Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1094, 21 April 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1094 Wed 21 April 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1094 Wed 21 April 2004
Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor
Re: MLD #1093; Problems with Synthetic Corks ("Paul Shouse")
Acid Addition (Vuarra)
RE: synthetic corks ("J. Russ")
too much sulfite (Patrick Devaney)
Single Floral Charactersitics (chris herrington)
RE: Maple Mead? (David Chubb)
Re: Eucalyptus/Australian meads ("Lane Gray, Czar Castic")
hitting pasteurization temp ()
New BJCP Mead guidelines ("OCurrans")
15th Annual Sunshine Challenge Homebrew Competition ("OCurrans")
new BJCP guidelines for mead (Mead Lovers Digest)
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Subject: Re: MLD #1093; Problems with Synthetic Corks
From: "Paul Shouse" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 14:10:26 +0900
Hello, this is my first post to the Mead Lover's Digest. I started off brewing
beer, then switched to mead several years ago. I'm still wading through the
MLD archives, looking for information I can use (found lots so far!) before
making any substantive post of my own.
One question does come to mind, though, after reading posts about destroying
diastatic enzymes in honey. Does anyone have any information on actually using
those natural diastatic enzymes to reduce complex sugars in the must?
- -Paul Shouse
Subject: Acid Addition
From: Vuarra <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 07:24:33 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: acid blend
>From: "john mallon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 10:42:39 -0400
>I'm kind of new to making mead.I used to brew beer.
>question is are you supposed to always use an acid
>when making a mead.
This is quite the topic. I'm sure there will be
netizens who will say "Yes, always". I have never
added an acid to my meads, and they have always turned
out extremely drinkable.
I think you may want to go with a pH testing kit.
I've heard that a pH of about 4 is optimal – again,
this is from memory. You may actually find that you
will need to add some basic solution (chalk is what
comes to mind).
Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur.
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound.)
Subject: RE: synthetic corks
From: "J. Russ" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 13:42:43 -0400
On the subject of synthetic corks…thank you to Brian Lundeen for a great
post about problems and possible solutions.
He did not mention my favorite brand which is Nomacorc. LD Carlson only
started distributing these last year, but they have a great feel to them and
I've had excellect results with them so far.
Admittedly, "so far" is not a very long time span, but I have used over a
hundred of them and have been impressed. They are worth a try for anyone
having synthetic difficulties.
Subject: too much sulfite
From: Patrick Devaney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 05:53:07 -0700 (PDT)
I've gone and made a rookie mistake and heavily
over-sulfited my latest batch… temporarily lost my
mind, I guess. It's a week later and I can still smell
and taste the vinegar-like quality it has, and this
was a very sweet and well-balanced mead before I
screwed it up. It there any hope at salvaging it?
Should I make another batch and blend them together,
this time with no sulfites, so both are sulfited but
not too much? Please advise, I'd hate to toss 5 gals
Subject: Single Floral Charactersitics
From: chris herrington <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 06:23:23 -0700 (PDT)
I just aquired a gallon of fireweed honey from a large
distributer in the Northwest. I had done a bit of
research on the characteristics of fireweed honey on
this forum and elsewhere on the web. The plant
apparently flourishes on lands previously scorched by
a forest fire. I expected to receive a very light
honey but the honey I received was ruby-amber in
color. It is darker than the orange blossom, however,
I'm not displeased with the characteristics of this
honey. It has a good complexity, fruity and herbal
combinations. I've obtained Orange Blossom from
California and Oregon and it has always been
consistant. I'm sure that large crop honeys will be
more plentiful and consistant but these more sparsly
distributed wildflower varieties will certainly have a
variation. Does someone set the standard on the
characteristics of honey? I wouldn't want to enter
this into a mead competition and then be informed that
it didn't taste like fireweed at all!
Subject: RE: Maple Mead?
From: David Chubb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 09:25:48 -0400
> Subject: maple mead?
> From: <email@example.com>
> Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 09:05:44 -0500
> Greetings meadsters,
> Have any of you experience or suggestions with respect to
> making a maple mead? I've recently come across a bit of
> maple syrup and thought it might go nicely in a mead. Any
> thoughts about honey:syrup proportions or recipes would be
> welcome. Does maple syrup require any special treatment when
> used in a mead?
> Chris Ivey in Champaign, IL
I have used "Maple Sugar" from our local health food co-op several times
now. It adds a wonderfully mapley warm "Home Cookin'" kinda taste.
I would try and steer clear of using Maple Syrup unless it's Pure with no
preservatives. Problem with Maple Syrup is that it's water content is quite
variable. If you can determine the water content to use for your mix
calculations then by all means go it a whirl.
However, that being said, I only use it on lower alcohol quick meads. If you
let it ferment to a high alcohol content (16-20%) you can sometimes get that
"Rum" or "Grain" alcohol taste that while some may be looking for I don't
for my meads. It can be goten rid of with a long aging period though. I have
a batch that was a ginger mead I added some maple sugar to that has been
aging for about 2.5 years now. And it's just now loosing some of that bite.
I have some Canadian friends who in the spring take the maple syrup after
the first boil off (there are usually 4-6 boilings before maple sap is
concentrated enough to be considered syrup) when the sugar content is just
about right for fermentation. They use this to make a canadian quick "hooch"
Subject: Re: Eucalyptus/Australian meads
From: "Lane Gray, Czar Castic" <CGray2@kc.rr.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 15:00:41 -0500
Dan McFeeley wrote:
> There are about 500 known species of eucalyptus, the majority
> of which are to be found in Australia. Some are good for brewing
> and meadmaking, some may not be as well suited. Who knows
> what kind of honey Acton & Duncan had tried?
> Good Varieties:
> Red River Gum,
> Mallee Gum,
> Woolly and Stringy Bark.
> Heavy Varieties requiring Aging: Blue Gum, all the boxes,
> ESPECIALLY Yellow Box.
I'll add that the leatherwood honey makes a pretty tasty adjunct to a
mead. I made a mead with mostly generic local honey, but with about one
quarter leatherwood honey from a friend in Oz. It gave the mead an
interesting flavor, which, while tasty, made the mead a bit unfriendly to
just drinking down quickly. I guess the best word would be "intense" as
it doesn't have an unpleasant taste, just you don't really want to drink
the whole bottle down at once.
Yes, I'm a minion of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial
Subject: hitting pasteurization temp
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 19:58:21 -0500
Greetings, and thanks for all the terrific advice about maple
mead last week! The response was so thorough, I'm inspired
to ask a second question. In this case, it's one that
concerns mead-making more generally.
Is there a straightforward way to calculate the drop in water
temperature caused by adding fermentables (such as honey,
maple syrup, etc.)? Or stated another way, to what
temperature do you heat the water before adding
fermentables? I'd like to reach the range needed for
pasteurization of the must, and it would be nice not to
overshoot the temperature (and lose volatiles) or undershoot
(and have to heat the must directly).
Chris Ivey, in Champaign, IL
Subject: New BJCP Mead guidelines
From: "OCurrans" <OCurrans@cfl.rr.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 19:56:10 -0400
A major revision of mead guidelines for competitions has been posted for
REVIEW. This is the first revision since 1999, and, from what I
understand, will be adopted by the AHA for their sanctioned competitions
- – after approval – giving us one set of guidelines.
Briefly, these are the main changes:
There are three main categories – Traditional mead (category 2
45), fruit meads (category 25) and other meads (category 26).
Category 24 is split into three subcategories: Dry mead (24A),
Semi-sweet mead (24B), and Sweet mead (24C). Varietal honey meads are no
longer a separate category, but the mead will be judged on varietal
characteristic if a varietal honey is noted in the entry.
Category 25 is split into three subcategories: Cyser (25A),
Pyment (25B) and Other Fruit Melomel (25C).
Category 26 is also split into three subcategories: Metheglin
(26A), Braggot (25B) and Open Category Mead (26C).
Below is the announcement and the link for reviewing the new guidelines.
PLEASE review them. The committee is looking for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
Gordon Strong has spent a lot of time consulting with mead makers and
has done a fantastic job with the descriptions for each subcategory. If
these guidelines are endorsed, I feel we will be judged more like a wine
and less like a beer.
"The BJCP Style Committee has completed its preliminary review
and update of the 1999 Style Guidelines. These draft guidelines are
now posted for public review and comment. All BJCP judges and
interested individuals are welcomed to participate in the review. The
Style Committee will monitor the discussion and incorporate good
suggestions. We intend to have an open comment period for at least
one month, with the final guidelines being rolled out at the AHA
National Homebrew Conference in Las Vegas, June 17-19.
The guidelines can be viewed and commented upon in a web-based
forum system found at http://www.hopmadness.com/bjcp/ They
have been extensively revised, reorganized, and contain new style
parameters and commercial examples. Eight new sub-categories
have been added. Comments are welcome on the individual guidelines
and on the overall organization. Identification of errors, omissions and
misinterpretations are especially welcome.
Note that these guidelines have not yet been approved for use by the
BJCP. The 1999 guidelines remain in effect for BJCP and AHA sanctioned
BJCP Grand Master Judge
Chairman, BJCP Style Committee"
Subject: 15th Annual Sunshine Challenge Homebrew Competition
From: "OCurrans" <OCurrans@cfl.rr.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 20:01:57 -0400
The Central Florida Home Brewers, Inc. are proud to announce
the 15th Annual Sunshine Challenge Homebrew Competition.
The Sunshine Challenge will be held May 21-23, 2004 at the
Hotel Orlando North in Maitland, FL. Entries are due by May
2nd, 2004. The Sunshine Challenge Competition is the largest
homebrewed beer competition east of the Mississippi River and
the 3rd largest competition in the world, excluding the AHA
Nationals of course. Entries are $7 per entry and all BJCP
categories of beer, mead and cider will be judged. The Sunshine
Challenge is an MCAB qualifying event. Go to www.cfhb.org for
entry forms, bottle labels and other information. The Central
Florida Home Brewers will be hosting a reception for the Florida Brewers
Guild on Friday night, May 21st, from 7-11 pm. featuring
fantastic beers from breweries all over the USA. Contact: Mark
Williams, phone: (407) 399-0028, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for
Subject: new BJCP guidelines for mead
From: email@example.com (Mead Lovers Digest)
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 21:38:08 -0600 (MDT)
Forwarding a note (below) from Gordon Strong, and please pay attention to
this if you're interested in mead competition. This is a major effort by
the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) to revise their competition
style guidelines. They have made a lot of serious changes, and I think
their work deserves attention. Although the key word in their title is
"Beer", realize that these guidelines can be (will be) used in many major
competitions–not only beer competitions which include mead, but specialty
mead-only competitions where the BJCP styles are the acknowledged (and in
many cases, the only) standards.
Follow the link to their web site and poke around. If you're going to make
comments, you ought to register.
Note that there is no explicit connection between that work and this
digest. If you see something in the BJCP work that you think needs to be
discussed here on the digest, by all means start up a discussion. BUT,
realize that your comments won't necessarily be seen by all of the BJCP
folks unless you bring them back to their site where they're set up to
receive and respond to comments.
> The BJCP Style Committee has completed its preliminary review and update of
> the 1999 Style Guidelines. These draft guidelines are now posted for public
> review and comment. All BJCP judges and interested individuals are welcomed
> to participate in the review. The Style Committee will monitor the
> discussion and incorporate good suggestions. We intend to have an open
> comment period for at least one month, with the final guidelines being
> rolled out at the AHA National Homebrew Conference in Las Vegas, June 17-19.
> The guidelines can be viewed and commented upon in a web-based forum system
> found at http://www.hopmadness.com/bjcp/ They have been extensively
> revised, reorganized, and contain new style parameters and commercial
> examples. Eight new sub-categories have been added. Comments are welcome
> on the individual guidelines and on the overall organization.
> Identification of errors, omissions and misinterpretations are especially
> Note that these guidelines have not yet been approved for use by the BJCP.
> The 1999 guidelines remain in effect for BJCP- and AHA-sanctioned
> Gordon Strong
> BJCP Grand Master Judge
> Chairman, BJCP Style Committee
Mead-Lover's Digest firstname.lastname@example.org
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA
End of Mead Lover's Digest #1094