Mead Lover's Digest #0674 Fri 29 May 1998


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



Tea meads (
Weird mead mixtures (Matthew Macdonald)
ph and stuck fermentation ("Sandlin, Jonathan Mark – BUS")
Clearing traditional mead ("John D. Gosselink")
Spencer's gift (Daniel S McConnell)
Re:…Back in time for the feature! ("Dave Moore")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #673, 26 May 1998 ("Marc Shapiro")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #673, 26 May 1998 ("Marc Shapiro")
Sweet mead and unsweet remarks (dennis key)
My first mead – help! (RBarnes001)
Fermentation bubbles (Molly Harbaugh)
re: My first mead – help! ("Linda or Darin")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #672, 23 May 1998 (John J. Cunniff)
Mead Lover's Digest #672, 23 May 1998 ()
Ale yeasts (PDWaltman)


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Subject: Tea meads
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 12:14:49 -0700

Anyone have any experience with using tea as the major flavor component in
mead. I know it has been brought up in the past but I can't seem to find it
in the archives. I would like to know things like what tea variety used,
tea strength, FG, and the like. I'm thinking of using Earl Gray (or maybe
Oolong) at full strength with 2 or 3 lemons, ending up with about 7-8% and
a final gravity of 1.008 to 1.012. Any info would be helpful.

Thanks a bunch,
Matt Maples

Subject: Weird mead mixtures
From: Matthew Macdonald <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 14:13:32 -0700

Ok, I've seen some off the wall mead mixtures in the

past, but a new brewer presented a question that had me stymied.

Although I'm not sure it sounds too tasty he asked about a

'coffee' mead. Normally coffee beans are avoided in ales because
the oils mess with head retention, but that isn't a worry in meads.
I'm actually wondering if it's even worth trying, I've done tea
and coffe liquors before, but never even considered it in mead.
However, like pineapple on pizza or Circus Peanuts in Zima, some
things just were never done because it sounds horrible.

Any one ever try it (successfully or not)?

Subject: ph and stuck fermentation
From: "Sandlin, Jonathan Mark - BUS" <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 13:22:52 -0700

I am new to making mead. My first batch was in a 1 gal. cider container.
The cider had no additives. I poured some of the cider out and added 1.5
pounds of honey and a yeast starter of wyeast 1056 (ale yeast). This mix
fermented rapidly in the beginning and now at two and a half months it is
fermenting extremely slow and the specific gravity is still at 1.020. The
mead is still cloudy. Any suggestions on how to get this mead to finish
fermenting? Does the ph need to be checked? How does one adjust ph in
mead? Please feel free to email me at, or post to the


Subject: Clearing traditional mead
From: "John D. Gosselink" <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 19:02:23 -0500

I have a traditional mead that refuses to clear. The frustrating thing is
that the only meads that refuse to clear for me are traditional meads. My
first mead was a TM. Finally about a year in the bottle the top two thirds
of the mead cleared in each bottle with a filmy bottom third. I still have
a couple of bottles left about 5 years later and it is the same. Tastes
wonderful. I am now making my second batch of TM (did alot of experimenting
with other types). The recipe consisted of
12 # honey
2 oz. yeast nutrient(HB)
1 pkt. K-1 yeast

My notes say that…
Bring slowly to 150 deg. and hold for 15 minutes to pasteurize. Skim off
any white scum on the surface as it develops. Pour into carboy containing
cold water and top with cold water to 5 gallons. Pitch rehydrated yeast
when cool.
This was done on 10/10/97. Currently the SG is at .090.

Why won't these things clear? What should I do to get it to clear? I need
the carboy!

John D. Gosselink
Wind & Fire Development

"Every function in my new house is managed by the PC – and sometimes it
Bill Gates at Comdex

Subject: Spencer's gift
From: (Daniel S McConnell)
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 21:05:13 -0400

>From Spencer W Thomas:

>Today, my daughter picked a flower for me. A common, dull, clover
>flower. Being a good daddy, I smiled, thanked her, and sniffed it.
>Then I sniffed it again. By golly, it smelled like (clover) honey!

Yes?……And then did you try the clover mead to see if it smelled like
the flower?


Subject: Re:...Back in time for the feature!
From: "Dave Moore" <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 21:19:49 +0000

> Sorry if I'm being a stupid Australian, but Hygiene is a place? And we
> have a meadmaker who lives there? PERFECT! (Pity the pour brewer who
> lives in Filth.)

A friend of mine used to be a volunteer fire fighter in the area. He used to
complain vorciferously about the Hygiene volunteer fire department. It seems
that not only did they not have their own radio frequency, forcing them to
operate on the "Dispatch" frequency, they also thought they were on CB's and
would end calls with "Come On Back Good Buddy!". He swears it's true.

PGP key available at ""

David Moore

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #673, 26 May 1998
From: "Marc Shapiro" <>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:27:11 +0000

> Subject: My first mead – help!
> From: "Mr. Michael Scott Meiners" <>
> Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 13:49:13 -0400
> I can't see
> any signs of fermentation so that's why I am in doubt. I have a one
> gallon must with 4.5 pounds of honey, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient, 1 tsp
> of acid blend, and I am using Wyeast's sweet mead yeast.


Using 4.5 lbs of honey in a one gallon batch is a lot!! That is the
equivalent of 3.6 lbs of sugar, or a bit more. My charts don't go up
that high, but extrapolating from the data that I have it seems that
you would have a starting SG of about 1.168, with a potential alcohol
of about 23%. That is WAY too high! Yeast will not like that at
all. I usually use about THREE pounds of honey per gallon in a
straight mead. I suggest diluting it some and seeing if you can get
it to start that way. Also, what is your temperature. Since you are
trying to start a stuck fermentation I would try to get the
temperature up at least to mid, or upper 70's at least until the
fermentation starts.
Marc Shapiro

Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"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 #673, 26 May 1998
From: "Marc Shapiro" <>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:33:50 +0000

> Subject: Re: Novice Mead Question
> From: (Mary Savage)
> Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 14:21:41 -0400 (EDT)
> >I have two points to make. First, and some people out there will
> >certainly disagree with me, I don't like to boil my honey. What you
> >can do is boil the water and the pour the boiling water over you
> >honey and mix it in….
> >
> >Marc Shapiro
> An interesting alternative it seems. At the risk of getting
> something started about your methods 😉 , shouldn't I take the
> water down from a boil a little bit when adding to my honey or don't
> I then end up overheating the honey too long? I'm thinking that
> when I do add the water to the honey, I'm going to need to simmer
> the pot still to keep it ~150 degrees for 20-30 minutes, yes?
> Leo

Actually, at 150 degrees, a few minutes is all that you need. If you
have 12 – 15 lbs of honey and then add 3.5 to 4 gallons of boiling
water then the temperature will be just about right. There is no
need to keep the must simmering after that. Just cool to your normal
pitching temperature and add your yeast starter.



Marc Shapiro

Subject: Sweet mead and unsweet remarks
From: dennis key <>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 12:15:32 -0600 (MDT)

Jim Booth replied to an honest request concerning sweet mead with the kind
of snippy snideness that is uncalled for on a digest of this sort. I
personally like sweet and semi-sweet meads and almost always make that
type. Most of my friends who share the end result are of a like mind. In
fact, none like my strawberry-kiwi millenium sparkling mead because it's
"too dry!"

The point is, if you don't like sweet mead—FINE!!!—Just leave off the
snide remarks which may be (unfairly) aimed at one individual, but splash
on the rest of us who like sweet mead. Perhaps you'd like to start your
own digest and call it the Dry Mead Lover's Digest or The Sweet Mead
Hater's Digest.

Never Thirst,


Subject: My first mead -  help!
From: RBarnes001 <>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 10:32:32 EDT

> Subject: My first mead – help!
> From: "Mr. Michael Scott Meiners" <>

> All the literature I read on mead making lead me to believe that there
> should a vigorous first ferment, followed by a steady second ferment.

Relax, its not unusual. I see the same thing as you are. One item you didn't
mention was if you'd pitched the wyeast into a starter, or directly into the
With other yeasts, I've seen some vigorous fermentation, but rarely with

As far as the airlock – put it on right away! don't wait for fermentation to

Subject: Fermentation bubbles
From: Molly Harbaugh <>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:44:30 -0400

My brewer's deflowering is happening as we speak, with my very first little
glass jug of cyser fermenting away in my kitchen. The recipe I worked from
(this is the "Hangover Cyser" described in "Mead Made Easy") says that
fermentation should quit in about a "month or three." So I'm trying to
figure out exactly how to know that it's done.

It's been about three and a half weeks, and I get a little bubble through
the airlock every…oh, 15-20 minutes or so. Maybe longer. I've heard both
that I should wait until bubbles are 30-40 minutes apart (that's a lot of
staring at an airlock!), or until there are no bubbles in the mix at all.
There's a healthy pile of sludge at the bottom of the container already,
but I think that's pretty normal.

I admit that I'm a little impatient because I'm terribly curious, but I
don't want to accidentally bottle early and discover glass shards embedded
in the pantry walls because I didn't wait long enough.

Any guidelines?

Many thanks!

  • Dreda

Subject: re:  My first mead -  help!
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 04:37:31 -0700

Mr. Michael Scott Meiners writes:

>>>I have a one gallon must with 4.5
pounds of honey, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient, 1 tsp of acid blend, and I am
using Wyeast's sweet mead yeast<<<



But seriously, keeping my voice down, my guess is that your gravity is way
too high for the sweet mead yeast to even get started. I would recomend
splitting the batch in half and bringing both halves up to a gallon with
sanitized water. Then repitch both if it doesn't start on its own in a

Darin Trueblood

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #672, 23 May 1998
From: ed372@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (John J. Cunniff)
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 12:05:21 -0400 (EDT)

Reply to message from of Sat, 23 May
>Subject: contamination and melomels
>From: "Belinda Messenger Ph.D." <>
>Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 08:44:45 -0700
>This is a heartening thought, considering that I am despairing over my
>Cherry Vanilla Melomel (12 lbs frozen cherries, 15lbs wildflower honey, 2
>whole vanilla beans, ale yeast). Up until about a month ago, everything was
>going fine, it tasted great (high alcohol (~13%) and still sweet), bubbling
>almost stopped, starting to clear. Then I racked it to another carboy
>through a sterile 10micrometer filter (hoping to get rid of any remaining
>live yeast) and the fermentation went wild…bubbling every 2 seconds. Now
>it's stopped, but there's a white film on top. Did I kill my melomel with a
>raging bacterial infection?
>Belinda Messenger, Ph.D
>AgraQuest, Inc.
>Davis, CA

Is a 10 micrometer filter adequate to remove all yeast cells?
Yeast also can form spores which I assume would be smaller
than viable cells. What about the smell? I wouldn't count your
mel out yet especially with a 13% alcohol content.


Subject:  Mead Lover's Digest #672, 23 May 1998
From: <>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 19:35:05 EDT

Dumb question time: due to some recent remodeling, my darkroom/basesment now
is blessed with three large windows that admit diffuse light. Do I need to
protect my meads and ciders from sunlight? I've a cherry mel that's been
exposed to this light for approx. 6 months and it does not exhibit any flaws
that this old tongue can distinguish. I've covered my other carboys with
black Hefty Bags – is this a needless extravagance? TIA and great forum
(thanks Dick). Charlie

Subject: Ale yeasts
From: PDWaltman <>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 22:54:44 -0400

I have had decent results using Wyeast 1056 in making mead/braggot of up to
1075 SG, which all have fermented below 1.000, and I have successfully made
sparkling, though for safety sake in one of them, I added more yeast at
bottling time (what I always do with beers that sit a long time in secondary).

Unfortunately adding extra honey to sweeten the mead gets the ale yeast to
converting it to alcohol until it cannot do it anymore, and then it doesn't
carbonate the braggot/mead at all.

Dennis Waltman

=Subject: Sweet Sparkling Mead
=From: Andrew Lynch <>
=Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 10:28:57 -0700
=How can I make a sweet sparking mead without force carbonating? I am
=looking for a FG of 1.010 – 1.020 range. I currently have 3 batches
=using Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast in various states, but they are finishing
=in the 1.030 range. Has anyone had any luck with ale yeast and retaining
=some sweetness? I have seen a few people using Edme ale yeast. What was
=the FG? If you primed, did you use corn sugar or honey? Did it turn out
=sparkling? Thanks!

End of Mead Lover's Digest #674