Mead Lover's Digest #0596 Thu 25 September 1997

 

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

 

Contents:

re: Use of oak in mead making (Dick Dunn)
Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997 (ddawson@MailBox.Syr.Edu)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997 ("Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM dkey@medusa.unm.edu")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997 (NLSteve@aol.com)
Re: Subject: Plastic Bottles ("Mike Kidulich")
Re: Using Persimmons (Di and Kirby)
Re: Plastic Bottles (Dan Cole)
Re: Malo-lactic fermentation (NLSteve@aol.com)

 

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Subject: re: Use of oak in mead making
From: rcd@raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn)
Date: 23 Sep 97 13:08:23 MDT (Tue)


"Glenn Mountain" <wally@labyrinth.net.au> wrote:
> Just wondering if anyone has any experience in using oak barrels to either
> ferment or age their mead in as in wine making ?
> If so, is new or old oak preferred or is it just a matter of personal
> taste…

First and foremost is "don't overdo it". That's more of a concern with a
new barrel, of course.

Issues with old barrels: Find out what it was used for and whether that's
compatible with mead. Be sure the barrel is clean and tight: If it's been
allowed to develop mold/mildew/musty smell, it's a lot of work to clean it
up. If it's been allowed to dry out completely, you may never get it to
stop leaking.

Issues with new barrels: Mainly, realize that you'll get a lot of oak
character in a very short time. You'll literally need to check every day
or two on the first batch you put through it. Also realize that this is
more of a problem with a smaller barrel. Five gallons is the minimum size
you should consider.

Dick Dunn rcd, domain talisman.com Boulder County, Colorado USA


Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997 
From: ddawson@MailBox.Syr.Edu
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 15:42:53 -0400

> Subject: Plastic Bottles
> From: Phillip J Welling <kern@pcisys.net>
> Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 08:51:50 -0600
>
> I am new to making mead & was wondering if 2 liter pop bottles works
> well for fermenting. I was wondering because I don't have the space
> to make large batches & 2 liters would be the right size for storing
> away while waiting for the fermenting to finish.
>
> Phillip J Welling
> ICQ #: 2579862
> Visit my home page at:
> http://www.pcisys.net/~kern/

work real fine, last a long time.

And when they grenade they don't perforate your house in the manner
of a sealed glass bottle.

I got a friend that did a lot of wild yeast mead in tight capped coke
bottles. When tapping the bottle sounded about like tapping a glass
christmas tree ball the mead was ready and would pickle yer sox.

Dick
ddawson@syr.edu
http://smith.syr.edu/~ddawson


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997
From: "Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM dkey@medusa.unm.edu" <DKEY@MEDUSA.UNM.EDU>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 14:55:39 -0700 (MST)


Concerning adding honey to the must to achieve a desired sweetness: I draw off
twice as much must (say that five times very quickly) as I am going to add
honey, mix half with the honey and pasteurize it. The remainder goes into the
'fridge' to use in making up head space or to sample a glass or two. After
cooling the honey, I pour it back into the fermenting must. I have been doing
this for over five years with complete success.

Never Thirst, Dione


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997
From: NLSteve@aol.com
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 17:08:05 -0400 (EDT)


In a message dated 97-09-23 13:54:12 EDT, you write:

<< I must really sound like an idiot, BUT, how do you add honey to a
fermenting mead? Do you heat/ let cool, dilute it at all, or just pop
off the airlock and pour? Try not to laugh too hard when responding.
Private e-mail is OK. >> Paul Haaf

If you do attempt to pasteurize honey before adding it (heating it with a
little water to around 170 deg. for 20 minutes or whatever before cooling),
bear in mind that if the new honey is significantly warmer than the
fermenting batch, it may cause a violent foam-over as it is added. The heat
from the new honey mixture brings a lot of CO2 in the cooler, fermenting
batch out of solution. You'll lose some good stuff out the top of the carboy
& risk sanitation problems. So chill it well first!
Guess how I learned this.


Subject: Re: Subject: Plastic Bottles
From: "Mike Kidulich" <mjkid@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 19:06:44 -5


> From: mead-request@talisman.com
> Reply-to: mead@talisman.com
> To: mead@talisman.com
> Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #595, 23 September 1997
> Date: 23 Sep 97 11:21:44 MDT (Tue)

> Subject: Plastic Bottles
> From: "Phillip J. Welling" <kern@pcisys.net>
> Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 08:51:50 -0600
>
> Hello all.
>
> I am new to making mead & was wondering if 2
> liter pop bottles works well for fermenting.
> I was wondering because I don't have the space
> to make large batches & 2 liters would be the
> right size for storing away while waiting for
> the fermenting to finish.

Unfortunately, mead requires enough aging time that you might get
into oxidation problems, due to the fact that the PET bottles are
oxygen permeable. Glass is a better solution. Try some gallon juice
jugs for fermenting, good size for small batches. You will need to
bottle, but 12 oz. bottles don't take up much space and are cheap.
Small bottles also let you stretch the mead out when you start to
drink it.

Cheers!

>
>
Mike Kidulich
President
Upstate New York Homebrewers Association
mjkid@ix.netcom.com


Subject: Re: Using Persimmons
From: Di and Kirby <trillium@magibox.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 00:52:34 -0500


John Sullivan <sullvan@anet-stl.com> wrote:

> They
> contain numerous pits each. My question (and it is a longshot that
> anyone will know) is if there is anything harmful in the pits that should
> prevent me from adding them to a mead or lambic?

As far as I know, from many years of eating and cooking with persimmons,
there is nothing harmful that I've heard of. BUT there is an easy way to
get rid of them, so you don't need to worry anyway. Get a colander or
strainer, and with the back of a spoon, smush the persimmons thru.
You'll get all the pulp, none of the seeds, and lose a good deal of the
skin.

You do know that while frost is irrelevant to ripeness, they have to be

very squishy and overripe-feeling (but not rotten-smelling)? If you get
an underripe persimmon, the alum will coat your mouth for what feels
like days, and would ruin a batch of mead.

I'm planning to try a persimmon melo this year too, since they've got

such a wonderful spiced flavor. Maybe we can compare notes in a few
months?

Cheers,
Di


Subject: Re: Plastic Bottles
From: Dan Cole <dcole@roanoke.infi.net>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 06:26:07 -0400


>I am new to making mead & was wondering if 2
>liter pop bottles works well for fermenting.
>I was wondering because I don't have the space
>to make large batches & 2 liters would be the
>right size for storing away while waiting for
>he fermenting to finish.

Phillip, you definately can ferment in plastic (heck, most home beer makers
have fermented in plastic (5-gal food-grade plastic buckets)), but if you
intend to age your mead after fermentation, you will definately want to do
the aging in glass.
Plastic is eventually oxygen permeable and the mead would oxidize during
the aging process. Then again, if you like the taste of sherry, you might
want your mead to oxidize.

One note, with the small volume, you may have a hard time racking to a
secondary container to get off the spent yeast. I often test recipes with
1-gal batches, and it is hard to rack 1-gal batches without oxidizing
during transfer or adding so much additional water in the racking hoses
that you wind up watering down the mead.

Good luck,
Dan Cole


Subject: Re: Malo-lactic fermentation
From: NLSteve@aol.com
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 19:46:04 -0400 (EDT)


I'm sure this subject must have been tackled before, but I'd be interested in
the consensus on whether the mead maker need concern himself with malo-lactic
fermentation, either with encouraging it for flavor or preventative reasons
(preventing it from occurring later in the bottle), or with just trying to
keep it from happening altogether. Is this something worth worrying about?
Perhaps more with some mead style recipes than others? Thanks!



End of Mead Lover's Digest #596