Mead Lover's Digest #0514 Fri 29 November 1996


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



Re: "Dreamsicle" mead (Steve Dempsey)
Almond honey (Spencer W Thomas)
Re: "Dreamsicle" mead (Michael L. Hall)
dreamsicle mead (Leonard Meuse)
Re: Temp., & Floating Berries (Peter Miller)
Fermentation Temps (Fred Hardy)
Sparkaloid tips (


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Subject: Re: "Dreamsicle" mead
From: Steve Dempsey <>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 00:44:53 -0800

>Subject: Re: "Dreamsicle" mead
>Howdy MDLovers,
>Could you use a Wit beer yeast (AKA Wyeast #3944 etc.) to get the same
>orange/vanilla flavors?

No, these flavors do not come from yeast even in a witbier.
I don't think I want to try a belgian beer yeast for mead.
Has anyone else tried it?

I once tried a german wheat beer yeast in mead thinking I
could get those interesting clove phenols. I was wrong
and got five gallons of sparkling Listerine. Apparently
the clove phoenol precursors are present in malt but not
honey. So the yeast produced other less pleasant compounds
based on the fermentables at hand.

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: Almond honey
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 04:04:01 -0500

A local retail shop carries some almond honey from Spain. It's very
good on bread. 🙂 At $10/500gr, I'm not about to make mead from it.
I believe they import it themselves.

=Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (

Subject: Re: "Dreamsicle" mead
From: (Michael L. Hall)
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 09:46:47 -0700 writes:

> Could you use a Wit beer yeast (AKA Wyeast #3944 etc.) to get the same
> orange/vanilla flavors?

My guess is no, especially for the orange. The orange character in
a wit beer doesn't originate in the yeast. Nor does it originate
in the dried curacao orange peels. It comes from a combination of
the corriander and the lactic acid tang. The lactic acid is gotten
from either a straight addition of lactic acid (easier and more
controllable, but less authentic) or a pediococcus "infection".

On the other hand, what the hell, go for it! Give it a shot and
tell us how it turns out. I think that a lot of the attraction of
making mead (for me at least) is in the experimentation.

Mike Hall
Los Alamos Atom Mashers

From: Leonard Meuse <>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:37:01 -0800 (PST)

Has anyone ever done a buckwheat honey braggot? plz email me
Len Meuse
"Beer, sweet delicious beer, mmmmm"

Nectar of the Gods TM


Subject: dreamsicle mead
From: Leonard Meuse <>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:32:23 -0800 (PST)

I did a dreamsicle mead last year that turned out really great! I
fermented with 12# raw alfalfa honey in 5gal from hilyard&hilquist and
wyeast sweet mead yeast, 4tsp yeast food and 2tsp acid blend. After one
month I racked it off and added one split whole vanilla bean, 2oz of dried
orange peels and 2oz of pure vanilla extract. A mere 6 months later I
tasted. HEAVEN. The first sensation was an effervescent orange nose, then
a medium smooth vanilla taste. It was all yummy. It IS all gone.
Len Meuse
p.s. I just started another one with 12.5# mesquite honey and ive got some
dried curacao bitter orange peels im gonna use this time.

"Beer, sweet delicious beer, mmmmm"

Nectar of the Gods TM


Subject: Re: Temp., & Floating Berries
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 96 09:46:15 +1000

>Subject: Temp., & Floating Berries
>Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 10:45:04 -0500

>2. In the cranberry mead, I put the fruit in the primary without
>straining the pulp out. There is a layer of partial berries floating
>on the mead. Should I make sure to rack the mead out from under
>shortly, or is it OK to leave the fruit in long-term?

I've not made any mels with cranberries, but I'd advise not leaving the
fruit in for too long for two reasons – you run an increased risk of
bacterial and mould infection and (more likely) the fruit may break down
into particles that are difficult to clear. From my experience it seems
best to ferment on the fruit for a week or so and then strain it out.


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Fermentation Temps
From: Fred Hardy <>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 19:07:50 -0500 (EST)

The fermentation temperatures most mentioned by mead makers is 72 degrees
F. I think this is a big mistake. Yes, mead ferments quite well at that
temperature. It also lets the yeast produce a fair amount of higher
alcohols which make it very hot when bottled. The hot alcohols diminish
with age, and help support the concept of long aging of meads.

Primary fermentation at 60-65 degrees F works equally as well, and even 55
degrees F is OK. The resulting mead is much mellower and is drinkable
sooner than the mead that high temp ferment produces.

I make my summer meads by placing the primary in a water bath and wrapped
with a damp towel that dips into the water for a wick effect. It drops the
fermentation temp by about 10 degrees F below ambient, or around 62
degrees F. Meads come out smoother, and with no noticeable bad

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: Sparkaloid tips
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 10:51:32 +0000

I got some good response from people who wanted my tips so I will go
ahead and post my repose to them.

First off let me tell you that I am NOT one of those mead purest
or naturalists that don't use chemicals in their mead.
They are safe, effective and if used right have no flavor.
Science has brought us many tools to make our mead faster better
and more rewarding and damn it I have no problems using them when
need be.

As for Sparkaloid, the stuff is great. It took me quite a few batches
before I got the process down. The only bad thing that happened to
those batches is I ended up with a little Sparkaloid in the bottom of
the bottles but the stuff didnt have any flavor so it wasn't too bad.
I've been using it for about four years now and have never had it fail
me yet.

Sparkaloid itself is a very very fine power (diatomous earth I think).
You should watch out for your final gravity, I don't know this for a
fact but I would guess if it were too high the Sparkaloid might not be
heavy enough to fall out. I would start thinking about it if you were
at 1.020 but like I said I don't know for sure if this would happen.

For Sparkaloid to work its best fermentation needs to be COMPLETE.
Even a little activity seems to keep it in suspension for a long time.
First thing I do is rack it off any sediment (of course) then if the
final gravity is above 0 (on purpose or by accident) I'll put in in
the frig to make damn sure that the yeast that's left is dormant The
next day I'll put in the Sparkaloid as per package instructions.The
package instructions are as follows. 1tsp/gall add
to 1 cup boiling water. Boil for 15 min. For 5 gallon use 2 cups
boiling water. Add to mead hot. If the gravity is above 0 I'll add
some potassium sorbate (sorbastat K) to kill any dormant yeast that
might think about starting up again. If I plan to prime the mead I'll
leave out the sorbastat K and repitch just before bottling. The
sobastat K and the day in the frig are not required as long as you
are certin the fermentation is done and will not start back up.

The most important part of using Sparkaloid is after you put it in,
put your carboy in a place that you can rack from. It is important not
to move the carboy again until after you've racked it. If you do move
the carboy a big cloud of Sparkaloid will kick up off the bottom and
thus into your next carboy. Don't even start thinking "I could move
it if I was real careful." because you cant. The stuff is too light
and fluffy.

When racking, make sure your siphon cane or hose does not hit the
bottom. I put the end of the cane only a few inches under the surface
and move it down as the level drops only touching the bottom at the
last minute.

After you put in the Sparkaloid the next day you should see a very
distinct line of how far the Sparkaloid has droped. With a final
gravity of 0 it should clear in about three days. If the gravity is
higher it will take longer. I let mine sit for an extra day so the
Sparkaloid really settles good. The last batch I did which was a
raspberry cider, took a good five days to clear and I let it sit for
another two. It came out crystal clear and a beautiful ruby red color.

After the first racking put the carboy in the same place so you don't
have to move it for the second racking. Even though your mead is
crystal clear at this point you are still not done. This is where a
lot of people go wrong. You need to let it sit for another day or two
and more Sparkaloid will drop out. If you were patient and careful you
should have very little Sparkaloid on the bottom. I usually end up
with a very very thin dusting on the bottom and a little stuck to the
side. If you do a good job at the second racking it will be ready to
bottle. If you are not sure about it, go ahead and rack it to a carboy
and see if any more drops out.

I have had some meads clear right after fermentation is done and I
have had some that didn't clear even after months but Sparkaloid reliably
takes that time down to a week or a week and a half. It is not uncommon
for me to have a mead in the bottle within a month. I have got my ferments
down to 2 to 3 weeks and with Sparkaloid clearing takes 1 to 1.5 weeks
so my equipment is freed up to start again or receive beer:-) I hope
this helps, I may post it to the group also.

Matt Maples
IS Department
IPAC Pharmacy

End of Mead Lover's Digest #514