Mead Lover's Digest #0523 Wed 8 January 1997


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



RE: Mead Lover's Digest #522, 6 January 1997 ("Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)")
Hard Cider? ("Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)")
Melomel recipie help ("Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)")
Re:#520 – grape infection inquiry by P. Miller (Peter Miller)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #522, 6 January 1997 (Marc Shapiro)
Mead (John Henderson)
Re: crazy in the kitchen mead experiment (guym@Exabyte.COM)
Why Is It Getting Dark In Here? (
RE:sparkling meads ("Keith M Rachunok")


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Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #522, 6 January 1997
From: "Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 11:16:43 -0800

>Subject: re: crazy in the kitchen mead experiment
>From: Terry Estrin <>
>It seems like the magic time frame is 18 months, at which point the
>mead miraculously becomes wonderful.
>My first foray into Mead brewing (i am a homebrewer) was a cyser that was
>ready in 4 months, but then it was a 1 gallon batch with only 2 lbs honey. I
>am sure it would taste even better in a few more months, but its all gone.
>I have another batch (using Ale Yeast instead of Champagne) that is bottled,
>and aging.

Subject: Definitions

>From: Susan Ruud <>
>Wouldn't this be considered a Metheglin? I thought a braggot was defined as
>a mead with hops
>My understanding of Braggot is a mead with Malt added, not nescessarily Hops.

Subject: Hard Cider?
From: "Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 11:19:38 -0800

This is actually a hard cider question, if this is too far off topic,
let me know.

I started a hard cider last night….

1 gallon unfilter, unpasturized apple juice.
1/2 packet Prisse de Mousse (sp) Yeast.

all I did was hydrate yeast, pitch, and attach an airlock. Is this how
a hard cider is actually done? am i missing a step? should i add
anything? any other decent Hard Cider recipes lurking out there?

Brander Roullett

Filled with mingled cream and amber
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chambers of my brain —
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
Who cares how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.

  • Edgar Allan Poe

Subject: Melomel recipie help
From: "Brander Roullett (Volt Computer)" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 12:02:20 -0800

I am looking to my first 5 gallon batch soon. i am looking at making a
Melomel so i can avoid the yeast nutrient problem. Here is my proposed
recipe, can people comment on it for me? help me define it a little

For 5 gallons…

10 lbs of honey (type unknown, local honey, unproscessed)
3 Lbs of frozen strawberries
1 package (not sure how much it is) of dried cranberries.
1 Pack Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast
1 oz Hops (variety not decided yet)

Procedure: bring 3 gallons of water to a boil, and add Hops. boil for
30 min. turn off heat, and dissolve the honey. Let cool for a bit, and
then pour onto the frozen strawberries, and cranberries. add water to 5
gallon mark, and when at correct temp. pitch the yeast from the Pre
Whacked pack.

Sound good to people, any adjustments? how long should i leave the
strawberries and cranberries in?

Subject: Re:#520 - grape infection inquiry by P. Miller
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 97 09:30:59 -0000

>Subject: Re: #520 – grape infection inquiry by P. Miller
>Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1997 14:34:09 -0500
>I had mentioned making a muscadine pyment (muscadines are a wild grape which
>grows in the southeast U.S.), and Peter Miller had inquired about vinegar
>like infections from the grapes. I racked the pyment in question a couple of
>days ago. There was absolutely no sour or vinegar flavor at all. It was
>still a bit sweet, to be expected, with a wonderful muscadine taste and
>aroma. The muscadine has a rather distinctive, and for me impossible to
>describe, flavor. My wife and I had originally frozen the collected fruit,
>and at brewing time we pasteurized the fruit and honey. I did not monitor
>temperature accurately, but rather maintained the heat below boiling for
>approximately fifteen minutes.

I was interested mainly because I tried a similar thing with some wild
mulberries (also had been frozen for a while) and they went suddenly (and
quite spectacularly) vinegar. I think I was probably just unlucky…

The muscadine pyment sounds great – tell us what it's like after a year
or so!


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #522, 6 January 1997
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 22:06:38 -0500

Susan Ruud <> wrote:

> What I wanted to know
> was how to define my mead. I am letting it ferment with just honey for
> a few months and now I am adding fruit (not apple or grape) and letting
> it ferment again. Is this a flavored mead or a melamil. Also I have a
> friend who said she made an unhopped braggot with ginger tea. Wouldn't
> this be considered a Metheglin? I thought a braggot was defined as a
> mead with hops added. Also since it was Ginger tea and not just spice
> I didn't know if this would be considered a Metheglin. Can anyone help
> me out here. This is all very confusing.

What you are in the process of making is a melomel. If honey is
fermented with fruit (whether it be right from the start, or in a
secondary ferment) the result is a melomel. Certain fruits, in addition
to the generic term, also have a specific term applied to the melomels
made with them. These are:

grape – pyment
apple – cyser
pear – perry
mulberry – mulrath
rose petals – rhodomel

If your fiend is fermenting just ginger tea and honey then she is,
indeed, making a metheglin. Metheglin is any mead or melomel that
includes spices. I frequently use herbal teas in making metheglins. I
have found this to be an easy way to get a balance viriety of spices.
If the tea is good to drink then the spices are almost certaily balanced
well for making a metheglin, as well.

Braggot is made from the fermentation of honey with malted barley (with,
or without the addition of hops).



Marc Shapiro

THL Alexander Mareschal Canton of Kappellenberg Kingdom of

Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."

  • –Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Winery

Subject: Mead
From: John Henderson <>
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 1997 04:55:24 -0800

I have seen a lot of people ask questions but I haven't seen very many
people give any concrete answers in this group. Granted I'm new here
also, I'm only on my second batch of mead(cyser…3 gal. worth in three
separate 1 gal. jugs)trying to experiment to see if I can get the
fermentation time down with smaller batches. So far I think I'm SOL on
the time…I'm about ready to rack all three after two and a half weeks
just to lose the sediment on the bottom, which I think was more from the
cider(four year old cider in the pantry that somebody had to get rid of
along with seven year old honey from Nebraska). Someone has to get rid of
it.. :). Who knows how long it will take to clear? The first 5 gal.
batch that I made was pretty close to Papazions<sp?>antipodal mead with
priming sugar for a sparkling mead that turned out excellente!

I'm still having friends beg me to make them some a year later,

God knows what kind of a following I would have had if I would have let
it age more than a month after bottling(three months fermenting, one
aging in the bottle). That one was with Silverbow clover
honey(pasturized & processed to hell)but it turned out great. I don't
understand how some people could let a bottle of mead age for a year,
which I KNOW it's suposed to do.,but that would never happen in my crowd.
I haven't had a bad bottle yet(compared to commercial mead..plaaaah!)

The next batch I plan on making is going to be made with pure

honey… I have a family friend that has an apiary(is that the right
word?) they have totaly unrefined honey straight from the hive. This
will be my first try with "real" honey and I'm looking forward to it.

Lurkers revolt! lets hear about all those crazy recipes.

I know your out there somewhere.

Does any one have any good Ideas/recipes for that fresh batch of

honey I'm going to get? SHARE them please.. other wise I'll be doing
the Papazian thing again with the juice of a couple lemons thrown in for

This newsletter has a lot more people out there reading it than there are
posts. Lets see some more traffic.

Mead fanatics unite!
John Henderson
Sola Virtus Nobilitat

Subject: Re: crazy in the kitchen mead experiment
From: guym@Exabyte.COM
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 97 09:45:39 MDT

Terry Estrin <> writes:

> Sounds "interesting!"

> Well, you never know. I've got winemaking books that insist you can
> make a decent wine from orange juice concentrate. As for it tasting
> terrible at the first racking, that in my experience is how *all* of
> my meads taste early on. It seems like the magic time frame is 18
> months, at which point the mead miraculously becomes wonderful. Even
> Papazian's Barkshack Ginger Mead, which is supposed to be drinkable
> in one year, seems to require 18 months.

While I generally agree, I beg to differ on the Barkshack Ginger Mead. My
version of it, called "Jamaica Blue Mead" (in the Cat's Meow – a sparkling
melomel) was delicious at 6 months or less. It was made with fresh
blueberries and I used Wyeast Belgian Ale yeast. I also used yeast hulls
for nutrient which may have saved it from some of the harsh flavors
sometimes associated with other mead nutrients. Now I made 3 gallons of a
sweet, still melomel with 13 pounds of alfalfa honey, 4.5 pounds of
blueberries, and 2 pounds of blackberries (13.95% alcohol by volume and
sweet enough that you don't notice the alcohol) in October of 1995. It has

been exquisite since the 8 months to 1 year timeframe, much like a dessert
wine. Again, I used "natural" nutrients which may have played a part.

Just another data point.

Guy McConnell /// Huntersville, NC ///

Subject: Why Is It Getting Dark In Here?
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 17:02:05 -0500

A question for your consideration and responce.

I have a traditional mead made with mesquite/catclaw honey and Red Star
Premier Cuvee yeast in a 7 gallon glass carboy. It was made on 7-4-96 and has
been in the same carboy all this time. About 6 weeks ago I fined it with
sparkloid and it has become brilliant in clarity. I noticed today that the
top 1/3 of the mead has gotten a couple shades darker in color than the
bottom 2/3. The line between the two colors is very distinct, as if it were
drawn with a straight edge. There is no blending of the colors. I have used
a wine thief to remove ~ 2 litres for tasting over the last six months. Each
time I removed the mead I purged the head space in the carboy with CO2
afterwards to maintain a CO2 blanket over the mead. The mead does not taste
oxidized to me. In fact, it tastes wonderful.

The Question:
Does anyone have any ideas on what this color change might be? Is it the
first signs of oxidation? I have never observed this phenomenon in any of my
other meads. This is my first batch using mesquite/catclaw honey. Am I
watching the ruination of a very tasty batch of mead, or is this normal for
this honey type?

Carl L. Saxer

Subject: RE:sparkling meads
From: "Keith M Rachunok"<Keith_M_Rachunok/KHIS/>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 08:38:41 -0400

Having only made sparkling mead, here are my two-cents worth.
The mead we brew is a lot dryer then most. To give you an idea, here is
our recipe for a five gallon batch

7-8 pounds orange blosom honey
7-10 pounds fruit, juiced ( whatever fruit you like; amount depends on
sugar in fruit )
4-5 ounces of grated ginger, boil seperate w/ one cup water for five
minutes, add extract.
1 tsp irish moss

Start with 10 quarts water, boil, add honey/fruit juice, keep at ~180
degrees F for 30 minutes.
When adding honey take off heat and keep stiring !!! Don't burn the honey.
Cool to ~75 degrees F.

Pitch yeast. ( We do a yeast stater the night before. ) We use Red Star
champagne yeast.

That's it. We do not rack off; just let it all sit for 6-12 months.

When we bottle, we boil a mixture of :
1 cup priming sugar
1 cup water

add to the racking bucket, then rack off into bucket. We have the racking
process down; being able to get no sedament. We do not add more yeast.

The bottles are capped with bottle caps and let sit for at least 6 months.

Now on to your questions :

>1) without disgorging, how much sediment will the finished product have?
Almost none.

>2) Since I'll be using plastic cork-like stoppers, How long can I
reasonably expect the wine to last ?
We use bottle caps. Have five years old bottles that are great. But not

>3) Is this the right amount of sugar?
A guest-imate. We use one cup priming sugar for a five gallon batch.

>4) anyone more experienced have tips on making a sparkling champagne?
Not much different then the average mead, except you add priming sugar.

Hope this help.

Keith Rachunok
Rochester, NY

End of Mead Lover's Digest #523