Mead Lover's Digest #0490 Tue 23 July 1996


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #489, 13 July 1996 ("Allen Dick")
Fred H & braggot (Daniel S. McConnell)
1996 MCM results (Daniel S. McConnell)
Re: Braggot (
Re: mead in the early US (Dan McFeeley)
Feeding additional honey ("Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, New Mexico")
large-er batches, not huge (Brian Ehlert)
Small (8 oz?) bottles (Chris Webster)
Pumpkin mead/tokay yeast (Douglas Thomas)
21st century braggot. (Russell Mast)
Blackcurrant melomel (Terence David Estrin)
Finding an apiary (Andrew Howard)
Mead with a Nutty taste (Richard Lutz)
wyeast sweet mead attenuation? ("Mark W. Wilson")
first time ??'s (Joe Mester)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #489, 13 July 1996
From: "Allen Dick" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 09:36:04 -0600

> Also, have have several college friends who do not have their own
> place who do there brewing at my house. I wonder if I can claim
> their limit too, or if theirs is considered part of mine?

Apparently here in Alberta, Canada, there is a law against
*transporting* alcohol that has not had tax paid on it.

This I am told accounts for the lack of do-it-yourself mini-
breweries here. Such enterprises abound in our neighbouring
province, British Columbia.

I'd be interested in hearing about any more indirect limits to home
brewing and transporting, etc. I think prohibitions against selling
without paying tax are fairly general in North America, but I am
curious how else we are limited and what other obscure laws come into
play to affect us by suprise as we pursue our innocent pastime.



W. Allen Dick, Beekeeper VE6CFK
RR#1, Swalwell, Alberta Canada T0M 1Y0 &
Honey. Bees, & Art <>

Subject: Fred H & braggot
From: (Daniel S. McConnell)
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 21:49:28 -0500

Fred Hardy CLAIMS to know something about braggot…he certainly posts
enough on the subject and pontificates over and over again about the use of

>Subject: Braggot, etc.
>From: Fred Hardy <>

>My suggestion: Increase the Munich to a full pound and decrease the honey
>to 6 lbs., if you are making 5 gallons. A good rule of thumb for braggot is
>to shoot for a 50/50 balance between the malt and honey specific
>gravities. Five lbs.. pale plus one pound Munich should give an OG around
>1.047. The 6 lbs. of honey will get you to around 1.095 – about 50/50.
>Hops are optional. If used, I recommend keeping them below the bitterness
>threshold, otherwise you'll have beer with a bunch of honey in it. Less
>than 7-8 IBU would be OK, but why bother?

Pay attention to THIS guy when he talks about braggot. I had the pleasure
of tasting Fred's braggots at the MCMC and I have NEVER tasted better.
Check out the MCMC results in the next post.


Subject: 1996 MCM results
From: (Daniel S. McConnell)
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 23:00:56 -0500

Today the judges finished BoS. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW.

The mead quality continues to improve with each year. This year Braggot
made a quantum expansion in both quantity and quality. The open/mixed
category was fun and loved by the judges.

All these meads are simply stunning, if not stunningly beautiful.

The most beautiful was Steve Dempsey's show mead. It took Best of Show.
Congratulations! Steve will recieve the Special Mazer, a bucket (#40) of
honey and (most likely) a slightly-used chiller.


1-Show 1 Steve Dempsey Batch #58
1-Show 2 Marie Verheyen Thede Honey #46
1-Show 3 William Goslin Golden Silk

2-Traditional 1 Ron Raike Breakfast Mead #1
2-Traditional 2 Scott Mills Mighty Fine Wine
2-Traditional 3 Robb Harris Sack #2

3-Melomel 1 William Goslin Logan is Diven
3-Melomel 2 Chuck Wettergreen Booberry Mead
3-Melomel 3 Suzette Smith 8 Arms Ain't Enough B'berry Mead

4-Cyser 1 Mitch Gelly Nibble 2 Cyser
4-Cyser 2 Chuck Wettergreen Gould's Cyser
4-Cyser 3 Tom Nickel Cyser Soze

5-Pyment 1 Paul Mozdzaik Zinfandel Pyment
5-Pyment 2 Lane Locke Shaggy Man Garnet
5-Pyment 3 Fred Hardy Independence Pyment

6-Open/Mixed 1 Ed & Carol Wolfe Nectar of the Gods
6-Open/Mixed 2 Vern Wolff Vino De Meil Con Citrus
6-Open/Mixed 3 Keith Schwols Hot to Trot

7-Metheglyn 1 Chris Feighly Nameless
7-Metheglyn 2 James Wilis Camomile Mead
7-Metheglyn 3 Suzette Smith Liquid Enlightenment

8-Braggot 1 Fred Hardy King Arthur's Own
8-Braggot 2 Fred Hardy Bastille Brown
8-Braggot 3 Fred Hardy Manor's Pride

Subject: Re:  Braggot
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 96 20:19:07 -0700

Item Subject: cc:Mail Text
> So far my receipt looks like this (so far):
> 8 Lb. of honey (six lb. Sam's club, Two Lb. buckwheat or other strong
> honey)
> 5 lb. 2-row malt
> 4 oz dark Munich malt
> 2 oz coriander @ 5 minutes left in boil
> 1 pack ale yeast
> 1 pack wine yeast
> Should I use hops?

I bottled my first (but not last) braggot last month. While it is still a
little green, it was very well recieved by those who tasted it. (Rumors of
"Brew God" were circulated :-)) It was made with 10 lbs of honey and a can
of light amber ale malt (unhopped, "5 gallon size"(I'm not a brewer, can
you tell?))for a 5 gallon batch. I used Wyeast Champaigne yeast and let it
go for about 4 months. Anyway, this one looks like it will be pretty tasty
as well.

"…I will serve no wine (or mead) before I feel like it!"

Subject: Re: mead in the early US
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 1996 14:44:29 -0500 (CDT)

David Prescott writes:

> I found an interesting reference in a book I'm reading about the history
> of the Appalachian plateau counties of eastern Kentucky….
> "The land was without milder beverages save for an occasional cask of
> 'methiglum'. This ecstatic drink was the fabled "honey wine" of Wales
> and was said to 'kiss like a woman and kick like a mule.'" ….
> Anyone know much about this? I thought its appearance in Kentucky was
> kind of interesting.

Maybe its not entirely coincidence that "methiglum" was to be found in
Eastern Kentucky. There is a strong Celtic influence in the music and
ballads of the area, and many times you can find an old ballad sung in
the Appalachians that is almost a direct transplant from the Celtic areas
of the British Isles. Kentucky Bluegrass music has a very strong
influence from the music of the Scots and Irish. It may be that along
with the musicians who helped shaped the culture of the Applachian areas,
there were a few mead makers as well. Perhaps they were part of the
English influx that came into Kentucky through the Cumberland gap,
which might also suggest pockets of mead making in Virginia or other
areas where the English settlements may have had Irish/Scots roots.

In contrast, Benjamin Barton, a physician and botanist who wrote in the
late 1700's, noted the sale of a "metheglin" in New Jersey that was
little more than liquor mixed with honey made from Pennsyvanian mountain
laurel honey. It seems to me that if a few Pennsylvannian entrepeneurs
could turn a buck with a product passing itself off as a metheglin,
there had to have been a complete lack of a mead culture and history in
that area.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Feeding additional honey
From: "Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, New Mexico" <DKEY@MEDUSA.UNM.EDU>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 04:00:33 -0700 (MST)

I know this is a bit ponderous, but it works for me: (sterilize or pasteurize
the honey in your usual way) When your must drops to SG=5, add 1/4 pound (1/3
cup) per gallon of honey. Continue this every time the SG=5 until fermentation
stops. The mead will be moderately sweet and will be at maximum alcohol. I
did an orange cinnamon mead this way and it is truly marvelous! Alcohol is
16-18% and it's smooth, tasty and packs a lethal punch, if you overindulge!
The only other way is to feed as above then add potassium sorbate to stop
fermentation at the desired alcohol and sweetness.

I presently have in various stages of completion batches of Persefone's Passion
(pomegranate melomel) Dangerous Cyser, mango melomel and peach melomel. All
recipes are from various Internet sources with which you are all probably

Never Thirst,


Subject: large-er batches, not huge
From: Brian Ehlert <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 08:06:32 -0400

With all this discussion about large (well, really huge) batches of mead has
gotten me wondering. This may be a question for Dick, Joyce, Dan, and any
professionals we have on the list.

I can brew the most wonderful batches of mead. In one gallon batches. As
soon as I try to do a five gallon batch, everything falls apart and always
comes out phenolic or bloody.

I have done the exact same batches in one gallon and five gallons at the
same time. (split a batch) and I still cannot get the fiv-er to behave.

any words of wisdom or helping points that would help me get over this hump?

Brian Ehlert

Subject: Small (8 oz?) bottles
From: Chris Webster <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 96 10:20:47 PDT

Hi all.
My fiance and I have decided, in lieu of small champagne bottles
placed on all the tables at our wedding, we thought we might whip up
some homebrew in place of the champagne. More personalized. Anyone
know where I can get small, 8 oz or less, non-twist off bottles? I
was thinking OV splits, but I think they are twist off. Please feel
free to email me privately. Thanks for your help.

Subject: Pumpkin mead/tokay yeast
From: Douglas Thomas <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 08:01:42 -0700 (PDT)

Two really quick questions.
Has anyone tried making pumpkin mead/wine, and how did it turn out?
what are the specifics of tokay yeast, and does it go by any other name?

Mail or post is ok
Doug Thomas

Subject: 21st century braggot.
From: Russell Mast <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 10:51:26 -0500

Fred Hardy had a lot of good advice for Mark Ottenberg about Braggot brewing.
But, he just -had- to throw this in, and I just -have- to respond to it:

> Hops are optional. If used, I recommend keeping them below the bitterness
> threshold, otherwise you'll have beer with a bunch of honey in it.

Oh, bullsh*t. You'll have a hoppy braggot. Case closed. 🙂

> Less than 7-8 IBU would be OK, but why bother?

For your first braggot, I'd recommend zero hops. Later, treat it as if it's
just another spice. (If you like basil, make a braggot with basil, if you
like hops…)

Neal Dunsieth says :

> Braggot is still a relatively free field, open to considerably more
> variation than beers or meads alone.

Couldn't say it better myself.

Subject: Blackcurrant melomel
From: Terence David Estrin <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 17:47:44 -0700 (PDT)

Hello again,

My wife and I are making our first blackcurrant melomel, and

we have a rather important question about proportions. The recipe in
Bryan Acton's "Making Mead" suggest using (per gallon) four pounds of
blackcurrants, half a pint of red grape concentrate, and two pounds of
honey. We had planned to omit the red grape concentrate and make up
the balance with extra honey. Since we planned to make five gallons,
yesterday we dutifully went out and picked 20 pounds of blackcurrants
(for those of you in B.C., I recommend Bissett Farms in Ladner. If you
pick them yourself, currants are a dollar a pound.). While we were
picking the very ripe berries, I couldn't help but notice how
astringent they were. This leads me to the question: Is four pounds of
fruit per gallon a good amount, or will it lead to an acidic,
astringent melomel? I plan to use a sweet mead or sauterne yeast. Any
replies based on experience would be greatly appreciated!

Terry and Felicity Estrin

Subject: Finding an apiary
From: Andrew Howard <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:55:05 -0700


I would like to make mead using fresh honey straight from an apiary. My
trouble is, I have no idea how or where to find one. I checked the phone
book (nothing), but I'm not sure where to go from there.

Can anyone recommend where I might look? I live in the St. Louis area, if
anyone has any regional information.

Thanks a bunch.

Andrew Howard

Subject: Mead with a Nutty taste
From: Richard Lutz <>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 14:33:35 -0500

does any one have an idea on how to add a "nutty" taste to mead? I tried
by boiing some toasted pecans in the mix with the honey, some sugar and
lemon juice, it tasted great but after fermenting, and aging several weeks
has a bitter "chemical" taste/smell like perhaps witchhazel or cleaning
solvent. I noticed an oily residue on the mix wich i filtered and skimmed
off prior to fermenting. The fermenting whent like gangbusters and my
winometer says about 13% alchohol. if I could just get past the smell.

you wouldn't believe how good the mix tasted prior to the fermentation

what a disappointement. Perhaps I should note that this was not a
traditional mead but rather a simpha quicky brew with the honey replacing
part of the sugar. any thoughts greatly appreciated.


Subject: wyeast sweet mead attenuation?
From: "Mark W. Wilson" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 16:24:09 -0700

I was wondering what folks using the Wyeast Sweet Mead strain have found as
far as attenuation; I've always used champagne/wine yeasts in the past, with
seemingly faster results.

Here's what I did:

1 gal Wildflower Honey ~.5 gal Fireweed Honey Water to make 25l (~ 6.5
gallons) Pasteurized at 15 min @ 170 F Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast (packet dated 1 m
old), started with ~pint 1.040 honey solution starter, took about 3 days to
get going…..

OG 1.120

I was feeling "natural" at the time and so added no nutrient/acid/etc.

Took a long time to start, ~2 weeks to get the airlock bubbling (After I
went to the store to buy wine yeast to save it!)

So I pitched 10 weeks ago. I measured the gravity last night, and got
1.080. The sample had A LOT of bubbles in it, so I assume things are going
along, albeit slowly. Tastes clean. Just wondering what kind of drops you
guys get; I've got all the time in the world when it comes to mead.

  • -Mark

Subject: first time ??'s
From: (Joe Mester)
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 96 10:35:02 -0500

Hello fellow mead lovers! I am about to set up my first mead fermentation and
have a couple of questions. As a microbiologist, I have access to yeast
extract and various salt buffer chemicals. I would prefer to use them for
yeast salts and nutrients rather than the mysterious (undefined) store bought
versions. And so, could anyone recommend the amount of yeast extract and salt
buffer to add to yield the fine line (a good, quick fermentation with
undetectable additive flavor) between stuck fermentation and salty nectar?

I've come across one article on the Web that suggests adding 6.75 grams per
liter of a salt buffer mix. This seems like alot to me!

Thanks for your help!

Joe Mester

P.S. please forward (Cc: ) responses to my e-mail address :

End of Mead Lover's Digest #490