Mead Lover's Digest #0474 Thu 18 April 1996


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



Digests may be erratic (Dick Dunn)
how much honey, et al. (
1996 MCM (Dan McConnell)
mead digest (Bailey)
Fruit ("Kieran O'Connor")
Re: White Floaters! (Andrew W.J. Toler)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #473, 14 April 1996 (Michael Parker)
Experience with lager mead? (Tidmarsh Major)
Re: fusel alcohols (Bill Shirley)
Re: (Jim Buttitta & Kitty Tambling)
Sherry like Meads (Jim Buttitta & Kitty Tambling)
blue bottle (Joel Stave)
Pronunciation re doux (Kurt Schilling)
Chocolate mead? (Dekker)


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Subject: Digests may be erratic
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 14 Apr 96 12:44:23 MDT (Sun)

The Cider Digest and Mead-Lover's Digest may be erratic over the next
couple weeks. (I know, I can hear some of you saying "…as if they're not

Expect that you may see digests alternately close together and spread out.
Admin requests may take longer than usual.

Things should settle down again in early May.


Subject: how much honey, et al.
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 16:00:24 -0400 (EDT)

In MLD#473, Pip Sulivan says:

"I am a new brewer – most traditional mead recipies I have seen list 9
parts water to 1 part honey, but recently, an aquaintance mentioned
that he uses 3, 4, or 5lbs of honey per gallon, depending on ow sweet
he wants the mead. I prefer a dry to medium mead, but don't want to
end up with a 'too-watery' mead, or a hydromel (is that right?).

Can anyone offer me any enlightenment?"

Mr. Sullivan has a British Email address

I'm not good with imperial vs. U.S. gallons, but I, too, prefer a dry to
medium mead. So far all my experience (about ten batches of mead) tells me
that one gallon of honey for a five gallon batch is a very good amount when
one is using a good, attenuative yeast (and that translates well into Imp.).
By this, I usually mean a Red Star Pasteur Champagne or Red Star Premier Cuvee
(which, by the way, used to be called "prise de mousse"). If it's dry to
medium you're looking for, this combination has not failed me yet!

While we're on the subject-
Lat summer I made a bunch of meads. The ones I made with one gallon (12 u.s.
pounds) for a five gallon batch used clover honey, and these are very
drinkable. I made several other batches using 15 u.s. pounds per five gallon
batches of a very slightly darker late-season wildflower honey from a local
beekeeper on the New York/Vermont border. These are aging much slower than the
less honey/ 12 pound meads. But frankly, I'm a little surprised at how MUCH
slower. Any thoughts, anyone?

Finally, since I'm taking up so much unnecessary space, I've lost John
Gorman's Email address (it's changed slightly since MLD100). I really want to
tell him how great his recipe for maple wine is and thank him for his help.
Are you out there? Anyone have his address?

David Prescott, Shaftsbury, Vermont

Subject: 1996 MCM
From: (Dan McConnell)
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 21:54:12 -0500

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

>Has anybody seen info on the 1996 Mazer Cup yet?

No. It has not been released yet, although it will be very soon…..Here
are the dates at least. I'm still putting the finishing touches on the
categories. We are dropping Hippocras this year in favor of an "Open"
category which would include meads that do not fall neatly into other
categories and adding Hydromel subcategories.




Welcome to the 5th Annual Mazer Cup Mead Competition.


All Makers of Mead are eligible, both amateur and professional.
You may enter as many categories and subcategories as you like.

(1) Entry fee is $6.00 per entry. All North American entries will be

accepted between June 10-21st 1996. International entries will
be received anytime before June 21st.

(2) First round judging will be held during the weekend of June 29, 1996.
(3) Best of Show judging will be held on June 30th 1996.
(4) Make checks Payable to: Ken Schramm, Mazer Cup Mead Competition.
(5) Entries can be dropped off or shipped to the following location:

c/o Dan McConnell, Registrar
1308 W. Madison
Ann Arbor, MI 48103


Ken Schramm, Competition Director 810-816-1592
Dan McConnell, Competition Registrar 313-663-4845
<> FAX 313-761-5914
Hal Buttermore, Judge Director 313-665-1236

Subject: mead digest
From: Bailey <>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 18:27:53 -0800

Hey folks!

I'm new at the mead thing as well as the internet thing. I find it
all very exciting to be able to be in touch with people with similar
interests. I'm in the process of brewing my first batch of metheglin,
and enjoy watching it live and grow (i'm still in the first stage of
fermentation) I plan on racking it within the next few days into the
first carboy where I hear it should sit for 3-4 months, and then be
racked again and sit for another 3-4 months. I, of course, am anxious
to taste what should be a very tastey drink. To tide me over, I've
thought about bottling a small amount after the first 3-4 months. Is
it really worth it to wait for a full 6 or 8 months, or is 4 months
long enough? one friend of mine brewed his mead for 2 months, and it
seemed to taste pretty good to me, but then again if it's worth the
wait, I'll wait. Wassail!

P.S. I noticed a bunch of people out on the East Coast, what about
some of you on the West Coast? S.F. Bay Area? also, I would like to
use the name of my brewery, but have not registerd it or gotten it
trademarked, or what ever it is that needs to be done to make it mine,
officially, if anyone has any info, would you please share it with
me? Thanks
beetle in Berkeley

Subject: Fruit
From: "Kieran O'Connor" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 09:12:01 -0400 (EDT)

Any thoughts on the following?

1) Adding fruit to the primary vs

2) Adding fruit after fermentation or part way through fermentation?

Which gives better flavor and aroma?


Kieran O'Connor
Syracuse, N.Y. USA

In vino veritas; in cervesio felicitas.


Subject: Re: White Floaters!
From: Andrew.W.J.Toler@Dartmouth.EDU (Andrew W.J. Toler)
Date: 15 Apr 96 09:47:48 EDT

I have to substantiate what Doug wrote on the white yeast mats. I don't have
anything scientific to offer, but in my experience, Uncle Charlie's book is
totally unhelpful in describing/getting a handle on what can happen on top of
your secondary. I get white mats all the time in both beer and mead making: in
spite of the alarm and my racing heart and throbbing temples, everything still
turns out fine-tasting indeed…
Andrew Toler

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #473, 14 April 1996
From: (Michael Parker)
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 08:53:26 -0500 (CDT)

>Well, people writing to me got me thinking. Some thought these little
>floaters (3-5mm long) we lactic bacteria, others thought they might be
>mold. I grabbed some out with a pipette and took some into the local
>brewshop (in business 20 years). He took one look and asked if I had
>ever sloshed the secondary. I replie I had once when moving it. He
>tells me that some yeast strains form small colonies that can take many
>shapes. If some of those small colonies got stuck to the surface via,
>being to light to sink, then they will continue to grow in a now calm
>environment like little stalactytes. He said for my own expreience I
>should culture one of these things, but I don't feel like doing it.
>When I racked again I added a good dose of campden, and they still formed
>again, and no off flavors.
>This may all be b.s., but I have seen no harm by them and some of my own
>reading indicates that some yeasts do "mat" up.

My first batch of mead developed a nice coat of this matting after I moved
it out of the bedroom into the closet to keep it out of the light. I nearly
threw it out as contaminated but after a careful sniff indicated nothing
amiss, I grabbed some of the stuff with a pipette and tossed it into a coke
bottle full of must. Testing the result a week or so later revealed a coke
bottle full of a fairly decent mead. The biggest problem with this strain
of yeast seems to be that it's tough to siphon "between the layers" without
disturbing the cap, because although it's floating, it's not floating very
well, and any jiggle of the siphon hose will knock it down into the middle
of the mix. If I get this stuff again I will definitely try to skim the
mess off first.

Oh, yes, the main batch seemed to taste ok for my first try.
K. Michael Parker
Porsche, por-sha', n. A gasoline-powered cash disposal device.


Version: 3.1
GCS d– s:++ a- C+++ LBU++++ P++ L E++ W+ N++ o K- w++++$
O+ M– V– PS+++@ PE++ Y+ PGP t++* 5+ X+ R+() tv+ b+++(++++) DI++++ D++
G– e++* h+ !r y+*


Subject: Experience with lager mead?
From: Tidmarsh Major <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 10:32:30 -0400 (EDT)

Hi all-
After reading a suggestion awhile back that a clean lager yeast might
make a tasty mead, my wife and I brewed a batch using 12 lbs of sourwood
honey, 1 lb of extra light dry malt extract (for nutrients–all the
batches we've made w/ chemical yeast nutrient have had a bad flavor), and
the dregs of a batch of beer made with Yeast Labs L32 Bavarian Lager yeast.
OG was 1.092 on March 3, and it's in the secondary now at 55F and has
cleared a good bit and looks like it's time to rack again. The airlock
bubbles less than once every 3 mins (I had to watch for 3 mins to see a
bubble and wasn't patient enough to watch for another).
Has anyone else made a mead with lager yeast? How low of a terminal
gravity should we expect?
Thanks again,
Tidmarsh Major

Subject: Re: fusel alcohols
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96 22:41:55 -0400

> Subject: fusel alcohols
> From:
> Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 08:39:12 -0400 (EDT)
> Can someone explain, in layman's terms, what fusel alcohols are and what they
> mean to a mead maker?

Fusel alcohols are chemically alcohols that have longer chains.
Alcohols are defined by a particular "end" on the chemical chain.

Ethanol is what we want (of course).
I don't know off hand the names of the longer ones.

What they can mean to the mead *drinkers* is a headache, hangover style.
Some people are more sensitive to this than others.

They are typically produced by yeasts at higher fermentation temps.
Different yeasts having different characteristics.
What this means to mead *makers* is, if you can determine you have a
fusel alcohol problem (if someone's getting headaches, give it to someone
with a really good palette for an opinion), try either lowering your
ferment temps or switching to another yeast.

I don't know if fusel alcohols will diminish with age or not – I'll put it
on my list for the BJCPers I know.

PS – this is a common problem with homebrew in Houston (8 month outta 12)

> Thanks!
> David Prescott, Shaftsbury, Vermont

  • bill

Bill Shirley <>

"What's it called when you look up in the sky
in a poetic kinda way?" -Black Francis

Subject: Re: 
From: Jim Buttitta & Kitty Tambling <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 10:54:03 -0400 (EDT)

In Mead Lover's Digest #473 Steve Miller wrote:

>>I have been getting Mead-lover's Digest for a month or two now and am, due
>>to press of events, no closer to making my own than I was. I am hopeful that
>>- — come fall — I'll have a more resonable schedule. It would be helpful if
>>I could find mead-makers in Maine or nearby Canada or perhaps mead-tastings
>>in the area to help convince my wife (who LIKES mead) that we 1. have room
>>and 2. REALLY can make it ourselves…

I don't know of any tastings here in Maine, But many meads are entered in
the Wine making contest at the annual MOGFA Common Ground Fair held in
September in WInsor Maine

As for room, it doesn't take all that much, a carboy only takes about a
square foot of floor space.
So go for it, its really not that hard.

Jim Buttitta

Subject: Sherry like Meads
From: Jim Buttitta & Kitty Tambling <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 10:59:57 -0400 (EDT)

I interested in making a sherry-like mead. As I understand it the sherry
character comes from oxidation. How do you control the oxidation?
and at what stage do you allow it to occur? Also what would be the
appropriate final specific gravity? Would oak chips help the character?

Thanks in advance

Jim Buttitta

Subject: blue bottle
From: Joel Stave <>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 10:27:08 -0400

This isn't strictly on-topic, but I can't guess where else to ask this
question (I don't have access to rec.crafts.winemaking)

At the recycling center (where I get most of my empty bottles to fill) I saw
this dark blue bottle that had contained a cream sherry. I brought the bottle
home because my wife likes such things for flowers and whatnot (or maybe it'll
make a good bottle for a blueberry melomel). Anyway I noticed on the bottom of
the bottle the words "Do not reuse". The letters are raised, so they were part
of the mold used.

My question is: why not reuse it? I can't think of any reason not to. If it
was safe to store the original contents, seems to me it would be safe to
refill. And why would a warning like this be hidden on the bottom of the
bottle where most folks never look anyway?

I'm obviously missing something here. Can anyone give me a clue?

Joel Stave

Subject: Pronunciation re doux
From: (Kurt Schilling)
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 96 09:08 EST

Greetings and salutations one and all!

Back in MLD 472 I posited an inquiry regarding pronunciation of "cyser". My
thanks to those who responded via private e-mail. This inquiry produced a
consensus on pronouncing the term with a soft "c", as in "sigh-sir". I
spite of this considerd input, I think that just to remain a wee rebel, I'll
still use a hard "C". Don't have a good etymological reason for this, it
just appeals to my sense of whimsey. In fact, I think I'll open a bottle
right now and enjoy a slightly out of focus Spring day.

Slaite' Mhor!

Subject: Chocolate mead?
From: Dekker <>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 19:10:44 -0500 (CDT)

I am rather new to mead makeing, i currently have a cherry melomel
working away, and i am working on starting a blueberry melomel.

A friend asked me a question the other day, and i did not have an
answer. I have been looking in back issues of MLD, but have not had time
to go through all of them. question to you is: Can a mead be made with chocolate in it? If
so, does anyone have any recipes.

Thanx in advance

Scott Williams

End of Mead Lover's Digest #474