Mead Lover's Digest #0515 Thu 5 December 1996


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



Sweet Meads and Melomels (Scott Dexter)
re: cranberries (
Re: "Dreamsicle" mead (guym@Exabyte.COM)
Wow! That is fast! (William Drummond's "Earl Gray Mead") ("Suzanne Berry")
Habanero Ginger Garlic Mead? (
High Elevation Meadings…, and Himalayan honey (


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Subject: Sweet Meads and Melomels
From: Scott Dexter <>
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 09:22:45 -0500

I am looking for a recipe for a good sweet desert mead. I like the dry
stuff, but want to make a nice
sweet mead for my girlfriend. Any recipies/suggestions for making a nice
sweet mead would
be greatly appreciated.

  • Scott

Kristen Brainard and Scott Dexter

Subject: re: cranberries 
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 08:45:04 -0500 (EST)

In MLD#514, Peter < > wrote:

"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."

Another reason, as I understand it, is that that fruit left in
the primary too long will secrete various acids and undesirable

In the past, I have heard people advocate adding only juice
from the frozen fuit (freezing bursts the cells, allowing more
juice to be extracted) into the secondary. The logic is that
primary fermentation scrubs away the aroma of the fruit.
However, I'm not too sure what the most failsafe method for
this is. Can any experts respond?

FWIW, I have recently made a cranberry melomel, five gallons,
from fifteen pounds of clover and light wildflower honey and
two and a half gallons of good old Ocean Spray cranberry juice
(no preservatives used). I used Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast
and plenty of nutrient and gypsum as per McConnell and Schramm.
Fermentation went berserk and was finished in no time at all,
and it's as good as anything I've ever made, ever.

David Prescott, Shaftsbury, Vermont

Subject: Re: "Dreamsicle" mead
From: guym@Exabyte.COM
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 96 14:04:52 MDT

Steve Dempsy writes:

> I don't think I want to try a belgian beer yeast for mead. Has anyone
> else tried it?

Yes, I made a variation of Papazian's "Barkshack Ginger Mead" with WYeast
1214 Belgian ale yeast (see "Jamaica Blue Mead" in Cat's Meow) using fresh
blueberries. It turned out wonderfully without any of the banana flavors
that this yeast is known for producing at higher temperature ferments. I
kept it at 65 – 68 F which may have helped.

Guy McConnell /// Huntersville, NC ///
"Ho, ho, ho, and a bottle of rhum, Santa's run off to the Caribbean…"

Subject: Wow! That is fast! (William Drummond's "Earl Gray Mead")
From: "Suzanne Berry" <>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 96 10:20:00 EST

I almost hate to admit it, but I was a bit skeptical when reading in
William's recipie in digest #509 that the recipie for Earl Gray Mead "can
be drunk in as little as 48 hours, but will be extremely raw." I'm a
relatively new brewer, at a year and a half, and looking for relatively
speedy recipies – and a new member of the SCA, so I figured, what the
heck, I'll try it. I did make a couple of changes, because after running
around all over town I couldn't find pear juice – but the brew had been
going for a week on Saturday when I added some sugar – and it's good!
Granted, rather like an apricot schnapps at the moment, rather than what
I'm used to thinking of as mead, but…. <grin>

In case anyone's interested, the changes I made are as follows: 32 oz.
After the Fall Georgia Peach juice blend instead of pear juice; 2 1/2
pounds of honey instead of 2 pounds; 10 bags of tetley tea instead of
Earl Gray (since I only had six of the other); and a bit more water – the
increases are because I use 4 liter bottles for fermenting, and William's
recipie is to make a gallon. I added about a cup and a half of sugar on
Saturday; I'll test it again this weekend to see if I should add more or
just bottle it with an eye to my friend's New Year's party.

Thank you, William!!!


Subject: Habanero Ginger Garlic Mead?
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 14:58:52 -0500

I suspect that nearly anything that can be brewed, has been brewed. Trust me
though. you can't imagine the smell coming through the air lock on this one
until you fire a batch up!

1/2 oz. Ginger root, slivered
1 oz. Garlic, coarsley chopped
2 fresh Habanero peppers, chopped small, seeds removed
1/2 lb Avocado honey (or other dark honey)
few sprigs of Cilantro and/or Sage
1/4 tsp yeast extract
Lalvin K!-V1116 dry yeast

Boiled half a cup of water, added ginger, garlic, herbs and peppers and
simmered for five minutes. I then added the yeast extract and honey at an
unknown temperature for a few minutes before transferring to a one pint
fermenter. When cooled to luke warm, I rehydrated a 5 gram pack of yeast and
..,Look Out!

The yeast "fell out" after about two weeks at 75 F, and it was ready for
"cooking". This recipe is, of course, meant as a marinade. Some of my
friends have suggested it as a hangover cure, however, and as a way to put
off folks who stop by too often to sample the latest brew. It works quite
nicely as a marinade (although it could be hotter, I may leave the seeds in
next summer) either straight up, or mixed with honey and/or soy sauce. A bit
in home made tomatoe sauce was also pretty tasty. I'd have added this to the
discussion a few issues back on pepper meads, except that I've been out of
town for a month, or so, and had a healthy pile of MLDs to read apon my

Mark Koopman

Subject: High Elevation Meadings..., and Himalayan honey
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 15:54:34 -0500

I have just returned from a journey to the Royal Kingdom of Nepal. I am sad
to say that despite my efforts, I was unable to find a shred of evidence of
past or present mead making in the Kathmandu Valley. I am still trying,
though, and any leads would be appreciated. There was plenty of "fermenting"
goiing on, and it seems likely that mead has been, or is there.

Fotunately, I carried with me half a liter of black berry honey traditional
sweet mead. My porter, Rija, and I toasted an extraordinary day at Chukung,
a cluster of lodges at about 15,500 ft elevation a few miles south of Mt.
Everist, at the base of the Nuptse-Lhotse Wall. At a lecture given by a
doctor of the Himalayan Rescue Association, the evils of alcohol and caffeine
at high elevation were emphasized, and consequently most of the bottle made
the trip back down hill to Namche Bazzar. I can't recommend lugging heavy
liquids around high mountains or drinking at high altitude, but in this case
the beverage did seem to suit the scenery.

Near Kathmandu I did find a honey producing co-op! The honey is primarily
from the mustard flower, and is collected by farmers around the valley (many
from hives built into the walls of their homes) and brought to the co-op to
be seived. It is simillar to a lighter grade wildflower honey, but with a
subtle yet distinctive taste. I brought back enough for a three gallon batch
and will, of course, report back if it turns out well. The same co-op
carries a darker "jungle" honey, which was made famous by a National
Geographic Special, "Honey Hunters of Nepal". Tastes a bit wild, almost
molasses like, to me. Any one headed in that direction, please feel free to
contact me for imfo on finding the Colonel's Himalayan Bee Concern, Pvt. Ltd.

Also, if any one out there knows how to make chang, a Himalayan fermented
brew of rice and/or barley, please e-mial me. I'd like to try a batch in the
almost controlled environment of my own kitchen.

Mark Koopman

End of Mead Lover's Digest #515