Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1055, 5 November 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1055 Wed 5 November 2003


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



RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1054, 30 October 2003 ("Lars Hedbor")
Australian honey (MLD #1054) ("James P")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1054, 30 October 2003 (Don Dibble)
Bottling for contests (Greg McBee)


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Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1054, 30 October 2003
From: "Lars Hedbor" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 15:32:25 -0800

>Subject: Australian honey
>From: Ross McKay <>
>Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 08:27:35 +1100


>In some of the older mead making books, the use of Australian honey is
a Bad Thing ™. >It seems that the folk who wrote this didn't get out
much and probably didn't come across >many Australian honeys, because
there are at least some that are pretty good for mead
>making (and making other fermented beverages).


>The subject came up again down here in Oz on one of the beer brewing
lists, and I thought >that maybe it was an opportune time to find out
from fellow Aussies just what the go is.


>The honey mentioned on the brewing list was Leatherwood. One list
participant said that
>it produced a medicinal tasting mead. I'm pretty sure that in
discussions with other
>meadmakers in Oz that this isn't a universally held opinion of
Leatherwood, but I'd like >to hear from others on the MLD before I
bother forking out $5-$10 / kilo to find out for >myself.


>So, what honeys Down Under have you tried in meads (and melomels,
metheglyns, etc), and
>what would you recommend other Aussies have a go at using?



>- —

>Ross McKay, WebAware Pty Ltd
>"The lawn could stand another mowing; funny, I don't even care"
>- – Elvis Costello

I just returned from a lovely holiday in QLD, and had a chance to stop
by SuperBee, just north of the Caloundra area. I spent probably AU$50
on honey to bring home – my God, what a lot of glorious honeys! The
flora unique to Australia produces some absolutely stunning flavors.

That said, I haven't made any mead with Aussie honeys — I couldn't
afford to buy enough of a quantity to do that, but based on the flavors
I tasted, I can make a few comments.

Leatherwood is probably closest in flavor to the buckwheat honey that's
available widely in the States – maybe even a little stronger than
buckwheat. Some people love buckwheat honey (myself among them), and
I've had a lovely commercial mead (Chateau Lorraine's Vandal Gold) that
highlights its unique flavor to great advantage.

I can certainly believe, though, that once stripped of its sweetness by
fermentation, leatherwood coul come across as "medicinal" — the gum
(eucalypt) flavor is one that brings back memories of Vick's Vapor-Rub.


The closest thing to the common, neutral-flavored clover honey that
represents the majority of the honey consumed in the States, is probably
sunflower honey, though that has a nutty flavor that would be unlike
clover. Macadamia honey would make a really neat mead, I think. Bush
honey, which seemed to be the most commonly available in Aussie
groceries, could be good, but often has a good deal of eucalypt flavor
in it. The milder eucalypts (yellow box, blue gum, etc.) might be okay
in a mead, though you'd want to watch out for that same "medicinal"

I must admit, though, that my favorite way to enjoy the honeys of
Australia was on hot crumpets, with butter and whitened tea. Making me
drool to recall it… 🙂


  • – Lars D. H. Hedbor

Oregon City, Oregon


Subject: Australian honey  (MLD #1054)
From: "James P" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 14:17:02 +1000


>So, what honeys Down Under have you tried in meads (and melomels,
>metheglyns, etc), and what would you recommend other Aussies have a go
>at using?

My batches (3 Litre each) are still young, but my first batch was Yellow Box
(the mildest) as a ginger Metheglin (with a splash of Brekky Juice) SG 1.120

using EC1118 which was drinkable in 3 months (foul before that). It has a

lemon-eucalyptus flavour that is helped by the ginger. I used Capilano
honey. The higher alcohol content gives it a liquid-gold mouthfeel.
Unfortunately I have only one bottle left – maybe I should let it age for a
year 🙂


The traditional meads (the same honey) I haven't really tried yet, but I
think it helps to do a metheglin to complement the eucalyptus.

I haven't been game enough to try Leatherwood yet, especially at the current
prices (another two years before prices drop IF we get drought-breaking
Iron Bark and Melaleuca (tee tree or paper bark) are another two I would
also like to try one day.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1054, 30 October 2003
From: Don Dibble <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 07:50:53 -0800 (PST)

Subject: sulfur stink
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 13:44:28 -0800 (PST)

<snip>One smells great, the other is a bit
darker in color and has a nasty sulfur smell
(pardon my language, but I can best describe
it as "f*rty"). I noticed on an old Cider Digest
post that insufficient nitrogen can cause yeast
to change metabolism and produce H2S. My
questions are: 1. Can I salvage the sulfur
batch? and 2. Do either of these yeasts have
a reputation for funkifying mead?

I had a problem with a cider that got that
wonderfull rotten egg smell. I racked
throught/onto two all copper pot scrubbers.
Fined and racked again in a week. That did the trick
for me.


Subject: Bottling for contests
From: Greg McBee <>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 00:34:35 -0800 (PST)

Hi folks!

I once bottled a beer for a contest and couldn't
enter because I had used Fuller's ESB bottles, and
the markings on the glass were "distinctive".

So… I'm wondering what the typical rules are for
the physical containers in a mead competition.
Size of bottles, color, type, cork, labels, all that.

Anyone got a link or a short description?

Thanks in advance!


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1055