Mead Lover's Digest #0627 Mon 29 December 1997


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #626, 26 December 1997 (GREATFERM)
Pots ("Phillip J. Welling")
Chaucer's Mead ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Change in mead character ("Brian Ehlert")
Merrydown Mead (Chasman)
OK, what now? ("Robert Alley")
Commercial Meadery (sort of) (Jeffrey Rose)
starting out? (Elizabeth Friar)
Commercial mead (cont.) (zemo)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #626, 26 December 1997
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 17:48:49 EST

The latest issue (October '97) of Fruit Winemaking Quarterly contains a review
of Early Estates Meadery, RD 1, Box 246, Tucker Hill Rd, Locke NY 13092.

They make a number of meads and fruit meads, and there is a brief discussion
of their technique.

FWQ often discusses mead, being "dedicated to the art and science of using
fruits other than grapes for winemaking". Including bee-fruit.

For a copy or subscription at $10 per year, contact Dan Archibald, 4330
Gunderson Ct, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 707-823-4711 or

Jay Conner

Subject: Pots
From: "Phillip J. Welling" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 22:06:50 -0700

What kind of pot should I use to cook my must?
Stainless steel, enameled, aluminum, or some other?

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

Subject: Chaucer's Mead
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 00:22:13 -0500

I got my hands on a bottle of Chaucer's at a wedding I attended this

evening. Though I didn't get to taste, I examined the label very carefully.
It definitely said "Made from pure honey". Nowhere was any indication of it
being a sweetened white wine. I suppose they must have different varieties.
The part that totally befuddled me though was their recommendation that you
consume the mead shortly after purchase to enjoy the "fresh honey flavor". Do
they not believe in aging mead? All I can say to that is YECCHH!! I have had
mead that was 3 months old, and I pushed away the larger part of the glass
because it was just not worth drinking.

| 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: Change in mead character
From: "Brian Ehlert" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 1997 08:53:27 -0500

Hi everyone. I have been lurking and learning for six years now. My best
of thanks to those 'old-timers' for solving so many issues.

My question follows:
Recently I tasted one mead that has been in my besement, in the carboy since
I last racked it in August. I started it in February. The resulting taste
was like I was drinking tepid water. No alcohol, no honey, no nothing.
This was one of four similar batches, that all did the same thing.

They were treated as follows:
February. 3lbs honey/gal, clover and buckwheat. pitch w/ Lalvin Champange
(don't normally use but that was what I had at the time)
Racked three times, clarity problem so I ran it through a wine filter.
Tasted: character, but no alcohol, re-pitch at the beginnin of November.
Tasted again: tastes like water, no alcohol, no chracter.
Added 2.5 lbs honey to each and re-pitched w/ Red Star Champange

Adding the honey was my attempt at a rescue. I am still confounded at the
total loss in character and alcohol.

I am also having something happen to those bottles that are two years or
younger. What had excellent honey and alcohol balance a month ago, is
suddenly extremely alcoholic.

Do any of you have any ideas on either of these?


ps- Spencer, when is Ken posting the Mazer results?

Subject: Merrydown Mead
From: Chasman <>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 1997 19:15:43 -0800


Over Christmas my mothers friend gave me a bottle of mead that his son had
given him. It was from Merrydown Wine Co., Haram Manor, Sussex England.
There was no date on the bottle which was brown, squat and had a screw cap.
Has anyone tried this before? I think that it was fairly old. It had
oxidized, sherry notes with subtle honey aroma and a good amount of
acidity. It was also fairly dark in color. I didn't think that it was
particularly good (anymore) though I'm not sure what it would have been
like had it been in better shape.


Subject: OK, what now?
From: "Robert Alley" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 01:34:57 -0500

Almost six months ago, I asked for help with a plain mead I was making.

The original problem was stuck fermentation and then green stuff (mold
forming in little bits on the surface (not scummy across the whole top).

Replies were remove the baddies and boil the tar out of it again. Also, the
specific gravity was too high for the yeast to work right.

I split the batch (originally five gallon) and mixed in a new batch with
each half. Unfortunately I added more acid (too much it seems). I sware I
checked the acidity of the new batch twice and added more honey water and
calcium until the reading was between two and three ppt.

The air locks have quite bubbling, so I tried a little. It was, naturally,
a little fizzy, but it was very acidic tasting as well. So, at 70 degrees
F, sg, 1.0, and acidity of 4.5 ppt, I'm extremely confused. I've NEVER,
EVER, had this problem before and I've been doing this for almost four

Refusing to toss the batch,


Subject: Commercial Meadery (sort of)
From: Jeffrey Rose <>
Date: 29 Dec 97 10:29:42 -0500

I've bought many tasty meads from the "As You Like It" meadery in
Fitchburg, Mass. The place is in the run-down downtown area and is part of a
bakery/gift shop. I heard the owners are part of some kind of commune but
they are friendly and will give you free samples of the meads. They
ususally have 2-3 kinds on hand but make about 10 different types throughout the
year. My favorites are the Orange-Blossom and Raspberry. I would call
before you make a special trip up there because they sometimes sell out.


Subject: starting out?
From: (Elizabeth Friar)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 10:16:06 -0700

Hello all.

I've been lurking for a while, trying to pick up on some of the wisdom
around here. I'm interesting in trying some mead-making, but am a little
perplexed as to how to START exactly. What equipment do I absolutely need
to begin with? What's the best recipe to start with? I've never brewed
ANYTHING before, so I'm a rank beginner, and a little nervous.

Any and all suggestions/support would be useful.



Elizabeth Friar
Research Scientist, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Assistant Professor, Claremont Graduate University
1500 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 625-8767 ext. 223

Subject: Commercial mead (cont.)
From: zemo <>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 16:10:50 -0600

Greetings to all mead lovers!

First of all, let me say that my mead tasting experiences are fewer
than my mead brewing ones, as I have several one gallon batches of
various melomels along with two 5 gal batches of traditional mead –
one is bottled – which I am doing my damndest to ignore until spring
when they will be a year old. (pause for breath:b)
My tastings, until recently, had been limited to a dear friend's near
successes and a bottle of Bunratty. However, just before the holiday
whilst on my bimonthly trip to Kalamazoo – to stock up on fresh Bell's –
from Chicago, I took a side trip to Anderson's Orchard and Winery in
Valparaiso, IN just off of I80 and I94, to procure a few bottles of
their mead. It is heavenly. They use the honey from their orchards,
so there is a lovely apple taste that blooms with each sip. I have a
batch of mead that I brewed with their honey this summer – 1.25 per lb,
bring your own container and call ahead – in the secondary now and I'm
praying that I'll be able to duplicate what they sell. It's sweet, but
definitely not cloying. 6.99 per bottle, cheaper by the case. I called
ahead to confirm availability – 219-464-4936 – and spoke with a gentle-
man who was very forthcoming with info about their product, but I did
not take notes. I do recall that it's 4 water to 1 honey, some acid and
nutrients, and yeast. I didn't ask but he probably would have told me
kind of yeast he uses. If anyone is planning a trip that takes you
near there, it is worth the extra time and/or milage to sample, then buy
this nectar of the gods. No affiliation – believe me now and ignore me
later – just a satisfied customer!

Steve Holat
Underhaus Brewery (and Meadery)
Batavia, IL

End of Mead Lover's Digest #627