Mead Lover's Digest #0605 Tue 21 October 1997


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



pitching dry yeast on top of sweet yeast? (j&a)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #604, 17 October 1997 (
MLD preface request (
Re: Nuts / International mead (Dan McFeeley)
re: Where to get oak chips (Dick Dunn)
Commercial Meads ("Lisa McCargar")
Large bottles wanted (Matt Maples)
What is sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry, dry and extra-dry? (
Enough honey? (Robert J Skala)


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Subject: pitching dry yeast on top of sweet yeast?
From: j&a <>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 00:51:11 -0500

hey now,

thanks for everyones help on my blueberry/raspberry mead…!

this is a great list, just wish it came out more often.

it was mentioned that using 12pds of honey and wyeast sweet mead yeast may
not be a good comnination because it would take forever to ferment out. i've
heard of pitching a dry yeast after a sweet mead yeast is through
fermenting. any opinions on this? it's only been fermenting for two weeks
and i'm getting activity in the air lock about ever 8 seconds or so. i
racked the mead into a glass carboy this weekend. if i do add more yeast,
will i need to transfer to another carboy? the one i have it in is a five
gallon carboy…

thanks again!

Willow sky, whoa, I walk and wonder why.
They say love your brother, but you will catch it when you try.
Roll down the line, boy, drop you for a loss;
Ride you out on a cold rail road and nail you to a cross.

  • –Unbroken Chain by Robert Petersen


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #604, 17 October 1997
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 05:10:18 -0400 (EDT)

> From: "John R. Bowen" <>

> For the show mead, you might reasonably have added as much as 1
> Tablespoon/gal of acid blend (equivalent to about 0.45% tartaric). So you
> might want to take a small sample of the mead and add small amounts of
> acid in proportion, seeing if the acid addition improves the flavor. Try
> 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoon/cup and let your tastebuds decide.

Why not just buy an acid test kit – about $20, I've added a total of 2 1/4
Tsp of acid blend to my meads.

My acid adjustments are done at the end of fermentation, I don't have a basis
for this really. Somewhere I read that the addition of acid could inhibit
fermentation (i.e. too acidic), so I move my adjustment to the end.

I suppose the ideal situation would be to measure the PH, at the beginning,
adjust the acid/alkalinity; then at the completion check the acidity as you
say " for taste"
Just my thoughts


Subject: MLD preface request
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 10:05:31 -0400

If anybody still has the MLD preface that has common terms, etc…
pertaining to mead, could you send me a copy? Mine was lost in an
attempt to save it on floppy. I've gotten much better though. TIA

By the way, I have a pyment using Prisse de Mousse that went from 1.096
to 1.000 in three weeks. I'm starting to feed it, and am having some
horror stories to show for it! That which doesn't kill us, just makes us
stronger! (and hopefully the mead as well)

So much honey, so little time. Salute!
Paul Haaf

Subject: Re: Nuts / International mead
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 08:30:15 -0500 wrote:

>On the subject of nuts in mead. I must ( no pun ) agree with the comments
>about the nut oils effecting the finished mead….The main draw back
>continues to be the oils. They effect the head retention.

I wonder how well extracts made by soaking nuts in spirits would work.
Has anyone tried this?


Dan McFeeley

Subject: re: Where to get oak chips
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 18 Oct 97 13:55:15 MDT (Sat)

"Hy Ginsberg" <> reported, in comments he received about
getting/making oak chips:
> …And the lumber yard stuff may be treated with things you'd rather not
> consume, so steer clear.

I tend to doubt this. Unless the wood is explicitly marked as treated,
it would seem that (a) there isn't any particular reason to treat it, since
that would just be another processing step that would cost money and take
time, and (b) the risk to someone handling the wood and not knowing it's
been treated would be too much of a liability to the wood source. Keep in
mind that normal handling of lumber at home will produce chips and sawdust.

Does anybody have verifiable information that lumberyard oak is treated?
If so, why, and with what?

Dick Dunn rcd, domain Boulder County, Colorado USA

…Reality is neat! It works even if you don't believe in it!

Subject: Commercial Meads
From: "Lisa McCargar" <>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 11:28:21 -0600

Hi all,
I'm brand new to the list, and have made mead once, according to the
directions gleaned from several different books. It's okay, but more like
wine with a slight hint of honey. Still needs more aging, of course.
However, I love the 'commercial' type mead that we have found in Ireland
and Scotland, sweet, honey tasting, more like a liquer.
Can anyone give me some tips on how to reproduce that sweet, liquer kind of
mead? Is this 'sack' mead?
TIA for all the info,
Lisa in Quesnel

Subject: Large bottles wanted
From: Matt Maples <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 12:23:55 -0700

Some time ago I posted a question about the names of larger bottle sizes
and got great response (thanks everyone). I have made a quest of finding
one of each size and I am well on my way. I have the following…

Split 0.375
Bottle 0.75
Magnum 1.5
Jeroboam 3
Rehoboam 4.5
Methuselah 6

I am looking for these…

Piccolo 0.1875
Salmanazar 9
Balthazar 12
Nebuchadnezzar 15

Does anyone know of some for sale. I have searched the web far and wide
with no luck. The only way I got my hands on a Methuselah is that my
dads friends are SERIOUS wine drinkers. Please respond by personal
e-mail thanks.

I drink life to the lees, and I will regret not when I go. (Matt Maples)

Subject: What is sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry, dry and extra-dry?
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 21:53:57 -0400 (EDT)


I am new to mead making and would appreciate some help with some terminology.
We often refer to wines as sweet or dry or variations on that theme. I
understand that this refers to the amount of residual sugar or so I think.
Does this ever take into consideration the amount of alcohol or the pH of the
specimen? Are there any concrete numbers that define these terms? At what SG
is a solution sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry, dry or extra dry? Does the
apparent sweetness rise or fall with the percentage of alcohol? pH?

Since I tend to prefer wines that are sweet that is the type of mead I would
like to make. Here is what I am thinking. Let's postulate that 1.015 is the
definition of sweet. Further let's say I want a final alcohol by volume of
12%. So if I started with a must of 1.095 and fermented it to 1.015 and then
added K-sorbate to stop the yeast action, allowed it to settle (How long
would that be likely to take?) and then bottled it, would it be what I
thought it would be?

Next, with what should I "top off"? When I rack my mead I always have more
and more headspace. I have been simply adding a little pasteurizsed
honey/water mixture of no known SG. Is that what I should be doing? Should I
top it off with liquid of known SG? How does that change the actual alcohol
of the final product? How can I retroactively calculate the OG to compare
with the FG (TG)?

And last for now, how does pH affect the taste? Does rising pH mask flavors,
make them more pronounced or what?

Private replies are fine, though other newcomers might benefit from this
information, too. Thanks.

John Kostelac
JKostalot at aol dot com

Subject: Enough honey?
From: (Robert J Skala)
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 21:16:53 -0500

I brewed my first mead 3 mos. ago following a recipe
that I found in a homebrew magazine.
The recipe calls for only 5 lbs. of honey for 5 gals.
I now know after reading this list for a while and
visiting some web pages that this isn't enough
honey. The recipe is a metheglin with cinnamon
and vanilla. Should I add more honey as in a recent post,
or should I just bottle as is. If I have to add more honey,how
much longer should I let it ferment.

Rob Skala

End of Mead Lover's Digest #605