Mead Lover's Digest #0869 Mon 17 September 2001


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



Re: Heartburn ("Joshua Laff")
Mesquite at Trader Joe's (Tess Snider)
TIP: Good racking filter trick. (Tess Snider)
Re: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #867, 9 September 2001 ("Joshua Laff")
weird aftertaste (Steven Sanders)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #868, 14 September 2001 (Myron Sothcott)
how much vodka? (joel tracy)
("Stuart Smith")
Price of honey; fermentation ("Jones, Steve (I/T)")


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Subject: Re: Heartburn
From: "Joshua Laff" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 09:05:40 -0700

I would find it odd if ginger was contributing to heartburn. Ginger is
typically helpful to stomach problems, including aiding in digestion.

  • – Joshua

> From: Nathan Kanous <>
> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 07:32:03 -0500
> Lane,
> You mentioned you like to make metheglin. Do you use ginger? Lots of
> ginger? I've got a ginger mel on hiatus that smells wonderful and tastes
> pretty good but leaves a monstrous case of heartburn. I think it may be
> the ginger. Just a thought. Hope this helps.
> nathan in madison, wi

Subject: Mesquite at Trader Joe's
From: Tess Snider <malkin@Radix.Net>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:16:23 -0400 (EDT)

Those of you who like Mesquite Honey, I have found good prices on 3lb
cans at Trader Joe's in my area (Annapolis, MD). I bought a can to do a
small (just over 1 gallon) batch, and found it tasty, but pretty chunky

  • — bee legs and all. Not for folks who like filtered honey! I was making

a chunky, messy, oily mel, anyway, so I wasn't too worried about the
"extras," for this batch. I can filter them out later.


Subject: TIP: Good racking filter trick.
From: Tess Snider <malkin@Radix.Net>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:33:07 -0400 (EDT)

So, you pureed your fruit, so it would fit through the mouth of your
carboy, but now you've got all of this yeast-encrusted fruit crud floating
around in your brew, and you're worried some of that is going to come
with your mead when you rack to secondary, or it might even interfere with
your siphon. You don't have any fancy filtration gear on hand, so what do
you do?

Here's a tip for the frugal brewer:

Alot of brewing supply stores sell inexpensive nylon grain bags. You can
get them with varying tightness of the mesh. I buy the second-finest, but
you could probably use the finest, too. First, give the bag a good dunk
in your sterilization bucket. Get it all the way in, and slosh it around
a bit. Then, pull the bag up around your clean, sterile racking cane (Or
auto-siphon, if you have one; if you don't, I highly recommend them.
They're cheap, and oh-so worth it.). If you're not going to be holding
the racking cane, sterilize a rubber band, and wrap it around the top of
the bag to keep it in place over the racking cane. Then, rack as usual,
taking care not to kick up extra yeast with the bag material. You want
the top of the bag to be higher than the surface of the mead at all times,
unless you're using a rubbber band tie-off.

I recently used this technique successfully to remove some stray orange
bits from a mead I was getting ready to bottle.


Subject: Re: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #867, 9 September 2001
From: "Joshua Laff" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 09:16:42 -0700

I work extensively with herbalism, and make tinctures all the time. I see a
few problems with a taste-test comparison of teas vs. tinctures. The most
significant is that part of the tincture taste is the vodka. My experience
is that the vodka taste is too strong to allow determination of subtle
flavors of herbs. True, I use extremely cheap vodka; Idon't know if a more
expensive vodka would be appropriate.

Regardless, to test every single herb that might be used in mead could
become extremely tedious and expensive. I'd suggest instead trying to find
sources at herbal stores, or talking to experienced herbalists (a lot of
them do strange cooking and brewing with their herbs!)

  • – Joshua

> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #867, 9 September 2001
> From: Christopher C Carpenter <>
> Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 10:32:30 -0500
> Greetings unto the Meadhall..;O)
> Methinks this sounds like a good opportunity for a challenge… Perhaps
> should try both methods: a tea, and a Vodka Tincture. Then as a group we
> could taste test a variety of spice and post the results of both for all
> our enrichment….I Volunteer to do Anise. I will probably experiment
> extensively with others on Vodka too, but I wouldn't want to deprive
> anybody of this fine pleasure…..(hic)
> Chris Carpenter

Subject: weird aftertaste
From: Steven Sanders <>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 11:51:18 -0700 (PDT)

I decided to start utilizing the non-boil method of
meadmaking, after reading of the successes of other
meadmakers who use this method. My first batch with
this method was an cyser using a cherry-apple cider. I
used nottingham ale yeast, (two packages) used only
cider for the liquid, and a half gallon of wildflower
honey. Mixed with a stirring ladle (use a
plaster\paint mixer with a electric drill now). It
tastes okay at first blush, but the after-aftertaste
tastes like.. tortilla chips. Its really weird. I have
never had any problem with off flavors before.. It
hasnt shown up yet in any of the other batches I have
going using the non boil method.

My guess is that I have some sort of bacterial
infection. I wanted to see what everyone else thought.



My moon based death ray
panics the people of earth.
Mock my theories now!

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #868, 14 September 2001
From: Myron Sothcott <>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 17:22:37 -0400

> Subject: p.s. on using spice potions
> From: "Alan McKay" <>
> Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 18:02:30 -0400 (EDT)
> I forgot to mention that the best part about making potions for spicing
> is that once the potion is ready, you can fill up a syringe with it and
> squirt a very precise amount into a pre-measured amount of your mead.
> For example, measure out 125ml (1/2 cup) mead and squirt a half cc/ml of
> potion into it at a time. When you get the spicing which is just perfect
> for your own taste buds, you can then multiply out the volumes to determine
> precisely how much potion you need to put into your mead.
> cheers,
> – -Alan

This is a very good procedure if you intend to drink a young mead, that
is drink it very soon after dosing it with the tea. It does not really
tell you a great deal about the taste of the metheglin if you intend to
age it and let the full flavor develop its potential. You could, however,
with 5 gallons, divide into 1 gallon batches, dose each batch with a
calibrated, different amount of the tea, bottle and age. Now you have
five different samples to evaluate, and will have an excellent opportunity
to be able to tune future efforts to match your taste.


Subject: how much vodka?
From: joel tracy <>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 21:30:54 -0700 (PDT)


My brother has asked me to make something for a

Halloween party he's having, and thought I've made the
recipe he's asked for twice now (a mead made with
raisins and cloves), I've never tried to do it in so
little time. I'd like to try the method I've read
about here, using vodka to stop fermentation for a
quick bottling (it'll be drunk so quickly, I shouldn't
have to worry about the fermentation starting back
up). I don't take SG readings, so I'm wondering if
the amount of vodka added can be determined based on
volume. The batch will only be one gallon. Is there
an amount I can add two-three weeks from now that will
do the trick without affecting flavor?

Thanks for any ideas.


From: "Stuart Smith" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 21:33:32 +1000

After perusing your digest and various other sites on the net I have my
first batch of must cooling and my yeast starting.

Coming from "Down Under" I noted with horror in the 9th Sept Digest
comment by Jay Swartzfeger Scottsdale, AZ that "Virtually any variety of
honey is good for mead (except for Eucalyptus honey, which is virtually
considered to be a horrible honey for mead)."

Most of the honey I have available to me is Eucalypt honey. 🙁

Give me a while and I'll be able to give you a fine definition of which
Eucalypt honeys are good and which aren't. They all have a highly
distinctive flavour; I can't believe that Yellow Gum honey could give
anything other than a sweet delicious mead, Yellow Gum is Eucalyptus
Melliodora and lives up to its name.

Anyway, I have now flown the Aussie flag in brute ignorance and defended
my honour. I will get back to you when I've tried enough different
honeys to justify it. :-)…….
In about 12 months or so I guess…….

Oh, I'd better check I suppose, is Lucerne Honey a reasonable reference
for comparison?

Best wishes

Stuart Smith
Melbourne Australia

Subject: Price of honey; fermentation
From: "Jones, Steve (I/T)" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 08:01:24 -0400

Thanks for the responses on pricing of honey. As expected, the prices vary
greatly depending on geography and source.

The supplier I spoke of is the only one that I'm aware of in our area, and
the honeys are not actually varietal at all. They call them light, amber,
and dark amber. I went ahead and bought 5 gallons of dark amber, and split
it up between several friends. They do have sourwood, but not in 5 gallon
quantities, and it is higher in price. I've also checked some mail order
sources in the southeast, and with shipping I can't beat $75 per 5 gallons.

Questions about fermenting mead:
During the primary fermentation, is there as much foam generated as when
fermenting beer? In other words, how much head space will I need during
Is it better to make a starter?
Are fast fermentations desirable, as with beer?
Is it better to have very little headspace and use a blow-off tube, or to
allow head space and use an airlock?
Most of what I've read about mead is very liberal in the range of
temperatures for fermentation. I've found it desirable (to me) to ferment my
ales a little cooler, say the low 60s. Does this apply to mead as well? Do
you get more esters or fusels at higher temps, as you will with beer?

Steve Jones
Johnson City, TN
36:30:8 N, 82:31:57 W

End of Mead Lover's Digest #869