Mead Lover's Digest #95 Fri 12 March 1993

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming

John Dilley, Digest Coordinator


Skimming (Mark Gooley)
Re: Sparkling Mead Question (STBLEZA)
What's up doc? (Mark N. Davis)
quick fermentation and carbonation (Dick Dunn)
melomel, raspberries (Dick Dunn)
honeybee digest? (PMERTENS)

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Date: Thu, 11 Mar 93 10:28:37 MST
From: Mark Gooley <>
Subject: Skimming

I used to skim with my Charismatic Wooden Stirring Spoon. Now I don't boil
the "wort" unless I make a mead ale or lager — then I boil the bittering
hops with about a third of the honey, and add the rest of the honey at the
end of the boil to be pasteurized. I don't boil honey otherwise, and I
don't bother to skim. I have sic five-gallon batches of maturing mead,
not one of which is yet drinkable, and so I can't say what my practices do
for the taste.


Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1993 14:18 EST
Subject: Re: Sparkling Mead Question


To the person that had the question on making sparkling, fined mead… Good
Luck. The 'sparkling' comes from CO2 disolved in the mead, which comes from the
yeast reactions. If you de-pressurize the mead to remove sediment, you will
lose pressure. Now, if you only want a 'mildly' sparkling mead, this is fine.
Try adding a bit of gelatine to your mead before you bottle (this SHOULD make
the sediment thick enough to remove easily without filtering)(BTW, filtering
will get rid of alot of the dissolved CO2). There is also a clay that you can
get from brew supply shops that will make sediments rock hard (make certain that
you have a way of getting them out of your bottles without breaking them :> ),
but that works best in the secondary. Or, you could try to use an 'additive'
process, though these take alot of playing to get to work (I haven't tried this
my-self, but I think you will easily see why it's a 'touchy' process). For
this, you brew a still mead to completion (in a tertiary, or whatever). Then,
when you go the bottle, pour the mead into the bottle as usual. Then put a
couple small flakes of dry ice on top, and cap it QUICKLY. Let sit for a couple
weeks to allow the CO2 to disolve, and there you go… Sparkling, sediment-free
mead. Assuming that everything went well, it will be bubbly without becoming
Old Faithful (but don't count on it for your first few bottles, or your first
batch, for that matter). All told, compared to both techniques, I find it MUCH
easier to just pour the mead gently…

Gower Wassail…

|"There are no choices between good and |The Dragon of |
|evil. All choices are between the | Summer Sun and |
|lesser of two evils, or the greater of | Winter Moon |
|two goods." |(AKA J. Hunter Heinlen) |
| -The Dragon of Shadow Walking and |(Bitnet:STBLEZA@IUP) |
| Night Stalking — a good friend RIP |(Internet:STBLEZA@GROVE.IUP.EDU) |

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 93 16:21:03 PST
From: Mark N. Davis <mndavis@pbhya.PacBell.COM>
Subject: What's up doc?


Having just recently purchased a juicer, and experimenting with juicing
everything from celery to bat guano (OK, so I'm exaggerating a bit >:-)
I've found that my favorite is that old standby, carrot juice.

For those who haven't tried it, this orange delight is surprisingly sweet.
Using a little logic, I figured that sweet = sugars = fermentables. So,
the big question is:

Has anyone out there ever tried to make a CarroMel ™, using either
all carrots or any kind of combo that includes carrots?

If the answer to the above is either "Yes", "I think I did, but I'm not
sure", or "No because it won't work" please let me know and elaborate on
your experiences.

If this is deemed doable, and the old adage about carrots helping your
vision is true, would alcoholic carrot juice give you a clearer version
of double vision?

Thanks in advance,

Date: 11 Mar 93 20:53:41 MST (Thu)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Subject: quick fermentation and carbonation

Tom Brady <BRADY@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU> asks:

> A query: My roommate is seeking to make a semi-quick mead (total brewing and
> bottling time: about 4 months). Does anyone have any good recipes to suggest?

More along the lines of general suggestions than specific recipes:

  • Forget recipes with hops; these take a long time to balance out.
  • Be sure the yeast nutrient and acid balance are right. These are
    two factors that strongly influence the fermentation rate…if
    the yeast ain't happy, they don't work very hard. On the other
    side, be sure not to get excessive yeast nutrient in; it will
    leave a taste that takes a long time to age out.
  • A sweet still melomel or pyment can be ready pretty quickly. The
    advantage of the pyment over astringent berries (raspberries and
    especially boysenberries) is faster aging.

> One thing he is seeking to avoid is the problems with excessive carbonation
> often found in quick meads, although we can bottle in champagne bottles, if
> necessary.

A single fermentation, transferred to bottles when the appropriate amount
of fermentable sugar remains, is always risky because it's hard to know how
much fermentable sugar actually remains. You're much safer to ferment out
all the way, then add just enough sugar at bottling to give the carbonation
you want.
_ _ _ _ _

(Speaking of skimming, not worth a second note, but it shouldn't be too
hard to find a "skimmer"–a wide flat circle on a handle, with fine mesh,
made of stainless. I've used one for a long time for both beer and (when
I do boil) mead.)

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.

Date: 11 Mar 93 21:44:23 MST (Thu)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Subject: melomel, raspberries (Leo Woessner) writes:

> I am interested in adding raspberries to the secondary of a basic mead.
> THe mead was made with 12#s of clover honey and the juice of 5 lemons.
> How and when is it best to add fruit to a mead. Should I add friut to
> the primary or secondary?? how is it best to sanatize fruit before
> fermenting it. Is using fruit juice better than using whole fruit..

With that much lemon, you're already fairly high in acid-taste; adding
raspberry is liable to give you a very tart mead…unless you want to try
to add some more honey as well and finish it slightly sweet.

My preference for adding fruit is right after the boil (or heating, if you
don't boil), to hit the balance where you kill off any wild yeast and
goobies in the fruit, but don't set the pectin. Then leave the fruit in
for the first part of the fermentation (until it quiets down and you're,
say, 3/4 of the way from initial to final gravity). In other words, it
goes in the primary.

In fact, if you're using "primary" and "secondary" in the homebrew sense
(wide pail for primary, carboy secondary), you want fruit in the primary
and you can get rid of the fruit/pulp by racking off it into the secondary.
If you're fermenting with whole fruit, the plastic primary is an advantage
for two reasons: you don't have a fermentation lock or blowoff to get
clogged, and the cleanup is easier.

Fruit vs juice If you can get good juice, it's certainly a lot easier.
I think the messiest experiences in my life, with the possible exceptions
of the divorce from my first marriage and the time I shouted something at a
drunken biker that he misunderstood, have been racking melomels made with
whole fruit! One key is not to get carried away crushing or cutting the
fruit…large pieces are really just fine if it's going to ferment for a

In particular, if you're going to be adding late in the fermentation, go
for juice this time. I think it's easier to get flavor out of the fruit
during the fast initial fermentation.

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.

Date: 12 Mar 1993 09:32:28 +0000 (N)
Subject: honeybee digest?

A friend of mine would be very interested to discuss about honeybee keeping, Buc

kfast bees and artificial insemination.

I suppose that some guys here are honeybee keepers and are members of a bee dige

st…if there is any.

Let me know if there is a mailing adress and I'll give to him.
Thanks in advance
Pascal Mertens

End of Mead Lover's Digest