Mead Lover's Digest #0400 Thu 27 April 1995


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



1995 MAZER CUP (
Mead PH article (Shawn Steele)
Mazer origins\infections (Charles Wettergreen)
Roses (Ted Major)
Blackberry Melomel (Dave Cushman)
My mead taste terrible. Why? (Robert Hale)
Questions on first batch of mead. (Willie Peloquin)


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Subject: 1995 MAZER CUP
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 95 10:39:51 EDT

The Mazer Cup announcement is also available on "the web" at

Or start at my beer page:, and
follow the link to "Beer-related Pages" / "competitions".


=Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI

Subject: Mead PH article
From: Shawn Steele <>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 14:23:52 -0600

> 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?


> thanks,
> jim

Hmm, I don't think it's on-line 😉

The AHA does sell back issues though. Contact the customer service department
at and they will be happy to help.


  • – shawn


Shawn Steele
Information Systems Administrator
Association of Brewers (303) 447-0816 x 118 (voice)
736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 (fax)
PO Box 1679 (e-mail)
Boulder, CO 80306-1679 (aob info)
U.S.A. (web)

Subject: Mazer origins\infections 
From: (Charles Wettergreen)
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 95 08:19 CDT


Mead Lovers!
A couple of questions. First, what is the meaning/history of "mazer" in
"Mazer Cup"? Is this an old English form of the word mead?

Second, is mead subject to the same infections as beer, such as lactobacillus
and pediococcus? Any others?




Chuck Wettergreen One beer at a sitting is OK. Two beers, maybe. But anything beyond that number goes over the
Geneva, Illinois line of recreational drinking. Ann Landers



* RM 1.3 *


Subject: Roses
From: Ted Major <>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:32:41 -0400

Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to dig up and transplant
several large old-fashioned rose bushes. Anticipating their survival
and future blooming, has anyone made a rose-petal mead?
Also, while we were digging them, we noticed some honeybees sipping
nectar from the flowers. Has anyone seen a rose honey?
And finally, on a related note, we have a recipe that calls for rose
water. Does anyone know how to make this?
Tidmarsh Major

Subject: Blackberry Melomel
From: Dave Cushman <>
Date: 25 Apr 95 10:29:05 EDT

In #378 Zach inquired about Blackberry melomels. I have tried a couple
batches with dubious results. Two things I have noticed in working
with blackberries is that they are more acidic and have higher tannin
levels than other similar berries. I believe that the berries by
themselves will provide an acceptable environment for the yeast, and
also a great finished product. The first batch was:

10 lb clover honey
6 lb wild blackberries
10 gm acid blend (60% tartaric, 20% each malic and citric)
2 pk W'Yeast Pasteur Champagne (one to prime)

The brew was overly acidic, which I corrected by inducing malolactic
fermentation. This softened the flavour and introduced some complexity
but the mead was still drier than I intended. It really took over two
years to become drinkable.


The second attempt is still bulk aging. This recipe is closer to what
you mentioned:

15 lb Blackberry Honey
15 lb Blackberries
1 pk W'Yeast Pastuer Red yeast

This batch has a more pronounced blackberry character. My fatal flaw
was in using too small of a primary fermenter. I intended to put all
of the berries into the primary for the couple weeks because I really
wanted to acheive a deep color. As it was, the color has turned out as
something lighter than a Pinot Noir The fermenter wasn't big enough
(6 gal carboy). For the next batch (I will definitely do this again),
I have a 7.5 gallon carboy and I will probably continue with the above


Interesting note about malolactic fermentation: while it will help
control overly acidified meads by converting harsh malic acid to
softer lactic acid, it should not be used in meads which have a large
concentration of citric acid – these cultures (leuconostoc oenus) will
also convert citric acid to acetic acid >-O. The berries will have
some citric acid, but I have not had any negative results from this –
in fact the nose resulting from ML is really nice and earthy, like a
French Burgundy.



Subject: My mead taste terrible.  Why?
From: Robert Hale <ROBERT.G.HALE@ASU.Edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 11:35:17 -0700 (MST)

I brewed a batch of spice mead.


1 gallon of water
1.5 -2 pounds of honey,
2-3 cinnamon sticks,
some ginger and
lemon peel

It fermented very vigoriously for about 2-3 weeks. I rack it off

to another gallon jug and waited. After 3 months it tasted and smelled
very much like raw alcohol. After 5 months it tasted the same. I have not
tried it lately. My question is have I done some thing wrong or do I need
to wait longer? I made this recipe once before but after 4 days of
fermenting I added 3 cups of vodka to kill the yeast and drank the mead a
few weeks later. That patched tasted fine but was not high in alcohol
content or at least it did not seem that way the next morning 🙂


Robert G. Hale
Arizona State University

Subject: Ale Yeasts?
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 18:20:39 EDT

There has been a lot of talk about Yeasts recently. While I like a
wine-strength mead, I really enjoy something not quite so strong –
something more on the order of a strong Beer or Ale (Woodchuck Cider is a
good comparison).

Anyone know of a good Beer/Ale yeast? I'm looking for something with the
following characteristics: 1) Strong for a Beer, but not Wine strength
(About 5% Alcohol), 2) Clean fermentation (no aftertastes), 3) Relatively
fast. (Gee, don't we wish they were all this way?)

I did my homework by checking the Mead Maker's Page, but the only Ale
review I could find was a Wyeast American Ale, and the liquids are rather
expensive for my tastes. (BTW – Dick's review of Yeasts is excellent –
worth checking out and keeping a copy. Do you plan on updating / adding to


Tom Swiftie: "I don't like sweet meads," Tom said dryly. 🙂


  • -Geoffrey


Subject: Questions on first batch of mead.
From: Willie Peloquin <>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 9:28:11 -0400 (EDT)


I am currently brewing my first batch of mead. I used 7 lb

of honey, 2 1/2 gallons of water, grape tannin, yeast nutrient
and champagne yeast. I found out later that the grape tannin
will produce a bitter taste but it should eventually age out.


03/12/95 Started


03/14/95 Activity one bubble per second. Very Cloudy.


04/05/95 The SG is about 1.002. Airlock activity is about
one bubble per minute.


04/08/95 First racking. Seems very clear. Taste is very


04/19/95 Seems very clear. Very little airlock activity.
Taste is very bitter.


04/23/95 Seems very clear. Very little airlock activity.
Taste is very bitter.


The resulting mead tastes somewhat similar to a dry mead

I tried several weeks ago, however it is VERY dry, to my taste
and VERY bitter. Is there a way to quantify the sugar content
and the bitterness? It has a definite strong alcohol taste. Is
there an EASY way to determine the alcohol content? My lady
prefers a slightly sweet wine. I would like to add some more
honey to this batch. I am fairly certain that fermentation is
now complete. If I just pour a half pound of honey into the
mead will, 1) fermentation pick up again, 2) should I use a
wine stabilizer to stop fermentation from starting again, and
3) will the honey disolve properly. Is there any way to lessen
the bitter taste? How many months should I let it age? If I rack
into bottles will putting some into a bottle with a screw cap
and sampling it produce different results from the corked
bottles which will not be exposed to air?


Thanks in advance for any and all advice.


Willie Peloquin

Willie Peloquin PP-ASEL | I'm not a kid anymore, but this ain't no | midlife crisis, because whiskey and women

| have always been my vices! Bocephus


End of Mead Lover's Digest #400

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