Mead Lover's Digest #0493 Wed 14 August 1996


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



How to unsubscribe PLEASE read! (Mead Lover's Digest)
NOTE–mead digest address! (Dick Dunn)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #492, 7 August 1996 (Brian Ehlert)
Re: Info on meadery wanted ("Chuck Graves")
Mead fermentation speed (Ken Schramm)
Sorbistat K, plastic buckets, p.H. ("Olin J. Schultz")
Re: going commercial (Marc Shapiro)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #492, 7 August 1996 (
clear unfiltered mead in 2 months! ("IAN LINDNER")


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Subject: How to unsubscribe  PLEASE read!
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 13 Aug 96 00:55:23 MDT (Tue)

I've had a surprising number of "unsubscribe" requests lately. What is
surprising is NOT the number _per_se_, but the fact that the people who are
trying to unsubscribe can't read the notice which has been published in
EVERY Mead-Lover's Digest, which says essentially:


DO NOT !!! send mail to the digest address! At best, your mail will be
discarded. At worst, you will end up telling 850 people that you don't

This should not be difficult. This is at the very bottom of the basics of
participating in a mailing list: if you want to do something about your
subscription, send to the address that handles subscription changes. Look,
if you subscribed to a magazine and needed to cancel the subscription,
would you write a letter to the editor?!?

WHEW! Your severely-annoyed digest janitor thanks you in advance for hope-
fully paying attention to this one. I run this thing because I like mead
and I think more people should know about it and taste it…NOT because I
like dealing with email problems.

Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: NOTE--mead digest address!
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 7 Aug 96 23:59:11 MDT (Wed)

Last issue, somebody wrote…
> To:

Folks, please, PLEASE update your addresses. As it says in the headers of
every digest, the submission address is

mead@<whatever> *may* work for now, but it is not the correct
address. (Trust me–I'm the official contact for both domains.) And the
"raven" part has never been in the advertised address.

Use: for administrative requests for submitted articles

Accept no substitutes!

Dick Dunn Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #492, 7 August 1996
From: Brian Ehlert <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 08:03:30 -0400

>One word from Brian's article starts me thinking: "phenolic". Is there
>any chance, Brian, that you're not using food-grade plastic? DON'T just
>use any random 5-gallon plastic container…if it's not made for food, you
>may be leaching out plasticizers and all manner of unpleasant stuff.

Actually, it didn't matter whether I used a carboy or a plastic pail as my
The pails I use are honey pails, after I empty them.

>Even with food-grade plastic, I think I'd take care to get the mead out of
>the plastic and into glass within a week.

I must admit I am not the diligent to get it out in a week, maybe _that_ is
the problem.

>Beyond that, Brian: What variables can you find that differ between your
>one- and five-gallon batches?

Let's see… They all sit in the basement, next to each other. I do let
them go for quite some time (one of those "when I have time for it" deals).
I don't rack by the calendar. I don't use any additives. The only real
difference that I can think of is head-space. The one gallon jobs do have
considerably less, but the 5 gallon would be less by volume.

Your suggestions have been great. But, as I see, no one has answered the
art with science on this one.

>ANYthing different is a possible candidate–temperature, ability to mix,
>racking…go over your process with a fine-toothed comb.
I will keep looking, thanks Dick.

BTW- Spencer, when are the Mazer judging comment sheets coming back?

Brian (used to be BrianE)

Subject: Re: Info on meadery wanted
From: "Chuck Graves" <>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 96 09:06:09 EST

Greetings, Paul…and anyone else who's interested.

>I am looking for information (web page, address, phone number,
>anything) on a meadery based in Maryland called "Brandywine Meadery"
>or something like that.

Actually, it's
Linganore Wine Cellars
13601 Glissans Mill Rd.
Mt. Airy, MD 21771-8599

Brandywine is their label for their meads; I believe Berrywine is the
label for their dessert wines. Personally, I prefer the latter to the

Also, their Medieval Mead that they serve at the Maryland Renaissance
Festival is not their best. They have been experimenting–the last
time I visited they had about 5 recipes. The best thing is to visit
and taste on the weekends. Barring that, you could order one of each
from them directly. They can probably help you out on the mail order

Hope that helps,
Chuck Graves

Subject:  Mead fermentation speed
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 10:44:51 -0400

In response to Chuck Wettergreen's query, yes, I did post a blathering
on keeping mead fermentations going quickly with nitrogen and pH
control. I am bummed that I was not called on the carpet by someone
(in fact by Dan, who should have really nailed me), because I didn't
make a point of stating that a BIG yeast culture really helps. I am
honored to be described as an accomplished mead maker though, which,
after seeing Chuck's success in the Mazer Cup, is high praise indeed.

Dan and I did several batches in 1993 and did the '96 AHA
commemorative in '94. The '93 batches were done with the usual
"pasteurize, add yeast nutrient and (cringe) acid blend, pitch and
wait " method. The fermentations lasted about 6 months. In '94 we
added no acids, boosted the pH, and oxygenated for 30 minutes or
more. The fermentations blasted along, blowing the airlocks off
repeatedly. To confirm that the pH was actually making the
difference and not the O2, I did a separate 5 gallon batch with the
same yeast (d47), yeast nutrient, but without O2, and merely
controlled the pH with Calcium Carbonate. Same results. All of the
fermentations passed through the primary and had in the vicinity of
80-90 points of attenuation in about 2-3 weeks. I was floored.

This past weekend, Dan and I did a tasting of the dry and sweet meads
that we took to New Orleans. The dry was my favorite, and I think the
sweet would benefit from another two or more years in the bottle.

Anyone seeking more info on pH can contact Dan ( or
me, and we will be happy to pass on some pertinent info on that.

Subject: Sorbistat K, plastic buckets, p.H.
From: "Olin J. Schultz" <>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 10:30:56 -0700

I've been experimenting with using sorbistat K to stop any renewed
fermentation after the primary fementation has ceased. I then add honey
to taste to make a sweet mead. I've used 3 tsp. per 5 gallons and I am
wondering what quantities other meadmakers have used. So far this
quantity has seemed to work fine, but I am keeping a close eye on the

A note on the addition of fruit. My brother added 10+ lbs of apricot

puree and 4+ gallons of mead to a 6.8 gallon carboy with a stopper and
airlock attached. After coming home after work the next day he noticed a
very sticky solution seeping out from under the door. He opened up the
room and confirmed a meadmaker's worst nightmare, the carboy had busted
and the melomel was saturating the carpet. Apparently the fementation
had been so violent that it plugged the airlock and instead of blowing
it out, as I always thought would happen, it cracked the glass.
Needless to say that he always does his melomels in plastic buckets

I have one plastic bucket that I use for doing melomels. I always

store it with a pickling solution of 1 tblsp. of bleach and 7 gallons of
water. That way it remains in a sanitary environment. I read that on
the HBD along time ago.

As far as the p.H. of the must. There is a good article that talks

about, among other things, the speed of mead fermentation in the spring
1995 edition of Zymurgy. That article is by Daniel McConnell and
Kenneth Schramm. They talk about maintaining the p.H. above 3.7, adding
adequate yeast nutrients, and saturating the must with oxygen to enhance
and maintain yeast efficiency. I now pitch any p.H. lowering acid
blends at bottling time, use B3 meadmaker's additive, oxygenate with the
oxygenator from liquid bread, and use a p.H. checker and small amounts
of calcium carbonate to maintain the p.H. between 3.7 and 4.0. My meads
rountinely ferment in a few weeks. Maybe not always two but a vast

I just have to say that while the HBD continues its slow slide of

flame, re-flame, no more flaming, I'm going to …. can anyone tell me
where the locl brewpubs are? messages, the MLD remains in focus.

Olin Schultz

Subject: Re: going commercial
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 21:44:10 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: going commercial
On 30 Jul 1996, (Mark & Ava Lindberg – C.K. Brew ) wrote:

> I have been making mead for several years now, and everyone I give some to
> wants to buy some more from me. I usually end up giving it to them. This
> got me to thinking, maybe I can turn this into a commercial operation.
> So…… Does any one out there have any experience in commercial mead
> making? My trepidation stems from comforming the art of meadmaking to the
> legal nonsense that is required for a commercial venture.

I wish I had any information on this subject, as I find myself in a
similar situation. I am hoping to open a meadery in a few years, myself
(after my wife completes grad school and can support us while I start a
new and risky business venture). I have not yet contacted the ATF to get
specifics, but that is the thing to do. If you are really serious, I
suggest that you contact them, then any state authorities that have a say
in this matter in your locale. BTW Where is your locale?

Marc Shapiro

See my WEB page: The Meadery at

THL Alexander Mareschal Canton of Kappelenburg

Barony of Windmasters Hill
Kingdom of Atlantia

No poem was ever written by a drinker of water. – Horace (63 BCE – 8 BCE)

In Wine there is truth. – Pliny the Elder (23 CE – 79 CE)
Good wine praises itself. – Arab proverb
Water separates the people of the world, wine unites them. – Anonymous

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #492, 7 August 1996
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 00:40:57 -0400

In a message dated 96-08-08 02:38:31 EDT, you write:

>Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 08:07:46 -0700
>When one bottles and desires a sparkling mead, can someone supply me with
>pros / cons of using honey vs. corn sugar? By the way, the mead is fully
>fermented out now!

If it is fully fermented out, I have found that the most reliable way to get
sparking mead is to put it into a soda keg and force carbonate the mead and
then bottle it. It is much more accurate than priming the mead with either
sugar or honey.

micah millspaw

Subject: clear unfiltered mead in 2 months!
From: "IAN LINDNER" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 1996 16:22:10 -0700

I am a recent convert to meads. I have brewed 3 batches in the past year

and a half.
My latest mead,I tried an experiment to try and speed the clarification
process. It took my first batch 9 months to clear.

My last batch I let it ferment from 1.110 to .996 ( 58 days ) then I put

the plastic bucket in my freezer. The mead froze into a solid block of
ice. When I dethawed the mead to my surprise it was
as clear as a white wine. The mead had seperated from the protiens and I
filled my bottles with the clear mead.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #493