Mead Lover's Digest #0606 Sat 25 October 1997


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997 ("John R. Bowen")
Acid addition (reply to MLD #605) ("John R. Bowen")
What is sweet (reply) ("John R. Bowen")
Re: Almond Mead (Kumiss) (Nova)
Campden tablets and when to add to mead? ("Heyn's")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997 (Michael P Newton)
Preface reply (
Some recipes needed (Chris Stankaitis)


NOTE: Digest only appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests. When

subscribing, please include name and email address in body of message.

Digest archives and FAQ are available for anonymous ftp at

in pub/clubs/homebrew/mead.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 07:18:42 -0400 (EDT)

Jonathan asks about pitching a dry yeas ontop of Wyeast Sweet mead yeast,

Here is my experience-
I used 15 lbs of honey to make a 5 gal batch, OG about 1.115. Added yeast
nutrient and energizer, adjusted pH up to around 4.5. the Wyeast was made
into a starter.

After 2 weeks the gravity had dropped to 1.055 and had slowed quite a bit.
Then I added a little more yeast nutrient and energizer, readjusted the pH. I
think I was a little too impatient because I also pitched a packet,
rehydrated, of dry Champagne yeast. After another 2 or 3 weeks the gravity
had dropped to 1.001. So much for a sweet mead!
The only reason Idecided to pitch the dry champagne yeast(besides impatience)
was that the Wyeast sweet mead yeast packet was fairly old, 9 months or so.
Because of this, I was concerned that the attenuation could somehow be

The mead came out fine, though dry.It took a 3rd place in a contest when
about 3 months old.

Bob Talkiewicz, Binghamton, NY <>

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997
From: "John R. Bowen" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 13:09:12 +0000

Rob, as usual, IMHO, it all depends. How does it taste? If it
doesn't taste weak and watery (compared to what, you might ask), then
bottle it. If it tastes weak, then you might add up to another 7 lb of
honey. Or, you might bottle some and add some honey to the rest and
compare them in a few months.

What is the condition of your yeast? Is the mead clear, or are you
still on the sediment? If you add the honey and don't see activity in
a few days, you might want to add more of your initial yeast, perhaps
even in a starter.

Whether or not you are concerned about pasteurizing the added honey, I
don't think you need to worry about stirring and mixing. If you just
pour it, you should get enough mixing to restart the yeast if it is
going to restart. Then the fermentation itself will mix in the rest
of the honey. I did that with a peach melomel, adding about 4 lbs to
5 gal., which formed a nice thick layer on the bottom of the carboy.
After about three weeks of moderate activity, that layer had


Subject: Acid addition (reply to MLD #605)
From: "John R. Bowen" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 13:45:42 +0000

Ron, I don't want to belabor a point, since you so correctly observed
that acid addition is a matter of taste. I use an acid test kit
myself, mainly to tell me where I started and where I have gone. My
suggestion on the amout of acid to add was based on the particular
blend I have and a general target in winemaking of about 0.5%

I think it makes more sense to add acid by taste, at least until you
establish what tastes right to you. And my suggestions were to
provide a starting point with a low probability of initially
overacidifying. But yes, it also makes good sense to measure the acid
when you find a level you like, to give you a reference for future

I remain open-minded (a polite way of saying I haven't a clue) on
whether to add acid at the beginning or the end or both. I don't
believe the initial pH makes much difference, and I'm open-minded on
the final pH, too. But I have started adding most of my acid in the
beginning with the thought that the yeast might do interesting things
with it, like forming some fruity esters and such. Then I can adjust a
wee bit at the end, too, if desired.

Best wishes,

John Bowen

Subject: What  is sweet (reply)
From: "John R. Bowen" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 13:30:31 +0000

With some trepidation I will venture an opinion on a small part of
your post. In theory, starting with a sp. g. of 1.095 and stopping at
1.015 would give you about 11% alcohol (1.095 less 1.015 = .08, or 11%
alc. by my hydrometer). But getting that accurate is a little tricky,
as the alcohol itself, being of lower sp.g. than pure water, distorts
the results. As the alcohol starts to build up and the gravity falls,
the alcohol itself causes the gravity to be lower than you would
predict from the consumption of sugar alone. Put differently, if you
wanted to know how much sugar was consumed, you would possibly measure
the volume of a sample, boil it to drive off the alcohol, and add pure
water to restore the initial volume. Then measure the sp. g. in the
absence of the interfering alcohol. The same problem arises in
determining the alcohol content from the specific gravity. The
initial specific gravity is a good measure of the <<potential>>
alcohol content, but the final gravity is only a good stab at the
final alcohol content.

But all that aside, you would be close enough, I think. The other
complication is that of physically getting a good gravity in a active
fermentation, as the CO2 has a propensity to form little bubbles on
the hydrometer itself, causing it to rise and giving you a falsely
high reading.

So I guess I would use the hydrometer as a rough guide and my taste
buds as the final guide, letting it ferment out until it tasted just
sweet enough. And let the alcohol fall where it will.

And, of course, you are still faced with the difficulty of reliably
stopping the fermentation with sorbate. I just read a post (on the
cider digest, I think) from a person who managed to get fermentation
started in commercial apple juice that had added sorbate. I've not
used it myself, but it would be interesting to hear any sorbate horror
stories from those of you who have.

Please forgive a complex answer to a simple question. But
unfortunatley, I don't see any simple way to deal with sweetness.


Subject: Re: Almond Mead (Kumiss)
From: Nova <>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 15:40:45 -0400

> From: Kate Collins <>
> To the guy who wanted to make almond mead, I'm facing the same
> problem. There are approximately 8 trillion chestnut trees in
> the area, so I thought I could put them to good use. Personally
> I think nuts would go best in a "kumiss" – a mead made with
> milk that I don't have an exact recipe for – we discussed it
> (again) a few months ago I believe.

I do not believe you can call kumiss a mead. I have a recipe for it, it
is located at:

I have made a more palatable "mock" kumiss. I heat milk on the stove
and mix it with Irish cream and microwave heated honey. The heated
honey dissolves easier in the milk. I have no recipe, just add the
ingredients to taste and serve chilled.

On the subject of making nut mead's, I've had good results adding nut
extracts to my light mead's at bottling. This is something else I do to
taste. See how many extract drops you like per bottle and use it.

  • -Nova

Subject: Campden tablets and when to add to mead?
From: "Heyn's" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 16:17:49 -0600 (MDT)

Hello all,

I've been reading/subscribing to this list for the last month or so

and have found it interesting so far. However I now have a few questions.

I am thinking about adding Campden Tablets to some strawberry mead

(my first mead), and I was wondering: how many should I add to one gallon?,
what side-affects if any will occur?, and what to do after I add the tablets
(how long to wait before decanting, etc)? I'm getting action in the
air-lock once every 22-28 seconds.

Umm… thanks if someone can help me.

  • Elias C:\ Heyn

| TTFN — Ta Ta For Now |

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #605, 21 October 1997
From: (Michael P Newton)
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 20:39:26 EDT

My most recent experiment:
a carrot raisin mead
1)4# of carrots, _very_ thinly sliced and 2 C. of raisins boiled for
over 2 hours in 3 Qts. of water (caveats- check every once and while to
make sure carrots aren't boiling dry)
you want the juice and color to come out into the liquid.
2)strain and plup carrot/raisin mix, getting most of the liquid out of
the mix.
3) add 3# of honey to liquid, and cool
4) add yeast( I used one pkg. of Red Star Cote Des Blancs dry yeast,
mixed with 1 cup of orange juice, and kept for 12 hours til it showed a
nice head.)
5) After a good slow stir, it went into the carboy (1 gal) and filled the
rest of the way up with water. Then capped with the airlock, which is
what I would change if I could. 12 hours later, replaced airlock with
blow off tube. After 24 hr later, it had calmed down enough to replace
with the airlock once again.
It is still bubbling away however, I'll let you all know how it
Elizabeth Newton

Subject: Preface reply
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 06:39:37 -0400

Thanks for the MLD prefaces everyone sent. Upon reading it, I realize my
pyment is really a
"Sack O' Hippos"!(High alc., sweet, pyment with spices) Pretty Cool.
Paul Haaf

Subject: Some recipes needed
From: Chris Stankaitis <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 10:41:51 -0400

I am looking for some recipes, and am right now
scowering the old Digests' and other places on the net
for one… I am looking for 2 recipes (for making 5gal)
a good cinnamon/ginger metheglin, and a lemon melomel.

I think the cinnamon/ginger metheglin will make for a nice
spicy warm winter drink…

and the lemon melomel would be kinda like a "lemonade" type

could someone please post any recipes they know to me via e-mail
(so i get started on my mead A.S.A.P. as well cc it to the digest
so everyone can get the recipes,)

End of Mead Lover's Digest #606