Mead Lover's Digest #0901 Sat 9 February 2002


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #900, 5 February 2002 (Sid Washer)
Re: Mead drinking vessels ("Ken Taborek")
Mead in Rituals (Shane Hultquist)
In defence of Jeff Woods. (Daniel Morrison)
Re: Mead History – Satanic Rituals ?? (Phil)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #900, 5 February 2002 (Christopher C Carpenter)
Spin Magazine doing an article on mead (Vicky Rowe)
Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition ("John J. Allison")
Satanists and witches and druids, oh my! ("Taryn East")
Re: mead drinking vessels (
New Lists ("Mark Ellis")
re: Bottle Carbonation & Corn Sugar (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #900, 5 February 2002
From: Sid Washer <>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 23:05:19 -0500

<<<The sagas have information about the Earl of Hakon blessing the mead
>>> Ah, yes, good old Haakon Jarl. Smetana wrote some funky music
about him. It was probably overindulgification in mead from a silver/
mercury amalgam goblet whilst pondering paganistic paraphernalia that
brought him to his end.

On the other hand, Alkan (when not composing demonic things for

the piano) was a student of Kabala and, whilst oveindulging in mead,
caused his bookcase full of Kabalistic lore to fall down upon him
(squish) and resulted in his untimely demise.

Coinkydink? I say "Poo" to superstition and await the proper

aging of my first batch of Ginger Barkshack mead. While awaiting Silent
Tristero's Empire. bye, sid.


Subject: Re: Mead drinking vessels
From: "Ken Taborek" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 00:14:39 -0500

> Subject: Mead drinking vessels
> From: Chris Carson <>
> Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 12:59:33 -0600


> Several posts have dealt with mead drinking vessels, and I wanted to share
> my approach.


> I have a cyser that I'm getting set to bottle and age soon. It's my first
> attempt and my wife and I are both looking forward to trying it!


> I did a lot of research, and decided to build a foot-powered lathe. Then I
> was going to cut down the tree that held the hive from which I collected
> the honey, and use that wood to turn authentic bowls, the plans for which I
> found in an ancient text faithfully reproduced on this mead-making Web site
> I found,


> Then I realized that I bought the honey at Sam's Club, and that I'm kind of
> a klutz, and that the ancient text was probably made up anyway.


> So, when we try our mead, we're going to use glasses. If it's good, we'll
> use bigger glasses for the next bottle.


> Wassail!
> chris carson
> Eden Prairie, MN


After reading a MLD full of input on satanic and witchcraft rituals using
mead, thanks to a far too sucessful trolling run, your post made me laugh
out loud. Thanks for bringing some releif from the insanity! 🙂

Ken, who needs an even larger glass of mead to stomach any more trollish

Subject: Mead in Rituals
From: Shane Hultquist <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 08:43:17 -0500

Ok, I don't claim to have read every post on this issue, but I did want to
throw in my $0.02 worth (And that's Canadian funds, so it's worth a bit less
I guess 🙂 )

I am a practicing Wiccan and also follow the Norse path (Asatru). The Norse
were known for their mead and mention it in much of their mythology. I brew
my mead for the use in casual drinking as well as a ritual drink. Here is
the concept…

Take mead (or wine) back to it's basics….reverse engineer it so to

Mead is fermented honey…therefore it has been transformed into an
alcoholic beverage…but originally it was honey…that is considered a
magical act…

Go further with it. Honey used to be pollen (I think) from flowers that
bees collect and transform into honey. Again, considered a magical process.

Same can go for grapes, fermented to wine etc…

So yes, we use it in ritual as #1, it honors the gods (Odin likes mead) and
#2, it symbolizes a magical act within nature.


Subject: In defence of Jeff Woods.
From: Daniel Morrison <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 18:39:17 +0000 (GMT)

A lot of people jumped down Jeff Woods' throat for allegedly
thinking that Satanism and Witchcraft were the same thing. He didn't say
any such thing. He simply asked whether mead had anything to do with
Satanism OR witchcraft. Both have been taboo within our predominantly
Christian society until the last few decades perhaps. Yes, it's true that
the established churches have attempted to associate witchcraft with
Satan-worship, but Jeff Woods didn't do so. Give the guy credit before
flaying him alive.
Another small off-topic definition to correct: Randall Stevenson
said "Heathens (those that follow the Norse gods)…". I think that
you'll find that "Heathen" is what Christians used to call anyone who is
not a Christian. Those who believe in the Norse gods are simply one type
of heathen. But he is right in saying that a lot of mead was/is consumed
by those who believe in the Norse gods, (and supposedly by the Gods
themselves too!)

Daniel Morrison

Subject: Re: Mead  History - Satanic Rituals ??
From: Phil <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 11:37:29 -0800 (PST)

> > 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 ?

Aww crap, they're onto us. I gotta go.


visit the New York City Homebrewers Guild website:

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #900, 5 February 2002
From: Christopher C Carpenter <>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 14:23:51 -0600




> At Beltane, the last day of April, I sprinkle mead in the
> gardens (no, I don't pass it through my kidneys first!) and around
> things I wish to be fertile. I believe it strengthens the plants and
> presents a gift to the plant spirits for gifts received.

I know this is TOTALLY tangental, but as a horticulturist by nature, I can
tell you that you have sound scientific backing to do this, Both the
carbohydrates and the enzymes found in mead will benefit most plant
materials. I would think green mead, if not still fermenting would be best,
it would be a good way to use a batch you KNOW will be bad (I had one I
primaried in a pickle bucket I had not managed to remove all the
residue…needless to say kiwi dill is NOT a recommended mead). There is
even one marketed horticulturist on VCR who pushes an elixer made of beer
and sugar based pop for use in giving yards and gardens a boost (he also
adds ammonia for a nitrogen booster and dish soap 'cus it tastes BAD to
pesKy bugs).

Sorry for wasting the time of anybody who does not worship Gaia

Chris Carpenter

Subject: Spin Magazine doing an article on mead
From: Vicky Rowe <>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 16:20:39 -0500

Hey guys, we're mainstream! I got a call from Spin magazine
a few weeks ago asking for information about mead, and
for suggestions on good commercial meads to try. I gave
him feedback on mead and making mead, and directed him
to several meaderies for samples (must be nice to have an
expense account). Of course, I told him there's no substitute
for homemade, but then I'm biased <grin>..

Anyhow, it seems that mead is becoming a trendy drink
in some upscale New York City bars, and Spin wants to
do some coverage on it. It should be in the mag in the
next few months…

I've also gotten called by Brew Your Own for an article,
and a woman who is writing a book about mead.

All of this has happened since Jan. 1. Looks like a good
year for mead!

Oh, and I'll link the articles, books, etc. from Gotmead
when they come out…

Vicky Rowe

Subject: Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition
From: "John J. Allison" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 11:29:19 -0700 (MST)

13th Annual Reggale and Dredhop Homebrew Competition

Hop Barley and the Alers invite you to enter the 13th Annual Reggale and
Dredhop Homebrew Competition to be held at The Falling Rock Tap House in
Denver, Colorado. The competition will take place on March 30th, 2001,
with judging from 9:00am to 5:00pm and an awards ceremony to follow at
approximately 6:00pm. Entries are to arrive between Monday, March 11th
and 5:00 pm Friday March 22th 2001. The Dredhop is AHA and BJCP sanctioned
and is an MCAB Qualifying Event.

*** Potential judges, stewards, and other volunteers are
encouraged to immediately contact the competition organizers via
email at All experience levels are welcome.

Further information, including complete and detailed rules,
mail/drop-off locations, etc is available at the competition website:

You may also contact the competition director via email:
Bob Kauffman,

John Allison

Subject: Satanists and witches and druids, oh my!
From: "Taryn East" <>
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 23:16:30 +0000

hhhooo boy, as someone mentioned in the previous one…
that post sure stirred up the ants-nest 😉
You go away for a couple of weeks, come back and discover that there's a
million posts 😉

Most of the "satanism isn't witchcraft" crud has already been covered
extensively so I won't go into it again…

now, to add my 2c to this gumbo…

I'm a druid… though haven't actually reached the druid grade – I'm what
they'd call an ovate – or filidh – a seer-grade druid… about halfway there

  • – though I've "momentarily paused" in my studies due to abject laziness…


yes, we used mead in "the old days" yes, we use mead now. Yes, it has
specific ritual significance as pointed out in this bit:

>pinch of mistletoe leaf. Offerings to St. Brigitte are also made with
>mead, as she turned a vat of water into mead. The offering may be made

as an aside, Brigid was Brigid before she was "sainted" by the catholics –
though we do owe them some debt for keeping alive some of our lore (even
though it was "chrisitanised" in this fashion).

AFAIK mead is used specifically due to the associations with both bees as
fertility and their association with the sun = fertility and strength etc
etc… too much to explain here and I probably haven't learned enough of it
to give you a good explaination…

It's also used because it just is so damned yummy and why the hell not 😉

In my experience it is used basically for the same purposes as communion
wine – to bring a little of the divine into you and to offer it to the
divine in return – you've taken something from the world and by your labour
created something special which you then offer back…

We also use it to cement a bond of friendship in the grove (a group term for
druid – equivalent to coven). Basically we usually sit in a circle, get a
really big cup, station several refilling-bottles around the circle and pass
the cup around. Whenever it gets *near* to being empty, someone fills it up
again. In this way everyone shares (unless they're sick or have cold sores
in which they can have their own damn cup, thank you 😉 ) and everyone gives
(we take turns in people bringing bottles).
The cup is not allowed to be drained and so there's the symbolism of the
continual cycle there too. The last mouthful (once all the refill bottles
are empty) gets used as "libation" – ie someone ritually gives it back to
the earth – usually along with some of the bread we also would have broken
(hmmm… sound like a familiar ritual to anyone?)

Anyway that's my 2c… I'm sure you could probably get a better reference if
you wanted to go more in depth…


Subject: Re: mead drinking vessels
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 02:29:51 EST

Subject: Re: mead drinking vessels
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002

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
>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. <snip>
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



there are also many blackpowder (gun) dealers (including Dixie Gun

Works) where you can purchase polished horns (in varying lengths) ready to
use for whatever purpose you desire (will save you the trouble of boiling,



There are plenty of on-line (living history) Viking sources
[ –try this as a starting point] that may
have links to those who manufacture period silver mounted drinking horns (I
seen one recently, but cant find the bookmark for it).

One period silver o/r pewter drinking vessel is the Scottish styled "Quaich"
(or "Porringer"). You can find a fairly inexpensive pewter porringer at:

or a quaich at:

I myself enjoy using a hand-blown crystal drinking horn from Romania 😉

Terry H.
Clan Macneil Association

Subject: New Lists
From: "Mark Ellis" <>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 09:44:36 +1100

G'day All,

I appreciate diversity and I try to get on as many useful lists as possible, so
I thought some of you might be interested in joining one or more of
several fun and informative "Digest" Mailing Lists I have started up at The website isn't up yet but the lists are. These
are information/hobby type lists similar to this one and not commercial
orientated or encouraged.

To join send email with subject SUBSCRIBE to; to join the meadmakers list. to join the winemaking list to join the fruit winemaking list to join the craft brewing list to join the cidermakers list to join the perrymakers list to join the cheesemakers list to join the smallgoods list

Thankyou for sharing your hobby/ies with me.

Mark E. in Oz

Subject: re: Bottle Carbonation & Corn Sugar
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 00:19:05 -0700 (MST) wrote a bunch of good stuff about priming–article worth
re-reading. But there's one point I want to correct. (Apology to non-US
readers: we're both using US units.)
>…Another thing to keep in mind if priming with honey VS sugar is the
> difference in volume because of the liquid. One cup of honey is
> approximately equal to 3/4 cup of dextrose…

No, actually 1 cup of honey is equivalent to something more like 1.5-2 cups
of dextrose. The trick is that, although honey is part water, it's a lot
more dense than a dry sugar. This can trick you into over-priming.

It's easier to work this out using weights instead of volumes. 3/4 cup
of dextrose weighs around 4 oz or maybe more depending on how finely it's
ground, and that's all fermentable. A cup of honey weighs about 12 oz
(rule of thumb: SG of honey is about 1.5) and is < 20% water. It's almost
entirely fermentable, so a cup of honey is about 10 oz by weight of
fermentable sugars.

If you want to prime with honey instead of (the more common practice)
dextrose, about 1/2 cup of honey per 5 gallon batch is plenty.

But, like "JazzboBob", I prefer dextrose. I do suggest that you _weigh_
the sugar instead of measuring it by volume, especially if you're trying
to get consistency from a recipe. First, the fine-ness of dextrose varies
from one supplier to another, and finer sugar will be less dense. You're
not likely to know if your homebrew shop's supplier's supplier has changed.
Second, the sugar can be compacted or fluffed up depending on how you
handle it, and this can make as much as a 20% difference in weight per
volume with very fine sugar.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #901