Mead Lover's Digest #0542 Fri 28 February 1997


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #540, 21 February 1997 (Susan Ruud)
How to remove fruit gunk from mead (Brett Donahue)
Prolonged fermentation ("Andrew Harvie")
Starters (Steve Daughhetee)
Conversion factors (PeriMage)
Iodophor questions (Derrick Pohl)
Re: MLD #541 (Rod McDonald)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #541, 25 February 1997 (Charles Hudak)
(no subject) (Charles Hudak)
Re: "Balloon" wine (Peter Miller)
Pomegranate recipe (Di and Kirby)
Pomegranate Mead ("Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, New Mexico")
Re: gallons and hops (Spencer W Thomas)
Re: Compressed hop pellets (Bill Shirley)
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #541, 25 February 1997 (Jurrasic Engineer)
Chlorine for Sanitizing & Starters (Fred Hardy)
Re: Boosting S.G. in a fermenting Mead ( (Howard, Dan: CIO)
re: MLD #541, callin' it, stuck maple mead, starters (Mark Koopman)
Vinting? Brewing? (John R. Murray)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #540, 21 February 1997
From: Susan Ruud <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 13:42:45 -0600

>Subject: Daz Buoch von guter Spise
>From: "Ted Major"<>
>Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 08:19:55 -0400

>I've been thinking of trying out the 14th C German mead recipe in _Daz
>Buoch von guter Spise_ lately. Has anyone worked with this recipe (which I
>guess is really a metheglin strictly speaking, since it calls for hops and
>sage)? I haven't taken the time to translate the MHG source myself, but a
>quick glance supports the translation that seems to instruct one to use 2
>parts water to 1 part honey. I haven't done the math to figure the
>gravity, but that works out to about 24 lbs of honey in 4 gallons of water,
>which seems like it would yield an impossibly high OG. The 14th C English
>recipe I've used calls for 1 gallon of honey to 4 gallons of water, which
>gives an OG of about 1.090. Any experience with this recipe? I'm inclined
>to go with the English honey/water ration and tinker around in SUDS to
>figure a good hop amount to add to keep from overbittering. I'd appreciate
>any success stories from those who've adapted this recipe, and I'll post my
>results when I get them.
Hi, I have not had any experience with this exact recipe but in regards to
your amount of honey to water I have used up to 22lbs of honey (about 2
gallons) added to about 4 more gallons water with an original gravity of
about 1.145. This works very well if you use a sherry yeast or a champaigne
yeast. My guess is that in the 14th century they were heading for a much
higher alcohol content. I would definitely try it. Good luck.

Never Thirst

Subject: How to remove fruit gunk from mead
From: Brett Donahue <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 12:54:31 -0700

I made a mead with rasberries which broke into small slimey chunks that
stayed in suspension throughout the carboy. When I tried to siphon the
mead from the rasberries
, I ended up wasting a lot of mead while trying to seperate the
"floaters" from the mead. I never was successful at getting out all of
the rasberries.

There has to be a better way of filtering/seperating the chunks from the
mead. How do you do it? I think I would ferment the fruit in a bucket
next time rather than a carboy so that I could remove the fruit easier.
But, with what?

Subject: Prolonged fermentation
From: "Andrew Harvie" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 16:34:58 +400


While this might exactly be a mead question, it is close enough

that I feel comfortable asking it here.

Last October, I started a batch of pear wine. It's now February,

and the stuff is STILL fermenting ! At the rate of 4-6 bubbles every
minute depending on room temperature.

Has anyone ever heard of this before? It never stopped or slowed

down during the entire ferment – it's not a case of the ferment
stopping and re-starting. I don't think that it's a mold or other
infection (although I can't be 100 percent certain) The wine smells
just fine. I haven't tasted it since the last racking (at the end of
Nov) but it tasted Wonderful then and very sweet.

I keep thinking that it has to either use up all the sugar, or

raise the alcohol content above what yeast can tolerate eventually.
But that should have happend long ago shouldn't it?

Can anyone comment on this?

  • — Andrew

Subject: Starters
From: Steve Daughhetee <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 16:33:24 -0400

In MLD 541, Andrew Howard writes about his desire to pitch large yeast
starters for mead.

>I've heard of mead starters being made with malt extract,
>apple juice, etc., but I would love it if I could make one with just
>honey. Is this possible? Has anyone done it? If so, what should be the
>O.G. of my starter? What other considerations should I take into

Honey is generally a poor medium to grow yeast starters due to low nutrient
levels and pH buffer capacity. You can use malt extract or fruit juice, as
you would for beer. If you are concerned about the flavor contribution of
the starter, you can let it grow until the yeast has settled out and decant
off most of the clear liquid. The yeast can be resuspended in a little
must and added to the carboy. Another approach is to use a fruit juice
which compliments the final mead recipe.

Subject: Conversion factors
From: PeriMage <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 15:49:17 -0600 (CST) posted some considerations of the conversion
of U.S. to/from Imp. gallons. Unfortunately, the U.S. and Imp. ounce
(fl) are not the same. The U.S. ounce equals 29.5737 cc, while the Imp.
ounce equals 28.4130 cc. I am not certain, but it appears that the Imp.
gallon is 160 ounces, while the U.S. gallon is 128 ounces = 4 U.S. quarts.
The conversion factor for converting from Imp. oz. to Imp. gal. is
006250 and 160 x .006250 = 1.

>From the above, it follows that the U.S. gallon equals 3785.4336 cc (128
x 29.5737) and the Imp. gallon equals 4546.08 cc (160 x 28.4130).

3785.4336/4546.08 = .83268 Imp. gallons per U.S. gallon and
4546.08/3785.4336 = 1.2009 U.S. gallons per Imp. gallon

Conversion factors were taken from _Lange's Handbook of Chemistry_.

That said, a _mea culpa_ is in order – seeing my most recent post here, I
was embarassed to see that I had called a so-called _white_ grape juice
_Granny Smith_, which is, of course, a variety of apples. I don't
remember the correct name for the white grape juice concentrate I tried –
it wasn't as good as the regular grape juice. I did use the Granny Smith
apple juice for another batch.

Motto of the _Order of the Garter_: "Honi soit qui mal y pense."
Motto of Minsky's _Star and Garter_: "Yoni sois quay valide penes."

Subject: Iodophor questions
From: Derrick Pohl <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 13:54:00 -0800

I have just started using Iodophor, after having used bleach for years.
Wondering about a few things:

1) Contact time: is sanitation instant, or is a certain amount of contact
time needed? My brewing supply shop sells spray/mist-bottles to use with
Iodophor. Will this work OK for sanitizing the outside of racking hoses
and canes?

2) Rinsing. Product says no rinsing necessary. But it smells awful and
suds up like soap. Is it really OK not to rinse?

One thing in particular I want to do with Iodophor is use it in a wine
sulphiter to sanitize bottles. By "wine sulphiter", I mean one of those
plastic bowls with a pumping spray nozzle standing up in the middle. You
put the bottle over the nozzle and push up and down on it, and it pumps
whatever fluid you have in the bowl up into the bottle. Will this work OK?
Should I rinse? Or should I let the bottles drip-dry upside-down, thus
benefitting from more contact time?

Derrick Pohl <->

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Subject: Re: MLD #541
From: (Rod McDonald)
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 11:08:24 +1000

"Dave Moore" <> at AARNET

on 25/2/97 4:27 PM has corrected my post:

>Subject: gallons and hops
>From: (Rod McDonald)
>Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 11:01:57 +1000
> 1. Warning
> Don't forget that the US Gallon is only 16 fluid ounces (fl. oz.). For
> those of us who work in Imperial gallons which are 20 fl oz (5 US gals
> = 4 Imp gals), and/or convert gallons to and from litres any
> measurements given in US gals on MLD need to be adjusted accordingly.

I expect that you've already received several thousand notes, But:

The last I looked our US Gallon was considerably larger than 16
ounces. It is 128 ounces.

The US gal is not 16 fl oz
The Imperial gal is not 20 fl oz

PINT is what I meant to say. Oh well, you can't win them all!

The US gal is 128 fl oz, the imperial gal is 160 fl oz!


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #541, 25 February 1997
From: Charles Hudak <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 15:52:30 -0800

Re: Help with Mead wrote:

> My husband began a batch of Honey-Maple mead Jan. 13th. The starting gravity
> was 1.120. Checking the gravity now we get 1.070


It's only been a little over a month. I've had mead ferments go three
months. You need to exercise a little patience here unless you truly
have a stuck ferment.
> He used <snip> and a splash of lemon juice. When it looked like
> we had a stuck fermentation he added another package of yeast and some more
> lemon juice.

Why are you adding lemon juice to the mead? If it's for flavor, great,
but why would you add more when repitching? Anything which acidifies
the must, unless a necessary ingredient, should be saved until after
fermentation is complete e.g. adding acid blend to increase the final
acidity. Yeast don't function well in a highly acidic environment and
mead must is fairly acidic to begin with.

If you really want to repitch, make a starter for your yeast. 1-2 cups
of must with an o.g. of 1.050-1.070 should work well. Aerate well and
add a yeast packet. When fermentation is visible, add to your original

Repitching with a packet of dry yeast doesn't work very well. Too hard
on the yeast; they can't multiply easily..blah,blah. A small starter is
a better bet to recharge a slowed or stopped ferment.

Hope everything works out….

Charles Hudak
Headbrewer, San Diego Brewing Co.

Subject: (no subject)
From: Charles Hudak <>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 16:09:42 -0800

Rod Writes:

> 1. Warning
> Don't forget that the US Gallon is only 16 fluid ounces (fl. oz.). For
> those of us who work in Imperial gallons which are 20 fl oz (5 US gals
> = 4 Imp gals), and/or convert gallons to and from litres any
> measurements given in US gals on MLD need to be adjusted accordingly.

Doh!! Actually, the US Pint is 16 fluid ounces!! Imperial Gallons are
160 ounces. Right idea, wrong ballpark.

> 2. Compressed hop pellets
> Does anyone have any experience with these? I assume you would just
> use them by weight as you would for fresh hops.

They keep much better, and give slightly higher utilizations than whole
hops. An ounce is an ounce is an ounce. They are crushed hops which
are pressed into pellets. An ounce of whole hops is equivalent to an
ounce of hop pellets.

> Does anyone know a supplier of hop seeds of the different varieties? I
> am interested in growing, but if the seed is going to be coming from
> outside of Australia I will need to find a registered/commercial
> supplier in order to get them through customs.

Actually hops are propagated with rhizomes (kind of like a cross between
a root and an underground stem). They are available at many homebrew
stores in the U.S. and abroad. The time to plant them is quickly

Charles Hudak
Headbrewer, San Diego Brewing Co.

Subject: Re: "Balloon" wine
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 97 14:02:58 -0000

>From: PeriMage <>
>Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 21:35:18 -0600 (CST)

Apropos "Balloon" wine:

>All of these worked, none
>were exceptionally good.

I'm not surprised….


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Pomegranate recipe
From: Di and Kirby <>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 13:17:08 -0600

In response to Micah Millspaw, this is a recipe I blatantly stole off a
website, but since due credit is given to the inventor of the recipe,
and it *was* given to be used, I hope passing it along is o.k. I haven't
tried or tasted it yet, but I have to agree with your wife–it sounds
really good. Stuff in brackets [like this] are my comments. BTW, a mead
made with fruit or fruit juice in it gets its own special name, melomel.

Unicorn Unchained Meadery – Persephone's Passion

Brew date: June 5, 1995

10 pounds raw alfalfa honey from Terry Dorsey [in the original


5 t yeast nutrient
1 t gypsum
Eldorado Springs water – enough for 5 gallons
1 package Lalvin (EC-1118 we think) Yeast – started June 2 in honey


6 qts. R.W. Knudsen Pomegranate juice
3/4 c corn sugar

Heat honey with water to almost boiling. Add gypsum and yeast nutrient.
Skim scum. Keep hot for about 10 minutes to
pasturize. Add juice and let sit covered (heat off) for 20 minutes.
Cool, pour into carboy and add water to make 1 gallon. [I wonder if this
should be *5* gallons?]
Pitch yeast. Stir and store with blow-off tube.

Racked on July 7, 1995. Hydrometer reading (8/2) = 0.995. Hydrometer
reading (10/12) = 0.995.

Corn sugar boiled with 1 cup water. Pour liquid sugar into pail and rack
mead into pail and stir before bottling. Bottled
October 12, 1995.

Subject: Pomegranate Mead
From: "Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, New Mexico" <DKEY@MEDUSA.UNM.EDU>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 01:19:50 -0700 (MST)

Micah Millspaw asked in MLD 541 for a pomegranate mead recipe. This is from
Cat's Meow 3 (use your search engine to get this URL. It has GREAT recipes)

Persephone's Passion

10 lbs raw honey (alfalfa was specified)
5 t yeast nutrient
1 t gypsum
5 gallons water
1 pkg Lalvin yeast (EC-1118) [I used my fave Red Star Cuvee]
6 qts Knudsen Pomegranate Juice

Pasteurize honey with gypsum and nutrients.
Add juice and cover with heat off for 20 minutes.
Cool, pour into carboy and add water to equal 5 gallons.
Pitch yeast, stir and apply fermentation lock.

After S.G. drops below 1.00 (0.995 in article) add 3/4 cup corn sugar boiled in
1 cup water to racked mead and bottle with crown caps or champaign corks.

I made this as a still mead for use at our Samhain (Halloween) celebration. It
was excellent!

Never Thirst,


Subject: Re: gallons and hops 
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 09:53:17 -0500

The US oz is not equal to the Imperial oz. The common conversion
ratio between the gallons is 6:5 Imperial:US.

Or, more precisely:

% units
you have: 1 gallon
you want: brgallon

* 8.326725e-01
/ 1.200952e+00

you have: 1 floz
you want: brfloz

* 1.040841e+00
/ 9.607619e-01

=Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (

Subject: Re: Compressed hop pellets
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 97 10:33:57 -0500

> From: (Rod McDonald)
> 2. Compressed hop pellets
> I recently bought some compressed hop pellets for experimenting with a
> hopped mead. They look a little like chook feed,

i'm not really sure what "chook" feed is, being an american (and somewhat
of a city-boy), but I assume you are refering to pelletized hops (which
looks like rabbit feed) as opposed to plugs (which are ~1/2 oz. each)

> but smell better and
> fresher than any fresh hops I have ever bought. (Not quite as fresh as
> hops straight from the kiln though)

it is much easier to keep the hops from degrading in pelletized form
(oxidation is the hops enemy) many breweries in the US use this form

there are some purists that claim that some of the aromatic properties
are dammaged/lost by this pulverization process, buy there is no technical
study on this and if it is the case would only be true when compared
to extremely fresh hops,

> Does anyone have any experience with these? I assume you would just
> use them by weight as you would for fresh hops.

some people, when dry hopping with them, will put them in a muslin bag
with a few marbles to assure that they sink.

> Does anyone know a supplier of hop seeds of the different varieties?

i recently ran across which has seeds and
rhisomes, the later being preferable because they are going to be
all female plants (the male plants do not flower and cause seed formation
in the female plants – they are banned in hop growing regions)

> I am interested in growing, but if the seed is going to be coming from
> outside of Australia I will need to find a registered/commercial
> supplier in order to get them through customs.

i do not know about richters shipping restrictions,

  • bill (in D.C.)

bicycle parade
red rectangle at half mast
six days of mourning

Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #541, 25 February 1997
From: Jurrasic Engineer <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 97 22:12:48 EST


Subject: Chlorine for Sanitizing & Starters
From: Fred Hardy <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:24:52 -0500 (EST)

Oooopppppps! In my recent posting I claimed to use an ounce of chlorine
per gallon of water to sanitize………… Not True (however, it would
work, it's just gross overkill)!

It should have said 1 ounce of chlorine per FIVE gallons of water. Sorry.

As for mead starters, they are probably necessary if using slap pack
liquid yeast such as Wyeast or Yeast Labs dry/sweet mead yeast. Simply
adding the contents of the pack without a starter will result in severely
under-pitching. This will substantially delay the onset of active

The gravity produced by honey as a starter medium is roughly the same as
corn sugar – 1.036-7 per pound in one gallon of water. Honey is more
variable in yield than dextrose, but not enough to matter in a starter.
For a one quart starter, try 1/4 Lb. of honey and 1/8 tsp. yeast nutrient.
Heat the mixture to 140+ degrees F (60 degrees C) and hold for 20+
minutes, cool and pitch the fully incubated contents of the slap pack.
FWIW, 1/3 cup of honey is roughly equal to 1/4 lb.

I personaly do not use starters for mead since I don't use liquid yeast.
When making beer or braggot, having a pure yeast strain is essential to
produce a particular flavor profile, and really requires the use of
liquid yeast. That's why you would use Special London for a bitter, Chico
for an American-style ale or Munich Lager for a dunkel. In meads I'm more
concerned with showcasing the ingredients – honey(s) and/or additives
(fruits, vegetables, spices, whatever). I want the yeast to be fast
starting, neutral in flavor and have good floculation characteristics.
Serious beer brewers abandoned dry beer yeast because it had most of these
characteristics (not enough distinction when brewing to style) plus a
nasty habit of being contaminated.

I tend to stick with what works, so I exclusively use rehydrated, dry
K1-V116 wine yeast (2 packets/5 gallon batch) for meads and ciders (I
don't consider braggot to be either). Other dry yeasts such as Premier
Cuvee (aka Prise de Mousse), Cote des Blancs (aka Epernay 2) and any yeast
designed for white wines probably work equally well – it's likely I'll
never find out unless K1-V116 goes off the market, or suddenly begins to
introduce contamination (off-flavors).

BTW, for braggot I use Wyeast #1728 (Scottish) sediment from 1 gallon of
starter. I step up from pack to 1 cup to 1 quart to 1 gallon. If it
ferments out faster than I planned, I chill it in the fridge for up to 2
weeks until I'm ready to use it. Caution: Boil or pressure cook the
entire medium for malt-based starters. Sanitation is much touchier
than for meads and ciders.

Brew (or whatever you want to call it) On………… Fred Hardy

"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: Re: Boosting S.G. in a fermenting Mead (
From: (Howard, Dan: CIO)
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 16:42:08 -0500

>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.).

The Bees Lees (an excellent resource– has a table in Appendix 2
which would be of help, as well as a formula at the very end.

The table says that for a *starting* gravity of 1.042 you need to add 1.5
cups honey / US gallon of mixed must, and 2.0 cups for 1.055. So you might
guess that adding half a cup of honey per gallon (ie. 3 cups in your case)
would be a good idea. This is assuming you're mixing with water though.

In your case, you're mixing with semi-finished mead, at 1.042. The formula
at the end of the Bees Lees is:

>Formula to Compute Target Starting Gravity:
> V x (Gs – 1)
>h = —————
> (Gh – 1)
>h = the total volume of honey required to achieve the desired starting
>V = the total final volume (5 for a 5-gallon batch, etc.),
>Gs = desired starting gravity,
>Gh = the specific gravity of your sweetener (honey's is 1.445)

My mathematical intuition tells me that the 1's in that formula are for the
1.000 S.G. of water. Modifying the formula, and substituting in with your
values (96 cups being 6 U.S. gal), you get:

96 x (1.055 – 1.042)

  • ——————- = 3.1 cups honey are required.

(1.445 – 1.042)

So, about 3 cups of honey should do you. If you don't trust my math (I
haven't actually made my first batch of mead yet) you could measure how much
honey you have to add to 1 cup of your mead to get it up to 1.055, then
multiply that amount by 96.

Dan Howard
Ottawa, Ontario

Subject: re:  MLD #541, callin' it,  stuck maple mead, starters
From: Mark Koopman <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 19:56:31 -0600

Like David I usually call the "art" (?), "making" mead. I have,
however, uttered all of the other verbs mentioned, as well. Although
the term "facilitating" is very much correct, I prefer the passing
reference to "watching" mead. That's what I mostly do at my house. My
wife says it's my favorite spectator sport.

Concerning Micki's lack of fermentation, I wonder whether the problem
might be too much acidity, or lack of nutrient. I would guess the maple
syrup would have some nutrient content. If you could check the pH to
see if it has fallen into the low 3. range, or lower, that would be my
first guess.

Andrew asked about using honey for yeast starters. I use 2 parts water
to 1 part honey, boil the mixture, and add a quarter tsp of yeast
extract to a three cup batch after the boil. This method has worked
well for me.

Subject: Vinting? Brewing?
From: (John R. Murray)
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 22:55:30 -0500

>David Prescott wrote:
>I usually just refer to it as "making" mead because it isn't
>brewing and the root (no pun intended) "vint" has all these
>connotations. We all make mead right? except for when I look at
>the primary and realize it's the yeast that makes the mead, not
>me. Maybe we should call it "facilitating mead" (groan 🙂

Well, it's not exactly vinting, and not exactly brewing, and Maizing, to
me, seems awkward, so we might as well make something up…

Hmm.. brewing beer, vinting wine (vin)…

I suggest, "minting".. "I'm minting mead today". Kinda has a ring to it 😉

John R. Murray
FSU Aikido Club/North Florida Aikikai home of Miko's Aikido MPEGs and the
Tallahassee, FL WWW Aikido online calendar of events

  • -This violation of the CDA has been brought to you as a fucking public service

    • – John R. Murray

    End of Mead Lover's Digest #542