Mead Lover's Digest #0861 Sun 29 July 2001


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



Chocolate Mead too ("Duncan Family")
Re: Chocolate Mead (
Re: Moving Blues (Joshua Laff)
Subject: Moving Blues (Phil)
Re: contributing to global warming (Russ Riley)
Competition results (scott stihler)
Novel way to make the "must"? ("Kemp, Alson")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #859, 15 July 2001 (


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Subject: Chocolate Mead too
From: "Duncan Family" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 15:49:26 -0700

I have had success with cocoa powder in meads and beers (I make a mean
chocolate oatmeal stout). I found that I must use a very high quality Dutch
cocoa powder. One that has VERY little oils in it. Don't skimp here with
the $$. Boil it first with the lid off to remove the volatile oils and skim
any remaining skim. Or put in at the beginning of the boil if you are
making beer. Choc. mead Does take a long time to get really good. But I
thought that was just me since all my meads (so far) have taken over a year
before they start winning or placing at beer comps.
A. Duncan
Lurker since issue #155

Subject: Re: Chocolate Mead
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 14:40:46 +0100

> From: Steven Sanders <>

> after primary ferment, I added 3 bottles of an organic
> chocolate extract I found on the net. (I can give
> details if you need it) Its not really enough, as I
> get barely any chocolate nose off of it. There is a
> aftertaste of dark chocolate to it, though. So I will
> probably add more soon as I can… Oddly, it tastes a
> lot like a red wine. Its about a month old right now.

I'd be interested in the details of the organic chocolate extract!

> From: Terry Estrin <>

> I have never made a chocolate mead, but my guess is that cocoa is the
> wrong source for chocolate flavor. It works for hot chocolate because the
> milk (and the fats in the milk) balance out the cocoa's slightly acrid
> taste. Try making hot chocolate with water and see what I mean. On the other
> hand, if you use something called chocolate liquor it might just work.
> Chocolate liquor is not a drink, it comes in tiny bottles with a dropper,
> and is actually one of the flavoring components in many brands of chocolate.
> It smells terrific and imparts a lovely chocolate taste.

Are Steven and Terry talking about the same thing or two similar things?

  • — Adam

Subject: Re: Moving Blues
From: Joshua Laff <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 22:11:46 -0700

Tess Snider <malkin@Radix.Net> writes:
>Have any of you had to move in the middle of fermenting a batch before? I
>am suddenly in a situation where I have to move, unexpectedly, and I have
>two batches of mead (three weeks and four weeks old, respectively)
>cheerfully fermenting away in 5-gallon beer fermenters in the corner of my
>kitchen. Neither of them appear as though they'll be ready to bottle by
>September 1st (when I need to be out), so I've somehow got to get them
>from one house to the next, without hurting them. I know that I want to
>avoid sloshing them too much or baking them in my car. Are there any
>other issues I need to be aware of or precautions I should take?

I have now moved twice, cross-country, with full carboys. The first time, I
put three full carboys in boxes, stuffed the boxes with packing peanuts and
clothing, put the boxes on the seats of my car, buckled the seatbelts, and
had the car sitting on an auto-carrier being towed by a rental truck from
Boulder, CO, to South Carolina. I have a black car, which certainly created
a hot situation, and I traveled on what must be one of the worst stretches
of Interstate in the country. One of those batches has become everyone's
favorite, the second was okay (except for the fact that I used 5 lbs of
honey per gallon and it ended up a little on the sweet side), and the third
continued to ferment long enough that I've moved a second time with it.
This second time, going from SC to Seattle, I boxed two carboys the same
way, and just left the carboys in the moving truck (I figured I needed
yeast agitation more than anything else :). One of those batches was just
bottled, and seems okay (except that it definitely needs to age). The other
is still fermenting, coming up on 19 months.

The only problem I think I really had is that I accidentally knocked off
the airlock on one of the carboys in the first move. The only other
precaution I'd add to what you listed is make sure you have padding
underneath the carboys.

Subject: Subject: Moving Blues
From: Phil <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 06:45:17 -0700 (PDT)

> Neither of them appear as though they'll be ready to
> bottle by September 1st (when I need to be out), so
> I've somehow got to get them from one house to the
> next, without hurting them.

Your best bet would be to transfer the two batches
into corney kegs. They're stainless steel and can
take the beating that a move may incur. With a
kegging system, you can even purge all the air out of
the kegs so splashing around won't oxidize it.

You can even leave the batches in the kegs until
you're ready to rack. Last Saturday, I racked a
finished batch into a corney and I'm going to keep it
in my sister's cool basement for a couple of years.


visit the New York City Homebrewers Guild website:

Subject: Re: contributing to global warming
From: Russ Riley <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 10:55:25 -0700 (PDT)

>From nutwood:
virtually all traditional alcoholic drinks ( are there any that aren't??)
are produced from some sort of plant which actually means that
brewers etc are really reducing global warming. As mead makers
we probably do more good than anyone as we encourage bees who
do a huge amount of pollination to produce sufficient honey for that
glass of mead!!
Perfect; another excuse to have another glass. I'm a
Cheers Steve

I must admit, that's a very interesting way to think
of it. Of course, that's like saying that lawn-mower
exhaust doesn't hurt the atmosphere because you had to
grow the grass in the first place. Anyway, to answer
the original question (who asked this again?!?), the
amount of CO2 produced by fermenting 5 galloms of mead
is pretty small — you're doing a hell of a lot more
CO2 production in the time it takes to ferment a
5-gallon batch just by breathing. And we won't even
get into the gasses released by any of your OTHER


Subject: Competition results
From: scott stihler <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 13:05:27 -0800 (AKDT)

he results of this year's E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition have now been
posted online.

Please join me in congratulating the A.J. Zanyk for winner Best of Show; his
peach melomel was truly wondeful.

I was once again very much impressed by the overall quality of the entries.

There were a total of 64 entries from 13 states.

For a more complete listing of winners etc. please go to the following

I'd like to thank everybody that entered such fine beers and meads in this
competition. Thank you for the support!


Scott Stihler – competition organizer
Fairbanks, Alaska

Subject: Novel way to make the "must"?
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 16:07:59 -0700


I decided to make an unpasteurized mead again. My two previous ones

had turned out badly for a host of reasons (chocolate; buckwheat honey).
Previously, I have dumped the honey in a carboy and poured water and
nutrients on top of the honey. The fermentations have been astoundingly
strong. (3 day fermentations.)

One of the nice things about pasteurizing is that it does a good job

of mixing the honey and water into a must, so that the honey doesn't fall
out of suspension.

I decided to try something different this time: BLENDING! This

would mix/blend the honey into the water and aerate the honey. I put a
quart of water into the blender, started it going on low speed, added
nutrients and slowly poured in about 1 pound of honey. I poured that
concoction into the carboy and then made another 1quart/1lb batch. Voila!
1 gallon of must with 3# of honey, well mixed. The honey never dropped out
of suspension. Fermentation is going quite well.

Remember to thoroughly clean and sanitize your blender!!! Also,

make sure you DON'T put honey in the blender first and then add water,
because the honey is too viscous and will kill the blender motor (okay, mine
just smoked…).

  • Alson

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #859, 15 July 2001
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 15:31:52 EDT

Re: chocolate mead:

I have a mandarin orange-chocolate mead ready for bottling. The recipe is:

1 gallon raw honey
6 Celestial Seasons Mandarin Orange teabags
3 English Teatime teabags
1 gallon filtered water

Pasteurized, cooled, poured into 3 gallon carboy, topped up to 3 gallons SG
1.125, pH 4.4, PA 18%
Pitched Champaign yeast starter and 1 1/2 tsp yeast energizer

5 weeks later, racked to 5 gallon carboy and topped up to 5 gallons and added
2 bottles (2 oz each) creme de cacao cordial flavoring.

A month later, S.G. was 1.03 and fermentation had almost stopped. It has
been settling for 2 months now and is ready for the bottle.

The mead is slightly sweet with gentle orange and chocolate overtones. I
hope I have the patience to let most of it reach maturity in 2-3 years.

Never Thirst,
Dione Greywolfe

End of Mead Lover's Digest #861