Mead Lover's Digest #0798 Thu 30 March 2000


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



Mead Temperatures (
Re: Best yeast for sweet mead? ("Carl Wilson")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #797, 23 March 2000 (
tupelo honey (Chuck)
Re: Maple Wine ("Jeff S.")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #797, 23 March 2000 (
Fw: Best yeast for sweet mead? ("Matt Maples")
RE: Best yeast for sweet mead? (Warren Place)
Yeast in Aging Bottles of Wine (rob)
using tea (Joe Fiorenza)
too much acid (Cam Lay)
Larger Brewing Vessels (rob)
Sweet mead (
Mead sanitation experiment data Mar 25,2000 (Jerry Harder)
A puzzled mead maker ("Wayne Associates")
Gypson (Jerry Harder)


NOTE: Digest only appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests. When

subscribing, please include name and email address in body of message.

Digest archives and FAQ are available for anonymous ftp at

in pub/clubs/homebrew/mead.


Subject: Mead Temperatures
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 16:36:18 -0800 (PST)

Couple questions on Mead Temps.

1. Fermentation temp, all stages?

2. After racking and starting to "age", prior to bottling, what temp?

3. After its bottled,store at what temp?

Thanks, great digest…ernie

Subject: Re: Best yeast for sweet mead?
From: "Carl Wilson" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 23:17:24 -0600

> Subject: Best yeast for sweet mead?
> From:
> Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 03:21:46 EST
> Red Star Cote des Blancs
> Lalvin D47 Cote-du-Rhone
> Lalvin 71B-1122 Narbonne
> Would anyone care to comment on the relative merits of these for sweet
> Is there a clear favorite among them?
> Thanks in advance for any information

Of the three you have listed, I have only used Lalvin D-47 for making sweet
meads. From my experience, it produces a very good mead that is very
drinkable at an early age. An excellent choice for sweet meads.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #797, 23 March 2000
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 06:44:18 EST

In a message dated 3/23/00 5:13:37 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

> Subject: Maple wine
> From: "Russ Hobaugh" <>
> Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 11:14:00 -0500
> I started a Maple Wine a month ago:
> 1.5 gallons grade B maple syrup
> 1.5 gallons water
> champagne yeast stepped up in honey and malt extract.
> The SG on this was 1.154–NOT a typo–1.154! This has been
> bubbling away steadily(every 30 seconds) for over a month now.
> Should I rack this soon, or let it go until it finishes, and then rack?
> I have been told to let it go by the brew shop I frequent, but am
> not sure. I don't want to wait to long and get autolysis.
> Russ Hobaugh
> Goob' Dog Brewery
> Birdsboro PA

I made a maple wine, very similar to the one you have made, about a year ago.
I racked a couple of times. Brewed 4/27/99, 1st rack 6/26/99, 2nd rack
8/22/99. My OSG was very similar to yours – 1.152. I also pitched champagne
yeast. I usually find that champagne yeast is EVIL! – it won't die. It will
eat everything and keep on going! However, in this case, it has not. The
yeast has stalled out at an SG of 1.062. This is a bit too sweet for my
taste. I am in a quandary of weather to pitch again, or stabilize then water
the finished product down to something like 1.030. (While I would normally
gasp at the thought of the second option, it would mean that I end up with

Let me know how yours goes. I am just sitting pretty with my batch, still
trying to decide what to do with it.

Also – I've thought of pitching Lalvin K1V-1116, as that is supposed to be
good at restarting stuck fermentations. I've also thought about adding some
nutrients – I'm not thinking maple syrup has what yeast need to survive. Any


Subject: tupelo honey
From: Chuck <>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 10:47:31 -0600 (CST)

I'm interested in talking to anyone who has made a 100% (or large
proportion) tupelo honey show mead.


Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, IL

Subject: Re: Maple Wine
From: "Jeff S." <>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 09:32:06 -0800 (PST)

I've made a maple wine several times using 50%
maple syrup and 50% honey. It's my personal
favorite recipe. The whole fermentation process
on that only takes about 7 weeks (1.120 to
1.010), so I wouldn't worry too much about
racking. I usually rack once about 2-3 weeks into
it, but it's not quite as high gravity a brew so
it's slowed down a tad by then.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #797, 23 March 2000
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 15:05:04 EST

Sweet mead:

Try the Acton & Duncan method of "feeding" the must until fermentation stops.
A high tolerance yeast, like champaign or cuvee, will produce a sweet or
semisweet mead at 18-22% alcohol. Using a less tolerant yeast will produce a
mead at lower alcohol levels. I suggest consultation with you local supplier
concerning which yeast does what. Also, I'm sure our brother and sister
meaders will have good input here on the subject.

Never Thirst
Dione Greywolfe
Dragonweyr, NM

Subject: Fw: Best yeast for sweet mead?
From: "Matt Maples" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 13:32:59 -0800

I take two approaches to making sweet mead.
1) ferment dry (using your favorite yeast) stabilize then sweeten it back
up. OR
2) Use a good ale yeast. Your a brewer and know what different ale yeast
bring to a brew. Most ale yeast will ferment to around 8-10% which is enough
for long term storage and they have a lower attenuation than most wine yeast
so it leaves a nice level of sweetness.. I personally go for ones that have
a very clean flavor profile (like 1056 American). I have also used Wyeast
Scottish with good results (in a spiced blackberry mel).

The other way to do sweet mead is to feed the wine (or mead) yeast until it
dies of alcohol poisoning. I don't really recommend this for a few reasons.
For one with most wine yeasts will end up producing a lot of alcohol 14
plus. As a rule of thumb the more alcohol the longer the aging, which isn't
a problem if you are patient and have enough mead to drink in the mean time.
Also I have found that reaching the alcohol tolerance of yeast is a long and
lingering process. Those little dunk yeasties seem to hang on to dear life
until the bitter end:-)

You know your ale yeasts don't be afraid to play around a little.

Matt Maples
Long live MEAD!
May it regain its rightful place as the drink of gods and kings.

Subject: RE:  Best yeast for sweet mead?
From: Warren Place <>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 22:11:00 -0800 (PST)

> However, I am much less satisfied with Wyeast 3184 Sweet Mead for sweeter
> meads. I find this yeast to be finicky and prone to stuck fermentation, even
> with a large volume of starter and oxygenation of the must with pure O2.

Have you tried agitation? I find if I rock the carbouy daily (or

when I remember) that it finishes nicely. Strangely, racking from
the primary and secondary seem to renew fermentation. For this reason I
always go through a tertiary racking before bottling. Haven't had any
bottles blow up with this mead yet and it leaves the mead at the sweetness
and alcohol strength I like.

> Lalvin D47 Cote-du-Rhone
> Lalvin 71B-1122 Narbonne
I got wierd flavors and aromas using these yeasts. Could be just me, but
so far 3184 makes a much nicer mead.

Warren Place

Subject: Yeast in Aging Bottles of Wine
From: rob <>
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 21:19:26 -0600

If mead is bottled with yeast in it, for how long can it be stored
before the yeast eventually starts to autolyse and cause off flavors?
Will refrigeration avoid this indefinitely? Can anything avoid this

Is it possible, through aging and racking, to bottle mead that will
not show any (or almost no) flocculate yeast on the bottom of the
bottle after any amount of time?


Subject: using tea
From: Joe Fiorenza <>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 15:20:49 -0600

*disclaimer – the term "mead" is used loosely in the

Got a few questions.

I had this beverage at a friends house the other night and
it got me thinking about tea and mead.

Question #1 –
Anyone had any success in making a "tea" flavored mead?

Question #2
Are there any pitfalls that need to be looked out for when
attempting this?

I'm not a huge fan of tea but once in a while I get the urge
for it and make up a batch of sun tea. The problem that
i've ran into is that you can really tell when tea gets

I've got a few ideas on a recipe – see below.

Possible list of ingredients
1) lots of tea
2) honey – obviously
3) lemon

I was thinking that i'd like to have a final product of
about 7-9 percent alcohol – with some sweetness left over so
i'd shoot to have about 13percent potential and find a yeast
that could crap out around 8 percent.

This might sound disgusting to some but it's been on my mind
lately. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.


Subject: too much acid
From: Cam Lay <clay@CLEMSON.EDU>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 15:23:20 -0500

I fear I have screwed up. I used the very last of my excellent,
harvested-myself, 20-year-old tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) and
sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum) honey mix to make 5 gallons of mead. It
smelled good, tasted good, and has almost finished fermenting. Vital
stats: honey, Wyeast "dry mead," and some amount of acid blend I can't
remember, but was as indicated in a "classic mead" recipe, probably from
Papazian's book. Alcohol is currently about 12%, according to the little
glass wine-testing device, the name of which I have also forgotten.

I apparently added too much acid blend – initial, "couldn't resist" taste
tests yielded a "take the enamel off yer teeth" acidity. The question:
will this improve on it's own or does it need correcting? If it needs
correcting, how can one best fix it? I have enough carboys to simply split
this batch into another, unacidified batch, although I would hate to lose
this particular honey character. And yes, I know I could get more of this
local honey, but it wouldn't be "mine." 😉

Thanks in advance,

Subject: Larger Brewing Vessels
From: rob <>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 20:20:06 -0600


Does anyone know where I can get larger reasonably-priced brewing
vessels? I'd like to find a full set that are at least 1/2 barrel and up
to 2 barrels, and not super-expensive.

Thanks, Rob

Subject: Sweet mead
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 09:28:09 -0500

I know this must (no pun intended) be a commonly asked question, but I
don't see it in the FAQ, so I figure it's worth asking:

How much honey can each of the common types of yeast used in

mead-makeing convert into alcohol?

I have a mead that just finished fermenting that is very dry. (That's

fine, it's my first batch, and that's what I was going for.) It has about
10lbs. of honey in a 3 gal. carboy. The Champagne yeast I used consumed
all of the available sugar, leaving NO residual sweetness. I was planing
on trying to do a sweet meed (I use the term broadly, actualy I will be
adding some orange zest and juice for acid) for my next batch, and I was
wondering how much honey I needed in order to still have some some
sweetness. (and as a side note what yeast should I use? I had planned on
useing Lalvin K1V or D-47.) Thanks!

  • Duncan


Subject: Mead sanitation experiment data Mar 25,2000
From: Jerry Harder <>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 18:00:34 -0600


Mead Sanitation Update 3/19/00
Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:56:55 -0600
Jerry Harder <>
Calon-brew List <CALON-BREW@UNL.EDU>,
Hist-brew list <>,
Mead Lovers Digest <>

March 25, 2000

The following Data was collected after 3 weeks fermentation:

NOTE 1: the Brix is not accurate because the refractive index of
alcolhol + water is not the same as straight sugar water mix.
I hope to develop a correlation for monitoring purposes
because it is so much easier to take a refractometer reading
than a hydrometer one- all you need is a drop.

NOTE 2: Sometimes I give two pH readings like 2.92/3.00
For some reason the pH of a 15-20ml sample is usually smaller
than say a 100 ml sample. 15 ml is my standard, but with
doing the FAN test it's easy to get the second, I just have to
remember. If there is only 1 number it is of the 15 ml sample.

Note 3: In these later data the ph difference between large
and small samples has been negligible. often it is of the larger
sample for convince sake.

6.5 gallon, pasteurized. cuvee yeast
SG 1.001
pH 3.27
FAN 110.6
Brix 9.4

No sanitation, Champagne Yeast
SG 1.012
pH 3.09
FAN 86.8
Brix 10.4

Boiled Champagne Yeast
SG 1.024
pH 2.94
FAN 28
Brix 12.4

Pasteurized -Set aside for aldehyde binding test
Champagne Yeast
SG 1.016
pH 3.23
FAN 105
Brix 11.6

Pasteurized Champagne Yeast
SG 1.016
pH 3.17
FAN 92.4
Brix 11.6

Pasteurized with Fermaid Champagne Yeast
SG 1.006
pH 3.60
FAN 89.6
Brix 10.4

Distilled water no sanitation, Amsterdam Lager yeast
SG 1.050
pH 4.18
FAN 232.4
Brix 16.8
The extra yeast seems to have done the trick.

Tap water pasteurized, Amsterdam Lager yeast
SG 1.070
pH 3.18
FAN 126
Brix 19.2
TA 0.19%
Seems to be getting started now.

SO2 and acid added Champagne Yeast
SG 1.026
pH 2.95
FAN 127.4
Brix 12.6
SO2 @

Weight until pH drops and add SO2 Champagne Yeast
SG 1.010
pH 3.12
FAN 82.6
Brix 10.4
Yeast was not killed. Fermentation moving right along.

Subject: A puzzled mead maker
From: "Wayne Associates" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 18:20:51 -0500

Hello my fermented cyber friends,
I don't want to create a firestorm of opinions here, but why are some meads
ready to drink and delicious at bottling time, while others require
extensive aging? I started a blackberry mel last summer and it is great IMHO
:). Several other batches, well I'm aging them. I think they will be fine
once the rough edges mellow some. I brewed Papazians Barshack Ginger Mead
and it's been in the bottle over 1 year. Regrettably it still tastes like
gasoline – cheap gasoline.
People have posted descriptions of some wonderful sounding meads/cyzer/mel
ect and found them to be tasty very early. I've been using various yeasts,
Pasteur champagne, ECC 1118, 1116 ect. Any comments on this issue will be
greatly appreciated.

Secondly, does anyone have advice on corking? I've tried #8 corks with a
plastic hand corker but that was a little to violent. I upgraded to a metal
corker and #9 corks. Despite soaking them for a couple of hours they were
very difficult to recess. The person at the local homebrew store said not to
use #8 's with a metal corker. I am puzzled.
Thanks for all the great information you post on this forum.

Subject: Gypson
From: Jerry Harder <>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 21:12:03 -0600

I am working up the final stages on a all period brew I started 10 years
ago. I have one source on using calcium carbonate (chalk) for acid
reduction about 1690 and several on Gypsum in the form of a process
called plastering. I have plenty on the modern information on the use
of calcium carbonate. It lowers TA but raises pH. Gypsum on the other
hand, according the the jar I have says it lowers pH. Commonly it is
used in adjusting water for brewing. Historically I think it was
associated with wines that have been made of, or have added to them,
boiled down must. More reciently, I have only heard of it used in
Sherry and have no good books on sherry.

Does anyone know of any earlier sources using chalk.

Does anyone have any precise information on the use of gypsum or plaster
in modern wines and what it does.

Master Goodwine

End of Mead Lover's Digest #798