Mead Lover's Digest #0837 Thu 8 February 2001
Mead Lover's Digest #0837 Thu 8 February 2001
Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor
Re: Fast Mead ("Grant Knechtel")
Mead Lover's Digest #836 (email@example.com)
Re: Wedding meads (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition ("John J. Allison")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #836, 30 January 2001 (Russ Riley)
Re: quick mead for wedding ("Lane Gray, Czar Castic")
Re: How does it work out that you need to add acid to mead? (Marc Shapiro)
Blueberry honey ("Strange, Mike")
Re: Quick Mead (JazzboBob@aol.com)
Yeasts and Mead (Peter Matra)
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Subject: Re: Fast Mead
From: "Grant Knechtel" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 11:42:43 -0800
Bill asks about quickly mature meads :
>Subject: Wedding meads
>From: Bill Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 19:27:09 -0600
>I am best man at a friend's wedding in August, and since I just found out
>two days ago I am wondering if I have time to pull off a quick mead to be
>given at the wedding… or maybe I'll drag a whole case to Boston! Every
>mead I have made has taken quite a while to be ready to bottle, and even
>then, at least six months to infinity to drink and enjoy. With these kind of
>time lines working against me, I personally am at a loss as to what I might
>be able to create SOON that will be able to be bottled and yummy to drink by
>the wedding. Any thoughts/hints/recipes that anyone would like to share?
I made a very nice small melomel using preservative-free juice cocktail
and enough honey to get to about 1.040 original gravity. A small mead
of most any type should be more than ready by August if the process is
planned to maximize speed. I had posted the recipe to Gambrinus Mug
at the Brewery website which is inaccessible to me at the moment but
some basic points:
1. Use preservative-free juice or juice cocktail. Commercial juices
will have the amount of sugar per serving listed in the nutrition
information on the label. You can figure out how much sugar this
will be in total, for planning. Sugar will be completely fermentable
fructose, sucrose or glucose/dextrose.
2. Add nutrient to the melomel to make up for low nutrients in your honey and
the "fruit cocktail" sugar added. Myself i'd avoid the ammonia based
nutrients as they can encourage flavors which take added time to mellow. I
use "nutritional yeast powder" or old non-viable bread yeast, well boiled. A
tablespoon or so for a 5 gallon batch should be plenty.
3. Use most any yeast you like for small mead, dry ale yeasts are very
convenient but may add flavors you won't want in this mead so think
through the flavor profile. Dry wine yeasts should work well, too. I used
Wyeast 1056 as it's a good clean ale yeast which works well at relatively
low emperature, a good plan since you won't want to wait for mellowing of
high temperature fermentation roducts. Pitch lots of healthy, active yeast
and oxygenate/aerate well. Ferment on the cool side but not too cold.
4. Depending on your water chemistry you may want to monitor pH during
fermentation and add chalk (calcium carbonate) to raise pH if it falls below
roughly 5. If your water has much carbonate this buffering is already
done for you by Mom Nature. pH crash due to evolving CO2 etc. is one
factor which can cause slow mead ferment as honey has little buffering,
unlike malt wort.
I force carbonated my small mel which further sped up the process. When
i remake this mead i'll likely not boil or pasteurize the honey to further
preserve honey flavor. If you decide to make a small mead from honey only,
you may wish to use a strong flavored honey because flavor will be more subtle
in high dilution. In any case small mead will be light, refreshing,
alcoholic, just the ticket for a wedding party in August!
Hope this helps, and Wassail!
Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #836
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 23:00:43 -0500 (EST)
I have done tastings of both mead and beer, to sample the
difference between corks, crown caps, and Grolsh, or flip top caps
with those rubber rings on the same batch.
> I have a little question regarding the bottles I use to
> store my mead. These were originally 650ml (1.144 UK pints)
> lager bottles, and are the type with the ceramic plug on
> a lever, which have a rubber ring to seal. I was
> wondering, if I store my mead (say just a plain one)
> in these bottles (say for about a year, maybe two), will
> there be any taste from the rubber?
I have tasted off flavors, or a diminished quality in 2 different
meads aged over five years from grolsh type bottles. Mead will only
taste of rubber if you store the flip top bottles on their side.
Only corked bottles are supposed to be stored sideways. Sideways
(ie winerack) storage keeps the cork moist. Corks are tree bark,
wood after a fashion. It will keep if it is kept wet, and preserved
(alcohol is a preservative).
I noticed off flavors in a cysor aged for five years upright in a
flip top. out of concern, I sampled one from the same batch that
had been stored in a wine bottle with a cork, and it tasted like
apple juice. (you only noticed the alcohol when you pushed. your
chair back, and attempted standing. No off flavors or dimished
quality in the corked sample.
I had a gathering sample a barleywine sealed with crown caps, swing
tops, and corks (the corks were topped with crown caps) the corked
barleywine got the highest praise by all present.
I don't know if corks are superior because of the gradual oxidation
they provide, or if they create a more complete seal, of if we
simply assumed the stuff would taste better. (I have yet to attempt
a blind taste testing) I am convinced though, and use the grolsh
bottles for my quick consumption meads, and my corked bottles for
Subject: Re: Wedding meads
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 21:50:29 -0700
Bill Murray <email@example.com> wrote:
: mead I have made has taken quite a while to be ready to bottle, and even
: then, at least six months to infinity to drink and enjoy. With these kind of
: time lines working against me, I personally am at a loss as to what I might
: be able to create SOON that will be able to be bottled and yummy to drink by
: the wedding. Any thoughts/hints/recipes that anyone would like to share?
Use one pound honey per gallon instead of three. Keep an eye on the
pH, and keep the temperature fairly constant. It won't be an
18%-alcohol killer, but most weddings would probably benefit from a
lower alcohol content….
I've got four experiments that've been running for just under two
months; these will be bottled this weekend. They were all alfalpha
- – sassafras
- – wild cherry bark and cinnamon
- – rose hips and allspice
- – sweet basil
The sassafras really wasn't all that successful, but the other three
are quite drinkable at this point. I have no fears that the people
that are going to be consuming them in another couple of weeks will be
at all disappointed in the flavour (maybe in the alcohol content, but
hey, they *did* only tell me they needed something at the beginning of
Quantities? Well, pretty much whatever seemed like it would be
reasonable for the volumes (five gallon batches). Call it roughly a
couple of table spoons of each spice except the cinnamon and basil.
The basil was straight from a grocery store (one quality/brand step up
from Durkee). The cherry bark, sassafras, and rose hips were from a
New Age spice/etc shop (didn't know that's what it was when I went in,
but the spices were interesting, so I picked some up). Those qualify
as being fairly fresh. The fairly generic allspice, and on-the-spot
ground cinnamon stick were all pretty old. The basil was relatively
fresh, for dried basil leaves from a store.
Subject: Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition
From: "John J. Allison" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 14:42:26 -0700 (MST)
12th Annual Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition
Hop Barley and the Alers invite you to enter the 12th Annual Reggale and
Dredhop Homebrew Competition to be held at The Falling Rock Tap House in
Denver, Colorado. The competition will take place on March 17th, 2001,
with judging from 9:00am to 5:00pm and an awards ceremony to follow at
approximately 6:00pm. Potential judges, stewards, and other volunteers
are encouraged to contact the competition organizers via email at
email@example.com. All experience levels are welcome.
We will accept all homebrewed beer and mead (no cider). This competition
is sanctioned by the AHA and the BJCP. Again this year, the Reggale and
Dredhop will be a Qualifying Event for the Masters Championship of Amateur
Brewing (MCAB). We will be using the BJCP style guidelines for entries.
MCAB Qualifying Styles: BJCP Categories 1-20, ALL Subcategories.
An entry shall consist of two (2) bottles, 10 to 22 ounce.
An entry fee of five dollars ($5.00) per entry will be required.
Since this competition takes place on St. Patrick's Day, we are adding
a special category. The beer(s) that best exemplify St. Patricks Day
will be awarded ribbons or prizes. For this category only, no feedback
or judging forms will be used or returned to the entrants. Beers will
be judged solely on drinkability and popularity. Any green beer will
be immediately discarded without being tasted or judged.
Mark your entry form Category 00.
Entries are to arrive between Monday, February 26th and
5:00 pm Friday March 9th 2001. Late entries will not be judged,
but will be enjoyed by the competition staff.
Mail entries or drop off:
2860 Bluff St
Boulder CO 80301
555 Hwy 287, Unit I
Broomfield CO 80020
Falling Rock Taphouse
1919 Blake St
Denver CO 80203
Further information, including complete and detailed rules,
is available at the competition website:
You may also contact the competition director:
Bob Kauffman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-828-1237.
Happy brewing and good luck!
for the hopbarley net team: email@example.com
Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #836, 30 January 2001
From: Russ Riley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 10:37:11 -0800 (PST)
This a single post, responding to two posts from last
Bill Murray mentioned wanting to make a mead that
would be drinkable in about seven months. In terms of
making it ferment quicker, I think the standard logic
of aerating the must and dumping in a big yeast
starter would suffice. If you meant that you wanted to
speed up the flavor-maturing process, try making a low
gravity mead, maybe 6-7%. I would think that these
would taste better faster than the really alcoholic
meads (works for beer, anyway). Otherwise, try giving
them some meads you already have!
As for the other post, Todd Cady talked about letting
meads and wines breathe before drinking to get rid of
off-flavors. Does anyone know what causes this? I
can't imagine it would be higher alcohols, because
they would probably evaporate slower than ethanol.
Maybe slight oxidation causes it?
> Subject: Wedding meads
> From: Bill Murray <email@example.com>
> Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 19:27:09 -0600
> Hello list,
> I am best man at a friend's wedding in August, and
> since I just found out
> two days ago I am wondering if I have time to pull
> off a quick mead to be
> given at the wedding… or maybe I'll drag a whole
> case to Boston! Every
> mead I have made has taken quite a while to be ready
> to bottle, and even
> then, at least six months to infinity to drink and
> enjoy. With these kind of
> time lines working against me, I personally am at a
> loss as to what I might
> be able to create SOON that will be able to be
> bottled and yummy to drink by
> the wedding. Any thoughts/hints/recipes that anyone
> would like to share?
> Subject: Re: Letting mead "breathe"
> From: "Todd Cady" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 21:26:49 -0800
> <Subject: Letting mead "breathe"
> <From: John Metzner <email@example.com>
> <Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 17:07:46 -0900
> <I've had a couple of meads lately, a hazelnut and a
> cyser, which
> <display two very different flavor profiles when
> tasted immediately after
> <pouring versus letting it sit in the glass for 5
> minutes or so. There
> <to be a certain astringency or harshness overlaying
> the other flavors when
> <sampled right after pouring. After it rests in the
> glass for a bit, this
> <harshness goes away (evaporates?), the mead seems
> to mellow and the apple,
> <hazelnut and honey flavors come through.
> – –In my limited experience with grape wine, I have
> found that this is also
> true. When preparing a dinner, and wine for that
> dinner, I decant the reds
> an hour or two before dinner. Whites will take less
> time, about a half an
> hour. You can turn a $6.00 bottle of Cab or Merlot
> into a $15-$20 bottle by
> just letting the 'evil off'. An old minister told me
> to let the wine breathe
> while you pray… he of course prayed longer than I.
> – — My hard cider acts in the same way. Pouring it
> back and forth between
> glasses seems to help.
> A wine connoisseur I sip with told me: "Let your
> child (the Hard Cider)
> breathe, it's been holding it's breath for a long
> time, hoping you'll like it."
> It is nice to see someone else experiencing what I
> – –Before I forget! Try different wine glasses
> with the same
> mead/cider/wine. Range it from Champagne flute, to
> Chardonnay, to
> Cab/Merlot, to Brandy Snifter. We call that
> 'Dressing the wine'.
> Enjoy. Drink to be well. Be at peace.
Subject: Re: quick mead for wedding
From: "Lane Gray, Czar Castic" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 15:17:41 -0600
(Note to Dick- Sorry about the linewrap. Bad Gates, no donut!)
[janitor's note: I repaired this one–my penance for not getting the
digests out in a more timely fashion. But don't count on me to do it…
next time I may not be feeling guilty!]
Bill Murray wrote:
>I am best man at a friend's wedding in August, and since I just found
>out two days ago I am wondering if I have time to pull off a quick
>mead to be given at the wedding… or maybe I'll drag a whole case
> to Boston! Every mead I have made has taken quite a while to be
>ready to bottle, and even then, at least six months to infinity to
>and enjoy. With these kind of time lines working against me, I
>personally am at a loss as to what I might be able to create SOON
> that will be able to be bottled and yummy to drink by the wedding.
>Any thoughts/hints/recipes that anyone would like to share?
The metheglin recipe that has been kicking around the net for years is
really quite good when young. In case you haven't seen the recipe I
am talking about, I'll cut-and-paste it. I use grain alcohol instead
of vodka, as I had one batch keep going after I bottled using the
vodka. My wife calls this recipe "Heaven In a Bottle." I usually
omit the ginger, for no reason than the first time I made it, I was
out of ginger.
Author: Cher Feinstein (email@example.com)
Digest: September 30, 1989, Issue #267
2 sticks cinnamon
2 thin slices ginger
2-4 teaspoons orange peel
2 pounds honey
1/4 cup vodka or grain alcohol
In a 1-gallon pot, simmer cloves (lightly cracked), cinnamon (broken),
and ginger. Add orange peel. The amount of orange peel will vary
depending on type of honey used. Use less orange peel with orange
blossom honey, for example. Simmer.
Add water to bring volume to 3 quarts. Return to simmer. Add honey,
stirring constantly. Do not boil! Skim off any white scum. If scum
is yellow, reduce heat. When no more scum forms, remove from heat,
cover pot, and leave overnight. The next day, strain to remove as
much spice particles as possible. Pitch yeast. Replace pot cover.
Twelve hours later, rack mead to 1-gallon jug, leaving dregs of yeast.
Top off jug, bringing to base of neck. Take a piece of clean paper
towel, fold into quarters, and put over mouth of jug. Seal with rub-
ber band. Ferment for 36 hours, replacing paper towel whenever it
becomes fouled. Refrigerate B-12 hours. Rack to new jug and put back
in refrigerator for 12 hours. Add 1/4 cup vodka to kill yeast. Rack
to fresh jug. Refrigerate 3-4 days. Bottle.
If you like it sparkling, cap the jug after the last racking
Lane Gray, dobroist(http://members.aol.com/e9c6zum/shesgone.wav), mead
maker, steel picker, Dagorhirim, husband,
I want my jetpack! see www.solotrek.com
Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded . . .
Subject: Re: How does it work out that you need to add acid to mead?
From: Marc Shapiro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001 19:50:52 -0500
> Subject: How does it work out that you need to add acid to mead?
> From: Lazurus106@aol.com
> Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 22:21:53 EST
> Greetings Friends,
> It's very confusing to me that with a high PH (acid) material like honey and
> water (neutral) you end up a base and you have to add acid to to mellow out
> and be pleasant to the tounge?
Two points here:
1) High pH is a low acid, or alkaline solution
2) I know that there are people out there that can explain this better than I,
but the short version is that honey is an excellent buffer solution, making
it harder to affect the pH of the must with just small amounts of acid.
Once the buffering properties are ecceeded, the pH will change rapidly.
Marc Shapiro "If you drink melomel every day,
email@example.com you will live to be 150 years old,
http://www.bigfoot.com/~m_shapiro/ unless your wife shoots you."
- – Dr. Ferenc Androczi, winemaker,
Little Hungary Farm Winery
Subject: Blueberry honey
From: "Strange, Mike" <Mike.Strange@cmsmidwest.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 12:50:26 -0600
Has anyone used Blueberry honey to make mead ? I have 12# and I'm wondering
the best way to use it. Dry or sweet ? Add fruit or not ?
Any help is appreciated.
Subject: Re: Quick Mead
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 20:12:19 EST
I have found that a low gravity sparkling metheglin (herb/spice additions)
type mead made with an ale yeast ferments out quickly and is very drinkable
and pleasant after a few short months. I've used the following recipe
several times with excellent results.
This yields a 5 gallon secondary:
OG: is approx 1.090 FG is 1.010 to 1.025
12 pounds Clover Honey dissolved into 4 1/2 gallons boiling water
3 ounces freshly chopped Ginger
1 tsp. citric acid
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
Large ALE yeast starter (I like Wyeast 1056 "Chico" but have also used other
I bring the dissolved honey must with the ginger back to a boil for one
minute and quickly cool with a chiller. Aerate well and include the ginger
in the fermentor. Pitch a good starter yeast or healthy slurry from a
previous brew. It should ferment out in a week. Age in a secondary for a
week or two and then bottle with priming. I can simply keg and force
The ginger mead is very mild, smooth, and semisweet in taste when using an
ale yeast that finishes with a gravity in the teens. It becomes dry and
austere when using a Champagne yeast that ferments it down to zero. The
ginger adds a refreshing tingle and reminds people of Ginger Ale. I've also
added coriander and orange peel for variations, but keep these at low levels
for taste balance.
Subject: Wedding meads
From: Bill Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 19:27:09 -0600
I am best man at a friend's wedding in August, and since I just found out
two days ago I am wondering if I have time to pull off a quick mead to be
given at the wedding… or maybe I'll drag a whole case to Boston! Every
mead I have made has taken quite a while to be ready to bottle, and even
then, at least six months to infinity to drink and enjoy. With these kind of
time lines working against me, I personally am at a loss as to what I might
be able to create SOON that will be able to be bottled and yummy to drink by
the wedding. Any thoughts/hints/recipes that anyone would like to share?
Subject: Yeasts and Mead
From: Peter Matra <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 11:17:39 -0500
I think I asked a question in the past about yeasts and want to reintroduce it.
I see that lots of people use different yeasts from champagne yeast to ale
yeast while making mead. Other than effecting the amount of alcohol in the
mead. what about the phenolic character of it? Would a wheat beer yeast
effect the character of the mead?
I thought about using ale yeast first and then moving to champagne yeast. I
also have a batch of weizen finishing and thought about harvesting the
yeast and using it in a mead? Anyone try the Wyest Belgian Wheat yeast in a
mead and then finish it off with montrachet or champagne?
End of Mead Lover's Digest #837
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