Mead Lover's Digest #985 Sat 11 January 2003


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



Re: Oxy-Clean as sanitizer? (Adam Funk)
Re: beginner needs yeast advice ("Kristopher Barrett")
Re: Soybean, Alfalfa honeys (Steven Sanders)
Long Island Mead Maker (Ben Snyder)
online place to get yeast (LJ Vitt)
Sulfite use in makeing mead (LJ Vitt)
Am I stuck (LJ Vitt)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #984, 7 January 2003 (
3rd Annual DEA CHALLENGE (Bob Sheck)
Re: sulfites (Jim Johnston)
low temperatures (Mathieu Bouville)


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Subject: Re: Oxy-Clean as sanitizer?
From: Adam Funk <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:14:31 +0000

> > I'd

> > love to switch to this stuff as it cleans instantly and doesn't stain
> > like Iodophor.

I use Betadine (which I believe is the same as Iodophor) and I've never seen
the diluted product stain anything (including my clothes), so I'm curious
about whether anyone else has had a staining problem with it. (I know the
undiluted product will make some fairly nasty stains, so I'm very careful
with it.)


  • — Adam


Subject: Re: beginner needs yeast advice
From: "Kristopher Barrett" <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 08:33:47 -0500 (EST)

> From: "The McMillans" <>
> Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 11:46:36 -0800


> Okay i am new to all of this and I am very glad I found you guys. My
> dad has alot of goodies from making beer and says I can use them for
> mead. My main concern is the yeast. Where do I get it. I have recipes
> that say you need a sparkling wine yeast or champangne yeast. So I was

I use Lalvin EC-1118. Feel free to use whatever you wish….

Kristopher Barrett

Subject: Re: Soybean, Alfalfa honeys
From: Steven Sanders <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 06:39:54 -0800 (PST)

Has anyone made straight or show meads from soybean or
alfalfa honeys? If so, how did they turn out? I'm
thinking about buying some of these honeys..



Subject: Long Island Mead Maker
From: Ben Snyder <>
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 09:49:18 -0500

I'm a relatively new Mead maker here on Long Island, Huntington to be exact.

Anyone interested in talking about local shops, goings on, etc. can email me
directly at devlyn76 at optonline dot net

  • -ben

Subject: online place to get yeast
From: LJ Vitt <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 09:40:18 -0800 (PST)

The McMillans asked about where to find yeast to make mead.

Here are a couple of online places to get yeast:

If you find any wine or beer making supply stores, they should have
yeast your looking for.

You should be aware there are several suitable yeast for making wine.
Champaign yeast may be popular, but other wine yeast make good choices
too. Some people make meads with beer yeast too.

The think I don't like about champaign yeast is it will ferment
until the alcohol is very high, and you get a hot feeling in the mouth.
This is for mead that has some sweetness left.

My choices – lalvin 1122, Red star cote de blanc, Wyeast sweet mead yeast.
The first 2 are dry, the third is liquid.

Please don't try the bread yeast mentioned in the posting.

Leo Vitt
Rochester MN

Subject: Sulfite use in makeing mead
From: LJ Vitt <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:17:16 -0800 (PST)

Tina asked about sulfites:

>However, more than one member of my family is highly allergic to sulfer and
>related products which is why I've never used sulfites (assuming sulfites
>are sulfer related).

>What are my alternatives to using sulfites? I've always tried to maintain
>high cleanliness and sterilization proceedures, but am interested in
>anti-oxidation and prolonging the life of my mead.
>Any suggestions?

I have used potasium sulfate (or is it sulfite?) in meads and wines.
Sodium Sulfate is another option. You blend a couple of ounces of
white powder into 1 gal of water and sanitize your fermenters,
tubes, etc with it. SO2 (sulfer dioxide) it the active part of it.
It inhibits bacteria growth and helps in avoiding oxidation.
Rinsing is not required.

I suspect will affect your sensative family members.

Comercial wines usually have been treated with it too.

You want alternatives:
Iodophor will sanitize equipment, but it will not help with oxidation.
No rinsing needed, but you need allow all of the liquid to drip out of
you equipment, which takes some time.

There are some other brewing wine making sanitizers like san-star.
I susplect they will not help avoid oxidation either.

Clorine bleach – it sanitizes, but requires rinsing out equipment after
the sanitation because it causes off flavors in beer, and I assume it
would also in other beverages.

Other idea to help avoid oxidation – get a CO2 tank with regulator,
and purge out the air in carboys (or other fermenters) before racking
the mead into it. This is a seperate step made after sanitizing.


  • – Leo


Leo Vitt
Rochester MN

Subject: Am I stuck
From: LJ Vitt <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 10:23:36 -0800 (PST)

Steven asked if he has a stuck fermentation:

>Started my 1st batch of mead on 12/27. This is just a traditional mead.

>12lb clover honey
>5tsp yeast nutrient
>wyeast #3184 for sweet mead
>water to make 5 gallons.

>Started with an IG of 1.092
>After 11 days SG is down to 1.070.

>Fermentation never really went crazy like I've heard described. Just been
>pretty slow and steady at 1 to 2 burps per minute in the airlock. Am I
>being paranoid and just need to give it time or what. The must smells
>heavenly btw

I would say your fermentation never really got started. Add some yeast
energizer. I learned to always add both yeast nutrient and yeast energizer
to meads.

I had an example like yours when I left one of them out – I forget which.
I added the other and it started going.

I frequently include pectin enzyme too – even if there isn't any fruit.
However, that is more for clearing not to get it to ferment.

Add the amount the directions tell you to.


  • – Leo


Leo Vitt
Rochester MN

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #984, 7 January 2003
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:31:42 EST

Watering the mead:

There was discussion a few bottles ago about making mead that was strong more
drinkable by added water after fermentation.
I say yes. Looking over my brew notes I see where I've said the wort has
become dehydrated.
When I added about 10% water the brew became more drinkable.
Dr. Jim Phila, Pa.

Subject: 3rd Annual DEA CHALLENGE
From: Bob Sheck <>
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 22:45:09 -0500

The Down East Alers Open Homebrew Competition in Greenville, North Carolina,
will be Saturday February 15, 2003 (Earlier this year than previous years).

The Down East Alers will host the DEA Challenge Homebrew Competition at the
Ayden Golf and Country Club. This is an AHA registered competition. We will
be accepting all BJCP styles and the rules will be the same as those used
in the AHA National competition. This competition is a qualifying event for
the North Carolina Homebrewer of the year.

Entry requirements: 2 unmarked bottles, 10 to 22 ounce, crown capped, or
corked (1 bottle for MEAD entries will be acceptable). Entry fee will be
$6.00 for the first entry, and $4.00 for additional entries. The entry
deadline is Wednesday, February 12, 2003.

Mail entries and drop offs to: DEA Challenge

Attn: Brian Mentzer
2090 Allen Rd
Greenville, NC 27834


Judging for the competition will take place at the Ayden Golf and Country
Club, 4343 Ayden Golf Club Rd, in Ayden, North Carolina on Saturday
February 15, 2003 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The awards ceremony will
follow. Results will be posted at:

Lunch will be provided for visiting judges and stewards. Potential
entrants, judges, and stewards with questions are encouraged to contact
the organizers via e-mail.


You may also download entry forms from
in Microsoft Word Format

Subject: Re: sulfites
From: Jim Johnston <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 12:05:59 -0600

On Wednesday, January 8, 2003, at 12:21 AM,

> Subject: Sulfites question
> From: "Munro, Tina HI0" <>
> Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 10:54:40 -0600


> I've brewed mead on an irregular basis for over 12 years and have
> recently
> been interested in improving my brewing skills. I've been reading a
> lot
> people talk about sulfites.


> However, more than one member of my family is highly allergic to
> sulfer and
> related products which is why I've never used sulfites (assuming
> sulfites
> are sulfer related).


> What are my alternatives to using sulfites? I've always tried to
> maintain
> high cleanliness and sterilization proceedures, but am interested in
> anti-oxidation and prolonging the life of my mead.
> Any suggestions?


> Tina Munro


I don't use any added sulfites in my meads. I pasteurize the honey (
and fruit or juice) by adding it to the water I have heated to about
160 or so. I try to hold the mixture at 150-160 for 20-30 minutes, and
add the yeast nutrient at this time. I then chill it using a copper
coil style wort chiller, and add pectic enzyme and yeast at that point
(enzymes and yeast don't fair well at higher temperatures).
As for sanitizing, I used to use One-Step, but still had occasional
problems with beer batches going bad. I switched to the Five-Star
products and have had no problems since. Cleaning is the PBW powder,
which is added to warm water and has a similar peroxide reaction to do
the bulk of the cleaning. Very little scrubbing is needed, and this is
the only product I have seen that cleans stainless steel effectively
without pitting. That gets rinsed, an I use the acid sanitizer to give
a final rinse. All of my equipment gets rinsed with this, and I make
sure not to touch anything that is going to be in contact with the
beverage after it has been rinsed.
The only time any of these beverages have sulfites is when I use the
canned fruit purees such as Vintner's Harvest, these contain sulfites.
I want to try to make a grape wine some time using a similar method.

Jim Johnston

Subject: low temperatures
From: Mathieu Bouville <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 14:53:52 -0500 (EST)

I left a few bottles of mead at low temperature for a few weeks. As in
Michigan, the temperature is quite unstable, I guess that at some time it
was as low as 30 or 40F. I have just opened a bottle, it has a floral
nose and there is something fruity to the taste, but I cannot pinpoint it
precisely. In any case, it is very odd and very different from what I
tasted a month ago (a bit too sweet and much less character.)
Is it that ice leprechaun again or does somebody have another explanation?

Brew mead, ill-treat mead, ask on MLD

End of Mead Lover's Digest #985