Mead Lover's Digest #0790 Sun 13 February 2000
Mead Lover's Digest #0790 Sun 13 February 2000
Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor
RE: Urea ("Sherfey")
Subject: re: honey prices – Maine (Potgold@aol.com)
Wout's OJ Mel (Nathan Kanous)
experimental batches – preview (Yacko Warner Yacko)
Lalvin EC-1118 yeast for mead ("Stevenson, Randall")
Honey Prices Up? ("Roger Flanders")
darkening of mead ("Alan Meeker")
Blood mead ("Stevenson, Randall")
urea, DAP, and urethane (Dick Dunn)
Angela's ?s/Darkening/Zymurgy/NHC ("Paul Gatza")
Re: racking (NLSteve@aol.com)
Carboys in Seattle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fw: Re: d-limeonene (email@example.com)
mead making workshop (ReezTeez@aol.com)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #786, 29 January 2000 (Christie Nowak)
Re: Brewing by the Signs (Elfboy0@aol.com)
subscribing, please include name and email address in body of message.
Digest archives and FAQ are available for anonymous ftp at ftp.stanford.edu
Subject: RE: Urea
From: "Sherfey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 06:25:42 -0500
Davd asks for more detail from the Wine Lab Reference Handbook.
1995 edition, Lisa Van de Water, published by The Wine Lab, 477 Walnut St.
Napa, CA 94559 707-224-7903 80 pages of technical detail on the various
products and services they provide. They have been around since 1975.
"Supplements we do not recommend:
Urea: white powder with urinous odor, still sold as "yeast nutrient" by some
home wine shops. Illegal for commercial wine. DO NOT USE urea in must/wine
(OK in vineyards), it can produce ethyl carbamate!"
Subject: Subject: re: honey prices - Maine
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 08:28:41 EST
In a message dated 2/9/00 9:59:28 PM Pacific Standard Time, Dick Dunn
Yacko Warner Yacko <email@example.com> wrote:
> …Looks like honey prices have gone up a bunch in the last 16 months
> (that's the last time I bought so much 🙂
> Last time I think it was near $.90/lb, now it's up to $1.25/lb. Anyone else
> experiencing this kind of rise in prices?
I think most of us in the US have seen it. Prices took a sharp upswing…
gee, it was at least a couple years ago around here (Colorado) due to
severe bee losses from the tracheal and Varroa mites. There were also some
reports of probable losses due to misuse of one particular insecticide
(Pencap M), but I think the mites are to blame for the major losses and
consequent increase in honey prices. >>
The main factor in honey prices is political, not the old rule of supply
President Clinton, as a showpiece at the beginning of his administration, cut
out the modest subsidy given to beekeepers, thus opening the door to a flood
of heavily subsidized Chinese honey. The Chinese government, hungry for US
dollars, was glad to oblige. Chinese beekeepers were getting (don't know if
they still do) free training, free extension support, free train
transportation for their bees from crop to crop (or pollination to
pollination), interest-free loans, the freedom to sell on the open market,
and a government guarantee to buy their honey and beeswax if they couldn't
sell it on the market. BTW, Clinton saved enough, over the course of his
administration, by cutting this subsidy, to pay for the cost of his first
After many appeals to the Clinton administration, beekeepers filed suit
to stop the Chinese from selling below cost in the US market. They won the
suit, and a very high tariff was slapped on Chinese honey. Honey prices
soared, and beekeepers for the first time since WW II began to prosper. Many
began expansion, borrowing money to do so, on the confidence that the problem
was solved, and the price trend would continue.
But Argentina soon filled the market with cheap honey, and today, most of
the honey you find in your supermarket is from Argentina. Prices on
wholesale honey have dropped to the same levels as those just after World War
Because of this, commercial beekeeping has changed drastically.
Beekeepers now make more of their income from pollination service than they
do from honey. And most commercial beekeepers migrate, both to improve the
winter loss figures, and to move from crop to crop for pollination or honey.
Honey is now a by-product, but beekeepers still hope for a more realistic
market. There is little drive or resources left for any further court action
on the imports.
Commercial beekeepers are in desperate condition. Old age and
bankruptcies have cut the number to less than 1500 nationwide, that make
their livelihood from beekeeping.
Hobby beekeeping has been on the decline for many years but that is
changing. The traditional hobby beekeeper was a farmer, or rural person who
kept some bees, or perhaps we should say HAD some bees. These beehavers did
little management, only to rob the bees occasionally (beerobbers?). Many of
these were eliminated in the last couple decades from pesticide misuse and
new parasites and diseases.
There is a resurgeance of hobby beekeeping today, but the members are a
different group. Todays hobbyist is typically a retired (or near retirement)
suburbanite, often a devoted gardener who realized he wasn't getting
pollination. They tend to be active members of a club and are well trained.
Some have entered beekeeping for bee venom therapy for multiple schlerosis,
lupus or arthritis.
As consumers, you have a different perspective on prices that I do. Your
best bet to find cheap honey is to find one of these new suburban beekeepers.
Many are excellent beekeepers, but they don't value their labor, so they
undercut the commercial beekeepers.
You will note that the price of retail honey which climbed when the
wholesale prices rose, has not dropped when the wholesale price dropped. Some
folks are making a killing. This past year, a lot of honey sat in beekeeper
hands, in hopes of better prices, but as the rent and operating loans come
due, the packers are picking off the crop at rock-bottom prices.
I have to sell at a price that covers the cost of my labor, as I'm a full
time beekeeper. And I'm at a disadvantage, because the largest yields are in
other regions. The southeast makes some mighty fine specialty honeys, but
cannot produce near the quantities that northern areas do.
We do not wholesale bulk honey, rather we wholesale bottled honey to
stores. We set our prices, and if the stores want cheaper honey, we lose the
sale. Over the years we've lost a lot of supermarket sales to imported honey,
and a lot of produce stand sales to corn syrup, illegally bottled as honey.
We retail only by mail order, and occasionally at a festival. Mail order
sales barely cover the cost of being online, and providing pollination
Everyone wants the cheapest possible price, but perhaps this perspective
might influence your purchasing. Another thing that most folks will never
think of, is that a purchase of foreign honey will help the famers in the
country of origin, because any increase in beekeeping improves pollination.
Since China's drive to increase beekeeping, have you heard of any starving
Chinese? China is now exporting apples to the level that our American apple
growers are in desperate condition, and they have just gone thru the process
of suing for sale below cost of production. Likewise Argentina is now
enjoying a boom in fruit production.
Price is not the only factor to consider in our purchases. We have a black
man near us who truck gardens, and sells off his truck on weekends. He's
selling collards, turnups, sweet potatoes, etc. right now, and I make a point
to stop and buy from him, often giving him a tip, because I can't get that
quality at the supermarket, and I want him to keep on. Furthermore, I know
he's struggling to make his living.
Dave Green Hemingway, SC
The Pollination Home Page http://pollinator.com
Subject: Wout's OJ Mel
From: Nathan Kanous <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 08:09:20 -0600
So, how many of us tried this? Interestingly, at about the same time that
Wout posted his original recipe, my wife's grandparents sent us a HUGE box
of tangerines from Florida. No pesticides, no nothing. I juiced all those
and got about 2 quarts of juice. I then juiced a bunch of navel oranges
until I had about a gallon of juice. I added a gallon of clover honey, 1
pound of buckwheat honey, and just over 2 gallons of water. Wout indicated
more honey would be needed, so I wanted "space" to end up with about 5
gallons. I got about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 gallons of must with an OG (oops, I
typed OJ) 1.114. Holy melomel, batman! I sulfited and 24 hours later I
pitched 2 packets of Lalvin D-57 (my personal favorite, so far). It looks
like the primary is done (almost 4 weeks now). It doesn't smell pleasant,
but that's because it's so yeasty. Just smells sulfury. I don't think the
tangerines are as acidic as oranges. The gravity this past weekend was
1.030. A little sweeter than I intended. I'll probably make a little more
"must" to add to this to fill a 5 gallon secondary to a gravity of about
1.020. I'll let it rest for a while and if it begins to clear, I'll add
the zest. I zested nearly every tangerine and I can't even imagine how
many that is. I know that I juiced almost 25 oranges and the tangerines
were much smaller, so I'd bet I juiced 60 or more. Whew. Anyhow, Randall
Stevenson posted his results and I thought I'd post mine. So far, so good.
nathan in madison, wi
Subject: experimental batches - preview
From: Yacko Warner Yacko <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 09:49:16 -0500
I'm about to make several batches all the same, with the exception of
one factor: yeast.
I'm going to make at least 5 (probably 6) batches with the same honey
concentration, same adjuncts, same heating process and pitch a different
yeast in each of them. I plan to have a continuing report of what each
one does, and possibly even a webcam of it, just because I need
something to point the web cam at 🙂 I'll also have formal tastings
done at regular intervals, 6 mo, 1 yr, 2 yr, with results catalogued and
Now… the thing is, which yeasts? I have some I know I'd like to use,
which may get me already up to 5 or 6, but would appreciate input.
Liquid Mead yeast, sweet
Liquid Mead yeast, dry ( I recall there were two varieties of
liquid mead yeasts)
Wow.. that's 5 already… perhaps a plain 'ale' as a 6th. Other
suggestions are welcome.
The outcome will be a still mead. Anticipating about 3.5#/gal (previous
post I made said I ordered 120# of honey – mwahahaha) looks like it
might work out better with a 3#/gal brew, get me 6 full batches and 12 #
honey leftover for further experiments in the 3gal carboys. 🙂
Anticipated brewing is in early march. I still have some 20 gal to
bottle yet to clear up my carboys for refilling 🙂
So, suggest away, either here or in private email if you'd like. I'm
just looking for a good personal comparison of various yeasts. At least
I know that the 3 -4 # range is the best (for my tastes), as my first
experiment showed me… *hic* 😉
The people of Gideon have always believed that life is sacred. That
the love of life is the greatest gift … We are incapable of
destroying or interfering with the creation of that which we love so
deeply — life in every form from fetus to developed being.
- – Hodin of Gideon, "The Mark of Gideon", stardate 5423.4
Subject: Lalvin EC-1118 yeast for mead
From: "Stevenson, Randall" <rstevenson@LDI.STATE.LA.US>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 10:04:09 -0600
I have used Lalvin EC-1118 for most of the meads I have made. It does not
tend to produce off flavors and is a very active strain. (It is a champagne
yeast). It makes a great sparkling mead; however, I would not recommend it
for a sweet mead. (try D-47)
Subject: Honey Prices Up?
From: "Roger Flanders" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 09:59:08 -0600
>Yacko Warner Yacko <email@example.com> wrote: …Looks like honey prices
have gone up a bunch in the last 16 months (that's the last time I
bought so much 🙂 Last time I think it was near $.90/lb, now it's up
to $1.25/lb. Anyone else experiencing this kind of rise in prices? (To
which Mr. Dunn responded in Digest #789: "I think most of us in the US
have seen it. Prices took a sharp upswing…gee, it was at least a
couple years ago around here (Colorado) due to severe bee losses from
the tracheal and Varroa mites."
Fellas, I know quite a few beekeepers who wish prices were up, but it
really isn't true from the producer's point of view. The February,
2000, Bee Culture magazine (pg. 12) "Regional Honey Price Report"
shows average RETAIL prices for 5 pound glass jars of honey (the
largest size you're likely to find on the shelf) for 12 U.S. regions
ranging from $6.75 in Region 12 (CA,OR,WA&NE) up to $10.99 in Region 8
(KS,MO,OK&AR). The national average is $8.66 compared to $9.43 this
time last year.
That's consumer-level retail. At the "bulk retail" level, the prices
for 60 pounds/5 gallons of "amber" honey range from $52.25 in Region
12 to $87.50 in Region 9 (TX), with a national average of $64.32.
Commercial beekeepers typically sell wholesale in 55-gallon drums.
Their WHOLESALE prices in February, by region, ranged from 40-cents a
pound up to a whopping 53-cents a pound, with a national average of
50-cents per pound, WAY DOWN from the 71-cents a pound average in
February of 1999.
What's the lesson here? Get together with other local mead-makers and
find an area beekeeper who is willing to sell honey in 5- to 10- to
20-gallon lots. Offer him or her double the wholesale price. You'll
both come out way ahead.
(I apologize for the length of this letter.)
- –Rog Flanders, Nemaha County, Nebraska
Subject: darkening of mead
From: "Alan Meeker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 11:10:24 -0500
Good point about the possibility that what Jeff's darkening mead may have
been due to clearing with yeast flocculation. Was there a significant
clearing during this time Jeff??
- -Alan Meeker
Lazy Eight Brewery
Subject: Blood mead
From: "Stevenson, Randall" <rstevenson@LDI.STATE.LA.US>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 10:31:56 -0600
OK I'm going out on a limb here. Mead and honey have long been used in
religious ceremonies — so has blood. Several religions prohibit the
drinking of blood (e.g. Jews, Moslems and Christians — and probably Hindus
- — are forbidden to drink blood [Holy Eucharist excepted]), a practice
common in some pagan faiths and Satanism. The idea of blood mead seems to
be of non-judeo-christian religious origin and is probably used primarily
for religious rituals.
Subject: urea, DAP, and urethane
From: email@example.com (Dick Dunn)
Date: 10 Feb 00 09:40:57 MST (Thu)
Wout had sent me a note about information at fda.gov (the US Food and Drug
Administration) concerning formation of ethyl carbamate (urethane) in wine,
and I think it's a good enough reference to pass along. Digging down a bit
gets one to:
Ethyl Carbamate Preventative[sic] Action Manual
written by several folks at UC Davis
[preface: I'm using "nutrient" here in the same sense it's used in the
paper, in reference to compounds like urea and DAP, regardless of other
preferences for the terms "nutrient" _vs_ "energizer"]
The gist of it is that urethane levels get higher with excessive nitrogen
in the must. This can come from excess fertilization in the vineyard
(they're talking primarily about grape wines) as well as from nutrient
addition to the must. They discuss other factors and their effects on EC
as well. Urea is no longer allowed as a nutrient, and while diammonium
phosphate (DAP) is allowed, they suggest limiting the amount used to what
is required for a healthy fermentation. They're speaking to commercial
winemakers, so they're suggesting testing N levels, tests which I don't
think are practical for most of us. But the message is applicable to us:
Don't dump in a great load of nutrient "just to be sure".
There is an interesting number, that winemakers are allowed to add up to 8
lb of DAP per 1000 gallons. So I wandered out to the meadery and measured
a teaspoon of the nutrient I've got, which is supposedly DAP, and it's
about 4.5 g or quite nearly 0.01 lb. The allowable addition is 0.008 lb
per gallon, or less than a teaspoon per gallon. On the one hand, that's
the rate allowed for grape wine, which in all likelihood has a fair bit of
N in it already. On the other hand, it is a legal maximum and therefore
almost certainly at the high end of what would be wise.
For some time now I've been using much less nutrient than the usual
"teaspoon per gallon" recommendation common in recipes. For melomels I
don't use any at all (since I start with fruit/juice in the primary).
For metheglins and straight honey meads I use a teaspoon or less per five
gallons. This seems to work just fine if I've got a good yeast.
There's also an interesting side note, that a significant level of nutrient
remaining after fermentation is mostly complete can encourage certain lactic
acid bacteria. I have noticed in the past that meads made with a lot of
nutrient sometimes have a harsh or odd taste, maybe metallic but I'm not
sure that's a good description. I had assumed that this was due to the
unused nutrient itself, but several people assured me it wouldn't leave a
noticeable taste. I verified this by mixing up a little nutrient in water
at about the rate of 1/2 t per gallon and tasting it…if there was any
taste, it was at the threshold where I couldn't be sure. I've been puzzled
since then, as to whether I was judging too harshly, or the meads with
excess nutrient were simply made poorly in other respects. Now I'm ready
to latch on to this section (4) of the UC Davis report as a possible expla-
nation of those off-tastes, but I'd like criticism on this point from
anyone else with experience or insight.
Dick Dunn firstname.lastname@example.org Hygiene, Colorado USA
…Simpler is better.
Subject: Angela's ?s/Darkening/Zymurgy/NHC
From: "Paul Gatza" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 09:48:32 -0700
Howdy folks. First a response to Angela's questions. It should become bright
with time. I would rack it again, leaving as little headspace as possible.
While racking, pull off a sample off for a hydrometer reading. Your final
gravity depends on your recipe, temperature, nutrient source and quantity
and yeast variety. I made the mistake on my first mead of bottling it at six
weeks when it stopped. With my inexperience, I was not alarmed at my final
gravity reading of 1.070. Once the bottles started exploding at a rate of
one every five minutes on a warm day and I realized what the sound was. I
jokingly put on safety goggles as I checked it out. A goalie mask would have
been more appropriate to keep the chunk of bottle from cutting my forehead.
I have not used tulip poplar honey, but have used orange blossom many times.
I won't get into all of the details about tweaking the recipe to get the
mead that best suits your tastes.
12 lb Orange Blossom Honey
4 gal spring water
1 T extra light dry malt extract (as nutrient) –heat must to 150F for 20
15 gm Lalvin D47 yeast
0-2 t acid blend added at bottling (assess need at bottling time)
I do not know about the parallels of darkening meads to darkening sakes. But
sake darkens as it ages, according to Fred Eckhardt. I assume it is due to
more than oxidation, as it has been blanketed by CO2 for most of that time.
I made it in 1994. Another 10 years and I'll have schwarzsake. My annual
prickly pear meads, when placed side by side tend to darken with time in
carboys and kegs, but I can't say I've noticed any darkening in the bottle.
Dick mentioned the upcoming mead articles in the May/June issue. We also
have an article by Steve DellaSalla of Florida on judging meads coming in
the March/April Zymurgy. We again have three mead categories, with
subcategories, for the AHA National Homebrew Competition this year. I felt
the need to deviate in the area of mead from the BJCP guidelines (which AHA
has adopted), as we get a couple hundred mead entries, and it did not seem
appropriate to only award one set of mead medals and to ignore hippocras as
a subcategory. Here's a link:
My best wishes go out to Bill Pfeiffer, his family and Michigan meadmakers.
Good luck Bill.
Paul Gatza (mailto:/firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director, American Homebrewers Association
736 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302 voice(303)447-0816 x 122
fax (303) 447-2825
Join the AHA at http://www.beertown.org
Subject: Re: racking
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 15:34:26 EST
Regarding "butcher's" questions & comments on racking:
There are (as always!!) different schools of thought on racking, with some
advocating a program of, for example, monthly racking beginning day 30 and
others who never rack at all between fermentation and bottling.
Racking should help clear the mead by leaving yeast & coagulated proteins,
etc., behind. Personally I try to rack twice in the process — once after
fermenation finishes and again after the mead is basically clear and has
deposited additional sediment.
Oxygen is your friend only at the beginning of sedimentation. It is to be
minimized during racking/storage/bottling, and unnecessary racking in my
opinion should be avoided. Leaving the mead on the yeast for many months,
however, "could" lead to off-flavors, although there are those who dispute
this or who like the flavors produced.
Racking too soon can eliminate some viable yeast and some nutrients early in
the process, before fermentation ends, which "could" endanger proper
You can do the bottling right from the final carboy without racking if you
avoid bringing up sediment.
Low temps generally make the yeast drop out & go dormant, but (in the short
run) don't kill them.
Keep all racking equipment both clean and sanitized.
There are a lot of variables here, and a lot of different ways can work!
Subject: Carboys in Seattle
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 21:14:05 -0800
Try Yardbirds (kind of a mini Fred Meyer) in Olympia and Centralia. They
used to sell them for around $8 a few years ago.
Subject: Fw: Re: d-limeonene
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 21:06:39 -0800
D-Limonene is a solvent that is used in many cleaning products such as
tar remover. Lift Off is one brand name; Orange Sol is another. It is
used to clean tar off cars and also works as a gum remover. It is
derived from orange peels.
Subject: mead making workshop
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 22:29:59 EST
Just a reminder that on Feb. 26th in New Haven CT there will be a meeting of
the CT Beekeeper's Assoc. and the topic beeing discussed is Medieval
Beekeeping and Mead Making given by Robert Sheahan. Robert is a member of the
SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), a club that studies medieval history
thru research and re-creation. He assumes the role of Sir Robert Abeille, a
French lord in the 14th century. Robert has been teaching brewing and
beekeeping, with emphasis on how it was done 1000 AD to 1500 AD in Europe,
since 1993. Should prove to be very interesting!! E-mail me for more
information if interested.
Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #786, 29 January 2000
From: Christie Nowak <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 14:52:26 -0500
> Subject: a short survey:
> From: Gregg Stearns <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 01:37:53 -0600
> I'd like to get a general sense of mead brewing differences.
> Answer the following questions:
> 1. Do you use any clarifying agents (irish moss, isinglass, etc)?
I haven't yet. I like them to clarify naturally with time, as far as they
will go, anyway.
> 2. Do you add tannins (tea) to your must?
Always. I like the complexities they add to the flavor.
> 3. Do you add acid blend (or lemon juice, etc) to the must?
Always, in one form or other. Usually acid blend, but have used lemon juice
and orange juice (fresh squeezed). I like my must to taste like a really
wonderful lemonade, sweet and just a bit acidic. Of course, I have to age
the results a couple of years before the flavors blend well. However,
everything has so far come out wonderfully.
> 4. Do you simmer your honey and skim the scum?
> 5. What is your favorite yeast? (and why?)
I don't have a favorite.
I suspect that he was a child who thought differently than his peers, who
may have had serious conversations with grown-ups, who as a young person,
like me, accepted being alone quite a lot. I think that this sort of person
often becomes either a writer or a career criminal.
- Anne Lamott, "Bird by Bird"
Subject: Re: Brewing by the Signs
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 11:25:27 EST
I meant to get to this sooner, but I've only recently been able to dig out
the missing information.
While I agree with Dick that the digest is not the place to start a debate on
mysticism in general, or astrology in particular, I will say that I would be
extremely naive to pass off the correlations and other things that I have
seen, particularly those related to astrology, as coincidence. I do study,
recognize, and accept astrology, hence my reply to the question. Please,
anyone interested in debating the point, I am more than happy to do so via
The original question, from YAMABREW@aol.com, on Wed, 22 Dec 1999:
>I am trying to find out if anyone makes their beverages (beer, cider, or
>mead) by the signs, like on the farmers almanac calendar?
>The reason that I ask is that my grandfather always did anything that dealt
>with growing, such as gardening by the signs! He said that this was the
>way to do it and he always had a great gardening.
Most farmer's almanacs I have heard of are based on dates, not on
astrological signs. However, I have seen astrological calanders that suggest
certain dates as ideal for certain types of plants, based on the astrological
arrangements, so I don't dispute a similar farmer's almanac exists. I do not
know the specific astrological reasoning for the various date matches, i.e.
what configurations are best for what plants, but I do understand the theory.
(*Very* briefly, astrological configurations act like sliding doors, and as
they move past one another, different windows allowing different energies
come through them. Just as each of us prefer/benefit from certain colors,
different plants benefit, or are impaired, from different resulting energies.)
I have not yet tried brewing according to astrological signs. The theory is
the same, and there are three factors I would consider in doing so. From a
strictly "best growth" angle, my physical world astrology expert (I work more
with psychological astrology) suggests starting the batch with the Moon in
either Pisces or Scorpio. Pisces, because it is the mutable water sign
(literally because fermentation is mutating water, but also because of what
the qualities "Mutable" and "Water" mean in Astrology). I'm not exactly sure
why she suggested Scorpio, probably because of its ideal "to live every
minute as if it were the last", but she also seemed a little more hesitant on
Scorpio. Traditionally I think potions were made relevant to the Moon, hence
focussing on where the Moon is. The Moon spends about 2 1/2 days in each
sign, so if you are going for the "best growth" angle, I would find an
astrological calander, prepare your must shortly after the moon enters the
sign, and pitch the yeast before it leaves the sign (avoiding starting the
must or pitching while Moon is in Void of Course, also indicated on any
The second factor to be considered is if you are making a mead for a
particular purpose. For example, if you want to capture the outwardly
expressive energies of Leo, then start your must when the Moon has entered
Leo. The third factor is if you want to capture the energies of a particular
astrological configuration or time of year, such as a full moon at perigee on
the Winter Solstice. 🙂 Or, a little more tangibly meaningful to most,
For extra benefit of a particular sign, you can pick the 2 1/2 days of the
year when both the Sun and Moon are in the same sign (right around each New
Moon). For more complexity, the other planets can always figure in to the
equation. A lot of it can depend, be amplified, or be changed, depending on
where your intent lies. But as in our astrological charts, the sun and moon
are usually the big ones.
End of Mead Lover's Digest #790