Mead Lover's Digest #0713 Sat 12 December 1998


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #712, 5 December 1998 (
acid level for Cranberry Mead (Gregg Stearns)
help with next mead ("David Johnson")
Sweetening finished mead ("Henckler, Andrew")
Re: Belgian ale yeasts make funny tastes? (Scott Murman)
Dried fruit analysis ("McDonald, Rod")
sparking? mead ("Alex Curtis@KWESSF")
Re:Help with Cyser (Randy Nessler)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #712, 5 December 1998 (dennis key)
Peach State Brew-Off; 01/23/1998 (DENNIS WALTMAN)
Mazer Cup (Finally….) ("Ken Schramm")
orange mead (SuperPope)
("Gradh O'Dunadaig")
How to serve mead (
Flavoring (Andrew J Barnett)
Yeast (Jerome Miller)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #712, 5 December 1998
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 13:21:58 EST

I want to thank you all for the tremendous response and encouragement you all
provided!!! I plan to start a brew after December, since this is too busy of a
time. I got 25 personal responses with receipes and EXPLAINATIONS! I copied
them all. Thanks again!!!!JADE

Subject: acid level for Cranberry Mead
From: Gregg Stearns <>
Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 11:52:47 -0600

I want to try a batch of cranberry mead. It'd be like a cyser, where
I'd use cranberry juice instead of water.

Anyone have suggestions on what the acid level should be? I don't want
it to come out tanic like my batch of cyser.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gregg Stearns
The Daily Nebraskan

"No…Try not! Do…or do not! There is no try."
(Yoda, Jedi Master)

Subject: help with next mead
From: "David Johnson" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 14:11:10 -0600

I am looking for some help with my next mead. I happened to luck into 9
lbs of free fresh cranberries and would like to make a sweet, dessert mead.
My plan is to use 15lbs clover honey, 4gal commercial apple juice, and the
chopped cranberries (which I plan to chop and freeze today). The questions
start after that. I expect a starting gravity of about 1.147. I plan to use
either Lalvin D-47 or K1-v1116. Is this likely to be too high a starting
gravity? I do want to end up with a fairly sweet mead to balance a fair
amount of acidity I expect from the cranberries but wouldn't want a stuck
fermentation. Would it be better to add the last 5 lbs of honey in the
secondary with the cranberries? Also, I remember reading (either here or on
the cider digest) that there was some kind of natural preservative in
cranberries that might inhibit fermentation. Does anyone else recall this?
I tried to search the archives, with no success.
Thanks in Advance,

Subject: Sweetening finished mead
From: "Henckler, Andrew" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 09:39:13 -0500

I have a dry mead at 16% alc. which is fined and finished. This mead is
sitting in a carboy (has been for a few months) and I am considering my
options as far as packaging goes. If I decide to stabilize and sweeten
this mead, how much honey (approx., I know to add to taste) do I need to
add to get a somewhat sweet mead? I'm not looking for a syrupy mead,
just something a bit sweeter than the bone-dry flavor this mead has.
How much potassium sorbate will I need to add to stabilize 5 gallons? I
bought it as a packet of powder and I have no idea how much I need to
add. Does anyone keg mead? I finally have a corny kegging system and a
dedicated beer fridge and I am thinking about kegging this mead.
However, I'm not sure I want to tie up a keg for who knows how long.



Subject: Re: Belgian ale yeasts make funny tastes?
From: Scott Murman <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 13:43:27 -0800 (PST)

> But I am wondering…did I error in using Belgian yeast for
> this mead? Most naturally I will find out on my own in a
> year or so, but I would rather not wait that long…
> Bill Macher Pittsburgh PA USA

Belgian yeasts are notoriously very finicky. Someone might have tried
exactly the same strain as you have, but they have more calcium in
their water, or fermented it 4 degrees warmer, and they will have a
completely different product. One thing that I've noticed to be true;
the same flavors do not cross over from beer to mead with the same
strain of yeast.

So, in short. <shrug>. I doubt anyone can really tell you how your
mead will turn out, but take good notes.

  • -SM-

Subject: Dried fruit analysis
From: "McDonald, Rod" <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 10:16:19 +1100

Dried fruit analysis

A few weeks back I offered to post to MLD a copy of the table in Ben
Turner's Compleat Home Winemaker and Brewer, Hutchinson, 1976, that gives an
analysis of sugar, acid and tannin contents of certain dried fruit. Well
here it is. I have converted the table into simple comma-delimited text.

type of fruit, fresh fruit equivalent (no. of measures*), fresh fruit water
content (%), dried fruit sugar content (%), dried fruit acid content, dried
fruit tannin content,
Apples, 6-9, 85, 54, M, L
Apricots, 5.5, 85, 46, M, L
Bananas, 3, 75, 65, L, L,
Bilberries, 4, 83, 18, L, A,
Currants, 4, 80, 65, M, A,
Dates, 2, 25, 60, VL, L,
Elderberries, 4, 80, 15, VL, H,
Figs, 3.5, 78, 56, VL, L,
Muscatels, 4, 80, 64, M, A,
Peaches, 5.5, 89, 43, L, A,
Pears, 3, 83, 39, L, L,
Prunes, 4, 82, 44, L, L,
Raisins, 4, 81, 66, M, A,
Rosehips, 3, 65, 20, L, A,
Sloes, 3, 65, 16, L, A,
Sultanas, 4, 82, 68, M, A,

key: V – very, L – low, M – moderate, H – high, A – adequate
I do not know what the practical difference is between 'moderate' and

* it is not stated whether the equivalent measure of fresh fruit is by
weight or volume.


Subject: sparking? mead
From: "Alex Curtis@KWESSF" <>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 17:24 -0600

hey everyone,

I have a quick question about bottling mead and adding some kind of
primer. Currently I don't bother with making any sparkling mead but I
want to give it a try. So I am wondering what y'all do for this: use
dextrose, honey, wort. When I used to make beer, I prefered saving
some of the wort and used that to prime my bottles. This method makes
sense for making mead too. So, you can email me personally or just
post it here. Thanks


PS any phish phans out there?

Subject: Re:Help with Cyser
From: Randy Nessler <>
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 08:52:05 -0600

Thanks for responses!
>From suggestions:
I was in the process of building up a starter culture to pitch in, when
the original batch took off. I added 1 TBS of yeast nutrient. Since I
had a yeast culture going, I threw togethor another batch of cyser 🙂
The original cyser did not have preservatives, I found out. Proably
more of low pitch rate and low temp.
Thanks again!

Randy Nessler
Views expressed are my own.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #712, 5 December 1998
From: dennis key <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 16:01:47 -0700 (MST)

Dear Wayne–Re: sweet mead. I love sweet and semisweet meads, but 1.04
could be ice cream syrup! I find 1.005 to 1.01 semi-sweet and 1.015 to
1.02 to be sweet. You could go to a more tolerant yeast and get it drier.
You can always add about 1/4 cup per gallon of honey until fermentation
stops to get to a semiweeet range, then add more in bits until it tastes
right to you. BTW, have you tasted your mead? You might like it…

Never Thirst,


Subject: Peach State Brew-Off; 01/23/1998
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 09:38:21 -0500

The Competition web-page for the
6th Annual Peach State Brew-Off is at:

This is a two-bottle competition taking place in Atlanta, GA. All AHA
mead, beer and cider categories will be judged.

for more information check the web-page or email


Dennis Waltman

Subject: Mazer Cup (Finally....)
From: "Ken Schramm" <>
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 09:44:58 -0500

With a thousand pardons to Dick Dunn if this frams up the Digest works…
Also, we are actively recruiting judges for the 2/27 weekend (we will
provide beds). Please contact Dan McC at the address/phone/email below.
Here we go again….

The 1999 Seventh Annual
Mazer Cup Mead Competition (and no complaining just because there seems to
be a lapse in the time-space continuum that usually applies to "annual"

All makers of Mead are eligible. Enter as many entries as you like.

1) Each entry shall consist of two (2) bottles of not less than 177 ml (6
oz.) and not more than 750 ml (25 oz), preferably 12 oz. Please use plain
caps or blackout any identification. No entries will be disqualified or
downgraded for bottle size, age, capping/corking method or color.
2) A COMPLETED Recipe Form, in as much detail as possible, must accompany
each entry.
3) A COMPLETED Registration Form shall be attached BY RUBBER BAND (NOT
TAPE) to each Bottle.
4) ALL Entry Fees must accompany entries when received.
5) Please mark Shipping Packages "This End Up"
6) Entries may be submitted NON-COMPETITIVELY for Evaluation Only. Entry
fee is $3.00, and only one bottle is required. ALL information will be
provided to the judges, who will liberally comment on all aspects of your
mead, including overall impression, recipe formulation, balance, conditioni
ng, possible improvements or aspects of your mead you might seek to
enhance in the future.

The FIVE "W's"

WHO: You
WHAT: Your Best Meads, with a $6.00/entry fee,
make checks Payable to KEN SCHRAMM/Mazer Cup Mead Competition
(Please include Ken's name)
WHEN: Entries Due Feb 1 – 20, 1999. Judging Feb. 27-March 14
WHERE: Please ship Entries to: Bill Pfeiffer
10676 Seitz Road
Brighton, MI 48116-9241
(810) 229-0727


* The AHA 50 Point scale will be used; 25 points required for prize
* First, Second and Third Place Winners in each category will receive a
hand crafted Mazer
* The Best of Show Winner will receive the Coveted, Hand Crafted,
Communal Mazer.


Sub category Guidelines
(You should use you own judgement in
applying a descriptor of dryness/sweetness)
Hydromel: Low starting gravity, any category
Dry: F.G.: .996 -1.009
Medium: F.G.: 1.010-1.019
Sweet: F.G.: 1.020 & Above
a) Sparkling / b) Still applies to All Categories

1) Show Mead: Contains Honey, Yeast, Water and water treatments (acid
blends, pH adjustments) only. No other ingredients permitted.
a) Sparkling/Effervescent. Dry, Medium, Sweet or Very Sweet. No Flavors
or aromas other than honey. Character of honey evident in aroma and
flavor. Low to high acidity, based on dryness and overall balance. Color
can depend on honey variety. Absence of harsh or stale character, or
obvious fermentation flaws, infection characteristics. Should be adequately
aged and conditioned.
b) Still/No Effervescence. Can be bottle or bulk carbonated. Other
descriptors same as sparkling.
2) Traditional Mead: Contains Honey, Yeast, Water, may also contain small
amounts of other additives, such as spice or fruit essence, in small
enough quantities as to add only complexity. Levels which are obvious or
which dominate the honey profile will be considered faults.

FLAVORED MEADS: Should reflect the fruit/spice in both aroma and flavor.
Adjunct character may be dominant or subtle, but mead character should be

3) Melomel: Mead containing fruit other than Apples or Grapes.
4) Cyser: Mead containing Apples, Cider, or Apple Juice or Concentrates.
5) Pyment: Mead containing Grapes or Grape Juice or Concentrates.
6) Open/Combined: Any Mead containing ingredient combinations which define
more than one category, i.e.: Fruited Braggot, or Spiced Melomels or
Spiced Pyments (formerly Hippocras).
7) Metheglin: Mead containing Spices, Herbs or Floral Blossom flavorings.
8) Braggot/Bracket: Mead containing Malt: both honey and malt character


1) All Meads will be judged in the category entered, and no categories
will be combined.
2) Judges will be provided with all specific gravity information we
3) Judges reserve the right to withhold the awarding of any or all prizes
in any category, if deemed necessary. All judges decisions will be final.
4) Every effort will be made to utilize active BJCP or otherwise qualified
5) Winners will be announced via the Mead Lover's digest, the Homebrew
Digest, and will be notified by Mail. The Best of Show winner will be
notified by phone. All Prizes will be distributed by UPS.
6) All score sheets and a Winners' Circle announcement will be returned to
all entrants by US Mail or Parcel Post.
7) Any entry not meeting the above requirements may be disqualified.
8) Questions regarding entries can be directed to:
Ken Schramm (248) 816-1592
Dan McConnell (734) 663-4845

Our Sponsors

G.W. Kent, Inc., 3961 E. Morgan Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 572-1300

Yeast Culture Kit Company, Ann Arbor MI
1-(800) 742-2110

The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, Ann Arbor, MI

Recipe Form

Brewer's Information (Please Print)

Name_________________________________ Phone__________________

Additional Brewers______________________________________________


City______________________________ State________________________

Country_____________________________ Zip_______________________
(No P.O. Boxes, Please, or we won't be able to deliver your prize if you win)

Club Affiliation_________________________________________________

How long have you been brewing?____________________Years

Entry Information

Name of Mead_________________________________________________

Category 1)____ 2)____ 3)____ 4)____ 5)____ 6)____7)_____ 8)_____

a) Spk_____ b) Stl_____ Hydromel____Dry____ Medium____ Sweet____

Amount and Type of Honey_______________________________________


Heat or other treatment___________________________________________


Distinctive Ingredients and Amounts used____________________________


Acids or other Water Treatments and Amounts used____________________


Yeast Information_______________________________________________


Carbonation info, if applicable_____________________________________


Specific Gravity: Original____________ Terminal___________

Fermentation Data Duration Temp
Glass, Plastic, Stainless Steel
Primary _________ _________ _________

Secondary _________ _________

Other _________ _________ _________

Date this mead was brewed_____________bottled____________________

Any other important information___________________________________


YES! I would like an additional Mazer!________Here are 35 of my hard
earned dollars for this hand-crafted keepsake that I will enjoy for a
lifetime. Please send my Mazer to:________________________________________



Registration Form
Name_________________________________ Phone__________________


City______________________________ State________________________

Country_____________________________ Zip_______________________

Name of Mead__________________________________________________

Category 1)____ 2)____ 3)____ 4)____ 5)____ 6)____7)_____ 8)_____

a) Spk_____ b) Stl_____ Hydromel____Dry____ Medium____ Sweet____

Type of Honey__________________________________________________

Distinctive Ingredients and Amounts used____________________________

Registration Form
Name_________________________________ Phone__________________


City______________________________ State________________________

Country_____________________________ Zip_______________________

Name of Mead__________________________________________________

Category 1)____ 2)____ 3)____ 4)____ 5)____ 6)____7)_____ 8)_____

a) Spk_____ b) Stl_____ Hydromel____Dry____ Medium____ Sweet____

Type of Honey__________________________________________________

Distinctive Ingredients and Amounts used____________________________

Subject: orange mead
From: SuperPope <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 09:06:48 +1100 (EST)

I'm brewing a small (1/2 gallon) batch of orange mead for experimental
purposes (testing a recipe). I began by peeling and slicing about 4
oranges and poured a little less than 1/2 gallon (US) of boiling water
over it and let it set (covered) for 2 days. My question is, should
I throw some pectic enzyme in there, or is it too late and I must
face the consequences of a cloudy brew, or is it not required?

thank you.

Nate Schoolfield

From: "Gradh O'Dunadaig" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 10:15:16 PST

Pear Melomel

5# Bartlett Pears
6# Orange Blossom Honey
1t pectic enzyme
10g Lalvin K1-V1116 wine yeast
2.25 gal water

1. Chop and freeze pears
2. Thaw the pears by putting them in half gallon of water and
pasteurizing, smoosh pears thoroughly, add pectic enzyme.
3. Set pear mixture aside and dissolve honey in one and three-quarters
gallons of water.
4. Heat to pasteurize and skim.
5. Add pears and honey to carboy, allow to cool, pitch yeast.

1. Texture of pears was rubbery after freezing and pasteurizing, allow
fruits to thaw on their own.
2. (12/10/98)O. G. was 1.178

I am going for a sweet, high alcohol mead. As I am unfamiliar with wine
yeasts, I am just hoping the Lalvin has a high tolerance. Does it? And
if not, what does and where can I obtain some?

And, while I've got your ear….


half gal. water
2 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
20 oz brown sugar
5g Red Star Montrachet Active Dry Wine Yeast

1. Heat to pasteurize
2. Pitch yeast

1. (12/10/98) O. G. 1.110

2. I'll ferment anything, watch for my sausage and eggs methyglyn.

Subject: How to serve mead
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 17:13:36 EST

How should mead be served?

I know the Vikings drank it from mazers or cow horns, but I could not find
these vessels at my local mall.

Should it be served in wine glasses? What type of wine glass is best? Should
it be chilled or at room temp?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Randy Lynn
Blossom Ridge Bee Farm

Subject: Flavoring
From: Andrew J Barnett <>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 23:41:23 -0500

I've got a batch cooling off before pitching, and was wondering what the
consensus was on when to flavor the brew. Should I add the flavoring
when I pitch, when I rack to secondary, or right before I bottle? I have
4 ounces of liquid beer and wine flavoring, enough for 5 gallons.

I'm not actually trying to make a braggot, but I think there might be
enough honey to qualify. Then again, this doesn't even come close to
some of the recipes I've seen:

5 Gallons, Extract

5# Honey
3.3# Wheat Liquid Malt Extract (Coopers)
3.3# Light Liquid Malt Extract (Coopers)
1 oz Cascade plugs (60 min)
1 oz Cascade plugs (10 min)
4 oz liquid flavor, cranberry

Simmer the honey (30 min at 180 F), and boil the malt separately.

Andrew J Barnett <>

Subject: Yeast
From: Jerome Miller <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 09:40:03

I am attempting to make some sweet mead. However I have had a difficult
time to get the yeast to take. After numerous attempts with different
yeasts, Wyeast, Cote des Blancs, Champage, I have settled upon Premier
Cuvee. Upon reading the postings I am getting the feeling I may end up
with a Dry mead. I did experiment with Flor Sherry, but in my prep jar for
the yeast, (1 part water, 2 parts must plus an additional pinch of yeast
nutrient) the action was very slow compared to Cuvee. So in 1 gallon I
used a mixture of both and in the carboy just Cuvee. Any thoughts on what
I'm going to end up with??

End of Mead Lover's Digest #713