Mead Lover's Digest #0502 Thu 10 October 1996


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



Plastic taste in melomel (Sheryl Nance-Durst)
competition? and some musings (Neal Dunsieth)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #501, 2 October 1996 (
Just Starting. ("John B. Hinkle")
30 day mead w/Ph control (Chuck Wettergreen)
Need Info ("Howard R. Bromley")


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Subject: Plastic taste in melomel
From: Sheryl Nance-Durst <P_SHERYL@KCPL.LIB.MO.US>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 15:32:31 -0500 (CDT)

Thanks to everyone who replied to my question about the plastic taste
in my strawberry melomel. I sampled it last week & the plastic taste
has gone away. I'm inclined to think that it was because my plastic
primary, my plastic siphon hose & my nylon fermentation bag were all
brand new. (It certainly didn't show up in my second batch.) I know
I'm supposed to relax, but I got a little nervous there for a bit.
Now it just tastes like a very young strawberry wine. I'll have to
wait a few months to see if it's actually going to be any good, but it
looks promising. Thanks again! 🙂

Sheryl J. Nance-Durst …one of the secret masters of
Kansas City MO Public Library the world: a librarian. They control information. Don't ever

p**s one off.

  • Spider Robinson,

_The Callahan Touch_

(Opinions expressed in this message do not reflect the viewpoint of
the Kansas City MO Public Library.)

Subject: competition? and some musings
From: (Neal Dunsieth)
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 1996 09:56:18 -0400

I'm a little excited. Though our meadmaking is still in its infancy, my
wife and I have stumbled upon a few impressive creations with the help of
our local health food store, some random seasonal ingrediants, and a little
inspired ingenuity. We have a traditional dry metheglyn that is aging quite
nicely, a medium Blood Orange Melomel which is taking on some interesting
sherry notes with a wonderful bitter orange finish, and a concoction we call
Persephone's Punch which is a dessert-like pomegranite melo-meth that
knocked the socks off the last five people who tried it, two of whom were
certified beer judges.

The problem: the Blood Orange and Persepone's were both 1 gallon test
batches, and are quite scarce. I have five or six 12 oz bottles of either.
The traditional remains in abundance, and it is quite pleasant though it
could use another season to mellow out some more.
The question: I would like to enter all three in competition, but I don't
know enough about competition to develop any sort of strategy for
approaching the field. I was hoping someone could enlighten me on how to
get my stuff together, what competitions I could enter, and who to write to
for further information, entry forms, and the like. Thanks.

In other news, we're trying a batch of mead with leatherwood honey and a
cyser as well. And for rosepetal lovers – I haven't yet tried another
rosepetal meth since it was last mentioned. The original has a little aging
to do yet, but I'll let you know how it is coming after we break open
another bottle.


A Haloween Parting Shot:

"…Mr. Dammit lay particularly still, and I concluded that his feelings had
been hurt, and that he stood in need of my assistance. I hurried up to him
and found that he had recieved what might be termed a serious injury. The
truth is, he had been deprived of his head, which after a close search I
could not find anywhere; – so I determined to take him home, and send for
the homeopathists."

Edgar Poe, "Never Bet the Devil Your Head"

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #501, 2 October 1996
Date: Sun, 6 Oct 1996 11:17:00 -0400

In a message dated 96-10-02 16:06:43 EDT, you write:

<< William Chellis writes:

> We want to try a hot pepper(capsican) mead. We don't know where to
> start. I'm sure someone can HELP. >>

Chile mead yum yum. In a 5 gallon must add in 6-12 fresno reds ( chiles )
towards the end of fermentation. I have found that this adds a nice bouquet
and some zip. BTW halve the chile, remove the seeds and placenta before
adding. I works for me

micah millspaw – brewer at large

Subject: Just Starting.
From: "John B. Hinkle" <>
Date: Sun, 06 Oct 1996 15:02:07 -0400

I want to start brewing Mead, but I want a quick
recipe (ie days, instead of weeks/months/years).
I would like to determine how well I like it, before
I start on a long batch.. Any help is much appreciated.

Thank You

John B. Hinkle
<< John B. Hinkle <> 1000 Technology Drive >>
<< Software Engineer <> Suite 3140 >>
<< Arrey Industries <> Fairmount, WV 26554 >>
<< Phone: 304-367-0027 <> Fax: 304-367-9884 >>
<< If you can't laugh at yourself, don't worry >>
<< I am laughing at you behind your back. >>

Subject: 30 day mead w/Ph control 
From: (Chuck Wettergreen )
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 96 09:19 CDT


Recently I received 11 1/2 gallons of fresh-frozen sour cherry juice
from the father-in-law (FIL) of a friend. The FIL trades cherry wine
to workers at a pie cherry canning plant in Michigan for juice that they
gather from underneath the cherry pitter. If they didn't collect it, it
would go down the drain; what a waste!

As I did last year, I decided to make a cherry melomel, but unlike the last
year, I decided to put into practice what I had learned on the MLD, namely
Ph control to shorten ferment time. Late in 1995, Ken Schramm reported
some research that He and Dan McConnell had found which showed that meads
would ferment out in a period of weeks if the Ph were kept in the vicinity
of 4.0. Once I realized what they were saying, i asked more questions and
Ken and Dan graciously amplified their comments and provided a web address
to the basic research. I decided to try it. Listed below are my brewing
records for that melomel.

8/2/96 – 5 1/2 gallons cherry juice

7 pounds of blueberries – crushed, in fruit bag
2 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
2 1/2 yeast energizer
5 pounds clover honey
5 pound wildflower honey
heated to 140 degF for 15 minutes
immersion chiller cooled to 75 degF
pitched dregs of previous batch of pyment (red star champagne
oxygenated with airstone for about 10 minutes (pure O2)
fermentation begins within 3 hours
OG 1.090

8/4/96 – racked off of blueberries (which went into other half of cherry

juice, now being made into 10 gallons of cherry wine)
added 2 pounds of wildflower honey
ferment slowing down
Ph 3.5, added 2 tablespoons of CaCO3

8/5/96 – ferment back to active, Ph 3.9
8/6/96 – ferment slowing down again, IG 1.010, tastes sour, Ph 3.6,

added 1 tablespoon CaCO3

8/7/96 – ferment back to active, added 1 pound wildflower honey
8/16/96 – Ferment slowing down, Ph 3.6 added 1 tablespoon CaCO3
8/17/96 – added 2 pounds mixed brush honey
8/21/96 – fermentation really slowing down, almost finished!
8/23/96 – At this point it appeared that the melomel was not going to

ferment any more. IG was 0.998 and it still tasted a little sour
and it didn't have as much honey aroma and flavor/sweetness as
I wanted. I figured that if I added one more pound of honey I'd
be where I wanted to be. I added 1 pound wildflower honey, the
was Ph 4.0. FG was 1.013 and the mead refused to ferment further
from this point on.

8/27/96 – The mead is done, but hasn't started to clear. I don't feel like

waiting, but I don't want to use gelatin/benonite/sparkloid. Into
the refrigerator at 32 degF. Three days later it was crystal, read
a newspaper through it, clear. Five gallons racked to corney keg
with potassium sorbate. The balance (1.5 gallons) went into a 3
gallon corney keg to be later frozen to make cherry jack melomel.

I may have missed a few Ph readings and CaCO3 additions. I watched it pretty
closely. It appeared that when fermentation slowed down, the Ph was about
3.5 – 3.6. I'd add CaCO3 and it would take off again. I've since done a
traditional that had 12 pounds of honey that both fermented out and cleared
in a month and a half.

I bottled this melomel 9/15/96. I've received enthusiastic comments on it
since then, and while it may not be a contest winner, I certainly do enjoy
drinking it! The only flaw that I can detect is that it's a little hot, but
I'm hoping that this will mellow with age.

Geneva, IL

* RM 1.3 00946 *

Subject: Need Info
From: "Howard R. Bromley" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 15:53:20 -0400 (EDT)

I am a new brewer of mead, with my very first batch now in the carboy
waiting to clear. I am anxiously yearning to taste it as my wife and I
thoroughly enjoyed our first taste last Christmas. I used orange blossom
honey and followed Papazian's "Antepodal Mead" recipe. I now have a few

1. Does anyone know where I can obtain some 2 or 4 liter glass bottles,
preferably resealable? Pharmacists used to have 1 gallon brown jugs, but
none have them in my area.

2. What exactly is the "weight" of honey? The recipe called for 15 pounds,
and I assumed that was 240 ounces. Someone recently told me that a pound
of honey actually is 12 ounces, not 16 ounces.

3. Does anyone have experience using molasses? Or maple syrup? Either one
(or both) sound like a delicious addition.

I enjoy reading the Digest, and I have already picked up some tips. I am
looking forward to making more mead, and to drinking my first batch!
Thanks in advance for any answers to the above questions.

* Howard R. Bromley, MD *
* Department of Veterans Affairs Med Center *
* Charleston, South Carolina 29401-5799 *
* E-mail address: *
* Telephone (803) 577-5011 ext 7345 *
* FAX (803) 937-6110 *

End of Mead Lover's Digest #502