Mead Lover's Digest #0640 Sat 31 January 1998


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



hose maintenance ("Linda or Darin")
Re: Small batches (Bill Shirley)
Cider Press (Dbomball)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #639, 29 January 1998 (
Alcohol-Water Mixtures and Boiling ("Wallinger")
Apple Cinnamon mead haze (Vicky)
Re: Alcohol (Scott Murman)
Pine Meads (Kate Collins)
Maple Mead (
How much fruit whole vs. pureed? (Vicky Rowe)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #639, 29 January 1998 ("Brian Ehlert")
experiment: conflicting result on alcohol measurement (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: hose maintenance
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 11:51:04 -0800

Would the collective please be so kind as to share with me techniques to
take care of my racking hose? It is dirty, and doesn't seem to want to get

Darin Trueblood

Subject: Re: Small batches
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 15:38:45 -0600

> From: Lourdes Mila <>
> Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 13:08:08 -0700
> I am new to this hobby and would like to be able to make mead in my
> small apartment kitchen. All the recipes that I have come across are
> for quantities much larger than I can handle given my restrictions. Are
> there one gallon recipes that a neophyte could experiment with?


I was a 5 gal beer brewer, but when I moved into a small apt. I took up
meads because they're easy in 1 gallon batches (beers aren't).

But 1 gallon jugs of apple juice/cider. If it's low quality drink it,
if it's high quality, drink one glass of it, add honey and yeast.
You're first batch is a cyser.

get an airlock and stopper that fits it,
take it with you to a homebrew store if need be,
(different bottles have different neck sizes)

> Can a
> larger recipe be cut down proportionally without ruining the results?


also you can use more esoteric ingredients without worries about ending up
with 5 gallons of something you hate or spending a bundle,

> How much yeast per gallon should I plan on using when the proportions
> aren't evenly divisible; i.e. I am left with a fraction of a package of
> yeast?

too much yeast is never a problem,
i use a 5 gram packet when doing 1 gallon,
it's actually a more ideal pitching rate than you usually have,

> Thanks in advance.
> Regards,
> Lourdes Mil=E1

  • bill 'I wouldn't wanna squeeze 5 gallons of juice outofa watermellon'

Subject: Cider Press
From: (Dbomball)
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 98 15:48:20 -0600

Would the gentleman on the west coast with the cider press for sale please
give me an update on its status? I am still interested in buying it if it
is still available.

*******The early bird gets the worm,*******
***but the second mouse gets the cheese.***

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #639, 29 January 1998
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 19:24:34 EST

Hello: I have been lurking here a bit and am wondering a few things. I made
a batch of mead (a gallon and a half) and am curious about "racking" I
siphoned off the brewing mead from the first glass jar into a second, then
cleaned out the first jar. The second has a different shape and I can see a
yeasty buildup in some of the decorative rolls in the jug. The stuff has been
working for about a month now. It is bubbling a little (very little) and I do
not have any idea of when it may be finished enough to bottle. I suppose a
LONG time eh?

I tried a small taste of the stuff (must!?) and seemed to be fairly good.

At least having some promise (I hope) Due to cost and space considerations I
am having to make rather small batches of wine (1 gal pear, one gal apple) and
mead (1.5 gal) Some help ful hints would be appreceated! Thanks

Subject: Alcohol-Water Mixtures and Boiling
From: "Wallinger" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 18:39:41 -0600

Lot's of chat lately on boiling off alcohol to determine how much was in the
mixture. Hang on for a chemistry lesson.

Alcohol-water mixture display an interesting property. This is the classic
example of an azeotrope (AY-zee-o-trope). An azeotrope is a mixture that
reaches an equilibrium concentration of one component in another when boiled
that cannot be reduced to zero by further boiling. For water and ethanol
this equilibrium is reached when alcohol is at 4.5 weight percent (per
Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, 12th edition).

What this means is that ethanol is driven off (along with a fair bit of
water, I might add) when boiled until the concentration of alcohol in the
water drops to 4.5%. At that point, both the vapor boiled off and the liquid
that remains maintains this 4.5% ethanol concentration.

I hope this explains why you cannot determine the alcohol content by
boiling. Nor can you produce a non-alcoholic beverage be boiling. God must
have intended for the stuff to remain there :-{).

Wade Wallinger
Kingwood TX

Subject: Apple Cinnamon mead haze
From: Vicky <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 20:40:41 -0500

Stilletto said:
I know that there was some discussion on this earlier, but I can't seem
to find those posts in my archive. I have an apple cinnamin mead that I
have let ferment to near completion. I have racked it, and am wondering
at the best method to clear this before priming it and bottling it.

>From me:
I made a apple cinnamon mead in September which retained a nasty
haze. I added pectinase in the prescribed amount, and wonder of
wonders, it dropped completely clear in less than a week! It's a
gorgeous dark golden color, and beginning to get some real
flavor now……

vicky rowe –meadster at large

The Home page:
The Biz page: (my company, that is)
The Scottish Country Dance Page:

The thing to do with a silly remark is to fail to hear it.

  • –Zebadiah J. Carter


Where I come from, anyone who says "Excuse me" is a human being.

  • –Joe

The return address has been despammed.
Remove spammersdie from my address to reply.

Subject: Re: Alcohol 
From: Scott Murman <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 17:43:29 -0800

Marc wrote:
> The argument that there will still be alcohol present in the liquid was
> one that I had not heard before.
> If anyone can find published, reliable data to show that significant
> alcohol remains after boiling off 50% to 80% of the mead/wine then please
> post those results.

You mean you don't think I was aware of such data before I posted;-)

In retrospect, I guess I should have explained more fully in my first
post, since I'm refuting much that was taught in high school science.
Yes, I'm aware that ethanol will boil at 170F. The problem is that
we're not boiling ethanol, we're boiling ethanol solubilized (or
whatever fancy chemistry term it is) in water. Water and ethanol can
form relatively strong bonds. At atmospheric pressure it is very
difficult to evaporate the alcohol down to a low enough level for the
accuracy that's required. Note the key here is atmospheric pressure,
i.e. without special hoods and other apparatus.

There was an experiment posted to the HBD some years ago. It is
archived in the HBD #1609, and was done by Maribeth Raines. She
tested a number of different sample sizes, and tried a number of
different boiling times, up to an hour, and in each case she found she
was not able to reduce the alcohol content below 2%, or much below
50%. Others have found similar results. I'll just quote you one
conclusion from her study "After talking with a number of homebrewers
who worked in distilleries, it is clear that although the alcohol can
be removed, removal to 0.5 – 1.0% is not really feasible for the

Since the subject came up here on how to predict the alcohol level of
ones homemade mead or wine, I think this method really isn't viable
outside a lab. Errors of 20% or 33% in the amount of alcohol actually
removed, coupled with the errors involved with trying to measure the
differences between small volumes of liquid, makes the utility of the
method about nil as far as I'm concerned.


Subject: Pine Meads
From: Kate Collins <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 11:32:27 +0100

Hi –

Anyone ever made a piney mead? Pretty soon the new needle tips will
be coming out, they're pretty tasty and soft and not strongly pine-
flavored. If you treated them as fruit, I wonder what they would
do for a mead?

/Kate Collins

Subject: Maple Mead
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 09:45:46 -0500

I am making a one gallon batch of maple mead. Instead of using honey I
used maple syrup – all maple syrup not a combination of maple syrup and
honey. Has anyone tried this before? If so what were the results like?

I started my maple mead at the same time as a batch of traditional mead two
months ago (both in one gallon glass jugs). The traditional mead seems to
be finished fermenting and is clearing nicely. The maple mead is also
clearing but it is still fermenting quite a bit (ie. I can see lots of
bubbles racing to the top of the fermenter). Does maple sugar take longer
to ferment than honey?

Subject: How much fruit whole vs. pureed?
From: Vicky Rowe <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 13:24:29 -0500

Got a question for the collective:

I'm making a cyser from 4 gal red delicious/yellow delicious/winesap
cider I got at the farmer's market. I've added 3/4 lb brown sugar, 4.5
lbs wildflower honey and pitched with Pasteur champagne yeast. This
will be a raspberry cyser (I made one before, but with juice concentrate)
and I have a large amount of pureed, pastuerized, seedless raspberries
which will be placed in a mesh bag and rack the cyser onto for

I know the cyser primary will ferment out pretty dry, having done it
before. I am going for a final product that is full bodied, deep red,
and of medium sweetness, not cloying, but just a little *sweet*.

I also have a raspberry mel in primary. 5 gal batch with 10.2 lbs
tupelo honey, using Wyeast sweet mead yeast and yeast
nutrient. Going to use the same technique, rack the must onto
a bag of pureed berries in secondary. I would also like this
to be medium sweet (mainly *not* dry).

The questions are this:
How much raspberry puree should I add?
What would be an equivalent amount of smooshed whole berries?
Is there a difference in how much pureed vs. how much berries?
What pitfalls am I missing here?
And finally, what are your opinions on oaking (using toasted
oak chips) this for added flavor? What about amounts

Any help would be appreciated, as I am winging it with these recipes,
making it up as I go along.

Vicky Rowe

making mead like a madwoman……..


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #639, 29 January 1998
From: "Brian Ehlert" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 19:24:16 -0500

>From: "Marc Shapiro" <>
>Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 19:56:37 +0000
>On 27 Jan 98 at 11:04, Mark A. Boughter <> wrote:
>> Does the statement "It may not be sold" apply to all mead or just mead
>> not taxed? Is a license available for such sales…I am not trying to
>> start a business its just that there is a convention around town once a
>> year where people dress up like they are playing Dungeons and Dragons and
>> they act a little goofy and I think I could provide them a service…

>As you said, in the U.S.A. mead is treated as a wine. To make mead for
>sale, in ANY quantity for ANY reason requires a commercial winery license,
>just like making wine for sale.

I just spent six months looking into this. I even, voluntarily, called the

Mead is classified as a fruit wine in the States (don't ask why). It is not
a true wine. The rules are slightly different, the product is, however,
similar. It is amazing all the hoops that a person has to jump though to
sell you a bottle of wine (including fruit wine). The majority of the
regulations exist to make sure the government collects their tax (tarriff if
you want) on every bottle. There are a few rules that try to protect the
consumer from a wine that may be mis-represented in style, region, origion,

In a nut shell.. If you don't have a "small winery" license, then don't
sell it. That does not keep you from brewing it, it just keeps you from
selling it. That is according the, now thick, folder I have. While doing
this research I have stumbeled upon some great winery references.

  • -Brian Ehlert

Subject: experiment: conflicting result on alcohol measurement
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 31 Jan 98 15:09:19 MST (Sat)

After reading Scott Murman's notes on the difficulty of removing alcohol by
boiling, and some of the followups, I decided to try a couple simple
experiments of my own.

I mixed water and vodka to get about 10% v/v alcohol. I didn't care about
the precise strength; all I wanted was something in the range of what you'd
be likely to have in a mead, and something that would be easy to measure
before/after on my hydrometer. I used a bottling hydrometer–which is
0.980-1.020 full range, and thus allows both lower starting values and
more precise measurements. (It does require care with temperature of the

First experiment: Mix the solution, check SG (about 0.986), boil it. Note
(unintended result) that it is possible to get some intoxicating effect
from the vapors coming off the boil. (I was studying them to see if I
could tell when alcohol stopped coming off in noticeable amount.) This
first attempt was actually successful in boiling off *all* the alcohol,
but since I had gotten distracted and allowed all the water to boil off as
well, it didn't seem very convincing…

Second experiment: Mix a new solution, SG about 0.984, boil it until the
volume was reduced by half. Cool and measure SG; compare with sample of
tap water just to be sure of hydrometer accuracy. The difference between
tap water (which did come in right at 1.000, reassuringly) and the sample
was on the order of 1/2 point (0.0005) or a little more. Now, since the
sample started down 16 points, corresponding to about 10%, this indicates
that I'd boiled off all but a fraction of a percent of the alcohol. I
think this is pretty good, and it seems to be significantly at variance
with the results that Scott relayed from Maribeth Raines' experiments.

Third experiment: As above, but instead of using a strong boil, hold at
just simmering temperature (just below the point of actual bubble forma-
tion) for 20 minutes. Cool and measure. In this case, the result was at
about 0.997; thus there was still at least a couple percent alcohol left.

I'll re-try that last one with a longer heating period, but I think the
second experiment (full boil to reduce volume by half) satisfies me that
it is possible to get rid of enough of the alcohol to allow meaningful
measurement by the technique mentioned by Ralph Snel.

Dick Dunn rcd, domain Boulder County, Colorado USA

…I'm not cynical – just experienced.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #640