Mead Lover's Digest #0899 Tue 29 January 2002


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



RE: keg Mead ("Brian Morgan")
Fig "small mead" update ("Colin E. Ramirez")
Mead History – Satanic Rituals ?? ("Jeff Woods")
capsimels ("Micah Millspaw")
Re: Yeast in Oz (Spencer W Thomas)
Meaders in Oz ("Dan McFeeley")
Re:Drinking vessels ("Joseph S. Gaglio")
Re: mead drinking vessels ("Dan McFeeley")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #898, 23 January 2002 (


NOTE: Digest appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests.
Digest archives and FAQ are available at There is
a searchable MLD archive at

Subject: RE: keg Mead
From: "Brian Morgan" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 06:29:20 -0500

Hi, Tony –

Sorry it took so long to get back to you – computer problems…

Anyway, I'm not sure I can pass on much science to kegging mead. What I do
is ferment the mead (around 2 weeks), then rack to a carboy and wait for it
to clear (around 1 month). Then I rack it into a Pepsi keg (Corny keg, soda
keg, not sure what you would call it where ever the heck you are ;-} ). I
purge out the air by first pressurizing with CO2 and then opening the relief
valve a couple of times. Then leave the CO2 hooked up for several days at
around 15 psi, keeping the keg cold. Right now, it's in the garage, but in
the summer it would be in the fridge. After several days, it's carbonated.
Then just serve like beer (well, beer that's around 14% ABV…). It comes
out clear and sparkling – very festive. We usually drink it in wine or
champagne glasses.

Note there is NOTHING traditional about my mead or technique – but it's

pretty quick, tastes good, and friends like it.

Hope that helps – if you have more questions, just ask!
Brian Morgan
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


Tony wrote:
G'day Brian,
and Mead Lovers Digest
I am not sure of your protocols vis a vis writing to your contributors
directly, so please forgive me if I have done bad, ok?
I am about to 'do' my first mead, and have been carefully following Mead
Lovers digest for a while.
You mentioned kegging. I have a couple of spare 20 l stainless steel
ones. [I now use 50 l ones for my beer]. so am hoping these will be ok.
Or do I have to get oak ones? The latter are rather exy here in Oz.

Can you tell me the sequence of doing a sparkling, and pass on any
thanks Mate

……….Tony Bilbrough
I find myself looking thru a veil
………..seeing a halo of gold
and I am lost for words

Subject: Fig "small mead" update
From: "Colin E. Ramirez" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 08:20:07 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

After several successful "beer substitute" hopped, sparkling
5% honey only brews starting with Dan Listermanns
kit/recipe and adding a little tea etc for robust flavor. I
got bold and did a batch with about 2 lbs fig puree to my
usual 5-6 lbs honey. racked off gobs of pulp, some floating
after a week , went another 2 weeks (well after no more
obvious action) and bottled as usual, primed for sparkle. I
can usually drink in a month, but this stuff was…well
hard to describe but not good. Some nice flavors but an
unusual slightly nauseating bitterness way back on tongue.
Don't know if this is what figs do, or if I got a wild
yesat or bacterial contaminant. (did the brief boil, hold
at 170 degree thing for "must" prep). Or didn't rack
enough or…. Anyway I'll let sit for 6 months and see if
it improves. Anyone have any idea how long the "small
meads" potentially can sit and improve as opposed to the
"15%-ers" ? I'll report down the road, but meanwhile
approach your fig melomels with caution… Heres hoping my
current cyser attempt is more successful!

Subject: Mead History - Satanic Rituals ??
From: "Jeff Woods" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 12:50:00 -0500

OK, here's a question that I've been curious about for a while but never
asked. Does mead play some historical role in satanic rituals or
witchcraft ? I've never seen the subject discussed (maybe it's taboo) but
I've read some things that have hinted that it played some part or still
does. This is not meant to offend anyone just mere curiosity. If you're
all in Satan worshipping it's OK with me. To quote Jerry Seinfeld….."not
that there's anything wrong with it…."

Jeff Woods
Camp Hill, PA

Subject: capsimels
From: "Micah Millspaw" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 09:30:45 -0600

just as a curiousity…

I have been digging thru my mead library this last week and
I came across some of my old experiments in making capsimel.

among the findings was a habanero /orange blossom demi-sec
this was very interesting although way, way on the hot side
[even for me, and I drink Tabasco from the bottle]
For anyone considering making a habanero mead, I wouldn't
recommend doing it.

the really interesting find was a sparkling orange blossom
and chipotle mead. This was a very tasting and readily
drinkable mead. Nice and smokie with and hit in burn.
I will make more of this. The chipotles
were homemade from 'biker billy' jalapenos. A lighter honey
light sage or star thistle may be even better.

Micah Millspaw -brewer at large

Subject: Re: Yeast in Oz
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 11:35:44 -0500

Tony Bilbrough's email address seems to have disappeared, at least
from the ken of my host. So I'm posting this response to the digest
in hopes that he'll see it here.

I bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the honey. This
pasteurizes the honey without getting it too hot. Then chill it using
your preferred method after a 10-15 minute rest.


Tony Bilbrough wrote:

>G'day Spencer, your recipe sounds about right for my level of
>expertise. Now, do you bring the whole lot to the boil or do you
>just mix with water at the lowest temperature combination? cheers


Subject: Meaders in Oz
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 22:27:19 -0600

G'day all!

Australian meaders looking for info on available homebrew supply shops,
gadgets and gear, club information, competitions, etc. in Oz should take
a look at This is the web site for the discussion
group Oz Craftbrewers, something like the Homebrew Digest but
focusing on the more indigeneous concerns of Australian homebrewers.
Mead is a rare topic on the discussion group, but there are homebrewers
on the list who make mead and are available for questions that are more
locally based.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Re:Drinking vessels
From: "Joseph S. Gaglio" <>
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 00:28:26 -0500

I too have been searching for the appropriate mug/stein/bowl/or horn to
drink my mead from. I noticed that someone was looking for a low footed
bowl. There are some available at:
I will likely pick up a horn at the Medieval fair in Sarasota, FL in
March. I know I could probably save a few bucks over the web, but at the
fair I will get to pick from dozens.


Yours in truth,
Joseph S. Gaglio MHS

"They counted on being able to punish them into being better, on being
able to inspire them into being better, on being able to educate them
into being better. And after ten thousand years of trying to improve people —
without a trace of success — they wouldn't dream of turning their
attention elsewhere."

Subject: Re: mead drinking vessels
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 11:32:14 -0600

Joe Killon wrote:

>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"?"

To which Lindi Edens replied:
>I know that when we do a Norse ritual, we always use a drinking horn. I
>guess back then they used the horn of the Aurochs, but now we just use a cow
>horn (more accessible).


>There are horn dealers online, or you can make your own. Do a search on the
>web for "Drinking horn". You will find many places.

Pamela Spence wrote an article in _American Meadmaker_ (Spring 1987) titled
"Tote Your Own Horn" that gives some tips on making your own drinking horn.
She advises readers to check with local cattle farmers or rural veterinarians
around de-horning time. Although the inner material of the horn will come
out with boiling or drying, the ordor is apparently rank. Best to keep the
horn in the garage while either boiling or drying. Once the inner core
dries, insert a long wood screw in the center and pull it out. Allow the
horn to set for a month or so, after which the smell should subside. Boiling
the horn for an hour or so should soften any residual tissue left behind,
allowing it to be removed with a soft cloth.

I've never tried this myself so I can't vouch for the methods. If anyone
tries this, post and let us know how it turned out.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #898, 23 January 2002
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 19:58:49 EST

What should be the starting specific gravity for a sweet mead when I want to
10% alcohol ?


End of Mead Lover's Digest #899