Mead Lover's Digest #0943 Fri 19 July 2002


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



Re: recipe for Mead Day (Adam Funk)
Re: Strawberry mead (Phil)
Storing Yeast cultures. (David Chubb)
strawberrys ("Micah Millspaw")
RE: cherry mead (Bill Stewart)
Cranberry-Blueberry Mead (
Straining (DOUG BAILEY)
Re: Dealing with fruit when racking (
Slow-starting mead (Jason Marshall)
Competition Results (Scott & Cherie Stihler)


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Subject: Re: recipe for Mead Day
From: Adam Funk <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 07:54:39 +0100

> Subject: recipe for Mead Day
> From: (Dick Dunn)
> Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:38:03 -0600 (MDT)

> Mead is not nearly as susceptible to contamination as beer. "Don't
> worry…" (you knew that, didn't you?). But be patient! Mead
> fermentations are not as fast nor as vigorous as with beer.

It seems to me that the slower fermentation would make mead more
susceptible: is it protected by the antimicrobial properties of honey?


  • — Adam


Subject: Re: Strawberry mead
From: Phil <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 05:33:03 -0700 (PDT)

> Subject: Strawberry mead
> From: LJ Vitt <>
> Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 08:53:12 -0700 (PDT)

> When I racked the mead away from the fruit, I had
> BIG problems. The
> racking cane sucks in fruit pieces. I tried putting
> a cloth hop
> bag over the end of the racking cane. That worked
> for a while.
> half of the mead racked without too much difficulty,
> but slowly.
> I could not get more of it siphoned.

When racking anything with fruit, wrap a stainless
steel or copper scouring pad around the bottom of the
syphoning tube. This traps more fruit than a hop bag
without slowing the syphon doen.


visit the New York City Homebrewers Guild website:

Subject: Storing Yeast cultures.
From: David Chubb <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 09:56:08 -0400

I have come to a quandry.

Our local brewing supplies stores (there are two in town and I usually
frequent only one since they carry the Wyeast line) sometime have problems
getting in yeasts on a regular basis.

I prefer the Sweat and Dry Mead Yeasts or the Cider Yeasts. However, they
regularly run out of these and don't get more in for over a month sometimes.

So my questions come down to this: What is the shelf life of a sealed liquid
yeast (in the fridge)? What are some good wine yeast alternatives for a
sweet mead (or semi dry)? I have tried Zinfandel and Merlot yeasts but they
sometimes produce an "Off flavor".

I once even tried a beer yeast (not sure which one though) but that batch
turned out horrible (another batch made the same day using champagne yeast
turned out great…and 6 months later made a wonderful sparkling mead).

Our local Brewers supply doesn't carry many wine yeasts but will do a
special order if I ask them (and wait the several weeks for it to come in).
Most of the local brewers seem to be "Bheer Nuts" and they cater to
supplying them more (which I can understand since they need to make their
$$$) (They at least have a good wine selection and even some commercial

So should I try and keep a stock (more than a month in the fridge wrapped in

Or, use alternative yeasts?


  • –David


Subject: strawberrys
From: "Micah Millspaw" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 08:57:02 -0500

I have had good luck with using strawberries in the following manner.
wash the strawberries in cold water,
with a paring knife remove the stem/ hull,
slice the fruit into quarters lengthwise,
put the strawberries into a plastic bag or tupperware container
and freeze. Keep in freezer at least over night and then
thaw before using. Pour into the carboy as needed. (without bag)
The freezing breaks down the cells and the yeast will really
get at the fruit, as fermentation progresses the strawberries
will be broken down and will easily clean out of the carboy.

brewer at large – Micah Millspaw

>Subject: Srawberry Mead
>From: Jim Bevacqua <>
>Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 20:00:46 +0000

>Hello All,
>I'm looking to make a 5 gallon batch of strawberry melomel. I have 2 5
>gollon carboys. Normally I split my batch between the two carboys for the
>primary fermintation. The recipes from the MLA say to put the berrys in a
>cloth bag of some kind. How do you put the bags in a carboy and get them
>back out too? Hope this doesn't sound too Darwin Awardish.

>Jim Bevacqua

Subject: RE: cherry mead
From: Bill Stewart <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 10:48:23 -0400

I will be upfront and say this was my first and only (so far) cherry
mead. So feel free to laugh at points through this. I have figured out
I like to create meads, ales, etc better than drinking them.

But as memory serves:

To make 3 lbs mead:

9 lbs clover honey
4.5 lbs bing cherries, pitted. (that was fun)
5 oz ginger root, chopped
cinnamon stick

Champagne yeast.
some yeast nutrient.

I believe I added about a gal of water to the honey, Ginger, and
cinnamon, brought it up to a boil, removed the skim off the honey and
added the cherries. waited a minute, then poured it into the carboy.
added water for three gals.
When cool added yeast.
Put it in a closet, and forgot about it. (hey I was busy)
Found out the cherries were being eated by the yeast.
Waited some more, until the cherries were 3/4 gone.

Racked to secondary. Left it for a week.

Became very pleased with myself for making something drinkable. BTW, I
had done readings before and after, and while I didn't know how to allow
for the cherries, I figures it was about a 14 % alcohol content.

I still have about 6 bottles left.


Subject: Cranberry-Blueberry Mead
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 14:40:51 EDT

A new acquaintance showed me your Digest, and it's interesting. I've been
making wine since I was 14, (50 years) and beer since the Carter
administration. Made my first batch of Mead, a Raspberry, last year. How
about a Cranberry-Blueberry Melomel? Cranberry for tartness, blueberry for
sweetness and body. If you can come up with a recipe I'll try it. Otherwise
I'll experiment.

Also looking for a recipe for Metheglyn, or Spiced Mead. Maybe a
Cranberry-Clove-Nutmeg combo would do for a holiday mead.

Ever heard of "Mauby"? It is the bark of a tree in the Caribbean area, and
looks like stick cinnamon. The people in Dominica (not the Republic, down
East from there, by Guadelupe) boil it in water as you would tea, then
sweeten and dilute to taste. It's flavor is reminiscent of Moxie soda. I'd
like to try Mauby in either a beer or mead; any suggestions?

Subject: Straining
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 09:39:39 +1200

In the last digest there was a discussion about strawberries and a
problem with the racking cane drawing up fruit pieces. In the end the
writer used a funnel with a strainer sitting in it. However he was
concerned that the process probably oxidised his mead.

I too have developed a similar method that I use to transfer a melomel
from the primary vessel off the fruit to secondary. To minimise
oxidation I have attached a tube to the bottom of the funnel reaching to
the bottom of my demijohn. Mead is racked into the funnel through the
strainer and continues to the bottom where it fills the demijohn from
the bottom up. There is probably still oxidasion but I figured it was
better than just pouring the mead in from the top.

Doug Bailey – /
348 Heretaunga Street West
Hastings, New Zealand.
Phone: 64 – 6 – 876 8787

Subject: Re: Dealing with fruit when racking
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 05:17:43 EDT

Greetings to the Meaders

My brew partner and I have dealt with many of the mistakes and

problems one can find in racking, including clogged siphons (It CAN'T have
clogged again, I just rinsed it!) Our friend Lou suggested a solution he has
used, and it worked well. Before putting the racking cane in to sanitize,
work a plastic scrubby (NOT a copper one,please) onto the end of the cane.
Let it sanitize alone with the cane, rinse very well, and rack. No, you can't
get it into a carboy. (Yes, we tried once.) The scrubby works well in a big
plastic bucket, though. We throw th scrubby out when finished. Much though I
deplore the waste, I have been convinced that it is not possible to get all
the fruit gunk out. We have also tried juicing, and some of the other tricks
mentioned. All the meads have been fine.

Even if you are not brewing on Mead Day, I recommend trying Dick

Dunn's receipe for raspberry mead. I've been priveleged to try soome, and it
is always a treat. He and his wife also sell raspberry culls to a lucky group
of us so we can make our own meads. Yum!


good meading to all
Unicorn Unchained Meadery


Subject: Slow-starting mead
From: Jason Marshall <>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 20:09:55 +0000

I have attempted 5 batches of mead now, with varying levels of success,
and one thing I've noticed is that my must usually does not evoke the
heavy fermentation described in the literature during the first 72 hours.

The one exception was a batch of pear melomel, which bubbled vigorously
for 4 months before it settled down. I bottled this at just under 6
months, and it is looking like it will be my only completely successful
batch (too bad it was only a half-batch).

I expect that the fruit was the key difference between the batches,
however, most recipes I've found for mead included some number of
lemons. I would think these would provide enough food variety to cover
whatever the yeast nutrient doesn't contain, but my experience doesn't
bear that notion out.

Is there some standard trick for preventing a 'late bloomer'?

Jason Marshall

Subject: Competition Results
From: Scott & Cherie Stihler <>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 06:32:59 -0800

Please join me in congratulating Jason Ditsworth of Anchorage, Alaska
for winning the Best of Show of the 2002 E.T. Barnette Homebrew

There were a total of 67 entries from nine states.

The results of this year's E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition have
been posted at the following URL:


Scott Stihler
Fairbanks, Alaska

End of Mead Lover's Digest #943