Mead Lover's Digest #0432 Fri 22 September 1995


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



Mead monitoring program ("I'd like to lick the coil someday.")
Re: Mead in literature ("West, Dale")
Hucklekojisteam. (Russell Mast)
Re: Golden Raisins and Measuring Alcohol ("Steven T. Mundschau")
Camelot Mead (
bounced submissions? OK to re-send (Mead Lover's Digest)


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Subject: Mead monitoring program
From: "I'd like to lick the coil someday." <STU_GJCARRIE@VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 01:52:01 -0500 (EST)

A friend of mine is in a programming class and has some sort of free assignment
to write some sort of program. To my good fortune, he thought of me and my
mead and has decided to write a program for me to monitor my fermentations.
Pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, why I'm writing is to make sure that this is a thorough program.
Perhaps my buddy will want to upload the finished product, so this may be of
immediate interest to some of you. Even if it isn't though, I would appreciate
any advice on what the program should entail. Here's what I've thought of:

  • -A log system…you enter brew date, name, ammount, ingredients, procedure,

titratable acidity, pH, and comments (anything else here?). The program saves
the individual mead entries which you can then access later by name or
something. It would keep track of dates when you enter in new data and give
some feedback. Specifically, the things I would like to see it give me in
terms of feedback are:

  • -Some sort of formula to tell you how much acid blend to add to correct the TA

and pH (easy enough I think). I enter a TA of X and it tells me to add Y
ammount of acid blend. BTW…is the correct way to figure this out:

# of cc's of sodium hydroxide * .075 = TA?

So, can anyone think of any improvements? Get back to me if you can. I am
just going to give him an outline of what I want the program to do and he'll
take it from there. I don't see why he wouldn't want to upload it…in fact I
can almost guarantee he will. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Gregg Carrier

Subject: Re: Mead in literature
From: "West, Dale" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 08:55:00 PDT

Joyce Miller writes:
>Gregg asks about sources of info on mead past to present:
>Well, probably the best book of this sort is:

> _Brewing Mead (Wassail! in Mazers of Mead)_, 1986, Brewers
>Publications. This is a facsimile reprint of Gayre's 1948 book on the
>history of mead in literary sources, with a final chapter on brewing mead
>written by Charlie Papazian added on at the end. 198 pages, 11 black and
>white illustrations, references & notes, no index.

As an amateur historian, brewer, and anthropologist, I would agree. Two
excellent suggestions. "Gayre" is the best book around. It is probably also
the only book of it's type around. I have the book and have read it many
times with a lot of enjoyment. BUT… use your head when you read it and
take what he says with a grain of salt. It is a combination of good
history, bad history, random anthropology, and "If I were a horse"
approaches. (Comes from the arm-chair anthropologist saying "now if I were
a horse, I would do this because…".) Some of his stuff is very good and
some is plain wrong or at least dubious. Use it as a good jumping off point
in your researches. Then go read Kenelm Digby's "The Queen's Closet
Opened", Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the OED, compendia of
ancient Greek contracts, "The Flowing Bowl", and anything else you can find.
There is also some more information in "Making Folk Wines" by Jagendorff.

Have lots of fun in your research because this is a field in which you get
to do it all on your own, assembling a whole from lots of snippets of
original sources. Often all you can find is one sentence in an ancient
Greek play but it's like finding a speck of gold in a gold pan.

Dale West

Subject: Hucklekojisteam.
From: Russell Mast <>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 1995 14:38:07 -0500

> Subject: Huckleberry honey

> Has anyone tried huckleberry honey for mead.

No, but I'd jump at the chance to. I've been wanting to brew a huckleberry
melomel for a couple years now. It's kinda hard to find fresh hucks in
Chicago. You should definately give it a go. Let us know what it's like in
a couple years. 🙂

> To Patrick with the high final gravity problem:…
> Also you might consider adding Koji.

I'm pretty sure Koji does what you say it does, however most of the sugars in
a mead are already simple sugars, which won't be helped by amalytic activity
like that.

> Finally, has anyone used, or heard of anyone using, steam injection to
> heat or boil mead or beer?

There's all kinds of chitter chatter about that on the homebrew digest this
week, I've just been skipping the posts, but you could check there. (If you
haven't already.) I think most folks here don't boil their meads for fear of
heat damage, so steam probably would be out as well, but, well, if you use
it, I wanna hear about it.

  • -R

Subject: Re: Golden Raisins and Measuring Alcohol
From: "Steven T. Mundschau" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 13:29:06 CDT

Are all light raisins sulphited? I just made my first batch of
dandelion wine this year and used light raisins just as the recipe
called for, which I probably wouldn't have attempted if I had known
about the problems other people had with them. Fermentation with
my batch, however, took place quickly and vigorously. Could some
companies be using a process other than sulfiting for their raisins,
or is this just an extreme case of beginner's luck?

There is a process for measuring alcohol described in "The Art of
Making Wine" that sounds very much like those described here. I don't
have time to look it up right now, but if people are interested I will
share it later.

| Steven T. Mundschau | Electrical Engineer |
| | |

| I finally got a homepage, just in time for my departure! |
| |

Subject: Camelot Mead
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 07:25:26 -0500 (EST)

> ——————————
> Subject: Commercial mead
> From: Spencer W Thomas <>
> Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 09:51:08 -0400
> I picked up a bottle of "Camelot" mead, produced somewhere in Indiana
> (can't remember the name of the producer, sorry). It's a relatively
> light-flavored traditional mead, a touch heavy on the acid (for my
> taste), and, unfortunately, still smelling of sulfites. Still, it's
> nice to see a semi-dry, clean interpretation of the style (as opposed
> to, say, Chaucer's, or that Bunratty Meade(tm) product).
> =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (
> ——————————

FYI, the mead is produced in Bloomington Indiana by Oliver
Wineries. It used to be their flagship product for about
a decade, then it suddenly became unpopular, which nearly
ruined the winery. They are doing fine now, but the Camelot
Mead is only one of many "specialty wines" they produce in
addition to the other, more standard (but good) wines they
produce. It has been around a long time, and isn't a "fad"

It is the only commercial mead I have tried, and while I didn't
notice sulfites, I am not sure I am as good at detecting them
as others may be. Also, I had their '93 mead, yours may have
been a different year. My thoughts on it were that it was very
like the meads I make, though perhaps lighter and cleaner
tasting. I think I go much heavier on the honey, and I know
they filter theirs as well.

Can you tell I took the winery tour? 🙂


Subject: bounced submissions? OK to re-send
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 22 Sep 95 19:10:29 MDT (Fri)

If you tried to submit something to the digest earlier this week and it
bounced, try re-sending it now. There were several transient problems at
Colorado SuperNet ( in the headers) on Wednesday and Thursday, with
odd messages like "MX record points to itself" (when they broke things) or
"cannot write…[blah]…fopen failed" (as they tried to fix it).

Sorry for the inconvenience; I wish I had more control over this stuff.

Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder, Colorado USA
Mead-Lover's Digest

End of Mead Lover's Digest #432