Mead Lover's Digest #974 Thu 5 December 2002


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



Need some MLDer help: email help for our new subscribers (Mead Lovers Digest)
Meadllennium VI 2003 ("Howard & Patty Curran")
Yeasts and Boiling ("phil")
New subscriber, looking for Cranberry Mead recipes ("Arthur Torrey (no spa…)
RE: My First Mead Brewing Experience! ("FrOg") (Joe Kaufman)
Kumquat mead? (Nathan Kanous)
"regular" yeast (Patrick Devaney)
Questions about straining fruit out? ()


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Subject: Need some MLDer help: email help for our new subscribers
From: (Mead Lovers Digest)
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 00:03:46 -0700 (MST)

Every now and then, the MLD gets a spate of new subscribers, who are not
only new mead-makers but new to email and this whole weird world we use to
communicate. Sometimes these folks don't have any idea how to control their
email programs, but they'd like to submit articles. So they submit some-
thing, and it arrives in a format/style that just won't work for the digest.
It gets rejected here with a curt explanation of the problem, and they are
at sea for what to do.

Trouble is, I can't really help. I'm not using Windows and I'm not using a
Mac. I know how my own world of mail software works, and I *could* figure
out the other stuff, but I just *don't* have the time to do it. I want to
make mead now and then too! I don't want to run a training ground for new
'net folks here, but at the same time I don't want to be hostile to the new
folks, because in a sense they're the most important people to the mead

So what I'm looking for is a few people on the MLD who are conversant with
various email programs on the common platforms, who will volunteer to help
our new subscribers get things set up right so they can post articles here.
If you can help, send me a note at (Sending to
the main digest automatically disqualifies you:-) You need to be able to
tell people how to set up mail to send plain text, wrap lines at about 75
columns (and *not* re-wrap long lines into long/short breaks), avoid attach-
ments, prevent base64, no html (except as alternative, which I am accustomed
to removing), and preferably avoid quoted-printable. If you don't know
what all of that means, you're not going to be able to help. If you sign
up for this, I will send you problem postings and ask you to help the
senders correct their problems.

Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: Meadllennium VI 2003
From: "Howard & Patty Curran" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 14:13:28 -0500

Meadllennium VI is just around the corner. This will be the first
mead-only competition of 2003 and is one of the Premier Mead Only
Competitions in the United States. This event is sponsored by the
Central Florida Home Brewers (the same club that puts on the Sunshine
Challenge in May each year, which is the largest homebrew competition
East of the Mississippi.)
Entry procedures have been streamlined to make entering the competition
as easy as possible. You can now enter Meadllennium VI online. From the
online entry form you can print the required forms, and electronically
submit them to the tabulation team. Now you can pay your entry fees
online and get a $1 per-entry discount! You can even use your credit
At a minimum, awards will be made for suitable 1st, 2nd and 3rd places
in each category. Additionally, an award will be given for Best of Show
and to the Club with the most points (the host club, the CFHB, is
excluded from this award.) Beautiful etched glasses will be awarded
again this year.
This competition is registered and sanctioned through the BJCP.
Judging will be Saturday, January 25, 2003, and all entries are due no
later than Tuesday, January 21, 2003.
Entry fee is $6.00 and will consist of 3 bottles, 6 oz. or greater. You
can pay your entry fees online and get a $1 per-entry discount!

Mail your entries to:
Meadllennium VI
c/o Rockey Markham
2247 King John Court
Winter Park, FL 32792

The following styles will be judged and follow the BJCP Style
Guidelines, Category 25, Mead Subcategories A-H. See:

A. Traditional Mead
B. Varietal Honey Traditional Mead
C. Cyser (Apple Melomel)
D. Pyment (Grape Melomel)
E. Other Fruit Melomel
F. Metheglin (spices and/or herbs)
G. Braggot
H. Mixed Category Mead (combines ingredients from two or more of
the other mead sub-categories)

More information and the downloadable forms can be found at the Central
Florida Home Brewers site. Go to: or
E-Mail the Meadllennium competition team at:

Hope to see several of your members enter. Good luck and Keep Brewing.

Subject: Yeasts and Boiling
From: "phil" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 16:36:47 -0800

Hi All,

I've been lurking a few months and now I have questions. I have little
experience in making mead-my first three melomels are still in their
carboys. I am about to make a lavender metheglin and I am curious to
hear any thoughts on what yeast to use. I am planning to make a 5
gallon batch with ten pounds of wildflower honey and five pounds of
orange blossom honey. I have about a cup of dry lavender flowers from
my garden and I thought I would just leave it in the secondary
fermentation until it tastes strong enough.

I don't want to use montrachet yeast because I believe it is the reason
my current batches taste like Listerine. My vender is recommending
Prise de Mousse.

Are there any faster or more neutral tasting yeasts? Or are there any
that work slower but allow for more varietal character or help create

In my current attempts, I didn't cook my honey, which I bought from a
local beekeeper. He just filtered it. I have trouble believing I am at
any greater risk of loosing these batches as those of you out there who

All the accounts I've read about bacteria or other unwanted critters
growing in mead have involved stuck fermentations. It appears this can
happen whether or not the honey is boiled. In fact, heat killing off
the yeast is often sited as a contributing factor in stuck fermentation.

So, I wonder if killing bacteria by heating the honey is worth the loss
of subtle flavors in the honey? Has anyone had any bad experiences which
they attribute to not cooking their honey? Does anyone dispute the loss
of flavor during the heating process?

I can think of two reasons why cooking may just be folklore. First,
given how aggressively yeast takes off, it seems it would kill off any
flora or fauna introduced with the honey or other ingredients.

Second, although I washed my fruit and used clean utensils, it lived its
whole life in an unsanitary environment, and my kitchen was clean, but I
cannot guarantee sterile. Aren't there little critters on the flowers
and herbs, and on and under the skins of the fruits which are not
troubled during the washing and cutting process? Thus, it seems that
the uncooked ingredients going into the mead are likely to be home to
little critters.

Please don't consider me presumptuous, I am just a naive novice who has
yet to taste a successful mead of my own making.

Your grasshopper,


Subject: New subscriber, looking for Cranberry Mead recipes
From: "Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 21:19:47 -0500



I just subscribed to the digest, however I've been brewing mead and beer

for about 3 years now. I've mostly been working out of books, with some
support from my local brewing supply folks (New England Beer & Wine Hobby
in Woburn, MA and Jasper's in Nashua NH, both good shops to deal with)


I like to keep my primary busy, and do seasonal meads depending on what

sort of fruit is available at the local stores and the mood I'm in. With
the exception of cyser which I make with fresh pasteurized cider, I prefer
to use whole fresh fruit, not extracts or canned stuff.


For the last two years I've been growing my own honey, thanks to the

encouragement of the beekeeper that sold me my first 5 gallon pail – It is
amazing how much variety I get from the same hive, in the same location,
using the same colony of bees. I've had 3 significant harvests so far,
with results ranging from a very pale commercial looking and tasting honey
to a very dark strongly flavored, somewhat bitter honey. I tend to use
the clear stuff in simple and spiced meads, and the strong stuff in the
fruit meads.

Usually I use Lavin EC-1118 Champagne yeast, although I'm considering

alternatives as my last two batches (a pyment and a cyser) have both
turned out very dry, and about 19% alc(!), which is fine, except that I
was looking for a sweeter mead at around 16%


Currently, I am planning my next batch to be a Cranberry mead – I've

heard good things about cranberries, and they are in season so I thought I
would like to give them a try.


However I haven't had much luck finding recipes, and the ones I've found

have mostly been for cranberry juice (made with non-honey sweetener –


I've looked through the Bee's Lee's and Cat's Meow data bases, and some

of the other websites I've found using Google, and haven't gotten very
much in the way of recipes that use WHOLE cranberries. (as opposed to
juice, canned, etc. – I am perfectly willing to crush them myself…)


About the only recipes I could find so far used wildly different numbers

  • – one used 24 oz of berries to make 3 gallons, the other used the same

amount for ONE gallon, which is more consistent with the numbers for other
sorts of fruit, but I don't know if it's appropriate for cranberries since
they are so strongly flavored and highly acidic.


Does anyone have any specific suggestions about how much Fresh Whole

Cranberries I should use for a 5 gallon batch?


I have currently purchased five 12 oz. packages, which if I don't hear

otherwise I am planning to freeze, chop in a blender, and brew with about
15 lbs of my dark honey and champagne yeast, along with the usual yeast
nutrients, pectic enzyme, etc. I will probably not do any acid blend at
first as I expect the cranberries will probably be more than acid enough.


Any other ideas?






Subject: RE: My First Mead Brewing Experience! ("FrOg")
From: Joe Kaufman <>
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 2002 21:37:49 -0600

Hm, Mountain Dew and strawberries, eh? You poor sap…I think that
might be my recipe! *smile* It'll be nice and tasty…one of my first
recipes! Could probably use more strawberry though, so you might want
to think about adding more strawberries during secondary fermentation…

Excellent log of your first batch! Funny stuff! Sounds like it is
going good now, and yes, it's time for another batch!

If you have any questions about any of my other recipes on MeadHQ, feel
free to e-mail me at

Hope it turns out OK…finger skin and all! *grin*


Subject: Kumquat mead?
From: Nathan Kanous <>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 07:59:40 -0800

Anybody ever tried this? I don't even know if I spelled it correctly.
nathan in madison, wi

Subject: "regular" yeast
From: Patrick Devaney <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 06:27:42 -0800 (PST)

Hi everyone!

Got a quick question: Does anyone have any negative

experiences with using standard yeast that one might
find at the supermarket (Fleischmans' etc)? I'm trying
a batch, going as basic as I can (honey, water, bread
yeast, period.), but if there are specific reasons not
to proceed like this I'd like to hear them.
Specifically where taste is concerned!


I have 'regular' yeast in primary now and it's

rapidly eating the 10 pounds of honey and 10 pounds of
strawberry preserves I've given it. Everything seems
fine so far, but my successes have all been with yeast
designed for booze.




Subject: Questions about straining fruit out?
From: <>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 16:30:02 -0500

I am brewing a rasberry mead and I am about ready to transfer it out of the
fermentation bucket and into a carboy. I looking for people's ideas as to how
to strain the fruit out. What are your favorite ways????



End of Mead Lover's Digest #974