Mead Lover's Digest #0398 Tue 18 April 1995


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



Re: Yeasts for Meads, Lemon Meads ("Lee C. Bussy")
Rhubarb (Matt Maples)
honey prices (Matt Maples)
Re: wedding mead (Gordon L. Olson)
The miracle of gelatin (
Re: lemon mead and acid testing (Gordon L. Olson)
Dandelions, Lalvin yeasts (Jacob Galley)
Lalvin yeasts (Dick Dunn)


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Subject:       Re: Yeasts for Meads, Lemon Meads
From: "Lee C. Bussy" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 13:11:06 +0000

Wolfram v.Kiparski responded to my questions about yeast:

> >I remember someone posting something about one particular Lalvin type
> >being excellent for meades… which one?


> That might have been me asking the question. Gordon L. Olson responded:
> >Lalvin EC-1118 is a champagne-style yeast that is very tolerant
> >of alcohol, easily going to 15%. 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.

There was one (perhaps one of these) that enhanced or at least
preserved the honey aroma and flavor. That is what my meads all seem
to lack, even with 15 lbs of honey per batch. Any suggestions? I
don't boil but I sulfite for 24 hours prior to pitching, no nutrients
or other additives, no acid.

DoubleDDD (is that DDD-DDD?) asks about Lemon Mead:

> I've got a ton of lemons and I'm considering tring a lemon mead. I'm
> thinking of a big mead with a lot of residual sugar. Can anyone suggest how
> many I should use per gallon? Will I have to lower the acidity prior to
> fermenting?

Sounds awlfull interesting… I'd also like to hear about it.

> Also, has anyone out there ever made mead with rhubarb?

Nope on that either but I plan to this fall (or whenever it is that
you harvest Rhubarb. That was the first thing that struck me when I
spied that red bush in the backyard.


  • -Lee Bussy | The 4 Basic Foodgroups…. | | Salt, Fat, Beer & Women! |
Wichita, Kansas | |


Subject: Rhubarb
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 11:48:59 -0700

>Also, has anyone out there ever made mead with rhubarb?


>TIA, Don

Yes I made a good rhubarb mead some years ago. I left in a lot of residual
sugar so it was very sweet (maybe too sweet) but the flavor was great. The
hardest part was dealing with the rhubarb as it is fiberous and not very
juicy. I used a juice machine to extract the juice but wouldn't do it again.
I would suggest just mashing it up the best you can and ferment it on the pulp.

Matt Maples


Subject: honey prices
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 12:07:09 -0700

I would like to hold an informal survey on honey prices. I know the honey
prices in my part of the forest but am curious about other parts of the
country (or world for that matter). If you could E Mail me (or Post) the
name of the company you buy your honey from, the price, quatity, and the
city and state (country if outside the US) the comany belongs I will post
the tallied results. This could be usful comparitive information plus it
might give people a name of a supplier that they didn't know about. I hope
to hear from everyone.

Matt Maples


Subject: Re: wedding mead
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 09:09:21 -0600

Tim writes:
>1) I brewed (right term?) my first melomel (which I would like to be still)2
>weeks ago wednesday with
>15# wildflower honey/6gal water, acid blend, yeast energizer and nutrient,
>and wyeast sweet mead with starter (mead starter from mead recipes). I'm
>ready to rack to the secondary and add fruit (frozen mixed berry blend),
>I'm just not sure on how much to add. I would like to have a nice berry
>aroma and flavor, but not too overwhelming. Any suggestions?


It depends a lot upon what berries you use. For full flavored berries like
raspberry and boysenberry, I would use 4 to 8 pounds in 5 gallons, depending
on whether you want to emphasize the honey or the fruit. For mild fruit like
peaches, I have used 12 lbs. (pitted) in 5 gallons. I ususally put 1/4 to
1/2 of the fruit in the primary so that yeast energizers and nutrients are
unnecessary. These chemical additives sometimes leave tastes that are slow
to age out.


>2) I've never tasted a mead before, what should I expect? I thought it
>would be a nice favor to leave for people at the reception.


You are brave to plan to serve something you haven't tasted, but then life
should be an adventure. Most people like honey and fruits, so the combin-
ation is very easy for people to drink and enjoy.


>3) I know it might not be drinkable by Aug, but will it be ready to
>bottle? How long before (shortest time from yeast pitch/brew date) can I
>bottle it? As a note I plan to bottle it in 7oz greeen vinegar bottles
>with corks.


Fruit meads are the fastest to mellow out to be drinkable. August should be
no problem. Plan to do most of your aging in bulk, if you are using a glass
secondary with an air lock. If you don't get around to bottling until 3 or
4 weeks before the wedding, no problem. If you are using a plastic fermentor,
immediately go out and get a glass water bottle for your secondary. For the
wedding, I recommend that you hunt up wine or champagne bottles, or use 22
oz beer bottles with crown caps. Unless you are giving away souviner bottles,
7 oz bottles are a real pain.

Good luck,


| Gordon L. Olson | U.S. Postal Service: |
| e-mail: | Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| phone: 505-667-8105 | P.O. Box 1663, MS B226 |
| fax: 505-665-5538 | Los Alamos, NM 87545 USA |

Subject: The miracle of gelatin
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 11:35:19 -0400

Just thought I'd share my experiece with a VERY cloudy pumpkin mead. I
generally don't use any clarifying agents, but this particular mead was just
too thick looking. Quite unappealing. I tried sparkolloid with no
noticeable difference. Then bentonite with the same results. Thinking I had
nothing to lose, I tried useing gelatin and the results were nothing less
than spectacular! Overnight it became crystal clear. I'm bottling today,
and it truly is a beautiful thing. I am now a gelatin convert. Nunc est Bibendum (Latin; "Now is the time to drink")


  • -Ray Ownby- "In Wine there is Truth" -Dostoyevsky

Moses Lake, WA ("In vino veritas")


Subject: Re: lemon mead and acid testing
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 09:47:00 -0600

The following question:


> I've got a ton of lemons and I'm considering tring a lemon mead. I'm
>thinking of a big mead with a lot of residual sugar. Can anyone suggest how
>many I should use per gallon? Will I have to lower the acidity prior to


provokes a strong response from me: Do not add any additional acid unless
absolutely necessary!

When I judged meads at the Ambrosia Adventure in Denver in January, the
most common error was that the meads were too acidic. Not slightly acidic,
very acidic. I have developed my own very definite rule: do not add any
acid blend until the mead is almost finished! Usually I add none.

In the last year, I have systematically tracked the pH and the acid level
of every mead that I made, using a wide variety of honeys. In every case,
as soon as the honey was diluted down to fermenting strength, the pH
dropped down to the correct range for fermentation, pH < 4.8. I don't
remember what the books say the officially recommend range is, but my
cherry mead, where part of the cherries were added immediately, started
out at 3.6, which is probably lower than recommended.

During the fermentation process, one of my meads had its pH drop from
4.7 to 3.9, and its acidity increase from 0.25% to 0.45%. Someone asked
me where the acidity came from. I don't know. All I know is that if I
had added any acid blend at the beginning, it would have ended up too
acidic. Remember that every honey is different. Generic recipes that
recommend so many teaspons of acid blend are quite useless.

My bottom line recommendation: Go out and buy an acid testing kit from
your beer/wine supply store or mail order one. They are only $5 to $6.
My meads have improved dramatically since I started testing them and have
stopped using so much acid blend. pH papers are also a good idea, but
they do not measure total acidity. So, one is not a substitute for the

To answer Don's specific question: Add some of the lemon juice immediately
in the must. This also adds nutrients. If you want a big tart lemon
character, it is easy to do so with lemons, no acid blend or other
acid is necessary. I don't know how many total lemons you should use,
hopefully someone else will respond with some experience.


>TIA, Don
> "Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another"


Sorry, but anyone who agrees with this sentiment is badly deluded himself.


Subject: Dandelions, Lalvin yeasts
From: Jacob Galley <>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 95 12:13:56 CDT

Russell wrote:


> I've heard an urban(e?) legend about dandelion beverages being
> dangerous. Sounds like a lot of people have made them without
> ill effect. Anyone know of any science or even collected
> anecdotes pertaining to the safety of this brew? It sounds
> interesting enough, and I might want to try it myself…

Well, I've heard that the greens can be used in salads (sparingly, for
they are bitter). I've wanted to try this but I'm not about to go
around harvesting dandelions in the city. My guess is that any
dangers come not from the plant itself but from crap on the leaves or
pollution in the soil.

Let's find some "organic" dandelions in the wild and do it.

Also, thanks to Wolf for mentioning the numbers of the recommended
Lalvin yeasts again. This time I'm saving them!

Wolf quoted Gordon:

> >

> >Lalvin EC-1118 is a champagne-style yeast that is very tolerant
> >of alcohol, easily going to 15%. 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.

Someone recommended a Lalvin strain that produced a light and fruity
mead. Is it one of these two, or a third?


Stand up and use your ears like a man! <– Charles Ives

Subject: Lalvin yeasts
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 18 Apr 95 23:19:20 MDT (Tue)

There's more than one Lalvin yeast suitable for mead (and some that are
not!), but one that came up recently in several postings was the relatively
new D-47. I didn't comment at the time, but I had it in a set of yeast
trials I was running and it did very well…fast, didn't seem bothered by
low nutrient level, attenuative but not aggressively so, and settled
nicely in a short period. I've since used it in a ginger melomel that has
progressed quickly.

I have no idea what D-47 was actually intended for! I just saw it in a
brew shop and decided to give it a try, and it seems to work out.

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…When did "ergonomic" become a synonym for "right-handed"?


End of Mead Lover's Digest #398

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