Mead Lover's Digest #966 Sat 2 November 2002


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #965, 31 October 2002 (Vicky Rowe)
re: tannin required? (DOUG BAILEY)
braggot, bracket, etc… ("chad. . . .")
FW: Mead Lover's Digest #965, 31 October 2002 ("Robert L Lewis")
Re: Pomegranate Mead (
brendon is here. ("The Cloete Family")
priming at bottling for carbonation (Kevin Johnson)
Yeast and Alcohol Tolerance ("Kemp, Alson")
Yeast as a yeast nutrient? (Rick Dingus)
Leatherwood honey/Time on the fruit (Ken Schramm)
Re: Cellaring Mead (Adam Funk)
Australian and Tasmanian honey. (Adam Funk)
pectolase after fermentation (=?iso-8859-1?Q?Hrafnkell_Eir=EDksson?=)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #965, 31 October 2002
From: Vicky Rowe <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 22:09:58 -0500

At 06:17 PM 10/31/2002 -0700, you wrote:

>Subject: Rhodomel
>From: Nathan Kanous <>
>Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 22:03:41 -0800


>Good Evening,
>Vicky and Christopher are waxing poetic on the virtues of Rhodomel. I have
>a batch that's in mid-process. My plan is to use rosewater rather than
>rose petals. One thing I noticed with the rosewater is that it gets
>"soapy" if left exposed to oxygen. I'll be adding the rosewater and some
>antioxidants at bottling time but the "test bottle" with a sample of the
>base mead and some rosewater added was quite nice.
>nathan in madison, wi

Hey Nathan!

I actually used a gallon bag of frozen rose petals, then after the
first ferment was finished, poured in a bottle of rose water from
the local Middle Eastern deli/restaurant (after scarfing down some
faboo food).

You're right, it does get a soapy sort of feel to it. I just let it sit
and do its thing for a while, and the soapy feel gradually went
away. Its totally gone now, and the mead is wonderful, but a
bit dryer than I like. I'm going to back-add some honey water
and bottle after any further fermentation (assuming there's any
left by then!)


Vicky Rowe
Makin' mead? Drinkin' mead? Find articles, recipes, advice and hundreds of
links to anything you want to know about mead at

Subject: re: tannin required?
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 17:28:48 +1300

In response to Mark E's question …

I have made my last three batches of mead with just honey, water, yeast,
nutrient and pectic acid – no added acid and no tannin. I am fermenting
to medium / medium dry, and like what I taste. I was prepared to adjust
if needed and haven't.

I live in one of New Zealand's (and the world's) premiere wine producing
regions. If I want to drink wine I go and buy a bottle. If I want
mead, though, then I want something that's not wine but mead! I like
mead, I'm proud to make it, and I aim to make an enjoyable drink that is
just as complex as the medal winning wines around here but distinctly
different. Rather than trying to make it like the wines that folk
around here are used to, I say "This is mead. It is not wine. It has a
taste all of its own. Enjoy it!"


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

Subject: braggot, bracket, etc...
From: "chad. . . ." <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 22:47:15 -0800 (PST)

a couple comments to your post. last one of MLD 965.
a beverage that is made of malt extract and honey
fermented together is not the same beverage as mead
and ale poured together into the same mug and consumed
as one beverage.
beer is the collective term. in the beer family tree
its all one of two things, its either ale or lager-
period. either the yeast ferments on top of the wort,
or on the bottom of the wort. ale-top, lager-bottom.
thats it, period, end of story. beer is unlike mead in
that while basically the same beverage, it doesnt
necessitate a different nomenclature for ingredient
changes. apple mead, cinnamon mead, pear mead, strong
mead, anise mead, rose mead, the list goes on ad
nauseum. its all mead. beer is the same way.
before hops made it to certain geographic regions of
the known world there were a plethora of other spices
used too counter the extreme sweetness of the barley
malt. any beer recipe database will be full of
alternate methods. at this point i dont know why im
even posting this message. one sentence im whining
about two things called the same thing that are
obviously not, and the next im fussing about 100
things called different that are the same. who knows?
who cares? help! Pour me another mug, wassail, cheers,
toast, blessed be!


cq dx de KM5QF k k kn?

Subject: FW: Mead Lover's Digest #965, 31 October 2002
From: "Robert L Lewis" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 2:10:44 -0500

Mr Bruck, have you ever asked a french-man, who makes the best Bojoulei,
he will curse you, and say what year, if it's an 83, then of course the…
yadda yadda …

the truth is if you let it sit for a complete cycle of the moon, your mead
will make your wife rich with twin children before the next planting…

There are no simple answers. If you have used lots of honey, your must is
going to be heavy. If there is lots of sugar in the mix, your fruit simply
wont sink, but it will clog your airlock, then you gotta take your mop to
your ceiling. to simply seek out disintegration or seek out sinkage as your
guide would be silly. most of the characteristics of fruit impart rather
quickly into a mead. There are no simple standares because every fruit is
different. A banana, pear, or watermelon would disintegrate rather
quickly. Pin apple is more sound, it's got lots of fibre. waiting for it
to disintegrate is like waiting for the next prequil of star wars.
waiting for it to sink, is a question for the chemists reguarding what type
of yeast you used, how you encouraged it (if at all) prior to pitching, and
how much damned sugar you put it up against at the get go, (also, consider
questions of Oxidation, temperature, what type of yeast…)

Generally speaking, I agree with the idea that fruit benifits a mead the

most when added after the first racking. I make an exception for dried
fruit. The main reason I like the secondary fermentation, is that you have
already established a solution with some alcohol, tho the yeast is still
activly dividing, there is enough alcohol to suck the essence of your

The main reason all pre modern medicine was alcohol based was that alcohol

can suck the essence out of most any vegitation/ It is also a natural
preservative, and a pain killer to boot.
With something fibrous like pineapple, you could proabably allow the
sucker to sit for a long time before ecountering a laps in structural
integrity. You are not required to wait for disintegration. I dare you to
make a celery mead, and wait for the stalks to disintegrate prior to the
second racking. You have already gotten the essense of the pinapple. Most
people rack before disintegration because it is easier to rack your mead if
it has a score of fruit chunks, as opposed to four inches of fruit sludge.


> I asked a few digests back on how long I should let the unsinkable pineapple
> sit in secondary and got I wide swing of times from the few people who
> responded to me privately. Is there a proper time to let the fruit sit in
> secondary? If this could be kind of a survey I personally usually let the
> stuff start to fall a part before racking it over. How long do all ya'll let
> it sit? Thanks

Subject: Re: Pomegranate Mead
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 05:14:11 EST

A Digest or 2 ago, someone asked about pomegranate mead. One of our early,
very tasty meads was made from pomegranate juice- we buy the organic stuff
from a local store, some brewing friends mentioned that it was on sale and
they were going to try one. We liked the idea, so we tried one, too. I
believe we used 6 quarts of juice for a 5 gallon batch, and about 10 lbs of
Wildflower honey. We are fortunate to live near Madhava Honey, and they
deliver, so we buy wholesale in 60 lb buckets. We liked our pomegranate
(called Persephone's Passion) so well we recently brewed up[ another, yet to
be tested. We found that if we bought a case of juice (12 quart bottles) the
store gave us a discount, so you may find it worth asking. So we brewed yet
another batch. It sure beats trying to squeeze all those little red seeds!
Full receipes are available at Happy brewing



Subject: brendon is here.
From: "The Cloete Family" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 11:20:42 +0200


At last I am here. Hi everyone. This is my first MLD post. The name
is Brendon, from Cape Town, South Africa. I aim to put mead on the map
over here. My newbie q is a poll for a good book on mead-making that I
can buy. I do realise that this q was asked numerous times, but I do
ask it again, in case there is an update on opinion. I do have these

1. I need a book focusing more on the brewing of mead itself, rather
than numerous recipes. If I can master the basic recipes, then
I would have achieved my goal as a brewer
2. I will probably be purchasing via international transaction (ISBN).
3. My budget can account for only one book/purchase for now (I'm a
student), so I am looking for the BEST, even if it is the
highest priced, as long as I don't need additional purchases thereafter
for quite some time.

Yours sincerely
Brendon Cloete
Cape Town
South Africa.

Honey tip (for the unititiated): Although honey is best stored in
stainless steel at temperatures below freeze point, it won't spoil at
room temperature. Stored in this crystallised form, it will probably
last forever. To decrystallize, put the container in hot water or place
in the sun. Yes, this process will probably take several hours.

Subject: priming at bottling for carbonation
From: Kevin Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 07:35:05 -0800 (PST)

My mead has stopped fermenting presumably because it has reached
the % alcohol tolerance of the yeast. Is there any way -aside
from putting it in a keg and charging it with CO2- to get it
carbonated in the bottle?

Am i correct to assume if the yeast can't survive due to the %
alcohol then adding the priming sugar before bottling will only
make it more "syrupy" in the bottle? -and adding more yeast will
only make it taste yeasty?

Kevin in Madison

Subject: Yeast and Alcohol Tolerance
From: "Kemp, Alson" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 09:52:50 -0800

There's a lot of discussion about yeast and alcohol
tolerance and there seem to be a quantity of opinion that a
yeast's tolerance to alcohol can be predicted from a yeast
reference chart.
To throw my $0.02 in: we all hear about "stuck"
fermentations, how they're unpredictable, and how to avoid them.
I don't think that a homebrewer can look at a yeast chart
(controlled conditions) and >predictably< design a honey solution
to always leave 2 degree Brix behind suggests that you could
predictably create a stuck fermentation. There are too many
factors that affect yeast growth.
Check out "The Handbook of Enology" (ISBN: 0471973629)
for discussion of the myriad factors which affect growth and
alcohol tolerance of wine yeast.

NOTE: I don't think that it's absolutely impossible to
design a winemaking regime which will leave residual sugar, but I
do think that the infrastructure (time, experimentation, lab
work, temperature control) would be beyond most of our abilities.
I do think that the common recommendation to brew to dryness,
stabilize and sweeten to taste is the best solution.


Subject: Yeast as a yeast nutrient?
From: Rick Dingus <rick.dingus@TTU.EDU>
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 12:34:58 -0600

A few issues back someone asked about "natural" nutrients for yeast not
based on chemical or synthetic additives. I've read that yeast itself
contains all the nutrients which new yeast require and that in traditional
Yorkshire ale breweries, it is a common practice to add yeast directly to
the boil (killing it, but adding it as a source of nutrients) before cooling
and pitching more live yeast to start the fermentation.

Has anyone experimented with using yeast itself as the only nutrient for
mead–sanitized first by boiling or other means? The yeast used for
nutrients could be captured from the foam of a prior primary fermentation,
or from the lees of a secondary or tertiary transfer. Maybe old or
out-of-date packaged wine or ale yeast would work, or even "brewer's yeast"
or "bread yeast" from the grocery store.

Would dead yeast alone contain enough nutrients for a honey-only mead?
Would the kind of yeast matter? (There might be aftertastes left by some
types of yeast, not by others.) How much dead yeast per gallon would be
needed as a nutrient? (I'm guessing a little more than the standard amounts
of yeast nutrients/ energizers, because they are probably more efficient.)


From: "Lindi Edens" <>
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 18:54:59 -0600

Well, I'm considering a new mead and wondering what to make it with. We had
a sample test today of all the products my workplace sells (that would be
the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse ;). Anyway, they
sell muscadine juice in 750ml bottles. They also sell wildflower honey.
So, of course this gets me thinking… I wonder how many bottles of
muscadine juice it would take to make a muscadine mead? It costs around 7-9
dollars a bottle, so I really don't want to get more than I need. Any idea
how much to use? I prefer a sweeter mead, but not sickly sweet.



"Have you completely lost your mind?"
"Well, yes. Where have you been all night?" –BtVS

Subject: Leatherwood honey/Time on the fruit
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2002 09:34:22 -0500

I have a small amount of leatherwood honey – not enough to make mead.
It has the most appealing aroma and flavor of any of the Australian/New
Zealand honeys I have. I would have no reservations about making a
batch from it. I actually commented to the Pontiac Brewing Tribe that
leatherwood may be the honey I would most like to make mead with right
now, save for the expense of importing a batch-sized quantity.

I also would not assume that there is a crossover of eucalyptus into all
of the Aussie honeys. I have some Eucalyptus and I don't notice any
real similarity in character between it and the leatherwood. asks how long on the fruit: I don't think there is a
right answer. I have heard rationales for every length, and in practice
I have seen everything work. The Belgians leave their Lambic beers on
the fruit for months (in some cases a year). I have left meads on the
fruit anywhere from a few weeks to nine months. My only real problem was
an oxidized cherry mead, and I think that was more a result of the
fermenter geometry and oxygen exposure. I've heard complaints about
tannin from raspberry seeds, but that has never been a problem for me.
Just make sure your fermentation lock stays full, and let your
conscience be your guide.


Subject: Re: Cellaring Mead
From: Adam Funk <>
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2002 18:05:37 +0000

> From: Joyce Hersh <>
> Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 21:06:09 -0400

> I have not had trouble with mead that *needs* to be aged. It's always
> been either good to drink right away, or if it wasn't, aging wasn't going
> to save it. Some things do get better with age, but if they're bad to
> begin with, they generally stay that way.


> If I do put something in the cellar, I have found that its longevity
> depends entirely on the amount of alcohol in it. If it's made with a beer
> yeast (up to 1.070-1.080 SG), then it *must* be drunk within a year, as it
> goes off quickly after that. If made with wine yeast, it's good for a few
> years, and if made with champagne yeast, then it's good indefinitely
> (assuming it isn't a low gravity mead that was just fermented with
> champagne yeast).

This summer I tried two bottles of mead that I made in 1991 (about 8% ABV)
and 1992 (about 10%), both with Champagne yeast. They were both very good.
(They were also very dry but I think they had always been like that.)

My winemaking experiments definitely agree with "if they're bad to begin
with, they generally stay that way" but I have found mead made with wine
yeasts to be a bit harsh for at least a few months.

> I have made braggot, which has lowish alcohol, but added hops. But I don't
> know how these affect the preservation, as the braggot is generally
> consumed quickly in my house.

I've made a few matches of mead with hops and beer yeast as well as braggot,
and found that they are ready to drink as soon as beer (a few weeks after


  • — Adam


Subject: Australian and Tasmanian honey.
From: Adam Funk <>
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2002 18:09:52 +0000

> From: "Ron York" <>
> Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 08:40:47 +1000

> I would like to comment on the statement in the e-mail below about the
> taste of eucalytus in Australian honey. This not the case. The main
> flavour that comes through is usually related to the type of blossoms the
> bees have been feeding on.

I hope I didn't offend you by repeating pejorative misinformation that I'd
read about Australian honey! I'll do a little www research on "leatherwood"
and probably end up trying it — thanks for the information.


  • — Adam


Subject: pectolase after fermentation
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Hrafnkell_Eir=EDksson?= <>
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2002 18:50:35 +0000


Is it ok to add pectoalse (enzyme to break down pectin) to mead/wine
after fermentation is complete? I heard something about pectolase
not working well in the presence of alcohol.




End of Mead Lover's Digest #966