braggot (
Honey Board/fining/braggot ("Daniel S McConnell")
Buckwheat Honey (John Faulks)


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Subject: yeast and violet flowers
From: (Wolfram v.Kiparski)
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 17:14:52 -0500

Gordon L. Olson replied to my query about Lalvin yeast:
>Lalvin K1V-1116 is much less
>alcohol tolerant, most of mine are 11-12%, and is my favorite
>mead yeast because it is clean and relatively fast.

Yes, I have Lalvin K1V-1116. I have also heard that Red Star "Grand Cuvee"
is good for making mead. I'll try both. Thanks!

Has anyone used violets as a floral ingredient for their meads? They are
going to be in bloom soon, and my back yard gets covered with them. I can
imagine a nice red/violet colored mead if I use them.


Subject: Re: misc Q's & A's
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 95 15:54:05 EST

Gordon L. Olson wrote about bentonite & sparkaloid:
> Most of it settles nicely to the
> bottom of your secondary and stays behind when you rack.

In my experience, sparkaloid settles into a fluffy, easily disturbed
layer, and I have to leave a significant amount of mead behind when I
rack. I'm going to try adding bentonite "on top of" it to see if
drags the sparkaloid down with it.

=Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI

Subject: Re: Braggot
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 95 16:07:49 EST

Really, what the braggot *guidelines* mean is that we don't want an
ale with a little honey in it. I think we got at least one of those
in the 1993 competition, so changed the *guidelines* last year.

As usual, the judges *don't see the recipe*. They have to judge it
based on sensory impression alone. Generally, a braggot too much malt
won't have the required honey character and won't do well.

It's relatively easy to figure out the SG contribution from malt (or
malt extract) using the "point-gallons per pound" extract measurement.
Malt syrup is generally rated at about 36 – 40 pt-gal/lb. This means
that if you use a pound of malt syrup to make a gallon of wort, it
will have a gravity of about 36 "points" (1.036). As a formula,

Points = Lbs * Extract / Gal

Some typical "extract" numbers:

Malt Syrup 36 – 40
Dry Malt Extract 42
Table Sugar 45
Pale malt 30 (20-33 in homebrew systems)
Crystal malt 24


=Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI

Subject: Honey Board/fining/braggot
From: "Daniel S McConnell" <>
Date: 21 Mar 1995 00:12:17 -0500

Subject: Time:4:43 PM
OFFICE MEMO Honey Board/fining/braggot Date:3/20/95

Regarding the National Honey Board Directory. It is very useful.
A favorite source is Bees Knees Honey Factory. They are very
helpful, carry a wide variety of honey and will ship. Snoqualmie
Valley Honey Farm is also good and they ship in bulk. Their variety
is not great, but when I contacted then last they had wild raspberry,
wild blackberry, wild blueberry, snowberry and fireweed.

Gordon mentions his use of Bentonite and Sparkeloid. I have noticed
that the properties of these are very different, sometimes one works
and the other fails. A suggestion might be to use Sparkeloid first,
followed by Bentionite. That way the "fluffier" Sparkeloid is forced
to settle better under the Bentonite.

Also from Gordon:
>cherry mead in particular was
>far too acidic. I added one or two teaspons of calcium carbonate
>on two different occasions. Each time I measured the acidity and
>tasted it. A big improvement each time.

This is a common winemaker's trick (especially up here where the
grapes struggle to ripen and produce LOTS of acid). You need to be
a bit careful because the acids are preferentially stripped. Almost
all of one acid is removed before the next. This can effect the
taste balance.

Leigh Ann writes:
>The Mazer Cup rules say braggot must be at least 50% honey. What does this
>mean, exactly?

A guideline to assist placement of entries and to help the
meadmaker, nothing more. We are making up and adjusting the
mead style guidelines as we gain more experience. The 50% is
designed to help the Braggots taste like malt AND honey. This
balance is where most of the Braggots fall short. We also wanted
to prevent beer with added honey rather than mead with added
malt from being entered in this category. But all this raises an
issue. Where would you enter a mead made with 5 gal water, 12
lbs of honey and 1 lb of black patent malt?

And, finally to Sharon who asks about Lalvin. Most are very good.
Bayanus is good for high alcohol ferments. I am currently
infatuated with Lalvin D47 which really seems to accentuate the
aromatics. Works well with fruit blossom honeys.

**watch this space for the 1995 Mazer Cup announcement, very soon**

Subject: Buckwheat Honey
From: John Faulks <>
Date: 21 Mar 95 23:10:17 EST

Matthew Tripp asked in MLD #383

> 1. Is buckwheat honey good for making mead? (I understand this is
pretty much a personal preference type thing but any input is good)

I have made a fairly decent mead (other people like it as well ) using 2/3
Orange Blossom, 1/3 Buckwheat, i.e. 10# OB, 5# BW for 5 gals. The BW darkens the
color nicely and there is a great honey taste.

> 2. Can you carbonate any type of mead, or are certain types that
carbonation won't work on or would just make taste bad?

IMHO all types can be carbonated – its simply a personal preference thing. (I
lightly carbonate all meads). Generally I guess when to bottle – SG 1.010 or so,
heading for .995. I have also primed with a little sugar.

> 3. Is mead served cold, warm, or hot (or all three)?

I like cold mead – another preference thing. I imagine you could mull mead (warm
to hot with spices) but haven't tried it.

> 4. Are the hangovers REALLY that bad?

YMMV – definitely a personal thing.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #392

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