Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1050, 12 October 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1050 Sun 12 October 2003


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



Cider Pressing Bags ("Michael L. Hall")
more on cyser (Dick Dunn)
Bulk ageing vs bottle ageing and Lees and off flavors (
Re: Cider Pressing Cloth (
RE: Fruit press advice needed (
Meadllennium 2004 competition ("Howard & Patty Curran")


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: Cider Pressing Bags
From: "Michael L. Hall" <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 11:01:51 -0600

> Joyce Hersh <> asked about cloth for lining a press
> in order to press apples.

I've got a Happy Valley Ranch press (
I use the bags that they sell and I've had good luck with them. They
really fit the press exactly, are strong, etc. Only problem is that
they're expensive, especially if you just want to buy a bag by itself.

Here's the link for the bags:


No affiliation, yadda, yadda.



  • -Mike


Michael L. Hall, Ph.D. <>
President, Los Alamos Atom Mashers <>
President, BJCP Board of Directors (Mtn/NW Rep) <>
Member, AHA Board of Advisors <>

I drink for the thirst to come. — Rabelais

Subject: more on cyser
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 11:21:21 -0600 (MDT)

"P. D. Waltman" <> wrote in MLD 1048:

> Regarding apples for a cyser, I have a powered juicer
> that I've been thinking I might try. It makes a very
> fine dry pulp and juice. If I use a little citrus
> juice to keep the pulp from browning (see Calcium
> Carbonate additions above), is there a reason why this
> process would not work?

You really needn't bother about the browning. It's a normal effect of
tannins, but it won't carry over into the finished cyser. The particles
carrying the color will fall out or be fined out…you won't end up with a
brown cyser, but it might be a deeper gold.

Check pH before adding CaCO3. When you're working with a lot of apple
juice, you're not in the same situation as with a straight honey must;
there is some buffering capability. Apple juice by itself tends to run
in the mid-3's pH, if it's a good juice that has some acid and flavor
interest. Cider-makers are generally more concerned with slowing down
the fermentation than with speeding it up.

Also, in response to Waltman's comment, Ross McKay <>
wrote in MLD 1049:

> Note that the "fine dry pulp" you get from your juicer might not be as
> dry as you think. I asked on the cider digest about comparing my results
> to a press, and (the) one respondent told me that the commercial press
> he uses gives 30% more juice than I was getting from the juicer. I plan
> to organise some method of pressing next time, even if it is just
> pressing the "fine dry pulp" 🙂

Ross, if I have the right article you got 630 ml/kg, which would be about
660 g/kg or 66% wt/wt (assuming 1050 SG). Is that right? That is actually
a good yield from a small press or extraction. I figure anything under 1/2
wt/wt is marginal; anything over 2/3 is very good. The comparison you got
on the Cider Digest was against a large industrial hydraulic press…and
unless you're willing to go to hydraulics you're unlikely to be able to
generate the pressure it takes to push the yield up over 75% as with that

If the pulp feels pretty dry when you squeeze it in your hand, there's
not likely much to be gained with a small press.

The easy answer is to get more apples! But of course if you've got a small
quantity of precious varieties that's no help.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: Bulk ageing vs bottle ageing and Lees and off flavors
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 10:13:51 -0700

Greetings all-

Couple of questions regarding experiences some of you may have had:

1. Bulk aging vs Bottle aging, what are the pros and cons of each? Right now
I do almost exclusively bulk aging, but the more I think about it, the more I
think that bottle aging may be just as good. Has anyone ever tried specific
tests either way? Are there specific bennefits to one or the other?

2. Lees and off flavors. I have heard and read many times that not racking
your mead from time to time to get it off the lees can produce off flavors in
the mead. This is going to sound odd but, has anyone ever had this happen to
them? The more I think about it the more I wonder if it is truly something to
be concerned about. I currently rack every two months, how often is truly
necessary to avoid off flavors?

Thanks in advance,

Subject: Re: Cider Pressing Cloth
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 21:12:27 EDT

Hey,,, Ok heres the scoop on what sort of fabric/mesh to use for pressing
your apple pomace,, The commercial cideries here use canvas.. regular canvas,,
My family ,,, as long as i can remember my family has always used just a
regular cloth bag made of regular cheap cotton from the fabric store,,, ,,, my
mum says trhe best stuff would be a 200 thread count cotton fabric… its
usually 3 or 4 dollars a yard……. high quality bed sheets are made of 200
or so
thread count cotton..
You just sew it up,,, it should look exactly like a bed pillow slip,, pillow
case,, slip cover etc… only a little bigger for my cider press…. in a
pinch i have used a pillow slip,,, a person could also just use a big piece
of fabric,,, stuff it in the press basket,, fill it up with ground fruit,,, and
then just fold all the excess on top after the basket is full………..
easy peasey japaneasy!!! Happy Squeezin!!

Subject: RE: Fruit press advice needed 
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 14:12:30 -0400

I helped run a large wooden cider press at a historical village (Genesee
Country Village and Museum) a few years ago, and IIRC we lined the tub of
the press with a pretty heavy wool cloth which we then folded over the top
of the apples before we began pressing. We suffered no blow-outs.

Subject: Meadllennium 2004 competition
From: "Howard & Patty Curran" <>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 19:41:16 -0400

The date has been set for Meadllennium 2004. The first mead-only
competition of 2004 will be held on January 31, in Orlando, FL.
Meadllennium is one of the premier mead-only competitions in the United
States and is sponsored by the Central Florida Home Brewers.

Once again, you will be able to enter online. From the online entry form
you can print the required forms and labels, and electronically submit
them to the tabulation team.

So, start looking at all that mead you have fermenting, and plan now to
have your entries ready. Or, head for the cellar and dig out that mead
all you friends say is "Heaven in a bottle."

In the past, medals have been awarded for suitable 1st, 2nd and 3rd
places in each of the following categories:
A. Traditional Mead
B. Varietal Honey Traditional Mead
C. Cyser (Apple Melomel)
D. Pyment (Grape Melomel)
E. Other Fruit Melomel
F. Metheglin (spices and/or herbs)
G. Braggot
H. Mixed Category Mead / Experimental

Last years winners can be seen at: for a few more days.
Details for Meadllennium 2004 will be posted before the end of October.
So check their site often!

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1050