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Mead Lover's Digest #0570 Sat 7 June 1997


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



Australian Honey (again) (Peter Miller)
Rosehips (Rod McDonald)
MangoMel ("Linda or Darin")
Re: Acid ("Linda or Darin")
John Bowen posting (Randy Ricchi)
Dried out air lock (John Taylor)
FW: Pomegranate Mead (Brian McGovney)
A Fun Fact To Know & Share (
Re: "Acid" by Matt Crappo (Jeff Duckworth)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #566, 24 May 1997 ("Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM")


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Subject: Australian Honey (again)
From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 97 14:05:33 -0000

Just for those interested in the Australian honey discussion, I was
chatting with an acquaintance yesterday and he claims that he grew up in
a town in Queensland where native Australian bees were farmed for honey.
He couldn't be absolutely certain, but he was sure that the bees were not
normal honey bees and his description of them certainly seems to fit that
of native bees. I'll check into it further and see what I can come up

I also know that there is a place (I think in Tasmania) where Ligurian
(sp?) bees are used to make a very delicate (and expensive) honey.


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Rosehips
From: (Rod McDonald)
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 17:00:56 +1100

Ted Major asked for comments and recipes for rosehips.

1. Wait until autumn.

But seriously, I have been experimenting with rosehips in wine and
mead for a number of years now. The generic recipe in Ben Turner's
Compleat Home Wine Maker and Brewer is:

Ingredients for 1 gal (imperial)

fresh rosehips – 2kg
chopped sultanas – 225 g
white sugar – 1.25 kg
citric acid – 10g
water – 4 litres
all purpose wine yeast and nutrient

Wash, cut in half, and crush or mince the hips. Place in bin with
chopped sultanas, half the sugar and poor boiling water over them.

When cool pitch yeast and nutrient. After 10 days (pressing down fruit
cap daily) strain into fermentation jar, add the rest of the sugar,
airlock etc. etc.

All of the following batches are in 1 gallon sizes. All recipes have
been aimed at an alcohol content of around 12-14%.

Our first attempt was back in February 1983 and it was a rosehip and
thyme wine, based on the above recipe but with thyme water, tannin,
and malic and tartaric acids added. The long story cut short is that
it was very dry to the point of being undrinkable (Peter Miller will
probably remember the experience) and the log records some
unrepeatable superlatives describing the taste – this was despite the
addition of lactose. However, the last bottle was consumed in March
1989 and it was superb, although the thyme flavour had remained and
had a lasting impact over time – perhaps not such a good choice in

The next attempt (May 1986) was a dead loss because we over-sulphited the

In June 1989 I tried a Rosehip and Juniper wine from dried, ground rather
than fresh rosehips, using raisins, currants and brown sugar. Upon
bottling its taste was smooth, but when I opened a bottle recently it was
no longer clear. Fortunately its taste was unaffected, so I have put it
all back in the fermentation jar and so far a little sediment has dropped
out, but it is still dark and cloudy. Possibly the mysterious protein
chains discussed on MLD in recent months!

In March 94 I picked about 2 kg of fresh rosehips growing feral by the
Snowy River on the Victorian/NSW border. Using the above generic recipe I
produced a wine which tasted pretty good but shortly after bottling in Jan
97 fermentation started again and a cork popped and a bottle disgorged
itself on the kitchen floor. Back into the fermentation jar!

In April 95 I again picked feral rosehips from the Snowy (it's a regular
camping trip) and this time made the same recipe with honey rather than
sugar. I haven't recorded the type of honey (oops!) but given the desire to

capture rosehip flavour I suspect it would have not been a strongly
flavoured honey – probably a blend. Currently the SG is 1.006 and still
slowly moving. It tastes great but nor quite ready for bottling.

In March 97 (didn't go there in autumn '96) the Rosehips at the Snowy River

weren't as ripe and there were a lot of orange rather than red ones –
seasonal variation. I picked them nevertheless, and proceeded to make a
mead (maybe a rhodo-melo-cyser?) using:

2 kg chopped rosehips, sterilized with 2 litre boiling water, 1 teaspn
citric acid, Vierka Mead yeast, a pinch of nutrient, 1.5 litres Granny
Smith Apple Juice and approx 3 lb local honey – sourced from Eucalypt and
other flowers. Unlike all the other rosehip wines this one is a lot more
orange than red, and it smelt weird (not off) when racked into its
secondary fermentation. I will keep you updated.

In the literature rosehips are described as being rich in vitamin C, but do

not make a distinctive wine on their own. I have found that all of my
rosehip creations have required a rather long maturation period. The seeds
inside are apparently bitter, so it would be better to remove them, But the

hairs inside are so irritating that I'd rather not touch them. Therefore
the seeds and all have gone in, and it may be the seeds that result in an
unusually long maturing period. And a fairly long drawn-out fermentation.

In retrospect I don't think I would use rosehips that weren't bright red,
although time will tell what will happen with the 1997 vintage.

Even after all this I am not convinced I yet have the definitive rosehip


Subject: MangoMel
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 22:30:15 -0700

In #567, Bruce Wenzel asked for my mango melomel recepie. For what it's

3# Big John's Cherry & Wildflower honey
2 large mangos, frozen, then skinned and chunked
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
1/2 teaspoon acid blend
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
Water to make 1 gallon
Standard D47 starter

After two weeks, rack off fruit and add one more mango, treated as above.

After another 2-3 weeks, rack off fruit. Rack 2 or 3 more times over the
course of the next year, as needed, then bottle.

BTW, the must was pasturized and skimmed, then poured over the fruit in the
fermentation vessel.

IMO, it was a bit sour. It went more or less dry, but due to the fact that
I was in my "pinch of this, dash of that" mead-making mode, I have no hard
data on gravity, acidity, etc. As is often the case with melomels, the
final product wasn't easily recognizable as mango, though it did have a
rather pleasant flavor. Linda refered to it as "ale-like." I will do it
again, though I'm sure I'll be using plain old local honey, and I'll
probably boil a couple of orange slices in the must instead of adding acid

"I drink, therefore I am."

Subject: Re: Acid
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 04:15:27 -0700

My thanks to John R. Bowen for increasing both my knowledge, and my
knowledge of my ignorance. It was a well written piece, and I am glad you
took the time to write it.


Subject: John Bowen posting
From: Randy Ricchi <>
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 22:53:51 -0400

Thanks, John, for your June 3 posting on ph and total acidity. I have read
a bazillion articles from books and magazines on ph and water chemistry,
and I've never really been able to follow them from beginning to end. Your
posting was so well written it even penetrated my thick skull. If you are
not a teacher or professor, you should be.

Subject: Dried out air lock
From: (John Taylor)
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 14:44:48 GMT

I have been VERY patient with my second mead (6 months old), and I
just transferred it to help it clear. I discovered that the air lock
had dried out (three or four days), is my mead shot or should it be

John Taylor []
Brew Stud pico-Brewery Austin, Texas <<Cofounder>>
Specializing in hand crafted ales & meads

Subject: FW: Pomegranate Mead
From: Brian McGovney <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 21:45:14 -0700

  • —–Original Message—–

From: Brian McGovney []
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 1997 4:26 PM
To: Mead Lover's Digest (E-mail)
Subject: Pomegranate Mead

Just thought I'd drop a line thanking everyone, particularly Rebecca =
Sobol, for their help and advice last year regarding Pomegranate Mead. =
I made a gallon of mead using 2.5 lbs. honey and a half-gallon of juice. =
It tasted nasty and beet-like when I bottled it in December, but when =
some friends and I opened the sample bottle last week it was delicious =
and the aroma was heavenly. They likened it to a fine port.

The other seven bottles are awaiting the Millenium! The juice was =
purchased on our honeymoon, and the Millenium Party will be happening =
around our 4th or 5th anniversary, depending on which year we celebrate. =
Theoretically, we will have extended the traditional honeymoon to 5 =
years! In order to help us keep our schnozzes out of it until then, =
I've put 5 gallons of braggot in the carboy. In any case, thanks all, =
and I highly recommend this variety of melomel for experiment and =

  • -Slanty (after a glass or 2),

Brian McGovney

Subject: A Fun Fact To Know & Share
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 00:52:26 -0400 (EDT)

Just a minor footnote to Dr. Bowen's excellent explaination of pH &
titratable acidity:

The Danish biochemist S.P.L. Sorensen devised the pH scale while working on
the brewing of beer.

Carl Saxer

Subject: Re: "Acid" by Matt Crappo
From: Jeff Duckworth <>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 97 09:29:02 -0500

>I don't know about the "sulfuric acid standard", but I think you will
>get the same numbers relating this to tartaric acid. Sulfuric acid is
>a strong acid and perhaps mopre accurately titrated in a chemical
>reference lab, but % acid should be % acid, and their numbers or 2.5
>to 3.5 ppt (.25 to .35%) seem reasonable to me for the way we usually

To throw my two cents into the pile (after all the chemistry classes I've
had there really should be a nickle's worth but time has fixed all

I think what needs to be remembered here is that ppt is on a weight
basis. For example:

the MW of Citric Acid is 192.12 g with 3 protons
the MW of Sulfuric Acid is 98.08 g with 2 protons
the MW of Malic Acid is 134.09 g with 2 protons
the MW of Tartaric Acid is 150.09 g with 2 protons

so, because citric acid and sulfuric acid have different molecular
weights, you will get different ppt values for total acid depending on
the acid that you are titrating. (i.e. 1 gram of sulfuric acid doesn't
provide the same number of protons that 1 gram of citric acid does).

Duncan an Acton explain in their book "Progressive Winemaking" that the
sulfuric acid standard is used because that's the way it has been done in
Europe–as they are from England…they also have a nice table that gives
acid equivalents for sulfuric, citric, malic, and tartaric (with values I
can't seem to reproduce! they give 1.43 ppt citric acid as equivalent to
1 ppt sulfuric, while I get 1.31 ppt, if anyone has reproduced these
values I'd love to see how).

Jeff Duckworth–getting a buret tonight! watch me titrate!

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #566, 24 May 1997
From: "Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM" <DKEY@MEDUSA.UNM.EDU>
Date: Sat, 07 Jun 1997 01:11:51 -0700 (MST)

Concerning the strawberry melomel gone bad: I suspect leaving it in an open
fermenter and aereating for two days may be the culprit. You may have picked
up some strange bugs in the process. I rarely aereate (and then only before
pitching the yeast and never afterward) and ALWAYS put a fermentation lock on
my primary and secondary fermenters. I have never had problems this way.

Never Thirst,


End of Mead Lover's Digest #570