Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1057, 23 November 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1057 Sun 23 November 2003


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



win-co honey (Grant Mullins)
Hello and Re: Bottle Labeling? (Cameron Adams)
Bottle Labeling? ("Richard T. Perry")
Stuck Fermenting, Or Worse? ("Randy Wallis")
1st try cyser (Leo Vitt)
Sack mead gone wrong (
Mead Aroma ("Joseph Mattioli")


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Subject: win-co honey
From: Grant Mullins <>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 09:27:39 -0800

Sorry to disappoint, but those honey boxes at Win-co do not contain live
bees. If you lift the lid, which I have done, you will see a big plastic
jug of honey, that is it. It's pretty much a gimmick.
Also, I'm not sure you could just stick pour spout on a hive and expect to
get honey. I think it is a little more difficult than that.

Grant Mullins

Subject: Hello and Re: Bottle Labeling?
From: Cameron Adams <>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 13:03:01 -0500

Hello everyone.

I've been lurking a while, just lettink the knowledge wash over me. I have
been brewing mead sporadically for 12+ years and have been happiest with Orange
blossom and blackberry honeys. Ive never experimented with any melomels,
metheglins, cysers (though I do make cider too), or pyments, but all in time.


If you have got your own jpegs, I bet you have some sort of image software.
That's all you need. I prefer using a full sheet of uncut label paper
because custom shapes are easier, but you can use pre-cut sheets. You just
panel your label graphic to fill one page of standard size paper. If you
have pre-cut sheets be sure and make the image the size of the cut-panels
and tile appropriately with your graphics program. Then just print and cut
out with an exacto knife or peel the panels.

All of this can be done in Word and probably in Word Perfect as well, but
will be a bit difficult compared to using graphic software. Of course,
there are special programs out there for labeling purposes, but I don't
think they are worth it because of their limited use profiles. Why not
use something that you can use for other things as well. You might look at
Adobe Photoshop's limited program for beginners that is fairly affordable.
Also, there should be a simple drawing program on your computer. Just open
the image you want to use in this program and add text as needed.

Feel free to ask for any clarification or other suggestions as you may need to.


Subject: Bottle labelling?
From: "Mark A. Salowitz" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 15:07:33 -0500

I was kind of curious if anyone has any recommendations for a decent,
low price wine labelling software… preferrably one where I can use my
own graphics/jpg's etc.. and a decent source for blank labels?

My "Isabel Melomel" (Named after the hurricane I pitched during…) is
getting relatively close to bottling and I'd like to print up some nice
labels for it.

It seems quite tasty, was made with 8 lbs of blueberries, but still
nowhere near drinkable yet… but darned tasty all the same…



Subject: Bottle Labeling?
From: "Richard T. Perry" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 10:36:34 +1200

>Subject: Bottle labelling?
>From: "Mark A. Salowitz" <>
>Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 15:07:33 -0500


>I was kind of curious if anyone has any recommendations for a decent, low
>price wine labelling software… preferrably one where I can use my own
>graphics/jpg's etc.. and a decent source for blank labels?


>My "Isabel Melomel" (Named after the hurricane I pitched during…) is
>getting relatively close to bottling and I'd like to print up some nice
>labels for it.

Mark –

Actually, the slickest system I've used for beer and mead was using Corel
Draw into MS Word.

I used Avery labels – I forget the size exactly, but they were fairly big –
6 or 8 to a page – say 2" by 4".
They look just about right on a 12oz beer bottle, and just a touch small on
a 750ml, but OK.
Word knew the size from the stock number, so that was easy. I'm at work
right now, so I don't have the number handy – will get it to you later

Anyway, I did my composition in Corel Draw, graphics, text, etc., got it how
I liked it (keeping to the size of the frame in MS Word), rotated 90 deg,
then exported it as a picture. Dropped the picture into Word, copied X5 or
X7 into the other frames, then printed.

Oh, and one other kink – Avery makes (used to make? I have a large stock on
hand and haven't ordered in a while) labels that are easy to pull off – they
stick fine under normal circumstances, but
when it's time for "the horror that is sanitation", they pull off really
easy when dry. Far, Far, Far better than conventional labels (I used to hate
the ammonia and soak routine.)

Perhaps this isn't exactly low price if you have to buy Corel Draw and MS
Word, but my point is that you may already have the tools at your disposal
if you have a modern (i.e. Word Perfect/Word/OpenOffice) WP suite and
possibly some kind of graphics program on hand, so why buy another program?


Richard T. Perry
"Fraser, there's a guy on my corner who asks me every
morning if I've seen God; do you really think he
expects me to point Him out?"
"Well, you know, Ray, if you did, perhaps he'd stop

Ray Vecchio and Benton Fraser, "Hawk and a Handsaw", Due_South

Subject: Stuck Fermenting, Or Worse?
From: "Randy Wallis" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 10:44:25 -0500

Help! A couple months ago my wife decided she wanted my
next mead to be a melomel. Me being a dutiful husband
I decided to comply. Well I trolled the net and found what
I thought would be a good recipe, for 5-gal, 8 pounds honey,
two cans of fruit puree in the secondary and two packs of yeast, no
problem. So, I started it and it started fermenting. Had a very good
ferment going and I added the fruit when it slowed. Now the recipe
called for the first racking to be after three weeks. I thought this was
early but my wife convinced me to follow the recipe to a tee. First racking
went good, lots of sediment, but once out of the primary and into the
carboy the fermenting stopped, no more bubbles, and it cleared. Now
the problem, This weekend I tasted it and it is very good water, hardly
any taste what so ever and very, very little alcohol. I did do a
hydrometer reading. It read ready to bottle, I suspected this was
incorrect so I checked it out and my tap water was also ready to
bottle and the Pale Ale I was drinking was 3%, guess I will be replacing
that soon. So, I added a pound of Honey hoping to start something,
and waited a day, nothing. Next step was to add more yeast. So, I
pitched some Lalvin K1-V1116, which according to my brew shop
was great for restarting stuck fermenting, I also did another pound
of honey. The problem is all it did was get cloudy and foamy. I now
have very murky sick looking mead with a lot of nasty foam on it that
is not going away, and keeps raising up in my air lock so I need to keep
cleaning it. and fermenting does not to appear to restart.
This stuff I don't think the people on fear factor would drink.
This had a lot of promise so how do I get this back on track? Thanks

Subject: 1st try cyser 
From: Leo Vitt <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 17:16:20 -0800 (PST)

Adam Girard described his slow start of fermentation of a cyser.

I think you need to add yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. Apple
juice and honey don't supply everything the yeasts need. You can still
add them to you partially started mead. After I learned to do this,
add add them when I first pitch the yeast.

Aeration – Did you do anything to supply oxygen to the must? Yeast
will ferment better when you do. I don't think you should aerate the
partially fermented mead. It will help when done when pitching the
yeast. A common low tech method of aerating is to rock a carboy back
and forth rapidly to force some of the air in the head space to be
dissolved into the liquid. The carboy needs a cap on the top.

Leo Vitt
Sidney, NE

Subject: Sack mead gone wrong
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 17:19:03 -0500

About 3 years ago I made my first attempt at mead. And despite the fact
that I had only read one thing on mead I thought I knew it all. Well since
then I realise I was wrong. But I made a mistake and thought that if I used
25 pounds of honey for a 5 gal batch it would come out sweet and strong.
Instead I have a sack that is so raw I can not even drink it, after being
in the bottle for 2 years. Is there anything I can do to save it?

Subject: Mead Aroma
From: "Joseph Mattioli" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 16:01:49 -0500

Have only been making Mead for 3 months now and couldn't wait to open
first 1/2 bottle of Batch 2, a 1-gal Vanilla/Peach Mead with 2 1/2 lbs
Clover honey (flash heated 5 min at 150 degrees), 1 ozVanilla extract,
1 oz Peach Snapp, 1/2 t lemon juice, 1 t Nutrients and Champayne
yeast. It stopped at SG= 1.998 so I added Sorbate and sweentened with
honey to BRIX = 3 . Only took 6 weeks to ferment and clear naturally
so I bottled it. Opened it after 1 month and it tasted fine with no
harshness or off flavors but not the slightest taste or hint of honey
aroma nor could I taste or smell vanilla or peach. Will the aroma
surface over time? Will the peach and vanilla flavors surface or be
masked in to a general taste of mead? Any comments would be
appreciated. Joe

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1057