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Mead Lover's Digest #0417 Tue 4 July 1995

 

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

 

Contents:

Fruit, Tupelo (Russell Mast)
mead filtration (Richard Webb)
re: mead filtration (Dick Dunn)
Did i do something super bad to my mead? ("Warren A. Ransom III")

 

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Subject: Fruit, Tupelo
From: Russell Mast <rmast@fnbc.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 09:34:13 -0500


> Subject: Fruit in Mead
> From: John DeCarlo <jdecarlo@homebrew.mitre.org>

> An acquaintance has asked me if the fruit in a fruit mead can "go bad" while
> in the mead. I assured him that the alcohol levels would prevent this
> (assuming you wait until the S.G. has dropped before adding the fruit), but
> then I admitted I don't know *everything*. <g>

You have to ask yourself, what happens when fruit "goes bad"? What happens is
that it becomes infested with wild yeast, bacteria, and other microflora.
Can this happen in a bottle of mead? Well, it can, but having fruit in there
doesn't necessarily increase your risk of infection.

Without "bad" microflora, fruit would never "go bad". Tell your friend that,
quite to the contrary, fruit usually "goes good" in mead, because you use
"good" microflora. (Are you a good yeast, or a bad yeast?)

> Can anyone comment on how fruit might "go bad" in a mead, such as "only if you
> leave it in for the full year" or "only if you add it a week before the
> yeast" or "only if it gets in the bottle" or whatever?

Only if it gets infected. A fruit mead will "keep" for as long as your
sanitation techniques are good. Adding fruits can increase your risk of
infection, but that's another issue.

> Subject: Need a recipe-- found some Tupelo Honey
> From: shank@biocserver.BIOC.CWRU.Edu (Sam Shank)

> I am planning on making 2 1 gal. batches. One traditional, with just honey,
> and the other ???

The same. Maybe make one sweet and one dry. Maybe someone else has more
experience with this marvellous honey, but the flavor of Tupelo is very
lovely and somewhat delicate, and I wouldn't want to risk masking it with
other flavors. (Of course, maybe other flavors could enhance them, any ideas?)

This would be a good honey to do a boil/non-boil test with. Use a neutral
yeast.

> Subject: New meadery opens in Colorado


Yay!

  • -R

Subject: mead filtration
From: Richard Webb <rbw1271@husky.ca.boeing.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 08:12:17 -0700

A tip of the hat to Dick Dunn for his report on the Rocky Mountain Meadery
he visited in Palisade, Colorado. My question is about the filtering
system that he saw.

How could a post-fermentation of the mead reduce the time of fermentation?
I guess that this gets to the question of why do meads take so long to
age or ferment or whatever. I don't understand how filtering of this
type would relate to reduction of "young mead" effects. I can see where
PRE-fermentation filtration might have a significant impact on post-
fermentation by taking out the bee bits, protein chunks or whatever.

Any one care to comment on this filtration system? Or care to
paraphrase the AMA article on same?

Thanks!
Rich Webb


Subject: re: mead filtration
From: rcd@raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn)
Date: 30 Jun 95 01:04:13 MDT (Fri)

[moderator's privilege: replying to a question in the same issue:-]
Rich Webb asks:
> How could a post-fermentation of the mead reduce the time of fermentation?
I think Rich dropped a word…"post-fermentation filtration".

The short answer is that I was playing loose with terms.

The longer answer goes something like this: You have this fermentation
period, during which the actual activity (measured by bubbles/sec through
the fermentation lock, or %alc, or whatever) goes down a negative-exponen-
tial curve. Along with this goes the clarification of the mead. Out on
the tail of the curve, you're not getting much fermentation activity;
you're just waiting for the mead to settle. This is where the filtration
can help you. Moreover, if you're aiming for a slightly sweet mead, a
severe filtration at this point stops the fermentation and leaves you with
the sweetness you want with no danger of restarted fermentation.

> I guess that this gets to the question of why do meads take so long to
> age or ferment or whatever…

In my experience, they don't take all that long. I've had some laggards,
but mostly they're pretty quick if the acid and nutrients are right.

> …I can see where
> PRE-fermentation filtration might have a significant impact on post-
> fermentation by taking out the bee bits, protein chunks or whatever.

They (RMM) explicitly stated that they wanted to start the fermentation
with the honey in as natural a state as possible.

> Any one care to comment on this filtration system? Or care to
> paraphrase the AMA article on same?

I picked up as much as I could from talking to them; I didn't get much more
from the AMA article. It would be best if folks nearby would go talk to
them…Palisade is actually a rather nice place to visit. (There's a fruit
winery nearby too–Carlson–with plenty to offer mead-makers. And honey is
plentiful and cheap.)

Dick


Subject: Did i do something super bad to my mead?
From: "Warren A. Ransom III" <war@quanta.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 14:59:21 -0400 (EDT)


i just tasted a mead that has been fermenting for a while, and it kind of
tastes more like mouthwash than what i heard it would. perhaps i should
give some background…
(i'm trying to remember) we used about 12 pounds of honey, and followed
the Barkshack Ginger mead recipe from the papazian book (i threw in a
little lemon juice too, was this bad?) and everything went according to
plan. the mead sat in primary for a week or so, secondary for a few
weeks, and tertiary for a few more weeks. all seemed well and nothing
went really wrong (this is my first mead, so perhaps what looked normal
to me really is weird…) i primed before bottling cause i was
looking for a sparkling mead (fermentation had pretty much finished, it
had been about 2.5 months or so since it started). stored them in a
closet, and they've been sitting there for a month and a half and i tried
one just to see what was happening (i know they really should have a
*lot* more time to age, i wasn't planning on opening any till almost a
year had passed).
my problem is this. they tasted kind of medicinal. like mouthwash. can
you say "pour this sucker out?" a friend of mine likend it to jungle
juice (mixing 18 different boozes together when you were 16 yrs old,
remember that?) i personally thought it had not much flavour at all,
all i could really taste was the alcohol and a background taste like
mouthwash or, dare i say, capret cleaner… i'm really disappionted.
could the taste change dramatically in a year? does it sound to far gone?
is there life after death? but i digress. does anyone have any
suggestions? i can offer more info if necessary. i've been brewing beer
for about 3 years and do that exceptionaly well, if i may toot my own
horn. are meads supposed to taste strange until they have aged? it's
unlikely it was contaminated, so i can't figure out what went wrong.
whats the general opinion ?


War@quanta.com | There should be a science of discontent.

  • -an amazing feat| People need hard times and oppression to develop psychic


of creation. | muscles. -from "Collected Sayings Of Muad'Dib" by the
The Palace of Insanity-http://www.quanta.com/~war Princess Irulan

 


End of Mead Lover's Digest #417