Mead Lover's Digest #0615 Tue 18 November 1997


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



Re: Tannins (Marc Shapiro)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #614, 14 November 1997 (Paul Mozdziak)
Brewing wild… (Mark Evenson)
Re:cloudy mead ("Linda or Darin")
my best mead ("Linda or Darin")
Yeast Nutrients ("Phillip J. Welling")
Virgin Honey (


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Subject: Re: Tannins
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 20:15:54 -0500

> Subject: Tannins
> From:
> Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 07:08:46 -0500 (EST)

> I've been making mead for along time, but have never heard much about
> tannins, until the posts recently regarding clarifying problems.

> Would someone tell me the purpose/uses of tannin?

You wont normally hear much about tannins when making mead, since honey
does not contain any tannins. Grapes, on the other hand, contain lots
of tannin. Other fruits contain tannin, as well, particularly the skins
of darker berries.

Tannin can add an astringency to your finished wine, or mead.

Some clarifying agents, particularly gelatins, I believe, work by
bonding with the tannins in the wine and form charged particles which
pull certain particles from your wine and cause them to settle out. If
you make a mead, or a melomel from low/no tannin fruit, then these types
of fining agents will not work properly without the addition of tannin.
In this case, you need to add the correct amount of tannin to bond with
the gelatin, but not an excess, unless you are looking for that added
astringency. I try to avoid the use of fining agents and just let time
do its thing, so I can't help you with the proper formulas for tannin
additions. It's covered in lots of books and I am sure someone else on
the list could give better information than I can.

When I do need to resort to finings I generally use bentonite, which
also creates charged particles (although of the opposite charge as
gelatin, I believe, and so it pulls out different types of clouding
particles) but it does not require tannin to do its job properly.



Marc Shapiro

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."

  • –Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Winery

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #614, 14 November 1997
From: Paul Mozdziak <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 11:06:05 -0600

I've placed all my personal mead recipes on the net.

Subject: Brewing wild...
From: Mark Evenson <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 17:19:34 -0800

Yes, you can make good mead without sulfites or pasteurization. The key
to success is using lots of yeast – basically, blasting the competition.
I occasionally use sulfites or pasteurize if I've had a problem with a
particular fruit (apricots and peaches are the culprits). If you're just
doing a traditional mead, no fruit, I don't think you'll have a problem.
However, I live in Colorado where the air is dry, dry, DRY so I don't
have a whole host of airborne wildlife that a more humid climate might
harbor. If you have problems with "wildlife", or if you are using fruits
that may carry an unwanted malo-lactic bacteria, you may want to stick
to sulfites or pasteurization. Try it on a small batch, a gallon or so
of a traditional mead. If it doesn't work out, you'll only have a couple
pounds of honey down the tubes.

Anne T c/o

p.s. – When using large yeast pitching rates, don't use nutrient – the
yeast won't utilize it and that taste stays in your mead – yuck!

Subject: Re:cloudy mead
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 21:48:51 -0800

> I am in the middle of fermenting an apple pie mead (taken from the cat's meow)
> and it is VERY hazy. Any suggestions on how to clear it once it's ready
> to bottle?
> Thanks,
> Aaron Boster

Seems to me a classic cart leading horse. It's ready to bottle when it is

But seriously, I don't know about the recipe. Does it contain apples/apple
juice, or just spices? I had a couple of batches of cysers that pretty
much stopped throwing sediment, but were still cloudy after about a year,
so I drank them. They were yummy.

Subject: my best mead
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 21:54:49 -0800

I forgot to sign my last post, so I thought I would toss another the MLD's

The best mead I have ever made is in the very back of my cellar. It will
stay there, in its position of honor, until either I make one that I judge
to be better, or the world ends. No point in saving it any longer then,
and what better occasion to enjoy my finest brew.

Darin Trueblood

Subject: Yeast Nutrients
From: "Phillip J. Welling" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 15:55:33 -0700

How do I identify the type of yeast nutrient (natural or chemical) that the
brew stores in my area has? I have asked them the type they have & they
have no clue. The types (described roughly) are a white color & a brown one.

What are some "brand names" of each type, so I can compare the names of the
distributors that they use?

Also, does it really matter if you use natural nutrients as to chemical?

Phillip J. Welling
ICQ #: 2579862
Visit my home page at:

Subject: Virgin Honey
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 20:38:21 -0400

Boy, I'd hoped that would grab your attention. Anyhow, I have plenty of
honey to work with. I don't really care to waste any.

I have what I will call "virgin" honey. The hives are brand new this year.
Most of the efforts of the bees were directed at building the comb. As a
result, none of the comb is old and oxidized and nasty. The honey I have
is very light in color and tastes great. I have a blueberry melomel going
right now and it tastes fine so far. My question is this. Should I use
this honey (probably soybean by variety) for a straight dry mead or sweet
mead? Will I be disappointed with a "bland" product? I think it might
work for a sweet mead, because the honey tastes great. How about a plain
sparkling mead? Would it be worth using this great, but light, honey?


Nathan in Frankenmuth, MI

End of Mead Lover's Digest #615