Mead Lover's Digest #0799 Wed 5 April 2000


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



Carboy agitation (
tea, tupelo (Chuck)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000 (
Maple Syrup Fermentations (
Tupelo Mead (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #795, 10 March 2000 (
Champagne Yeast (
Re: using tea (Terry Estrin)
Re: A puzzled mead maker (Terry Estrin)
Re: Yeast in Aging Bottles of Wine (Spencer W Thomas)
RE: Subject: A puzzled mead maker (LaBorde, Ronald)


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Subject: Carboy agitation
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 09:10:31 +0000

Warren Place <> wrote

> 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.

I have noticed a similar phenomenon. I thought that a seville orange mead
had finished fermenting. I took a bit out to check the gravity and returned
it to the demi-john, and it has now returned to fermentation, albeit
slowly. What is going on here? Is the addition of a bit of oxygen reviving
the yeast? Is it putting a bit of yeast back into suspension? Or what?

Peter Hiett.

Subject: tea, tupelo
From: Chuck <>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 08:27:31 -0600 (CST)

In the last MLD I wrote:

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

My concern is that I have started two batches
of mead using large proportions of tupelo honey
and they are fermenting exceedingly slow.

I've done some searches of prior digests and written
to some others (Thanks Vicky) who have also used tupelo
honey. There seems to be general agreement; tupelo honey,
for whatever reason, just ferments slow.

Joe Fiorenza <> asked about using
tea in mead.

> 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?

Well, Joe I've made two batches of my Smoke'N Chiles
mead using Lapsong Sochong (smoked chinese green tea),
honey and jalapeno peppers. I've also made several
different batches using various flavors of Celestial
Seasonings brand teas. All have been well received.

> Question #2
> Are there any pitfalls that need to be looked out for
> when attempting this?
Haven't noticed any. In fact I find that meads made
using tea tend to clear faster and better. I believe
that it's the effect of the tannin. You might be careful
not to use too much tea; the excess tannin might be
viewed as a fault.

Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, Il

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 10:27:17 EST

*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?

Never tried tea mead, have tried a few nut and herd meads and wines.

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

Don't use a lot of honey or sugar or it will take years for it to even
approach drinkable or make it a bit sweet. I didn't and three years later I'm
still waiting for it to be drinkable. Also I would only try a gallon batch,
that way you can figure out what you don't like about it and adjust. Also
you may not need a lot of tea, it's going to depend on how strong you like
your tea.

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: Maple Syrup Fermentations
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 11:09:11 EST

I did a 4 Gallon Batch size of high gravity Maple Syrup Mead in 1997 with 18#
Maple Blossom Honey & 2 quarts Maple Syrup OG was 1.160 I used FermiBlanc
FB500 Yeast that is similar to EpernayII Champagne Yeast. My ferment stopped
at .090 and didn't respond to any of the normal stimulation's such as
rousing, more yeast, and nutrients. I blended the batch with a very dry
Wild Cherry Mead that had an
OG of 1.090 and FG of 0.997. The blend wound up around 1.025 and is very
My feeling is that a high gravity Maple Syrup Blend doesn't like to ferment
very dry. This seems to happen if the OG gets above 1.120
If your Meads get stuck with too high of a final gravity. I suggest blending
them into a secondary with a dry mead and seeing what happens. Make sure
that the "new" mead is stable before bottling.
Bob Grossman

Subject: Tupelo Mead
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 12:08:51 EST

I made a Tupelo Mead in July 1998 the following way.
Boiled 4 gallons filtered water and added 25# Tupelo Honey to it. I brought
it back to a boil for 2 minutes before force chiling down to 72". I used 1
tsp Yeastex 61 Nutrient and 2 ounces Bev People Mead Yeast Nutrient. I kept
3.5 gallons of the must at an OG of 1.125 and added water to the remaining
must to get another 5.5 gallons at OG 1.090. I pitched 40 grams rehydrated
FermiBlanc FB500 Yeast (similar to EpernayII Yeast) into each batch.
The fermentations finished and dropped bright in 3 weeks at ambient basement
temperature of 72. I racked both of them into secondaries to mature.
The 1.125 fell to 1.035 and the 1.090 went to 1.005.
I didn't plan on ageing them this long, but I just haven't found the time to
get them bottled. Sorry, but I don't have any tasting comments at this
point. Anybody want to come over and help me bottle? I have 10 other
batches of meads & barley wines in secondaries.
Bob Grossman

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 14:07:28 EST

re tea mead

my buddy and I made an absolutely fantastic 2 gallon batch of earl grey
mead… we fermented a traditional for about 2 months then we made about
a quart or so of a fairly medium bodies earl grey tea and added it just
before bottling…mmmmmmmmm

Bob Venezia AKA The Aimless One

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #798, 30 March 2000
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 15:33:00 EST

In answer to Joe's question on tea meads:

I recently bottled a 6 gallon batch I made with Celestial Seasons' Caribbean
Oasis and English Breakfast teas. It is good enough to drink now. I look
forward to what it will taste like in a year or two.

12 Caribbean Oasis teabags
6 English Breakfast teabags
1 1/2 gallons honey diluted and pasteurized to 160 degrees with the teabags
Water up to 6 gallons and pitched champaign yeast started the day before.
Fed the yeast until fermentation stopped–about two months–with a couple of
rackings along the way.
Now a gorgeous amber color, semisweet, good fruity aroma and taste.

I presently have a batch fermenting that uses 12 Celestial Seasons' Wild
Forest Blackberry teabags added as above. I added a 1 1/2 liter can of
blackberry puree at the first racking.

Never Thirst,

Dione Greywolfe
Dragonweyr, NM

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #795, 10 March 2000
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 00:34:25 EST

Hi all,

I am glad to read that someone had the experience of the rocket
fuel/listerene because something happened to the last bit of mead (gallon)
that I didnt bottle and it tastes like turpentine or something. Its awful.
I have one month left..the bottled stuff is still very nice, I added more
honey to it because the champagne yeast was the wrong one to make mead with.
Im hoping that in time it will get better, but for a first attempt at mead, I
suppose to lose one gallon, if you dont count that other one I lost to my
boyfriends accidental spit while syphoning…this must all seem familiar to
some of you …let me know if you think that I have a hope with it by
emailing me.. thanks

Subject: Champagne Yeast
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 10:37:56 EDT

In a message dated 3/30/2000 11:12:36 PM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

> I usually find that champagne yeast is EVIL! – it won't die. It will eat
> everything and keep on going!

I saw someone make a similar comment several months ago (yes, I realize the
article I'm quoting from also said the batch in question was an exception to
the champagne yeast won't die rule), and I wanted to update my comment on
Champagne yeast. (I don't measure Gravity, so everything is in terms of
honey/gallon). If you have enough honey and/or fruit, you can still be left
with a semi-sweet Mead using Champagne yeast. My first batch with Champagne
yeast was a Plum Melomel. If I remember correctly, I used 25 lbs of honey for
a 6.8 gallon batch (~3.6 lbs/gal), plus 7 lbs of fruit. Bottled 12/22/99, it
will probably need about 3 more months of aging. I may have bottled early –
even though it cleared completely, there is some sediment in the bottle, but
virtually no carbonation. It is around the same sweetness as plum wine,
perhaps slightly less. I normally like my meads extremely sweet, around 5 lbs
of honey per gallon, I normally strongly disklike anything dry, and I like
how this batch came out. Champagne yeast can certainly make a strong, sweet

  • Joshua

Subject: Re: using tea
From: Terry Estrin <>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 19:02:34 -0700 (PDT)

I've been thinking about doing a tea-flavored mead as well. I haven't
started yet, but it seems to me that one of the important factors to
consider would be astringency. I've been drinking a lot of green tea
lately, and have learned that the key to good green tea is to steep it in
water that it below the boiling point. The idea here is that if you pour
boiling water over tea leaves, it actually cooks them, creating a bitter
taste. So if you were to make a tea-mead, bring the water to a boil, but
let it sit for a couple of minutes before adding the leaves. One could even
do a cold steep, which also works well, with no bittterness at all.

I'll let everyone know if I actually go ahead and try it.

Terry Estrin
Vancouver, British Columbia

Subject: Re: A puzzled mead maker
From: Terry Estrin <>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 19:02:36 -0700 (PDT)

My wife and I made a batch of Barkshack Ginger Mead for my sister's wedding,
and honestly, after three years, it still sucks. We followed the recipe
exactly, and frankly, I think the problem is that the proportions need
tweaking. Blueberry aroma is terrific, but the honey ratio needs to be
increased to remedy its thin character. Just my two bits (sorry for the
irritated tone…).

Terry Estrin
Vancouver, British Columbia

Subject: Re: Yeast in Aging Bottles of Wine 
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000 16:59:52 -0400

You've got it all wrong. Yeast autolysis in wine (mead) makes GOOD
flavors! Think vintage champagne. Really nice yeasty, bready notes.

I've got some mead that went through the nasty rubbery, sulfury
autolysis stage and is now coming out the other side. Still a bit
"sharp" but the NICE yeasty notes are coming through and the nasty
stuff is mostly gone. It took about 6 months after the really bad
stage to get here, but it IS improving.


>>>>> "rob" == rob <> writes:

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

Subject: RE: Subject: A puzzled mead maker
From: (LaBorde, Ronald)
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 13:42:36 -0500

>From: "Wayne Associates" <>

>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
>use #8 's with a metal corker. I am puzzled.
>Thanks for all the great information you post on this forum.

When corking, I find that air pressure will build up and sometimes the cork
will slide up partially – not so good for several reasons. I have had much
success in placing a paper clip (unbent partially to create a wire tail)
onto the bottle opening, then using a hand corker to push the cork in. Then
I remove the paper clip with pliers. It is it MUCH easier to insert the
cork, and I have not had any pressure effects as mentioned above.

One question, has anyone used regular wine corks to bottle carbonated mead.
If so, does the cork hold the CO2, or does it slowly escape through the


Ronald La Borde – Metairie, Louisiana –

End of Mead Lover's Digest #799