Mead Lover's Digest #0423 Sun 6 August 1995


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



Re: Stuck Fermentations (Dieter Dworkin Muller)
Yeast farming… ("Matthew W. Bryson")
pH and acidity (Olson)
Cheery mead (
Old Honey (
dried cranberries ("West, Dale")
sulfites (
Watermelon Mead? & New Brew Site (Allen Harris)
strawberries (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Re: Stuck Fermentations
From: Dieter Dworkin Muller <>
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 1995 06:04:35 -0600

"JOHN A. JR. CARLSON " <> wrote:
: If you bothered to add oxygen, why did'nt you add some more yeast?

I tried *that* experiment with last year's stuck batches, with
absolutely zero effect. Come to think of it, that's a data point
about adding yeast nutrient — when I put in the extra yeast last
year, it had some nutrient to go with it.

The third batch, that didn't show any particular effect from the
oxygen this year, has not yet been touched, but the level in the
airlock has changed over the last few days. That's a sign of it
having finally gotten started again or that the barometric pressure is
being really variable lately. I suspect the latter….



Subject: Yeast farming...
From: "Matthew W. Bryson" <MWBryson@LANMAIL.RMC.COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 95 9:25:16 EDT

About 2 weeks ago I made a 1/2 gallon mead starter solution and added

Sweet Mead Yeast to it. After it fermented out, I swirled the bottles
contents to resuspend the yeast sediment, and then I bottle the cloudy,
weak mead. The idea was to mimic the parallel yeast culturing of beer
yeast that is decribed in the yeast FAQ. Subsequently I have added the
contents of one of my bottles of – hopefully- sweet mead yeast to another
starter with the purpose of using it for a batch of mead. My question is


1) Will it take longer for this starter's activity to kick up than it

did for the original?

2) Has anyone else tried this method? If so, what were the results?


( Okay, so its threefold…)



Duke Nukem


Date: Tue, 01 Aug 95 10:18:26 MST

My daughter want me to make a Chocolate Mint mead. Has anyone got a recipe for
this? Needs to make as soon as possible.

Shirley Thompson User Service Center Boise State University


Here's to it and to it again, if you don't do it, when you get to it,
you may never get to it to do it again. . .


Subject: pH and acidity
From: (Olson)
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 95 20:58:38 MDT

In MLD#422 John Carlson writes:

>I have a question regarding the appropriate PH level one should look for
>in a finished mead. Some of the feedback I got from the Mazer said I
>should increase the acid balance. I had made an effort to concentrate on
>more honey character and maybe went too far on the sweet side of things.
>I have not tested for PH in the past but am thinking of doing so in the
>future. Any ideas? Are folks just using PH paper or the fancy digital
>PH meters? Are their any magic PH numbers to try and hit for that
>perfect sweet-sour balance or does it all depend on the individual batch
>in question. Any thoughts would be welcome re how much acid is good and
>how much is bad.

For the past two years, I have carefully measured the pH and acid level
of every mead that I have made, usually testing each mead 2 or 3 times
during the fermentation process. For me, the acid level of my meads
more accurately reflects how they taste than the pH does. I've been
happy with my meads in the range 0.45 to 0.6% acid. Only a cherry
mead was left at the top end of 0.6%, most have been 0.5 to 0.55%.
An old mead that I made before I started testing was very sour and
tested out at 0.7%.

An acid testing kit from your local supplier for $6 is recommended.
After a couple years you may need to buy a new bottle of sodium
hydroxide for $2. I did buy a pH meter, but I found it to be more
useful for beers than meads.

For those of you out there that use the Beverage People's yeast
nutrient for meads, note that it is based on recipes from Roger Morse
and includes citric acid. Taste the nutrient, the citric acid is
quite noticeable. Therefore, when using this nutrient, do not use
any acid blend, or your meads may be too acidic.

I find myself usually adding a tablespoon of calcium carbonate to
my meads (5 gallons) near the end of primary fermentation to reduce
their acidity. Then when racking, I test and taste and adjust again
if necessary.


Subject: Cheery mead
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 22:08:15 -0500

Any body have any recipes for cheery mead? You can answer here or write


Subject: Old Honey
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 23:16:14 -0400

I have about 7 gallons of 10 mo. old honey. Is it useable? Are there any
bacteria/other nasties that I should be concerned about?



  • -Getting ready to make another.


Subject: dried cranberries
From: "West, Dale" <>
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 95 13:26:00 PDT

I just bought a pound of sweetened, dried, unsulfered cranberries pretty
cheaply at Price Club/Costco. I have never seen them before, but they are
really good to nibble on. Has anyone tried them in a batch of melomel?


Subject: sulfites
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 22:47:50 -0400

Recently there has been some talk of sulfites in mead. I do not use them or
recommend there use. As someone pointed out in MLD #422
soom mead makers use them as a placebo. If the placebo effect is needed to
secure the mead maker then it might be better to use a killer yeast strain
instead. These type of yeasts can be used singularly of in tandum with
another yeast.
On the topic of ph adjustment. Its not magic. Before atempting to alter the
ph of a must you should when obtaining you honey get the ph as well as
nitrogen and ash content. And then go from there.

micah millspaw

Subject: Watermelon Mead? & New Brew Site
From: (Allen Harris)
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 95 20:25:09 EDT

Hi Folks,

It's been about a month since my last posting (new hard-drive toasted
my old E-Mail files). I had last split a 6 gallon batch of
traditional mead into two 3 gallon batches. I ended up adding water
to one of the carboys. Both batches are now about 12% and have little
bubbling visible in the carboys. The watered down batch is quite nice
and getting smooth. The "straight" batch is hot and alcoholic.
Having never tasted Listerine I can only imagine that the taste might
be similar.

I plan to leave the watered down batch alone and rack it to another 3
gallon carboy to finish clearing and age a little more. I could let
the hot stuff just age, but I really split the batch to make a trad.
mead and a fruit mead. I propose to rack this mead into a 6 gallon
carboy and add fresh watermelon till it is near full. I know that
this will cut the strength (in half?), but how much 12% mead can one
drink in a sitting? Will this work? Has anyone tried watermelon
mead? Any guidance is welcome via private e-mail or the list. TIA

I would also like to announce a new Brewing Web site. I have become
involved with a group called the Toronto Regional Association of
Specialty Homebrewers (TRASH for short). I have started a home page
for the club and it can be found at . At this
point there are two online editions of the club newsletter. I am
still figuring out HTML so the interface isn't always the best and
there are a few links that need help. I do this in my free time, so I
will try to fix things soon. If you do visit, please take a second to
send me mail from any of the comment links. Even if it is empty, I
will at least know you were there. Comments and complaints are


Allen Harris

Trash Web at

Subject: strawberries
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 6 Aug 95 13:30:42 MDT (Sun)

Another bit of experience with strawberries: I've had good luck with dry/
sparkling strawberry melomel. I've used 12-15 lb of berries for a 5-gallon
batch. The berries were hulled, sliced thick or quartered, frozen, then
defrosted before starting the mead.

I started the fermentation on the fruit and let it ferment for the first
8-10 days on the fruit (which is how I usually handle fruit), then
strained out the fruit and racked.

These melomels have finished quickly (the gating factor too often being
when I've had time to bottle). I haven't had any problem with bitterness.

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

…Simpler is better.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #423