Mead Lover's Digest #0932 Wed 29 May 2002


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



pine needles (
Pine Needles ("David Craft")
Fruit juice sugar determination ("Steve Gaskin")
pineapple mead…… ("Charles Sroka")
Re Synthetic Stoppers… (Scott Morgan – Sun On-Line Telesales Representative)
Re: First Mead ("Doug Essinger-Hileman")
Re: An aspiring mead maker ("Doug Essinger-Hileman")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #931, 25 May 2002 (
re:sugar content of juice (MLD #929, #931) ("Janis Gross")


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Subject: pine needles
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 06:30:21 -0400 (EDT)

I have brewed mead for several years now, but only a few batches a
year…mostly traditional mead,…with champagne yeast, and some
nutrient (fermax). How much does one use? I saw in a post here
one reference to the amount in teaspoons…I usually put in 1/2
tsp….but have never read what amt is best..

Regarding pine needles…if one wants to get that flavor in a mead
I wonder if one can use Blue Spruce Buds,…or get the Spruce Essence
that is sold in brew-supply stores. I made a spruce beer a few years
ago…using 1/2 container (so about 1 oz) and I was one of the few who
liked the beer. This was before I went to all-grain brewing…and
while I was really a novice at it…so I didn't think much about
the balance of the spruce with the malt extracts used…so perhaps
another try is in order….


Subject: Pine Needles
From: "David Craft" <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 08:11:57 -0400


As a brewer I have seen and tasted spruce in beer. It is not a bad
combination. I just would not make 5 gallons of it. I believe spruce
would provide a better flavor if you are looking for that coniferous taste
in a mead. Pine would be too strong and to hard to get any balance. I
would not use much, maybe 1-2 2 inch tips, the early green part, in one
gallon and see how that works. Put it in once the honey is heated and let
if cool with the must. Warning, I have not tried this…………just
what I would do if I tried.


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

Subject: Fruit juice sugar determination
From: "Steve Gaskin" <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 23:45:26 +0930

Hi Steve,

Ken's advice on sugar calculation is the best advice for bottled juice
sugar levels.

If however, you are using fresh fruit and are serious about the
calculations, you will need to invest in a refractometer. They are
devices that measure sugar content in all sorts of liquids, by measuring
the bending of light. They can be quite expensive – which is why you'd
need to be serious!

At a guess, you would need one that had a range of 0-20 Brix (0-20%



> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #929, 13 May 2002
> From: Arcturus <>
> Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 16:08:37 -0600

> Also, nobody chose to take a swig of my raspberry juice
> question, so I want
> to pose it again: How can I guess at the sugar content of a juice
> added just
> before bottling to gauge whether or not I will get glass grenades?

> – —

> *–Arcturus–*
> A.K.A. Steve Wilde
> My problem may be ignorance or apathy
> Frankly, I don't know and I don't care.


>Perhaps the juice packager lists the sugar content in the >ingredients list
>or nutrition information. They may be listed as >carbohydrates. In which
>case you should be able to calculate the sugar content >by measuring the
>volume of juice you'll be adding, and doing a little math.



Subject: pineapple mead......
From: "Charles Sroka" <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 11:26:43 -0500

I would like to make a pineapple mead,,,, using
frozen pineapple juice and what ever honey
I can find around here… probably clover..
Has anybody done so with real good success ??
Do you have a good recipe ??
I'll take them all……..

charles sroka

Subject: Re Synthetic Stoppers...
From: Scott Morgan - Sun On-Line Telesales Representative <Scott.Morgan@Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 09:50:01 +1000 (EST)

Sorry for the even later comments here…

> From: "Dave Burley" <>

> I was in the fortunate and unfortunate position of obtaining some synthetic
> closures ( imitation corks) a decade or so ago.


> I'm not saying the outcome would have been any different, but at least a
> trial should have been delayed until the basic stickiness of soft plastic to
> glass was resolved. I suspect the Oz results can to some extent be
> explained by this phenomenon.

And to take Rick's snip…

To our great aesthetic surprise the lowly screw cap may be the best closure
for some wines. A difficult choice may have to be made between what we think
is "traditional and desirable" verses what is actually best for the wine.
Please read the article at

The debate has raged for years on this subject… thankfully there is
emperical research being done.

Wine manufacturers have tried to introduce Screw caps on and off for years in
OZ, and it looks like one Major might have succeded. Lindemans has introduced
Screw Caps to thier low-end quick drinking wines and there has been a few
smaller vineyards using synthetics for sometime.

I had to laugh at lunch yesterday in a restaurant to the utter looks of
confusion by the waitress with bottle opened in one hand and screw cap bottle
in the other. Eventally 3 waitress's had a go and had to send the bottle back
to the bar. After they figured it was a screw cap they then did not have the
strength to open it.


Subject: Re: First Mead
From: "Doug Essinger-Hileman" <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 20:09:10 -0400

On 25 May 2002 at 21:07, "Joseph S. Gaglio" <> wrote:

> > 12 lbs honey
> > 15 tsp malic acid
> > 7 1/2 tsp tartaric acid
> > 1 1/2 tsp grape tannin
> > 4 tsp yeast energizer
> > 1 packet Yeast

> I have used the "artificial" acid and nutrient with good results,
> however this seems to me like an excessive amount of acid and
> nutrient. With 12# of orange blossom honey, I used 2 tsp. Fermax and
> 2tsp. acid blend.

Thanks. Is Fermax a specific brand of yeast nutrient?

> The first mead I made with this recipe was very drinkable after 6
> months. You should have plenty of time, especially if you don't overdo
> the acid and nutrient in which case it would take longer to mellow
> out. Good luck, joe



Subject: Re: An aspiring mead maker
From: "Doug Essinger-Hileman" <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 20:11:30 -0400

On 25 May 2002 at 21:07, wrote:

> I think that both natural and chemical methods work well, but I
> personally prefer natural ingredients as i find chemicals shall
> sometimes leave an unpleasant taste that forces the mead to be left to
> mature for a while. I have actually tried a tea mead and I can concur
> that it is very nice and definitely worth a try, but it's worth
> experimenting with smaller batches first to get the right amount and
> type of tea first.


> Amply. If you started now you could probably have a mead ready by
> August 2002! However, I would recommend (sp?) experementing a lot in
> this period to get it right for you and work out what is going to be
> the best recipe to use: everyone has their own opinions and if you try
> both recipies then you will form your own preference. There's plenty
> of time to do this, so don't panic!

Good advice. And it means a lot of mead drinking, too.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #931, 25 May 2002
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 05:20:09 EDT

Hello, Meaders,

I was interested to read about Chris Carpenter's Lilac and Lavender

meads, as my brew partner and I recently brewed one of each. Since floral
meads seem to be more unusual, I would be interested is seeing a more
complete receipe/description of Chris' meads, and would be glad to provide
ours if anyone is interested. Lilac is still in the carboy, we bottled
lavender sometime this past few months.

Cheers to all, Marcia


Subject: re:sugar content of juice (MLD #929, #931)
From: "Janis Gross" <>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 14:05:42 -0600

Steve, Ken et al.

A while back on the Bees Lees site (I think) there was a link to a page with
the sugar and acid content of about 36 different types of fruit. The link
was a posting on (cut off by the

In any event, the information was attributed to a book called "The Curious
Cook" by Harold McGee in his chapter about making fruit ices. From the
table, the raspberry juice is listed as sugar content 7% of fresh fruit
weight, and acid content of 1.6% of fresh fruit weight.

I hope this helps. I had to dig it up at home, which is why it took so long
for me to answer.

Janis *8-)

End of Mead Lover's Digest #932