Mead Lover's Digest #0895 Mon 7 January 2002


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



Re:Steve response to Irish Mead Inquiry (
Re: Sacred & Herbal Healing Beers (Eileen Tronolone – NYC SSE)
Attack of the cloudy Plum! (Bamboo Bandit)
Yes, we are still here. (Mead Lovers Digest)


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Subject: Re:Steve response to Irish Mead Inquiry
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 23:29:04 EST

Re: Irish Meads in U.S.

Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 16:20:34 EST


Steve wrote:
I don't know of any true Irish meads available around these parts, but wanted
to warn you about at least one "meade" imported to the US from Ireland. Brand
name is "Bunratty." The extra "e" on the word "mead" is a tipoff that it
isn't really mead as we know it, but grape wine with honey added or some such.
So be careful.

Sorry for the delayed response to Steves comment. I don't believe that the
labeling on the Meade you consumed was incorect but it may have been
incomplete. You were probably expecting a traditional or varietal honey mead
and instead there was a surprise grape flavor present. The category of
beverages known as Meads actually includes a broad array of honey wines and
has been further broken down into several subcategories. While I am not
familiar with Bunratty (unfortunately) I can only guess that it is most likely
a Pyment; which is a mead made with with the addition of grapes or grape juice.

Pyment really falls into the sub-category of meads known as melomels; which
are meads made with the addition of fruit or fruit juice. Cyser, also a
melomel, is mead made with apples or juice. All other fruits are just referred
to as melomels. Other mead categories include Metheglin, which has spices
and / or herbs added, and Braggot which is has malt added. In the case of all
of these special mead categories both the honey and the added ingredient
should be present in the flavor and aroma of the beverage.

My disclaimer is that I do not know why the spelling on the Bunratty bottle
is different. But I don't think we can write off all meades as not mead.
Hope this helps.


Subject: Re: Sacred & Herbal Healing Beers
From: Eileen Tronolone - NYC SSE <Eileen.Tronolone@Sun.COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 13:19:23 -0500 (EST)

From: Dan McFeeley <>

>Cindy Renfro has some good advice on this subject in _A Sip Through Time_
>that is worth going over (p. 264). She says that it is best to consult an
>up-to-date herbal guide such as Mrs. Grieve's _A Modern Herbal_ along with
>the _AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants_. She warns agains
>older herbal books since improvements in testing methods have resulted
>in many herbs formerly recognized as generally safe now being moved into
>categories of toxic and poisonous plants.

Actually, the Grieve herbal is Eurocentric (Great Britain) and also dates
back to the 1930's. I would recommend a good field guide or the Physician's
Desk Reference for Homeopathic Medicine. The latter is also mostly written
by European physicians, but they are established medical doctors and it is a
very valuable reference for both European and American plants. It's a
fantastic cross reference as well – color pictures, latin species/genus names,
properties. I got mine at a used bookstore for about $20. New it's around
$50, I think.

I find Cindy's book to have approached the subject very responsibly. On
the other hand, I went round and round with Mr. Buhner on (of all places)
a shaman's list on the subject of his book prior to it's publication. I
do feel that he could have been more considerate about warning people of
the dangers of working with some of these plants. Shamans are interested
in working with some plants to achieve an altered state of consciousness,
but I think Mr. Buhner got a bit carried away with that agenda and forgot
that not everyone who would buy his book would approach brewing from a
religious or shamanic perspective, and also might not know to question
some of the ingredients.

Definitely do your homework on the herbs before using Buhner's book. As
I said in my review of the book on his book is very much like
some of the plants in it; a beautiful effort, but some of the stuff in
there can kill you.

Eileen Tronolone |
Systems Support Engineer | Self Possession Is ][
33 Whitehall St. 18th Floor | -===========================]o[///{0
New York, New York 10004 | 9/10 Of The Law ][

Subject: Attack of the cloudy Plum!
From: Bamboo Bandit <>
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 15:49:38 -0500

First off – as a long time lurker, second (maybe third) time poster i'd
like to say thanks to all of you that keep the discussion light and on

Second – as I was afraid would happen, my plum mead has decided that it
doesn't want to play nice with the Sparkaloid. I had this problem with
a caramel apple mead that I bottled early in August but simply sloshing
the carboy a few times made everything "fall" to the ground.

No such luck with the plum.

For about the last month the Sparkaloid has been in layers in the
carboy. Thin on top – thick at the bottom. THe problem is that VERY
distinct layers are present. Don't get me wrong, I understand that due
to the very nature of the fruit that I used I can't expect something to
look as crisp and clear as an orange or straight mead – but this is
getting crazy!

Shaking won't do the trick this time, I'm afraid.

Anyone with suggestions on how to take care of the Problem Plum?

Joe Fiorenza

Subject: Yes, we are still here.
From: (Mead Lovers Digest)
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 01:49:59 -0700 (MST)

Last week – the beginning of the new year – was very bad for access to the
Mead-Lover's Digest. The problems were caused by Murphy, Murphy and his
friends, Southwest Bell, Murphy, UUNET, and Murphy.

The digest is still alive and well, and you may rest assured that it will
not go away any time in the forseeable future. If you have tried to send
an article to the digest and had some wacko mail problem as a result, I am
sorry about the problems and I hope you will resubmit your article now.

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

End of Mead Lover's Digest #895