Mead Lover's Digest #0617 Tue 25 November 1997


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



Multi-stage Melomel (stencil)
Mazer Cup? (
Mead in Mythology (Dan McFeeley)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #616, 22 November 1997 (Alex Flinsch)
clearing my mead (Chris Stankaitis)
Re: Hops in mead (davep)
Re: First mead (davep)
Cyser sanitation (Matthew Arnold)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #616, 22 November 1997 (
Re: hops in mead ("Linda or Darin")
Sake Brewery in Kyoto ("Chris A. Smith")
brute force carbonation ("Linda or Darin")


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Subject: Multi-stage Melomel
From: (stencil)
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 00:59:10 GMT

For the upcoming Thanksgiving Melomel (figs, dates, pears, ginger,
star anise, some pepper) I'd like to make a two-stage fermentation in
hopes of avoiding flavor loss through too-violent evolution of CO2.
The anticipated strategy is to steep the fruit (chopped coarse) for an
hour or so at ca. 160F, then add to the must and scald and skim; then
to pitch an ale yeast, either a clovey Bavarian Weizen or the step-up
from a bottle of Chimay. Then after a week's ferment at ca. 60F, rack
to a carboy and pitch, say, Red Star's "Flor Sherry" or "Pasteur
Champagne." Prime and bottle next June, drink at Christmas.
Here are some specific questions:
Does anyone have experience with the use of either of the proposed ale
yeasts with a mead? Am I correct in shooting for a cool, and
hopefully quiet, first ferment?
Will the sherry yeast add too much to an already complex flavor, and,
will it finish too sweet?
The goal here is for a rich, alcoholic, sparkling after-dinner drink.
This year's product, lacking the spices and fermented only with
champagne yeast, is Very Good, but falls short of Excellent largely
through a certain one-dimensional quality ("fig wine") and a rather
thin mouthfeel.

tia, stencil

Subject: Mazer Cup?
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 22:54:44 -0500 (EST)

Has anyone heard anything about the results of the Mazer Cup? They started
judging on 11-8. Are they still judging?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Subject: Mead in Mythology
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 00:06:33 -0600

I was doing some browsing at and out of
curiosity did a search for references on mead. This is what
turned up, although mead has played a larger role in religion
and mythology than what these brief notes show.


Dan McFeeley

An Irish/Celtic smith god, son of the goddess Danu. He manufactures swords
that always strike true, and he possesses the mead of eternal life. He makes
the arms for the Tuatha De Danann together with Credne and Luchtainel. As a
brewmaster he was unsurpassed and his beer gave the drinker immortality. The
Welsh called him Govannon.

In Norse mythology, Andhrimnir is the cook of the Aesir and the Einherjar.
Every evening he slaughters the cosmic boar Sahrimnir and cooks it in his
magical cauldron Eldhrimnir. This boar is restored to life the same night
to be slaughtered and eaten again the following day. The milk provided by
the goat Heidrun, which stands on top of the world tree and eats its leaves,
forms the basic ingredient for the mead drunk by the Aesir.

The god of eloquence and poetry, and the patron of skalds (poets) in
Norse mythology. He is regarded as a son of Odin and Frigg. Runes were
carved on his tongue and he inspired poetry in humans by letting them
drink from the mead of poetry. Bragi is married to Idun, the goddess of
eternal youth. Oaths were sworn over the Bragarfull ("Cup of Bragi"),
and drinks were taken from it in honor of a dead king. Before a king
ascended the throne, he drank from such a cup.

Originally, Bragi did not belong the pantheon of gods. He was a poet from
the 9th century, Bragi Boddason. Poets from later centuries made him a god.

In Norse mythology, Kvasir was the wisest of the Vanir, fashioned
from the spittle of all the gods. Two brothers, the dwarves Fjalar
and Galar, invited him to a feast in their dismal cavern and killed him.
The dwarves mixed his blood with honey and preserved it in two jars and
a cauldron. The mixture fermented, creating the mead of poetry. Those
who drink it become inspired poets.

Some time later, the brothers murdered the giant Gilling and his wife.
Gilling's son, Suttung, came looking for his parents and threatened to
kill the dwarves. The brothers gave the mead to Suttung in return for
sparing their lives. Suttung hid the mead in the center of a mountain
and ordered his daughter Gunnlod to guard it.

Suttung boasted of his treasure, and when the god Odin learned of it
he went to Jotunheim to obtain the mead. Disguised as a farmhand,
Odin worked for Suttung's brother, Baugi, all summer. When the work
was done, Odin asked Baugi to give him a drink of the mead. Reluctantly,
Baugi drilled a small hole through the side of the mountain and into
the chamber where the mead was kept.

Odin changed himself into a snake and slithered through the hole into the
chamber where Gunnlod guarded the mead. Resuming the form of a giant man,
he persuaded Gunnlod to give him three sips of the mead. Odin drained all
three vessels, changed himself into an eagle, and flew back to Asgard.

According to Kevin Crossley-Holland's book The Norse Myths, the name Kvasir
is derived from the Russian word kvas which denotes a type of fermented
drink similar to beer but stronger (page 191).

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #616, 22 November 1997
From: Alex Flinsch <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 04:48:33 -0800 (PST)

>Subject: Bee's Lees Part II Recipe Collection
>From: Sheryl Nance-Durst <>
>Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 16:55:22 -0600

>zipped) in a text file. I know it's too big to post to the Digest
>& it would take too long to send it to everyone by individual e-mail.
>Anyone want to volunteer to post it on their Web site for download?
>How about the moderator sending to the archive? Suggestions, anyone?

A HTML version has been posted to

Alex |"> | Pagan Brewing

| /|\ on the web
| / | \ Since 1997

Subject: clearing my mead
From: Chris Stankaitis <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 11:38:40 -0500

ok, this is a really quick, and really dumb question
but I am going to use Sparkloid to clear my mead after
reading about how good a job it does for people in the
digest, my mead has been aging along and there is already
a bunch of sediment on the bottom, so I was going to
rack it again first, then use the sparkloid.. but the problem
is I've got this nice little jar of sparkloid but no instructions
on how to use it… what is the dosage?? per gallon of mead
I am using a 5 gallon batch..

My seccond question is that when I tasted the mead when I frist
racked it when it was a week only, it seemed to me to have a very
acidic taste… I was wondering if that taste could be because it
was still fermenting, or if I need to adjust the pH. now a: can/should
the ph be adjusted while the mead is still fermenting?? b: now that it's
done fermenting is it to late to adjust the pH???

Thanks for all your help


Subject: Re: Hops in mead
From: davep <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 97 16:43:05 -0600

In MLD#616, Elizabeth Newton ( writes:

>Has anyone ever made a mead flavored with hops, and if so, what recipe
>did you use?

When I use hops in a mead I do two things:
1) Use a small amount of hops. I seldom make meads with anywhere near the
body of a typical beer, so the amount of hops needs to be less to keep
things in balance
2) Make sure it finishes at least a little sweet to balance the hops.

An example recipe is at <>

  • -DaveP

Dave Polaschek – or

Subject: Re: First mead
From: davep <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 97 16:43:01 -0600

In MLD#616, (Matthew Arnold) writes:

> [Question about "Hangover Cyser" from "Mead Made Easy."]
>anyone know what the fermentation temperature range is for Red Star Pasteur
>Champagne yeast? I'm wondering how warm I'm going to have to keep it here in
>the frigid Midwest.

Hey, I wrote that! Anyway, if you keep it above 50F, you'll be fine. If
your place has big temperature swings over the course of the day, wrap
the gallon jug in a blanket to buffer those swings.

>[ Question about dropping the hydrometer right in the gallon fermenter]

Well, If you've got the same hydrometer I do, it won't be able to measure
in a gallon jug, since it's taller than that.

> I assume I should expect a F.G. of about .995, is that correct?

Somewhere in that range, yeah. I seldom measure the "hangover cysers". I
just bottle when they've cleared. Typically this is a month or so after I
quit noticing bubbles coming out of the airlock. I'll prime with 1/8 cup
of corn sugar before bottling if I'm after a carbonated cyser.

  • -DaveP

Dave Polaschek – or

Subject: Cyser sanitation
From: (Matthew Arnold)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 02:14:09 GMT

Questions, questions . . .

As my one-gallon experimental cyser continues to bubble away, I had some
thoughts that struck me. Let's say someone (OK, I) was planning to make a five
gallon batch of a really simple cyser. Perhaps the recipe could be 4.75 gallons
apple cider, 7.5# of honey (perhaps orange blossom?), maybe a container or two
of white grape juice concentrate for giggles, fermented with champagne yeast.

My question is: assuming that the apple cider would be store bought (no
preservatives, but very likely pasteurized), could one get away with:

  • –putting the cider directly into a carboy

  • –adding the honey to just enough boiling water (which has been removed from

the heat) to get it to dissolve, covering it and letting it pasteurize

  • –adding the warm honey directly to the cider (which should cool it in the


  • –pitching the yeast

I assume that the store-bought cider would not have any nasties (or at least a
very small amount of them) floating around so boiling/pasteurizing/sulfiting
wouldn't be necessary. I don't have any orchards within howitzer distance so
the farm-fresh stuff is right out anyway. This would seem to be a painfully
easy way to make a cyser if I could be sure it all wouldn't end up being liquid
wild yeast/bacteria treat.

Thoughts? Innuendo?


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #616, 22 November 1997
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 07:16:21 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-11-22 23:22:11 EST, writes:

Anne T wrote a line on making traditional mead without pasteurizing or
using sulfites. As a P.S. she added:

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!

Can this be right?


You should most always use yeast nutrients. Just don't use the ammonia based
ones. The cause of the yuk taste. They are intended for beer ( and I wouldn't
endorse that either ) Use yeast nutrients intended for mead, or better yet,
yeast hulls and pollen.

>Has anyone ever made a mead flavored with hops, and if so, what recipe
>did you use?
>In addition, does anyone know when hops were first used in Russia?
>Elizabeth Newton

I have made several hopped meads. Each mead has been a traditional

made with either sage or star thistle honey, both of these are very mild. I
used a 3 lbs. to 1 gallon of water ratio for the must. I have used mild
aromatic hops only. Mainly Tettenager and Tasmanian Hersbruker at a ratio of
3/4 oz. to each 5 gallons. Boil the
hops for 15-20 minutes in water before adding in the honey. From there handle
as you would your other meads.

micah millspaw – brewer at large

Subject: Re: hops in mead
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 04:54:19 -0800

Elizabeth Newton asked:

> Has anyone ever made a mead flavored with hops, and if so, what recipe
> did you use?

Funny you should mention that. I just had such a chaotic notion about a
week ago, and the fermentation lock activity is just starting to slow down.
Recipe is:

4oz crystal malt, extracted in a partial mash
3/4oz cascade hops
1# buckwheat honey
1# sage honey
water to 1gal
standard Lalvin D47 starter.

1/2 of the hops were boild for the full 45 minutes, 1/4 for the last 8
minutes, and 1/4 for the last 3 min. I added the honey to pasturize after
the hops were strained off. OG of 1.065. I will prime with 1T dried malt
extract and bottle in probably a week. I am decidedly looking for
something beer-like, though the gravity puts it more into a barley wine

> In addition, does anyone know when hops were first used in Russia?

No, but if you get any private hits on this one, please fw them to me.

Darin Trueblood

Subject: Sake Brewery in Kyoto
From: "Chris A. Smith" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 22:13:44 +1300

(Now here's a stab in the dark:)

I headed for Kyoto, Japan next month for vacation
and I'd like to tour a sake brewery, preferably one
that has English- or Korean-speaking guides.
Anybody have any suggestions on breweries or how
to go about finding one? Thanks.

Chris A. Smith
Switching Systems Group
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Seoul, Korea

Subject: brute force carbonation
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 05:14:03 -0800

Is there any reason why I shouldn't try force carbonation by puting a
measured mass of dry ice in the bottle and capping?

Darin Trueblood

End of Mead Lover's Digest #617