Mead Lover's Digest #0472 Mon 8 April 1996


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



(Matt Maples)
Orang Melomel (Matt Maples)
Sweet mead. (Matt Maples)
Sparkling cyser. (Matt Maples)
Stopping ferment (Matt Maples)
fennel mead (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #471, 3 April 1996 (Glenn Maley)
Pomegranate Juice ("Robert A. Tisdale")
in-bottle pasteurization? (John R. Murray)
Slow feeding. (Russell Mast)
mead sweetness (Daniel Gurzynski)
Re: Mead recipes ("Charlie Moody")
Pronunciation (Kurt Schilling)
My Mead…. (Scott Dexter)
Fwd: Orange Melomel (reply to Karl Long, Mead Lover's Digest #470) (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #456, 30 January 1996 ("Dylan Kirk, Mosquitoslayer")
yeast nutrients (John Mason)
unsubscribe (Flinsch, Alex)


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From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:12:08 -0800 (PST)

> Now that the wine has been racked, I have not
>encountered any more mats, but have found some white stringy floaters.
>Could it be that the yeast is trying to form more mats? If not, what are
>they? The wine tastes fine so far. Has the typical green flavor, but no
>off tastes or bouquet. Any ideas?
>Doug Thomas

Well Doug according to author Dave Miller "rope jelly like strands" are
caused by lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus). My suggestion would be to
add three or four sufite tabs and wait at least four weeks before bottleing.
If your mead doesn't smell or taste bad yet it is not too late. Kill the
little basterds and keep on going!

Matt Maples

Subject: Orang Melomel
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:21:47 -0800 (PST)

> If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. If you have
>actually made a mead with orange juice, what did you balance the
>orange with and how did it turn out.

I made an orang juice mead once and put in only a small amount of acid and
tannin. The problem in retrospect is the HIGH amount of citric acid the
oranges had in them to being with. Mine turned out too acidic so I suggest
being verry conservitive with the tannic acid. In Action/Duncan's book they
suggest 1/5th oz tannin but I not sure it even needs that.

Matt Maples

Subject: Sweet mead.
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:35:37 -0800 (PST)

>Can someone reply describing how they control their mead's sweetness.
>Thanks in advance,
>Dale Swanston

Well Dale here's my spin on the subject. I have tried using lower fermenting
yeasts such as ale yeast butI did't like the flavor they imparted and I
did'nt get very predictable ferment so I don't like to go that route. As for
adding so much honey that the yeast "poops" out on you, one that takes a
LONG time, two you better be sure all of the yeast are dead before bottling
or you could have a mess on your hands and three it gives me more alcohol
than I like ( I like 12-13%). That leaves the chemical method. I know all of
you purests out there don't like adding chemical to your mead but adding
potassium sorbate to your fermented mead is the easiest most predictable way
to sweeten mead. It does not add any flavor to the mead and it halts all
fermentation. You can then add the sweetness you want and none of it will
fermnet out. Well Dale thats my opion I hope it was usefull.

Matt Maples

Subject: Sparkling cyser.
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:39:04 -0800 (PST)

>Within the next month or so, I'll bottle my 1996 holiday mead. This year,
>it's a sparkling cyser. I don't have a large number of champagne bottles,
>but I do have two cases of Grolsch swing-caps. Do you think these will
>contain the pressure? I'm pitching new champagne yeast and ~3/4 cup honey
>in 1 quart apple juice to prime.

The bottles will do fine, I've used them and they can hold a lot of

pressure. One thing though, 3/4 cup honey AND 1 quart apple juice sounds
like too much sugar to me. Think about cutting back.

Matt Maples

Subject: Stopping ferment
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:53:05 -0800 (PST)

>Subject: Stopping fermentation
>From: "Robert A. Tisdale" <>
>Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 01:01:21 -0600
>In the last MLD (#468) Rebecca Sobol mentioned something about using
>chemicals to stop fermentation. Is there such a thing? How does it
>affect taste? I have some mesquite mead that has been fermenting for
>4 months and has an alcohol content of about 12.5%; I think thats
>enough. Does a longer fermentation add any to quality of mead?

I mentioned the chemical in my reply to Dale Swanston's question about sweet
mead. The one I use (the only one I know of) is potassium sorbate sometimes
called sorbistat K. It will not stop an active ferment but will completely
halt a lingering one. If you can cool the mead to slow down the ferment then
add the sorbistat K. It does not add any flavor what so ever, and I never
had a ferment start back up on me yet. I feel 12% is a good level of alcohol
for most meads, any more than that and it starts to detract from the flavor.
I have had both long and short ferrments and can't tell any quality
difference so long as the fast ferment is done right (ie temp). Most of my
ferments last from 3 to 4 weeks and they do just fine.

Matt Maples

Subject: fennel mead
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 07:50:42 -0500

A while back there was some talk about the use of fennel in mead. I was going
to put in my two cents but forgot to do so. Well here goes. I got on a
cooking with fennel kick last year and this overflowed into my mead making. I
made a 15 gallon batch of sage honey mead ( 30 P original gravity ) after the
mead fermented out I racked the mead into 3 five gallon soda kegs. One I left
alone to age, one dry hopped with Tasmanian Hersbruckers and to the last
added a fennel extract that I had made. I took about a quarter cup of fennel
seed, crushed it, and then put it my expresso machine. The resultant steam
extract was very potent. The fennel flavoured mead was (is) very good, quite
drinkable without being overwelmingly spiced. As fennel is a rather strong,
nutty spice so a light hand using worked well.

micah millspaw – brewer at large

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #471, 3 April 1996
From: Glenn Maley <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 09:27:28 -0600 (CST)

In MLD 471, ChickenGirl wrote:

>In order to get it as sweet as I would like, I increased the starting
gravity to about >1.180(I don't really know 'cause my hydrometer maxes at
1.170). Problem now is >the must got off to a really slow start and I'm not
sure it will go as far as it usually

As most people will attest too, a starting gravity above 1.10 is the cause
for your slow ferment. You are basically overwhelming your yeast. Your
starter method with subsequent feedings should be better overall.


Glenn P. Maley 214-661-0300
Sales Engineer 214-490-0836 FAX
Data Marketing Associates 214-535-8494 Voice Mail
14235 Proton Road
Dallas, TX 75244

Subject: Pomegranate Juice
From: "Robert A. Tisdale" <>
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 1996 22:34:56 -0600


I would be interested in the recipe for pomegranate mead.
I would also like to find out where to obtain some pomegranate juice.

From: dsnewman@Princeton.EDU (Dan Newman)
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 13:05:31 -0500


Daniel Newman
Princeton University

Subject: in-bottle pasteurization?
From: (John R. Murray)
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 14:06:26 -0500

My first mead, an orange-blossom Show Mead, was supposed to be a still
but continued some carbonation after bottling, resulting in a moderately-
sparkling mead. It was still great, but after 14 batches of beer and mead
without a single 'glass grenade', I'd like very much to keep my record,
when I bottle the three batches of mead that are currently in the clearing

Since I have a bit of an aversion to additive-based stabilization (I have
friends who are allergic to sulfites), would anyone care to describe their
in-bottle pasteurization techniques?

In particular, I'm wondering what the temperature or temp schedule is
like, and whether special bottles or normal, boring bottles are used.

John R. Murray
FSU Aikido Club/North Florida Aikikai home of Miko's Aikido MPEGs and the
Tallahassee, FL WWW Aikido online calendar of events

  • common sense is what tells you that the world is flat –

Subject: Slow feeding.
From: Russell Mast <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 13:38:15 -0600

> Subject: Mead sweetness

> like, I increased the starting gravity to about 1.180(I don't really know
> 'cause my hydrometer maxes at 1.170). Problem now is the must got off to
> a really slow start and I'm not sure it will go as far as it usually
> does. I aerated it just like in the past and ferm. at the same temp.
> Anyone have a similiar problem? Solutions?

What I've begun doing, on advice from the MLD, is slow-feeding my mead. I
start with a must of only 1.040 – 1.080, and leave some room in the top of
the carboy for the slight volume increase that comes with adding more honey.
I then feed the meast more honey, let it ferment through, and then add more
again. In addition to having more control over final sweetness (by riding
the yeast til they're truly crapped out and then adding more honey), I have
found that the fermentation seems to be going a lot faster. Also, according
to reports from others, the final taste is better. I haven't gotten to that
stage yet. It makes sense, though. You never present your mead with the
killer osmotic pressures that a 1.180 must would – gravity is below 1.1- the
whole time. I'd just assume that yeast would be happier at those levels.

> I think next time I will
> make a starter batch(3/4 gallon) and add the rest of the honey to bring
> it up to one gallon after the first amount is fermented. Anyone see a
> problem with that?

Not me. That sounds a lot like what I'm talking about, but I'm not sure.
I usually brew in 5 gallon batches. You can use much smaller (proportinally)
increments that way. (Also, you end up with more mead!) I will often run
two or three 1-gallon batches of meads, too. I prefer the larger batches
because there's less waste when racking and bottling, and a much smaller
proportion ends up in a half-bottle or a 'taster glass' at the end of bottling.
Also, more mead per batch means you can sample it over a longer time.

  • -R

Subject: mead sweetness
From: Daniel Gurzynski <>
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 1996 19:09:05 -0500

After seeing the many articles on mead sweetness, I thought I would

contribute my two cents worth. Over the last year I've had several batches
of mead with varying amounts of residual sweetness, not by putting in a
heroic amount of honey but by using a yeast with less tolerance to alcohol.
One that stands out in my mind was an apple mead with just a little
cinnamon, using a london ale yeast. The cinnamon was not noticeable really
but the tartness of the apple was complemented by the honey and it was ready
start to finish in 3 months. The alcohol content was only about 6 % but the
taste was memorable. Here's another recipe that was quite drinkable in a
reasonable time, and won't knock you down.

Firewater Orange Ginger Mead

17 cups Wildflower honey (approx 11.5 lbs)
6 oz. macerated ginger
12 oz. can frozen orange juice
5 gallons spring water
Lalvin EC-1118 yeast in starter
Skimmed and heated honey to 170 degrees in 1 gal water for 30 min.
Added 6 oz.. ginger and OJ, and let sit for another 30 min on the stove with
no heat.
Mixed in 4 gal. more water with must in primary.
Starting S.G. 1.082, on 11/17/95.


Racked off ginger mead, SG was 1.067, mainly to get it off sediment.


Took an a SG reading of the orange ginger mead. S.G. 1.030. Extremely sweet
and gingery, should be really good when it goes dry. Aprox 6.5%.


Racked off Orange-ginger mead into one 5 gal. carboy. Small bottle we tasted
last week had an S.G. 1.020 and large carboy had S.G. of 1.040. Loads of
crud on the bottom of both containers. Tasted both. Big bottle sample way
too sweet, small bottle sample sweet but getting to a drinkable stage.
Strong ginger taste in both samples. Time will tell. Small sample already at
7.8% alcohol and is not nearly done.


Tested Orange-Ginger batch. S.G. 1.026. Still very sweet but getting there,
need time for this batch to mature.


Racked off Orange-ginger mead. S.G. 1.020. Ginger taste is becoming
prominent., honey taste is quite noticable. Overall fruity and sweet, honey
Moselle kind of flavour.


Racked off Firewater mead still at S.G.1020. Fine fruity and gingery smell
and taste.


Bottled Firewater. S.G. 1.020. A poignant smell, certainly can taste the
ginger in it.

You might notice, no chemistry or other additives. I try to make do with
natural sources for acid and nutrient. This has given me a fairly good,
replicable product that my friends like as well.


..Just another nihilistic techno fetishist… / Daniel Gurzynski


Subject: Re: Mead recipes
From: "Charlie Moody" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 22:03:31 -0500 (EST)

> > Hello, everyone:
> Hi Charlie,
> How is your 'Tropical Ambrosia' coming along? I am thinking of starting a
> similar mead this weekend and wanted to know how yours was maturing.
> Andy
> > [Pineapple-Mango-Cranberry recipe deleted]
> >
> > What an incredible mess I've made!!!

Interesting you should ask: It's just one month old, and has fallen from
1.100 to 1.000; fermentation virtually / apparently ceased by 3 weeks.
within a week of racking, it had fallen clear enough to read book titles
thru. It still has a lock on it, but it bubbles only once every 20
minutes or so.

Took some to a party on 3/23 and shared tastes around 15-20 people. The
consensus? Bright, yummy, fruity, just sweet enough. It'll be a pleasure
to track this stuff as it ages.

For a more general update, the metheglyn from an OG of 1.225 to 0.090. At
only 2 months old, it tastes very mature and civilised, and the herbal
recipe definitely imparts a zing! It took 22oz to the same party, and
everyone walked off smiling to savor their taste.

The Tupelo Traditional, also a month old, is still very young-tasting,
pretty raw & watery, but when I rack, I'm going to feed it some more

Charlie Moody

PGP Public Key: finger -l
PGP Fingerprint: 7F 0D 9E 8C 7E DF 33 11 2C 2B B8 19 6C 0F 2C 02

Subject: Pronunciation
From: (Kurt Schilling)
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 96 09:28 EST

Greetings all:

I have a question that has been gnawing at me for the past few months. The
questoin is what is the correct pronunciation of cyser? I have been
pronouncing it with a hard "C" for years, i.e. "Kai-zer", but have heard a
number of folks pronouncing it with a soft "C", i.e. "Sigh-zer". So, I put
the question before the mead making collective to get an answer. Public or
private responses are invited, and I will post a summary on the concensus.

Kurt Schilling (

Subject: My Mead....
From: Scott Dexter <>
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 11:09:46 -0500 (EST)

I have a mead in the carboy as we speak (13lbs Mesquite Honye, Yeast
Nutrient , Irish Moss, and Wyeast Dry Mead). I have siphoned over once and
though it has been bubbling away, it's not showing much sign of clearing.
This is my very first mead so any and all advice would be great.

  • Scott

Subject: Fwd: Orange Melomel (reply to Karl Long, Mead Lover's Digest #470)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 10:12:35 -0500

Forwarded message:
Subj: Orange Melomel (reply to Karl Long, Mead Lover's Digest #470)

Date:    96-04-05 12:20:57 EST
From: Finadd1620



For what it's worth, my first mead was a 3 gallon batch of orange melomel
that I started on January 16, 1996 (actually 2-1/2 gallons in a 3 gallon
carboy since I was warned to be prepared for very active fermentation using
fruit). I used "Just Pik't" fresh frozen OJ (not from concentrate,
unpastuerized; expensive but you could taste the difference). I basically
followed the orange melomel recipe (#11) in Acton & Duncan's "Making Mead."

  • – 1liter/gal. Orange Juice

  • – 2.4 lbs/gal. honey (med-light colored local wildflower vs. 3lb/gal. orange

blossom as per recipe recom.).

  • -WYeast Labs liquid "sweet mead" yeast w/8oz. apple juice starter(instead of

recomended Graves or Bordeaux yeast)

  • -2Tbsp (total) very strong tea (for tannin)

  • -1 tsp/gal. yeast nutrient

  • -1-1/4 tsp/gal. acid blend (recipe recom. 1/4 oz/gal.malic acid)

  • -Pinch of Epsom salt

Treated with 1 dissolved campden tablet per gallon.
I waited 36 hrs (w/fermentation lock on) before pitching the yeast starter.
As recommended in the book, I brought the room temp up to the upper 70s for
the first couple of days and gradually brought it down to the mid to upper
60s for the remainder of the fermentation. The fermentation was active w/in
12 hrs. At its peak, it was bubbling like a coffee percolator (2-3 times per
second) for the first few days.

A 1"-2" thick orange foam formed at the surface which I resuspended by
"swirling" the carboy w/ the fermentation lock on (2x/day for the first few
days only). The fermentation lasted less than 10 days. On the 12th day, I
took a gravity reading of 0.994! The recipe recomended first racking at a
reading of 1.005; I would have taken readings more frequently if I realized
how quickly it would go. At that time, it tasted dry (no sweetness),
somewhat harsh, with little orange flavor or aroma.

Since fermentation had stopped, I was advised to not add any more honey but
that some more juice should be ok. On the 17th day, I added
12oz/gal.sulfited OJ after I had racked into (2) one gal, + (1) half gallon
containers (this made up for the 1qt discarded from the 3 gal carboy. I
racked again on the 32nd day after I took a gravity reading of 1.000. At
that time it had a faint sweetness and more orange taste. I then moved it to
bulk age at 60 degrees.

The color has been a deep orange brown and has been very clear since
fermentation ended. After 2-1/2 months, it's dry but seems to be improving;
more of a tangy orange taste. I used my new acid testing kit to get an
acidity reading of 0.6%; right at the recom. level for fruit wines.

Only speculation at this point, but next time, I would use more honey and
begin fermentation in smaller containers without the juice, rack at a gravity
of around 1.050 (while fermentation is still active) into a larger carboy
onto the juice. Hopefully, this would lead to a slower fermentation with
less of the honey and juice flavors going "up in smoke" so quickly. I'd also
try to have less head space to avoid possible oxidation problems. If I added
any acid it would only be malic and/or tartaric (OJ should have been plenty
of citric already). Lastly, I'd ferment at 60degrees and maybe finish off
around 75 degrees for a short time only after the fermentation slowed. My
other mead batches have started strong and done well at this temperature. Oh
yeah, I'm also ordering some Florida fresh orange blossom honey.

  • –Michael Cuccia

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #456, 30 January 1996
From: "Dylan Kirk, Mosquitoslayer" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996 03:12:40 -0600 (MDT)

unsubscribe mead dnjkirk

Subject: yeast nutrients
From: John Mason <>
Date: Sun, 07 Apr 1996 08:30:34 -0500

Hi all,

After several batches of mead and without good reason I began to
question my use of standard yeast nutrient
mixtures, which contain ammonium phosphate and urea. Does anyone have a
good idea what role each of these
play in the the fermentation process?

Acton/Duncan doesn't mention urea at all. Could it be that it isn't
appropriate for mead? Also, Acton/Duncan
mentions adding (among other things) potassium phosphate and Vitamin B1.
Has anyone experienced a greater
degree of success with these additives?

John Mason

Subject: unsubscribe
From: (Flinsch, Alex)
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 06:43:00 -0500


End of Mead Lover's Digest #472

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