Mead Lover's Digest #0625 Tue 23 December 1997


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



corrections to last digest (624) – attributions (Mead Lover's Digest)
commercial mead comments ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Re: Moving Mead (RBarnes001)
re: commercial mead (Jeff)
Re: Juniper (Alex Flinsch)
sulfur smell from the airlock ("Lanham, Steven I.")


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Subject: corrections to last digest (624) - attributions
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 18 Dec 97 19:21:28 MST (Thu)

The last two articles in the last digest (#624) should have been attributed
to "sean sheedy" <>. My apologies. I will try to
get corrected versions into the archives. The software responsible for
this omission (recidivist, also–recall that this is not its first offense
this year) has once again been soundly thrashed.

Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: commercial mead comments
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 00:46:21 -0500

At 05:26 PM 12/18/97 MST, Bruce P. Stevens wrote:
>Well since Mike is such a wizard and may very well "bee" the greatest
>gift to meadmaking since Odin, (i have yet to taste his mead ) ,I guess
>I may as well shut down my winery and go back to selling some other line
>of products.

Whoa there! Let's just chill out a bit. Sit back, take a deep breath,

relax, don't worry, have a homebrew, and all that jazz.

>I hope that these types of comments are taken with a big dose of salt by
>all readers of the digest. and that they go out and try the commercial
>meads available here in the US and Canada before agreeing with such
>derisive comments from an unqualified jury of one on this tube.

I expect that anyone who would take the trouble to make their own mead,

and to subscribe to this digest, is at least intelligent enough to know what
they like to drink, and to be able to decide for themselves. I did not find
his comments derisive at all, and I see no evidence that he is particularly

What he actually said was:

>>I would say that with the exception of meads produced in Europe (which are
>>generally of very high quality), anyone brewing at home can surpass any of
>>the Stateside commercial varieties…

With all due respect to any individual purveyor of commercial potables,

I suggest that this is a simple fact of the process of producing anything in
quantity. I would rank the lowest quality homemade beers and meads I have
tasted at least equal with the finest commercial equivalents I have tasted.
If this were not so, why would "home-made" be such a popular buzzword for

I cannot imagine that Mr. Moynihan's comments were intended as any kind

of a slam against commercial meaderies, he only pointed out the thing that we
all know – the best drink is always the one you make yourself. That's why we
are here folks, because we love to make it, and love to drink it.

| Thaddaeus Vick, Linguist to the Masses | |
| ||

| "Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we learn nothing |
| from history. I know people who can't even learn from what happened this |
| morning. Hegel must have been taking the long view." |
| — Chad C. Mulligan, sociology burnout |

Subject: Re: Moving Mead
From: RBarnes001 <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 04:31:04 EST

> From: Bill Shirley <>
> I moved DC to Houston w/ some mead in the summer.

I would think it's an absolute factor! You know, stirring everything up.
It does remind me of the time I moved with two carboys of mead, carefully
packed, wrapped, cushioned, you name it. When I arrived at the new
destination I unpacked my truck except for the mead.

Had to make a quick trip to the store, and well you guessed it, one quick tap
of the brakes sent two carboys of mead slidding forward and KRASH! my truck
smelled of mead for months


Subject: re: commercial mead
From: (Jeff)
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 10:47:53 -0500

Hi All,

I have been meaning to post a response to the commercial mead thread

but have not gotten around to it until I saw the recent post from Bruce

So far I have only tried two commercially produced meads in addition

to the many homebrewed versions I have tasted. The two commercial ones
were made by the LaBeille (sp?) Honey Winery in Stowe, VT and Bruce's
very own Cask & Hive Winery in Monmouth, ME.

Over the Labor Day weekend I stopped at LaBeille and bought a bottle

of their "natural mead" (a dry still mead) and a bottle of their
raspberry melomel (also still). I have tried the "natural mead" and
found it to be a decent dry mead, but *very* young tasting and
somewhat thin in body. I'm not sure how long it was aged for, but I'd
almost bet that it was less than a couple of months at most. The
raspberry mel is aging in my basement for at least a few more months.
Both were fermented with what LaBeille refers to as a burgundy yeast
and both bottles carry the sulfite warning label.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I stopped at the Cask & Hive Winery

and met Bruce in person (Hi Bruce!). While there I sampled all of
their products; a hard cider, 2 cysers (made with different varieties
of apples), 3 or 4 cysers with different fruits (blueberry,
elderberry, and I forget what else), and of course their mead. All
of these are fermented and aged in oak barrels, bottled still, are
sulfite free, and all seemed very well made and aged sufficiently to
smooth the rough edges. The mead however was truly incredible! It
is made from Maine raspberry blossom honey and is aged for a year in
oak barrels. It is semi-dry (or semi-sweet depending on your personal
tastes), full bodied, and has a very nice oak aroma and flavor that
balances the honey character well. I think that I was probably one of
the drooling, rabid fiends that Bruce referred to in his post!
Unfortunately, I was not able to buy a bottle of the mead to bring home
with me due to the label approval problems that Bruce described so I
had to console myself with only a bottle of the cyser. Hopefully, the
next time I am up in Maine I will be able to buy a bottle or three of
the mead to bring home.

Happy Holidays,


Geoffrey A. McNally Phone: (401) 841-7210 x21390
Mechanical Engineer Fax: (401) 841-7250
Launcher Technology and email:

Analysis Branch

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Newport, RI 02841-1708


Subject: Re: Juniper
From: Alex Flinsch <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 14:49:09 -0800 (PST)

>Subject: juniper mead
>I have a recipe for juniper berry wine and I was wondering if anyone has
>ever made juniper mead. The idea appeals to me, but I am not quite sure
>how many berries to use. Anyone????
Never made a juniper mead or wine (although the wine idea is rather intriguing)

I did try to make a juniper beer a few years ago. The brew never seemed to
ferment out. I think the juniper berries may have had something to do with
that, since the yeast would start up and then conk out right away without a
siginificant drop in gravity. I had used several additions of yeasts and
eventually gave up.

If I were to try it again I would add the juniper after it had fermented and
let it sit in the carboy while aging.
Sparrow (Alex) |"> | Pagan Brewing

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

Subject: sulfur smell from the airlock
From: "Lanham, Steven I." <>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 05:02:40 -0600

This is my first batch of mead and under the beerey C02 smell coming
from my air lock I smell sulfur.
Do I have a bad batch of mead going here?
I added yeast energizer and nutrient to the must can it be from this?
Thanks for any help

End of Mead Lover's Digest #625