Mead Lover's Digest #0921 Sat 20 April 2002


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



Trading meads (Gregory Amato)
Minneapolis Meading Update ("Christopher Hadden")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002 (Christopher C Carpenter)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002 ("Steve Gaskin")
Skunked ferment? ("Ben Snyder")
how long is too long? (LJ Vitt)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #919, 12 April 2002 (
help ("Pearl warzecha")
Re: Minneapolis Meading Update ("Christopher Hadden")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002 (
Re: Warm mead (was Largashall) (Spencer W Thomas)


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Subject: Trading meads
From: Gregory Amato <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 10:41:36 -0700 (PDT)

I got a few bottles of mead from dear old dad
recently, found at Berrywine Plantations in Mt. Airy,
MD. He bought me a few bottles of both types, but
unfortunately my sweet tooth did not take to either.
I have a bottle of Yemar Tej (pale dry) and a bottle
of Medieval Mead (slightly sweet, served at the
Maryland rennaissance festival). I like my meads
medium sweet (like Chaucer's) and sweeter. As I don't
currently have the means to make my own brew, I'd be
thrilled if somebody out there would trade me a couple
of bottles for these two. Commercial or homebrew, as
long as it's new to me and sweet. If this sounds good
to you, send me an email at


Subject: Minneapolis Meading Update
From: "Christopher Hadden" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:33:40 -0500

Well, the Minneapolis Meading was great fun! We sampled about 20 commercial
meads and had a few excellent home made examples. It's great to know that
the meads we make at home can be just as good if not better than
commercially produced meads. Jon and Kim Hamilton of White Winter Winery
attended and were really open about discussing commercial mead making. In a
few weeks I hope to post the reviews of the meads at .


Christopher Hadden

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002
From: Christopher C Carpenter <>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 14:19:41 -0500



> 5) Never add acid at the beginning, only afterwards to taste. Acid can
> slow the yeast down.

OK.. now this confuses me. When I first started on the list, I was more on
this thought level, for I have always strived to achieve the "Art" in the
"Science", but what seemed to be concensus is that acids are added because
yeast, especially Mead Yeasts, need an acid environment to thrive. Is the
beginning not the appropriate time? What PH should one try to acheive for
this balance of yeast environment vs. less acid taste in the end.


Chris Carpenter

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002
From: "Steve Gaskin" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:01:47 +0930

From: "Sebastian Page" <>

>Sharp tasting mead
>I used 100grams of citric acid [in 5 UK gallons]
>Yikes! I generally use 3 grams of acid blend per US
>gallon. I once used 5 grams per US gallon and got a >super sharp
>mead. You're using around 20 grams of acid per >gallon…


I agree! You will need to reduce the acidity lots!

It happened to me once when using apricots, I didn't know that apricots are
quite acidic, so I used a normal amount of acid blend with them. The result
was a highly acidic melomel!
I ended up using calcium carbonate (lots) to increase the pH.


Subject: Skunked ferment?
From: "Ben Snyder" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 23:28:03 -0400

Hi all

I'm working on my first batch of mead, which may be skunked, I think I
have a vinegar infection.

Fermentation was steady for about a week at about 1 bubble per second.
Today I looked at the airlock and noticed foam rising through, and
bubbling around 5 or more bubbles per second. The scent in the area was
a little funky, like a very very mild vinegar smell. Very mild, but

The scent in the area had been kind of wine-y until today.

Yeast was pitched exactly 8 days ago, started bubbling within 24 hours
at 1 bubble every two seconds, then up to 1/sec within another 24 (48
hours after pitch)

Does this sound like vinegar? It's only a one-gallon batch
so pitching it out wouldn't be too bad.

Just a note, I used a no-rinse cleaner, don't remember the name. It was
an oxygenating white powder.



Subject: how long is too long?
From: LJ Vitt <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 07:43:52 -0700 (PDT)

Joshua asked about his mead that is not fermenting:

>Subject: Re: how long is too long?
>From: "Joshua Laff" <>

>I started a batch Vanilla Mead on January 5th, 2000. Despite the Champagne
>yeast, I used a whopping 15 lbs of honey for 3 gallons, right off the bat. I
>hardly budged because of too much honey. I racked it on October 28, 2000,
>and added two gallons of water. It still didn't do much. My records are less
>accurate at this point, but at the end of February, 2001, I racked it, and
>added some clove-steeped warm must to try and stimulate more fermentation. I
>racked it again about two months ago. After this last racking was the first
>time that I've noticed any appreciable fermentation. There never have been,
and are still no, signs of infection. The taste at the last rack was what
>you'd expect from an unfinished mead. The point being, after more than two
>years, everything seems to still be okay. (I suppose gravity readings would
>be helpful, but no, I haven't taken any). I've decided to name this batch
>"The Long Winter".

>- – Joshua

Did you use any yeast energizer or yeast nutrient?
I put both into all of my meads at the start of fermentation.
You can still add them to your mead that is not fermenting.
You now have about 3 lbs honey per gallon. This is rather typical
and your yeast should be able to ferment it. I have easily fermented
3.5 lbs per gallon – all honey there at the start of fermentation.


  • – Leo Vitt

Rochester, MN


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #919, 12 April 2002
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 14:25:32 EDT

In a message dated 4/12/02 8:08:45 AM, writes:

<< What is a standard initial ferment time for this type of mead? Am I
doing my mead a disservice by not racking it off the lees? Is it
dangerous to do this in the middle of a ferment?>>


In my experience, mead needs a very long fermentation. As an experiment, I
left one batch in the primary for a year, and the result was delicious. In
fact, it is the mead I am bringing to the Southern California Homebrewers

<<My other question: about six weeks into fermentation the must
developed a foamy head of about 1/4" thickness, which resembled
nothing quite so much as seafoam. The top of the 6.5 gallon carboy
fogged up, too, which I found strange due to the reasonable temps.
This went away a few days ago. Now the mead is beginning to clear,
but is still fermenting rather rapidly. Any thoughts? >>

Signs of an unwanted reoccurance of fermentation (the "seafoam") can be a
concern. Since you said you used champagne yeast at a relatively warm
fermentation temperature, you might want to check its progress. I'd suggest
lifting a few ounces out with a very sterile baster and tasting it. I've been
told there is nothing that grows in mead that will hurt you if you cannot
smell off flavors, but I'd like input on that from others.

Good luck.

Jay Ankeney
220 39th St.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-3983

Subject: help
From: "Pearl warzecha" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 20:13:44 +0000

Hello everybody,
Thanks for your help on my last post. Connecticut does not have too many
mead resources so your feed back is very welcomed.
I was wondering what would cause a mead to have too much sweetness or a
"cloying" quality. How would you correct something like that?
If over oxidation occurs, can the mead be saved?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Subject: Re: Minneapolis Meading Update
From: "Christopher Hadden" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 19:15:36 -0500

I'd like to do this again soon except with fewer commercial meads and more
of the great homemade stuff. We didn't get around to sampling any of my
meads come to think of it. Part of that is Jon Hamilton's fault (of White
Winter Winery) for bringing the meads from Smokehouse Winery and those rare
gems such as the Mead the Gueuze, Biere de Miel from Brasserie Dupont and
the Midas Touch brew. Jon was exceptionally gracious in leaving behind other
meads as well – from other meaderies! Like many of the other professional
mead makers I've talked to, he's got the larger vision of working to build
up the whole mead industry and not just his slice of the pie. Many thanks
also to Redstone Meadery for donating their fine meads. Julia Herz of
Redstone has this same vision. Man, did this event put Chaucer's into

So I was thinking of doing another meading in a month. I'd like to try some
more of the meads of Mountain Meadows Meadery, White Winter and Chateau
Lorane. If you weren't able to attend this time around, I think another
chance is around the corner.

Christopher Hadden

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #920, 15 April 2002
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 10:51:02 EDT

This is my first melomel- strawberry vanilla – 15# Sams club honey, 10#
frozen strayberrys, 1 shot of vanilla extract, yeast nutreint per five gal,
flor sherry yeast, filtered tap water to make up difference. I disolved the
honey in hot water and dumped in the strawberrys, and let to warm on the
stove. let steep for 10 min. and pulled from heat. I skimed off the berrys
and put them in the blender and hit liquifiy. This went on for a while (10#s
worth) and everything ended up in a glass carboy. I didn't leave enough head
space and got to show my kid what a volcano looks like. Now to my question.
Floating on top (pushed to the top?) is a yucky pink foam. Is this bad?
Will it spoil? If it's not bad how long should i leave it there? Any advice
would be great! Thanks – D

Subject: Re: Warm mead (was Largashall) 
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 16:30:14 -0400

>>>>> "Matt" == Matt lists <> writes:

>> ——————————

    >> Subject: Re: Lugershallmead From: Spencer W Thomas
>> <> Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 13:32:57 -0400

>> Why on earth did this person drink it room temperature and
>> warmed? It's like a white wine and should be drunk chilled,
>> IMHO.
>> =Spencer


Matt> If that is your opinion you are entitled to it, I on the
Matt> other had have found plenty of meads that are better at room
Matt> temp.


Ok, ok. "Chilled" does not mean "ice cold." I'm thinking about 50F,
and definitely not *warmed*. I agree, the Christmas mead is something
else entirely, but I thought we were talking about the "straight"
Lurgashall mead, which is equivalent in sweetness (at least to my
palate) to a "demi-sec" wine.

YTMV, of course.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #921