Mead Lover's Digest #0608 Fri 31 October 1997


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



Red coloring ("John R. Bowen")
Pollen as a yeast nutrient ("Hy Ginsberg")
Doctoring a dry mead (Jeffrey Rose)
Re: Vanilla Mead and K1V (Mark Taratoot)
yeast choice (Eric James Urquhart)
Re: Subject: Pectic Enzyme Data Point (Dan McFeeley)
the colour of mead (Rod McDonald)
Lallemand web site (Mark Evenson)
Lalvin K1V-1116 (Mark Evenson)
Temperature Question (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: Red coloring
From: "John R. Bowen" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 12:51:59 +0000

John, I believe the two natural products usually used to color
raspberry yougurt its pretty red color are annatto ( a seed extract)
and beet. Beets are quite sweet, and a little bit grated and
pasturized in water might be just the thing to color without adding
noticable flavor. For that matter, if you peel it well, you shouldn't
even have to pasteruize it. Just grate it and add a little.


Subject: Pollen as a yeast nutrient
From: "Hy Ginsberg" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 09:09:39 -0500

The October issue of the American Bee Journal included an article by Dr.
Robert Berthold, Jr., recommending the use of pollen as a yeast nutrient in
mead making – 5 tablespoons per gallon. Anyone out there ever try this?

Subject: Doctoring a dry mead
From: Jeffrey Rose <>
Date: 30 Oct 97 10:40:25 -0500

I just made a wild berry mead and a cranberry-pear cyser. The mead is a
little bitter (but young) and the cyser is a little tart. Both fermented
down to 0.990 but I'd like to add a little lactose and/or flavorings to
give the final product a bit more fruit taste and sweetness. Any comments
or suggestions?


Subject: Re: Vanilla Mead and K1V
From: Mark Taratoot <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 09:27:52 -0800 (PST)

David Johnson <> asked about vanilla in mead:

> I am in the planning stages of a vanilla mead. I am planning on using beans
> instead of extract. I also intend on using Lalvin K1-V1116. I would like
> some info on using beans in mead and and the fermentation characteristics of
> this yeast (specifically I need to know the alcohol tolerance since I would
> like to leave a little sweetness. I plan to either bottle still or force
> carbonate.

This is my favorite mead yeast, or at least the one that I have
become most familiar with over the past three or four years. I
find it ferments clean and is neutral flavored. It is tolerant
of SO2, so it works if you choose to use sulfites. No local
shops carry this yeast regularly, so I usually special order ten
at a time. Of course, I usually give some away to other mead
makers to increase demand and encourage more people to carry it.
K1V is fairly alcohol tolerant, however, many of my meads end up
a bit on the sweet side, but I am a minimalist (I usually don't
"feed" my musts more than once or twice, don't adjust pH prior
to fermentation, etc.) My general schedule includes one gallon
of honey for a five gallon batch, but I often add more if it is a
traditional mead without other fermentable ingredients. The "K"
indicates it is a killer yeast which seeks out and destroys other
yeast strains. It is not, therefore, a good yeast to use to
augment naturally occurring fermentations. It is a very popular
commercial wine yeast. Lallemond has a web page
( that describes all their yeasts.

Last year I had a traditional mead that was quite nice, but a bit
bland when I got ready to bottle. So, I went to the store and
bought three vanilla beans. I got home, split each in half, and
tossed them right in the carboy. No soaking in grain alcohol or
boiling. Three months later, I bottled. This mead has a LOT of
vanilla. Too much, perhaps. It has been in the bottle since
January, and the vanilla is mellowing. Now, I like vanilla, so
it was never really TOO MUCH vanilla for me, but it was quite out
of balance. I saved the beans and a bit of the dregs and used
them in another batch. There was still just a wee bit of vanilla
flavor there, and you can almost perceive it in the next batch.
If you like vanilla, go with two beans in 5 gallons. The longer
they sit, the more the alcohol will extract the flavor. If you
just kind of like vanilla, try one bean. Three beans really
isn't that bad either.

Good luck, and if you need some help sampling your mead, let me
know 🙂

Mark Taratoot

Subject: yeast choice
From: Eric James Urquhart <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 12:41:43 -0800 (PST)

Subject: Vanilla mead
From: "David Johnson" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 01:23:07 -0600

David Johnson said:
I am in the planning stages of a vanilla mead. I am planning on using
beans instead of extract. I also intend on using Lalvin K1-V1116. I would
like some info on using beans in mead and and the fermentation
characteristics of this yeast (specifically I need to know the alcohol
tolerance since I would like to leave a little sweetness. I plan to either
bottle still or force carbonate.

Hi David,
My very strong suggestion is to "NOT USE" Lalvin K1-V1116 if you plan to
make a sweet mead. A much better choice being a new dry yeast from Lalvin
called D-47. This yeast is cold tolerant down to 50 F and will ferment
well if a normal amt of nitrogen nutrient is added to a mead and is
excellent at maintaining varietal character especially if fermented cold.
It also enhances mouthfeel due to byproducts of the fermentation.

I have used this yeast for meads, cider and several white wines.

It is excellent.

Eric Urquhart, Centre for Pest Management,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA V5A 1S6

lab (604) 291-3090 fax (604) 291-3496

Subject: Re: Subject: Pectic Enzyme Data Point
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 13:57:48 -0600

On Mon, 27 Oct 1997, "John Heubel" <> wrote:

>Awhile back I asked some questions about pectic enzyme, boiling
>the fruits, etc for a Prickly Pear Cactus melomel I was undertaking….
>I've also thought of adding a little food coloring (heresy I know)
>to get that crimson color back which the fruit showed when I cut them
>open. Right now it's sort of a golden to blush color. Any thoughts?
>I know many meadmakers are minimalists when it comes to additives
>(and I'll try that approach too – in time) but this is my first and I
>want it to look just right. Will the coloring affect the flavor any?
>Are there any natural colorings I could use that wouldn't?

I'm not sure about this, but it might have something to do with the
fruit used for the melomel. I've never seen or tried a Prickly Pear
Cactus melomel, but it seems that you get a variation of color from
crimson to the pale color you describe.

I had good results with color retention by using herbal teas in
the must. I matched the tea with the mead, in this instance, Celestial
Seasonings Cranberry & Strawberry-Kiwi teas to go with a cranberry
and strawberry melomel, respectively. Both melomels are a nice deep
red color, while another cranberry melomel I made without the tea has a
pale golden pink color (the strawberry melomel is my first effort so
I've nothing else to compare it with). There were no coloring agents
listed in the ingredient list of the teas so I'm not sure why they had
the effect that they did.

Be sure to check the ingredients for added citric acid before adding an
herbal tea to a mead. I tried a Red Zinger mead recently and couldn't
figure out why the fermentation stuck until I checked the pH and found it
dipping down to about 2.8. Red Zinger tea has added citric acid for
taste, so I'm guessing that the extra acid was the reason for the
pH crash.

A while ago my wife and I visited the Brown County Winery in Nashville
Ind. and bought a few bottles of their strawberry wine. The color
was a nice red color compared with the straw or pale colored melomels
I've read about on this list. That got me wondering — do commercial
wineries that make fruit or other country wines use artificial colors
to keep the color from fading?

__________ __________
________ ________

Dan McFeeley, MA Riverside HealthCare
Behavioral Health Services Kankakee, Illinois

ERROR — witty .sigfile not found

Subject: the colour of mead
From: (Rod McDonald)
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:03:42 +1000

"John Heubel" <> wrote about: a golden to blush color.

and (Dick Dunn) wrote about:
a particular cast of color. If I were being mundane, I'd describe it as light
gray-ish; if I were being romantic I'd describe it as a platinum hue…etc.

First of all, I'd be disinclined to add colouring, purely because past
experience has shown that under certain light (eg late afternoon, early
evening Maxfield Parrish style magic hour twilight) adds another layer (a
visual layer) of *subtle* enjoyment of a mead with a 'blush' in it. I
have had similar blush type of colouring from both a plum mel and a fig
mel (having at first regretted the loss of the a lot of dark red colour
from the plums). Dick, I haven't noticed anything vaguely greyish, but I
have noticed the 'blush' did seem to be almost like colour in suspension
rather than in solution – which, I suspect, is why it almost glowed in
the late afternoon twilight.

I would be interested in any biochemist's thoughts, and I can guarantee
knowing what is actually happening will not lessen the enjoyment.


Subject: Lallemand web site
From: Mark Evenson <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 17:27:39 -0800

Sorry – forgot address for Lallemand web site! It is found at

the forgetful Anne T

Subject: Lalvin  K1V-1116
From: Mark Evenson <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 17:25:41 -0800

Check out Lallemand web site for info on all Lalvin yeasts. I haven't
tried to push the alcohol level to the point where it is toxic to
yeast with the K1V-1116, but I've taken it up to 16%…

Anne T c/o

Subject: Temperature Question
From: Chris Stankaitis <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 21:38:58 -0500

I have 2 quick questions, I started my batch of mead on saturday 25
and it is my first batch I have been lurking for around 6 months
learning a lot, but until you've done this there are some things
you don't think about…..

1. My Starting Gravity was 1.160 (I think thats kinda high…) but

I did a good yeast starter, and am using a tolerent yeast.
Champange yeast Lalvin EC – 1118 (it's the only thing I could
find in my area of Canada) and since it's only honey and spice I used a
little yeast nutrient… I think my fermenting it going fine.

What is considered to be a good fermentation?? speed wise?
for the first 4 days after pitching I was getting action in
my airlock at a rate of about one bubble every 2 secconds?
is this fast, slow, normal? today when I looked in on it, it
seemed to slow down a bit..

I am planning to rack it from a primary plastic to a glass carboy
on Sat Nov 1, should I pitch some more yeast at that time? or are
things going fine, just sit back and let'er go…. what will the
effect of pitching more yeast do?? will it give it a "yeasty" taste
or cloudyness that may be hard to clear.. or will it just speed
things up… do I even need to worry???

2. also will changes in temp here majorly affect the fermentation?? I live
in Canada (near Toronto) and my house is at about 27C or 78F (round
about) but at night it drops down.. is this somehting to be concerned
about?? will

this kill off my yeast before it does it's job?? and in reference to
#1 will there be the potential need to pitch more yeast?

Oh well I guess I'll have a better realization of how things are going on
Saturday when I rack it and take another Hydrometer reading…


End of Mead Lover's Digest #608