Mead Lover's Digest #0865 Sun 26 August 2001


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



MLD administrivia – everyone please take note (Mead Lovers Digest)
Re: CO2 Cheat (Bruce Conner)
Re: Yeast question (Jay Swartzfeger)
metallic mead ("Wallinger")
Chocolate mead ("Mike Torregrossa")
Some random questions (Joe Nelson)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #864, 15 August 2001 (Jonathan)
Re: C02 Cheat (Dave Polaschek)
chipotle mead, comorative meads and stuff ("Charles wettergreen")
Re: CO2 Cheat (Phil)
Re: The Pefect Mead, and other things (Phil)
Re: Commercial Meadery (Marc Shapiro)
containers for shipping wine bottles ("Steve Meng")
re:commercial meaderies ("Lane Gray, Czar Castic")
Bread Yeast Mead ("Jason Logan")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #864, 15 August 2001 (trish entsminger)
Metheglins and Campden tabs ("Gregg Stearns")


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Subject: MLD administrivia - everyone please take note
From: (Mead Lovers Digest)
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 18:24:26 -0600 (MDT)

Please at least skim all of the points here.

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Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: Re: CO2 Cheat
From: Bruce Conner <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 21:44:08 -0400

>Christopher C Carpenter wrote:
> I be remiss in attempting to use the Co2 tank methhod to carbonate??

Nope! I do it with my mead and it works fine. You can really control
the amount of fizz too, which is nice. If you over do it on the CO2
just vent it off and let it get a little flatter. If you can wait till
the weather is cold, so much the better. Just purge the keg with CO2
(leave the vent open for a minute with the gas on) and then pressureize
it and set it out on the back porch overnight. Draw a test batch off
the next day and see how much fizz you have. I like it light on the
fizz myself, adds just a hint of tart which is nice in a sweet mead.
Use an plastic extension tube on your valve so you don't expose the mead
to the air more than you have to. No counter-pressure needed for
low-fizz applications!

Bruce Conner

Subject: Re: Yeast question
From: Jay Swartzfeger <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 19:39:19 -0700

On Wednesday, August 15, 2001, at 05:09 PM,

> What have you all learned about making mead with Bread Yeast?

I've never used bread yeast, but I remember reading that a mazer cup
winner a few years ago used bread yeast in 2 liter soda bottles for
their winning batch.

Jay Swartzfeger
Scottsdale, AZ

Subject: metallic mead
From: "Wallinger" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 21:43:43 -0500

i have also never had problems with off flavors in my beers using corny
kegs, which i use to package 90 pct of my beer. and some batches are on tap
for a year or more. (though most run out much sooner than that ;={)}

one thing to look out for though is chlorine, something that stainless steel
doesn't like. it actuall causes corrosion, tho a metallurgical engineer is
sure to provide a more accurate description. so i imagine a mishandled keg
could produce off flavors, but doubt a properly handled one would.

wade wallinger
kingwood tx

Subject: Chocolate mead
From: "Mike Torregrossa" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 23:32:37 -0400

I made my first choclate hazlenut mead. Here is the recipe.

I am a newbie so comments and suggestions will be apprecitead.
Recipe for 5 gallon batch.

1 gallon of wild flower honey
1 lb cocoa
4.5 pounds of hazlenuts. (Simmered for an hour and half)
1 tsp gynsum
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp irish moss
White labs sweet mead/wine yeast

My hydro reading was 1.055. She is fermenting beautifully as I write this
Wish me luck.

A newbie with a dream.

Subject: Some random questions
From: Joe Nelson <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 21:38:24 -0700 (PDT)

I was wondering what the procedure for clarifying mead
with gelatin is and whether there are any off flavors
because of mead clarified this way??? I have a
strawberry mel right now that will need clearing in a
few days i think and I was wondering how I'd go about
doing that.

My next question:
Where could i get the necessary equipment to carbonate
my meads with the soda syrup and CO2 tank??? I have a
big CO2 tank already but I don't know how to go about
getting the rest of the stuff to do this.

Any help with either or both questions is much


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #864, 15 August 2001
From: Jonathan <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 21:47:18 -0700

Greetings Honey Wine Producers,

In response to your Q about starting a small commercial meadery. The first
things that you will have to do is check with your State ABC(Achol. Buer.
Controll) for state lincens terms. Then you will have to contact the fed's –
B.A.T.F. for compliance forms and regs. This is going to be a monthly headache
for as long as you are in business. I know this first had because i have the
headache at our winery here in northern CA. You can not set up shop with out
the blessings of these two agencies.

The second thing you will want to check out is the wine equipment. It is a
strong exspense. Also your honey supply in your area, if you contract it
with bee people
it will be cheaper. Also look into getting a commercial grade centerfuge to
extract the protien from the honey, cheaper and easier than heating for large
scale production.

> Subject: Commercial Meadery
> From: "Mark Kingsley" <>
> Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 21:29:01 -0500
> I'm considering starting a small commercial meadery, does anyone have =
> any links or information on the set-up, ant type of help would be
> appreciated.

Subject: Re: C02 Cheat
From: Dave Polaschek <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 08:10:48 -0500

Christopher C Carpenter <> wrote:

>Would I be remiss in attempting to use the Co2 tank methhod to carbonate??

Nope. But it's easy to not let the mead age long enough when
force-carbonating. As someone who likes sparkling mead, using a cornelius
keg and force-carbonating is the way I usually do things when I have a
large enough batch to warrant it.

One gallon batches tend to go into bottles and get tucked away in corners
to surprise me later, but anything over a 3 gallon batch gets kegged.

I also have screw-on caps with pressure fittings (I'm blanking on the
trade-name at the moment) so I can bring a pressurized 2 litre pop bottle
of mead to parties and such.

  • -DaveP

Dave Polaschek – Polaschek Computing, Inc. –
PGP key and other spiffy things at <>
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an
airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or
some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."

  • Frank Zappa

Subject: chipotle mead, comorative meads and stuff
From: "Charles wettergreen" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 08:27:01 -0500

In MLD #864, Jay Swartzfeger asked about making a
peach melomel.

>Once I clear up a carboy (I have way too many batches brewing right
>now), I plan to do a peach mel. A local store recently had peaches on
>sale, so I bought 8#, skinned/pitted them and then froze them.

A good start, but with only eight pounds for a five gallon batch, I think it
might be a little weak in peach flavor.

>Anyone have a favorite peach melomel recipe they'd like to share, or any
>general peach advice? I've looked on the usual mead recipe sites and
>have found a few peach recipes, but nothing significant.

Don't cut the pieces too fine. The fruit will seriously deteriorate while
fermenting and wind up almost impossible to siphon. Use a light colored
honey as darker honeys generally have stronger flavors that will overpower
the delicate peach flavor. Be prepared for an explosive fermentation that
finishes in a matter of days. Every peach mel I have made fermented out very
dry, which does not produce something that tastes good, so use an
unattenuative yeast and still be prepared to add more honey.

>I guess what I'm looking for is info on how to match the peaches with
>the mead. Do peaches make the mel overly sweet? Does a particular
>variety of honey or yeast match well with peaches? FWIW, I plan on using
>those 8# in a 5gal batch, and I'd like to make a dry/crisp sparkling
>peach mel, reminiscent of a champagne. Thanks!

A noble goal, I wish you the best, but once you get there, I think you'll
find yourself sweetening it up, just a little.

Dan McFeeley wrote a little diddy about his Chipotle

>I wanted to give a report on one of my latest efforts, a smoked chile
>pepper mead which I've given the simple moniker "Chipotle Mead." It turned
>out quite well, very nice heat level, smooth with a good balance of honey
>and chile pepper. Most people who tried it thought it was good although
>there were a few exceptions.

Dan's modesty is legend! His Chipotle Mead was exceptional, and the title
exactly describes it. For those of you who don't know what a chipotle is, it
is a smoked halapeno pepper, and that is exactly what Dan's mead tasted
like, a sweet smoked jalapeno pepper. YUUUUUUMMMM!

>I'd like to give details of the recipe but that's going to be difficult
>since I don't really have one. This was actually a blend of several
>different meads since each effort just didn't have the flavor I was
>looking for.

Again here Dan is too modest. This mead was something like stone soup. Every
time I turned around he had made a new version or blended with an old
version or added more smoke or honey or pepper or God knows what else. This
was the mead that wouldn't die! Yes, I admit that I wrote, "Dan, just
*bottle* the d*** thing already!" 🙂 , but with good reason. The end
result was well worth the wait.

I have to say, there was one serious problem with Dan's mead: he only gave
me ONE bottle!

>Now if I can just figure out how to do it all in one shot, I'll be able
>to make up another batch! 🙂

I get first dibs, Dan!

Christopher C Carpenter asked about
carbonating meads using (apparently) a corney keg and CO2.

Chris, you mention that you make one-gallon batches of mead. Using a corney
keg might be overkill for a one-gallon batch, but I find that the
"Carbonator" works just great with a 2 liter PET bottle to carbonate small
batches of mead.

Yacko wrote about finding the NHB that lists honey
suppliers by state. (

A couple of things. The NHB is generally an organization whose members are
the larger honey producers and packagers. Your local beekeeper is unlikely
to belong to the NHB as members are "taxed" one cent a pound of honey (I'm
pretty sure of this amount) produced as "dues".

You can find your local beekeeper by calling the county extension service
and asking for their beekeeper list. They maintain it so that they can tell
the beekeepers when spraying will be done that might be harmful to their
bees. Also look at honey for sale at roadside markets and fruit stands.
Generally the beekeeper will list their name and address on the label.

Lastly, keep bees. I started with two new hives this year. Last Saturday I
extracted the last of this season's honey. This year I got 180 pounds of
honey. That's right, three 60-pound pails of honey from two hives. Plus I
got 10 gallons of mead to boot from washing the honey off of the wax
cappings. And a couple of pounds of beeswax. Believe it or not, bees are
lots o'fun.

Finally, Silent Running / Admin
Wrote about making commemorative mead for his new grandson. I've made
several of these for close friends and relatives who are having children.
It's always a great event when they open a bottle on an anniversary date. I
cork and cap champagne bottles, put a capsule on the top and make a fancy
laminated label. I bottle for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th,
and 21st years. I think your idea of one for their wedding day is great

But, to answer your question, I believe that neither the ginger nor the
vanilla will hold up for that period of time. I know from personal
experience that the ginger will age out, and I've read that vanilla does not

FYI, the commemorative meads that I make are along the lines of those made
in Brittany, which are famous for aging and improving over periods spanning
decades. These meads are generally mixtures of dark wildflower, buckwheat,
and heather honeys. I have several at home given to me by Brittany
meadmakers that are approaching 10 years old. They throw no sediment and
look the same as the day they were given to me. I just don't have the heart
to open any of them.



Subject: Re: CO2 Cheat
From: Phil <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 07:52:46 -0700 (PDT)

As a homebrewer with kegging equipment, I can tell why
most brewers and meadists don't force carbonate their

First of all, the equipment is fairly expensive. You
have to buy a CO2 cylinder, a regulator, corney kegs,
and various hoses and clamps. Start up cost here is
about $150. This is assuming you buy used corney

The great thing about force carbonating is that you
don't have the sediment you get when you prime your
batch, so the mead will stay clearer.

If you want to bottle force carbonated beer, you can
purchase a counter pressure filler (my most hated
piece of brewing equipment).

Using this method does not affect the taste of the
mead. It's just more toys to buy and more toys to


visit the New York City Homebrewers Guild website:

Subject: Re: The Pefect Mead, and other things
From: Phil <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 07:57:50 -0700 (PDT)

> My daughter in law and I are both partial to vanilla
> and ginger. My question is this; will the delicate
> flavor of vanilla hold up to 18+ years of aging,
> and yet be drinkable as early as the first
> birthday? If not, what other recipes would you
> suggest for this undertaking?

If you're going to age it 18+ years, then you'll
probably have to add a little more ginger and vanilla
to the batch. This would probably be too much when
your grandchild turns one.

I recommend that you make two batches, generally
following the same recipe. For the one you want to
age, add a little more vanilla and ginger. You should
also add some sulphites.

And congratulations.


visit the New York City Homebrewers Guild website:

Subject: Re: Commercial Meadery
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 15:22:54 -0400

Mark Kingsley <> wrote:

> I'm considering starting a small commercial meadery, does anyone have =
> any links or information on the set-up, ant type of help would be
> appreciated.

The obvious first question is: Where are you located? Every state, and
most local governing agencies have their own laws and regs concerning
the production of alcoholioc beverages.

Besides, you may need help and someone else on the list might be local
to you.

Marc Shapiro "If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
Please visit "The Meadery" at: unless your wife shoots you." — Dr. Ferenc Androczi, winemaker,

Little Hungary Farm Winery

Subject: containers for shipping wine bottles
From: "Steve Meng" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 07:20:28 -0400

I am bottling my mead in wine bottles. I would like to send some =
individual bottles to friends via UPS.
Does anyone know of any special shipping container for this purpose?
What other method do you use for packaging for shipment?=20

Steve Meng

Subject: re:commercial meaderies
From: "Lane Gray, Czar Castic" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 17:16:06 -0500

Of course, you'd also have to get permits and licenses from your state
liquor board and county health dep't. The first one is enough to scare me
off. Anyone willing to dance with the folks who brought us Ruby Ridge and
Waco is welcome to do so

Lane Gray, dobroist(, mead
maker, steel picker, Dagorhirim, husband, soon-to-be-ex-procrastinator.
I want my jetpack! see
Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded . . .

Subject: Bread Yeast Mead
From: "Jason Logan" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 10:24:46 -0500

Bread yeast has been the only yeast I have used for mead. I have had
great results. I must admit I have made only 2 batches. One was a
Christmas mead with cinnamon and cloves (my father loves it) it was aged
about 6 months by Christmas it was crystal clear and very tasty. There
were no off flavors.

My second batch is a Vanilla mead. It was a little short of honey
(about 2lbs for a half gallon) it fermented very quickly and ended up
very dry. It is still aging as I write.

I rack about every 6 weeks, until fermentation stops. Then I try to age
at least 6 months. I don't know what the alcohol content is in either
batch as I make mead for taste, fun, and frolic. I expect its close to
10% as I liken it to a schnapps. That's my 2 cents.

Thank you,
Jason Logan

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #864, 15 August 2001
From: trish entsminger <>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 20:16:04 -0700

I am responding to the Peach Melomel idea.

I plan on using
those 8# in a 5gal batch, and I'd like to make a dry/crisp sparkling
peach mel, reminiscent of a champagne. Thanks!

I really don't think that 8lbs. of peaches is nearly enough for a 5 gallon
batch. In the past I have used:

4lbs. peaches
2 1/4 lbs honey
1 cup sugar
juice of two lemons
water to make 1 gallon (that's right, 1 gallon!!)

I used Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast. Starting gravity: 1.116 Ending gravity: 1.001
or so. Very dry. Peach smell and light color ( I left the skins on). It was
very good. Need to make some soon.

Good Luck,

Trish Entsminger

Subject: Metheglins and Campden tabs
From: "Gregg Stearns" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 16:35:47 -0500

two quick questions, as I begin formulating a recipe for my first batch in a
few years (got carried away and made 15 gallons of mead in 4 months, and now
its' finally aged!)

1. I'm wondering what is the best way of getting a strong spiced flavor in a
I've tried steeping the cinnamon sticks and cloves in the must during the
skimming phase, but either I didn't have enuf spice, or it didn't go nearly
long enuf.

I wondered about: a) placing spices in with the honey for a few months,
before making the must b) I read online about making a 'tea' with the
spices and then adding that to the must (which sounds like a plan to me)

2. I've never messed with campden tabs and never had a mead 'go sour' on me.
I sterilize like a mad-man, but I wondered if there's any good reason I
should be using the tabs?



End of Mead Lover's Digest #865