Mead Lover's Digest #0511 Tue 19 November 1996


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



re: Sweet mead and sorbate? (Dick Dunn)
Yeast Types & the Taste of Crown Caps (
Grolsch 🙁 (
Type of Kettle to Brew with ("John B. Hinkle")
sweet mead and sorbate (
Re: vanilla bean (Steve Dempsey)
mead with ale yeast? (Dale Walker)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #510, 17 November 1996 ("Pug Bainter")
Yeast (David McDonald)
caps v corks, 1996 (Leonard Meuse)
Vierka yeast, almond honey ("Olin J. Schultz")
corks, caps & glass grenades (Tracy Thomason)
cork questions (Tracy Thomason)
re:Just racked my first two meads… Questions! (
Re: Re: Just racked my first two meads… Questions! (Peter Miller)
Re: Sweet mead and sorbate? (Peter Miller)
vanilla beans in mead (Olson)
Re: Ale Yeast & Mead (Fred Hardy)
corks , crowns, etc…. (
Heather Mead ("Karl G. Long")
yeast types (Sheryl Nance-Durst)


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Subject: re: Sweet mead and sorbate?
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 17 Nov 96 16:52:00 MST (Sun)

Morgan E Dennis <> started a mead with a fair bit of
honey + cranberries, hoping for a sweet mead, but…
> …This mead looks really great and has improved steadily
> without complication. However, on Nov. 14th, I was surprised to find the
> mead just below the 1.000 range and STILL fermenting. My question is why
> has this mead gone down to such a dry range and why so fast?…

Must have been good healthy yeast. Also, fruits tend to give acidity and
nutrients that the yeast like…melomels always seem to go like gangbusters
compared to straight meads.

> …Would it stop
> its fermentation if I added some sorbate?…

NO. Sorbate won't stop a fermentation in progress. (It *will* slow it
down, but don't let that deceive you.) Sorbate will really only keep a
stopped fermentation from re-starting.

>…Could I then add more honey
> with the hope of sweetening things up for bottling? Is sorbate effective
> enough to risk such honey increase? Can honey (like sugar with wine) be
> added at any time of the fermenting process?…

Yes, honey can be added anywhere along the way; in fact it's recommended
that for a high-gravity mead you actually start lower and add honey along
the way instead of putting it in all at once. Yes, you can add honey to
sweeten at bottling, but what you need to do goes like this:

* Let the current fermentation finish thoroughly, at least until the mead
falls clear.
* Stabilize with sorbate.
* Add the honey for sweetening and bottle.

After you've done this, keep a close watch on the bottles for the first few
weeks after bottling. If you botch the stabilizing (rare if you get the
idea, but it happens) you'll end up with fermentation in the bottles.

>…How much longer should I
> wait before bottling presuming that I do stabilize? The mead is getting
> quite clear, but would it be better to just wait?…

Watch the gravity and the fermentation lock as well as the clarity. Since
you're below 1.000 now, it shouldn't be too much longer.

Dick Dunn Boulder County, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.

Subject: Yeast Types & the Taste of Crown Caps
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 01:04:22 -0500

There is an article in the Fall 1992 issue of Zymurgy Magazine by Susanne
Price that reports on yeast types and an experiment by Charlie Papazian using
nine different wine/mead yeasts in nine different identical batches of honey
(you know, same same only different). The article is also a good reference
for finding other information on honey, meadmaking books, supplies,

Also, at the top of this issue of MLD there is an e-mail address for MLD
archives and FAQs (frequently asked questions). In with the frequently asked
questions there is an excellent paper written by Ken Schramm & Dan McConnell
for a presentation they gave at the 1994 A.H.A. National Homebrewer's
Conference in Denver. They did an experiment using numerous wine/mead yeasts
pitched in identical batches of honey must. They also made numerous batches
of mead using different honeys with the same yeast. I was fortunate enough
to have been at their presentation, and I can say that it was one hell of an
experience. They enlisted Charlie Papazian, and Byron Burch to be their
designated mead sample pourers. We must have tasted some where around 20
different meads that day. (YUM!) My memory of the later parts of the
presentation are a bit fuzzy.

The question has been asked, "What does a deteriorated crown cap taste like?"
Crown caps rust with age and could possibly add a rusty/metallic flavor to a
well aged mead. Of course if one is willing to accept corkiness as part of
the flavor profile of a 3 year old Belgian ale, I guess one might be willing
to accept rusty/metallic as part of the flavor profile of a 5 year old mead
too ;-]

Russia —> Mars = Chile :<(

Carl L. Saxer

Subject: Grolsch :-(
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 10:23:40 +0000

>I have enjoyed the cork versus crown cap debate. I interject a third
>for consideration: the Grolsch (aka swing top) bottle. Seems to me
>this little doo-dad solves the problem of the metal interference from
>cap, and the drying out of the cork. They withstand significant
>.based on my comparison of fluid from broken and unbroken bottles
>Wade Wallinger

Wade, I dissagree I do not think Grolsch bottles are not a viable
option for mead. Those rubber stoppers were never desined to last
that long. I have used those for beer and the stopperes need to be
replaced every so often. If you leave your mead in for a year or two
(mine rarly seem to last three years) that rubber will start to break
down. I have had some split and rack. You may have had luck with them
but I would trust those seals for two years.

Matt Maples
IS Department
IPAC Pharmacy

Subject: Type of Kettle to Brew with
From: "John B. Hinkle" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 14:21:35 -0500

What type of kettle is optimal for brewing. I am
going to brew my first batch tonight, and I plan
on using a aluminum kettle.


<< John B. Hinkle <> 1000 Technology Drive >>
<< Software Engineer <> Suite 3320 >>
<< 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: sweet mead and sorbate
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 10:37:55 +0000

>enough to risk such honey increase? Can honey (like sugar with wine)
>be added at any time of the fermenting process? How much longer should
>I wait before bottling presuming that I do stabilize? The mead is
>getting quite clear, but would it be better to just wait? Also, does
>sorbate and/or potassium metabisulfite add ANY significant
>undesirables to mead flavor?

You didn't say what type of yeast you used but a good maizer can drop
90 point just like that. At three lbs of good honey per gallon you
should have had an og of around 1.110. For a melomel I have used
2lbs/gal used sorbastat K and sweetened it after fermentation. It is
safe if you follow the instuctions for the sorbistat k. You wont
believe the increadable honey aroma you get when you do it this way
and I have never tasted the K. I have even force carbonated one of
these with great success.

Matt Maples
IS Department
IPAC Pharmacy

Subject: Re: vanilla bean
From: Steve Dempsey <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 11:34:34 -0800

>From: cm199@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Thomas G. Moore)
> I'm looking for suggestions on how many vanilla beans per 5 gal.
>of mead using about 12 lbs. honey.

Start with one whole bean split lengthwise. I tasted a
mead done with this amount and it was delicious, like a
cross between mead and cream soda.

Steve T. Dempsey Intel Corporation
<> 5200 Elam Young Pkwy
+1 503 613 8070 Hillsboro, OR 97124-6497
PTD CAD Pole: RA1-3-C16 MS: RA1-303

Subject: mead with ale yeast?
From: (Dale Walker)
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 11:15:51 -0800

> I took my 10 mls of
>chico ale yeast and pitched it into 600 mils of unfiltered apple juice.
>This is growing on a stir plate at 80F (turned off AC in network
>operations). I'm planning on pitching this into the Hangover Cyser recipe
>in the mead archives (1.5 lbs honey, 12oz grape juice concentrate, and
>enough apple juice to make 1 gallon). The OG of the must is supposed to
>be around 1.120 (outragously high for the ale yeast). =20
>Can somebody tell me what I might expect out of this concoction? I can
>always drive 20 minutes to the brew store to get some champagne yeast if I
>have to. If the collective intelligence of the mead community tells me I
>will have good mead from this must and yeast union than I will let it be.
>Please advise.
Our "house mead" is a spiced cyser fermented with ale yeast. A few years ag=
I split a batch and did a yeast experment, with ale, sherry, champagne, and=
wine yeasts.

They all came out at about the same FG (this really surprised me – there=
must be something in apples that just doesn't ferment), and they all tasted=
different, and have different aging charactoristics. After much tasting=
and debate, we brewed the next years batch with ale yeast. It has a nice=
flavor that complements the apple – and was "ready to drink" the soonest.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #510, 17 November 1996
From: "Pug Bainter" <pug@Interval.Net>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 13:52:15 -0600 (CST)

> I'm planning on pitching this into the Hangover Cyser recipe
> in the mead archives (1.5 lbs honey, 12oz grape juice concentrate, and
> enough apple juice to make 1 gallon).

That sounds very odd. I might just have to try it.

> The OG of the must is supposed to be around 1.120 (outragously high for
> the ale yeast).

The mead I make has an OG of around 1.150 and I pitch Whitbread Ale
yeast into it all the time. It will ferment out to about 1.070 from this
OG for a very sweet mead. (Although not as sweet as some make, but a
little on the high end of sweet for my tastest.)

> Can somebody tell me what I might expect out of this concoction?

I think it would be moderately sweet, but I have little experience with
wheither a yeast will actually work under different conditions. (Trial
and error is still my friend.)

> I can
> always drive 20 minutes to the brew store to get some champagne yeast if I
> have to. If the collective intelligence of the mead community tells me I
> will have good mead from this must and yeast union than I will let it be.
> Please advise.

Collective intelligence? Uhoh. We're in trouble. I do think it'll be
already though.



Richard Bainter Mundanely | Network and System Administrator
Pug Generally | Interval Systems, Inc. Austin, TX | | {any user}

Note: The views may not reflect my employers, or even my own for that matter.

Subject: Yeast
From: David McDonald <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 13:51:18 -0700 (MST)

The response to my original query regarding yeasts for mead makes it clear
that what I've asked for (a summary of yeasts and their characteristics)
is something many people would like to see.

So I'd be happy to compile whatever information people send to me or to
the Digest, regarding mead yeasts, and then post it for general use. Both
'hard data' (regarding alcohol tolerance, and so on) and anecdotal
evidence are welcome.

David McDonald

Subject: caps v corks, 1996
From: Leonard Meuse <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 13:49:00 -0800 (PST)

hey, there ARE oxycaps you know…specially made crown caps for longer
Leonard Meuse

Subject: Vierka yeast, almond honey
From: "Olin J. Schultz" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 14:55:58 -0800

What is the material Vierka uses for packing their yeast? I have tried
the sauternes and bordeaux with good success but the mead yeast packet
barely had any yeast in it! What kind of yeast is it? Took days to
start fermenting the one batch I used it on. After a few more packet
openings, and subsequent lack of yeast, I have discontinued any use of
this variety, unless fellow meadmakers tell me that this is abnormal.

Does anyone know about honey from almond blossoms? I have heard that

it is not so good but my brother lives next to an orchard and is
thinking of getting some hives for fun. I am, of course, incouraging

Olin Schultz

Subject: corks, caps & glass grenades
From: (Tracy Thomason)
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 96 23:51:35 GMT

Has anyone tried PET bottles for sparkling meads? I tried them on beer
once and they worked OK. I know there are alot of people for and
against the PETs but they seemed fine to me and I hear they hold
ALOT more pressure than glass.

Tracy Thomason

Subject: cork questions
From: (Tracy Thomason)
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 96 23:51:33 GMT

I just bought a corker so I can cork my next batch of mead. I decided
I'd better try the corker out first on a practice bottle to make sure I knew
what I was doing. So, I boiled a cork for a while and then stuck it in an
empty bottle using the corker. Everything went great except when I
pulled the corker off the bottle there was some brown "juice" on the
corker and some brown "juice" running down around the outside of the
bottle. I assume this is "cork juice" or something. None ran in the
bottle, but it still bothered me to have this brown stuff running down the
outside. Is this normal or did I get some bad corks or something?

Tracy Thomason

Subject: re:Just racked my first two meads... Questions!
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 20:36:28 -0500

My experience is that your final gravity is still very high at 1.030. If
your batch has not finished fermenting then bottling it is very dangerous.
Even more so if you will be traveling with these bottles.
Drink them now. Add a couple of teaspoons of nutrient to your batch then
wait another 2 months and take a gravity reading. Check it again around a
week later. If it hasn't changed then bottle. I would expect the Mead with
the Champagne yeast to finish between 0.096 and 1.015.

Good luck

Bill Shelton
NORTEL Federal Distributor Sales

Subject: Re: Re: Just racked my first two meads... Questions!
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 96 12:03:57 +1000

>From: "Jon Grim" <>
>Date: Thu, 14 Nov 96 14:54:23 EST

Hi Jon, some thoughts for you to ponder:

>I just racked my first two meads last night. They had been in primary
>carboys for about 2 months, maybe a bit longer. The two were identical at
>I didn't get initial gravities. Present gravities are 1.045 (Sweet) and
>1.030 (Dry). I know they aren't completely fermented because both had a
>visible carbonation to them.

1.045 is indeed sweet, but 1.030 could in no way be considered dry – try
1.005 or lower! By my calculations both your meads are relatively low in
alcohol (guessing your initial gravity to be around 1090 or so they're
really only around 4 or 5 percent – you may be perfectly happy with that,
but you can get them higher!).

>Did I rack too early?

Well…… it depends what you're after. IMO you can leave them for a bit
longer… meads are rather slow fermenters by tradition, and as long as
they're still bubbling (however slowly that may be) the little yeasties
are doing their work. Patience is the key word.

>I bottled 4 bottles of the sweet in Grolsch bottles to take home for the
>holidays. I know they are young, but are they DANGEROUS? Will they blow on
>the plane or anything? I'll leave them at home if so…… I wouldn't take 'em on a plane. They probably wouldn't blow up
(especially in the low temps in a cargo hold) but you have two relatively
unfermented meads there and you never know.

>One final question: Should I top the carboys up to the rim with either
>water or a sterile honey water mixture, to reduce oxidation, or is this

While they're fermenting or maturing?? If you're talking about
fermenting, a little space is OK. If you're maturing, you may get
oxidation with too much air space.



Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Re: Sweet mead and sorbate?
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 96 12:04:03 +1000

>From: Morgan E Dennis <>
>Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 12:08:38 -0500 (EST)

>I've just recently become interested in mead and I have a few questions
>regarding its complete fermentation. On Oct. 26 I started a gallon of
>cranberry mead. I used 3 pounds of clover honey and assumed that it would
>retain much of its sweetness
> This mead looks really great and has improved steadily
>without complication. However, on Nov. 14th, I was surprised to find the
>mead just below the 1.000 range and STILL fermenting.
>My question is why has this mead gone down to such a dry range and why so

The yeast will happily ferment away any sugars it finds until one of
several things happens, including (but not limited to) the following:

1. It uses up all the sugars.

2. The tolerance of the yeast to survive at a particular alcohol level is
reached, which these days (depending on the kind of yeast you use) can be
anywhere up to 15 or 16 percent and is typically around 11 or 12.

3. It uses up all the nutrients it requires (including acids)

4. You stop it by some method.

>From what you say, you've given the yeast a very happy environment – a
good constant temperature, a reasonable amount of sugars to start and
suitable nutrition (cranberries are reasonably high in acid I think, and
I recall they even have some tannins which are v. good for flavour). So
even though you could probably get a reasonable sweet mead with a
relatively low alcohol content using the honey quantities you mentioned,
the yeast doesn't know that you want it to stop and happily keeps going
to ferment away every last bit of honey. At your initial gravity of 1.090
you're still only looking at about 7 or 8 percent alcohol (guessing – I
don't have my tables with me) so the yeast is still active. Your gravity
may drop as low as 0.990 (alcohol is less dense than water).

My solution? I'd keep it as a dry mead, try and add some more honey to
ferment away to a higher alc. content (10 percent or so) and age it for a
few years minimum – I'm guessing you'd have something pretty good if you
do. You _can_ try and stop it with sorbate or sulphur, but in a feisty
mead you may have to add more chemical than I would recommend.

>Can honey (like sugar with wine) be
>added at any time of the fermenting process?

Yes, but not too much too soon, otherwise you may give the yeast another
environment it doesn't like: too _much_ sugar! (and if you think that
might be a solution to your problem above, don't do it! Think "medicine"
for taste…) Remember that meads and melomels don't _have_ to be sweet
and I would say that the best meads I've ever tasted were dry to very dry
(and well aged!)

>How much longer should I
>wait before bottling presuming that I do stabilize? The mead is getting
>quite clear, but would it be better to just wait?

It does no harm (and some argue quite a lot of good) to mature in bulk
for a while (I like to leave mine for about a year or so in bulk before
bottling). You can also keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn't
throw too much more sediment (rack it off if it does) which might give
odd flavours to the mead. If you're maturing for a while this way, make
sure you seal your storage bottle well (I use wax over the cork). The
mead should get better than "quite" clear – it should become very
"bright", and generally will with no extra fining.

>Also, does sorbate
>and/or potassium metabisulfite add ANY significant undesirables to mead

Commercial wine and mead makers often use sorbate or met to their wines.
It is a debatable point as to whether they affect the flavour. I would
say that they do, but lots of people on the list are going to say that
they don't! I use sulphite sometimes, but am trying to limit it to
sterilization. I suspect that you don't need them in anywhere near the
quantities generally recommended.

>I would appreciate any answers/suggestions to these questions. And I
>would recommend the use of cranberries for a brilliant ruby-red color.

Good luck with your brew, it sounds fascinating and delightful.


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: vanilla beans in mead
From: (Olson)
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 21:47:49 -0700


The number of vanilla beans depends on the desired effect.

I chopped up a whole vanilla bean, along with cinnamon sticks,
anise seeds, cardamon, allspice, and ginger root. I added them
to preboiled water and added honey. Then I pasteurized all of
it at 150 F for 45 minutes inorder to extract the flavors.

After a month of fermentation, the flavor was too mild for what
I wanted, so I chopped up two more vanilla beans, along with
more of the other spices. Again, I pasteurized this in honey
(no water this time) for 45 minutes and added everything to the
5 gallon carboy.

For the first six months after bottling, the dominant aroma
and flavor was vanilla. It didn't blend as well with the young
alcoholic flavors as well as I would have liked. After a year
the vanilla had mellowed out. You need patience, like all good

Now (18 months) when I serve this mead to friends, each one
tastes a different spice, depending on what they are sensitive
to or what they are familiar with. If anyone wants more details
about my recipe or methods I can write up something more
coherent and complete.

I haven't used the vodka method of flavor extraction yet, but
I'm about to give it a try. I have some frozen rose petals that
don't respond well to pasteurization. Does anyone have a
recommendation on how to use vodka with rose petals?


Subject: Re: Ale Yeast & Mead
From: Fred Hardy <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 08:32:04 -0500 (EST)

In MLD #510 (11/17/1996) Rick Dante wrote:

> I'm a beer brewing homebrewer. [snip] … some chico ale yeast … I'm
> planning on pitching this into the Hangover Cyser recipe … . The OG
> of the must is supposed to be around 1.120. … lots of oxygen and in a
> large quantity for a 1 gallon ferment.

Rick, as a homebrewer you know the key to a successful fermentation of
high SG wort is high pitching rate and good oxygenation. The Chico will
work just fine. I suggest adding at least 1 tsp. per gallon of yeast
nutrient to give the yeast something to get started on before the main
course. One and one half tsp. chalk (CaCO3)/gal. to raise pH will help
prevent a stuck fermentation and a give a speedier primary fermentation.
If you have a pH meter, shoot for a pH above 4.0.

> Can somebody tell me what I might expect out of this concoction?

Probably a very good mead. It may ferment a bit quicker than if you used a
wine or mead yeast, but that isn't all bad. Using 1 1/2 tsp. of nutrient
and a similar amount of starter/gal. will keep the fermentation going a
bit longer and give a bit more alcohol, but still expect a FG lower than a
beer (barleywine, for example) with a similar OG.

I know many mead makers aren't as fussy about fermentation temps, saying
that up to 72 degrees F is just fine. I prefer to treat it more like
Scottish ale and shoot for temperatures between 55 and 62 degrees F. This
will produce, IMO, a smoother product with fewer fusel alcohols. Combined
with the ale yeast, it should be quite pleasant once it clears.

Brew On ……….. Fred

"We must invent the future, else it will : Fred Hardy
happen to us and we will not like it". : Fairfax, Virginia

[Stafford Beer, Platform for Change] :


Subject: corks , crowns, etc....
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 09:24:13 -0500

O n the topic of bottle closures. I have used and stil use all of the so far
suggested methods addressed over the last few MLDs. I have not noticed any
real difference in the effect on the mead in the bottle, they all will work.
I would like to add another type of closure to the fray, PLASTIC MUSHROOM
type corks and wire baskets. These make for a really nice looking package (
amaze your friends and relatives) especially for gifts. They are much easier
the sanitize and insert into bottles. No special corking equipment or long
soaking is required. Also they are reusable, something that you cannot do
with either corks or crowns.

Also I have a Orange blossom honey/ blue berry melomel fermenting away on an
ale yeast. I am trying to get it to leave some sweetness. Tried this same
combo last year with Prise de Mousse and it dried out to much. Anybody else
had much luck with melomels and ale yeast?

micah – brewer at large

Subject: REMOVE
From: Tom <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 12:20:16 -0500


Subject: Heather Mead
From: "Karl G. Long" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 10:17:20 -0700

I am concidering making a heather mead. Two questions:

1. Has anyone tasted a heather mead? Is is really worth the wait? I
am looking for people with actual first hand experience.

2. Does anyone know where I can get heather honey?


Unsolicited e-mailers: Please don't send me unsolicited e-mail about how
I can make money, find lost friends, get a penpal or what book I should
buy. I won't buy your product or participate in your scam. All you
will get for your trouble is an e-mail complaint to your postmaster.

Subject: yeast types
From: Sheryl Nance-Durst <P_SHERYL@KCPL.LIB.MO.US>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 11:45:28 -0600

Since there's been a lot of interest, I thought I'd post a list of yeast
descriptions that I've found helpful. I think that they were originally
posted on the mead digest but I'm not sure (I deleted the mailer headings
when I saved them.) The first half is from, the
second half is from someone with the intials DSM. My apologies to
whoever the original posters are.

Sheryl Nance-Durst

Prise de Mousse

Very fast fermentation, ester producer, high alcohol tolerance (about 18%)
Primarily used for champagne. Goes to dryness. A typical trait in use in
mead is the ester characteristic, yeasty "nose" …….alas….it is a
champagne yeast after all…


Strong fermenter, will go to dryness. Produces complex aromas, and can be
used to enhance color extraction from fruit (melomels). Is very tolerant
to H2S/free SO2 (use of sodium bisulfite). However, Montrachet is very tricky
to use. During the onset of fermentation… it can produce more H2S than
alcohol…thus giving that characteristic "sulfury nose"

Pasteur Red

Stron fermenter, however, VERY SENSITIVE to fermentation flucuations. Not bad
for use in meads with low nutrients. Will produce complex aromas

Pasteur Champagne

Fast fermentation. Produces extremely compact lees (sediment). Good where
complexity/body is underemphasized.

Pasteur White

Fast, higher temp fermentation. however, sensitive to temperature flucuations.
Emphasis acidity…good to produce dry, crisp meads.


Slow to medium fermentation rates. Enhances spiciness and fruity aromas
(good for methaglyn/melomels). Low enzyme production, will have good color…

Epernay 2 (Cotes de Blanc)

Slow fermenter. Good general purpose yeast. Best used at cooler fermentation
temperatures…VERY sensitive to cold shock (quick temperature changes).
Produces fruity/estery aromas. Very easy to leave residual sugar…best for
sweeter meads, as it has low alcohol tolerance.


Fast fermentor, high ester production, yeast strain can metabolize about
33% of available malic acid…yields chardonnay buttery flavors…I recommend
this for use with cysers…apple meads…if you use the tarter apples like
Granny Smith or the like.



Killer yeast strain. Fast starting. Excellent for use in low nutrient musts.
Ester production dependant on nutrients in must…though tends to have
similar characteristics as EC1118. Also can be used to restart stuck


Cool fermentation temps (like Epernay) VERY sensitive to SO2. Produces
flowery complex aromas…Produces meads similar to Rieslings…

Yeast Lab M61 Dry Mead – Pasteur Champagne, 16-18% EtOH tolerance

Very alcohol tolerant, ferments dry, fruity and clean, yet leaves a noticeable
honey flavor and aroma. 65-70F. [I would add austere and well suited for
very dry, sparkling meads of white wine-DSM]

Yeast Lab M62 Sweet Mead-Steinberer, 12-13% EtOH tolerance

This strain has slightly reduced alcohol tolerance and produces a very fruity,
sweet mead with tremendous honey aromas. 65-70F. [may give off a temporary
sulfur aroma during the fermentation-don't worry, it does go away. It works
well for fruity white wine when fermented cool (60-65F)-DSM]

Wyeast #3632 Dry Mead-Prisse de Mousse
Wyeast #3184 Sweet Mead-Rusesheimer

The Wyeast ID's are second-hand data, so take it for what it's worth. I have
not used either of these from this source. If the Prisse de Mousse is true
to type, it also ferments in the 16-18% range, dry and austere. Great for
dry white wine. Rusesheimer has a reduced EtOH tolerance, a little lower
than Steinberger (I'm guessing at 11-12%)

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 18:00:38 EST

I realize these are fairly open ended questions, but I would like to get
some general comment on dry mead yeasts and on the use of oak chips.

First, I am trying to vint a medium dry full bodied mead using regular
clover honey. I have a recipe which I like from Papazian's The New Joy
of Homebrewing. I have experimented with a few dry mead yeasts, mainly
Red Star, Wyeast and Yeast Labs, and the results are ok. I recently
purchased some German white wine yeast (dry yeast packet) from my local
brew store, and will be trying that soon. Just thought you all could
save me the time of the "hunt and brew" method.

Second, any advice on oak chips in a dry mead. I have tried this once
and it resulted in an off flavor that wasn't necessarily unpleasant, but
wasn't the "oak" flavor I was looking for, such as in a Chardonnay. I
used a premeasured pack for 5 gallons from my local homebrew store.

Hope, you can help me out.

  • – JM

Jim Lafler

End of Mead Lover's Digest #511