Mead Lover's Digest #0425 Sun 20 August 1995


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



To bottle or not to bottle… (
Finings before bottling??? (
The mistake that came out great. (this is a long one) (Gary Watts (Volt Temporary))
Wine wine/mead and Color Solution (Michael L. Hall)
Wax, dead bees and other debris… (


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Subject:        To bottle or not to bottle...
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 95 7:14 EDT

I've brewed my first two basci meads (One sweet, one dry) in early may.

After a few rackings I THINK I might be ready to bottle.


Both meads have had no airlock activity for a few weeks now – but both

are also still cloudy.


My questions are :


Should I bottle?


Should I wait longer?


Should I add Sparkaloid? (If so how?)


Thanks – Gerald Wirtrz


Subject:         Finings before bottling???
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 95 7:59 EDT

HI fellow meaders ,

I'm ready to bottle my first batch of traditional

mead after 4 months in the carboy.It looks alot clearer now
after repeated racking.I've made several bear recipes and
have added gelatin a day before bottling to help drop the
yeast. Should this be done with my mead. What are the pros
and cons of this. Also if anyone has any other good tips
for bottling and/or aging in the bottle i'd greatly appreciate





Subject: The mistake that came out great.  (this is a long one)
From: Gary Watts (Volt Temporary) <>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 95 08:27:22 PDT

I botched an old recipe but the mead came out a very powerful 20.3%.
The resulting beverage tasted very much like a flat dry champage.

The correct recipe: (for 1 gallon)
2 tablespoons dark tea (generic Lipton)
the juice of two lemons
3lbs honey
Irish moss
yeast nutrient
yeast (I used champagne)

During the act of creating this wonder the cats tried to kill each
other and I added TWO CUPS of dark tea. The 'must' came out like a porter.
Over the next week the fermenting stopped dead but the mead was still
dark. It tested at about 8%. I added a pinch of yeast nutrient again
and gently rolled the jug to unsettle the dead cells at the bottom. It
blew off more than it did the first time.

I repeated this process for the next few weeks until the mead was clear
as water. The resulting tests showed an increase to 12% them 15%. I
usually let it go until at least 17% so I watched the airlock for another week.

To my amazement four days later, the airlock had stopped moving and the
mead was very clear. It tested out at 20.3%. I was so shocked that I
tested it three times and they all came out the same. Except for a
very dry taste, it turned out very palateable. I took the bottles to
a birthday party and they went in half an hour with people asking for
more. I'm starting a new batch this weekend but unlike last time, I'm
putting a few bottles away to let them carbonate, this should wind up
tasting like champagne.

The Morale:
If you screw up a recipe and it's not life threatning, such as dropping
the drano in the brew, let it ferment. You might be surprised at the
result. After all, isn't this how all great things started?

Subject: Wine wine/mead and Color Solution
From: (Michael L. Hall)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 95 10:22:05 MDT

Daniel R. Burke writes:

> Imagine our surprise then, when selecting a port in our favorite liquor
> store here in Texas, when we saw "Bunratty Meade!" Elated, we grabbed a
> bottle amazed at our good fortune, and scurried home with it. Only to
> discover later that this is Meade, with an "e", not Mead. The label states
> "A white wine flavored with honey and herbs."

I imagine that it is actually mead, but that licensing restrictions
(from your friends at the BATF) have made them label it strangely.
I seem to remember similar labels on US-produced meads.

For instance, I know that many brewpubs want to produce meads but
legally can't. They can produce braggots, since there is some malt
involved. I know that both Eske's Brewpub in Taos and the Wynkoop
Brewpub in Denver produce "meads" that are actually braggots.

Thomas Manteufel writes:

> What are the chemicals in the GW Kent acid test kit? It contains two vials,
> labeled "Color Solution" and "Sodium Hydroxide". Sodium Hydroxide I
> think I can figure out (although knowing the strength would be nice.)
> My bottle of color solution is empty, thanks to my 4 year old who
> squirted it into the sink.

The "Color Solution" is an acid-base indicator, probably phenolphthalein.
It's what makes the solution turn pink. The strength of the NaOH
solution is very important to know also. Look for a number that says
something like .1 N or .1 M. I think that both of these can be bought
separately from the kit at homebrew supply stores.


  • -Mike

Los Alamos Atom Mashers


Subject: Wax, dead bees and other debris...
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 19:42:45 -0400

>I'm new to beekeeping as a hobby. I've just started extracting and want
>to use less attractive honey to make mead. I may have several gallons
>with wax, dead bees and other debris included. I have never made mead but
>have done wine and beer kits. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

It is always a good idea to filter your honey as it comes out of the
extractor. Go to the fabric store and get a yard of 100dn white nylon
material. Wash it out and wring it out to dry to touch. Place this over your
bucket and have the honey filter through this.

I do it twice, once from the extractor, once before the bottle. My customers
appreciate this extra attention.

This will eliminate unsightly honey. Now what are you going to make your mead
out of. Use your best tasting and looking honey to make mead. This is your
special creation. Don't try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Good Luck!,

Steve Dragon
D&S Apiaries
Worcester, MA
(A very small division of D&S Associates)

End of Mead Lover's Digest #425

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