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Mead Lover's Digest #0482 Tue 4 June 1996


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



Feeding additional honey (
Dandelion Wine (Bill Shirley)
Mead supplies in Australia (Bruce Conner)
honey adulteration (Nick Dechman)
Still fermenting? (Russell Mast)


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Subject: Feeding additional honey
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 96 20:07:00 UTC 0000

The method I use is simple when I'm feeding a mead. First I use a plastic

bucket for the primary. Start a five gallon batch with about 12 pounds (4
quarts) of honey.

When the SG gets below 1.010 it's time to feed more honey (this depends on

your target FG of course – my last effort finished at 1.017). I figure that
the additional honey will bring the SG up by about 7 points per pound (1 1/3
cups) and don't raise it far above my target FG – you don't know when the
yeast might quit.

As for technique, I take a 4-6 quart pot with a lid and boil water in it

for about 15 minutes to sanitize it. In the mean time I've sanitized my 12
oz stainless ladle and a metal slotted spoon in a bleach solution. I dump
the boiling water from the pot and pour in the honey (1 or 2 pounds). Note
that NO heat is used. I then rinse my ladle carefully and ladle a few
scoops of must into the pot. I rinse the slotted spoon and stir to dissolve
the honey. Then I pour the whole thing back into the bucket. Be careful to
minimize ths splashing at all stages. If there is still honey in the bottom
of the pot, I'll repeat the process. Sometimes I stir the must a bit with
the ladle (it has a handle about 2 feet long).

Works for me.


Subject: Dandelion Wine
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 96 13:39:00 -0400

I recently saw the following post on rec.gardens. I thought it was
intersting to see what a non "wine maker" was doing. Also, with all the
pesky dandelions in my yard, this sounds like a nice benefit (though I mowed
this year's already).

Has anyone made a dandelion wine/mead. (i.e. substituting honey for sugar
in the recipe would be of great benefit)

  • bill

Bill Shirley <>

__________forwarded: ______________
From: Natasha <>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Dandelion Wine Recipe Asked For=Here It Is!
Date: 21 May 1996 11:33:46 GMT
Organization: Moonstruck Meadows in the Ogre's Wood

I received about 10 requests via email for my dandelion wine recipe. I
figure that it would be easier to just post it here, so here goes. Keep in
mind that this recipe was obtained from an "old timer", and has been passed
down (hand written) over the years. You can modify it, experiment with it as
you please. I never make the exact same batch twice! I play around with it
and experiment a lot in my wine making. Note: the secret to the potency of
this wine is in the raisins. The more raisins, the stronger your wine will

=Dandelion Wine=


Dandelion blossoms

Use only fresh blossoms, from which all stems are removed (otherwise it will
be a bitter wine). For every gallon of flowers (well packed but not crushed)
pour one gallon of boiling water over them. Let this mixture sit 24 hours or
so. It will smell really weird (sorta like artichoke water – don't worry
this is okay). Then add one lemon and two oranges for every gallon. Also add
a handful (really- that's the directions!) of raisins. Note: I add 2-3 to
Also add about (this is guesswork too) 2 pounds of sugar for each gallon I
use a bit less than this for a drier wine), and a pack of yeast. (Yes, the
wine making mavens will tell you to use special wine yeast, not bread yeast

  • – I have _always_ used bread yeast in all my homemade wines and they have

always been delicious!). Add a little (about 1 quart) of hot water over top
of this mixture. Put cheesecloth over the opening of the container (to keep
bug-beasties out) and let sit and ferment for 10 days. It will boil and
bubble most merrily! After the 10 days, strain into a cask/vat/container (I
use a bottle from those water fountain dispensers-5gal.), and put under
water seal. Note: I don't have all that fancy expensive wine making
equipment. For water seal, I put a large cork in the top of the container
through which I have run some aquarium tubing. I seal the top with duct tape
(to ensure no air leaks) and run the tubing from inside the liquid about
halfway inside the bottle, downwards into a bucket of water. (Water seal
lets the carbon dioxide escape from the fermenting wine, into the water,
letting no air into the process). Let this arrangement sit for however long
it takes, until there is no further fermentation/action taking place, and
the liquid looks clear. Then siphon off the wine (taking care not to disturb
the sediment in the bottom) and bottle. This wine can be tasted at this
point, but is better if you let it sit about 3 more months.

Happy wine making all!


Subject: Mead supplies in Australia
From: (Bruce Conner)
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 00:35:15 -0400

I want to teach a freind of mine how to make mead, but she lives in
Australia. What I need to know is if they sell the same brands of yeast
and and things like Iodophor down there. If so, do they go by different

I always tell people to use YeastLab brand yeast, so if that is available
it would be super!

Any help will be appreciated.

Bruce Conner

Subject: honey adulteration
From: Nick Dechman <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 08:42:39 -0400


Although I must admit to being tired of the honey adulteration

discourse, I have yet a few questions. Perhaps I have become paranoid after
hearing about high fructose corn syrup or molasses in honey, but I picked up
some honey the other day which meets some of the descriptions of adulterated
honey – it is extremely dark and tastes of molasses. This honey was purchased
from a local homebrew store, and the bulk container I poured it from had the
name of a local beekeeper. My question is, should I and how should I follow
this up. I do not know whom to report honey adulteration to – or if there is
even a local authority in Boston, or if anyone around here will care. Boston
is notorious for poor quality products and services, so this may be just status
quo. Any information you have would be helpful

  • -Nick Dechman

Subject: Still fermenting?
From: Russell Mast <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996 11:02:55 -0500

> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #480, 24 May 1996
> From: "Robert A. Tisdale" <>
> Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 10:57:26 -0600
> > Does it ever stop fermenting?

> Good question! I started a batch of mesquite mead last November and it
> fermented until about March. I finally added 3 tsp of potassium sorbate
> to stop fermentation. Well, it looked like it had stopped, and has been
> slowly clearing since then. Last night I happened to glance over at my
> secondary and a bubble came from the airlock!! It has started to ferment
> again!! However, it so slow that I can probably go ahead and bottle
> without fear of glass grenades. The F.G. is very low and I am confident
> that the majority of the sugar is already fermented.

Something else that might be occuring, perhaps with both of you – the mead
may be finished fermenting, but the temperature may be rising, causing some
of the CO2 in solution to come out, and thus making the airlock begin
clicking again. I made a batch a little over a year ago, and tried to ferment
it cool in the basement. This stuff was completely finished for weeks, and I
took it upstairs to bottle it. Between the jostling and the temperature
rise, the airlock was clicking again the next morning. I went ahead and
bottled it anyway, and the last bottle I had (four months ago or so) was still.

> Subject: Honey and corn syrup
> From: (Jane Beckman)
> Date: Fri, 24 May 96 10:29:07 PDT
> I was reading the ingredients on a package of "honey" that came with an
> order at Burger King, recently, and found it was essentially honey-corn-syrup.
> I don't know what the labelling laws specify, but the single serving packet
> said "Honey" while what was inside was blatantly adulterated. Maybe the
> single-serving fast foodies are exempt. But I compulsively read ingredients,
> and if you find your "honey" contains something else, give it a pass!

>From recent postings, I'm more worried that there might be something labelled
as 100% honey that actually isn't. Still, the proof's in the pudding. I've
recently found a regional (Chicago) brand called "Some Honey". Unfiltered,
unpasteurized, and totally delicious. If this stuff is adulterated, I'd like
to know with what, so I could buy some more. I haven't yet tasted the finished
product yet, but I'm looking forward to it. (No affiliation with the company
but a satisfied customer.)

> Subject: "feeding" addl honey
> From: (Charles Wettergreen)
> Date: Thu, 30 May 96 08:35 CDT

> I'd like to "feed" these two meads with additional honey in order to be able
> to better control the ending sweetness level. I'm looking for *your* methods
> to do this. Do you just heat the honey and pour it in? Do you dilute it with
> water before adding? I'd really appreciate hearing your methods.

I just heat the honey and pour it in, but I've only done that with the last 2
batches, and they aren't ready yet. I'll post results in a couple years.

  • -R

End of Mead Lover's Digest #482

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