Mead Lover's Digest #0449 Wed 20 December 1995


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



flavor standards (
Re: Sweetness, new book, heating before bottling, filtering (Dieter Dworkin Muller)
Meads progress reports (Joe Uknalis)
Re: New to Brewing/Mead (Greg Woods)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995 (Gary Shea)
port wine method of controlling mead sugar levels (Michael Parker)
Any good Strawberry melomel recipes and honey question (Douglas Thomas)
Barkshack GINGER Mead needing some help (XKCHRISTIAN@CCVAX.FULLERTON.EDU)
Re: 1st mead question (Dave Moore)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995 (Robert Wenzlaff)
wierd recipes (Douglas Thomas)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995 (
Re:Pear melomel (Joyce Miller)
re: Cranberry Mead (Dick Dunn)
Carbonation (Peter Matra)


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Subject: flavor standards
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 09:07:15 -0500

I'm also interested in flavor standards for mead, particularly from the
contest /judging standpoint.

If anyone could steer me toward mead judging reference(s), it would be
greatly appreciated
Bob Talkiewicz, Binghamton, NY <>

Subject: Re: Sweetness, new book, heating before bottling, filtering
From: Dieter Dworkin Muller <>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 07:25:10 -0700 (Torben Andersen) wrote:
: 3. The same author proposes to clarify mead with a special filter that is
: normally used for "schnaps" (liqueur). It takes a special pump to get the
: mead through the filter. Is such a filtering a good idea? Will the filter
: remove some of the taste but not the proteins that may sediment at a later
: time after bottling?

Well, a related data point is a friend of mine who brews his meads at
the Beer Store, a brew-on-premises place. They run it through a
filter before bottling (which apparently requires a fair amount of
pressure, so I infer that it is a relatively fine filter). The result
is that his meads have almost none of the harshness that it takes mine a
year to age out. They still improve with time, but he does end up
with something quite drinkable in two months. His meads are also
always crystal clear, too.


Subject: Meads- progress reports
From: Joe Uknalis <juknalis@ARSERRC.Gov>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 09:39:34 -0500 (EST)


Here's some updates on some unusual meads in the works.

Strawberry mead (2lbs berry/gal)- on first racking very tart, great color.
added 1/2 lb per
gallon. On second racking still slightly tart but balanced by sweetness of the
added honey.
Flavor is like the first bite of a fresh strawberry before the sweetness of the
berry kicks in.

Prickly pear mead- (a la Papazian)- 1st racking, light delicate flavors.
Reminds me of
kiwi fruits.

Buckwheat mead- 1st racking. Heavy in body & alcohol. Rich complex flavors.
Sherry, morels, maple, yum. Speaks to me and says "age me".
Reminds me of young cabernets I've tried.
Try this one folks.

Welcome Yule!


Subject: Re: New to Brewing/Mead
From: woods@ncar.UCAR.EDU (Greg Woods)
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 95 8:11:03 MST

> Subject: New to Brewing/Mead
> From: Scott Dexter <>

> Any suggestions for a good 'First' Mead….(I would
> imagine a Traditional Mead would be best to start).

Our digest janitor, whose melomels are known far and wide, may take
exception to this remark 🙂 but I would avoid melomels for a while.
Having to deal with the fruit increases the hassle factor and
contamination potential a great deal. Do a few "traditional"
meads or methoglins first.

  • –Greg

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995
From: (Gary Shea)
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 12:40:12 -0700

Scott Dexter <> writes
>Subject: New to Brewing/Mead
>Well, As the topic implies I am new to both brewing and Mead. I am very
>interested in breing mead and was hoping some more experienced mead brewers
>could help me out. Any suggestions for a good 'First' Mead….(I would
>imagine a Traditional Mead would be best to start).

I am pretty much of a beginner myself and have made only melomels
(fruit-based meads), and it seems that has been a good choice: they're
very easy, quick to mature (usually), and no disasters yet!

"Jeremy D. Pike" <> writes:
>Subject: First mead questions
>Hello, I am a newbie to all kinds of brewing(3 beers) and have started my
>first mead: 3lbs honey
> 1tsp acid blend
> 1 tsp yeast nutrient
> 1 pak Muntons ale yeast

In my experience, the Munton & Fison (or however you spell it 🙂
will give you dry meads with this much honey. On the other hand,
Edme will give you a nice sweet honey, and very quickly too, with
this much honey. I have never made a 'traditional' mead of this
sort, so can't comment on the acid blend and nutrient ratios. Oh,
I'm presuming this is a 1 gal batch?

Gary Shea
Salt Lake City, Utah

Subject: port wine method of controlling mead sugar levels
From: (Michael Parker)
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 15:45:48 -0600 (CST)

>1. Control of sweetness/dryness is one of the most difficult tasks in
>mead-brewing. A Danish commercial mead-supplier reports to overcome the
>problem using the Portwine method. When fermentation has reached such a
>level that the sugar content is appropriate (i.e. gravity OK), pure alcohol
>is added to obtain an alcohol level of 18-20%. This stops further
>fermentation. Result: A strong mead with exactly the desired sugar content.
>Has anybody tried this?

I use Everclear, which for non-US meaders is 190 proof grain alcohol. While
purists may rent their clothes, typically a shot or two of everclear is all
that's necessary to do the trick, and everclear is mostly tasteless anyway.
As a bonus, my meads usually clarify within a few days of the event
(although, to be honest, I'm not sure that this technique is the reason, but
maybe the rapid alcohol rise stuns the yeast into submission or something)

K. Michael Parker
Porsche, por-sha', n. A gasoline-powered cash disposal device.

Subject: Any good Strawberry melomel recipes and honey question
From: Douglas Thomas <>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 14:10:13 -0800 (PST)

I am still looking around for a good strawberry melomel recipe. I love
strawberries and would like to try a batch. I especially like the flavor
of rhubarb with strawberries, so if there is any suggestions out there.
My honey question is this. I was reading in a book called "Making Mead"
by Roger Morse, and he mentions using the strongest honeys available to
make mead, while I have also read in various articles, that the best
meads are made by light meads. If there are any opinions or examples out
there I would like to know. Personally I have been using "Dave's
unprocessed, mountain honey" from Oakland CA. It is dark, slightly
floral and has a very medium body. It works well for almost anything.
Please post or email me responses
Doug Thomas

Subject: Barkshack GINGER Mead needing some help
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 17:30:10 -0800 (PST)

Hello all,

I made a Barkshack Ginger Mead a few months ago. I used 8 lb Clover honey along
with nutrient and too much ginger. I used a champagne yeast… It went
beautifully clear, but the ginger was way too strong. Not sure what to do, I
added another 4 lbs of clover honey and letter rip… It has not clear yet but
I just racked it. Unfortunately, it did not sweeten it. Since I used champagne
yeast, it would probably take another 10 lbs. of honey before the yeast poops

Do you have any suggestions in how to reduce the ginger taste. Would letting it
sit in a carboy for a few months, add some new fruit to sweeten it, or bottle it

and wait, wait, and wait.

BTW I used 4 oz of fresh graded ginger. Next time, if I use ginger again, I'll
use 2 oz. What are some of your experiences using ginger? Keith

Subject: Re: 1st mead question
From: Dave Moore <>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 21:32:59 -0400

>My question is this: I would like to add honey at
>bottling for a slightly sweeter and sparkling mead. Can I do this
>without worrying about glass grenades? Or should I just bottle with a
>little corn sugar and let it age longer before I enjoy it?

The safe way to intentionally produce sweet and sparkling is to pressure
carbonate. If you bottle something with a significant amount of fermentable
sugar still in it, the yeast needs to have been deactivated or you risk
grenades. This precludes carbonation by the Champagne method. It is
possible to bottle a sweet mead just short of completion but this is
dangerous and normally this is something that happens by accident rather
than intention.

Another possibility is to sweeten with non-fermentable sweetner, i.e.
artificial sweetener. Sweeten to taste then prime with the normal amount of
corn sugar. Personally I can't stand artificial sweeteners so have never
done this.

Most of this is from reading. So far I've done several ciders and am
currently making my second mead. Perhaps someone else will have other

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995
From: Robert Wenzlaff <>
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 1995 08:40:52 -0500 (EST)

> Subject: Question on Cyser
> From:
> Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 14:52:43 -0500
> My question is this:
> My cyser is in the secondary ( it's been there 3 months ), and a slight "scum
> has formed on the top with what looks like a couple of white spots of mold.
> I'm not sure if this is what it is , and if so will it ruin the cyser or can
> I just rack to bottles with out disturbing the top layer and all will be well
> ???
> Barto
Do so quickly! If it is mold, you must rack the middle out before the
nasty beasts form tendrils forever ruining your mead. As long as the
mold is on the surface, you have a shot at saving a major quantity. As
far as already being ruined, most common molds aren't toxic. The notable
exception is the pink mold that sometimes forms on sourdough starters.

Robert Wenzlaff
Visit our Web page at


"Well, Gene, I agree with your 'thumbs up' on the basis
of _Appolo 13_'s technical production, but I'm not sure

if the moviegoing public is ready to accept the premise behind

the movie's plot."


Subject: wierd recipes
From: Douglas Thomas <>
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 1995 16:22:26 -0800 (PST)

Here are some wierd recipes from "Fortunes in Formulas" by Gardner Hiscox=
first publishe 1900 with earlier publications of parts of this book. =20

Ginger ale
Lemons, large——-6
ginger, bruised—–3 ounces
sugar—————6 cups
yeast—————1/4 cake
boiling water——-4 gallons
water—————enough to five gallons

Slice lemons into large earthenware vessel removing teh seed. Addginger,=
sugar and boiling water. When the mxture is coold to lukewarm, add yeast=
in water. Cover for 24 hours at end of time cork securely.

Ginger Beer
White sugar———–1/4 #
honey—————–1/4 #
bruised ginger——–5 ounces
lemon juice———–to taste
water—————–4 1/2 gallon

boil ginger in 3 quarts of water for half hour, add lemon juice and honey=
and the rest of the water. Strain all this and when cold add quarter of=20
the white of an egg and a teaspoonful of essence of lemon. Let stand 4=20
days before bottling. =20

ginger beer 2

brown sugar———-2 #
boiling water——–2 gallons
cream of tartar——1 ounce
bruised ginger——-2 ounces

infuse ginger in boiling water add the sugar adn cream of tartar: when=20
lukewarm strain then add half pint of good quality yeast. let stand the=20
nigh and then add one lemon=CAand egg white to fine.

Lemon beer
boiling water———1 gallon
lemon sliced———-1
ginger bruised——–1 ounce
yeast—————–1 teacupful
sugar—————–1 pound

let stand for 20hours and it is ready to bottle


About 35 parts of crushed millet, to which a little wheat flour is added=20
are placed in a large kettle. On this about 400 partsof water are=20
poured. The misture is stirred well and boild for 3 hours. After=20
settling for 1 hour the lost water is revewed and the boiling continued=20
for another 1- hours. a viscous mass remains in the kettle, which=20
substance is pread upon large tables to cool. After it is perfectly=20
cool, it is stirred with water in a wooden trough and left to ferment for=
8 hours. This pulp is sifted mixed with a little water and after and=20
hour the braga is ready for sale. The taste is alitlle sweetish at first=
but=CAbecomes more and more sourih in time. Fermentation begins only in=20
the trough. =20

Scotch beer=20
Add 1 peck malt to 4 gallons of boiling water and let it mash for 8=20
hours, and then strain, and in the strained liquor boil
hops—————–4 ounces-4 ounces
coriander seeds——1 ounce
honey—————-1 pound
orange peel———-2 ounces
bruised giner——–1 ounce

hop bitter
corianderseed————2 ounces
orange peel————–4 ounce
ginger——————-1 ounce
gentian root————-1/2 ounce

boil in 5 gallons water for half an hour then strain and put innto the=20
ligour 4 ounces of hops and 3 pounds of sugar, and simmer for 15 minutes=20
more. Add sufficient yeast and bottle when ready.

sarsaparilla beer
sarsaparilla 1 pound
1/4 pound guaiacum bark
guaiacum wood and licorice root, 2 ounces
aniseed 1 1/2 ounces
mezereon root bark 1 ounce
cloves 1/4 ounce
sugar 3 1/2 pounds
hot water 9 quarts
mix in stone jar and keep in a warm room
no yeast is used and this is used a dosage at night or up to 3=20
tumblerfuls a day

oil of wormwood—96 drops
oil of star anise-72 drops
oil of aniseed—-48 drops
oil of coriander–48 drops
oil of fennel—–48 drops
oil of angelica
root————–24 drops
orl of thyme——24 drops
alcohol (pure)—-162 fluid ounces
distilled water—30 fluid ounces

I will post more if people are interested in benedictine, chartreuse, may=
bowl, maraschino,bitters, hostetter bitters, weiss beer, spruce beer (2=20
recipes) treacle beer, british champagne, american champagne, champagne=20
cider, package pop, and I think that is it.

hope that satisfies ya'll for a little bit

Doug thomas

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #448, 14 December 1995
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 17:02:42 -0500

In a message dated 95-12-15 03:15:18 EST, you write:

>CCan I do this
>without worrying about glass grenades? Or should I just bottle with a
>little corn sugar and let it age longer before I enjoy it?

I would make sure that you either kill all the yeast action with sulfite
tablets or sterilization before bottling. That will insure no "glass

Tim Byrnes

Subject: Re:Pear melomel
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 15:19:33 -0500

>My first batch of perrymel (an all juice pear melomel) went still about 1
>month ago and shows no sign of clearing. I have racked once and fined
>once with gelatin. This treatment usually gets things going for me but
>it seems to not be working this time.

I've had similar problems with pear. I tried pectic enzyme with great
success. 2 drops worked their magic in just a few minutes!

  • — Joyce

Subject: re: Cranberry Mead
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 18 Dec 95 23:31:36 MST (Mon)

belated response (geeeez, I get the digest first; I should be able to
answer soon enough)…but I made a cranberry melomel when cranberry prices
dropped after Christmas, so it's not too late…

I used 5 lb fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped in a food processor, for a
5-gallon batch. This went with 10 lb of honey; starting gravity was around
1070. As I'd usually do for chunks of fruit, I started in a large plastic-
pail fermenter. After a week I racked off the fruit into glass. I had two
rackings and a fining with a bit of gelatin after that. The yeast was a
slow one (Wyeast 3184) and I let it go 15 weeks from start to bottling. I
finished it still and just slightly sweet (because I was worried about it
being bitter if it finished very dry). It's fairly clear with not much

It was bottled in April of 1994, ready to drink at bottling, and I've been
slowly doling it out since then. Among my friends, it's a favorite. It
has a medium pink color and a distinctive cranberry flavor…people who
haven't had it before will taste it and say either "I *KNOW* that flavor…
what IS it???" or simply "Wow…that's cranberry!"

If you're considering cranberry, I recommend it. Based on my experience,
at 1 lb per gallon, I would suggest that the upper bound on fruit be not
much more than 1.5 lb/gal. If you push it, you'll get more cranberry
character, but you're risking that bitter/astringent part of the taste
overwhelming the rest. I found that at 1 lb/gal, the character was
at least "obvious", maybe "blatant".

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

…Simpler is better.

Subject: Carbonation
From: Peter Matra <>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:14:40 -0500 (EST)

I just opened my first batch! I turned out great, It is very good, and
still retained some nice sweetness. The only thing which doesn't bother
me is carbonation. It si not carbonated. A slight fizz but it is nothing
like commercial cider or beer. I used the natural yeast, should I put
some fresh champagne yeast in the bottles at bottling time? maybe with
some sugar? Do people normally add more yeast at bottling?

Stalking Wolf
Peter Matra

"Those who walk the woods, in God's country, walk on his ever changing
church. Drink the wine, plow the earth, listen to Mother Nature."

End of Mead Lover's Digest #449