Mead Lover's Digest #0717 Tue 5 January 1999


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



RE: Temperature Regulation ("Swintosky, Michael D.")
Re: EOY stats (
Temperature regulation & Traveling with mead (Myrriah Lavin)
Hempen Mead (PAUL W HAAF JR)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #715, 27 December 1998 (dennis key)
Rhodomel ("Jake Hester")
Re: spritzy mead (Gary Shea)
Alcohol % rates/lifespan ("Andrew M. Hartig")


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Subject: RE: Temperature Regulation
From: "Swintosky, Michael D." <>
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 14:34:24 -0500

Steve wrote:

>I tried covering the container to reduce the evaporation of water, but
>found that water condenses in the heater and eventually shorts them out.

Try a "floating cover" of Styrofoam peanuts (packing material). This
effectively reduces the surface area of water exposed to air and should
significantly reduce evaporation losses.


Subject: Re: EOY stats
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 17:55:50 EST

I think the subscriber base is prevented from growing because it's "hard" to
find the MLD – I see mead questions come up time and again in the Homebrew
Digest. Maybe the MLD should regulary advertise there?

Just a thought

Subject: Temperature regulation & Traveling with mead
From: Myrriah Lavin <madstone@CTC.Net>
Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 23:01:43 +0000

Jade wrote:

>Hello All! I am starting my first mead in January. The problem is it is sub
>zero weather and I live in a drafty aptartment. John P. suggested using
>on the brew, but I am still wondering if that will be enough since I can't
>even regulate a comfortable temperature in my apt. How will the internal
>temperature changes affect my mead? BB JADE

Last winter I fermented a nice cranberry mead on the uninsulated floor
of my cabin in the woods of northcentral Massachusetts. The floors
don't get above about 50 or so degrees F all winter, but the mead
fermented along just fine and had fallen completely clear by April. The
yeast I used was Lalvin 71B-1122 which Lalvin states will ferment well
between 59 and 86 degrees F. (D-47 is supposed to do well down to 50
degrees f.) I probably didn't have any great temperature fluctuations,
and I wasn't using a high proportion of honey (2 lb./gallon) but I don't
think you should have any problems unless the temperatures you're
dealing with are very low or you've chosen a yeast that likes it
warmer. It has been suggested in this forum that lower-temperature
fermentations may reduce the time a mead needs to age to be drinkable.

It's been asked here before how transporting carboys by car crosscountry
might affect a fermenting mead, and I don't recall seeing an answer to
that. We recently moved to North Carolina, transporting eight
one-gallon secondaries wrapped in towels and set into milk crates. They
all weathered the trip quite nicely, and I don't think they were
affected in any way by several days of pretty constant vibration, with
one exception. The rowanberry mead that had almost cleared started a
furious second fermentation. The mead character so far had been
apple-like and extremely tart. It will be interesting to see what, if
anything, this second fermentation has done to the flavor, though I
haven't had time yet to try it. Any guesses about what was going on?

Myrriah Lavin
Albemarle, NC

Subject: Hempen Mead
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 12:57:49 -0500

I recently received some hemp cake from vinbrew supply, usual disclaimers
apply, and I was wondering how it would do in mead? It's supposed to go
in the mash, but if I steeped some in with the honey, what does the
collective think this would do for it's profile. I only pasteurize my
must, I don't bring it to a boil. My guess is it would add tannins,
which I usually get by steeping tea. How about mouth-feel? Any input
would be helpful, private or on the MLD. I think I'll only try a 1
gallon batch for starters. Does anybody know how hemp cake would affect
a drug test? The stuff is legal, and was sent to me via US mail (no, my
name's not Gilligan!!), but does it have what a test is looking for? TIA
Cheers to the New Year,
Paul Haaf
I'd make New Year's Resolutions,
But it's just so tough to get people
to follow them.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #715, 27 December 1998
From: dennis key <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 10:14:16 -0700 (MST)

Concerning Steve's post: checking S.G. without contaminating must.

I use a turkey baster that is used for nothing else sanitizing it in a
sulfite soak. Of course, I don't return the sample to the must. I rack
off enough must to dilute the honey and make room for it. The excess goes
into a sanitized gallon jug which I keep in the 'fridge' to top off the
must when I rack the whole batch. I have never had a bad batch in 12

BTW, a wine thief (available at your brewstore) works very well.

Never Thirst,


Subject: Rhodomel
From: "Jake Hester" <>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 11:03:25 PST

Hello- I am a new poster to the list… I am a new meadmaker, currently
with five very different 1-gal batches in process. I'm looking forward
to learning about meadmaking from you all! 🙂 Enough with the

How does one go about making rhodomel (mead w/roses)? I've found
nothing that gives real instructions, just two conflicting glossaries-
one saying that it's actually made with rose petals, and another
claiming that it's made with an extract of rose called attar (I think;
I'm working from memory here). Has anyone out there successfully made
rhodomel, and if so, can you guide a poor newbie?

Thanks for your help!!

Jake Hester
South Carolina – USA

Subject: Re: spritzy mead
From: Gary Shea <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 11:17:05 -0700 (MST)

> Subject: spritzy mead
> From: bob farrell <>
> Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 09:03:33 -0800
> Over the Christmas holiday, I used a wine thief to sample my five meads
> that are in carboys. Both the blueberry and the blackberry melomels have a
> slight effervescence. Is this normally expected with these two fruits or
> do I have a secondary infection? If the effervescence is ok, do I run the
> risk of explosions once these are bottled?

In my experience, the effervesence is an indication that the yeast
are still going strong. Probably everything is fine, but those
batches need to continue fermenting for a while. You might consider
checking ph just in case a low ph is slowing down your fermentation.


Subject: Alcohol % rates/lifespan
From: "Andrew M. Hartig" <>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 18:30:56 -0800 (PST)

Alcohol percentages, at least to some degree, affect the lifespan of a
beverage. Does anyone have any info on the percentage of alcohol in a
beverage in comparison to its potential shelf-life? For instance, can I
still expect to age a mead of only 8% abv. for five years? Or must it be
consumed earlier (or have higher %abv)? I seem to remember seeing a
Polish mead recipe somewhere that says to age it for between 7-100 years.
Any thoughts?

  • -A:

End of Mead Lover's Digest #717