Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #999, 11 March 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #999 Tue 11 March 2003


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



digest administrivia (PLEASE take note) (Mead Lovers Digest)
harmful bacteria? ("Tom Ostrow")
Re: 1st timer ("Ken Taborek")
Re: Mead Summary from MLD – Rules of making Mead (Michael Faul)
Milk & Honey mead… Is it beyond hope? ("Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)")
aeration (
Re: Mead Summary from MLD – Rules of making Mead (Eric Drake)
Re: Questions asked (Ken Schramm)
RE: Rules ("Bill & Ramona Kuhn")
10th Annual BUZZ Off Home Brew Competition ("Houseman, David L")
egg shells ("phil")


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Subject: digest administrivia (PLEASE take note)
From: (Mead Lovers Digest)
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 18:42:29 -0700 (MST)

A couple things about digest operation, first one is important: If mail
to you bounces because your account is over quota, I'll forgive it *once*.
But if two consecutive digests bounce, or if I see repeated bounces in a
short interval, I'll treat it as failed mail and unsubscribe you. The
number of over-quota bounces I have to deal with lately is getting out of
hand, particularly from the "throwaway" accounts at free mail ISPs. I
understand that with the amount of spam, it can occasionally get away from
you. But I also understand that the cost of disk space to store a typical
MLD is perhaps US $0.00002; mail quotas at any reasonable ISP should be

Second, for those of you submitting articles: I've long insisted on
articles fitting in an 80-column window. Unfortunately, as the number
of crippled mail programs in the universe increases, more people seem to
find it more difficult to configure their mailers to do conventional text
wrapping. So I'm going to try re-wrapping lines on articles where the
text looks like it needs to be flowed, see how much work that adds, and
see if it screws up anything. To help me out, if you know how to control
your mailer, please do so! This is especially true if you want your
article to appear in the Digest the way you wrote it and intended it.
(I recommend breaking at about 72-75 columns to allow for the "> "
attribution markers.) I'll continue to reject articles with long lines
if the text is tabular or the layout appears to matter. I will also reject
articles that get RE-wrapped, where each longish line gets turned into a pair
of one normal line followed by a short overflow line. I'm not going to try
to repair that sort of damage…too much work and too much risk of screwing
it up.

NOTE: if your article gets munged up in the process of my reformatting,
please tell me; I want to know if what I'm doing is hurting rather than

We now return you to the real topic of the MLD, which is mead.

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

Subject: harmful bacteria?
From: "Tom Ostrow" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 21:00:44 -0500

Hi, I've got two separate batches of mead bottled and aging right

now, one brewed three years ago and the second five gallon batch is just
over a year old now. My first batch tasted like turpentine when I
bottled it but I resisted the urge to dump it and start over and decided
to let it age for a few years. The second batch also had some off
flavors, but not that bad. The question that keeps running through my
head when I taste it is about bacteria. A: how do you know if you have
a strain of bacteria growing in your mead and b: Are there any
bacterias that could cause harm to the person drinking the mead?

Thanks for the responses ahead of time.


Subject: Re: 1st timer
From: "Ken Taborek" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 21:29:24 -0500

> From:
> Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 14:53:17 -0500


> I have a few questions about making mead I would appriciate any assistance
> that can be given. I made my first batch about Feb 10th the receipe states
> to bottle when clear. My question is any approximate time that could be
> its a berry melomel very deep red at this time. Also what is the perfect
> temp to store the melomel at while its in the 2nd stage of fermentation?
> Thanks
> barnes


Deep reds or other dark colored meads are harder to determine when they are
clear. But they also don't need to be perfectly clear, since any cloudiness
is well hidden by the dark color. If your mead has thrown a lot of sediment
since your last racking, rack it again, top it up (with water or a
reasonably close wine or mead), and let it sit a few more months. If it
still throws sediment, let it sit a few more months, then repeat the racking
and observe it again. When it stops throwing sediment, wait another few
months, and you can bottle it with confidence that it's as clear as time
will take it.

As to temperature, if it's at it's final gravity you can store it at any
cool temperature. A cool and constant temperature would be ideal, but
that's hard to do without a wine cellar. If it's still working slowly,
you'll want to keep it near the top of the tolerance of the yeast.



Subject: Re:  Mead Summary from MLD - Rules of making Mead
From: Michael Faul <>
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 19:12:51 -0800

James wrote

> * The primary can be plastic or glass, but *always* use glass as the
> secondary (I'm waiting for the exception of this one to be found 🙂

Except for stainless steel…. which will typically hold more. I havn't
seen a glass carbouy the size of my stainless tanks 🙂 3 x 500gal each

Voice: 408-261-3706
Fax: 408-260-8312

Subject: Milk & Honey mead... Is it beyond hope?
From: "Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 00:30:09 -0500

About a year and a half ago, I tried making up a batch of 'Milk and Honey'

mead (aka keffir or koumiss) using a recipe from 'The Alaskan Bootlegers
Bible' (A book I find entertaining and useful, and have reccomended on this
list before.) as a base, doing more or less straight substitution of honey for
sugar in the recipe.


2 Qt. Commercial Lactose free milk
2 lb. Honey
2 Qt. Water
1 Pkg. Champagne yeast


I made this and while it never was great, initially it wasn't bad, quite

drinkable and kind of fun to play 'guess the fermentable' games with the wine
snobs. My initial batch made about 5 bottles and I put three of them by for
ritual use on Imbolg (Candlemas) with the thought that a milk based beverage
would be ideal for celebration of a holiday originating in recognizing the
first freshening of sheep in signal of the coming spring….


I was most dismayed and embarrassed to open a bottle this past Imbolg, and

find that while it was still (barely) drinkable, the stuff was pretty horrible
with a sour, vinegary taste. It was also cloudy white tinted instead of
clear. I've sentenced what was left in the bottle to use as cooking mead,
cause even I won't drink it willingly.


I am wondering though if this is likely to be the case with the other two

bottles I have left, or is there some hope for these? A possible cure?


I'm perfectly willing to cook with the rest if it doesn't seem worth the

effort to fix it.


Does anyone have any experience with this type of mead? The book says that

it is supposed to age well to a gold color and unique flavor. Is this
accurate, or is it more likely that this is a novelty brew best suited to
being brewed and drunk quickly before the milk spoils?




Subject: aeration
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 06:28:00 -0500

Is there any agreement about aeration, just after cooling, as there is
with brewing beer? I have never aerated my mead (as I religously do with
beer), but am prepared to do so…if there is some semblence of agreement
on this…

Plattsburgh, NY

Subject: Re: Mead Summary from MLD - Rules of making Mead
From: Eric Drake <>
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 08:46:25 -0500

At 04:13 PM 3/5/2003 -0700, jlparkinson <> wrote:
>3: Never throw out a batch.


> If leaving the mead for three years does not improve the falvour,
> then mix it with other mead, use it as the basis for a mixer,
> turn it into vinegar, or …
> If in doubt, re-evaluate the mead in a years time 😉

Has anyone made mead vinegar? I have been wondering about it recently and
thinking it might be awesome. I just don't want to be the first to
sacrifice any mead on something that excremental. I'd love to hear
anyone's experience with it.


Subject: Re: Questions asked
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 22:41:39 -0500

>What is the UF method?

That refers to Ultra Filtration, the process of filtering through a
medium that scrubs out any particle above the filter's given molecular weight.


what would a dandelion mead be called?

"Dandelion Mead"

sometimes "Tasty"

>Also what is the perfect
temp to store the melomel at while its in the 2nd stage of fermentation?

That depends on the strain of yeast used. Can we get that bit of info?

A Reminder: The information for the Mazer Cup is available my
responding to my address with a request, or at'03.htm

Enter early and often. The deadline is March 28. Late entries will be
accepted, but won't have the benefit of a full two weeks before judging.

Word is, the book is still on schedule for the end of May.

Ken Schramm
Troy, MI

Subject: RE: Rules
From: "Bill & Ramona Kuhn" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 00:24:51 -0700

In MLD #998, I enjoyed most of James' rules. But I would modify the last


* The primary can be plastic or glass, but *always* use glass as the
secondary (I'm waiting for the exception of this one to be found 🙂

I generally finish most of the fermentation in glass, but then rack into
stainless steel corny kegs for bulk aging (I guess this is actually a
tertiary). With soda bottlers all going to the new box type dispensers,
corny kegs are currently quite inexpensive, and provide an extremely
robust and efficient method of storage. Not to mention the ability to
force carbonate a sweet mead, if that appeals…


Subject: 10th Annual BUZZ Off Home Brew Competition
From: "Houseman, David L" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003 15:36:41 -0500

Brewers Unlimited Zany Zymurgists (BUZZ) is proud to announce that the 2003
BUZZ Off home brew competition will be held on Saturday, June 7th at Iron
Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, PA. For another year we will be
a qualifying event for the prestigious Masters Championship of Amateur
Brewing (MCAB) as well as the Delaware Valley Homebrewer of the Year. All
BJCP recognized styles including meads and ciders are eligible for entry.
For complete details and forms, please visit the BUZZ web site at

Entries will be accepted between May 12 and June 1. For drop off and mail
in locations please refer to the BUZZ web site. Please, do not send entries
to Iron Hill.

BJCP Judges and stewards will be needed. If you are interested please
contact me or another committee member (contact information can be found on
the web site). All judges must be BJCP certified.

Good luck and cheers!

Christopher Clair

"The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer."

  • – Ancient Egyptian Wisdom, 2200 B.C.


Subject: egg shells
From: "phil" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 11:53:35 -0800

Hi all,

My home brew shop told me to put a teaspoon of acid blend per gal. of
melomel. It's way to bitter for me.

I have read that adding egg shells (agfter boiling and crushing) can

reduce some acid. I have also read that to much gives a chalky flavor.
Does anyone know how much I can get away with putting into a 5 gal.
carboy and how long I can leave it in there?



End of Mead Lover's Digest #999