Mead Lover's Digest #59 Fri 18 December 1992

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator


Bentonite (John Gorman)
Curds Awhey! (John Gorman)
rack and ruin (Mark. Gooley)

Send articles for submission to the digest to
Send digest addition or removal requests to

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 92 16:18:58 EST 
From: (John Gorman)
Subject: Bentonite

Thanks for the suggestion to use bentonite. I had five gallons of
stubborn mead that hadn't even begin to clarify after 4 months.

I then added bentonite. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan.
While boiling, slowly sprinkle and stir in 5 tsp of bentonite.
Cover and let stand for 24 hours. Add during racking.

After a week, it had clarified some. I thought that maybe the
mead had too much stuff in it to flocculate in one shot.
I was right! When I racked and added bentonite a second time,
the mead suddenly became crystal clear within 15 minutes!

Perhaps a bigger jolt of bentonite would do the whole job at once?

John Gorman
Relational Semantics, Inc. 617-926-0979
17 Mount Auburn Street Watertown MA 02172 USA

Nothing happens.

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 92 16:40:53 EST
From: (John Gorman)
Subject: Curds Awhey!

I tried a gallon of "milk and honey" mead. I used skim milk
to avoid greasy equipment. Since milk is already pasturized,
I mixed the ingredients cold: skim milk, honey, fermax, yeast.

Milk sure is nutritious! Within 24 hours there was a boiling
ferment. It curdled the milk and blew off 1/4 of the total
volume including most of the curds!

So, I will have "whey and honey" mead. As a further experiment,
I poured some milk into a glass of completed mead. It curdled.
Maybe cream can handle alcohol, but milk can't.

I'll let you know how it tastes!

John Gorman
Relational Semantics, Inc. 617-926-0979
17 Mount Auburn Street Watertown MA 02172 USA

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 92 22:23:12 MST
From: Mark. Gooley <>
Subject: rack and ruin

A few weeks ago I began this:

Topical [sic] Melomel

5 quarts wildflower honey (about 15 lbs)
2 tsp gypsum
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp Irish Moss flakes
12 oz. can pineapple juice concentrate (Dole)
16 kiwi fruit (medium-large), peeled and mashed
1 lb ginger root (put through blender until fine, unpeeled)

20 minute boil of evrything but fruit & juice with 1.5 gallons water.
Concentrate and kiwis added at end and allowed to sit 15 minutes.
Dilution to 5.5 gallons in plastic bucket
Yeast: 2 packets (@ 5 grams) champagne yeast, Lalvin EC-1118,
reconstitued in 100ml 45 C water.
O.G: 1.099 at 80 F (say 1.105 at 60 F).

After a week, per Papazian (basically this is Barkshack Gingermead
with excess honey and ginger), I racked this to a 5-gallon carboy
though fermentation was still active. I'm beginning to think I
should have waited. Fermentation, nine days later, has slowed
and the yeast is sedimenting.

Advice needed do I need to rack this again once fermentation has
apparently stopped? should I bottle it and age it in bottles, age it
over the sediment, or rack it and age it in a fresh carboy? Also,
what's a good temperature for aging a mead of this type?

If this one works out okay, I plan to try it again with more fruit
and maybe a bottle of molasses. The added fruits are supposed to
be tropical, but the melomel will probably be more like topical (external
use, not for ingestion) at least for a while.


End of Mead Lover's Digest