Mead Lover's Digest #0754 Sun 15 August 1999


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



Hot Fermentations (Kevin Mc Lean)
traveling with mead ("Fred Ogline")
Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999 (
New winery/meadery in Utah ("Stephen J. Van der Hoven")
Mead judging, Brittany mead tour ("Chuck Wettergreen")
Jay Spies from MLD #753 (Mike Benner)
New URL for medieval mead recipe (Tidmarsh Major)


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Subject: Hot Fermentations
From: (Kevin Mc Lean)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 07:58:57 +1000 (EST)

There was, an issue or so ago, a query about hot fermentations and I read
something interesting about in Acton and Duncan, who say (roughly) that you
can ferment mead in 35deg Celcius (95 or so Farenheit) using Tokay yeast.

I've got a garden shed that's probably in the right range for this (most of
the time anyway and I can make up a hot box for when it isn't). Has anyone
tried Tokay yeast with mead?


Kevin Mc Lean.
STEPS Co-ordinator/
CLC Tutor.
Mackay Campus.
07 49407416.

Subject: traveling with mead
From: "Fred Ogline" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 22:14:21 -0400

In MLD #753, Nathan says:

>I NEVER liked the taste of it, but I've moved with it 3
>times…it's well travelled. I had a few friends over to taste some brew a
>few weeks ago. None had ever tried mead. I thought this would be an
>opportunity to try a couple. The cyser is actually MUCH more drinkable to
>me. Before, I couldn't stand the stuff….now I can drink it.

Okay, I'm sure this was common sense, but sometimes in the heat of a big
move, common sense can be in short supply. A caution regarding moving with
mead and other fermentables…

I brewed two meads in January 1997 when I lived in South Florida. A couple
months, a couple job interviews later, and I bottled in June to prepare for
a move to Michigan in July. One was a ginger metheglin, fairly dry, and the
other was a heavy straight mead that still had a way to go, primed to
hopefully end up sparkling. I loaded up 10 gallons of mead, bottled, minus
what I gave away.

Three day drive, including stops, in temperatures in the 90's. The car
obviously got hotter. Well, two and a half years later, they still taste
the same, as if they were frozen in time. I'm assuming I killed the yeast
with the heat. Luckily, they tasted okay to begin with. The straight mead
is just extra sweet, although still pretty high in alcohol so you know you
have had a mead when you drink it.

I'd like to get my stock back up, all I have is a few bottles of these, and
one bottle of jasmine mead from 1996. I've got a pear melomel that is a
month or two from bottling, and a week from now I'll make another jasmine
mead. Love having this basement, it was a good move northward. But I
think I would have taken some extra care to get the mead to Michigan without
letting it heat up that much.

Fred Ogline
South Michigan

Subject:  Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 22:57:14 EDT

  • —How exactly do I get the corker to push the cork

all the way in. Usually, 3/4 of the cork goes in and the last 1/4 is
smashed, remaing outside the bottle.
Help me, please.

  • —Yes please reply to the digest as I am very curious also!!

now I will go back lurking and learning
Emily Hoskins

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 23:59:11 EDT

hi all to Ken Schramm I had no problem with the score sheets form the Mazer
Cup and i intend to enter more Mead next year i reely like reading the judges
I like the feedback from people who appreciate mead.. It hleps me improve on
future batches…

Thanks fo hosting the competition

Bob Venezia

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #753, 8 August 1999
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 14:11:26 EDT

In a message dated 8/8/99 1:11:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< How exactly do I get the corker to push the cork
all the way in. Usually, 3/4 of the cork goes in and the last 1/4 is
smashed, remaing outside the bottle >>

These wing corkers require real art to use. They have problems of design,
technique, condition and type of cork and fill level. Essentially they are
just a ram and a funnel. The cork is jammed through the funnel, compressed at
a single point, not along its full length, and it begins to re-expand as soon
as it flows past the point of compression. If it expands quickly, as a
SupremeCorq does, it immediately fills the bottle-neck, and drives air ahead
of it, creating back-pressure of compressed air. If it is a 2 inch cork, it
drives even more air, and the backpressure is also related to the fill level,
so you may not be able to fill your bottles as full as you would prefer. Most
corks, and all synthetic ones, are lubricated and should be inserted DRY into
a dry bottleneck with a dry corker. Of course, corks should never be boiled,
since this removes the lubricant. Depth of the ram travel can be adjusted
with the nuts at the top, and fill level has to be at least a half-inch below
the bottom of the seated cork. Beyond that, it's just a matter of practice.
Eventually you usually get fed up enough to buy a floor-corker, and we
consider hand-corkers of all designs our best salesmen for floor-corkers.

Jay Conner
Great Fermentations – California –

Subject: New winery/meadery in Utah
From: "Stephen J. Van der Hoven" <>
Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 16:10:24 -0600

Last weekend I went to an open house for a winery/meadery that opened
here in Utah. I have no affiliation with the business, but wanted to
spread the word for anyone passing through this part of the country and
add it to the list of meaderies. Native Wines is located in Mt.
Pleasant, Utah (about 2 hours south of Salt lake) and specializes is
wines made from fruits other than grapes, as well as mead. Some of
their offerings include Blue Elderberry, Morello Cherry, Golden Currant,
Wild Red Plum and Heritage Pear wines. The meads include include
Elderflower, Honeysuckle, Linden Flower and a traditional. Although I
am no wine afficiando, all the ones I tasted I would characterize as
"young" and could be aged longer before they reach their prime. My
humble opinion is supported by the fact that all the wines are 1998
vintage. However, I could taste their potential and bought several
bottles to stash away for a while. No meads were available for tasting
or sale since they were still aging in barrels. The meads will be
available around Thanksgiving, but since their vintages are all listed
as 1999, I suspect it will be well in to 2000 before they have matured.
I'm planning another trip down their after the meads are in the bottle.

Native Wines
72 South 500 West
Mt Pleasant, UT 84647
Proprietors: Bob Sorensen and Winnie Wood

A few final words: Due to the peculiarities of Utah alcohol laws (don't
want the Mormon faithful straying too far from the teachings of the
prophet), anything other than honey in a mead (fruit, flowers, spices,
etc) must be labeled a honey wine. So ask about their honey wines as
well as the mead. And don't go on Sunday because they won't be able to
sell you anything. They also ask that you make an appointment if you're
coming by for a tasting or to make a purchase since they are frequently
out collecting wild fruits and flowers. The fruits of their labor are
available in the State wine stores, but they must be special ordered.
Don't know if they can ship out of state.


Subject: Mead judging, Brittany mead tour
From: "Chuck Wettergreen" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 09:00:45 -0500

In MLD #753 Vicky Rowe <> wrote:

> Wow! sounds like a great trip. I'll have to try to make a trip to Brittany
> when I go to Europe…..meanwhile, is there any chance of getting a copy
> of that article? I'd *love* to read it……..
The article was in the Fall 1996 Zymurgy (I believe, I'm sure of the
1996, at least).

It is an interesting article, but we found one important item to be
totally untrue. The author said something about the mead makers
he talked to being secretive about their ingredients and processes,
even thought he spoke French as well as or better than English.

We found exactly the opposite to be true. The mead makers *we*
talked to were not only willing, they were very enthusiastic about
sharing their methods, honey varieties and sources, yeasts, uses
of acids, stabilizers, and any other question we had, with one
exception. They wouldn't/couldn't tell us the proportions of different
kinds of honeys they used. I say wouldn't/couldn't because
apparently while these may be "family secrets" they are also
different every time, depending on the amount of buckwheat in
the buckwheat/floral honey, the color of the clover honey, etc. etc.

Also in MLD #753 Ken Schramm <>

> Chuck, I hope I was reading your comments correctly, and that you felt you
> got a fair shake at the Mazer Cup Mead Competition. I remember your Cyser,
> and I felt it was very good.
I have always had the highest regard, and the greatest satisfaction
with the judging of the Mazer Cup. It is the one contest where I *know*
I'll get a fair and honest appraisal of my meads.

Also, "Warren The_Beerman" <>

> bottled with crown caps). I have a cheap, plastic, wing-handled
>corker and can't quite get the hang of using it. It didn't come with
>instructions, but the guy who sold it to me says that it works very
>well (I've seen his bottles and would agree). How exactly do I get
>the corker to push the cork all the way in. Usually, 3/4 of the cork
>goes in and the last 1/4 is smashed, remaing outside the bottle.
Back before I won a magnificent floor corker I used to use one similar
to this. I found that several things helped. 1) A little bit of petroleum
jelly to lubricate the piston shaft. 2) Make sure the cork is wet. This
helps it slide in the bottle. 3) Make sure the piston is at the top of it's
stroke, put the cork at the top of the groove snug up against the
piston before compressing. and 4) Put the bottle on the floor, line up
the corker on the top of the bottle, and with one FIRM and complete
push down on the lever attached to the piston, insert the cork.

Geneva, IL

Subject: Jay Spies from MLD #753
From: Mike Benner <>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 21:29:19 -0700

Jay wants to know if he can lower the SG of his two year old
apple/raspberry melomel. It is 3.5 gal currently at an SG of
1.041. He would like to lower the gravity closer to 1.020 by
blending with another mead. What can he do?

Jay, you asked about the addition of one more gallon of mead
to do this. Unfortunately, you would need an FG of 0.9465 for
this additional gallon and this is not possible. You would be
better off aiming for another 3.5 gal batch. An FG of 0.999
would result in a blend of 1.020. If you like the fruit profile
of the current mead, try to duplicate it if possible. Maybe you
can think of another fruit that would compliment it. If you can
reproduce the OG of 1.125 anf FG of 0.997 the blend would be
1.019 which is very close to what you are looking for. Good Luck.

Well, I'm finally comming out of the closet with a post after
nearly two years of lurking. Since I am here I might as well
continue with a few other thoughts and comments.

I crunched some of the numbers to pass onto Jay on a MS Works
spread sheet that I created as a result of his post. In the week
prior to his post, I created several other MEAD related spread
sheets that I would like to rewrite as Java Scripts to post on
my web site. I have been searching the internet for tutorials
on Java Script but have not found much that would help me write
the code. I have minimal exposere to programming from years ago,
so can anyone point me to any good reference books for Java Script
Calculators? Any coders need something to do while their mead
ferments? Direct reply probably best for this. Credits will be
posted with the calculator if you want to build it and submit it
to my site.

Some recent discussion has concerned fermentation temps. Up until
now I have also worked at ambient temps or used a water bath to
lower fermentation temps. With the water bath, I would freeze water
in 2 L or 20 oz soda bottles to cool the bath. This was helpful but
limited in my usually hot summers here in the Central Valley of
California (Stockton). I finally broke down and purchased a huge
chest freezer and added a temp controller. It is getting broken in
with 15 gal of raspberry and 5 gal of apricot Melomel at a temp of 50F
and fermentation is robust.

Going back a few more issues of the digest, there was discussion about
the creation of a new national/international Mead Organization. It is
of course a great idea, and the Internet probably provides us the best
opportunity to this, but on a rather informal manner. The creation of
a bonafide organization with a hard copy publication would take a fair
amount of start up capital with little hope of a return. One or a few
kick ass, dedicated individuals could make it happen but it would be
more for the love of the art than anything else. Any big LOTTO winners
out there.

Getting back to the Internet which provides us the means of participating
in this forum, there are many free tools available for us to use.
Several of us have our own domains, while others have free web sites at
GeoCities, Xoom, The Globe ETC… I think everyone on this list is either
serious about making mead or learning how. If you have Internet access
you should think about starting your own page with one of these free sites.
Anybody keeping up a current Meadery list, anybody want to start an opt in
"membership" list so we can find out that someone down the block is also
interested in meadmaking. This is what I was hinting at in the proceeding
paragraph regarding an informal organization.

How do we get this thing going? Well it is actually, thanks to the
dedication of our Janitor Dick Dunn. Right now he is the heart of this
'organization' because he facilitates the flow of information we recieve.
Thanks for your dedication Dick. Where to now? Have any of you searched
Yahoo! Clubs? I started a club for Mead Makers but less than 10 people
have found it on their own. I didn't publicize the club so I am to blame
for that.

If you would like to check it out,
the address is
I set up a cider club, that address is
I also set up Mead and Cider Web Rings. If you have a web site with Mead
or Cider related stuff join by visiting my Web Ring page at

This is just a seed I have planted and I'll let the rest of you help
decide how it grows. The clubs require that you are regesteres with Yahoo
to join the clubs, but you can visit without registration. If you do join
I do ask that you fill out at least some of the profile. It could assist
some of us in finding other meadmakers in our areas. If you have a web
page, post the URL on the links page. If you know of any other good mead
sites, post them. The clubs also support messaging and chat if you are

I guess I could continue with more ideas, but I think this is more than
enough for today. How about some feedback or additional suggestions. Am
I full of hot air or am I on the right track?

Mike Benner
Looking for the next blackberry patch to harvest in Stockton, CA It still needs a lot of TLC but its
my piece of cyberspace and a cool name to boot.

Download the Comet Cursor and see your cursor turn into a bottle.

Subject: New URL for medieval mead recipe
From: Tidmarsh Major <>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 15:15:46 -0500

My pages for Reynolds MS 1, which contains a 14th C English recipe for
mead on folio 20r, has moved to

Happy browsing to those of you interested in such things.

Tidmarsh Major
Birmingham, Alabama
"For we must drink as we brew, and that is but reason."

End of Mead Lover's Digest #754