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Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1014, 15 May 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1014 Thu 15 May 2003


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1013, 12 May 2003 (Charles Sifers)
rose meads (
Re: Eucalyptus honey experience? ("Stigandr")
Calculating Alcohol Content (
Harvesting Roses ("Munro, Tina HI0")
Re: dumb question (Dave Polaschek)
Campden q (Ben Snyder)
Competition Announcement ()


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1013, 12 May 2003
From: Charles Sifers <>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 12:26:28 -0500

on 5/12/03 4:02 PM, at


> I started a 5 gallon batch of wildflower mead on 4/2. I used my usual 3#/gal
> ratio and Cote des Blancs yeast, as I like 'em a bit on the sweet side.
> Initial gravity was 1.22 (I know I know.) But after pitching and 3 days in
> the primary it was going like gangbusters. I racked it to the glass carboy on
> day 3 and it was still going so hard I had to switch to a blowoff tube for
> fear I'd have must on the ceiling.


> It began to slow on 4/23 so I checked it, and was stunned to find the gravity
> was 1.03. I racked to a clean carboy and added more honey water and it once
> more began fermenting very vigorously, but 48 hours later it was very slow
> and only 1.03.


> Now nothing, nada, zip. I racked again yesterday, added more honey to 1.08. I
> even repitched it, but 36 hours later still nada. I am very willing to give
> it time, but if indeed the must worked out all of that honey, might perhaps
> the alcohol level be too high for it to go?


> I am of course working on ruling out other causes. I have only a hygrometer,
> but the difference between 1.22 to 1.03 might well be beyond the tolerance of
> Cote des Blancs. Might this be a primary cause of the sticking of this must?


> Opinions?? Advice??


> Gratias multas.


> In Service,


> Roberta
> "In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram.
> In principio creavit Deus hominum, in celebratio imago,
> et creavit Deus lupo, in perpetuii cantieri praesus."

My calculations show that your alcohol content was over 19% at your first
racking! Depending on how much additional honey you added, I think it's
quite likely that you've reached the tolerance of the yeast. I don't have
the stats for this yeast, but I wouldn't be surprised.

  • -zz

Subject: rose meads 
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 03:18:27 EDT

well it seems im not alone in wanting to make a rose mead iv ben colecting
and frezing my rose blooms any one have a recipy for rose mead?

chris anderson

Subject: Re: Eucalyptus honey experience?
From: "Stigandr" <>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 18:05:06 +1000 (EST)

I have not been a brewer of mead for long, but I have brewed with
Yellowbox Honey. The plain mead (honey, water and yeast – nothing else)
is a very nice flavoured patch. And we are gladly still drinking it. A
Plum Melomel was also made with the same honey. The acidity of the plum
was a bit strong early on, but after a few months of aging it is already
mellowing nicely. And, liek the plain mead is a joy to drink already.

I am Australian and in the area where I live Eucalyptus honey is about the
only kind that one can get. Even if the hives are placed in a field of
clover, there is still likely to be eucalypt honey in the product. Bees
won't just harvest pollen form one type of plant to make the apiarist
happy. They will harvest from what they find in the area.

The honey I used was direct from the apiarist and was only centrifuged.
No other processing of the honey had occurred. It was a great honey to
eat and is even nicer to drink. I have never tasted a Eucalypt honey in
this country that had a "medicine-like" flavour to it. We have lollies
here that have eucalyptus and honey in them and I think they taste
horrible, but the honeys have flavours that in no way resemble the

I say give it a go. =)

Subject: Calculating Alcohol Content
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 11:02:44 EDT

Stuck mead, hmmmm…. I don't know Cotes de Blancs' tolerances, but the mead
you're working on would have a very strong ale alcohol or a weak wine. I
think that you're windinig up with somewheres along the 6.5-7% range. This
also depends on the total solids, water and proteins in the honey as compared
to the sugar. My recipes always call for 4-5 pounds per gallong and then use
champagne yeast. I get a wine level of alcohol then. Anyways, having a
good, strong starter is always best, if the Cotes de Blancs is a less
attenuative yeast, it may die when dropped in to a full strength, and… if
you want to use it, and it is a fairly delicate yeast, do you honey in
additions. Put half it at first, wait 'til the ferment is going, and then
add 1/2 of the remaining one day, and half the next.
Your initial reading of 1.22 shows somewhere on the scale of 60+ ounces (my
scale goes almost no higher) of sugar per gallon… I'm not quite sure how
you got that with 3 pounds per gallon.
Finally, an infection may stop the ferment. I would check your hygrometer
and your kitchen scale. Quite possibly one or both are improperly calibrated.
Doug Thomas

Subject: Harvesting Roses
From: "Munro, Tina HI0" <>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 16:22:28 -0600

I've noticed a couple of postings about rose mead and have a couple of
questions about roses.

I was recently given some rose bushes as a birthday present (yah!) and have
no idea how to properly care for these plants.

I was hoping someone could give me an idea on how I might harvest the flower
petals (for making mead) without damaging the plants. Do I have to pick the
petals off the live plant? Can I snip the full blooms off or will that stop
growth in that area?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, note that these are
smaller potted plants. I live in Saskatchewan's central prairie and I want
to keep my plants indoors during the winter.

Tina Munro

Subject: Re: dumb question
From: Dave Polaschek <>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 08:12:34 -0500

Linda wrote:

> How do I use a hydrometer?

Years ago I wrote a brief tutorial at
<>. It doesn't cover
calculating potential alcohol from the hydrometer readings, but it does
cover the basics of getting the raw numbers.


  • -DaveP


Subject: Campden q
From: Ben Snyder <>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 19:22:05 -0400

Hi folks

I recently heard through an email exchange that the following bit of info
was presented in The Art of Making Wine by Stanley F. Anderson w/Raymond
Hull, regarding the use of a campden tablet prior to pitching the started
yeast: " It inhibits the growth of wild yeasts and spoilage organisms
which lie on the raw fruit and float in the air, but it does not destroy
cultured wine yeasts. So it gives a completely controlled fermentation.
Moreover, Campden tablets slightly increase the acidity of the must which,
in most cases, is beneficial."

Point 2, the increased acidity, i nether agree nor dispute. Point 1, the
fact that it does not destroy cultured wine yeasts, I find that to be odd.
I've learned that if you use a campden tab before fermentation you must
wait 24 hours before pitching else a whole lot of nothing will happen.
And this is what happened to someone following the books recipes.


  • -Ben

Subject: Competition Announcement
From: <>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 11:17:54 -0800

Announcing the 6th Annual E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition!

This is an AHA sanctioned competition.

The grand prize for Best of Show is $500!!!

Six Classes will judged: Dark Ale, Light Ale, Dark Lager, Light Lager,
Specialty/Mixed style, and Mead.

Great prizes and custom medals will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
place winners in each of the six judged Classes.

Entries will be accepted: June 23 – July 10, 2003

Entry fees: Submit three 12-16 oz brown or green crown capped bottles
and a check or money order for $5.00 in U.S. funds.

Judging: Judging will take place on July 12th.

Location: Fox, Alaska (~10 miles north of Fairbanks)

More information as well as Entry and Bottle
ID forms may be found at the following URL:

Should you have any questions or are interesting in judging contact Scott
Stihler at (907) 474-2138 or

Please forward this message to anybody you know that might be interested
in either entering this competition or helping out with the judging.


Scott Stihler Fairbanks, Alaska

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1014

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