Mead Lover's Digest #0937 Tue 18 June 2002


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



Morat (Nathan Kanous)
What to do with a mediocre mead? ("Kenneth R. Irwin")
oak ("Dave Burley")
Re: Mead exchange (Vicky Rowe)
how to read pH (aerotech)
Re: Muscadine grapes (Sean Cox)


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Subject: Morat
From: Nathan Kanous <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 08:12:19 -0500

Does anyone have experience in making a morat (mulberry mead)? Recipe
suggestions? The berries are growing and should be ready in a couple of
weeks and I'd like to capitalize on the opportunity.
nathan in madison, wi

Subject: What to do with a mediocre mead?
From: "Kenneth R. Irwin" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:23:37 -0400

Quoth Belinda Messenger <>:
>I made a little cocktail this weekend with a funky mango melomel that just
>doesn't taste quite right (2
>years old, semi-sweet, weird aftertaste and no real mango flavor). So I
>mixed it 1:1 with Mike's Hard Lemonade and people
>couldn't get enough of it.
>Thought it was an interesting "mead consumption" topic. Anyone else?

My very first brew was an hard cider made with nothing but plain cider and
champagne yeast. This was before I knew about the different alcohol
tolerances of various yeasts and thought that the yeast type had mostly to
do with *flavor*. So I looked on the side of a bottle of Woodchuck cider,
saw they used Champagne yeast and did the same. Needless to say, 30 proof
cider made without extra sugar is *very* dry ("paarrched…", my then-boss
said). But we found it was lovely with a generous dollop of honey – almost
like a melomel, but sharper.

I also knew a guy who brewed his "mead" with little or no water. I think it
was basically honey and thin applesauce (you can find some traditional
recipes that sound sort of like this – most people don't redact them that
way though!) The stuff by itself was really quite revolting, but when mixed
1:1:1 with Woodchuck cider and Vernors, it was lovely. (A note for those in
other regions: Vernors is often billed as "ginger ale" in the Midwest, but
it's really more like ginger ale + cream soda. Don't let them fool you, and
don't just order a ginger ale in a restaurant without checking. They really
don't understand there's a difference… )

And finally, a question on this topic: I have about 2 gallons of lemon
nutmeg mead that had too much nutmeg – it was pretty ferociously nasty for
a while but has calmed down a bit. It's still got a strongish nutmeg tang
that I'd like to mellow out a bit. Any ideas what I could mix it with to
tone it down?


Subject: oak
From: "Dave Burley" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:51:19 -0400

David B. Craft's comments that white oak is the American grown oak of choice
for barrels ( mostly whiskey barrels until recently) is correct. The Red
Oak has a porous character which is unacceptable and has a reputation for
giving a "cat pee" aroma to any contents held therein.

Dave Burley

Subject: Re: Mead exchange
From: Vicky Rowe <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:58:30 -0400

At 05:38 PM 6/12/2002 -0600, David Chubb <> wrote whilst
I was quaffing a mazer o' mead:

>The same Faire that is just north of Charlotte, NC?

Yup, thats the one. I work as manager of Heirloom Jewelry during that show,
so I'm there every weekend.

> If so, do you want to entertain the idea of having a bottle swap
>there. I have a few bottles of previous batches that I can swap for those
>with other people. I think the idea of a Homebrew get-together at a Faire is
>a superb idea. However the Faire organizers usually want someone at the
>faire to sponsor such an event.

I'd love to set something up, but I don't think doing it at the faire would be
a good idea. Jeffrey, the Gen. Mgr. would most likely *not* want it. He's
really strict about that sort of thing. However, maybe we could talk to
someone local, and set something up? (I live in Raleigh)

> I am planning on doing a couple batches here this summer (one
>Blackberry Melomel, One black cherry Melomel (there is a HUGE black cherry
>tree down the road from me….and not the type of cherry that is the small
>tart berries….the huge tree type that produces black cherries the size of
>marbles…very tastey).

I've got several things going: A raspberry that is about finished, a peach
that needs a bit of sweetening, a lovely rose mead thats coming along
nicely and a blueberry that I bottled a couple of months ago….

> This early part of the summer I am planning on trying a Honey Suckle
>mead. The problem is going to be getting enough of the "honey suckle
>essence" to be profitable. I was planning on collecting flowers and making
>the must right away. Probably only going to be a small 2 gallon batch. (I
>have 2 gallon "mini" carbouy)

I collected a gallon of honeysuckle blossoms and froze them. I was going
to toss them into a gallon batch and see what happens.

> Another batch I was thinking of doing this fall is using Beach
>Grapes to make a Pyment. For those of you who have had them they are
>wonderfully sweet and flavorful grapes with extra thick rubbery skins. (Some
>call them Quahogs, or Muscadine grapes) This batch wouldn't have much
>honey….just enough to add complexity to the mix….prolly some clover
>instead of using the usual Wild flower honey I get cheaply (I get honey in
>barter for about 1/4 of my batches of mead).
I'm planning on doing a strawberry mel and a rhubarb meth and mixing them,
in hopes of getting a mead that tastes like my grammas strawberry-rhubarb pie.
I'm also going to do another cherry pie mel with the last of my Michigan
and a blackberry-raspberry mel. I'm still toying with doing a chocolate
mead, in
the hopes of mixing some of it with the cherry for a chocolate-covered cherry

Lets explore the idea of a swap further, but I think it would be best to
keep it
off the faire site. Management hasn't been real kosher with that in the past.


Vicky Rowe
Webmistress of

Subject: how to read pH
From: aerotech <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 13:41:57 +1200

Anyone out there know of an easy test for pH?
The litmus paper is very inaccurate, and I can't quite afford a pH meter,
being only a beginner at these things.
So, and help out there???

Also, as an aside, does anyone have a list of the properties of the honeys
most commonly used. I have a problem in using a lot of the recipes that I
see on the digest, as I can't get most of the honeys down here in New
Zealand, so if anyone has such a thing, could they please email it to me
off-list. I'm sure that I'm not the only one with this issue, as I know the
list is multi-national.

Thanks in advance,



If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.


Subject: Re: Muscadine grapes
From: Sean Cox <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 00:14:46 -0400

> From: David Chubb <>
> Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 09:47:40 -0400


> [Snip…]


> Another batch I was thinking of doing this fall is using Beach
> Grapes to make a Pyment. For those of you who have had them they are
> wonderfully sweet and flavorful grapes with extra thick rubbery skins. (Some
> call them Quahogs, or Muscadine grapes) This batch wouldn't have much
> honey….just enough to add complexity to the mix….prolly some clover
> instead of using the usual Wild flower honey I get cheaply (I get honey in
> barter for about 1/4 of my batches of mead).


> Greetings from SWVA and Wassail,


> David "WyrdOne" Chubb

Muscadine grapes are awfully tasty when fermented. My wife & I used to buy
Muscadine wine from Lakeridge(?) winery in Central FL (until FL made shipping
wine into the state a felony, we stopped buying in protest–never heard back
from the winery after the letter I sent, oh well…). All of our "I don't
like wine" friends used to snark it down at parties…

I'd watch the residual sugar though, Muscadine wines (that I've had) tend
to be pretty sweet, I have no idea what the things would taste like
fermented dry–you probably ought to think about that for yeast
selection, etc.

I'm curious though as to who calls them quahogs. I grew up in Rhode Island,
where everyone knows a quahog (pronounced 'Coe-Hog', first syllable rhymes
with "hoe") is a clam, a tasty clam, but certainly not a grape. My
understanding is also that they don't live much further south than Lon Giland
(Long Island [NY] to those of you from elsewhere) so South West Virginia
(what I imagine SWVA means) seems an odd place to find them (especially since
SWVA would then be 200+ miles inland)… Just curious.


  • –Sean

Andover, NH


End of Mead Lover's Digest #937