Mead Lover's Digest #0444 Sat 18 November 1995


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



Apricot Melomel Recipe (Michael L. Hall)
request recipes for– (
Re: Prickly Pear (Rebecca Sobol)
Mead Made Easy (
Re: Mead Made Easy (


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Subject: Apricot Melomel Recipe
From: (Michael L. Hall)
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 95 10:45:15 MST

Summer's Lease II Apricot Melomel
Brewer: Mike Hall

Ingredients for 2.77 gallons:

5.47 lb. Questa Honey
0.55 lb. Sourwood Honey
0.10 lb. Star Thistle Honey
1.47 lb. Clover Honey (at end)

7.59 lb. Total Honey

9.0 lb. Apricot juice from Phoenix Orchard (0.985 gal, SG=1.095)
2 pkts. Lalvin K1V-1116 (Montpelier) wine yeast – hydrated

2 tabs. Sodium Benzoate (at end)
0.5 tsp. Vitamin C (at end)
1 oz. Calcium Carbonate (at end)


Final Size: 2.77 gallons
Deduced Original SG: 1.127
Final SG: 1.023
Alcohol: 13.95 v%, 10.83 w%
Calories/bottle: 435
Temperatures: Pitch: 82 F, Ferment: 65-75 F
Yield: 2.55 gallons
Priming: None – still mead

Brewers comments:

On 9/25/94, I put together the first three honeys listed along with a gallon of
apricot juice and enough water to make 2.55 gallons. There was no reason for
the strange selection of honeys; I was just cleaning out the cupboard. The
apricot juice came from apricots from a tree in my backyard. I pureed the
apricots to get a thick paste, froze the paste for about a year, then thawed it
out and left it sitting in a gallon jug in a refrigerator for several months.
>From past experience I knew that the solids would almost never clear out of the
mead, so I waited until the juice separated and just used the clear juice. At
any rate, I pasteurized this concoction for 90 min at 150 F and pitched the
yeast. The SG was 1.115 and the must tasted rather sour, even with all that
honey. I thought that I might need to correct the sourness somehow later.

I didn't touch the mead again until 4/15/95 (my son was born on 10/20/94, so I
was very busy). At this point I racked the mead, which was still sour, but had
a nice apricot character. I measured the acid content at 1.3% as tartaric, 8.5
ppt as sulphuric. The SG was 1.001 and the clarity was good.

On 5/16/95 I removed a sample and adjusted its acidity to 6.5% tartaric with
CaCO3, decided that was too much (too chalky) and tried to adjust acidity of
whole volume to 9.25% tartaric by adding one ounce of CaCO3. I measured it to
be 9.3%. I then added sodium benzoate to kill the yeast and some extra clover
honey (20 min at 160 F with 1 pt water) to counteract the residual acidity and
give honey character. I let it sit overnight for the chalk to precipitate out
before bottling.

I entered this melomel in the 1995 NM State Fair as part of their wine
competition (8/27/95). It received a Gold Medal and a score of 6.80/10, which
was the highest rated mead, and the second highest rated wine (highest was
7.04). Judges noted excellent acidity-sweetness balance, good apricot and honey
character, some spiciness (maybe the Questa honey?), and some sediment (the
chalk), but otherwise good clarity. In the future I will try to wait until the
chalk precipitates out to bottle, but at that time I needed to free up the
carboy. You can see a chalk layer in the bottom of each bottle, but the mead
can be easily decanted off of it.

Dr. Michael L. Hall <>
Los Alamos National Laboratory 505-665-4312
P.O. Box 1663, MS-B265 Research: radiation transport,
Los Alamos, NM 87545 fluid dynamics, numerical modeling.

Subject:      request recipes for--
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 95 16:35:26 MST

I am looking for the recipes for 'Cranberry Orange Blossum Mead' and "Melon Hon
ey Mead'. Does anyone have those recipes?

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: Re: Prickly Pear
From: sobol@ofps.ucar.EDU (Rebecca Sobol)
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 17:54:14 -0700 (MST)

>From MLD #441

"JOHN A. JR. CARLSON " <> sez:

>I recently picked a bunch of prickly pear and plan to brew some mead with it.
>I wanted to do a smaller test batch by preparing some fruit and adding it
>to already fermented sweet traditional mead.

>What I encountered when I boiled 6 lbs. of prickly pears with 2 gallons
>of water was very strange. I boiled for two hours and drained the sweet
>thick purple liquid into a small carboy. I pitched ten grams of yeast
>and the stuff fermented. The concentrated fermented fruit juice is very
>sour now. I am afraid that somehow I might have contaminated the stuff
>so I am reluctant to blend it into good sweet traditional mead.

>Does anyone have any experience with prickly pear? I am sure the quality
>of the fruit picked in the wild can vary greatly. I wanted to get some
>data points from those who have had success with this sometimes awesome

We have a prickly pear mead that is almost ready to bottle. What we did
was run the fruit through a juicer, and then added the juice to the
heated honey/water mixture. Then we added some mace. We think cardamon
would also be a good spice to use with prickly pear. We tasted some at the
first racking and it was very sour. Just a week or two ago we took a
gravity reading and taste test and it was much improved. I think it will
require lots of aging, but will eventually be very good. Based on a couple
of taste tests I think the sourness will age out.

Rebecca Sobol

All of Unicorn Unchained Meadery mead recipes are now available
at our web site. Visit the Unicorn Unchained Mead Page at

Subject: Mead Made Easy
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 13:27:12 -0800

Just a quick announcement. The 1.5th edition of my book "Mead Made Easy"
is now available on the web. It's still under construction, but there's
enough done now that I think it's worth checking out.
<> is the URL.

  • -DaveP

"Mr. Tick, can you destroy the Earth?"
"Egads! I hope not! That's where I keep all my stuff!"
Dave Polaschek –

Subject: Re: Mead Made Easy
Date: 17 Nov 1995 19:33:57 GMT

Just a quick announcement. The 1.5th edition of my book "Mead Made Easy"
is now available on the web. It's still under construction, but there's
enough done now that I think it's worth checking out.

When do you think you'll have a real life paper edition ready?


End of Mead Lover's Digest #444