Mead Lover's Digest #0586 Sat 16 August 1997


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



Nut Meads (Kate Collins)
Poison Cherry Melomel (Kate Collins)
Cherry Stones/fermentation temps/buffers ("Nathan L. Kanous II")
Poisn Mead? (Gordon & Cindy Camp)
Yeast Starters for Mead ("Val J. Lipscomb")
1st melomel question… (
corking (Matt Maples)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #585, 14 August 1997 (Marc Shapiro)
Fwd: failed mail (Robert L Lewis)


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Subject: Nut Meads
From: Kate Collins <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 10:47:40 +0200

Hi –

I'm sure this has been discussed before but I figure it can't hurt
to revive interesting topics. Does anyone have any recipes for
mead made with nuts? Where I live, chestnut trees are about as
prolific as dandelions, so I figured maybe I could put the chestnuts
to good use. I'll bet they would be delicious in that milk-honey
stuff discussed a few months ago, but I'd prefer to do just a
regular old mead first (I can always freeze the nuts).

/Kate Collins

Subject: Poison Cherry Melomel
From: Kate Collins <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 11:46:38 +0200

> I just made a blackberry-cherry mel. I didn't think until after
> the fact that cherry stones contain poision. I left the fruit
> (stones and all) in the primary for about a week. Does anyone know
> if I made poision mead? Thanks for the help.

Leaving the cherries in the primary wouldn't cause any problems – the
proportion of cherries to finished product sounds pretty low and the
poison doesn't really leach out (many recipes for canned cherries
leave the pits in). However, if you cooked the cherries with the must
at a high heat for, say, 1/2 hour or longer, some of the poison MAY
have been extracted – but I doubt it would be enough to hurt you.

/Kate Collins

Subject: Cherry Stones/fermentation temps/buffers
From: "Nathan L. Kanous II" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 09:35:53 -0400


WRT cherry pits left in the fermentor for a month, yes, cherry pits do
contain toxic substances. The cherries, pits included, are commonly
left in beers for similar amounts of time with no detrimental effects.
I wouldn't worry.

Question about fermentation temp. I was curious if anyone has
recommendations for "proper fermentation" temp with wine yeasts. I am
looking to avoid the production of fusel or other "higher" alcohols. I
can't stand the taste of them and I notice them even after extended
periods of aging. I would prefer to avoid their production all
together. I don't mind a longer fermentation if I can avoid the "higer"
alcohols. Premier Cuvee, or Lalvin 1116 yeasts. Any thoughts on temps
to recommend?

WRT buffers, has anyone developed an effective buffer to use in meads to
avoid the difficulties with low pH and "stuck" yeast?

Also, someone posted about the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast. I made a batch
of cyser last fall which has a very distinct aroma and taste. It tastes
(imagine this) like Copenhagen snuff. Yeah, chewing tobacco. Anybody
else ever have this? If I could avoid that, I would use the yeast
again. If not, no way. Everybody else drinks it and thinks it's O.K..
I can drink it but would prefer to avoid that taste.

Sorry for the bandwidth. TIA

nathan in Frankenmuth, MI

Subject: Poisn Mead? 
From: Gordon & Cindy Camp <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 10:33:42 -0400

Dave Asks:

I just made a blackberry-cherry mel. I didn't think until after the fact
that cherry stones contain poision. I left the fruit (stones and all) in the
primary for about a week. Does anyone know if I made poision mead?
for the help.

As an occasional mead maker who is an avid homebrewer I can tell you
that in brewing the stones are recommednded to be left in for added
flavor. Also, as far as danger, Michael Jackson (not that one) writes in
his book "Beer Companion" p. 44 "As fermentation consumes theflesh of
the fruit, it eventually reaches the stone, and picks up the almondy
notes that make a good kriek especially complex." Since the great
Belgian brewers seem to not fear "getting stoned", I can't imagine that
you should either.

Please note that I am not a Doctor, however I did play one in the third

G. Camp

If there aint no beer in heaven, then damn me to hell.

Subject: Yeast Starters for Mead
From: "Val J. Lipscomb" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:54:20 -0500 (CDT)

Greetings All,

I've noticed a number of posts lately on the above subject.
For several years I've used a starter on all meads,whether
using liquid yeast or dry wine yeasts. I think that I have
faster, more complete ferments this way. The starter is from
Appendix 1 of the Bee's Lees, which also has a lot of other
good info and recipes. Get it at:

Try it, you'll like it!

Val Lipscomb-Makin' Mead in San Antonio

Subject: 1st melomel question...
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 17:37:09 -0400

I have started my first mead, an orange melomel, with (I think)good
results…my question is: I have read in several sources that a melomel
takes less time to finish than a true mead…but how much sooner?
Should I rack and taste it once a month? Also, it has been bubbling
away nicely for a week now…when should I expect to need to rack it for
a first time (it's in plastic now, I'd like to move it to glass ASAP)

Thanks for listening, I've been "lurking" for a while now and have
learned a lot!

  • – lori

"Little old lady got mutilated late last night,
Werewolves of London again… "

Subject: corking
From: Matt Maples <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:27:43 -0700

I have been using wine bottles ( ya got to love those magnums) and
corking my still meads for about 3 years now and I was wanting to get
some feedback on sanitizing the corks. I have read about soaking in a
sulfite solution but really didn't like that idea much. I have also read
that you can steam them for 20 min which I like much better and have
been doing that. I have also found that if you steam them they are not
quite wet enough to make for easy corking. to remedy that I dip them in
a weak iodophor solution. That way they are still sanitary and they are
wet and slick enough to insert well. I would like to know how others are
doing it please let me know.

Matt Maples

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #585, 14 August 1997
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 20:27:05 -0400

> Subject: When to Sanitize Fruits
> From:
> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 11:00:43 -0400 (EDT)
> (1) If I am not going to prepare the fruit along with the must, when do I
> treat the fruits with sulphites — at the intial prep (before freezing) or at
> the time of thaw and pulverization?

I either juice my fruit and add it to the initial must, or (if the fruit
does not 'juice' easily) I put it in with the primary fermentation.
However, if you prefer to add the fruit during a secondary fermentation
I see no real reason against this. I don't think it really matters when
you add the sulfites. They will not be harmed by freezing, and bacteria
is not going to grow during freezing, either. I would say that this is
a matter of personal preference and do whatever is easier, or seems
better to you.

> (2) If I am going to sanitize the fruit via sulphites rather than
> pasteurization, are there any advisements against sanitizing the must in the
> same way (i.e., sodium metabisulphite rather than boiling)?

If you are using sulfites on the fruit, you might as well use it in the
initial must, as well. Just be sure that the TOTAL amount of sulfites
in the final melomel is not out of line.

> Subject: Pasteurization, starters
> From: Samuel Mize <>
> Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 15:12:00 -0500 (CDT)

> To pasteurize, crush the fruit, put it into some water, and heat it to
> 150 for 20 minutes, or to 170 for 5 minutes. (I'm not a microbiologist,
> this is based on Papazian's New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, Papazian's
> Homebrewer's Companion, and an article in Southwest Brewing News.)
> Some people pasteurize their honey when making mead (same temperatures
> and times). It's a compromise…

According to _Inside Mead_ (Sorry, I don't recall which one and mine are
alread packed to to an impending move) 3-5 minutes at 150F is sufficient
to pasteurize honey for mead. The lower the temperature and the shorter
the heating time, the better (for honey AND fruit), so I wouldn't go
over 5 minutes.




Visit "The Meadery":

"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: Fwd: failed mail
From: (Robert L Lewis)
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 10:18:58 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: Destoning Cherries
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 16:02:46 -0400 (EDT)

Hello everyone-

I just made a blackberry-cherry mel. I didn't think until after

the fact that cherry stones contain poision. I left the fruit (stones
and all) in the primary for about a week. Does anyone know if I made
poision mead?

I don't know if the pits contain poison, are considered

corsonigenic, or what. I do know that there is at least one Belgian
beer (Cantillon) that lets the cherries & pits sit in the primary
fermentation for months, while making their Cantillon Kriek. (A truly
superb lambic, if those are your tastes HTTP:// They
use sour cherries though.

I can not verify the safety of your mead. However, if you don't

feel same drinking it, send me some. I'll be glad to sample it, just
to make sure it's safe…

Check your references… If there really is something funky in

Cherry pits, I would be interested in knowing.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #586