Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1064, 26 December 2003

Mead Lover's Digest #1064 Fri 26 December 2003


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



First Timer ("John Reeves")
Re: Help! Fermentation never started! ("Ken Taborek")
re Crystallized Honey ("")
Simple Mead Recipe ("frankmj52")


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Subject: First Timer
From: "John Reeves" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 19:43:02 -0800

I recently started my first batch of mead. A friend and I got a 5

Gallon Carboy and an 8 gallon primary fermenter. The first batch we did
was a simple one, with water and 10 pounds of honey making a total of 5
gallons. It has been a little over a month now, and we have already
racked the mead once, into the glass carboy.

I had a couple questions though. The bubbling has nearly stopped

now, and the yeast is beginning to settle to the bottom, and I was
wondering if leaving it like this for too long can affect the flavor.
Should I rack it again as soon as possible to avoid this? Also, I was
wondering when would be a good time to bottle for aging? Would it be ok
to bottle while the mead is VERY slowly bubbling, or would that be a bad
idea (glass shrapnel and what not).

Anyway, thanks, I'm enjoying this newsletter.


Subject: Re: Help! Fermentation never started!
From: "Ken Taborek" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 11:57:25 -0500

> From: "John P. Looney" <>
> Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 23:06:21 +0000


> The second, which was:


> 4 litres raspberry & cranberry juice
> 700g of crushed frozen fruit
> 8lb honey
> 16 litres water


> hasn't started bubbling yet. I thought at first that I put the yeast in
> too early and boiled it to death, so a day later, put another dose of
> yeast in. No luck.


> The only think I can think of was that the juice manufacturer lied, and
> put preservative in the juice that kills yeast. Could there be any other
> reason ? Would that be enough fruit, that it wouldn't require yeast
> nutrient ? Given it's been ten days, is it too late to try get it started
> again by adding nutrient (recently purchased) and more yeast ?


> john


Taste the must. If it still tastes like overly-sweet juice, then it's still
good to go. Given that you boiled it, if it's been kept under airlock it's
probably still good.

Read the ingredients list of your juice and frozen fruit packages carefully.
In this country (USA), the manufacturer is required to list all ingredients,
so unless you bought from a very shady source you should be able to trust
the labeling. Metabisulfite is not necessarily a bad thing to have listed,
it will clear in a few days time, and aeration will help this process along.
But sorbate will prevent your yeast from budding, and I know of no way to
get around this.

One thing you can try is to make a large yeast starter. This has several
advantages. First, it guarantees that you are pitching live yeast. If you
didn't use a starter in your first two pitches, it's possible that the yeast
you pitched were dead. Second, a large starter will speed the start of
fermentation, and your must has sat unprotected for a long time already.
Third, a large yeast colony will more quickly recover from the possible
presence of metabisulfite, and a large colony won't need to multiply as much
and so might even get around the presence of any possible sorbate.

After pitching your large (1-3 liters) yeast starter, add the recommended
amount of your yeast nutrient, and aerate very well. Aerate again two or
three times for the next three days. Your must should be actively
fermenting by that time.

Best of luck!



Subject: re Crystallized Honey
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 22:13:27 -0500

>I have recently come into posession of 1 Lb. of crystalized clover honey.

>When I rehydrate the honey and use it for my must, will there be any
>appreciable flavor loss due to the dehydration process?

Crystallized honey is not dehydrated, over time the various sugars that
make up honey will seperate (especially in unheated minimally processed
honey) some of these sugars will form crystalls. Simply heat the honey
slowly to 100F – 110F and the crystalls will melt. Crystallized honey
is fine for mead making and there should be no loss of flavor or aroma.
I would not hesatate to use crystallized honey in my mead.

Making mead in north west Ohio

Subject: Simple Mead Recipe
From: "frankmj52" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 21:46:48 -0600

I am new to the art of making mead and I am looking for a simple receipe
that won't take too long; maybe for a gallon right now. I would
appreciate it if anyone can help me.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1064