Mead Lover's Digest #0760 Sat 18 September 1999


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



Thank goodness for other newbies (Kim Davis)
Re: bad yeast warning (Clogar)
MLD 759 comments (
Winners of AHA Club-Only Competition (Ken Schramm)
bad yeast warning ("Chuck Wettergreen")
Missing honeysuckle character ("Jake Hester")
Re: Serviceberries ("Thomas, Raymond E.")
Yeast for non-dry mead (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #759, 13 September 1999 ("Belinda Messenger Ph.D.")
Re: stuck ferments ("Micah Millspaw")
Nutrient Question/Discussion ("Mark Nelson")
When to bottle? ("Michael Winnie")


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Subject: Thank goodness for other newbies
From: Kim Davis <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 11:52:34 +1000

Like ReezTeez I am also very new to this world of mead making and relate to
all he has expressed. I am in Sydney, Australia but have many of the same
questions. Are there any groups or workshops out this way??? Thanks for the
great service you are all providing – while right now it seems very
overwhelming it is at the same time reassuring to know there is so much
expertise and expereince being so willingly shared. Happy mead making.

Subject: Re: bad yeast warning
From: Clogar <>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 22:55:57 -0400

> In MLD #759 "Chuck Wettergreen" <> wrote:
> > I use both EC-1118 and K1-V1116 all the time and have had no
> > problems. Heck, they are often used to RESTART stuck fermentations.
> The yeast profile for K1-V1116 states that it has low nutrient needs.
> I never use nutrients when using this yeast and regularly ferment show
> meads from 1.100 down to 1.005 with no problems.

I have personally witnessed the process sped-up by using yeast

nutrient, and stuck fermentations restarted with it. The original
poster was having problems with canola honey and was using a yeast
energizer without nutrient, and the comments I made might be helpful
to him (they have helped others in similar predicaments). Should you
have other ideas, I'm sure he'd appreciate hearing them 🙂

> Excessive yeast nutrients could possibly add a mineral taste to your
> meads.

I have no problems with mineral tastes in my mead, nor has

anyone that has tried my mead commented about it. I know a number of
people that do the same thing and have no complaints or problems
(though individual tastes differ). I suggest you try a gallon batch
with a higher nutrient level and judge for yourself 😉

  • -= Clogar

Subject: MLD 759 comments
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 01:33:02 EDT

rjw writes:
"With some vigorous swirling of the carboy, bucket or whatever, I've dumped
large volumes of CO2 to the atmosphere to help our friends that produce folic
acid, and my meads have started right back up again. Doing this every couple
of days gets me right down to my target gravity. I'm sure that Dave Burley
will have the scientific reasons for anyone that wants them, but I'm just
happy knowing that it works."

I can't imagine that temporarily reducing the C02 in suspension is making
much difference, but I can imagine that rousing the yeast is of some benefit
in finishing your ferments. So agitate away.

And Warren Place writes, while pondering a yeast nutrient recipe:
"I've been trying to figure out a nutrient recipe for mead. I have been
adding yeast energizer and diammonium phosphate (DAP) until now and counting
on my water to provide the rest of the minerals. Well, I moved to Davis, CA,
where the water tastes as though it has been filtered through the landfill
before going into the system. Now I use RO water that has very little in the
way of minerals (at least, that's my understanding)"

I live in Davis, too. You just insulted the landfill. . .
I understand the Beverage People in Santa Rosa sell a mean nutrient made
especially with mead making in mind, in case you don't care to re-invent the

Subject: Winners of AHA Club-Only Competition
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:46:16 -0400

With many thanks to the AABG members who judged at the club meeting this
past Friday, here are the winners of the AHA Club-Only "It's a Mead, Mead,
Mead, Mead World" Competition.

First Place:
Mike Benner
Brew Angels
Fruit & Vegetable Mead (Pyment, Still)
Roll in the Hay Chardonnay

Second Place:
Art Blanchard
Brewers United for Real Potables
Fruit & Vegetable Mead (Still)
Blackberry Sunshine

Third Place:
Bill Pfeiffer
Ann Arbor Brewersd Guild
Herb & Spice Mead (Still)
Ginger Mint Metheglin

There were ten meads passed along to the medal round To allay any
concerns, none of the judges in the medal round had participated in the
selection of the AABG club representative mead.

Congratulations to all who entered. Score sheets will be mailed as soon as

Ken Schramm
Troy, Michigan

Subject: bad yeast warning
From: "Chuck Wettergreen" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 07:56:48 -0500

In MLD #759 I wrote:
> On another matter…
> I presently am having a bad yeast problem. During our (Wout
<BIG snip>
> Today I strain that CRAP out of my must, pasteurize, and start
> again with Zymaflore ST.

I forgot to mention that this mead incorporated honeys that
were given to me by Breton meadmakers plus some French
honeys that I had purchased, so it was very special.

The pasteurization went well and the Zymaflore ST is an
extremely vigorous fermenter. There was evidence of
fermentation within 6 hours and now it is kicking out over
one bubble a second.

Geneva, IL

Subject: Missing honeysuckle character
From: "Jake Hester" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:11:40 EDT

Back in April, I started a 1 gal batch of honeysuckle mead- my proceedure
(gleaned from a country winemaking book) was to fill 2 1qt mason jars with
honeysuckle flowers, pour boiling water over them, allow them to cool, then
keep the water. In the meantime, I dissolved 3lbs of a light flavored clover
honey I found at a local natural foods store in 2qts of water, along with
some acid blend and tannin. I poured off both into a 1gal jar when both
were cooled and pitched a pasteur champagne yeast, from starter. At the time
I pitched, it had a very strong honeysuckle scent, almost too strong. The
scent was still strong at first racking.

It cleared quickly and finished off last month, and having been stationary
for a while, I bottled it yesterday. It has practically no detectable
honeysuckle scent or flavor! I expected some- even much- loss of
honeysuckle character in fermentation, but not ALL of it!

In light of this, how can I alter my proceedure for next year? I know some
people add fruits and spices after first racking, but I was thinking that it
would be hard to sterilize the flowers without destroying the flavor. Any

Many thanks!

Jake Hester

Subject: Re: Serviceberries
From: "Thomas, Raymond E." <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 10:37:44 -0400


I haven't made mead with the berries but I do remember Madison
and serviceberries quite well.

There were, and may still be, several bushes in front of the Geology
building. I used to stop by and graze on what I was sure were
blueberries, smug in the knowledge that masses of ignorant people
were walking right by nature's bounty. Eventually I called up the
Ground's Dept and was informed that: No, they were not blueberries
they were serviceberries, Yes, he "thought" they were edible but
he really wasn't sure, and finally, was I often in habit of eating berries
off of bushes that I didn't know anything about?

I survived and the mead sounds like an interesting experiment. Let
us know how it turns out.

Ray Thomas

> Hi Everybody.
> I've got a tree growing in my back yard…the neighbor and I looked at
> some
> books and thought it might be a serviceberry tree. It says these berries
> have been used in jams and pies historically. I was wondering if anyone
> has used such in a mead in the past? Don't worry, I won't make the mead
> until I go to the Ag Extension office and get it identified…don't want
> to
> make hemlock mead or anything.
> nathan in madison, wi

Subject: Yeast for non-dry mead
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 11:32:52 -0400 (EDT)

Hi. I've made several meads to date, all with the same yeast: EC1118. I've
had good success with this yeast, it has always behaved well and is great at
eating up every molecule of sugar available. So, I've now had PLENTY of
experience with dry, sparkling meads and am looking to venture out into the
world of "sweet" meads. I'm looking for advice as to which mead/wine yeasts
to try out. I have read many posts saying that this yeast or that yeast
behaves poorly or throws off flavoprs, etc… What would you recommend I try?

Another consideratoin is that, while I want to make some meads that aren't
bone-dry, I don't really like meads that have a lot of residual sweetness
left in them. I'd rather get something that finishes mildly sweet, maybe
with an F.G in the range of 1.005 – 1.010 or so. Any thoughts??

  • -Alan Meeker

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #759, 13 September 1999
From: "Belinda Messenger Ph.D." <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:34:25 -0700

For the "newbie": Maybe I'm old-fashioned in my mead-making but I don't
worry too much about formulas and specific mineral nutrients etc., and I can
put out a fairly decent mead. My suggestion would be to try one of the
published mead recipes (Cats Meow has some great ones), maybe a melomel
(honey+fruit) and don't worry too much. I know I'll get nailed for this
laidback approach to mead-making, but I don't think that it's always
necessary to understand and control the process inside and out, especially
in the beginning of one's mead-making.

>Well, I moved to Davis, CA, where the water tastes as though it has been
>through the landfill before going into the system. Now I use RO water
>that has very little in the way of minerals (at least, that's my

I live in Davis, too, and although the tap water is pretty funky (high boron
for one thing), I use it in my mead and haven't tasted a difference. And as
far as nutrients, if you use autolyzed yeast (yeast hulls) and/or yeast
nutrient (i.e. yeast guts), you'll be covering the bases as far as nutrients
go. I work in industrial fermentation and a quick and easy nutrient
shortcut commonly used is yeast extract (aka yeast nutrient).

Belinda Messenger, Ph.D
AgraQuest, Inc.
1530 Drew Ave
Davis, CA 95616
530-750-0150 extension 21
530-750-0153 (fax)

Subject: Re: stuck ferments
From: "Micah Millspaw" <MMillspa@SILGANMFG.COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 06:45:33 -0500

>Subject: Re: stuck ferments
>From: Robert J. Waddell <>
>Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999 19:17:56 -0600

>I'm a long time subscriber and first time poster.

>There's lots of good input on why meads get stuck and how to get them
>un-stuck, but nobody has touched on the CO2 saturation phenomena. I have
>had almost every one of my meads stop before they were done. With some
>vigorous swirling of the carboy, bucket or whatever, I've dumped large
>volumes of CO2 to the atmosphere to help our friends that produce folic
>acid, and my meads have started right back up again. Doing this every
>couple of days gets me right down to my target gravity. I'm sure that
>Burley will have the scientific reasons for anyone that wants them, but
>just happy knowing that it works.


Sorry, to have to differ on your first time post, but: I must say that the
CO2 saturation in the mead fermenting in a carboy or bucket is likely
mimimal due to the must being at ambient pressure. THe physical action of
shaking up the must and getting the yeast back into suspension is probably
what is actually helping.

Along these lines, I will, when making sparkling meads, finish the
fermentation in a pressure vessel. I have observed that even with 15-20
psi internal pressure the must will continue to ferment ( although at a
slower rate)

And my 2 cents on the stuck fermentation . Always, always make a starter.
Make certain that the yeast is good, and viable, and that you have a lot
of it. I have been making mead for the last 15 years and involved with my
folks making meads long before that, and I have never had a stuck ferment.
Alway make sure of your yeast. Don't blindly trust some little packet
with your honey.

Micah Millspaw -brewer at large

Subject: Nutrient Question/Discussion
From: "Mark Nelson" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 12:47:23 -0400

Hey folks,

I tried sending in a long, detailed question regarding the use of different
types of yeast energizer/nutrient. Well the message bounced a couple of
times, so here's the short version of the same question.

What is the difference between using Diammonium Phosphate, Yeast Energizer,
Yeast Nutrient and Dry Malt Extract (as Paul Gatza's recent recipe called
for) in meads. What amounts of these should be used? Are there any
downsides to using more than the recommended amount for good measure – eg,
longer aging times needed?

I realize some maker's YE and YN's are probably "proprietary" mixtures of
ingredients. Which ones are group's favorites?


Mark Nelson

In bottles, small mead, cherry melomel, raspberry melomel.
In process, gallberry mead, red zinger (hibiscus) mead

Subject: When to bottle?
From: "Michael Winnie" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 21:09:27 -0400

I have a sweet mead that started out at 1.115 and is now at 1.024. It's
been at that gravity for the last 2 months. Is it time to bottle or should
I let it sit longer. I made this 6 months ago.

Mike Winnie

End of Mead Lover's Digest #760