Mead Lover's Digest #0948 Fri 16 August 2002


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



National Mead Day ("David Craft")
Fermentation and Bottling ("Melissa Airoldi")
aeration, and camden… (
Re: Mead Yeast Alternatives ("Dan McFeeley")
Twin Peaks (Dick Dunn)
Re: Where to find/purchase Dandelion Heads or seeds? ("Dan McFeeley")
Newbie questions ("chris eidson")
Finding honey (Intres Richard)
Raspberry Melomel scum ("Grant Mullins")
Raising gravity ("Asher Reed")


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Subject: National Mead Day
From: "David Craft" <>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 14:23:07 -0400

Our homebrew club hosted a Mead Meeting for our regular August Meeting. We
had our best attendance for any meeting, except Octoberfest. We tasted
quite few meads, homemade and store bought, some good and some bad :>(
Mr. Yuck!! as well as Mr. Yummy :>) appeared.

I think this is a great idea for August homebrewers meetings. The temps
don't mead making as much as beer and we are an inquisitive bunch.

We have several guys who will be making mead in the next month for next
year and beyond………..


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

Subject: Fermentation and Bottling
From: "Melissa Airoldi" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 14:19:30 +0800

Hello All,

I have two small batches of mead currently fermenting.
One of them has cleared nicely and the other is still very cloudy.
The cloudy one is a traditional mead 1kg honey, water to make 5 litres and
wine yeast, and a teaspoon of yeast nutrient. The other is an apple cyser –
2 litres Apple
Juice, 1 litre water, 1 kg River Gum Honey,1 pkt Champagne Yeast,1 tspn
and 2 cinnamon sticks (sorry about the measurements – i'm an Aussie)
They have bubbles within which are still rising but there is no activity
within the airlock????
What are some good guidelines to follow to tell if fermentation has
And what sort of time frame should I be looking at for bottling?
They have been in secondary fermentation for about 8 weeks.

This is my second attempt at mead, the first lot went mouldly 🙁
so I would like to get it right this time around so any feedback would be

Thanks for an excellent digest!


Subject: aeration, and camden...
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 06:20:28 -0400 (EDT)

I have made mead, usually once every several months, for the last 4 years
or so, but have not paid as close attention to the paramaters as I have
with making all-grain beer. Never the less things come out pretty good.

I have a question regarding aeration. Does mead need aeration, just
before pitcing the yeast, as beer does?

And, if the yeast does not take off right away (1-2 days) do mead
makers use camden tablets to retard bacteria competing with the


Subject: Re: Mead Yeast Alternatives
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 08:28:51 -0500

>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)?=20

You might want to check Ken Schramm and Dan McConnell's article "Mastering
Mead Formulation" in the May/June 2000 issue of Zymurgy. On page 28, they
have a chart drawn up showing recommended yeasts and honeys according to
parameters of body (light to extreme and balance (dry to very sweet).


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Twin Peaks
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 20:50:03 -0600 (MDT)

"It has come to my attention" that I didn't really explain the name I gave
the recipe for Mead Day. "Twin Peaks Titillation" could be taken amiss, I
suppose. The part that's left out is that the "Twin Peaks" are Mt Meeker
and Long's Peak, a close pair of pretty-tall mountains that are a landmark
of our area. You know how it goes, if you live near a significant geo-
graphical landmark; things get named after it. Twin Peaks Stapler Repair,
Twin Peaks Telephone Sanitizers, and so on. Anyway, absolutely nothing to
do with the TV show.

But what of that?

I racked my version of the Mead Day mead a mere seven days after starting
it. SG was down to 0.999, which really surprised me for a week's fermen-
tation of a mead. It's interesting to have such a sudden jolt on just how
much better the yeasts for home"brew"ing have become in the past five years
or so…I'd noticed the improvement but this is the first time in a while
that I've been paying very close attention to fermentation progress.

Oh, apropos unexplained geographical references, Paul Gatza might have
explained that Sunshine is a canyon west of Boulder. Also sounds like a
good name for a peach or apricot melomel.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

…Without love in the dream, it'll never come true.


Subject: Re: Where to find/purchase Dandelion Heads or seeds?
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 08:47:32 -0500

On Tue, 6 Aug 2002, in MLD 947, Ross Cohn queried:

>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.)

Try your local health food store. The health food
store in our area can order dried flower heads such
as red clover, have to say I haven't asked them
about dandelion. 🙂


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Newbie questions
From: "chris eidson" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 17:19:11 +0000

I found out about the Mead Lovers digest through the posting about National
Mead Day on the HBD and have only recently become a subscriber to the list
serve. I have been a homebrewer for almost two years and have just brewed
my fourth batch of mead for mead day this month. I have a question not
about that batch, however, but the next most recent mead I made. . .

Last November I brewed 5 gallons of mead using 12# of Alabama Huckleberry
honey, yeast nutrient, a little acid blend and 10g of Montrachet yeast. It
still sitting in the primary fermenter on the yeast bed. This is my first
time trying this — previous batches I would keep in the primary for 1 week,
followed by a month in the secondary and then into the bottle (got the idea
of keeping mead on the yeast bed from something I had read in the Beer, Beer
& More Beer catalogue). My first question is what is the collective wisdom
on keeping mead on the yeast bed for extended periods?

I think I would like to make this batch sparkling, so my next question is
what to do next? I was thinking I should repitch another yeast sample, let
it sit for a week or two to insure it doesn't substantially re-start
fermentation, and then bottle with priming sugar. If I do this, should I
use the same strain of yeast? If I use Montrachet, will it be past its'
alcohol tolerance to make a sparkling mead? Would Premier Cuvee be a better
choice because of its' high alcohol tolerance and reputation for neutral
flavor profile?

Thanks in advance for all responses.

Chris Eidson
Birmingham, AL

Subject: Finding honey
From: Intres Richard <>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 12:07:41 -0400

Dear friends

There is a web site to help you locate sources of honey. Most of the
producers listed are small timers like me who will be happy to supply your
needs. You may be able to make special requests for rare honeys.


Pittsfield, MA

Subject: Raspberry Melomel scum
From: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 15:00:40 -0600

I have just started my first batch of Raspberry Melomel. I have it in
my plastic bucket primary and I am noticing after a couple of days that
there is something rising to the top that looks akin to the scum that
you would skim off when pasteurizing. I didn't pasteurize this batch
but used a campden tablet instead. Should I be skimming this stuff off?

Thanks in advance
Grant Mullins

Subject: Raising gravity
From: "Asher Reed" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 00:14:54 +0000


I have a cherry melomel that is finished fermenting with a gravity of

about 1.000 — if I wanted to sweeten this, is there some rule of thumb like
adding X amount of honey per gallon of liquid will raise the gravity by Y
amount. For example, adding 2oz of honey per gallon will raise the gravity
by .005, or something like that. I know I have come across info like this
before but I can't seem to find it now that I need it. Thanks!


Asher Reed
Broomfield, CO

End of Mead Lover's Digest #948