Mead Lover's Digest #0475 Thu 25 April 1996


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



Siphoning… (Ardell Foster)
Lager Yeast/Bottle Reuse (Fred Hardy)
"Do Not Reuse" on Bottle (Charles Dewar)
stalactites (Olin J Schultz)
sherry meads and chocolate in mead (Olson)
Goblet (Chris Webster)
pooor quality honey (


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Subject: Siphoning...
From: Ardell Foster <>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 21:27:37 -0700 (PDT)

Hello All:

I have just made my first batch of mead and I will have to rack it in a
few weeks. I have never done "siphoning" before, what is the procedure?
Where do I get the equipment?

Appreciate and look forward to your responce 🙂

Ardell Foster

Subject: Lager Yeast/Bottle Reuse
From: Fred Hardy <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 09:49:38 -0400 (EDT)

Tidmarsh Major asked about using lager yeast for mead. It works just like
any other yeast, and will ferment the must. Most European lager yeasts
have an apparent attenuation between 73-76% if you wish to estimate
finishing gravity. The only problem with using beer yeast (rather than
wine) is that very high gravities [>1.085] may stun the yeast with alcohol
before the must is fully attenuated.

Lagers have a clean taste because of the temperatures at which they are
fermented [48-55 degrees F]. The lager yeast – sacchararomyces uvarum – is
tolerant and active at the lower temperatures. Ale yeast at lager
fermentation temperatures may die quickly, or simply fall out of
suspension. Regardless of yeast used, ales are fermented warm, lagers are
fermented cold.

Joel Stave asked about using a bottle stamped "do not reuse." Go right
ahead and use it. The stamp is information to commercial operations, not
us home brewers. It simply tells a commercial bottler that the glass is
not made to standards for returnable, reuseable bottles. It is made
thinner and is not meant to go through the automated sanitizing and
filling line more than once. It'll do for home use for many years.

Cheers, Fred

We must invent the future, else it will | <Fred Hardy>
happen to us and we will not like it. |
[Stafford Beer, "Platform for Change"] | email:

Subject: "Do Not Reuse" on Bottle
From: (Charles Dewar)
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 14:46:00 GMT

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

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

I suspect it is more of a legal reason that a pragmatic one. Either to
avoid lawsuits or to appease some Bureau-god. I know that here in Texas it
is unlawful to refill liquor bottles (at least by commercial
establishments). I can't think of any other reason to not use the bottle
if it at one time held something drinkable… just don't use it for any
kind of sparkling mead.

Charles Dewar

* WR 1.33 # 690 * Here's to the Sun God! Sure is a fun God! Ra! Ra! Ra!

Subject: stalactites
From: (Olin J Schultz )
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 12:08:53 -0700

Hello all,

I wrote in a few weeks ago about white stalactites which hang down

from the surface. These are different from the white film/mats that
will often develop on the surface, and have been mentioned lately in
the digest. The stalactites that I have encountered have been upto 3
inches(not 3mm) in length, hanging vertically from the surface. When
the carboy is shaken they fall to the bottom. The mead has tasted
excellent so I have not worried about it too much. I imagine that they
are composed, at least in part, of yeast. Any information on this
would be great!

There was a question about the addition of fruit. I boil my water

and wort chiller for 15 minutes and then cool to 170 degrees. I add
the honey and fruit at 170 and let the must cool to 130. At 130 I turn
on the wort chiller and cool to yeast pitching temperatures. This is
the no hassle approach and has the benefit of no loss of aromas due to
temperatures above 170. I add B3 mead maker's additive to insure quick
fermentation and then I fine with sparkolloid before bottling to
achieve absolute clarity. There are many different ways you can treat
fruit and this might make for interesting discussion…

Sweet mead…the Wyeast *sweet* mead liquid yeast only has an

alcoholic tolerance of 9-11%. There is an aritcle about mead and
yeasts in the vol.18 no.1 spring 1995 issue of Zymurgy. Otherwise
Sorbistat K is a good solution, as others have suggested.

Beetle in Berkeley…Yes some of us are in the Bay Area. I live in

Walnut Creek. There is a homebrewing club that I am helping to start
out here. I'm sure there will be a definite Mead presence in this
club. Send me an e-mail if you want some info..

Olin Schultz

Subject: sherry meads and chocolate in mead
From: (Olson)
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 96 22:06:15 MDT

Jim Buttitta asks:

>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?

I have a different suggestion: use Flor Sherry yeast. Several years ago, I
did a test where I put four different yeasts into four different one gallon
batches of mead. The Flor Sherrry yeast gave a very different "winey" nose
and taste. It did not taste like it was oxidized, similar but not the same.

This yeast is not as alcohol tolerant as champangne yeasts, so you may not
need to use as much honey, or it will end up sweeter than you expect.

Scott Williams aks:

> question to you is: Can a mead be made with chocolate in it? If
>so, does anyone have any recipes.

Two or three years ago, Phil Fleming won first place in the Mazer Cup (I
think it was the Mazer Cup?) with his chocolate mint mead. If the recipe
was published, I probably couldn't find it in my records. Maybe someone
else on the digest can find it? One suggestion from me: make a sweet
chocolate mead or else serve it cold. Room temperature dry chocolate is
rather harsh.


| Gordon L. Olson | U.S. Postal Service: |
| e-mail: | 1632 Camino Uva |
| phone: 505-662-0705 | Los Alamos, NM 87545 USA |

Subject: Goblet
From: Chris Webster <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 96 14:38:35 PDT

I recently made a mead, half of which I am giving to a couple for
their honeymoon. I am looking for goblets of silver/pewter
(*reasonably priced*) to give with the mead. Only thing I've been
able to find are goblets here in NYC in antique shops that cost
almost as much as a house down payment.
Any suggestions? Email:

Subject: pooor quality honey
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 08:08:09 -0400

Recently I and my wife were tasting some 3 and four year old tradidional
still meads of our making. We noted a considerable difference in those made
with generic honey as opposed to those made with appiary direct unprocessed
honey. With similar process and similar aging conditions we noted that there
was much more pronounced oxidation in the generic processed honey meads than
in the more pure honey meads. I am curious has any one else done any side by
side comparisons, and if so what were the conclusions , if any?

micah milspaw
brewer at large

End of Mead Lover's Digest #475

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