Mead Lover's Digest #0732 Sat 27 March 1999


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



Re: vanilla mead…how to? (Scott Murman)
Re: vanilla mead (Mark Taratoot)
Re: vanilla mead…how to? (Dave Polaschek)
Mazer Cup: It's Official ("Ken Schramm")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #731, 22 March 1999 (
Re: sulfur–Yechh!–help (Terry Estrin)
Irish words for mead (Scott Murman)


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Subject: Re: vanilla to?
From: Scott Murman <>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 20:48:26 -0800 (PST)

Kurt Hoesly wrote:
> I would like to brew a batch of vanilla mead, but am not sure just how
> to go about it. (Well, I know the basics, but…)

First, your concerns about alcohol leaching unwanteds from the vanilla
bean is unncessary. This is precisely how (and what) vanilla extract

You can simmer the beans, but beware of a few items. 1) they're very
expensive. 2) they contain a lot of oils that you probably don't want
in your finished product. 3) the vanilla flavor and aroma compounds
are very unstable, and most of both will be lost during the
fermentation (see point #1). I'm not trying to dissuade you here,
just trying to give you the lay of the land so you can make a good

A couple of other possibilities include putting the beans in the mead
while you're aging, though beware of point #2. Another option is to
simply take some vanilla extract, and add a dosage to the mead. You
don't need to worry about sanitation (see point #1). You also get
more control over how much flavor and aroma end up in the final

Personally, I would recommend the last two options over simmering the
beans with the must (I've tried all 3 methods).

  • -SM-

Subject: Re: vanilla mead 
From: Mark Taratoot <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 00:35:15 -0800 (PST)

  • –>

  • –> Hello, all…

  • –>

  • –> I would like to brew a batch of vanilla mead, but am not sure just how

  • –> to go about it. (Well, I know the basics, but…)

  • –> ——————————snip

I made a really nice vanilla mead a few years ago. I plan on
making another one at some point. The vanilla was actually an
afterthought to a ginger mead.

I made a basic ginger mead with about 13 pounds of wildflower
honey simmered in water with about a thrid pound of ginger. I
fermented it with my standard mead yeast, Lalvin K1V-1116. Six
months later I tasted it during racking. It was brilliant, dry,
and floral, but it seemed like it was lacking something. I added
3 vanilla beans split in half and let it sit another month or so
until everything had settled to the bottom. I probably gave the
carboy a jiggle every few days or whenever I thought about it.

This mead has gone through varous transformations since it has
been in the bottle; it has been excellent throughout. At first
it was like a very dry cream soda (I like vanilla). After about
six or eight months, the vanilla was fading but still very much
in the forefront with the spicy ginger in the finish. After
another year or so, the vanilla became a warm, subtle undertone,
and the ginger was a mild spicyness that wasn't too sharp. The
only thing I would change would be to use two vanilla beans
rather than three. Alas, there are only about five bottles left
in existence.

Mark Taratoot

Subject: Re: vanilla to?
From: Dave Polaschek <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 07:39:14 -0600

"Kurt Hoesly" <> wrote:

>Anyone have experience with this sort of concoction? Right now, I'm
>leaning toward going the simmering route, as I would with cinnamon or
>cloves. Suggestions definitely welcome…

<> is a recipe that
uses vanilla extract, rather than beans. It may prove helpful.

  • -DaveP

Subject: Mazer Cup: It's Official
From: "Ken Schramm" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 12:10:20 -0500

Here are the results of the Seventh Annual Mazer Cup Mead Competition:

134 Competitive Entries=20
3 Non-Competitive Entries

Best of Show Winner:
Terry Estrin
Vancouver, BC
"Black Currant – Fireweed Melomel"

Category One: Show Mead (39 Entries)
1st Place: Micah Millspaw
Oconomowoc, WI
"96 Orrange Blossom"

2nd Place: Ron Barnes
Abiline, TX
"West Texas Special"

3d Place: Al Korzonas
Palos Hills, IL

Category 2: Traditional (6 Entries)

1st Place: Ron Lunder/Mountain Meadows Mead
Westwood, CA
"Honeymoon Nectar"

2d Place: Jeff Rose
Chelmsford, MA
"Dr. Moist's Tupelo Mead"

3d Place: Claire Desrosiers/Daniel Dingras
Chepachet, RI

Category 3: Melomel (48 Entries)

1st Place: Terry Estrin
Vancouver, BC
"Black Currant – Fireweed Melomel"

2d Place: David Myers
Boulder, CO
"Black Raspberry Blossom"

3d Place: Ron Barnes
Abilene, TX
"Jamaican Joy"

Category 4: Cyser (11 Entries)

1st Place: Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, IL
"Custom Press Cyser"

2d Place: Bill Pfeiffer
Brighton, MI
"Pick Me Up and Put Me Down Cyser"

3d Place: Paul Gatza
Sunshine, CO
"Along Came a Spider and Sat Down Be Cyser"

Category 5: Pyment (14 Entries)

1st Place: Brian Myers
Beach Haven, Auckland, New Zealand

2d Place: Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, IL
"Fox Grape Pyment"

3d Place: Bill Pfeiffer
Brighton, MI
"Medoc Pyment"

Category 6: Open/Mixed (6 entries)

1st Place: Bill Pfeiffer
Brighton, MI
"Ginger Mint"

2d Place: Ed Measom
Orlando, FL
"Breakfast Mead"

3d Place: Corrine Parker
Reseda, CA
"Apple-Cinnamon Mead"

Category 7: Metheglin (9 Entries)

1st Place: Ron Lunder/Mountain Meadows Mead
Westwood, CA
"Spice Nectar"

2d Place: Keith Reding
St Louis, MO
"Cracklin Rosie Metheglin"

3d Place: Marie Verheyen
Novi, MI

Category 8: Braggot (4 Entries)

1st Place: Bill Pfeiffer
Brighton, MI
"Wheat Braggot"

2d Place: Stephen Rosenzweig
Ontario, NY
"Braggin' Braggot"

3d Place: Al Korzonas
Palos Hills, IL
"Smoked Braggot"

Congratulations to all, and thanks for entering. We had our first =
"Outside of the US" winners this year! Score sheets will be going out =
within a week, and Mazers within the month. They are done now, and are =
very impressive. =20

The caliber of entries was stunning again this year. We saw the increased =
and very welcome use of oak aging, very good sweetness-to-acid balance =
control, and a mind-boggling diversity of ingredients.

We apologize to all for the delay in getting judging completed. Our =
number of judges and available dates was somewhat limited by circumstances =
beyond our control, and we refuse to do more than one round per judge per =
day for safety reasons. =20

Again, our thanks.

Ken Schramm
Troy, MI

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #731, 22 March 1999
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 12:49:07 EST

<< bog myrtle, according to an old discussion on
MLD. Does anyone know any sources where this can be ordered from?


We have it, 2 grams, 99 cents.

Jay Conner, Great Fermentations, 136 Bellam Blvd, San Rafael CA 94901

Subject: Re: sulfur--Yechh!--help
From: Terry Estrin <>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 23:41:46 -0800

>I just am now drinking a bottle of my first attempt at a sulfited mead. I
>added only 1 tab per gallon of must. I am finding there is a sulfurous smell
>and aftertaste to the mead, and a nasty little sulfur burp shortly after just
>about every swallow. not all of this batch is presently bottled, so if there
>is a way to help the sulfur escape the remaining 3 gallons before bottling, I
>would like to know, because I find this stuff pretty nasty.
>Thanks for your help, you guys (and gals) are a cool bunch,


How old is your mead? The reason I ask is that a couple of my meads

tasted pretty snarky, with a yeasty and sometimes sulphurous character,
while they were young. If it is less than 18 months old, I would leave it
to bulk age in a glass carboy and forget about it for a while. You may be
surprised how much better it tastes later on. Just my two bits.


Subject: Irish words for mead
From: Scott Murman <>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 11:49:22 -0800 (PST)

My recipe will follow in a few days or so, but first things first; I
had to find out the Irish word for mead. Turns out there's 3,
depending on where you're located:

mead, with a "fada" on the e (forward slash/accent) making it
sound like "maydj"

miodh (pronounced myoh)


Happy miodh making,

  • -SM-

End of Mead Lover's Digest #732