Mead Lover's Digest #0399 Mon 24 April 1995


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



Honey and fermentation questions (Jean Marie Bond)
Rhubarb (John Gorman)
rhubarb (Ralph Snel)
Stuck! Help! (Sam Shank)
Wedding Mead (
Mead PH article (Jim Sims)
Mazer Cup 1 ("Daniel S McConnell")
Mazer Cup Announcment pt 2 ("Daniel S McConnell")
Dandy inquiry (
Subject: Strwberry Rhubarb Mead? (


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Subject: Honey and fermentation questions
From: Jean Marie Bond <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 14:07:36 -0700 (PDT)

I have just started making mead, and have some questions about honey and
My second batch of mead is ready to be bottled, so I really have just a
tiny bit of experience.

My first question is about fermentation:

I've read in a number of places that mead takes a long time to ferment.
I've never brewed beer or made wine, so I'm not sure what "normal"
fermentation times are considered, but I did read that mead can take
months to ferment. My mead, so far, has taken about 3 weeks to ferment
completely (no change in gravity, and I even checked my first batch a few
weeks after I bottled it to see if it had fermented anymore) and clear.
I'm using Red Star champagne yeast (although I plan to try Flor Sherry
next time around), and don't know if that has anything to do with the
fermentation time. I'm just curious as to why this disparity between
what I read and what I experience. BTW, the first mead was a straight
mead, no fruit or anything fancy, the second has nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
and the like in it, and more honey than the first batch.

My second question is about honey. I'm just wondering about the
different types of honey and how they affect the flavor of the mead. I
currently have readily available to me: clover, raspberry, blackberry, and
(sometimes) wildflower. There's another one, but I can't remember 🙂 .

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!


Jean M. Bond * "I am not part of the problem. * I am a Republican." * — Dan Quayle


Subject: Rhubarb
From: John Gorman <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 18:05:38 EDT

> From: (Matt Maples)


> 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


I quite like rhubarb mead. Ferment the honey until it pretty much
stops bubbling. Otherwise you will bubble off the rhubarb essence!
Then chop the rhubarb into 1/2" sections and toss it in for a week
or two. Rack and clarify as usual.

Mine was dry. But then, I like dry.

John Gorman

Subject: rhubarb
From: Ralph Snel <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 95 12:13:55 METDST

On the subject of rhubarb mead: I haven't made any, nor tasted any, but
I made some rhubarb wine a few years back. The time to harvest the rhubarb
is in the spring, when the stuff grows like weeds, before it gets any
flowers, while the stems are still juicy. Basically from the time it
pops up out of the ground untill you get bored of it.

DON'T mash and pulp ferment. If you use fresh rhubarb, the easiest way
to get the juice out is to freeze it (preferably slowly, in a large batch),
thaw it up again and catch all the juice that runs out. Just use the
stems, no leaves, as the leaves contain too much (poisenous) acid. If you
pulp ferment you will get too much acid extracted from the stems too.
The must will be very acidic. I didn't measure or correct anything, but
by the time the wine was dry it tasted way too tart. I mixed it with
some sweeter blackberry wine and it became quite drinkable. I would
suggest lowering the acidity (raising the pH) untill you get something
drinkable. Don't be surprised if your mead/wine doesn't taste rhubarb
any more after fermentation. You will get a refreshing neutral taste,
don't ask me why. I've read it's good for blending with other wines,
and the mix with the blackberry wine turned out fine.


Ralph Snel

Subject: Stuck! Help!
From: shank@biocserver.BIOC.CWRU.Edu (Sam Shank)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 10:18:54 -0400

I am brewing a mead spiced w/ cinnamon & nutmeg. I don't have my notes
directly in front of me so, I'll do my best.

OG 1.121
Current = 1.030

Boiled water, after boil, added honey, let cool, added hydrated Premier
Cuvee (RedStar) yeast.

Cranked like a champ in the basement for several weeks, until we had to
move it upstairs (about ~5-10'F warmer) due to plumbing problems.

It has been stuck at this SG of 1.030 for several months. We added some
yeast energizer (don't have specifics/how much) and some more re-hydrated
yeast. Still little to no activity. It seems like it bubbles maybe once a
day now. The mead has also been racked a couple of times.

>From what I understand, this yeast (Prise de Mousse/Premier Cuvee) is quite
tolerant of alcohol, as well as temperature changes. What could be going


I will test the pH as soon as I remember to take some strips home with me.

Thanks for your help… Please respond via email as well as to the digest,
as I have been having problems with my subscription.



Sam Shank

Subject: Wedding Mead
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 09:54:30 -0400

The person making melomel commented that she (he) had not tasted mead before.
There are commercial producers. Just about any wine shop should have a bottle
or two around or be able to get you some quickly. Try it. It's great.
It's also sad but true that not all batches turn out. One little yeast or
bacteria in the wrong place at the wrong time is all it takes. I don't ever
count my bottles 'til they're tasted. Have a backup beverage plan for the


Cathy Ganssle
Softaid Internet Services


Subject: Mead PH article
From: (Jim Sims)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 95 08:19:18 EDT

mentioned an article in Zymurgy a few months back on the subject of
PH moderation/balance during mead fermentation as a means to achieve
"quicker" meads. Is there a copy of that article available online? Are
there other related sources/information online somewhere?



Subject: Mazer Cup 1
From: "Daniel S McConnell" <


Date: 18 Apr 1995 21:48:49 -0400

Subject:  Mazer Cup 1




This is an AHA sanctioned event. All Makers of Mead are eligible.
You may enter as many categories as you like.


(1) Each entry will consist of TWO (2) BOTTLES of at least 177 mL (6 oz),

but not more than 750 mL (25 oz) preferably, 12 oz. Both corked and
capped entries are acceptable. Black out identifying marks on bottles
or caps.

(2) A completed RECIPE FORM, filled in with as much detail as possible,

must accompany each entry.

(3) A complete ENTRY FORM should be attached by rubber band to each


(4) All ENTRY FEES must accompany entries when received.
(5) Mark shipping package THIS END UP.
(6) Pack those bottles well!


(1) Entry fee is $6.00 per entry. All North American entries will be

accepted between Monday May 8 and Friday May 19, 1995. Inter-
national entries will be received anytime before May 19.

(2) First round judging will be held on Friday, May 26.
(3) Best of Show judging will be held on Saturday, June 3, 1995.
(4) Make checks Payable to: Ken Schramm, Mazer Cup Mead Competition.
(5) Entries can be dropped off or shipped to the following location:


c/o Ken Schramm
1545 McManus
Troy, MI 48084

The beautiful mazers are hand-thrown at the prestigious Pewabic Pottery.
(1) The AHA/HWBTA 50-point rating scale will be used, with 25 points

required for award eligibility.

(2) The Meadmaker of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category will

receive a ribbon and a mazer.

(3) The BEST OF SHOW will receive the Best of Show ribbon and the

coveted hand-crafted communal mazer.



Dan McConnell, Competition Director 313-663-4845
FAX 313-761-5914
Ken Schramm, Competition Registrar 810-816-1592
Hal Buttermore, Judge Director 313-665-1236
Mike O'Brien FAX 313-485-BREW


(1) e-mail to Dan McConnell ( will get you a snail-mail

postable copy of this flyer (in color!) and entry forms.

(2) User printed forms are acceptable and encouraged.
(3) Qualified Mead Judges are invited to judge this event. Contact Dan

McConnell via e-mail or Hal Buttermore by telephone.


(1) All meads will be judged in the category entered and no categories

will be combined.

(2) Judges reserve the right to withhold awarding of the 1st, 2nd or 3rd

place, if deemed necessary. All judges decisions will be final.

(3) Every effort will be made to use judges who are active in the various

AHA/HWBTA Judge Certification Programs (BJCP/MJCP/BJCC etc). Judges
from any other judge certification program will be welcomed as well.

(4) Winners will be announced by mail after June 3. The Best of Show

winner will be notified by phone on June 3, 1993.

(5) All score sheets will be returned.
(6) Any entry not meeting the above requirements may be disqualified

(and immediately consumed).


Meads are produced by the fermentation of honey, water, yeast and optional
ingredients such as fruit, herbs and spices. Their final gravity
determines whether they are: DRY, 0.996-1.009, MEDIUM, 1.010-1.019 or
SWEET, 1.020 or higher. Mead, Wine, or beer yeasts may be used.

1. SHOW: Mead consisting of Honey, water and yeast ONLY. No spices,

fruit or other flavoring additives permitted. Addition of water
treatments and acidification is permitted.

2. TRADITIONAL: Mead consisting of Honey, water and yeast. Other

flavoring additives are permitted in small amounts, but the primary
flavor must be of honey.

3. MELOMEL: Honey and Fruit, other than Grapes or Apples.
4. CYSER: Honey and Apples.
5. PYMENT: Honey and Grapes.
6. HIPPOCRAS: Spiced Pyment.
7. METHEGLIN: Honey and Herbs and/or Spices.
8. BRAGGOT (BRACKET): Honey and Malted barley (as much or more honey than



a) Sparkling-Effervescent. Flavors should be expressed in aroma and

flavor. Color should represent ingredients. Light to medium body. Dry,
medium or sweet. Honey character still apparent in aroma and flavor.
Absence of harsh and stale character.

b) Still-Not effervescent. Flavors should be expressed in aroma and

flavor. Color should represent ingredients. Light to full body. Dry,
medium, sweet or very sweet. Honey character still apparent in aroma and
flavor. Absence of harsh and stale character.


We would like to thank the following SPONSORS:

American Mead Association, Boulder, CO
G.W. Kent, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI
The Yeast Culture Kit Company, Ann Arbor, MI
The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild


Subject: Mazer Cup Announcment pt 2
From: "Daniel S McConnell" <


Date: 18 Apr 1995 21:49:17 -0400

Subject:  Mazer Cup Announcment pt 2

Registration forms: Print then off and send them in!


  • ———————————CUT HERE———————————




Name of competitor ___________________________________________


Address ______________________________________________________


City ___________________________State____________Zip__________


Country ______________________Telephone_______________________


Name of Mead _________________________________________________


Category ____1____2____3____4____5____6____7____8 Subcat a___b___





  • ———————————CUT HERE———————————




Name of competitor ___________________________________________


Address ______________________________________________________


City ___________________________State____________Zip__________


Country ______________________Telephone_______________________


Name of Mead _________________________________________________


Category ____1____2____3____4____5____6____7____8 Subcat a___b___





  • ———————————CUT HERE———————————





Name _________________________________Phone______________________


Address _________________________________________________________


City ___________________________State/Province___________________


Zip/postal code___________________Country _______________________


Club affiliation ________________________________________________


How long have you been brewing__________(years)



Name of Mead ____________________________________________________


Category ____1____2____3____4____5____6____7____8 Subcat a___b___




Type and ammount of Honey _______________________________________



Was the Must: Heated Sulfited Other


List the distinctive ingredients/methods and the amount used:






Type and amount of water treatment used: ________________________


Type, brand and amount of yeast used: ___________________________


liquid culture dry


Carbonation method used: ________________________________________


Specific gravity: Original ____________ Terminal _______________


Fermentation Duration temperature type of fermenter


Primary ____________ _____________ glass, plastic, SS


Secondary ____________ _____________ glass, plastic, SS


Other ____________ _____________ glass, plastic, SS


Date this brew was bottled ______________________________________


Other important information______________________________________







Subject: Dandy inquiry
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 11:29:56 GMT

I have been keeping silent about this dandelion issue long

Dandeloins are perfectly healthy. The reason that you
remove the sepals (the little green on the underside of the
flowers) is to eliminate any of the milky sap that is in the

You can eat the flowers, leaves, and roots but it is the
stems that will get you. All it is, is really gross. The
sap can make one ill. This is why it is not critical to get
all the green bits off the flower. All you have to do is
pinch the blossoms and snip all the stem off with a pair of
shears. It is simpler than some make it to be. If you want
to be safe snip off the entire green bit. But you are
trying to eliminate the milky sap of the stems.

In reply to the honey supplier and price. I get mine from
HoneyTree Inc. in Onsted, MI. The price I paid is $0.61 per
pound for two 60lb pails. And I picked it up.

Brian Ehlert

Subject: Subject: Strwberry Rhubarb Mead?
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 23:02:41 -0400

The Rhubarb mead thread has gotten me thinking. I have a traditional mead
ready to bottle, but i have gotten the idea to split it in half and make a
melomel with one half. After reading the rhubarb post i knew I wanted to try
a strawberry/rhubarb mead. Has anyone tried this? I would like to find the
amount of each per gallon.

I have another question, This is my fourth mead. Only one has reached a
drinkable level so far and that is a 9 month old melomel. The rest were
traditional clover honey/water/yeast/yeast energizer. Each has had a harshnes

s/alcoholic taste. My SO says the alcoholic smell is what turns her off. I
suspect aging will take this off, is there anyway around this part or will
they all have that? Any info will be appreciated.

Has anyone done a Kiwi Mead?



End of Mead Lover's Digest #399