Mead Lover's Digest #0580 Wed 30 July 1997


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



mead ale (Mike Ross)
Mead Serving Temperature ()
Re: clear mead without boiling? (Sean Cox)
Carbonation (
Re: clear mead without boiling? (Marc Shapiro)
Carbonate water ("Wallinger")
Re: Cider ("Mike Kidulich")
Making Mead(book)Duncan and Acton (Kirk Jones)
Re: Stuck Mead ("Hy Ginsberg")


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Subject: mead ale
From: (Mike Ross)
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 15:10:25 -0400

Has anyone tried to make Mead Ale? I have a recipe from the "Making Mead" book
that I just tried, in another week or so I'll get my first taste. I am worried
that rather than ale I will have sparkling mead. Either way it should be
interesting. Any other mead ale makers out there?

Subject: Mead Serving Temperature
From: <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 97 16:21:59 EDT

Sorry for a newbie's inexperience, but this is my first batch,
and I don't want to screw it up. I am trying to convince my
friends that mead is a great beverage, which makes me even more
apt for perfection. They have no idea what it is, but they
love the beer that I brew. I have a sweet mead/metheglin that
is about ready to serve. Before a party I am having, I want to
make sure the mead is at the right temperature for serving.
Trouble is, that I am not sure if it should be chilled or served
at 'room' temperature. What's the general consensus?

Again, sorry for such a basic question, but I have to learn
somewhere and somehow, so I might as well learn it correctly the
first time. Private e-mail or a post here on the digest are
both fine.

Thanks in advance,
Greg Smith
BarnBrew Brewing Co.
Claryville, NY

Subject: Re:  clear mead without boiling?
From: (Sean Cox)
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 16:33:30 -0400 (EDT)

>From: (Kirk Jones)
>Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 13:34:12 -0400
>The consensus seems to be that one must boil the must to precipitate out
>the proteins for a clear mead. Can the same objective be reached with
>racking and the use of fining agents such as sparkaloid and bentonite?

I've never boiled any of the meads that I've made (a score or so) and I've
found that given enough time (3-18 months, 6-8 on average) all my meads have
cleared. This ranges from 4lbs/gal "plain mead" to metheglins (ginger is a
favorite) to melomels of all sort. The metheglins seem to take longest to
clear, the melomels the shortest, with the exception of a fabulous blueberry
melomel, which took a little over 15 months to fall clear, but when it did
it took out all the purple/blue and turned a lovely straw color. Mmmmmmmmm….

>Any comments on the best fining agents or the positive and negative of each?

Never tried any, so I guess the answer is "no". 🙂

>Another thought is filtering after the use of fining agents to produce a
>good clear mead. Anyone with experience on this matterd?

Again, I've found that time works the best. It also requires fewer additives
and much less equipment 🙂

  • -Sean

Sean Cox, Systems Engineer FactSet Research Systems Greenwich, CT

Subject: Carbonation
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 16:42:06 -0500

Hi all,

I have a carbonation question. Has anyone ever tried to force carbonate their
mead? I will be having a party this weekend and would like to try to carbonate
some 7 month old mead for it. Does one normally prime with glucose and just
wait for natural carbonation ala homebrew carbonation?

Any help would be welcome. Please e-mail since the digest is rather slow at
this time.



Subject: Re: clear mead without boiling? 
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 18:55:57 -0400

On Sat, 26 Jul 1997, Kirk Jones asked about getting clear mead without
boiling the must. I NEVER boil my musts. In my opinion, boiling honey
is not a good idea. Heating to 150 F for just a few minutes is
sufficient to eliminate wild yeasts without boiling, or prolonged
heating, which can affect the tast of the mead, IMHO. I always get a
clear mead, or melomel, however. I settle for nothing less.

Marc Shapiro

Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."

  • –Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Winery

Subject: Carbonate water
From: "Wallinger" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 21:07:54 -0500

I recently moved from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Houston TX area.
With the move I inherited water that is high in carbonates. In fact it
resembles Munich water rather closely: relatively low calcium, low sulfate,
high carbonate.

My first several beer batches finished at a relatively high final gravity,
and I am beginning to suspect the carbonates. I began a braggot (you knew
I'd get around to mead eventually) on Saturday and wonder whether the
carbonates will affect this brew as well.

The weird thing is that the ferments start rather quickly, so the yeast
(dry in all cases so far) seemed healthy enough. On the braggot I decided
to pitch on the dregs from a prior batch of beer for a bigger yeast
population from the start to see if that would offset things.

Bottom line is that I'm looking for theories, information, reasoned
conjecture or otherwise regarding carbonates and their impact on
fermentation. I can certainly go into more detail to explore other
possibilities as well, but will start this off with this brief note.

Looking forward to your replies, I remain

Wade Wallinger

Subject: Re: Cider
From: "Mike Kidulich" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 22:58:37 -5

> Subject: re: applejack / hard cider
> From: (Dick Dunn)
> Date: 19 Jul 97 20:52:48 MDT (Sat)
> "Rau, Will" <> wrote:
> > I know this is not specifically a mead question, but does anyone have a
> > receipt for applejack or hard cider. I want to make a 5 gallon batch of
> > the stuff.

Last November, I made 5 gallons of cyser (apple mead), from fresh,
unpreserved apple cider (about 4 gallons), plus 6 lbs of clover honey
dissolved in about .5-1 gallon hot water (around 180F). Chilled,
added Campden tablets, pitched Red Star Champagne yeast after 24
hours. After primary fermentation at around 65F, I racked to the
secondary, and put it down the basement to clear. Around March, it
finally cleared. Being to busy to bottle the stuff, I let it sit
until two weeks ago, when we kegged it and took it to the AHA
conference to serve at the Expo. Was a big success, light, sparkling,
nice apple/honey character. Easy to make, just be patient.
Mike Kidulich
Upstate New York Homebrewers Association

Subject: Making Mead(book)Duncan and Acton
From: (Kirk Jones)
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 07:41:19 -0400

Where can I buy a copy of "Making Mead"? I checked at and found
no reference.


*Kirk Jones/ Sleeping Bear Apiaries /971 S. Pioneer Rd./Beulah,MI 49617
*Sharon Jones/ BeeDazzled Candleworks /6289 River Rd./ Benzonia, MI 49616


Subject: Re: Stuck Mead
From: "Hy Ginsberg" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 09:08:22 -0400

Jim Booth wrote:

> I've written before about my stuck mead. It started at 1.104 and stuck
> at 1.053. Tastes sweet but clean. I've added yeast nutrient, two packs
> of dried ale yeast (rehydrated), 2 T of CaCO3 one t at a time and shaken
> the carbouy with serious aggression.

> Took a sample to a friend with a pH tester and it read 2.83. Is this
> likely the problem? More CaCO3?

By my calculations, that mead is currently at about 6.7% alcohol by volume,
which, I believe, is pretty darn close to the limit of what most ale yeasts
can tolerate. So, if you want it to continue to ferment, you'll need to
add a more alcohol tolerant yeast (such as wine or champagne yeast).

I'd be very interested to hear what others have to say on the practice of
aerating the must when repitching yeast to a stuck mead – on the one hand,
it's clearly important to aerate the must when you first pitch, but on the
other you go through a lot of trouble to avoid aerating the must at racking
and bottling time…

End of Mead Lover's Digest #580