Mead Lover's Digest #0843 Sun 25 March 2001


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



Marbles and Pectin ("Lane O. Locke")
Intro ("Mr. Shane A. Saylor")
Honey: Dark or Light? ("Mr. Shane A. Saylor")
Flavoring Agents ("Mr. Shane A. Saylor")
Re: Filling air space ("Ken Gadwah")
Glass marbles ("Tom & Dee McConnell")
a few questions (Sam Corpuz)
Clarification clarification ("Lane Gray, Czar Castic")
Beers to Try &Clarifying Agents (Steve Smallman)
Re: Marbles (Colin Coltrane)
Use of Campden Tablets ("Eric A. Bonney")
Pits an' stuff. ("Kevin Mc Lean")
Cherry Pits and Old Lace ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #842, 16 March 2001 (Leonard A Meuse)
Re: Cherry pits (Terry Estrin)
Recipe advice (JColburn)
Cherry pits and Mead ("R.K.M.")


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Subject: Marbles and Pectin
From: "Lane O. Locke" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 22:33:15 -0600

On marbles: I have found that a blnket of carbon dioxide on top is far
better than adding foreign objects. You can get a small bottle of CO2,
a regulator and a nozzle from a welding supply. Mine lasts about a
year, including usage for forced carbonation and presurizing Cornelius
Bottles. Or you can take the cheap route and drop in a small piece of
dry ice and replace your fermentaion lock. The CO2 is heavier than air,
and will displace all the air in the carboy. Better yet would be
nitrogen, especially if you want to have mead on tap that is not

On Pectin: The liquid enzymes work fine, but have a very short shelf
life. The powdered form keeps much better, and is just as easy and

If it hurts- stop.

Subject: Intro
From: "Mr. Shane A. Saylor" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 17:07:40 -0500

Greetings. My name is Shane. I'm interested in brewing both beer & Mead.
But not specifically in that order. 🙂 And I have questions… 🙂

"You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could
do is give them a meaningful look." — (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

Subject: Honey: Dark or Light?
From: "Mr. Shane A. Saylor" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 17:07:42 -0500

I realize one must use what is available. But I find myself asking what
exactly are the differences between light & dark honey? Taste, texture,
or something else entirely? And if you have the one, but not the other,
can you special order that honey? In America it seems all we have is
the light colored honey. Can we order dark honey from any place?

"You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could
do is give them a meaningful look." — (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

Subject: Flavoring Agents
From: "Mr. Shane A. Saylor" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 17:07:44 -0500

What are some of the best flavoring agents to use? Syrups or fruits?
Thanks. 🙂

"You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could
do is give them a meaningful look." — (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

Subject: Re: Filling air space
From: "Ken Gadwah" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 18:50:57 -0500

Reply to: Eric C Brown <> Glass marble question

You could probably find glass marbles at a craft store or gift shop,

they use them in vases, but the price would also be very high. Another
alternative would be plastic balls used for industrial purposes,
available from U.S. Plastics or Global Industrial supply. But they may
be hard to get back out of the carboy.

My question is why do you need to fill the air space? If you have

active fermentation then the space is filled with CO2, if you have
racked, then the mead is probably high enough in alcohol so anything
living in the air space will not affect the mead.

If you still want to get rid of the air space I recommend getting a

CO2 tank used to force carbonate beer and fill the air space with that,
"DO NOT PRESSURIZE" it would not be good to make a potential bomb.

East Peak Meadery

Subject: Glass marbles
From: "Tom & Dee McConnell" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 00:41:40 -0700

have a look at a stained glass shop. You will (should) find marbles
and globs. buy in bulk an they are cheap. couple of places on the
web are and

Tom & Dee McConnell (
Albuquerque NM 87111

Subject: a few questions
From: Sam Corpuz <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 04:36:38 -0800 (PST)

Hello pipol,

I'm new to the business; actually, I haven't even made
a sample brew yet. This summer, though, I'm ready for
my first batch. Please be kind, y'all.

Question # 1: My proximity to the city market gives me
access to all the fruits in season. I live in Baguio
City, Philippines, where strawberries are available
throughout the year. This month, we also have papayas,
star apples, guavas, passion fruit, calamondin
(omething like a lemon, but green, 1/4 its size and 4
times its acidity), oranges, pears, and others I
forgot. Do any ofyou have recipes for a 5-gal. sample
using any of these fruits?

Question # 2: Besides the fruits, the market also
sells a native rice wine called tapey (ta-PUHHY), as
well as a yeast used to make it. I'm not sure which
species it is, but I know it's not processed with
current technology. I don't know if I should use it,
but I can't find any other yeast to use. What would
happen if I use this on my first batch of mead? Would
it make a great mead, or a great grenade?

Question # 3: In case it WOULD make a grenade out of
fermented honey, do you have solutions/precautions to
make sure it won't explode?



Subject: Clarification clarification
From: "Lane Gray, Czar Castic" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 09:24:55 -0600

Umm, does the clarity have any effect on taste, or is this discussion
strictly related to the visual aspect? With most of my meads I normally
wait until they are clear, but with some others I don't bother.


Subject: Beers to Try &Clarifying Agents
From: Steve Smallman <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 10:27:50 -0800

> From: Mark Banschbach <>
> Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:16:07 -0800 (PST)
> Anyway.. I decided since I also enjoy ( drink not
> make) Beer..I would give the only honey beer on
> premesis a try. It was supposed to be a RED..( most
> of the beers I prefer are usually in the RED/ Amber
> and import vein . I must say that on the whole I was
> disappointed the beer taste was there but for my
> personal taste and for that individual beer I thought
> the honey taste was way to strong.
> Being an open minded sorta guy I thought I would ask
> for suggestions from the list. After giving some
> ideas of the types of Beers I enjoy possibly you might
> have a better idea of my tastes in that realm.
> Beers I enjoy would be : Killians Red, Heineken,
> Becks, Amber Bach, Molsons, Murphys Irish Amber.
You have a world of tastes to explore, Mark. None of the beers you list
has much in the way of hops, so experiment with IPAs or American-style
Pale Ales like Sierra Nevada or Red Hook (the two most likely to be found
in FL). Bridgeport (Portlane, OR) makes a tasty if somehat light
flavored honey beer that you might like.

> ——————————
> Subject: Clarifying agents
> From: "James R M Gilson" <>
> Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 20:40:21 -0500
> On the subject of clarifying mead's, I have been using Irish Moss. I will
> make a tea and then add it to the mead, after the mead has finished
> fermentation. The mead will start to clear noticeably within the hour. I
> have used it with a black currant mead also and it came out with a brilliant
> clarity. The problem I just noticed is that the last time I used the Irish
> Moss, on a traditional mead. I lost a lot of body out of the mead. It took
> away from the fullness in the mouth feel and left it almost thin. It did
> leave an interesting sweetness that was a little like fructose. and it did
> still have some honey depth to the sweetness. So, my questions would be, any
> one else use Irish Moss? If you have, did you have any problems with the
> body of the mead becoming thin? And does anyone know if the other clarifying
> agents can cause this effect? So far, my only answer for the Irish Moss is
> that I may have made the concentration stronger than the usual 1 teaspoon
> per five gallons that I usually use. Thanks for your replies, Jim
> Gilson

I've always added Irish Moss during the heating process (I stop just
before the boil to preserve honey flavor) and my meads have always been
very clear. 1 Tsp for a 5 gallon batch.


Subject: Re: Marbles
From: Colin Coltrane <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 12:13:40 -0800

Eric C Brown <> wrote:

> I'd like to get some glass marbles to displace the air in my carboys
> after racking. Does anyone have any ideas where I could buy some?

Just a thought: Your local florist might carry glass beads at a cheaper price
(per volume displaced) than toy marbles.


Subject: Use of Campden Tablets
From: "Eric A. Bonney" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 15:21:34 -0500

I did a split batch of mead about two weeks ago. It was the first time that
I used campden tablets. I put the tablets into the carboy and let the must
sit over night. In the morning, about 8 hours later, I pitched the yeast
into the carboys. Now I have been told that I was supposed to let the must
sit for 12-24 hours before adding the yeast. My questions are these,

Did I do anything that is going to ruin the mead by not waiting long enough

to pitch the yeast? Fermentation is going along well at this point.

The two carboys are giving off some really nasty smells. The only way I

can describe it is like sour bread, or maybe like sour baby puke. I am
concerned that I may have some kind of contamination in them. I would have
thought that the campden tablets would have taken care of that? Anyone have
any thought?


  • -Eric

Subject: Pits an'  stuff. 
From: "Kevin Mc Lean" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 16:27:33 +1000


on the subject of pits – it's more an issue if they're cracked. Also I

think the acid they're referring to is hydrocyanic acid (which in minute
quantities is allegedly anti-cancerous). Anyway, in the medieval days, the
Belgians made Kriek (a cherry beer) and crushed the pits etc. They still
make the beer today, but I don't think they crush the pits and they keep the
exposure of the wort to the pits to a smaller time (a few weeks I think). It
still tastes a little of pits (and cherries) and is a delightful brew. I've
drunk a fair bit of it and in the reading I've done on it, I've never heard
of people dropping dead like flies from it in the Middle Ages.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't in some cases. In

any event, I'd take a tiny sip of the stuff and if you can really taste the
pits I'd dump it, otherwise I'd leave it a day and try a small glass.

Anyway, that's just my opinion from my brewing of a couple of cases of

Kriek where I left the unbroken pits in for a month. Like all things, I
imagine it varies from brew to brew and from variety of fruit to variety of

Also, you might like to surf the net for information on Kriek and lambic

beers. There'll probably be something in depth there…

Best wishes,

Kevin Mc Lean.

Subject: Cherry Pits and Old Lace
From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 08:55:07 -0500

Phil writes of Aresnic content in cherry pits,

>I made a cherry/cinnamon mead recently where I crushed
>12 pounds of bing cherries and added it to the wort,
>pits and all. It wasn't until afterwards that someone
>told me of the whole arsenic issue.

Phil, I don't know for SURE, and I doubt anyone knows the exact
concentration of arsenic which may be leached out into your mead/wine/beer
from cherry pits. The only way to know for sure is direct measurement of
each batch. This information likely came from a recent Zymurgy article
regarding aresenic in certain fruits. Unfortunately, the article only
mentioned the various fruits of concern and the effects of arsenic
poisoning. It made no suggestion as to any guidelines regarding safe
addition quantities of the various fruits (lbs/gallon). In my honest
opinion, this article did more damage than good. Millions of gallons of
fruited beverages are fermented each year on a commercial level using
stone-bearing fruit. Hundreds and maybe thousands of gallons are produced
each year on the homebrew level. Yet there is no report of people dying
from drinking a cherry stout or a plum wine.

Your safest bet is not to use these fruits at all or you may want to
de-stone each cherry as you plop it into your fermenter. You could even
forgo this "organic" approach and use syrups. I for one, am going to worry
less and ensure that the pit is not crushed during my processing. This will
prevent much of any arsenic present in the pit from being leached into the
brew. After having drunk about 15 gallons of 3 different brews all
fermented with cherries at about 2 – 2.5 lbs/gallon, I'm still here. Just
don't drink it all at once! <Burp!>

Carpe cerevisiae!

Glen A. Pannicke
75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD
"Designs which work well on paper rarely do so in actual practice"

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #842, 16 March 2001
From: Leonard A Meuse <>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 09:29:33 -0800

> Subject: marbles
> From: Eric C Brown <>
> Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 10:39:31 -0500
> Hi all!
> I'd like to get some glass marbles to displace the air in my carboys
> after racking. Does anyone have any ideas where I could buy some? All
> I've found so far are toy marbles, and a sufficient quantity of them at
> the prices I've seen would be ridiculously expensive.
> Thanks, Eric

I think the best place to look is an aquarium shop…lotsa little glass
thingies by the case at the one by my house. good luck!
Len Meuse

Subject: Re: Cherry pits
From: Terry Estrin <>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 09:17:22 -0800

Phil wrote:

> I made a cherry/cinnamon mead recently where I crushed
> 12 pounds of bing cherries and added it to the wort,
> pits and all. It wasn't until afterwards that someone
> told me of the whole arsenic issue.
> The pits were in the batch during primary (2 weeks),
> at which point, they were removed during racking. A
> trusted friend told me that the pits weren't in the
> batch to cause any problems. Does anyone agree or
> disdagree with? I'd hate to throw out the entire
> batch. At the same time, I'd hate to poison my
> friends.
> If anyone knows FOR SURE, please let me know.

I'm afraid I can't provide a "for sure" answer, or even a mead example, but
I can tell you of an experience I had making cherry liqueur (and lived). A
couple of summers ago I made some cherry liqueur which involved leaving
whole unpitted cherries in vodka for a couple of months. The end result was
pretty good, but had a distinct almond taste, which I found out later was
from the pits. While it may have been arsenic, no one ever got sick from it.
However, *crushing* the pits might be pushing your luck. 🙂



Subject: Recipe advice
From: JColburn <>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 15:56:39 -0500

Below is a recipe that I am planning to make.
20 lbs Clover Honey
5 lbs strawberries (frozen)
5 lbs blueberries (frozen)
5 lbs blackberries (frozen)
5 lbs raspberries (frozen)
Two packets Champagne Yeast
Acid Blend (optional)
Water to make 5 gals

I made this last March but with a few changes.

20 lbs Clover Honey
5 lbs strawberries (frozen) I used 2 lbs
5 lbs blueberries (frozen) I used 6 lbs
5 lbs blackberries (frozen) 2 lbs
5 lbs rasberries (frozen) 24 oz
Two packets Champagne Yeast
Acid Blend (optional)
Water to make 5 gals

I bottled aprox 20 bottles in August, and only have a few left, for which I
am saving!!

I was told that 20lbs is too much honey, so I was planning on using less.
My first batch, I think came out pretty good. Strong too.
Does anyone have any advice before I tackle this?


Subject: Cherry pits and Mead
From: "R.K.M." <>
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 07:46:54 -0800

I have made many batches of Mead and beer with cherries.For 5 gallons
use 12-15 LBS. cherries pits and all. The contact time is very low as is
the 2-3 weeks. Also the ratio of pit to must is very low.I have never
had a problem.Don't worry and enjoy.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #843