Mead Lover's Digest #0896 Fri 11 January 2002


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



Mead Drinking Vessels ("Joseph Dillon")
When to transfer mead to a secondary? (Rob Busenbark)
Young mead with strange flavors (Tom Murphy)
Cloudy Plum Mead ("Stevenson, Randall")
RE: Attack of the cloudy Plum! ("Frank J. Russo")
RE:Steve response to Irish Mead Inquiry (Scott Dumont)
Re: Attack of the cloudy Plum! (Scott Dumont)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #895, 7 January 2002 (
Bunratty, again ("Meade" is NOT mead) (Dick Dunn)
Jadwiga ("Matt_Maples")
Attack of the cloudy Plum! ("Kemp, Alson")
Wyeast Dry Mead yeast ("David Craft")
Bottle Carbonation ("P. D. Waltman")


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Subject: Mead Drinking Vessels
From: "Joseph Dillon" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 07:18:45 -0500

I realize that in years past, there have been any number of containers used
to drink mead. Are there any specific mead drinking vessels today recognized
as "mead glassware" or "mead drinking vessels"?

Joe Dillon

Subject: When to transfer mead to a secondary?
From: Rob Busenbark <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 07:33:07 -0500

I'm new to the making of mead. How long can the mead stay in the primary
before raking? I am working on my first batch and it is still bubbling
strong after 3 weeks.

I know if you leave it on the yeast cake too long that some off flavors will
be created.

Robert Busenbark

Subject: Young mead with strange flavors
From: Tom Murphy <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 06:05:55 -0800 (PST)

Hi all,

I recently racked my nearly 2 month old mead to another demijohn

yesterday and decided to taste it. It did taste like mead, but it was a
tad harsh and had this sort of strange olive taste. Like there were
olives in it or olive oil. It was kind of strange. I wonder if this is
due to the fusel oils in the mead?




Subject: Cloudy Plum Mead
From: "Stevenson, Randall" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 10:08:35 -0600

Joe Fiorenza mentioned he was having trouble with the coudiness of a
plum mead. I've had a similar problem before and found that it was due
to pectin haze. A few drops of pectin enzyme took care of the
cloudiness. Joe, I hope that works for you as well. (The method below
is more technical, but I had good results by adding 3 drops of enzyme
per gallon and stirring gently.) I'd bet a dollar to a donut that it is
a pectin haze, since plums tend to produce that problem in wines and

The most common cause of a haze in wine/mead is the presence of pectin,
which forms gelatinous solutions in the wine. The problem is aggravated
if the must is initially boiled to extract flavor, color or both. To
check if a haze is pectin in origin, add 3-4 fluid ounces of methylated
spirit to a fluid ounce of wine/mead. If jelly-like clots or strings
form, then the problem is most likely pectin and should be treated.

To treat the wine/mead, for each gallon of wine draw off one cup of wine
and stir into it teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Set the treated sample in a
warm place (70-80=B0 F.) and stir hourly for four hours. Strain the =
through sterilized muslin cloth and add to the bulk of the wine. Leave
the wine at 70=B0 F. for 4-5 days. The haze should clear. If it does =


strain the wine through sterilized muslin cloth and then through a
vacuum-pumped filter. If it still does not clarify, the problem was

Pectin hazes can be prevented by adding pectic enzymes to the must 12
hours before adding the wine yeast. One teaspoon of enzyme per gallon of
must is usually enough, but some musts require 1-1/2 teaspoons.

The use of copper, zinc, iron, or aluminum implements or primary
fermentation vessels can cause white, dark, purplish, or brown hazes. If
the culprit was iron or copper, a few drops of citric acid will usually
clear the haze. If zinc or aluminum, try fining with egg shell (see
Finishing Your Wine); if that does not work try filtering. If that does
not work either discard the wine/mead or live with its color. Such hazes
can only be avoided by scrupulously avoiding implements containing the
offending metals.

Randall Stevenson

PS: If you use grains or starchy material in the mead you may get a
starch haze, but that does not sound like your problem.

Subject: RE: Attack of the cloudy Plum!
From: "Frank J. Russo" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 11:40:21 -0500

I had this same problem. Nothing I did helped clear this. I ran thru the
complete range of clarifiers, Sparkl. bentonite, gelatin. Finally I added
additional pectin enzyme. Cleared in a week. Unfortunately the over use of
the other products robbed this beverage of its greatness.

Frank Russo
ATF Home Brew Club
New Bern NC
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for the good men to do

Subject: RE:Steve response to Irish Mead Inquiry
From: Scott Dumont <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:45:02 -0500

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


> 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.

> >…

>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
>Hope this helps.


I'd hate to give Bunratty that muck credit. 🙂

I don't think it's a pyment. A pyment have fermentable sugar contributed
from grape and from honey. Bunratty is "flavored" with honey. My guess is
that it is a cheap grape wine that has been stabilized and honey added
after the fact. That's not a pyment. BTW – I've tried Bunratty and was
not impressed.

Hopefully this year I'll be making my first pyment, I'll buy a bottle of
Bunratty and compare and contrast and let you know.

Scott Dumont

Subject: Re: Attack of the cloudy Plum!
From: Scott Dumont <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:58:57 -0500

>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


first – I've been lurking for a while too. Just started posting

second – I've had similar experiences with Sparkaloid. Made 2 batches, 1
cyser, 1 straight hard cider. The cyser cleared by itself. My theory is
that the higher alcohol content cause by the addition of the honey helped
it clear. By the cider would not clear on it's own.

Someone recommended Sparkeloid. I did THREE racking and applications of
it. All ended up like you said, in layers. I just racked it again last
week, this time I used bentonite, it cleared within 3 days! I don't think
I'll be using sparkeloid any more. I'm a bentonite user now…

Scott Dumont

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #895, 7 January 2002
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 14:49:08 EST

I've run accross the same sparkalloid problem myself- bentonite is the way to
go. It gets rid of any haze my mead can come up with.

Subject: Bunratty, again ("Meade" is NOT mead)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 15:24:00 -0700 (MST)

Short summary – Bunratty "Meade" is not mead. wrote a while back:
> 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. responded in the last digest:

> …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…

Most of us already know the categories. But Bunratty "Meade" is NOT a honey
wine. Specifically, the honey that is put into it is NOT fermented.

> 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.

I (unfortunately!) AM familiar with Bunratty "Meade", and I can tell you
that although your guess is what a reasonable person would expect, it is
quite wrong.

I'm going to be more blunt than in the past. "Meade" is a poor-quality
white wine (a grape wine, to be clear), with honey and spices added to make
it (barely) drinkable. It's a disgrace to the tradition of mead, particu-
larly because anyone who tries it out of interest in mead is likely to be
put off mead as a result.

The name "Meade" is their trademark for this product. It is a deliberate
deception: the text on the bottle, and occasionally on a hang-tag on the
neck, discusses the lore of mead, in order to encourage you to believe
that "Meade" is mead. It is not.

In the US, the BATF (federal agency that regulates alcoholic beverages,
among other things) has a history or at least a reputation of being strict
about labeling. I wonder why Bunratty "Meade" hasn't come under scrutiny
for its deceptive label. (Maybe it's because the people who understand the
issue and are bothered by it are all like me–sit around complaining but
don't do anything?:-)


Subject: Jadwiga
From: "Matt_Maples" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 12:30:16 -0800

Has anyone tried Jadwiga mead from Poland?? There is an ad for it in
this months Zymurgy. They say it is a "Poltorak" mead which is a class
of mead that is made with 3/4 honey and 1/4 water aged at least 10
years. It sounds really cool and I want to try and convince a
distributor to bring it in. If anyone has any info about it I would
appreciate it. Sorry about the rather commercial bent of the post but
there really isn't any other place to turn to get unbiased info on mead.
The only other place I could contact is the importer but they are just
going to tell me it is the best thing since sliced bread.

Matt Maples

Liquid Solutions
12162 SW Scholls Ferry Rd
Tigard, OR 97223
503-524-9722 (web site) (mailing list)

May mead regain its rightful place as the beverage of gods and kings.

Subject: Attack of the cloudy Plum!
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 15:09:22 -0800


Disclaimer: As usual, I have little idea what I'm talking about.
If you have layers in the mead, it sounds as though
pectin is setting up a little structure in there. You might try
adding come pectic enzyme to the brew. My brewing partner (Erik
Johnson, Mead Digest lurker) had a cloudy strawberry mead. He
added a bit of pectic enzyme and said that the cloudiness started
disappearing as he watched.
Anyone care to comment on whether my speculation has any
bearing on reality?

– Alson Kemp

Subject: Wyeast Dry Mead yeast
From: "David Craft" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 13:57:37 -0500


I have used this yeast almost exclusively for about 6 batches. It seems to
leave a little more sweetness than a wine or champaigne yeast. I am curious
if anyone else has an experience with this yeast.

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

Apparent Rennarian
478.4,152……..I Think!

Subject: Bottle Carbonation
From: "P. D. Waltman" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 13:48:07 -0800 (PST)

I'm not really setup to force carbonate my meads; so I'm thinking about
bottle carbonating my pyment (alfalfa honey to which grapeskins used once
for wine making, and had been taken off the cap of the wine cap, or so I
understand on the second use of them). I use corn sugar on my beers, is
it acceptable to use corn sugar on the mean, or is honey, even processed
clover honey, a better bet?


Dennis Waltman

End of Mead Lover's Digest #896