Mead Lover's Digest #0549 Sun 30 March 1997


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



Re: Herbs and Spices (Jane Beckman)
Re: Stuck Fermentation! (Peter Miller)
Re: Cherry Melomel (Sam Bennett)
Best way to prepare Buckwheat honey. (Dan Cole)
Fruity question (Micheal and Linda Fox)
where to get ingredients? (David Ghere)
Medieval German Mead Translation ("Eric A. Rhude")
Barrel Aging (Jeff Duckworth)
exploding bottles? (Chuck Wettergreen)
Wisteria? (Di and Kirby)
grains of paradise (Daniel S McConnell)


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Subject: Re:  Herbs and Spices
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 97 13:44:14 PST

Grains of Paradise usually refers to cardamom seed. You'll have to
figure out which variety works (green, black, or white).

Coriander, unless it says "coriander herb" (a.k.a. cilantro) means seed.


Subject: Re: Stuck Fermentation!
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 10:22:36 -0000

>Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 15:02:49 -0800

>The mead started fermenting again for about a week, but then stopped
>again. The current hydrometer reading is 2% potenial (1.015).
>If I prime lightly and bottle now will I get exploding mead in a couple
>months or should I try to re-start the ferment and wait?

You haven't said what your total alc% is likely to be, and this would
very likely affect what will happen. If your total gravity was up around
1.090 or 1.100 when you started, then your alcohol is around 10/11% now.
I would've thought it possible to ferment the remaining 2% out, depending
on the yeast you used. Priming the mead would be of no consequence – you
already have have enough sugars present. Adding more is no more or less
likely to give you exploding bottles.

My inclination would be just to leave it alone. I certainly wouldn't
bottle it, unless you can be sure that your alcohol content is up above
12% or so (in which case you'll end up with a fairly sweet mead). Is it
possible that the room where you are fermenting has large temp.
variations? This may explain the uneven fermentation. I have a lemongrass
meth. that did almost the same thing as you are relating – slowed right
down to a stop, was very cloudy and still at about 1.005. I racked it,
moved it into a warmer place and it slowly picked up again. It has now
gone completely clear, is still fermenting very slowly, but steadily. It
has been running since October last year.



Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Re: Cherry Melomel
From: Sam Bennett <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 17:54:59 -0700

> ——————————
> Subject: Splitting a batch
> From: "David Dickinson" <>
> Date: Sat, 22 Mar 97 19:00:17 UT
> I recently started a batch of cherry melomel. I started it with 15lbs clover
> honey, 3qts cherries, 5gals water, et cetera, and 1pkt of sweet mead yeast
> (Wyeast). What I would like to do is let the yeast work itself, out divide
> the batch, and continue fermentation in one of the carboys with either Dry
> Mead or Champagne yeast (eventually bottling this portion as a sparkling
> mead).
> It seems to me that this should be tasty in both styles. I am short on
> cherries, time, bottles, and money and this would seem to be an easy
> compromise. . . am I delusional? Has anyone had any success with this
> technique?
> I've got some time before having to make a final decision (I'm going to
> transfer from primary tonight), but your input would be appreciated.
I've got a batch of Cherry melomel aging right now. It is a still mead
and is very good. Splitting your batch should work well as long and
there should be enough sugar left for it to work. One note, The cherry
flavor took about 8 months to really show up in my batch which had the
same amount of honey and more cherries.

"Stupidity is like nuclear power, it can be used for good
or evil…and you don't want to get any of it on you."



Subject: Best way to prepare Buckwheat honey.
From: Dan Cole <>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 06:03:17 -0500

Our local Co-Op's premium honey this month is Buckwheat honey. I have
purchased enough for a two-gallon batch of mead, but am now struggling to
put together a recipe that will tone down this otherwise "in your face" honey.

I am considering boiling the honey for an extended period of time (15-30
mins?) to drive off some of the stronger tastes and odors. I know that
boiling is often described as sacrilige, but does anyone else have any
suggestions as to recipes or treatments that would yield a drinkable mead
in 6 months or so?


Subject: Fruity question
From: (Micheal and Linda Fox)
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 04:23:36 -0800 (PST)

My wife and I have just bottled our first batch of mead, a blueberry

melomel. We started three at the same time: A plain sweet mead, a strawberry
melomel, and a blueberry. Now that I have the blueberry in the bottles and
out of the carboy I feel the need to start another batch (can't have that
carboy sitting there empty) and I was wondering if anyone had tried
fermenting a melomel using an unconventional and/or untraditional kind of
fruit, like a kiwi or banana…both of which are not very juicy…but I was
thinking of trying one or the other. Has anyone out there ever made a kiwi
melomel, or a banana melomel? I'd love to hear a recipe if there's one out
there…I'm saving up my honey money 🙂

Micheal and Linda Fox – A Subscriber at Internet On-Ramp, Inc.

Subject: where to get ingredients?
From: st5bx@bayou.UH.EDU (David Ghere)
Date: Mar 26 1997 01:43:54 PM


I have almost completed my second ever mead, now I am interested in

trying to make some different varieties of mead. I was thinking of making
a braggot since I have a recipe for one that sounds great. One thing is
stopping me though. I am not sure where to get one ingredient..
sour cherry juice. I have checked all my local supermarkets, and some
specialty food stores, but no luck, and my brew shop doesn't have a clue
either. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  • -Thank you,

David Ghere

Subject: Medieval German Mead Translation
From: "Eric A. Rhude" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 15:26:23 -0500 (EST)

To those of you how asked and anyone else interested.

I have included some equilivants of the medieval terms
used at the end.

Ein Buch von guter spise
Wilt du guten met machen (How you want to make good mead)

He, who wants to make good mead, warms clean water, so that he can
just stand to put the hand in. And take two maz water and
one honey. One stirs that with a stick and lets it set a while and
then strains it through a clean cloth or through a hairsieve into a
clean barrel. And boil then the same wort against an acre long there
and back (as long as it takes to walk this distance and back) and
remove the foam from the wort with a bowl with holes. The foam stays
in the bowl and the wort does not. Next pour the mead in a clean
barrel and cover it, so that vapor can not get out, until one can bear
the hand there in. So take then a half maz pot and add
until half full hops and a hand of sage and boil that with the wort
against a half mile (as long as it takes to walk this distance) and
give it then in the wort and take a half nut of fresh yeast (the
amount that could be held in a nutshell) and give it there in and mix
it together so that it will ferment. So cover also, so that the vapor
can get out, a day and a night. So strain then the mead through a
clean cloth or through a hairsieve and pour it in a clean barrel and
let it ferment three days and three nights and fill it in all
evenings. There after one lets it go down and looks that yeast comes
therein. And let it lay for eight days, so that it falls and fill in
all evenings. There after let it down in a resined barrel and let it
lay eight days full and drink in the first six weeks or eight. So is
it the best.

Maz – just under 1.5 litres
an acre there and back – 10 – 15 minutes
hops – Hersburger is appropiate for time/place 1/2 oz
yeast – use beer yeast for period results
to walk a half mile – 7-8 minutes

german translation byt Alia Atlas

Eric Rhude – Staff

Subject: Barrel Aging
From: Jeff Duckworth <>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 09:22:46 -0500

While on vacation in sunny/cloudy/cold/warm/foggy San Fransisco, I got I
chance to stop in Napa Vally for a day and tasted some fine wine. I was
struck by the similarity of a Reisling that I had and my own humble mead
and seeing all those fine oak barrels I wondered if anyone has ever tried
aging mead in oak? Sounds like it might be interesting. Although I
would have trouble filling the 40 gal barrels they use at the wineries!

Jeff Duckworth

Subject: exploding bottles?       
From: Chuck Wettergreen <chuckmw@Mcs.Net>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 11:29:43 -0600 (CST)


In MLD #548 (no nmae) wrote:

MM> The mead started fermenting again for about a week, but then stopped
MM> again. The current hydrometer reading is 2% potenial (1.015).

MM> If I prime lightly and bottle now will I get exploding mead in a couple
MM> months or should I try to re-start the ferment and wait?

I had a mead, it had a gravity of about 1.003. It was crystal clear.
It sat four months and exhibited NO signs of fermentation. I bottled
it without potassium sorbate. Several months later I noticed a stain
under the case containing that mead. A half dozen bottles had blown
their bottoms off. The yeast was a champagne yeast.

Would I expect exploding bottles from a primed 1.015 mead?


* RM 1.3 00946 *

Subject: Wisteria?
From: Di and Kirby <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 03:49:46 -0600

Hi…I've got a wee question. I was driving home today, and saw a huge
overgrown patch of wisteria vines. I snuck over and snagged a couple of
bunches, partly to smell them in the car on my way home, and partly
because they make delicious fritters. Anyway, as I wandered around the
house sniffing them (and I hope you've all had the chance to smell
them–otherworldly), a Thought hit me. "Man, if I could get this scent
into a batch of mead, it would be unbearably wonderful." But I think I'd
like to *try* to bear it. 🙂

Has anyone here tried making mead with wisteria blossoms, or any

other aromatic flower? Anyone with good results, &/or tips for
maximizing the flower scent? I'm thinking a sweet mead, with a light
honey to keep from overpowering the flower…


Subject: grains of paradise
From: (Daniel S McConnell)
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 22:19:27 -0500

From: (Rod McDonald)

>1. What are 'grains of paradise?

I hope that Ken will respond to this question….he has the most complete
information on spices. In case he is tardy, GoP are seeds give a unique
peppery, sweet and intense flavor to a beverage, They should be used with
caution because they are so strongly flavored. I like to use them at an
almost subliminal level. They can be obtained from Rafal Spices via mail

>2. Do you use fresh coriander (leaves and/or roots) or seeds?

I use fresh coriander *seeds* that have been ground in a mortar. The
leaves would have a very different flavor. The leaves would make a nice
contibution too, but not what the flavors that I was seeking in the Witty


End of Mead Lover's Digest #549