Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1028, 16 July 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1028 Wed 16 July 2003


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



Re: A word for the day (Christopher Hadden)
Re: Spontaneous fermentation (Steven Sanders)
Re: Pepper Mead (
elderflowers, maple syrup ("JJ H.")
Re: asthma (
Re: spontaneous fermentation, almost (Ken Vale)
Honey in SE Virginia? – Digest #1027, (Myron Sothcott)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1027, 14 July 2003 ("Lars Hedbor")
Re: A word for the day ("Dan McFeeley")
The Compleat Meadmaker — A Review ("Dan McFeeley")
E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition (Scott and Cherie Stihler)
Re: My First Attempt ("Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur")
Honey sources (Intres Richard)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1027, 14 July 2003 ("john doerter")


NOTE: Digest appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests.
Digest archives and FAQ are available at There is
a searchable MLD archive at

Subject: Re: A word for the day
From: Christopher Hadden <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 16:48:40 -0500

> From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
> Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 12:34:14 -0500

> Just to add a little more to the meaning of "meed," as reward
> and recompense, the Anglo-Saxon poem, "The Fortunes of
> Men" talks about the man of virtue who, having lived well by
> the strength of God, enters his elder years enjoying days of
> gladness, receiving "wealth, treasures, and the mead-goblet
> (of honor) among his kinsmen."

> > <><><><><><><><><><>
> <><><><><><><><>

> Dan McFeeley

Dan, please do us a favor and write a book detailing all of these
wonderful morsels you've found during your research over the years. It
would be an excellent complement to "The Compleat Meadmaker." As much
as I like "Brewing Mead," I've been waiting for a more encompassing
history of mead.

Christopher Hadden

Subject: Re: Spontaneous fermentation
From: Steven Sanders <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 15:31:15 -0700 (PDT)

>Subject: spontaneous fermentation, almost
>From: "Raj B. Apte" <>
>Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 11:52:27 -0700 (PDT)


>I'd like to hear from people who have played with wild
>yeasts for mead fermentation.

Hi! I tried a wild ferment with unpasturized apple
cider, for a cyser.. It turned out a lot more complex
in flavor than the cyser made with commerical yeast,
but it developed some off flavors too. Either my
mid-ferment tastings introduced something less than
pleasant into it, or i just happened upon a wild
strain with less than desireable characteristics.
Either way, im not in too much of a hurry to try it
again. 🙂


Fancy Space Art:

Subject: Re: Pepper Mead
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 18:30:55 -0400

On 14 Jul 2003 at 15:14, wrote:

> Also, does anyone out there know whether you can make a mead using bell
> peppers? .. I can't imagine what it would taste like, but a friend of mine
> wants me to try some ..

I've never made a pepper mead, but I judged a jalapeno mead last
year at a local competition. The brewer put strips of jalapeno in
bottles of sweet traditional mead. The heat from the peppers
balanced nicely with the sweetess of the honey. The aroma had the
characteristic "dustiness" I tend to associate with jalapeno peppers.
It was actually qhite nice, and IIRC, it placed well in the category.

If I were going to try this, I would probably use red bell peppers,
since green peppers are fairly bitter. If you didn't want to dry pepper
the mead, you could put them in the secondary.

Mike Kidulich
Rochester, NY

Subject: elderflowers, maple syrup
From: "JJ H." <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 19:02:53 -0400

>Subject: Elderflower Mead
>From: "Lane O. Locke" <>

>I made Elderflower mead for the first time, and surprise! It tastes
>Ginger/Peppery! I was expecting a mild floral similar to the
>flowerfragrance, not a wild and crazy jolt like ginger. <snip>

I've made elderflower meads/wines a couple of times before; it does add an
unmistakeable nose-prickling exciting overtone that I've never tasted in
other whites. Ginger scented champagne bubbles sounds about right to me as a

>Subject: Re: Maple syrup question (Digest #1026)
>From: Devon Miller

>Maple syrup is made from the sap of one or more of these trees:
> Sugar maple /(Acer saccharum)
>/ Black maple (/Acer nigrum/)
> Red maple (/Acer rubrum/)
> Silver Maple (/Acer saccharinum/)


>So, maybe Acerglyn?

Oddly, my husband and I were trying to figure out what fermented maple syrup
alone would be called the other day, but I put in a vote for "acerglyn" as
the name for honey/maple syrup combination.

<snip>Also, does anyone out there know whether you can make a mead using
>peppers? .. I can't imagine what it would taste like, but a friend of mine
>wants me to try some ..

This I haven't tried; would the honey overwhelm the peppers' flavor? I'll
have to ask my friendly neighborhood beekeeper and auto mechanic if he's
ever tried it.


Subject: Re: asthma
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 19:04:02 EDT


Do you use sulfites in your mead? It's possible your friend had a

mild allergic reaction. Usually sulfite sensitivities result in a headache, but
everyone is different. Has your friend ever had this reaction before? If
your friend has had bad reaction to tea, tannin may be to blame.

As a nurse and asthmatic, I'm always worried about people having a

negative reaction to my meads, so I rarely use sulfites. I've never heard of
anyone being allergic to tannin, but anything is possible.

My allergies include nuts, and I foolishly drank a black walnut mead.

I was camping at the time, and was fortunate to have brought plenty of
benadryl and my inhaler.

Hope you and your friend stay well.


Greg Fink
Allentown, PA

In a message dated 7/14/2003 5:30:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Subject: asthma
> From: "BAILEY.O" <>
> Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 15:04:49 +1200


> Hi there


> While we're on hangovers and suchlike …


> A mate of mine was here this weekend and I cracked open a bottle of 2002
> Cyser (lightly spiced with cinnamon and cloves). He said afterwards
> that he felt short of breath and needed his asthma inhaler but the
> shortness of breath cleared up immediately after his puff. He also said
> he gets that occasionally with wine, mainly with reds. Interestingly,
> the cyser was the last of my meads where I added tannin and as reds are
> well known for their tannins, could this be the cause of his
> breathlessness?


> I've always told friends my meads were breathtaking, now I have proof!


> Cheers


> Doug
> Doug Bailey
> 348 Heretaunga Street West
> Hastings, New Zealand.
> Ph: 0064-6-876 8787

Subject: Re: spontaneous fermentation, almost
From: Ken Vale <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 19:23:16 -0400 wrote:

>Subject: spontaneous fermentation, almost
>From: "Raj B. Apte" <>
>Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 11:52:27 -0700 (PDT)


>I'd like to hear from people who have played with wild
>yeasts for mead fermentation. My experiment is as
>follows: I bought 25# of fresh honey from a local
>keeper. I dissolved enough in filtered water to make a
>quart at 1.100 OG. To this I added 5gm of bee pollen
>from the same source. Agitation alone was use for
>dissolution. I put an airlock on, and three days later
>had something bubbling away. I then prepared two 5
>gallon batches at 1.120 and 1.080 by stirring, added
>20gms of pollen to each, and pitched the starter. In a
>day I had a nice fermentation going that has continued
>steadily for three weeks at 75F. It smells really
>good, but I'm not sure if I should rack it now or let
>it remain sur lie for longer. Any comments or
>suggestions are welcome.

> >raj

>Matadero Creek Meadery

> >—————————-

Awhile back I got my hands on some partially fermented honey (almost

free), there was no off smell or taste. I split the honey into two 1
Gallon batches (about 3# each) and waited for something to happen. I
waited and waited and waited some more, nothing was happening so I added
some ICV D-47 to one of the batches (hench forth known as batch 2,
leaving the other, batch 1, to sit around some more), and was rewarded
with a vigorous fermentation. Eventually batch 1 started to bubble but
very, very slowly (it is still slow now). Batch 2 is clearing nicely,
both smell and taste good.

I figure the wild yeast that was in the honey was designed to work

in pure honey (ie. thick) not a must (ie. watered down). The Beekeeper I
got this from still has some left, I will probably get some more from
him in a few weeks, aside from this harmless wild yeast the honey is
excellent (the flavour is amazing), besides this way it is way cheaper.



Subject: Honey in SE Virginia? - Digest #1027,
From: Myron Sothcott <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 19:23:33 -0400

>Subject: My First Attempt
>From: "Jim Meeker" <>
>Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 16:08:17 -0400



>Third, Does anyone know of a good source of honey in the Southeastern
>Virginia / Northeastern North Carolina area? Right now I'm using Sam's Club
>but I'd like to get it from the source. Of course.

> >

>Thanks and Wassail!

>Jim >

The NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton used to have an apiary club,
but I think the mites put them out of operation.

You could check some of the county agricultural extension offices on the
Virginias Eastern Shore (the DelMarVa – <Delaware, Maryland, Virgina>
peninsula which separates the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, for
those unfamiliar with local terminology). Driving up the peninsula in the
spring virtually every field in this mainly agricultural region is loaded
with hives so the bees can pollinate the crops. The agricultural extension
agents should be able to give you the names/numbers of several beekeepers.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1027, 14 July 2003
From: "Lars Hedbor" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 16:58:24 -0700

> Subject: Party Metheglin?
> From: "Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur" <>
> Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 18:57:01 -0400


> > and the only mead
> > I've kegged to date is my party metheglyn (VERY popular, so I know it'll


> > consumed quickly).


> On the Cooks List, we call that a "spoon tease" – GIVE US THE RECIPE!!!

🙂 >

> Avraham

> > *******************************************************

> Reb Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur
> (mka Randy Goldberg MD)
> RandomTag: 98% of all statistics disprove the other 98%.

Sure! It's my derivation from a recipe I got (IIRC) from this list, years
and years ago.

12 lbs clover honey (Costco stuff works fine here)
10 sticks cinnamon, broken
1/4 c ginger root, peeled, sliced
1/4 c orange peel
1 T cloves, lightly crushed

Red Star Flor Sherry yeast.

You can either steep the spices separately and then add them to your must,
or go ahead and pasteurize the honey & some water with the spices, according
to your preferences. This mead often finishes at a fairly high gravity, so
it tends to be a bit on the sweet side. When bottling, use heavy bottles,
as the high residual sugar will ferment, albeit slowly, over time. I HAVE
HAD BOTTLE BOMBS FROM THIS RECIPE; proceed with appropriate caution.
Kegging is a much better option for this reason! Carbonate well and let it
age as long as you can stand to — it gets much MUCH better over a couple of
years, though it's quite drinkable at 4-6 months.


  • – Lars D. H. Hedbor

Oregon City, Oregon


Subject: Re: A word for the day
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 22:47:22 -0500

Oops — I had a backchannel correction from our digest
janitor reminding me that the first janitor wasn't John Gorman,
it was John Dilley. Apparently Mark wasn't a first time poster
on MLD like I thought he was.

Sorry! That's what I get for being lazy and trying to coast
too much on memory.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: The Compleat Meadmaker -- A Review
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 22:48:23 -0500

Dick Dunn has done reviews of meadmaking books on this
list in the past, but since he was the technical editor for _The
Compleat Meadmaker_ that might cross the line on "shameless
self promotion." I finally received my (delayed) copy from
Amazon (apparently the demand for the book was more
than what they were prepared for) and thought I'd post my

First, it's a big book, with more content and pages as compared
with the more familiar meadmaking books (in English) such as
those by Gayre, Spence, Acton & Duncan, or Morse. That, in
itself, says something about the enthusiasm and, yes, passion,
that is brought out in _The Compleat Meadmaker_. Ken writes
in the forward "The goal of this book is to bring the resources
available to meadmakers nearer to the breadth of scientific
knowledge and diversity of technique that are applied to
amateur brewing and winemaking." He certainly does this.
There is far more information on honey, fermentation, and so
on than previous mead books.


Ken gives respectful acknowledgment to his predecessors in
_The Compleat Meadmaker_ but takes a number of significant
departures from them. His approach to the history of meadmaking
binds it together with the history of beekeeping. No one else takes
this approach. Within the last decade or so, winemaking made a
number of leaps in technology and overall quality when it began to
look more seriously at viticulture, the agricultural science of farming
wine grapes. The equivalent of this in meadmaking would be a
similar look at beekeeping, and the science of honey analysis. Ken
opens the door for this in his discussions on beekeeping and honey
composition. There are other spots here and there where Ken takes
a different tack from areas of meadmaking long accepted as collective
wisdom. Boiling or pasteurizing? Ken does neither. Read the book
to find out why.

Some other bonuses — the chapters on fruits and spices alone are
worth the price of the book. Ken apparently pursues his other
interests with the same enthusiasm he brings to meadmaking and
it shows in these chapters. There is a chapter on making braggots,
something not to be found in other meadmaking books. There is
also attention given to pyments, again, a topic not found in other
meadmaking books.

The approach to meadmaking is simple and enough to get first
timers started. If you look at some of Ken's other publications,
however, such as the article he co-authored with Dan McConnell
in the Zymurgy honey issue ("Mastering Mead Formulation: The
Art and Science of the Sacred Honey Brew." Ken Schramm &
Dan McConnell. Zymurgy, May/June 2000 vol. 23, no. 3), it's
clear he could have written much more. But, at 175 pages (not
counting appendixes), editor Ray Daniels must have been getting
a little nervous. I saw him become visibly rattled at last year's
mead fest when Ken dropped a hint of writing more than what
he had already written. 🙂

It's an excellent effort on Ken's part, and it does indeed set new
benchmarks for mead books. Something else to keep in mind
is that whatever Ken does for a day job, it's likely not related to
meadmaking at all. All of this was volunteer work, a response
to a long standing need in the mead community. For that we
owe Ken, and everyone else involved, a vote of thanks.


Dan McFeeley

Subject: E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition
From: Scott and Cherie Stihler <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 23:39:13 -0800

Please join me in congratulating John Trapp of Anchorage, Alaska!

His traditional mead won Best of Show (and $500) in this year's
E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition!

I'd like to thank all of the judges and our steward for all of their hard
work in making this competition a success.

I'd also like to thank the good folks at Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling
Company for the logistical support of receiving the entries, storing them
in their cooler and providing us with a place to hold the competition.

For additional results etc. please go to the following website:


Scott Stihler
Fairbanks, Alaska

Subject: Re: My First Attempt
From: "Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 06:24:13 -0400

> My first attempt is an Orange-Peach Melomel that I did with fresh peaches
> and frozen orange juice. I was very careful about the peaches but I'm
> wondering if there is enough pectin in the frozen orange juice to worry
> about. Also if it IS a problem can I add pectinase at a later racking?
> Everything I've read so far says to add it to the primary prior to pitching
> the yeast.

You can add it, but you may need more, or it may take longer to work. As I
have pointed out before, pectinase is an enzyme, which means it's a protein,
which means the alcohol content will tend to denature it, disrupt its
structure, affecting its ability to function.

> Second, how do you figure the final alcohol percentage? For example if my
> OG was 1.120 and I bottled at .990 (or whatever it ends up being), is there
> a chart or formula to figure that out?

Yes, there is a table at

> Third, Does anyone know of a good source of honey in the Southeastern
> Virginia / Northeastern North Carolina area? Right now I'm using Sam's Club
> but I'd like to get it from the source. Of course.




Reb Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur

(mka Randy Goldberg MD)

RandomTag: Baroque (n.): When you are out of Monet


Subject: Honey sources
From: Intres Richard <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 09:42:20 -0400

Since the question of honey sources comes up regularly here are my

An Oklahoma based site to promote small time beekeepers;

The National Honey Board (honey industry advocacy group);

All states that I know have a state beekeepers association. Try finding
them via your state department of agriculture (state bee inspectors) or the
extension service of the University of your state. The state beekeepers
assn. will be able to tell you about your county's bee club (you should go
to one of their monthly meetings bearing mead).

Visit your area farmer's markets to find someone selling honey and talk
turkey about mead-sized quantities.


Since 25% of trucked crops require pollination, the farmers know who their
local beekeepers are.

Rick, still in Massachusetts

(pollination + fermentation = exitation)

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1027, 14 July 2003
From: "john doerter" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 13:17:21 -0500

> Subject: Re: A word for the day
> From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
> Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 12:34:14 -0500


> On Thu, 3 Jul 2003, in MLD 1025, Mark Taratoot wrote:


> >I subscribe to a service that sends a "word a day" during week
> >days. Funny it should be that a couple weeks ago an interesting
> >homonym/homophone showed up that I wanted to share. The word is
> >meed. Pronounced the same as our beverage of choice, this noun
> >comes from the same root (middle English; mede). How interesting
> >that the definition is "Reward; recompense; wage."

> >

> >So, you really should consider your mead the fruit of your labor;
> >the payment of your patience, and your just reward.

Hmm perhaps you should have said … "the Pyment of your …" 🙂

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1028