Mead Lover's Digest #0878 Thu 1 November 2001


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #877, 27 October 2001 (
Re: Chocolate mint (Dan McFeeley)
Persimmon Melomel ("Mitch Rice")
Malolactic fermentation in Mead? ("Kemp, Alson")
Re: Persimmon Mead (
Mazer Cup, Chocolate Mint, Metro Detroit Workshop ("Ken Schramm")


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #877, 27 October 2001
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 05:14:36 EDT

Has anyone out there tried the "sack mead" recipe from Charlie Papazian's
book "Brewing mead" (it uses 15lbs of honey, 4tsp acid blend, 6tsp of yeast
nutrient for a 5 gallon batch). I'm new to mead making and would like my
next batch to be on the sweet side- so far I've only made champagne-dry meads
that are wonderfull carbonated, but disgusting as a still wine. If anyone
has tried it, please tell me how it came out. Thanks in advance

  • -Jack

Subject: Re: Chocolate mint
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 09:42:02 -0500

On Tue, 23 Oct 2001, in MLD 877, Spencer Thomas wrote:

>One of the best meads I've tasted (experience colored no doubt by
>memory) was a "chocolate mint" mead that was entered in an early
>"Mazer Cup" mead competition (my first ever as a judge). It was
>chocolate mint flavored, and listed as an ingredient "chocolate mint."
>I always thought it must have been some sort of flavoring extract, but
>maybe not!
>I'm pretty sure this mead won its category and it MAY have taken best
>of show. No, I don't have the recipe. I'm not sure we ever had the
>full recipe. But it was good. So give it a try.

I dug the recipe out of a little booklet titled" The Winner's Chalice,"
put out by the former American Mead Association. Yes, it did take best
of show in the 1994 Mazer Cup, but unfortunately the recipe as given
didn't have the exact amount of chocolate mint extract that was used.

Mazer Cup 94 Metheglin

Best of Show, 1st place in metheglin
Phil Fleming, Broomfield, CO
Stan's Stuff

20 lb.s medium dark CO alfalfa honey
chocolate mint extract
dry Lalvin EC-1118 yeast
Primary: 4 mo in glass at 63 F
Secondary: 2 mo in glass at 63 F
Tertiary: 3 weeks in glass at 29 F
OG: 1.130, FG: 1.035

Dan McFeeley
"You learn something old every day." Mr. McFeeley, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

Subject: Persimmon Melomel
From: "Mitch Rice" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 14:03:28 -0500

Steve Haag formed the electrons to say.
> I just picked a bunch of persimmons, which are headed for the freezer until
> I can get a good fermentation started. Does anyone have experience with
> persimmons?

I just bottled my first batch of persimmon mead, made with
champagne yeast. Started fermentation at about 1.110. I used
persimmons I had picked, some had a mild alum taste, as I picked
them up early. However, there is no alum flavour in the mead itself. I
did the primary ferment with squashed persimmons in a meshbag, I
did not first remove the seeds. All the same, copious amounts of
vegetal material made it through the first racking about 2 weeks after
the initial ferment. The mead was a disquieting color of brown. I
racked 4 times, about 2 weeks apart, as it produces lees a quite a
rate. After the third racking, it cleared overnight to the most pristine
amber mead I have ever made, and it tastes great already.

>From the initial ferment, I pulled off a gallon, and added honey. This
gallon became my first sweet mead, which I bottled a few days ago
(approx 16% alcohol, with 2-3% residual sugar.) The reminder, which
is still working (1.01) is should be about 9% alcohol. I will cork bottle
a portion of this and the rest will get some additional honey and
yeast and get bottled in grolsch-style beer bottles. I expect this to be
the best of this falls crop as it was such an ugly duckling while
fermenting, but now is the prettiest yet. (I've made apricot & orange
ginger melomel as well as concord pyment.)

My second batch of persimmon just came out of the primary, and is
still ugly brown, but now I know it will clear by the end of November
and be ready to bottle. I used no nutrient, no acid balance, and I did
not boil the honey, but had a very vigorous primary ferment for about
2 weeks. So go right ahead, but use plenty of honey as you will lose
several quarts in the repeated racking. Best of luck, let me assure
you, persimmons work great, and don't worry too much about the

Mitch the Meadman

Subject: Malolactic fermentation in Mead?
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 18:57:37 -0700

I recently made a Manuka Mead and followed my standard

mead recipe, including the 4g of acid blend per gallon. This
amount has been good for my previous meads (according to my
palate). Well, 4g/gallon is way too much for a Manuka Mead and I
should have started with less and added to taste… But I

Proof of insanity: So I decided to put the Manuka Mead

through a malolactic fermentation to reduce malic and some
citric acid. I pitched some Chr Hansen Oeonos malo culture into
the mead. Now I have a malolactic fermentation going on.

1) Has anyone done this before? What were the

taste/sensory results? (okay, I know acidity was reduced…)

2) Malolactic fermentation gives a nutty/buttery flavor

(diacetyl), but if the wine is not immediately
sterilized/sulfited the diacetyl will be chewed up by the
lees/yeast/microbes. Anyone know how a nutty/buttery taste (ala
California Chardonnays) would taste with a mead?

  • Alson

Subject: Re: Persimmon Mead 
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 22:00:11 EDT

I have brewed Persimmon Mead twice and had similar enjoyable tasting results
and brewing problems both brews. I will share my experiences to help you
before you proceed. I have just poured a glass of my 1999 batch to refresh
my memory.
Persimmons will continue to ripen even after being picked off the tree. Just
leave them sit around for a few weeks till they become very soft and sweet.
The ripe ones can be stored frozen till you're ready to brew. The astringent
mouth puckering effects will diminish if the fruit is ripe.
I approached this mead as I do other fruit meads or melomels. I add the
mashed frozen fruit to my honey must to pasteurize everything at 150 degrees
F. I then ferment everything together in a wide mouthed Pyrex 5 gallon
carboy and rack away from the fruit by putting a new sanitized stainless
steel scrubby ball on the end of my racking cane to act as a strainer.
The biggest problem with Persimmons is the "floating pulp." For some reason
that I have never ascertained, the pulp residue of fermented persimmons more
or less floats everywhere in the fermentor. The stuff forms clumps of fluffy
clouds of fruit residue. I lost half my batch the first time I brewed with
them because it was simply impossible to rack away from all the mess. So I
tried something else the next time. I took all the persimmon pulp and pureed
it in my sanitized food processor. I added this creamy persimmon fruit to
the fermentor hoping that it wouldn't form clumps since it was practically
liquefied. It worked all right — no clumps. But instead, at the end of
fermentation, the entire lower 1/3 of my fermentor had a layer of fluffy
persimmon residue that wouldn't compact. I tried fining with Sparkoloid and
Polyclar with minimal effects in compacting the lees. So my original 8 1/2
gallon primary batch of mead barely filled a 5 gallon secondary carboy at
racking time. What I did get was an absolutely brilliant clear mead that has
a very elegant and smooth taste. There is definitely some flavor and aroma
of fruit, although even I am hard pressed to identify it as characteristic of
a persimmon. It doesn't have even a hint of orange color either.
(Perhaps fermenting the skins might add some color) It's very enjoyable and a
worthwhile mead to brew if you are willing to sacrifice a large percentage of
your primary to the brewing spirits because of the losses due to the floating
Folks are always amazed at how well my fig trees grow! Perhaps this is due
to them receiving the dregs from my fermentors.

My recipe for a 8 1/2 gallons primary to result in a 5 gallon secondary is:

12# Persimmons (about 36 fruits from my friends tree)
32# Clover Honey
2 oz. Beverage People's Mead Yeast Nutrient
30 grams Epernay II dry yeast rehydrated

O.G 1.120
F. G. 1.030

Bob Grossman in NJ

Subject: persimmon mead
From: Mimi Haag <>

I just picked a bunch of persimmons, which are headed for the freezer until
I can get a good fermentation started. Does anyone have experience with
persimmons? Old MLD's contain a few references to persimmons, mostly saying
to be sure they're ripe and to watch out for floating pulp. How serious is
the alum issue? I was careful to pick the soft ones, but am sure some
haven't quite reached their peak. Watching my nephew take his first bite of
a not-quite-ripe persimmon was humorous, but I don't want to repeat the
experience with three gallons of mead.
Steve Haag

Subject: Mazer Cup, Chocolate Mint, Metro Detroit Workshop
From: "Ken Schramm" <>
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 08:57:02 -0500

Philip Fleming was the mead maker in question with respect to the Spencer
mentioned Chocolate Mint Mead. Phil, in fact, won '93 Best of Show with
that mead, and I can vividly recall tasting it in my basement with Bill
Pfeiffer, Hal Buttermore, Dan and a few other hard core mead enthusiast
judges at the BoS Judging. Phil never passed along any recipe information,
even after a post facto request. His prerogative, I guess. It was very
impressive. Mazer Cup Best of Show rounds are among the most intense
organoleptic experiences I have had the pleasure to live through.

A reminder that upcoming Bill Pfeiffer Memorial Mazer Cup competition info
is on line at Enter early and often. (OK not early, but

Regarding workshops: what a great idea! Is there enough interest in mead
making in the area surrounding Detroit/Southeastern Michigan to merit
considering hosting a workshop here? I would be willing to host a half day
event on a Saturday at my home. We could make a few meads and talk
extensively. Perhaps we could do a mead, and a kegging and/or racking to
demonstrate techniques which prevent oxidation. I may not be the best
source of info (OK, so I can make a relatively consistent glass of mead),
but I am verbose, and it would be free, so you'd get what you paid for.
Mead making has surpassed beer making as my dominant beverage hobby, so
this type of event sounds like the best way for me to enjoy and promote
this love. I have enough sourwood honey set aside to make a six gallon
batch – which will be my Bill Pfeiffer Memorial mead – and I would be very
pleased to have some others on hand to share the day. I'm really
interested to see what a sourwood traditional mead will be like. It has
taken me a while to get in the right frame of mind to do this, but I'm
ready if y'all are.

Ken Schramm
Troy, Michigan (8 miles north of Detroit)
Ardent Orchardist, Mead Maker, Fly Tier/Fisher and Outdoor Enthusiast

End of Mead Lover's Digest #878