Mead Lover's Digest #0892 Sun 23 December 2001


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



IL meading / OH meading ("Kenneth Irwin")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #891, 17 December 2001 ("Joel Baker")
Stoppiong fermentation ("Stevenson, Randall")
cider/mead (LJ Vitt)
tannin use in mead ("Boyce L. Clark")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #891, 17 December 2001 (
Steven Neufeld's Question ("Kemp, Alson")
Books (David Craft) ("Kemp, Alson")
wet or dry corks (Chris Johnson)
Re: Two most recent meads (Dan McFeeley)
Warding off hangovers (Silent Running / Admin)
Is it done yet??? (Joe Nelson)
CO2 in Mead and the AMA……….. ("David Craft")


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Subject: IL meading / OH meading
From: "Kenneth Irwin" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 15:37:00 -0500

You'd have to extend "Greater Chicago" quite a ways to reach Ohio, but I
just might be interested…
are there many Ohioans on the list?

Ken, in Columbus

>Subject: IL meading
>From: "Stephen J. Van der Hoven" <>
>Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 11:02:48 -0800


>Now that I'm in IL, I haven't hooked up with any mead makers in my
>area. Plenty of friends who'll drink my mead, but none who make it. I've
>noticed that there are a number of posters in the Chicago region. I would
>be happy to participate in/organize/host a meading for those of us in the
>greater Chicago region. If you are interested, please contact me directly
>and I will get the ball rolling.



Ken Irwin
Reference/Electronic Resources Librarian (937) 327-7594
Thomas Library, Wittenberg University

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #891, 17 December 2001
From: "Joel Baker" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 13:59:12 -0700

On Mon, Dec 17, 2001 at 11:58:02AM -0700, wrote:


> Subject: Re:Cane syrup
> From: "Joseph S. Gaglio" <>
> Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 16:12:39 -0500


> Has anyone ever used cane juice or cane syrup to brew mead? I think it
> might be more nutrient rich than honey.
> Also, I'm still trying to get some input on either finding a mazer or
> getting one made.
> Thanks for any clues,
> joe

Unless you mean "as a supplement", it would no longer be mead; it would be
something related to schnapps. If you mean as a supplement… well, to be
honest, I don't know. I wouldn't imagine it to be all that much better, but
stranger things have happened.


Joel Baker System Administrator –

Subject: Stoppiong fermentation
From: "Stevenson, Randall" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 15:59:58 -0600

Stevev Neufeld worte … " I am trying to make still traditional mead.
It is at the correct alcohol level, but is still fermenting. I added
camden tablets that should have stopped fermentation. I have been trying
to degass it since then, but the carbon dioxide levels remain high. Any
suggestions? Thanks."

My 2 cents worth …

1) Camden tablets are to prevent other beasties from taking off in your
fermenter. Brewing yeast is not very reactive to it and it can add a
slight off taste. Sulfur dioxide is a by-product, which can produce
some hydrogen sulfide as well, which is commonly known as "rotten egg
acid". To release the SO2 from the batch, pour it against the wall of
the container when you rack. Unfortunately this also causes some
oxidation and loss of some of the potential crispness.
2) To stop a fermentation, you can use other chemicals or heat. Some
chemicals (Potassium sorbate, I believe) prevent the yeast from
reproducing and others kill it. I personally try to minimize the
chemical additives to my batches, for taste reasons. I've never used the
heat method, but am certain it would destroy some of the delicate
aspects of the mead.
3) You may just let the mead run its course and fall clear or add brandy
(I use Everclear) to stop the fermentation by raising the alcohol
content. These are my preferred methods. (Everclear in a rush,
otherwise, let nature do its thing.)

Best of luck and wassail!
Randall Stevenson

Subject: cider/mead
From: LJ Vitt <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 16:17:39 -0800 (PST)

Darrell asked about making mead with cider…..

>Subject: cider/mead?
>Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 07:41:02 -0500 (EST)

>I am new to the list, have made more beer than mead, but I have made about
>5 batches of mead over the last 4 years. I believe in the "no boil" method,
>ie keeping the honey and water at 170F for 30 minutes or so, then chilling to
>pitch the yeast…

>My question: can one do this with 1/2 honey and 1/2 apple cider? ie not
>boil, but just steep at 170F? Will this kill the bacteria in the fresh


Darrell, have you heard of cyser? It is the name of a mead that
has apple as the fruit flavoring.

I made a few using this approach. Start with 4 gallons of fresh
apple juice. Put in camdem tablets and wait 24 hours.
This is to knock down the wild yeast and bacteria.

Take 1 gallon of the juice and heat to 170F. Disolve 10 lbs of honey
in the hot juice. Hold at about 160 F for 30 min. You have to
heat some more to get there.

Cool off the hohey juice mixture. I put the kettle into a cold water
bath. Change the water a couple of times.

Recombine with the remaining juice. Recombined is almost 5 gallons.
Add yeast nutrient and yeast enrgizer and pitched a re-hydrated wine
yeast. I use Lalvin 1122.

I bottled with frozen apple concentrate as the priming surgar
and get a sparlking, slightly sweet drink.

The notes I have from my 1998 cyser say
juice gravity was 1.035
after adding honey 1.105
Final gravity 1.004
I also used Pectin emzyme.


  • – Leo Vitt

Rochester, MN


Subject: tannin use in mead
From: "Boyce L. Clark" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 18:29:36 -0600

what do you wise old mead makers think about using tannin in mead? Does it
make a more balanced mead or is it unnecessary? Thanks in advance.

Boyce Clark
Baton Rouge, LA

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #891, 17 December 2001
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 20:43:23 EST

In a message dated 12/17/2001 2:52:41 PM EST,

<< Subject: Books
From: "David Craft" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 07:40:13 -0600

I recently purchased Roger Morses book, 1980 ( I hope I have the name right,
the book is at home and I am at work). I was a little dissappointed, not
knowing that the book is 20 years olds. It lacks recipes to a large degree
and much current information. I am sure it was the "bible" 20 years ago!

Can anyone recommend a more current book, sources too.


David B. Craft
Battleground Brewers Homebrew Club
Crow Hill Brewery
Greensboro, NC



i liked the homebrewers garden, sacred and herbal healing beers, and brewing
wild wines and meads. i don't have them right in front of me, but i think i
got the titles right. you may already have them, but they are obtainable
from amazon. regards, brent

Subject: Steven Neufeld's Question
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 07:23:58 -0800

>I am trying to make still traditional mead.
>It is at the correct alcohol level, but is
>still fermenting. I added camden tablets
>that should have stopped fermentation.

Campden tablets are just (essentially) SO2

and brewing/wine yeast is selected to be somewhat
resistant to SO2. Of course, if you add >enough<
SO2, you will definitely stop the fermentation.

If you want a semi-sweet or sweet mead with

a certain alcohol content, you're best bet is to
use the proper honey to ferment to the desired
alcohol level, let fermentation subside, rack,
put SO2 and sorbate into the solution to stabilize
it and then to add sugar/honey to taste.


>I have been trying to degass it since then,
>but the carbon dioxide levels remain high.

Hmm… I don't think that there's any

good way to pull CO2 out of solution. I
suspect that if there were, wineries would
use it on early-drinking Sauvignon Blancs
(ever get a slightly fizzy Sauvignon Blanc?).
Reducing pressure in the container will
probably encourage the gas to leave the
liquid, but it'll also encourage the carboy
to implode. The CO2 will outgas over time.



  • Alson


Subject: Books (David Craft)
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 07:38:20 -0800

>I recently purchased Roger Morses book, 1980.
>I was a little dissappointed. It lacks
>recipes to a large degree.

I thought that Morse's book was the best >mead< book that

I could get my hands on. It certainly does lack recipes, though!

I don't know of any current mead-making books, but for

good wine-making books (mead is very winelike, eh?), check out
Pambianchi's Techniques in Home Winemaking and Jackisch's Modern

Others: Vargas' Making Wild Wines and Meads is a bit

unscientific for me. Gayre and Papazian's Brewing Mead is
primarily a historical record with 10 (weak) pages at the end on
mead making. Acton's Making Mead has lots of recipes but is old
and not very scientific, either.

Mead recipes are available on the web. Check out The web is really one of the best
sources of information on mead.

Anyone else know of any good mead books?



  • Alson


Subject: wet or dry corks
From: Chris Johnson <>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 13:48:28 -0800 (PST)

Hi all,
For those of you that cork your bottles of mead.
Do you put the cork in wet or dry? I heard that
putting the cork in wet could introduce bacteria
more easily into your special brew.
Also, at the supply store I go to in burbank
California they carry five different grades of corks.
The most expensive is
a "packed cork" 100 for 20$. My question is will it
really matter the quality of cork? I have some mead
that I might have the patience to leave alone for a
couple of years but I'm trying to save some for 3+
Thanks in advance


Subject: Re: Two most recent meads
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 10:54:14 -0500

On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, in MLD 891, Randall Stevenson wrote, in part:

>I cannot resist mentioning that the Winter Solstice is upon us (Dec.
>21st). It was a traditional time for the ancients in Western Europe to
>imbibe a horn of mead in celebration. They were not sure that the dying
>sun would come back, so when it did, they were relieved and held a
>celebration. The event was called Alban Arthan in the Celtic lands and
>Yule in the Norse lands. Still in Wales young men go wassailing around
>this time — a pot of apple juice is taken house to house singing songs
>where the dwellers would add sherry, port, wine, mead, etc. Producing
>the drink wassail. This is also the inspiration of the song "Wassailing
>We Will Go".

Wouldn't want to differ with celebrating the Winter solistice with a reverent
drinking of mead, but there probably wasn't that strong a connection between
the Celtic calendar year and that of the Norse. As near as we can tell, the
Celtic year was based on primarily on pastoral cycles, whereas a calendar
recognizing solstice and equinox events is a solar year. The insular Celts
of the British Isles celebrated Samain in November as the first day of the
New Year and a time when the crops had been gathered in preparation for
winter. Imbolc is the spring festival in honor of Brigid, a fertility
goddess. It was celebrated in February. May day is the feast of Beltaine,
or, the fires of Bel. It was celebrated by lighting bonfires and driving
cattle in circles, and was the time when the trees are given their "green
livery." Lugnasad, the first day of autumn, was a festival of first fruits.

The Gaulish Coligny calendar, found in France in 1897, gives a suggestion
of a recognition of solar events, however, the full meaning of the divisions
on the calendar has not been fully deciphered. It's possible that the
continental Celts may have been more oriented to a solar year whereas the
Insular Celts of the British Isles followed a pastoral cycle, but I don't
think this has ever been verified. I think there are hints in old folk
lore of solar events in the yearly celebrations of the Celts of the British
Isles, and the Druids were said to be learned in astrology.

I'm guessing that the source of the Winter solistice holiday Alban Arthan
you mentioned is the collection of Welsh medieval traditions called the
'Barddas.' It is a two volume work collected by the Welsh bard and scholar
Llewellyn Sion of Glamorgan during the late 1500's and later edited by
the reverend J. Williams ab Ithel in the 1800's. It gave three types of
festivals — the feasts of the four Albans, i.e., points of the sun, the
feasts of worship at the quarters of the moon, and then the feasts of
country and nation.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Warding off hangovers
From: Silent Running / Admin <>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 19:01:23 -0800

Greetings all,

Having had one too many hangovers, and being in the process of brewing a
truly Heroic Mead, I did a little research and found it suggested that
large doses of B complex vitamins taken before an evening of drunken
debauchery can ward off many of the more unpleasant lingering effects of
alcohol. A visit to my local health food and vitamin shop confirms that B
complex is available in liquid form, and has a rather neutral taste if you
get the "all-natural" variety. I am giving thought to pitching a bit of
this vitamin tonic into my mead as a built-in hangover preventative.

My question is, will the fermentation process destroy the vitamins? If
not, does B Complex *really* ward off hangovers? 🙂

Thanks in advance

Subject: Is it done yet???
From: Joe Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 21:52:35 -0800 (PST)

Real quick question that (I hope) has an easy answer:

If my mead is no longer bubbling through the airlock
is it ready to bottle???

It's a still strawberry melomel. Yes. this is my
first real batch of still mead. There are still
occassionally some small bubbles that form but nothing
constant. I'm hoping to bottle this soon so that I
can start another batch of something. Anyway, any
help would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Nelson

Subject:   CO2 in Mead and the AMA...........
From: "David Craft" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 11:19:33 -0600


I am fairly new to this list and mead making. I have read several goods
books on Mead. One mentioned that if there is still CO2 in the solution
before bottling, you still have fermentation. I have found from beer
brewing to the four batches of mead I have made, there is always some
residual CO2 left in the solution. I usually bottle after 3 months as I
have not had a slow fermentation yet! All my meads have cleared and I am
convinced that fermentation is complete or 99.9% complete.

I bottled a Blackberry Mead the other week and primed with just a little
sugar to bump the carbonation up just a bit. Not like champaigne, more like
soda for a nice summer wine. There was carbonation in the mead when I
bottled, bairly enough to taste, but it was there. The mead was clear and I
am sure it is finished fermenting.

Any thoughts out there?

In searching the internet I found references to the AMA, but it seems it is
kaput back to 1997. It fell apart and an effort was made to reform it in
1997, that did not take? I would be interested in learning more about this
organization if it still exists.

Regards and Merry Christmas,

David B. Craft
Battleground Brewers Homebrew Club
Crow Hill Brewery and Meadery
Greensboro, NC

End of Mead Lover's Digest #892