Mead Lover's Digest #0947 Fri 9 August 2002


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



Where to find/purchase Dandelion Heads or seeds? (Ross Cohn)
RE to Mead yeast alternative + Raisin mead ()
Re: Stuck fermentation in strawberry meads. (Marc Shapiro)
RE: Stuck fermentation in strawberry meads ("Frank J. Russo")
How did the carbonation get in there??? (Eric Rorem)
Mead Day (Nathan Kanous)
wine yeast alternatives (John)
Mead Day Fun ("Paul Gatza")


NOTE: Digest appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests.
Digest archives and FAQ are available at There is
a searchable MLD archive at

Subject: Where to find/purchase Dandelion Heads or seeds?
From: Ross Cohn <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 03:51:39 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,
My next batch of Mead is going to be Dandelion, and I
am trying to find some heads. Does anyone know where
I can get some heads? (*snicker*, but seriously it's
out of season and I would like to get started.)

Thanks all,

P.S. – The Elderberry batch was fine, I am racking it
in hopes to clear it up a little more. I also added
more must to dilute the Elderberries a little bit.

Subject: RE to Mead yeast alternative + Raisin mead
From: <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 09:04:51 -0400 (EDT)

Hi fellow mead makers,

I'm pretty new to brewing, my first batches are happily fermenting, and
I just received my first issue of the digest. I'm pretty excited and I
look forward to the end result.

1) I'd like to request Ken Taborek's recipe(s) for raisin mead
(mentioned in the archives of the digest).
Did you make it mead or sack? My (golden) raisins (from ACME) contain
SO2. Should I wash them or go "organic" (hard to find)? Thank you much
in advance.

2) I've been reading a lot of web pages and archives of the digest, and
I found some information that may help answering David's question on
yeast strains, and prompt for some comments/debate on yeast.
I couldn't find anywhere a comparative chart of MEAD yeasts (usually
they are for WINE yeasts and who knows if this applies to mead) , so I
tried to make a little catalog with what I could find. See appendices
below for the results of my search. See also comments from an
experienced user: Dick Dunn's favorite yeasts at I had to include wine-related
comments because sometimes that's all that's available but I tried to
relate to mead whenever possible. If anyone has something better, and
especially if you tried them please publish it! All info below is
somewhat theoretical as I didn't try them yet. I plan to experiment,
but it will take a while before I can report with tasting notes.
Now, after spending hours writing my appendices, I found one more
source: "the great mead yeast survey":
This a great initiative to summarize user's perspective on all brands
of yeast but not too many testimonials are posted. There is a review of
a few beer yeasts used for mead too.
Come on meadheads, go there and post your input on your favorite MEAD
yeast, we need it!

Vince Galet
Collegeville, PA
_______Appendix 1: Here's what people have used and say____________

  • – Sweet mead and dry mead are of course the standard – several

manufacturers have their own – tolerant to about 15% alcohol for sweet,
17% for dry. Sweet seems to make it REALLY sweet.

  • – Champagne (several strains from several manufacturers, some French,

some CA strains) seems to be the second most used. It is high
fermenting (tolerant up to 17% alcohol), gives a dry result

  • – Prise de mousse (Red star or Lallemand) is more or less another kind

of champagne

  • – Red star Premier cuvee is also some kind of champagne

  • – Red star Cote des blancs is comparable to Wyeast 3267 Bordeaux

(according to Wyeast web site) and epernay (according to Red star web
site), gives fruity esters. See descriptions from web sites below. This
is what my supply store gave me for my first mead, I used it in a
cherry melomel. Smells good so far.

  • – Red star Flor Sherry is for sweeter meads? (according to 1 user who

compared), also giving fruity esters (couldn't find much else about it)

  • – Red star Montrachet is used quite a bit in the recipes from the book

"making wild wines and meads" but doesn't seem to be widely used and
I've seen mixed reviews from the users (Listerine taste reported by Dick

  • – Lalvin 71B 1122 is supposedly good for melomels as it ferments high

amounts (20% to 40%) of malic acid from the fruits. "leaves some sugar
but less than sweet meads" according to one author. "In addition to
producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature
quickly, it does not extract a great deal of phenols from the must so
the maturation time is further decreased. The 71B is used primarily by
professional winemakers for young wines such as vin nouveau and has
been found to be very suitable for blush and residual sugar whites. For
grapes in regions naturally high in acid, the partial metabolism of
malic acid helps soften the wine. The 71B also has the ability to
produce significant esters and higher alcohol, making it an excellent
choice for fermenting concentrates".

  • – Lalvin K1v1116 reported giving intermediate sweetness. "Capable of

surviving a number of difficult conditions, such as low nutrient musts
and high levels of SO2 or sugar. Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have
very low volatile acidity, H2S and foam production. The natural fresh
fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast
strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient
balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult
fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations." (source: brewrats)

  • – Lallemand's ICV D47 – ferments to 14% – used by some people, reported

as a "low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well, forming a compact
lees at the end of fermentation. This strain enhances mouthfeel due to
complex carbohydrates. Malolactic fermentation proceeds well in wine
made with ICV D-47. This strain is recommended for making wines from
white varieties such as Chardonnay and Rose. It is also an excellent
choice for producing mead, however be sure to supplement with yeast
nutrients, especially usable nitrogen." (source:brewrats)

  • -I've seen someone making pear melomel with Wyeast belgian ale,

apparently successfully


comment: looks like Lalvin = Lallemand

>____Appendix 2: Here's what I found on the LALLEMAND web site___
This site has detailed yeast descriptions and a great comparative table

  • ->Strains below OK for late harvest so I guess OK for high sugar content. I

will try them<-
I didn't find testimonials of users for many of them (doesn't mean
there aren't any) but based on the descriptions, some of these strains
should be worth a try. If someone used them, please comment.
I would tend to favor the types of yeast generating esters as these
usually give fruity notes. Note that temp ranges are max, but not
optimum. I don't know what EVC means (copied from web site)
+ = used for mead/described in some recipes
* = should be worth a try
> + Lallemand DV10 (Champagne) has strong fermentation kinetics and
relatively low nitrogen demands. Low foaming and low VA production.
Considered a clean fermenter that respects varietal character and
avoids bitter sensory contributions of other one-dimensional
'workhorse' strains such as Prise de Mousse. Alcohol tolerance 18%.
Fermentation temp 10-35 deg C-fast. Neutral taste
+ Lallemand EC1118 (Prise de Mousse) ferments well at low temperatures
and flocculates well with very compact lees. Produces a lot of SO2 (up
to 30 ppm) and as a result can inhibit malolactic fermentation. Low
nitrogen demand. Alcohol tolerance 18%. Fermentation temp 10-30
degC-fast. Neutral taste
++ Lallemand ICV-K1: Natural fresh fruit aromas are retained for a
longer time when compared with wines fermented with standard yeast
strains (such as Prise de Mousse). ICV-K1 is recommended for the
fermentation of ice wines (high sugar). Alcohol tolerance 18%. High
nitrogen need.
Fermentation temp 10-42 deg C-fast. Neutral taste
* Lallemand 43 was selected for its exceptional ability to restart
stuck fermentations: high alcohols (14.3% with 21gm/l RS) and high free
SO2 (35 mg/l). Also gives good sensory results when used in high sugar
musts. Alcohol tolerance 18+%!! Low nitrogen need. Fermentation temp
13-35 deg C-fast. Neutral taste
* Lallemand QA23 is used for production of fresh, fruity, clean
wines. It enhances aromas of terpenic varietals. QA23 will ferment
juice of low solids content at low temperatures (10C). Alcohol
tolerance 16%. Low nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 15-32 deg C-fast.
EVC taste
* Lallemand R2 was isolated in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux. It
has excellent cold temperature properties. If it does not get proper
nutrients it can tend to produce VA. R2 helps produce intense direct
fruit style whites by liberation of fruity and floral aroma precursors.
It is recommended for aromatic white varieties. Alcohol tolerance 16%.
High nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 10-30 deg C-moderate speed.
Esters taste * Lallemand BA11: promotes clean aromatic characteristics
and intensifies mouthfeel and lingering flavors in white wines;
encourages the fresh fruit aromas of orange blossom, pineapple and
apricot. Tolerates 16% alcohol, needs high nitrogen, sensitive to
competition, moderate fermentation speed, fermentation temp 10-25 deg
C-moderate speed. Adds esters taste. Note: this one looks attractive
for the taste, but is only moderately adequate for late harvest so I
don't know how it holds the sugar. I'd try it on a small batch just to
test it.
* Lallemand M1 is used to produce aromatic rose and white wines,
especially wines with residual sugar. Due to the high production of
esters, typical descriptors include 'fruit punch', especially when
fermented at lower temperatures and provided adequate balanced
nutrition. IMPORTANT: the production of esters is limited at
temperatures above 20C (69F). The yeast flocculates and settles to
give compact lees. Alcohol tolerance 16%. High nitrogen need.
Fermentation temp 12-20 deg C-SLOW. Esters taste. Note: only moderately
OK for late harvest

  • – Lallemand W46 fermentations take off quickly and rapidly dominate

indigenous flora. W46 is similar to W27 but has a more rapid
fermentation rate. Low temperature tolerance and clean fruit aromas
characterize W46. in Riesling and Sylvaner it enhances flavor and aroma
profiles. Alcohol tolerance 14%. Med nitrogen need. Fermentation temp
10-30 deg C-SLOW . EVC taste


>_________Appendix 3: Here's more from LALLEMAND web site_________

  • -> strains below are described mostly for wine, reported as NOT OK for

late harvest in Lallemand's table, so they may be less suitable or not at
all for mead. However, I've seen reports of people using ICV D47–one from
this list–so maybe it's not so important. I would not try them first and I
would seek additional advice before trying <-

  • – Lallemand CY3079 is a steady, slow fermenter even at cold

temperatures (13C). When properly fed, CY3079 has good alcohol
tolerance (up to 15%) and is a low producer of VA and H2S. Chardonnays
produced with CY3079 have rich, full mouthfeel and are characterized by
aromas of fresh butter, almond, honey, white flowers and pineapple.
High nitrogen demand. Fermentation temp 15-25 deg C-mod speed. Adds EVC

  • – Lallemand ICV-D254: winemakers use ICV-D254 for fermenting Chardonnay

with nutty aromas and creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol tolerance 16% when the
fermentation is aerated and the temperature is maintained below 28C.
Med. nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 12-25 deg C-mod speed. EVC taste
+ Lallemand ICV-D47 For complex whites with citrus and floral notes .
Best results are obtained at around 20C (69F). When left on lees, ripe
spicy aromas with tropical and citrus notes are developed. D47 is a
high polysaccharide producer known for its accentuated fruit and great
volume. Alcohol tolerance 14%. Low nitrogen need. Fermentation temp
15-20 deg C-moderate speed. EVC taste

  • – Lallemand ICV-GRE is used with short skin contact regimes (3 to 5

days) to reduce vegetal and undesirable sulfur components in varieties
like Merlot, Cabernet, Grenache and Syrah. In fruit focused whites like
Chenin blanc, Riesling, and Viognier, ICV-GRE results in stable fresh
fruit characteristics and delivers a big fore-mouth impact. Alcohol
tolerance 15%. High nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 15-28 deg
C-moderate speed. EVC taste

  • – Lallemand L2056 was selected by the ITV for its ability to maintain

varietal fruit aromas and flavors of Cotes du Rhone varieties. L2056 is
a quick to moderate rate fermenter with low SO2 and VA production .
Alcohol tolerance 16%. High nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 15-28 deg
C-moderate speed. Esters taste

  • – Lallemand M2 is a neutral to low ester-producing yeast and needs a

high level of balanced nutrients for a strong fermentation finish. In
reds and whites it can be distinguished by its expression of citrus and
blossom notes. Alcohol tolerance 15%. Med nitrogen need. Fermentation
temp 15-30 deg C-moderate speed. Esters taste

  • – Lallemand W15 was developed to ferment dry whites where bright fruit

and heavy mouthfeel are desired. W15 produces higher levels of glycerol
and succinic acid especially at higher fermentation temperatures
(25C). Alcohol tolerance 16%. High nitrogen need. Fermentation temp
10-27 deg C-moderate speed. EVC taste

  • – Lallemand W27 used for slow and steady fermentation of whites. Due to

low production of SO2, W27 is a popular choice of organic winemakers.
Alcohol tolerance 14%. Med nitrogen need. Fermentation temp 10-30 deg
C-slow . EVC taste


>_________Appendix 4: from WYEAST, RED STAR and WHITELABS_________

  • -> No info on "late harvest suitability or sugar tolerance from

Whitelabs and Wyeast <-

  • -WHITELABS WLP730 Chardonnay: dry wine yeast. Slight ester production,

low sulfur dioxide production. Enhances varietal character. WLP730 is a
good choice for all white and blush wines, including Chablis, Chenin
Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Fermentation speed is moderate.
No info on sugar tolerance. Attenuation: 80; Flocculation: Low; Optimum
Ferm. Temp: 50-90

  • -WHITELABS WLP775 for English Cider: Classic cider yeast. Ferments dry,

but retains flavor from apples. Sulfur is produced during fermentation,
but will disappear in first two weeks of aging. Can also be used for
wine and high gravity beers. Attenuation: 80; Flocculation: Medium;
Optimum Ferm. Temp: 68-75

  • – Wyeast 3028 Pasteur Red: Ideal for red or white wines which mature

rapidly with Beaujolais type fruitiness and for bigger reds requiring
aging. Low foaming, low sulfur production over a broad temperature
range. Cabernet, Red Varietals, Gamay Beaujolais, Zinfandel, Rhone,
Burgundy, Pinot Noir.

  • – Wyeast 3242 Chablis: produces extremely fruity profile, high ester

formation, bready, vanilla notes. Allows fruit character to dominate
aroma and flavor profile. Finishes slightly sweet and soft. Fruity
White Wines, Chardonnay, Chablis, Ciders, Gewurtztraminer, Chenin
Blanc, Pinot Gris * Wyeast 3267 Bordeaux: produces distinctive intense
berry graham cracker nose, jammy, rich, very smooth complex profile,
slightly vinuous. Well suited for higher sugar content musts. French
Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Petit Syrah, Rioja, Valdepenas

  • – Wyeast 3766 Cider: Crisp dry fermenting yeast with big, fruity

finish. Creates a nice balance for all types of apples, pears and other
fruit or fermentables. Allows fruit character to dominate the profile


+ Red Star(R) Flor Sherry has been used in the U.S. since 1963 for the
production of submerged culture sherry. This yeast may be used for the
production of sherry base wines, and must be used for the secondary,
aerobic (submerged) sherry fermentation. It readily produces the
aldehydes and acetals characteristic of true flor sherry.
+ Red Star(R) Cote des Blancs is a relatively slow fermenter, identical
to Geisenheim Epernay, but producing less foam. This yeast requires
nutrient addition for most chardonnay fermentations. Cote des Blancs
produces fine, fruity aromas and may be controlled by lowering
temperature to finish with some residual sugar. It is recommended for
reds, whites, sparkling cuvees and non-grape fruit wines (especially
apple, it is reported). Ferments best between 17-30C (64-86F).
Sensitive below 13C (55F).
+ Red Star(R) Montrachet is a strong fermenter with good ethanol
tolerance, and will readily ferment grape musts and fruit juices to
dryness. This strain also has good tolerance to free sulfur dioxide.
This strain is recommended for full bodied reds and whites. It is not
recommended for grapes that have been dusted with sulfur, because of a
tendency to produce hydrogen sulfide in the presence of higher
concentrations of sulfur compounds. Montrachet is noted for low
volatile acidity, good flavor complexity, and intense color.
+ Red Star(R) Pasteur Champagne is a strong fermenter with good ethanol
tolerance, and will readily ferment grape musts and fruit juices to
dryness. This strain also has good tolerance to free sulfur dioxide.
This strain is recommended for full bodied reds and whites. It is not
recommended for grapes that have been dusted with sulfur, because of a
tendency to produce hydrogen sulfide in the presence of higher
concentrations of sulfur compounds. Pasteur Champagne is noted for low
volatile acidity, good flavor complexity, and intense color.
+ Red Star(R) Pasteur Red is a strong, even fermenter that produces full
bodied reds. This yeast encourages the development of varietal fruit
flavors, balanced by complex aromas, especially when using grapes of
the Cabernet family. It may be necessary to cool the fermenting must to
prevent unwanted temperature increase. This yeast is reported to give
character to less robust red grapes, or those picked before optimum
+ Red Star Premier Cuvee has good tolerance to ethanol and free sulfur
dioxide, and ferments to dryness. Premier Cuvee is noted as a very low
producer of foam, urea, and fusel oils. It is recommended for reds,
whites and especially champagne. This yeast is reported to perform well
restarting stuck fermentations. Winemakers have remarked that Premier
Cuvee is the fastest, cleanest, and most neutral fermenter offered by
Red Star(R). Ferments best between 7-35C (45-95F).

Subject: Re: Stuck fermentation in strawberry meads.
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2002 09:28:58 -0400

> Subject: Stuck fermentation in strawberry meads.
> From: Laura Osanitch <>
> Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 05:29:00 -0700 (PDT)


> … Our cherry vanilla, straight honey meads … blueberry and
> varied Berry preserve meads have all gone well.


> However, whenever we siphon our strawberry concoctions
> from the pot to the carboy for the first time, the
> fermentation seems to stop, even though it was going
> well while sitting in the pot for several days.


I usually have the opposite effect. I rarely have a stuck fermentation,
and NEVER with strawberry. My only problem with strawberry wines and
melomels is that they ferment very fast and very thoroughly, leaving
them very dry. Not knowing your techniques and ingredients makes it a
little difficult, but you say that your other melomels ferment fine with
the same methods, so …

The one thing that you did say that differs from my methods is racking
while actively fermenting. Whenever possible, I try to have my must in
the carboy that I will ferment in without having to rack until
fermentation is virtually complete. I don't like racking to a secondary
while fermentation is active. I ferment in a carboy, under airlock, for
several weeks to a month, until fermentation has nearly stopped. Then I
rack to a secondary for another month or so, until there is sufficient
sediment to rack off of. I then rack one, or two more times, a few
months apart, until the mead is crystal clear. Then I bottle. This
way, fermentation never sticks from the shock of racking.

BTW: For strwberry wines and melomels, I use 3 1/2 to 4 lbs of
strawberries per gallon of must. I add honey or sugar to about SG 1.100
(for any of my wines and mels).



Marc Shapiro "If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
Please visit "The Meadery" at: unless your wife shoots you." — Dr. Ferenc Androczi, winemaker,

Little Hungary Farm Winery — may
he get well soon.


Subject: RE: Stuck fermentation in strawberry meads
From: "Frank J. Russo" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 09:40:45 -0400

I do not believe it is the strawberries but the Yeast. You did not tell us
what yeast you are using. I had a very similar thing happen to me with my
plum wine recently. I was using 'Cotes de Blanc' and was told it does not
like to be disturbed. Also, to slowly feed the solution with small
additions of honey or sugar .vs. large additions. Just some thoughts.

Frank J. Russo
ATF Home Brew Club
New Bern NC

Subject: How did the carbonation get in there???
From: Eric Rorem <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 06:40:39 -0700 (PDT)

Hey all,

I've been looking at my first two meads made with
champagne yeast (red cherry and rainier cherry). The
part I can't figure out is that both were able to
become quite &#34;sparkling&#34; in the secondary with
only an airlock sealing it. I thought that I'd need
to bottle them or force carbonate them. Anybody know
why they are sparkling in the secondary? I'm trying
to make still.

By the way, I'm not going to use champagne yeast
anymore. I've decided that I don't like the flavor
that it gives.


Subject: Mead Day
From: Nathan Kanous <>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2002 14:37:12 -0500

It seems that Dick Dunn didn't even follow his own recipe for the
mead. That's okay. Neither did I.

Much as Dick increased the fruit, after I got home with 5lbs of
raspberries, my wife said "here use these two" and I ended up with about 7
lbs in the 5 gallons. I also added just a hint of two spices that should
go well with the ginger albeit very subtle amounts. I had to make it a
little different than the recipe. I pitched Lalvin 71B-1122 for the first
time. I usually have used D-47. We'll see how this one goes.

It's fermenting nicely and, like Dick, the raspberries are already
beginning to pale and I'll probably skim them tomorrow and rack to a carboy
this weekend. TTYL.
nathan in madison, wi

Subject: wine yeast alternatives
From: John <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 09:45:10 -0400

>Subject: Re: Wine yeast alternative
>From: "Geoffrey T. Falk" <>
>Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 00:42:49 -0600 (MDT)

>LJ Vitt <> wrote in MLD 945
> I have frequently used Lalvin 71B-1122. It does leave some sweetness
> but not as much as the sweet mead yeast.


>71B-1122 metabolizes malic acid, producing a softer feel. I used it
>for my cranberry batch, which promises to turn out very well. I might
>recommend it for any fruit wine or melomel that one intends to age a
>while. Since most meads are intended to age, I'd think it's usable even
>for a cyser (though my first choice for a cyser would be Lalvin D47).

Apologies if the original text was messed up, I've not had the time to
follow MLD like I normally do, but I'll chime in on the yeast thread.

Having done some yeast experiments in the past
( – needs updating) I compared the use
of 5 different yeasts. The true test was in the bottles I let go to
people. The most recent of which was last Christmas time, when I
distributed a case of the Nottingham mead to some friends. Some quotes I
received back from people were 'This was the best one yet' and "I'd buy
THAT by the case" as well as "I hope he wrote down this recipe this
time'. The nottingham started at around 1.104 and finished at about
1.024 (around my optimum – IMHO) although it took a little while getting
there. It was from march 2000 to November 2001 in fermentation, so it
took a little while getting there. However, the results that came back
made it well worth the effort I think.

Nottingham mead has allowed me to learn more patience with my mead…
which is a good thing.



Subject: Mead Day Fun
From: "Paul Gatza" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 15:07:02 -0600

Well Mead Day pretty much turned into Mead Weekend in Sunshine. We
transformed the weekly Sunshine Happy Hour into a mead exploration with the
opening of roughly three cases of 2- to 9-year-old homemade meads and a few
commercial examples of Redstone, Chaucer's and a Polish mead. The party
raged until the wee hours with sing-alongs. I recall laughing at ourselves
as about 15 of us attempting to sing (Mama's Got a) Squeeze Box very loudly
and out of tune. But we had lots of fun. Without the hops that beer has or
the histamines in wine, I felt like the party gained longevity and strength
and the buzz of the group had an electric brightness to it.

The lateness of the night before resulted in our delaying of brewing on Mead
Day until late afternoon, but the four of us AHA core staff and some friends
new to mead brewed a batch, shot some pool and launched into another mead
tasting. It occurred to me that it would be illegal, dangerous and stupid to
light my cajun cooker with the fire ban, so we moved the brewing party up to
Gary Glass's, also in Sunshine. On Sunday, I could think of nothing I wanted
to drink more than cyser…same with Monday. Mead Day has led to addictive
and silly behavior in our town. I hope your experience was like ours.

We had 36 registered Mead Day brewing sites. About two-thirds have remitted
data as of August 8th. The remitted totals stand at 254.25 gallons of mead
and 103 participants on Mead Day 2002. I think that is pretty cool. Please
remit your data if you have yet to do so or register your site if you brewed
mead on August 3rd. Thanks.

Paul Gatza
Director–American Homebrewers Association
Director–Institute for Brewing Studies
Association of Brewers
736 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
ph: +1.303.447.0816 ext. 122
fax: +1.303.447.2825

End of Mead Lover's Digest #947