Mead Lover's Digest #0749 Sun 11 July 1999


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



French meads (William Millett)
Bunratty's Meade (Brian A)
Sweat mead secondary/fining agents. ("Russ Hobaugh")
Mead Making Bibliography (Dan McFeeley)
Re: Is It a Keeper? (Mark Cassells)
interesting fining data ("Chuck Wettergreen")


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Subject: French meads
From: William Millett <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 21:44:05 -0300

Hi everybody,

Samples of commercial French meads (known as hydromiel or chouchenn – celtic
word) can be seen at:

For this last one, after you have reached the site, click on "products' top
right hand side. Scroll down the list looking for "chouchenn' and 'chouchen'



Subject: Bunratty's Meade
From: Brian A <>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 1999 20:38:35 PDT

>This other brand, imported from Ireland is called Bunratty Meade.
>It says it's "white wine with honey and herbs added". I haven't tasted it
>yet, but is it really a mead?

Dear Charles,

Bunratty's isn't a bad tasting beverage, but it is basically a cheap white
table wine that they've doctored with honey and herbs. They call it Meade,
not to be confused with Mead, which it technically is not.

Merry Mead,

Subject: Sweat mead secondary/fining agents.
From: "Russ Hobaugh" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 08:12:17 -0400

I am fermenting my second mead–a strawberry melomel. Last night I
racked from the primary to the secondary. I did a Hyd. reading,
and it was 1.002 after the primary. This morning, the fermentation had
REALLY kicked off again–lots of foam and bubbles. Is this normal?
I would think that a sweat mead would stop at a higher
gravity-am I wrong in thinking that? Some specifics on the batch:

5.5 gallons
used 10 # of clover honey
@ 10-12 #s of frozen strawberries
wyeast sweet mead yeast

By the way, this had an EXPLOSIVE primary fermentation, it actally
popped the lid off of my plastic bucket! So I figured it should be done.
One final question, this recipe called for gelatin to be added to the
secondary. Is this normal? I do this for my English ales, but I did not
think it was done with meads. Should I just let time clear this, or follow
the directions? What is the collective idea on the issue of fining
agents? Do they improve the mead or detract from it? Or is it a
personal preference to use them?

At racking, this tasted good, but will it be sweet? It has a nice strawberry
aroma and flavor, with a definate warming in the back of the throat. If it
out too dry, I was told by the local homebrew shop to add potassium sorbate
to stop further fermentation. If I use this with adding more honey, will this
able to be a sparkling mead, or will this have to be still.


Russ Hobaugh
Goob' Dog Brewery Birdsboro PA

Subject: Mead Making Bibliography
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 18:45:09 -0500

This is a first version of a bibiography of mead making resources that I
wanted to run by MLD readers for critique.

What do you think of this? Are there any other references I need to add?
Please reply by private e-mail and I'll post a revised version when it's

Thanks in advance!

Dan McFeeley




Bryan Acton & Peter Duncan. _Making Mead_ Ann Arbor, Michigan: G.W. Kent

Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-9619072-8-2


Brother Adam. _Mead_ International Bee Research Association, England.

(reprint of the article appearing in _Bee World_ 34(8): 149-156, 1953.
Available through Wicwas Press (Beekeeping Education Service, Wicwas
Press. P.O. Box 817E, Cheshire CT 06410-0817).


_The Magic of Mead_ (video) Steve Forrest (also featuring Robert Berthold,

Roger Morse, Frank Androczi) Copyright Dauenhauer Production, 1991.
Available through Wicwas Press.


Clara Furness. _Honey Wines and Beers_ Northern Bee Books

ISBN 0-907908-39-X May be available through Wicwas Press.


Robert Gayre/Charlie Papazian. _Brewing Mead: Wassail! In Mazers of Mead_

Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-937381-00-4


Roger A. Morse. _Making Mead_ Cheshire, Conn: Wicwas Press, 1980.

ISBN 1-878075-04-7


Pamela Spence. _Mad About Mead!_ St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications,

1997. ISBN 1-56718-683-1



Eva Crane. _A Book of Honey_ New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

ISBN 0-19-286010-0


Eva Crane. _Honey: A Comprehensive Survey_ New York: Crane, Russak &

Company, Inc., 1975, ISBN 0-8448-0062-7


Dadant & sons, editors. _The Hive and the Honey Bee_ Hamilton, Illinois:

Dadant & Sons, 1975.



Sanborn C. Brown. _Wines & Beers of Old New England_ Hanover, New

Hampshire: The University Press of New England, 1978.
ISBN 0-87451-148-8


The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Opened. 1669.

May be available through Wicwas Press.


Terry Garey. _The Joy of Home Winemaking_ New York: Avon Books, 1996.

ISBN 0-380-78227-8


Patrick Higgins, Maura Kate Kilgore, Paul Hertlein. _The Home Brewers

Recipe Guide_. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1992.
ISBN 0-684-82921-5


M. A. Jagendorf. _Folk Wines, Cordials, and Brandies_ New York: The

Vanguard Press, Inc., 1963.


Charlie Papazian. _The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing_ New York: Avon

Books, 1984, 1981. ISBN 0-380-76366-4


Charlie Papazian. _The Home Brewers Companion_ New York: Avon Books, 1994.

ISBN 0-380-77287-6


Cindy Renfrow. _A Sip Through Time: A Collection of Old Brewing Recipes_

1994. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: TX 4-019-890


Lady Arwen Evaine fert Rhys ap Gyynedd. _The Compleat Anachronist

Handbook of Brewing_ Number 5, March 1983. (Available through The
Society for Creative Anachronism, SCA Marketplace, P.O. Box 360789,
Milpitas, CA 95036-0789)


Marc Shapiro. _Alcoholic Drinks of the Middle Ages_ Number 60, March 1992.

(Also available through the Society for Creative Anachronism, see above)


Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling. _Country Wines_ Pownal, Vermont: Storey

Communications, 1992. ISBN 0-88266-749-1



Eva Crane. _The Archaeology of Beekeeping_ New York: Cornell University

Press, 1983. ISBN 0-80140-1609-4


George Fix. _Principles of Brewing Science_ Boulder, CO: Brewers

Publications, 1989. ISBN 0-937581-17-9


Gene Ford. _The Benefits of Moderate Drinking: Alcohol, Health & Society_

San Francisco: Wine Appreciation Guild, 1988. ISBN 0-932664-60-1


D. E. Le Sage. _Bees in Indo-European Languages_ International Bee

Research Association, England. (reprint from _Bee World_ 55: 15-26,
46-52, 1974)


Claude Levi-Strauss. _From Honey to Ashes_ New York: Harper & Row,



Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin. _Drinking in America: A History_

New York: The Free Press, 1982, 1987. ISBN 0-02-918570


Jarich G. Oosten. _The War of the Gods_ Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul,

1985. (Chapters 4 and 5 cover Indo-European mythic cycles centering
around mead)


Hilda Ransome. _The Sacred Bee_ New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1937.

(May be available through Wicwas Press)


James K. Watson. _Bee-Keeping in Ireland: A History_ Dubin, Ireland:

The Glendale Press, 1981.



Leon Adams. _The Wines of America_ San Francisco: McGraw Hill, 1990.

Stanley Anderson & Dorothy Anderson. _Winemaking_ New York: Harcourt

Brace & Company, 1989. ISBN 0-15-697095-3


C. J. J. Berry. _First Steps in Winemaking_ Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1987.

ISBN 0-900841-83-4


Roger B. Boulton, Vernon L. Singleton, Linda F. Bisson, Ralph E. Kunkee.

_Principles and Practices of Winemaking_ New York: Chapman Hall, 1996.
ISBN 0-412-06411-1


Peter Duncan and Bryan Acton. _Progressive Winemaking_ Ann Arbor, Michigan,

1967. ISBN 0-900841


Hugh Johnson. _Hugh Johnson's How to Enjoy Wine_ New York: Simon and

Schuster, 1985. ISBN 0-671-72459-2


Hugh Johnson. _Vintage: The Story of Wine_ New York: Simon and Schuster,

1989. ISBN 0-671-68702-6


G. W. Kent, publisher. _The Complete Handbook of Winemaking_ Ann Arbor,

Michigan, 1993. ISBN 0-9619072-2-3


Yair Margalit. _Winery Technology and Operations: A Handbook for

Small Wineries_ San Francisco: The Wine Appreciation Guild, 1990.
ISBN 0-932664-66-0


Emile Peynaud. _Knowing and Making Wine_ New York: John Wiley & Sons,

1984. ISBN 0-471-88149-X


Bruce W. Zoecklein, Kenneth C. Gugelsang, Barry H. Gump, Fred S. Nury.

_Wine Analysis and Production_ New York: Chapman Hall, 1995.
ISBN 0-412-98921-2



Brother Adams. "The Art of Making Mead." _Zymurgy_ vol. 10, no. 5,

Winter 1987.


Tracy Aquilla. "The Biochemistry of Yeast." _BrewingTechniques_

vol. 5, no. 2, March/April 1997.


Benjamin Smith Barton. "Some Account of the Poisonous and Injurious

Honey of North America." _Transactions of the American Philosophical
Society of North America_ vol. 5, 1802.


Seving Biberoglu, MD, et. al. "Mad Honey." _Journal of the American

Medical Association_ vol. 259, no. 13, April 1, 1988.


George Clayton Cone. "The Basics Of Mead Fermentation."

James H. Dickson. "Bronze Age Mead." _Antiquity_, LII 1978.

James Dunson-Todd. "Beer from the Wood — From Ancient Past to Present,

Oak Remains A Perenial Source of Special Character." _BrewingTechniques_
vol. 5, no. 4, September 1997.


F. Filippello, G. L. Marsh, W. V. Cruess. "Suggested Directions for

Making Honey Mead." _American Bee Journal_ vol 75, September 1935.


James W. Johnston, jr. and Chevy Chase. "The Mead Maker Uses Herbs."

_The Herbalist_ vol. 39, 1973.


R. W. Kime, M. R. Mclellan and C. Y. Lee. "Ultra-Filtration of Honey

for Mead Production." _American Bee Journal_ vol. 131, no. 8,
August 1991.


Kenneth Lampe, PhD. "Rhodendrons, Mountain Laurel, and Mad Honey."

_Journal of the American Medical Association_ vol. 259, no. 13,
April 1, 1988.


Jim Martella. "It's Been A Pleasure Meading You: An International

Meadery Tour." _Zymurgy_ vol. 19, no. 1, Spring 1996.


Adrienne Mayor. "Mad Honey!" _Archaeology_ vol. 48, no. 6, November/

December 1995.


Dan McConnell and Ken Schramm. "An Analysis of Mead, Mead Making and the
Role of its Primary Constituents."

Dan McConnell and Ken Schramm. "Mead Success: Ingredients, Processes

and Techniques." _Zymurgy_ vol. 18, no. 1, Spring 1995.


Gabe Mirkin, MD. "Side Effects of Raw Honey." _Journal of the American

Medical Association_ vol. 266, no. 19, November 20, 1991.


Roger Morse and Keith Steinkraus. "Wines from the Fermentation of Honey;"

Eva Crane, _Honey: A Comprehensive Survey_ New York: Oxford University
Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-286010-0


Shadan. "The Making of Melomels and Flower Metheglins." _Tournaments

Illuminated_, Spring A.S. XXII no. 82.


C. L. Stong. "The Amateur Scientist" _Scientific American_ vol. 227,

no. 3, September 1972. (This column features a lengthy reprint from
one of Roger Morse's publications on meadmaking)


Patricia Telesco. "Brewing With Flowers." _The Herb Quarterly_

no. 74, Summer 1997.


Spencer Thomas. "The Magic of Mardi Gras Mead." _Zymurgy_ vol. 20, no. 1,

Spring 1997.


_Zymurgy_ Special Issue: Yeast & Beer. vol. 12, no. 4, Special Issue 1989.

_Zymurgy_ Special Issue: The Magic of Yeast. vol. 21, no. 4, Special

Issue November/December 1998.


Subject: Re: Is It a Keeper?
From: Mark Cassells <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 14:20:34 -0400

Jeff S. asked about whether or not to keep a very dry hydromel or not.

>still mead. It used aprox. 9 lbs. of honey.
>It has fermented along forabout 4 months now
>and the last hyrometer reading put it a
>1.002. But when I tasted it the word is DRY!
> What I'm
>wondering is, given the fact that I didn't use a
>lot of honey in the must (rel. low gravity brew),
>will this batch mellow out with time, or have I
>made 5 gallons of paint thinner?

Jeff, in a word, Keepit. Do you like a very dry mead? If so, keep what
you have. The gravity is so low because you used so little honey, and the
yeasties ran out of food. If you want to, you can add more honey to the
must and raise the SG to your desired point. To add honey, you can take a
sample of the must, heat it up to a simmer, turn off/down the heat and add
the honey. Keep it at 150-160 degrees for a few minutes and you have
Pasteurized the honey. Add it as is to the must. Some people add the
honey directly, and get away with it…there are good arguments on that
side too.


Mark Cassells
Castlemark Honey

Subject: interesting fining data
From: "Chuck Wettergreen" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 13:12:50 -0500

I recently made a 6 gallon wine kit from Brew King. The
kit instructions said to do the following. (I've left out parts
that don't concern the topic.)

1) Add a small package of benonite to the *primary* by
sprinkling the benonite over 2L of water and then mixing
in. (The concentrate and additional water are then added
to this water/benonite mix. I have seen this in other wine
kits, but all other instructions I have seen say to add
benonite to the secondary.)

2) When gravity reaches 1.010 or less, rack to secondary
leaving all sediment behind.

3) When gravity reaches 0.996 or less, pour in contents
of liquid Chitosan package *and mix contents with must
vigorously for 2-3 minutes.* (From elsewhere in the
instructions I get the impression that Chitosan is an
isinglass or Sparkolloid-like product.) Note that the
instructions say to mix the Chitosan in vigorously, which
would indicate that all the sediment in the secondary
which has fallen out thus far would also get stirred back in.

Following these instructions the wine fell brilliant clear.

In the Brew King newsletter, a user asked the question
(paraphrased), "Why is the Chitosan added before
transferring the wine must off the sediment? Wouldn't it
be more efficient to add it to the must after the sediment
is removed? It seems you're getting the clearing agent to
do more work by adding it with the sediment still in the
carboy, especially when you're stirring this sediment up
in the process."

Brew King answered (also paraphrased), "You are right,
logic would make it seem that this would be more efficient,
but it isn't. The fining agents used in Brew King's wine kits,
whether Chitosan or isinglass both act more efficiently in
clearing wine when they have a base of sediment to begin
with. The sediment acts as a trigger mechanism which
sends the finings into action in clearing out the mix of
proteins, pigments, phenolics, dead yeast, etc.

Both the fining agents and the particles to be cleared out
of the wine have either a positive or negative charge. A
negatively charged fining agent like benonite will serve to
bring together those particles having a positive charge,
while a positively charged fining agent like Chitosan or
isinglass will serve to bring together those particles
having a negative charge. This process allows for the
molecular weight structures of the particles to become
larger; smaller particles combine to make larger particles,
which in turn fall to the bottom when their mass becomes
large enough.

If the fining agents do not "find" enough particles present
in the must to join together into larger particles, the
clearing process may stall out. Small particles on their
own will remain suspended in the must, and the
effectiveness of the fining agent is reduced."

Food for thought.

Geneva, IL

End of Mead Lover's Digest #749