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Mead Lover's Digest #0556 Sun 27 April 1997


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



Re: acid adjustment (Fliper)
Buckwheat honey? ("Mike Kidulich")
ageing question (DuG)
concentration (Dick Dunn)
Re: Mead Brandy (Bill Shirley)
crystal honey is fine! (Daniel S McConnell)
peach melomel (Olson)


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Subject: Re: acid adjustment
From: Fliper <>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 15:56:53 -0400

Rich Webb <> writes:
>with food grade "caustic", or sodium hydroxide. This is also known
well then.. i realize that we are dealing with large quanities of
liquid here, but a much less toxic neutralizer is baking soda (sodium
bicarbinate). You will need more of it because of it being a weaker
base. I've heard of people using it to maintain a stable ph
throughout the fermenting process.

what is happening is an acid (acedic?) from the bacterial
infection (innoculation) is combining with a base (sodium
[hydroxide|bicarbonate]) to form a salt and water. (and perhaps CO2)

I'm not sure which salts are produced when you mix Sodium hydroxide,
or Sodium bicarbonate in, but i imagine (from my very limited
chemistry knowledge) that you'd get the same salt either way, but the
hydroxide will produce salt+ water, and bicarbonate will produce
salt+water + CO2, which means you could also use it to add some
sparkle to your mead/cyser/cider… ๐Ÿ™‚

If you get too much in, it will be great hangover cure… hair of dog,
and a little something to help settle your tummy. ๐Ÿ™‚


Subject: Buckwheat honey?
From: "Mike Kidulich" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 19:02:24 -5


Anybody have any suggestions for using Buckwheat honey in a mead? I
have 6.5 lbs I just won in a competition. Does fruit work with a
honey that strongly flavored? Looking for suggestions.

Also, I would like to make a jasmine mead, using jasmine tea. I want
the floral scent of the jasmine to combine with the honey. Any
suggestions as to honey varieties?


Mike Kidulich

Subject: ageing question
From: (DuG)
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 15:21:04 +0800

Just a quick question:

What happens, chemically, to meads or any other brew for that

matter, that makes the flavour more mellow and softer? This has been a
question that I have long wondered about, but have never found the answer



Subject: concentration
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 21 Apr 97 23:58:48 MDT (Mon)

Just for the record…
"Rodney Valdez" <Rodney.Valdez@MCI.Com> wrote:

> I made a Mead Brandy about 5 years ago by mistake. Ah…now I know
> what you are thinking, "What do you mean by mistake?" Yes my friends,
> by mistake. I did this by sticking a bottle of 15% sack mead in my
> freezer in an attempt to quickly chill the ambrosia. I forgot about
> the bottle until the next morning where I found it in a semi-frozen
> state. I quickly opened and poured it through a wire strainer (to catch
> all the ice) and had a sip. WOW. It was intense in flavor as well
> as alcohol.
> This is the only LEGAL way to make it here in the USA. (Nudge, Nudge,
> Wink, Wink.)

Just to keep all the details in place, this is not legal in the USA.
Concentrating to increase the alcohol content, regardless of the method,
is not allowed unless you have the equivalent of permits and licenses for
distillation (which you won't have without being commercial)…the law is
singularly unconcerned with the technique used for concentration.
Essentially, ferment as high as you can/want, but don't try to increase it
beyond what you can achieve with fermentation. (There is even a limit for
fermentation, but you're not likely to hit it.) Again, this is all US

Dick Dunn rcd at Boulder County, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.

Subject: Re: Mead Brandy
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 97 13:23:32 -0400

> … I found it in a semi-frozen state …
> … and poured it through a wire strainer …
> This is the only LEGAL way to make it here in the USA.
> (Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink.)

this is incorrect.

the taxing authorities consider ice removal to be a form
of distillation (they never seem to be worried about
language semantics). this is why "ice beers" made in the
US did NOT involve the removal of any ice from the beer
(as it does in Canada)

but, you prob'ly just imagined that that's how it happened
at your house ๐Ÿ˜‰

i imagine (hypothetically) that this could (hypothetically)
make a quite tastee (hypothetical) drink

  • bill

Subject: crystal honey is fine!
From: (Daniel S McConnell)
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 07:18:31 -0400

From: Mark Koopman <>

>One, it's the grainiest honey I've yet seen. My understanding from the
>MLD is that crystalized honey is still fine for eating and making mead.
>The only contrary imfo is the article by Dan and Ken on honey in "Inside
>Mead"s last issue. It tastes fine, but I'm wondering if starthistle
>crystalizes more readily than other varietals, and when and where to get
>some at its freshest.

Two things….

1) I had NO OPPORTUNITY to review material that was in the last Inside Mead
and consider anything published in that "Special Double Issue" to have been
used with questionable permission. I gave Suzanne a disk containing that
material in June of 1994. Sadly, many things have changed, none of seem to
be improvements.

2) Crystalized honey is fine for brewing. Some varieties of honey
crystalize more readily than others depending on dextrose concentration and
nucleation sites. Higher dextrose concentration increases the tendency to
crystalize. The concept is that hard-crystalized honey may extrude water
from the crystal structure and as the water pools on the surface, the sugar
concentration in the pools falls to the point where it may support
biological activity.

I will stand by statements that honey should be stored frozen, but I don't
actually do it, because I can't fit the 250 or so pounds of honey that is
in my garage into my freezer even IF I tossed out all of the food.

The best way to store honey is to mix it with water, add some yeast……I
gotta do some meading….


Subject: peach melomel
From: Olson <>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 15:50:49 -0600


I don't know where you heard that peach melomels don't age well.
The only time I made one, it aged very smoothly and won first
place at the AHA nationals in 1990. It was so good, very little
of it lasted to its second year aniversary.

The key is to use lots of pureed ripe peaches that have their pits,
but not skins removed. Freeze the puree for a few days before
using to burst the cells of the fruit and increase extraction.

I used 13 pounds of peaches in a 5 gallon batch. That seems like
a lot, but peaches are fairly mild. To add complexity, one could
use 10 to 20 percent apricots.

I need to make another peach melomel one of these years …


| Gordon L. Olson | U.S. Postal Service: |
| e-mail: | 1632 Camino Uva |
| phone: 505-662-0705 | Los Alamos, NM 87545 USA |

End of Mead Lover's Digest #556

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