Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #997, 28 February 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #997 Fri 28 February 2003


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



CO2 "drops to the bottom" ("Spencer W. Thomas")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003 (Rick Dingus)
Teaching in your home… ("Stephan Butcher")
Newbie questions on Tart cherry mead ("Andy Mikesell")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003 ("Joel Baker")
Gas Laws and CO2 purging ("P. D. Waltman")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003 (Scott Morgan – Sun On-Line…)
motor oil update (Patrick Devaney)


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Subject: CO2 "drops to the bottom"
From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:41:07 -0500

>The CO2 gas is heavier than the surrounding atmosphere,
>so it drops to the bottom of the carboy and pushes everything else out the top.


Well, sort of. There will be some mixing of the air in the carboy with
the CO2. It's similar to pouring cold water into a pot of hot water and
saying that since the cold water is heavier, it will sink to the
bottom. If you use a hose and introduce the cold water (CO2) *at* the
bottom, you'll get better results than if you just "pour" it in at the top.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003
From: Rick Dingus <rick.dingus@TTU.EDU>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:10:32 -0600

On 2/26/03 8:54 AM, "" <>

> Subject: Force Carbonating
> From: "Matt E" <>
> Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 18:44:32 -0600


> Hi all,
> I've been trying to find some info. on how to force carbonate. I've
> tried the traditional method on a few occasions with some success,
> however I don't like the mess and headache.
> Could someone please fill me in on any resource material thats available
> and what type of equipment I need.


> thanks,
> Matt Emberton


I Just came across the following related response to this topic in the
techtalk beer discussion group.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 10:28 AM
AHA TechTalk Vol. 03-0225.


From: Steve Murray []

Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 9:07 AM

Subject: Re: Bottling


I bottle by chilling the bottles down, bringing the frig down
to chill the keg & using a piece of clear tubing on the end of
the spigot (tap handle). Carbonate the beer to about 15 lbs. and
hold for a day. When its time to bottle, blow off the keg, attach
the tubing and adjust the CO2 to barely push the beer. Fill the
bottle to within a 1/2 inch of the top and cap immediately. No
sugar is necessary to get carbonation. I have used this method for
years, sending beers all over the country for contests. Got quite a
few ribbons. Carbonation has never been an issue in the contests.
Hope this helps.


Subject: Teaching in your home...
From: "Stephan Butcher" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 09:15:38 -0800


I wanted to share my experience teaching how to make mead in my home. Each
student leaves with a batch of brew and equipment if they paid for it, or
they will return the carboy later. I stick to the basic recipes, unless
there is a returning student to learn more interesting methods.

I used an online ticketing service for selling
space in each class. That way I could sell tickets online, for multiple
classes, and folks could use credit cards instead of cash. I also produced
a little book that covers all the stuff I teach in the first class.

If anyone else has done this sort of thing let me know. I'm in the Seattle
area, and encourage everyone to teach their community!

Have fun.


Subject: Newbie questions on Tart cherry mead 
From: "Andy Mikesell" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 13:01:06 -0500

Hi all –

The second week in January I made my first melomel (and first ever mead), a
5 gallon batch:

  • – 17.5 lbs clover honey

  • – 6 lbs cherries

  • – 2 packs (10 oz) Red star champagne yeast

  • – Yeast Nutrient

  • – Wine Finings at second racking


The goal was to have a Cherry Mead ready in time for Christmas 2003.

After 6 weeks at 68F, fermentation appeared to stop. I racked to a glass
secondary, where I planned to allow the brew to age until May then bottle.
The storage area for bottles and secondary is about 40F. The alcohol
appears to be about 12%.

1. Are Campden tablets needed to prevent bacteria growth or will the storage
temp and alcohol content keep the brew safe?

2. How long can I keep the brew in the secondary before running the risk of
autolysis? Does this risk exist with champagne yeast? Is there any
advantage to aging in the glass carboy over bottles?

3. When transferring to the secondary, the esters were MUCH stronger than
anything I have experienced when doing beer brewing and the tartness of the
cherries was quite pronounced. The cherry aroma was spot-on, but I was
hoping for sweeter cherry flavor. Will the esters mellow over time? Should
I consider using Splenda or some other sweetener to address the tartness?
Is the ester intensity the result of the Red Star champagne yeast? If so,
in the future should I consider a Wyeast wine yeast or beer yeast and expect
lower alcohol content, but lower esters?

4. What is the best secondary sugar for bottle carbonation with mead? I've
used 1 cup corn sugar per 5 gallons for beer with great success, but am
unsure for mead.

5. Should I consider a third racking for clarity? To date, there is not
quite an inch of bottom sediment and the mead is not crystal clear, but
getting there. Is it unreasonable to expect the mead to be clear on its own
by December 2003?

Thanks! – Andy
Westwood, MA

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 13:23:38 EST

In a message dated 2/26/03 7:09:06 AM, writes:
Responding to the inquiry about dry ice:

<< hay any one eve used dry ice in making mead i was
> > thinking of usling it to
> > clear the oxigen out of the carboy befor i put the
> > must in . and i might be
> > handy to chill a mead to make the lees settel out . >>

I'd like to echo the concern about trying to use dry ice in mead making. But
I have had great luck using a "sterile ice cube" for cooling the boiled must.
Just fill a Tupperware jar with boiling water and put the lid on. After the
temperature drops to a reasonable level, put it in the freezer to solidify.
When the must is ready to cool, release the ice from the plastic by bathing
the Tupperware jar in warm water. Plop the cube into the must, and it should
drop 4 gallons of hot honey down to pitching temperature in 20 minutes.
Naturally, you will have to adjust the total volume to account for the extra
water, but that's not too difficult. I've been cooling my meads (and home
brewed beers) with sterile ice cubes for years with great success.

Jay Ankeney

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003
From: "Joel Baker" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:05:21 -0700

> Subject: Siphon Starters
> From: "Wallinger" <>
> Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 08:07:10 -0600


> I admit that I don't get through every digest, so forgive this post if
> it is redundant. Regrading a siphon starter for a one gallon batch… I
> purchased some time ago (and darn if I can't remember where) just such a
> device which works extremely well. It is elegant in its simplicity.


> The device has a stopper the size of the mouth of the jug with two holes
> in it. A dip tube is run through one hole which should basically touch
> the bottom of the vessel. The tubing you use for racking is attached to
> the top of the dip tube on the top side of the stopper. A very short
> tube is placed through the other hole, the bottom end of which sits just
> below the stopper itself. When this contraption is placed in the mouth
> of the jug, with the stopper sealing the mouth, you simply blow into the
> short tube to pressurize the contents through the longer tube and out
> the jug.


> If you want to get fancy you can drill a hole in the dip tube a half
> inch or so above the bottom and use a wee stopper in the bottom. That
> allows you to rack from just above any sediment in the jug.


> Wade Wallinger
> Kingwood TX

My own solution seems to work well on anything of 'home' size, from 1g to
15 or more. Having hunted around a bit for a pump (due to the utter failure
of my 'shake it' siphon starter), I found a standard gasoline siphon/pump
(has a round-crank that you turn one direction to pump, then reverse it to
unlatch the pump mechanism and allow free-siphoning). One or two circles to
prime it, then back off and let it flow – and if you end up with enough CO2
exgassing to break the siphon (which seems to happen fairly regularly to
me), you just pump again, once or twice.

No contamination (as long as you run your cleaning solution through it), no
shaking things that can pop off in the bottom of your lees, and for that
matter, far less stirring-up of the lees when racking off of primary. And
since it's designed to handle gasoline, alchohol is unlikely to hurt the

All in all, it has worked quite well for me (oh, and fitting it to a
standard racking cane is fairly trivial, since the hose is in standard


Joel Baker System Administrator –

Subject: Gas Laws and CO2 purging
From: "P. D. Waltman" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:01:09 -0800 (PST)

I thought the Gas Laws [Graham's Law I think, but I am
not sure, and think there is another one involved as
well] stated that Gases naturally mixed [Diffusion or
Effusion] according to their relative densities in a
particular space.

Thus if you filled the carboy with a high density of
CO2 immediately after you stopped the pressure, the
CO2 would move to the gas volume with a lower CO2
density and the other air gases would immediately go
into the carboy where their densities are lower.

Does not this apply to this situation, or is it that
the diffusion is too slow to worry about?

Dennis Waltman

From: Scott Dumont <>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 10:59:45 -0500

You we're going to put it into your beer anyways!
The CO2 gas is heavier than the surrounding
so it drops to the bottom of the carboy and pushes
everything else out the top.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #996, 26 February 2003
From: Scott Morgan - Sun On-Line Telesales Representative <Scott.Morgan@Sun.COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 09:09:57 +1100 (EST)

> Subject: RE:Eucalyptus honey 
> From: "Don Van" <>
> Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 14:39:12 -0800


> My recommendation for Eucalyptus honey is save it for toast, but don't
> use for mead. Some of the worst meads I have tasted are from
> Eucalyptus.

Sorry but I would have to dissagree. Can you let us know what sort of Eucalyptus
honey your using. (Iron Bark, Mellalucca etc) Eucalyptus ranges from as pitch
black as dark malt extract and as light as 3 EBC pils malt. To reject wholesale
all Euco honey is like saying all malt is bad!

Even as dark as the honey gets I have never tasted a "euco" flavour in any euco
honey. I am a compulsive Euco candy eater and know the taste well. If Euco honey
tastes bad in your mead would it not taste like crap on your toast as well?

I would look to how your mead is being made? What yeast are you using, what
temperature are your fermenting at and are you placing the yeast under stress by
a lack of nutrient, underpitching or temperature fluctuations?? This will all
influence the flavour profile as much as anything.

Keenly interested in hearing further…


Subject: motor oil update
From: Patrick Devaney <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 08:39:39 -0800 (PST)

For those of you who've been following my "motor oil"
grape mead tale, I wound up with 4 gallons of the
stuff (like grape syrup, with a kick). My honey mead
(the first we ever tried) came out VERY dry and
strong, and I thought hmnnn, we may have something

So, I blended them completely. I now have 9 gallons

of a very nice grape mead, still a wee bit on the
sweeter side, but very nice.


Just in case you were all wondering. 🙂


End of Mead Lover's Digest #997