Mead Lover's Digest #0703 Sat 24 October 1998


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



Cider (
Acidity levels in meads ("Henckler, Andrew")
Re: Irish-style meads (Dan McFeeley)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #702, 21 October 1998 (
My first real batch (Gregg Stearns)
wanted ("Robert Stevens")
oxidation (
Re: clarifying (


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Subject: Cider
Date: 22 Oct 1998 08:36:34 -0400

I posted this to the mead digest and got no response so I am asking again and
posting it to the HBD too.

I want to make a hard cider, but I don't want to ferment it out completely.
What I would like is to leave some of the sweet cider taste and some alcohol.
What can I do to stop the fermentation when I reach my desired taste and
gravity? Will campden tablets work?

Subject: Acidity levels in meads
From: "Henckler, Andrew" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:33:44 -0400


When my most recent batches had cleared and were beginning to mellow, I
read up on all mentions of acid levels in the few wine/mead-making texts
that I have. I bought a commercial mead (Chaucer's, rather
unimpressive) and drank a glass or two of white wine (far from my normal
tipple). I noticed that the dry whites that had lots of fruity, zesty
flavor seemed relatively acidic, and the one that I titrated had about
.7% IIRC.

I started to titrate my mead, add a little acid blend, taste and repeat,
leaving the mead for a week or so between each test and addition. The
mead that I recently bottled is very dry (FG .996 or so) and didn't
taste right until I hit about .6% acidity. Before hitting this level,
the mead was nice, but a little flat. As this is the first time I have
attempted to adjust mead acidity, I can only offer a single data point.
I will be very interested in what others have to say.



Subject: Acid Levels in Meads
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 02:21:12 -0500

A reprint of an article in the July 1993 _Fruit Winemaking Quarterly_,
appearing in the 1992 Summer/Fall issue of _The Beverage People News_,
the following as minimum recommended acid levels:

Dry Meads — .55%
Metheglyns — .55%
Melomels — .65%
Sweet Meads — .65%
Fruit Wines — .65%
Cysers — .70%
Ports — .75%
Pyments — .80%

What's the consensus on these recommendations? Do they mesh well with
everyone's experience in tinkering with acid levels in meads?

Subject: Re: Irish-style meads
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:28:23 -0500

On Sun, 18 Oct 1998, in MLD 702, Scott Murman <> wrote:

>Me lass is Irish, and recently visited her homeland and brought me
>back two beautiful handmade Irish goblets. Aside from my usual
>payments for such thoughtful gifts, I was thinking of making an
>Irish-style mead to fill the goblets, if such a thing exists. Does
>anyone have any general ideas of what would be considered Irish-style
>meads? I'm not looking for a specific recipe (though if you want;
>feel free), but rather some general flavor characteristics or typical
>ingredients. Thanks,

Gayre's book on _Brewing Mead_ mentions that mead flavored with hazelnut had
a special symbolic significance to the ancient Irish. In Irish myths, one
would often hear of nine hazelnut trees growing about a significant well or
tributary, which may have had something to do with Gayre's note.

I've experimented with adding hazelnut flavored syrup to mead, which you
can pick up in coffee shops like Starbucks or other places. Others on this
list have suggested that the use of hazelnut flavoring used for making
liquours would be more suitable than the syrup I have used, which tends to
add a kind of sweetish corn syrup flavor to the mead.

Mead itself, plain and unadorned, might be sufficiently Irish enough for
your colleen. You might want to try making up a special label for the
bottle, using a little cut and paste work and a photocopier to add Celtic
art motiffs such as borders and knotwork so as to give it a suitable Irish
look. Don't overdo it, else the lass may be insulted by a look of Celtic
Kitsch. If it looks nice enough, she may want to keep the bottle as a
keepsake of your kindness.

Dan McFeeley

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #702, 21 October 1998
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 13:25:19 EDT

In a message dated 98-10-22 02:55:39 EDT,
<< A mead made with 3# of canned apricot puree in a 3 gal. batch is still
>quite cloudy a month after fermentation stopped. >>

Apricots are loaded with pectin. If you didn't use a pectin enzyme (pectinase.
pectinol) you probably have a pectin haze. Pectin enzyme will still work,
though not as effectively as it would have before the alcohol was produced.

Jay Conner

Subject: My first real batch
From: Gregg Stearns <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 15:36:10 -0500

It's been a few years since I brewed…but I'm back! I've got 2 cases
of stout bottled, 3.5 gallons of mead fermenting as I type, and just
began 5 gals of honey wheat. (who said honey's just for mead?)

My question is this…for 3.5 gallons of water, 10 lbs of honey, I chose
to use lemon juice as my acid additive (to keep it as natural as
My question is…how much lemon juice should be added?

Gregg Stearns

Subject: wanted
From: "Robert Stevens" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:17:13 -0400

Wanted: Meadery manager – a position is open for a meadmaker – manager for
America's oldest meadery – The Meadery at Greenwich – no commercial
meadmaking experience necessary, but a strong hobbiest background
necessary – salary, benefits and a share of profits – individual should have
strong science background and a strong sales background.
Meadery is located on the Hudson River in a country area between the
Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont on a
major tourist route. Send resume to Betterbee Inc. 8 Meader Rd.,
Greenwich, N.Y. 12834 Telephone 1-800 – MEADERY

Subject: oxidation
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 00:23:56 -0400


A question about mead oxidation, from a veteran homebrewer.

Since ~6 days ago, I have been fermenting ~5.8 gal of mead (10 lb linden
honey, 5 lb wild flower honey, 2 lb tupelo honey, 15 g Red Star Grand
Cuvee, 5 tsp Fermax) in a 6.5 gal plastic bucket. I plan to transfer to
a carboy soon, but only have a 6.5 gal carboy available. Anyone have
experience indicating that prolonged storage (2-3 months) for completion
of fermentation will cause oxidation under these conditions? I should
add that in making beer, I have often stored ~5.5 gal of beer for 2-3
weeks in a 6.5 gal carboy and have experienced no ill effects. Of
course, 2-3 weeks is not 2-3 months; beer is not mead; beer yeast is not
wine yeast; etc.

If indeed oxidation will be a problem, then the remedies may include:
1. Buy a smaller carboy.
2. Add more honey & water (and nutrient) to increase the volume to just
shy of 6.5 gal.
3. Any others?

I look forward to hearing your feedback.


Subject: Re: clarifying
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 08:53:51 EDT

> >A mead made with 3# of canned apricot puree in a 3 gal. batch is still
> >quite cloudy a month after fermentation stopped.

> Since you used apricot puree, could some of the murkiness be suspended
> apricot gunk? If so, I would suggest filtration as a method of clearing, as
> waiting for the gunk to settle could take quite some time.

I think filtration is pretty good if you just gotta have that mead quickly. I
used 3# apricot puree in a 5 gallon batch and just let it clear (all my meads
are a year old before bottling), This was I think my best mead yet! The
flavor was just outstanding!

End of Mead Lover's Digest #703