Mead Lover's Digest #0539 Thu 20 February 1997


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



aging and born on dating (PickleMan)
Re: Brew(?)ing mead (Jacob Galley)
Some questions from a new mead maker ("Curtis,Dave [St. John's]")
Boosting S.G. in a fermenting Mead (Derrick Pohl)
first braggot (
Pyment recipes (ejmoone@CCGATE.HAC.COM)


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Subject: aging and born on dating
From: PickleMan <>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 13:06:50 -0800 (PST)


I have a qestion concerning aging mead and cider. I, in the past,

considered the age of a drink to be time since it was bottled. Is this
correct? I ask because I has found wide variation in the time a mead or
cider takes to ferment. I have had ciders take from 2 weeks to a little
over a month. Mead usually goes for a month or two, but I just finished
bottling one that took over 7 months. It seemed to go on vacation
sometime around the 3rd month(still very sweet) and then restarted a
couple months later. No sign of infection, and its almost dry now. So
how old is that mead? I bottled it less than 3 weeks ago, but it was
brewed last spring when the daylight savings time changed.


Subject: Re: Brew(?)ing mead
From: Jacob Galley <>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 16:57:24 -0600 (CST)

In response to Tom Lentz's query about whether it is proper and
correct to say that we "brew" mead: I have read that the distinction
between brewing (beer or sake) and vinting (wine) is that brewers must
obtain fermentable sugars by converting starches, whereas vintners do
not take this extra step, since the sugars already exist in
fermentable form. By this definition, mead-makers are "vinting"
mead. But that sounds totally wrong, doesn't it?

(My source for this is the article on brewing sake that appeared in
the Economist 1996 year-end double issue. It is definitely worthwhile
to dig this piece up, since it is very detailed about sake brewing
technique and culture. It might be on their web page.)

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this matter?


Subject: Some questions from a new mead maker
From: "Curtis,Dave [St. John's]" <Dave.Curtis@EC.GC.CA>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 12:50:51 -0330

Hello everyone,
Being my first time writing (I honestly haven't been lurking but
learning !!) I would like to say this is a great way to learn about this
craft and I have truly enjoyed all the discussions so far (I started at
#521). I have a number of questions and observations:
1. I have read that mead is neither a beer nor wine, fair enough, but
if a winery makes wine and a brewery makes beer, is it correct for me to
use the term "Meadery" … to make a mead.?
2. Having just bought a house, my wife and I would like to develop a
small section of the basement for such a "meadery". Does anyone know
where there might be drawings or plans for designing such a special
3. Continuing on with this room, is there an optimum temperature to
keep the room at?
4. Does anyone have a design for recording the information pertinent
for each batch they make? e.g. OG, pH, dates , rackings, additives etc.
5. And my final question, how do join the AMA or Inside Mead? If they
exist from what I read.

I also have two observations:
My first in not intended to offend anyone but in trying to compile all
the digests on the computer, I find myself astounded by the number of
spelling errors. Please use your spell checker.
and secondly the best advise I can offer as a microbiologist is be
careful and sanitize. No one would appreciate becoming ill after
receiving a bottle as a gift.

Thank you all

Dave Curtis
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Subject: Boosting S.G. in a fermenting Mead
From: Derrick Pohl <>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 11:40:48 -0800

Hi! My first mead is fermenting in the carboy. I've brewed all-grain beer
for a few years now, but mead is a new one for me. We brewed a version of
Charlie Papazian's "Barkshack Ginger Mead", but made a mistake in the
quantity of fermentables because I forgot to scale the recipe from 5 to 6
U.S. gallons, and maybe also we didn't measure quite right – anyway, the
O.G. ended up being 1.042 instead of the 1.055 we had wanted.

It's been in the secondary fermenter now for about 3 weeks, and I was going
to add more honey when I rack it again. My plan is to take out some of the
partly fermented must when racking – maybe a litre or so – heat it to
sterilizing temperature, about 180 deg F, and dissolve the honey in that,
then cool it and add it to the rest of the racked must. My questions are:

1) Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?

2) Is it actually necessary to heat the new honey to 180 deg F to sterilize
it, or can I just heat it enough to dissolve it and then pour it in?

3) Should I add a pinch more yeast nutrient?

And biggest question of all:

4) How much honey should I add to raise the S.G. by 13 points – i.e. from
1.042 to 1.055? Is there a formula for this? My batch size is 23 L (6
U.S. gal., 5 Imp. gal.).

Incidentally, we are using the Wyeast Dry Mead liquid yeast. Speaking of
yeast, another question I have is that the brewing supply store (Spagnol's
of Vancouver, Canada) said that the new yeast nutrient they have is
super-powered, so I should use only half what a recipe calls for. I did
this, and fermentation is certainly going slow compared to beer, but not
having brewed mead before I don't know if it's going too slow or if this is
normal. Anyone else heard of this business about new super yeast nutrient
and using less of it than older recipes call for?

Derrick Pohl <->

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Subject: first braggot
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 04:59:00 -0500 (EST)

Well, my Inside Mead edition finally DID arrive, and I'm
finally going to do my first braggot. I have 8 pounds of
wildflower honey and five pounds of dry amber malt as per
Papazian. I'll use the usual nutrient and energizer of course.

Does anyone have a suggestion on yeast? I'm shooting for 12.5%
ABV. I figured I'd use my trusty Red Star Premier Cuvee, as it
leaves very few characteristics behind. Does anyone have any
other ideas? Private Email would be great.


David Prescott, Shaftsbury, Vermont

Subject: Pyment recipes
From: ejmoone@CCGATE.HAC.COM
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 97 15:01:49 PST8

I am thinking about making a pyment using Welches Classic frozen
concentrate, and I was wondering if anyone out there has any
experience with something like that. I was curious on the number of
cans of concentrate would be appropriate. I f I remember correctly,
one can makes 48 oz of grape juice. I was planning one can to the
gallon of mead prepared. The mead would be prepared as follows:

1 can Welches Classic concentrate per gallon
2 lbs honey per gallon
1 tbsp Acid Blend or Citric Acid
yeast nutrient
Pasteur Champagne Yeast

I may mix a gallon batch to test this out, but I still would like to
hear from anyone who has an idea or opinion about this recipe. I am
open to suggestions on all aspects of this recipe. I have only brewed
one batch of mead (cyser) and I have definitely got the urge to try
some more.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #539