Mead Lover's Digest #0551 Thu 3 April 1997


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



RE: Medieval German Mead Translation (Scot Zeigler)
Kiwi Melomel (John A. Carlson, Jr.)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #550, 1 April 1997 (Charles Hudak)
First Mead ("Mark Bridges")
Re: salad mead – need suggestions (Jeff Smith)
unsubscribe (Dave Collins)
Buckwheat say, "O Tay!" (
Flower mead (Francois Espourteille)
Dick`s salad mead (Chuck Wettergreen)
Competition Announcement (Mark Stevens)
Oak barrel aging ("Moyer, Douglas E")
Wisteria (Gil)
Mead salad dressing (Gil)
salad mead (Dick Dunn)
Re: salad mead – need suggestions (
2nd Call for mead style guideline volunteers … ("Ted Major")


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Subject: RE: Medieval German Mead Translation
From: Scot Zeigler <>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 05:28:54 -0500

>>> Maz – just under 1.5 litres <<<

A Maß (mass) is one measure. Now-a-days 1 Liter.


Subject: Kiwi Melomel
From: (John A. Carlson, Jr.)
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 08:03:48 -0700 (MST)

I have made several Kiwi melomels. One of the first was with 16 lbs.
wildflower honey and six lbs. of fresh kiwi mush. It turned out too dry
for my taste (like a white wine).

The batch that I am proud of is one in which I used about 20 lbs. of
varietal honey and 13 lbs. of fresh kiwi mush. I still have about a case
left and after three years its really something. Full flavored but does
not smack of kiwi.

Kiwi is a fun fruit to use, but it can be difficult to predict your
results. Kiwi melomels are not the best to enter in competitions IMO, as
judges are often confused by them and do not know what flavors to look for.

  • –John Carlson

Boulder, CO

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #550, 1 April 1997
From: Charles Hudak <>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 07:47:25 -0800

Mixed messages?

David Writes:
> The most important thing to know about the yeast that you are using is
> what its alcohol tolerance is. <SNIP>
> The best advice ever given to me by my supplier was to throw my
> hydrometer away and trust in my ability to know when the stuff is done
> and I haven't been wrong yet and I haven't taken a O.G or F.G in almost
> two years.

I'm not sure what your advice is here. First you say that you should
know the alcohol tolerance of your yeast and then you say that the best
advice given to you (which you're now passing along) is to throw out
your hydrometer. If you don't know O.G. and F.G. readings, it's
impossible to actually utilize alcohol tolerance info! You can't know
what the alcohol content is (besides guessing) without it.

While I understand the "fear" most people have of scientific
instruments, they are only tools, and when used properly provide a
wealth of information. The hydrometer is a tool which provides you
information about your brewing process. This information provides
essential quality control input which you can then use to modify your
brewing process if needed.

I'll relay the following story:

As a P.brewer, my beer usually ferments down to 1.012 like
clockwork…virtually everytime, in 3 days. I recently had a problem
because I modified my aeration method. Successive brews after the
change fermented down in 3 days and then activity ceased. They
fermented down to only 1.025 though! Had I not checked the F.G., I'd
still be doing the same thing and wondering why the beer's character had
changed. This info provided essential feedback for me to correct a
process modification that hadn't worked.

In any event, my brewery will always be

Hydrometer friendly….



Subject: First Mead
From: "Mark Bridges" <>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 19:59:33 -0800

Hello, I'm a new subscriber and first time mead maker. I've got a 3 gallon
batch doing nicely in primary, with approx 2lb honey per gallon, and 1
litre pure fresh grapefuit juice in the must, pitched with champagne yeast.

I'm wondering about the flavour contribution of the grapefruit juice.
Minimal? Sufficient?? Any thoughts from the more experienced crowd as to
what I will have as a result?? Not that I'm worried, as I enjoy the

Private e-mail response appreciated, or post here if you think this to be
of general interest.


Subject: Re:  salad mead - need suggestions
From: (Jeff Smith)
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 15:01:19 -0600 (CST)

Howdy All,

Well Salad Mead, strange but a co-worker brought me an article from Organic
Gardening titled "Spicy Greens" (NOV. 1996). Some of the green listed were
arugula, mustard, mibuna, mizuna, mustard spinach, cress (a.k.a.
peppergrass, not watercress) and nasturtium. My guess any or all of these
could make a significant contribution to a mead's flavor profile (cress,
nasturtium and mustard being the spiciest) but that the nasturtium, the
flowers and leaves, might be the safe bet.

Good Luck.

Jeff Smith | '71 HD Sprint 350SX, '77 GS 400 X, '97 KLR650 | Barnes, WI
I am so pleased that the mead is brewed!-Jane Austen

Subject: unsubscribe
From: Dave Collins <>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 16:16:19 -0600

Please remove me from the mead mailing list.

Thank you,

| Dave Collins ( |
| Penchant Consulting |

Subject:  Buckwheat say, "O Tay!"
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 04:18:02 -0500 (EST)

In MLD 549 Dan Cole wrote:
> 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…
> …does anyone else have any suggestions as to recipes or treatments that
> yield a drinkable mead in 6 months or so?

I would suggest trying a batch of braggot.
I had 1 gallon of 2 year old raspberry blossom honey that had become quite
strong in flavor. It had crystalized in a five gallon bucket, so I think it
was more than 12 lbs. It seemed a shame to waste good honey so I took Fred
Hardy's advice and made a braggot with it. He claims that stronger flavored
honeys work well in braggots. From what I can tell so far this seems to be
the case. My research is still in progress.

What I did was:
I Mashed 7 lbs. of pale malt and 1lb. of victory malt to get 4 gallons of
wort @ a specific gravity of 1.050 (poor extraction rate, I know). I boiled
this for an hour (no hops!) and then added the honey, brought the wort/must
back to a boil for 15 minutes and then counter flow chilled it into the
fermenter. I topped the fermenter up to 5 gallons with water, and got an
original gravity reading of 1.110.

I got ~ 50 points from malt and ~ 60 points from honey. I wanted an O.G. of
1.090 but hey, you gotta go with what you get.
I fermented with Wyeast # 1728, Scottish ale yeast at 63 degrees F. It
fermented for 5 weeks. Once a week I swirled the carboy to rouse the yeast
back into suspension.
At 5 weeks fermentation was complete and the terminal gravity was 1.033. The
yeast dropped, and the braggot cleared in ~ 4 weeks. Now it is a crystal
clear, and dark ruby red, much like a dopple bock. The flavor is great. It
has distinct malt qualities and distinct mead qualities. It is very mellow
already. However it is still hot with immature alcohol flavors. In 6 months
(July 11) it should be drinkable. But in a year or two it might

I would suggest shooting for half of your gravity from malt and half of your
gravity from honey, with a target original gravity of ~ 1.070. The lower
O.G. should make a mead / braggot that will mature sooner. If you don't do
mashing, malt extract will work fine too. The malt flavor seems to calm the
strong flavors that come with darker honeys.

Good luck Mr. Cole. If you or any of your meadmaking crew are caught or
killed the MLD will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This posting will
self destruct in 10 seconds.

Carl L. Saxer

Susan Still is the pilot who will be flying STS 83 into orbit, on orbit, and
back again.
Is that cool or what?

Subject: Flower mead
From: (Francois Espourteille)
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 08:01:03 -0500

My experience with adding flower petals (rose) to mead is a bit
limited (2 batches), but both were successful. My favorite one was a
recipe taken from the Acton & Duncan book, Making Mead, p. 39, Cask
Mature Melomel. I followed the recipe pretty closely, using 1.5 pt of
red rose petals for 5 gal. The rose petals added a very fragant touch
to the aroma (but little to the flavor), and that while mixed with
many strong flavored components (plums, 50-50 buckwheat/wildflower
honey). The floral note remained for about four years in the melomel
and is now fading. The recipe called for adding the petals 3 days
after the start of the initial fermentation and allow 3 more days of
fermentation on the petals, before removing them. Seemed to work
well. I haven't tried adding petals to the secondary. I also used
petals from very fragrant roses, many of them the antique varieties
which are considerably more fragrant than their modern day cousins.



Subject: Dick`s salad mead        
From: Chuck Wettergreen <chuckmw@Mcs.Net>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 07:40:49 -0600 (CST)


In MLD 550, Dick Dunn wrote:

MM> Date: 1 Apr 97 00:00:40 MST (Tue)

MM> ticular. So I was thinking to merge the two attractions and make a sal
MM> mead for her.

Nice try Dick, but the date gave you away….

In MLD #549 Diana asked about using wisteria flowers. Below is listed
part of question in MLD #525 about using basil flowers in a mead. I guess
the point is that if the flower is strong in scent, it may also be strong
in flavor; go easy.

All Summer long I picked and froze cinnamon basil flowers. I previously have
made basil flower vinegars by infusing the flowers in vinegar, and the aroma
and flavor added are astounding.

I dry-spiced a show mead (one of the ones mentioned above that turned cloudy)
with the flowers and within days the mead took on the beautiful purple-pink
color of the flowers. after racking and settling, the mead quickly cleared.
The flowers added no residual sugar and there was no additional fermentation.

The aroma from this mead is pure basil, almost no honey. The flavor of this
mead (metheglin, I guess) shouts, no SCREAMS — BASIL!!! BASIL HERE!!!!

Alas, It's so strong it's undrinkable. It's great to marinade chicken
breasts in, but not really very good in salad because it doesn't have the
acidity of a vinegar.

Geneva, IL

* RM 1.3 00946 *

Subject: Competition Announcement
From: (Mark Stevens)
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 09:57:03 -0500

BURP's 5th annual Nation's Capital
"Spirit of Free Beer" competition

June 7, 1997
Vienna, Virginia
Entries due by May 30
Entry fees are $6 for 1st entry, $5 for 2nd, $4 each additional
AHA and BJCP sanctioned competition

All recognized styles of beer, plus mead and cider are eligible.

In addition to ribbons, all winners will also receive lots
of great prizes.

Entry packets are now available. To request one, send email
to, or see the BURP web page at

BJCP judges are welcome to come judge with us. We feed you well,
we provide free beer, we can provide beds for judges, and we
will have some sort of pub crawl that weekend. Detailas are
available from Greg Griffin,


  • —Mark Stevens

Competition Organizer

Subject: Oak barrel aging
From: "Moyer, Douglas E" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 9:59:39 -0500

In MLD #549, Jeff Duckworth wrote:

"…I wondered if anyone has ever tried aging mead in oak?"

Several homebrew supply catalogs offer oak chips (sterilize first by
steaming or baking). Has anyone tried this in mead? This would certainly
be easier than worrying about the contamination issues raised by Francois
Espourteille in MLD #550. How much would you use, and would you add some
to each carboy every time you rack it?

Also, Francois mentioned that oak barrels came in a 5 gallon size. How
much do they cost, and how do you get one?

Doug Moyer

Subject:  Hydromels
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 1997 10:26:59 -0500

It is my understanding that a Hydromel is a diluted mead, usually with

Is this dilution near the beginning, thus cutting down the quarts of
honey per gallon mead ratio?

Or is the water added after fermentation is complete?

Or am I totally lost as to what a hydromel consists of?

Thanks in Advance,

Dennis Waltman

Subject: Wisteria
From: Gil <>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 10:48:50 -0800 (PST)

Steve Facciola's book, Cornucopia, lists three species: Wisteria
floribunda- Japanese Wisteria, the young leaves and flowers are boiled and
eaten. and the seeds are roasted, then eaten. Wisteria frutescens-
American Wisteria, the fresh flowers are eaten tossed in green salads, or
dipped in batter and fried in oil as fritters. Wisteria sinensis- Chinese
wisteria, flowers folded in egg batter and made into fritters, used for
preserves or brewed into wine. The seeds are said to be edible, but the
seeds are listed as poisonous in a manual of poisonous plants that I have.

Subject: Mead salad dressing
From: Gil <>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 10:56:13 -0800 (PST)

I use left over mead for salad dressing. Kind ouf like you make a
balsamic vinegar…although my is not sour..more sweet-sour. I put some
mead in a jar, and add a crushed garlic clove, maybe a tiny pinch of
celery seed, and a little minced marjoram or rosemary or some other green
herb. I add a little salt and black pepper. This just sits around on the
counter for salads, and when it gets low, I add some mead. If the mead is
too sweet I add a little vinegar, too sour, a little honey. Gil

Subject: salad mead
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 3 Apr 97 00:24:17 MST (Thu)

As folks have noted, to the Digest or in private email to me, my suggestion
for a "salad mead" happened to coincide with what we in the US call April
Fools' Day. Gosh, imagine that!

I will comment, seriously now, that I made a basil mead a couple of years
ago. It was essentially a traditional mead with basil leaves and flower-
tops (whatever we pinched off the plants to make them bush out) added. It
made a very interesting mead, the only problem being that I couldn't figure
out when or how to serve it except in small quantity with the salad course
of a nice dinner (for which it is wonderful). This is one of those cases
where having 3 gallon carboys is useful, because a 5-gallon batch really is
overkill, since a 12-oz bottle is adequate for that point in a dinner for
six people.

As for the other additions, more peripheral comments: I really have used
black pepper in a metheglin…it went in (cracked, small amount) along with
cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla, fennel, ginger,…, and it
was a useful addition.

I've no idea what would happen with radishes or cucumbers!

One person suggested that a tomato mead would not be off the map, and I
tend to agree, but I don't know of anyone who's tried it. Readers, what
can you tell us?!?

Dick Dunn rcd at Boulder County, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.

Subject: Re: salad mead - need suggestions
Date: 3 Apr 1997 02:01:18 CST/CDT

On April 1, 1997, Dick Dunn [] wrote:


> My wife is very much a mead lover…She is also very much a
> salad-lover…I was thinking to merge the two attractions and make a
> salad mead for her.

Is this the first troll on the Mead-Lover's Digest? Ok, I'll bite.

Rather than a salad mead, how about a salad dressing made from a mead
vinegar? That might work well in combining the two.

Barring that, maybe try substituting honey for sugar in country wine recipes
for, oh say, tomato, onion, potato, or parsnip wines. You could make up one
of each as a mead and then spend an evening sampling them as a sort of
mixed salad. Could turn out to be quite a night. 😉


Dan McFeeley

Subject: 2nd Call for mead style guideline volunteers ...
From: "Ted Major"<>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 08:04:29 -0400

Tom asked me to forward this as well

Ted Major

This is the second call for Style Guideline volunteers.
Those who have already sent a reply will be contacted
soon. There has been some uncertainty about how this
committee will function. A member of this committee
will not be expected to travel to meetings or incur large
personal expenses. The primary form of communication
will be e-mail and listserver based. There has been a
healthy but not overwhelming response. There is still
room for you to participate.

Beer and Mead Enthusiasts,

The 1997 BJCP Style Guidelines are complete

and can be viewed at:
using the Adobe Acrobat 3.0 reader. Note that the last
revision date is 3/18/97.


Recent revisions to the mead guidelines have been
implemented. Note that there is an expanded set of mead
style guidelines available as a separate document. These
expanded mead guidelines may be used for competitions
with larger numbers of mead entries or they may be
useful as a reference to the most commonly made meads.
Special thanks to Michael Hall for providing the information
on which these guidelines are largely based. Thank Yous
are also in order for Ken Schramm, Steve Dempsey, and
Dan McConnell.

The beer categories have remained stable
since early February. In the future the guidelines will be
updated only once at the end of the year.

Since beer styles are always changing and

evolving, the BJCP has decided to form a subcommittee
of the Competition Committee to evaluate, research, and
update our guidelines.


We are looking for a variety of individuals to fill

various roles in the committee. The level of commitment
may vary greatly. One can volunteer as an outside
consultant for a particular style or become a long term
member of the committee. Qualifications may include but
are not limited to:


  • access to historical materials.

  • access to research materials.

  • in depth knowledge of all styles.

  • expertise in a particular style.

  • acquainted with known expert(s) on a style.

  • able to perform research/interviews with experts in

a style's country of origin.

  • experience and knowledge chairing committees, keeping

focus and bringing issues to closure.

  • commercial industry contacts.

  • commercial brewing experience


Interested parties should e-mail Tom Fitzpatrick
( with the following information:

1. Name
2. Preferred e-mail address
3. City, State, Country
4. Paragraph outlining your desired role and
level of time commitment.

The BJCP welcomes all opinions, comments, and

suggestions regarding style guidelines.



Tom Fitzpatrick
BJCP Competition Director
BJCP Competition Committee Chairman

End of Mead Lover's Digest #551