Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1102, 24 May 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1102 Mon 24 May 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1102 Mon 24 May 2004
Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor
mead characteristics; going deeper (Cameron Adams)
<no subject> (NO Spam)
New to Mead Making-Few Questions ("Ethel R. Silva")
Much thanks! (Patrick Devaney)
BUZZ Off Results ("Christopher Clair")
hydromel (Dick Dunn)
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Subject: mead characteristics; going deeper
From: Cameron Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 11:52:21 -0400
Howdy to you all,
Much of the discussion about mead characteristics I have seen has been
quite superficial. Most of the variation seems to come from additions
that create pyments, melomels, etc. I have nothing against these
concoctions; a delicious beverage is to everyone's benefit. However, I
can't help but think there is a general lack of information about the
characteristics of meads made solely from different honey varieties.
Wine has a huge range of flavors, mouthfeels, aromatics, and whatnot
that derive from simply using different grapes (ok, not entirely, but
to a great extent). There are distinct characteristics in meads from
clover, orange blossom, and blackberry honeys. Yet, I see no general
attempt to codify these into a mead system that could open the craft to
greater public appeal. Someone can drink a cabernet and dislike it, but
can't shrug off wine so easily, but with mead, we get an "oh, that's
what mead tastes like" kind of a response. Finally, to come back to the
beginning, a thorough education into the varieties of simple meads, we
can much improve our metheglyns and cysers.
I guess what I'm trying to say with this rant is that regardless of who
is judging meads at competitions (wine heads or beer heads), it cant be
too successful without a broad system of mead categorization. As a
syrah should not be judged against a sauvagnon blanc, nor should a
heather mead be judged against a tupelo mead. Personal preference has
too much of a chance to to bias. The best we can get is a ephemeral
best of show award that reenforces the "so that's what mead is supposed
to taste like" fallacy.
good mead to all,
Subject: <no subject>
From: NO Spam <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 12:44:51 -0400
> I have read (on the Cider Digest?) that BJCP did not
> include cider and mead guidelines because it was
> arguing they were "beer" but because ciders and meads
> were being submited to competitions and no one else
> was stepping up to make guidelines.
BUT – In how many BJCP sanctioned competitions – which
are mainly for beer – have we seen mead win a Best of Show??
So to say that mead is not included as a style of beer
is wrong – because it is included under the umbrella of
the competition, and if it can win best of show, then
it is being judged 'against' or along with, all the
styles of "beer", and competing just as though it were
a style of beer – right? Or is there a separate best
of show for mead? I've never seen one.
Now, we don't allow wines in the BJCP competitions, do we?
Why? Because wine is NOT beer. It is not brewed from grain,
the recipes do not include hops, wine is not boiled, and
a different strain of yeast is used in fermentation.
Yet we allow mead, which also has none of the above
characteristics which define 'beer', and we allow it
to compete against all the beverages that are true beers
for the best of show award/
Why?? It is not beer.
Subject: New to Mead Making-Few Questions
From: "Ethel R. Silva" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 12:48:54 -0400
I am new to mead making. I discovered mead several years ago in the form of
a sparkling apple cyser, didn't know ANYTHING about how it was made and the
guy that made the mead would not tell anyone how he did it! This was
pre-internet. Then I rediscovered mead at a New Years Eve party this past
winter. I was told that it was not very hard to make, given the basics and
off to find information on mead making I went. I purchased 'Mad about Mead,
Nectar of the Gods' – Pamela Spence and 'the compleat Meadmaker' – Ken
Schramm. After reading both of these books 'several' times, I acquired all
of the equipment I needed from my brother-in-law (he was brewing his own
beer and had to stop due to some medical problems). I started my first
batch of mead on Mother's Day. I am using wildflower honey from north
Georgia. By the way, I paid $4 a pint! I have since done some research on
local honey, south Atlanta, and thanks to the county extension service, I
found that the price ranges between $22 per gallon to $35 per gallon. Some
bee keepers have never sold anything larger than a quart and said that they
could not give a break on larger quantities. This is also a bad year for
bees in the Southeast. Honey production is low here.
Anyway to the questions I should have asked before I started my mead, but
had not found this site.
1.In both books, the recipes call for honey in pounds. I know that honey
can weigh different weights according to the moisture content. Should I
have weighed the honey? I went by the 1 pint = 1.5 pounds.
2.My mead has been 'perking' for 12 days. How do I tell when it is time to
rack it into the secondary carboy? It is bubbling about 2 times per minute.
I am using a closed plastic primary fermenter.
3.I would like to use 'swing top' bottles when I bottle. The proprietor of
my local brewing supply store does not recommend these wire closure bottles
even though she stocks them. Does anyone use them? I am making a medium
'still' show mead.
4.Bottle caps vs. corks for regular wine bottles? I got a hand capper with
all my stuff, but I am thinking about getting a hand held lever corker.
5.Ms. Spence talks about skimming off the 'foam' daily. I have not seen any
foam in my fermenter, I have peeked in a couple of times. Have I done
anything wrong? My must is 'bubbling away', so I think it is doing what it
is supposed to do. Is it the fact that I am using a closed primary
fermenter that there is no 'foam'?
6.I do not have a PH meter. Where can I get a good one? I think that I
will be making mead for a long time and I have read that this is an
important piece of equipment.
Thanks ahead of time for your help! I am looking forward to sampling my
first bottle of my mead around Christmas!
Subject: Much thanks!
From: Patrick Devaney <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 10:06:45 -0700 (PDT)
To all those who've mailed me about te sulfites. And
in response to the question:
<<Now you've got me curious. Why do you "hate the
damn sulfites so much"? If you can smell or taste
them in your mead, you're using too much! Otherwise,
they are a nondetectable presence in your mead, and
have been used inwinemaking for hundreds of years.>>
You are totally right, I have been on average using
too much, but I'm also one fo those people who react
badly to them when I drink mead and wine. Thanks
Subject: BUZZ Off Results
From: "Christopher Clair" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 17:46:34 -0400
As many of you already know, the HomeBrew Digest has been down for several
weeks and our web site is currently hosted by the HBD. As a result, there
is no way to post the BUZZ Off results. I have included below the results.
MCAB winners will be posted later. Thank you to everyone who entered and
congratulations to all our winners!
2004 BUZZ OFF WINNERS
TABLE 1: LIGHT LAGER
1ST Phil Kitkowski N. German Pilsner Novi, MI
2nd Calvin Perilloux Light/Std/Premium Middletown, MD
3rd Calvin Perilloux Munich Helles Middletown, MD
TABLE 2: LIGHT ALES
1st Bill Wible Cream Ale Coatesville, PA
2nd Phil Kitkowski American Wheat Novi, MI
3rd Bill Wible Blonde Ale Coatesville, PA
TABLE 3: BITTERS
1st Edward Bielaus Special/Best Bitter Rockville, MD
2nd Mel Thompson Special/Best Bitter Gaithersburg, MD
3rd Ted Johnson Special/Best Bitter Phoenixville, PA
TABLE 4: PALE ALES
1st Rob Kolacny American Pale Ale Wharton, TX
2nd Jeff Carlson California Common Grand Rapids, MI
3rd Brian Kloss California Common New York, NY
TABLE 5: IPA
1st Phil Kitkowski India Pale Ale Novi, MI
2nd Dan Jagodzinksi India Pale Ale Linwood, NY
3rd Richard Kirn India Pale Ale Garden City, MI
TABLE 6: KOLSCH AND ALT
1st Christopher Clair N. German Altbier West Chester, PA
2nd Phil Kitkowski Koelsch-Style Ale Novi, MI
3rd Edward Bielaus Koelsch-Style Ale Rockville, MD
TABLE 7: GERMAN LAGERS
1st Bob Purrenhage Vienna Berwyn, PA
2nd Michael Robinson Doppelbock Nottingham, NH
3rd Michael Robinson Traditional Bock Nottingham, NH
TABLE 8: DARK ALES
1st Bill Wible American Brown Coatesville, PA
2nd Ed Bielaus Export 80 Rockville, MD
3rd Jimmy Paige Northern English Houston, TX
TABLE 9: BARLEYWINES
1st Ted Johnston English-style Phoenixville, PA
2nd Michael Robinson American-style Nottingham, NH
3rd Mel Thompson American-style Gaithersburg, MD
TABLE 10: OLD/SCOTCH/IMPERIAL STOUT
1st Al Folsom Jr. Rus?n Imperial St. Warrington, PA
2nd Patrick Flickinger Rus?n Imperial St. West Chester, PA
3rd Keith Seguine Strong Scotch Ale Woodbridge, NJ
TABLE 11: PORTERS
1st Edward Bielaus Robust Rockville, MD
2nd Mike Tripica Robust Sayreville, NJ
3rd Bruce Millington Robust Marlton, NJ
TABLE 12: STOUTS
1st Eric Christensen Sweet Huntingtown, MD
2nd Al Folsom Jr Foreign Extra Warrington, PA
3rd Al Folsom Jr. Sweet Warrington, PA
TABLE 13: WHEATS
1st Jeff Carlson Bavar?n Dunkelweizen Grand Rapids, MI
2nd Bob Purrenhage Bavarian Weizen Berwyn, PA
3rd Bill Wible Bavarian Weizen Coatesville, PA
TABLE 14: STRONG BELGIANS
1st Paul Romanowsky Dubbel Harleysville, PA
2nd Mel Thompson Tripel Gaithersburg, MD
3rd Paul McGinnis Jr. Belgian Strong Dark Coatesville, PA
TABLE 15: BELGIAN AND FRENCH
1st Bill Vizzachero Biere De Garde Wyndmoor, PA
2nd Dave Justice Belgian Specialty Knoxville, MD
3rd Scott Wilson Witbier Paxinos, PA
TABLE 16: LAMBIC/SOUR/FRUIT
1st Al Folsom Jr. Flanders Red Ale Warrington, PA
2nd Joe Lynn Fruit Lambic-Style Downingtown, PA
3rd Al Folsom Jr. Oud Bruin Warrington, PA
TABLE 17: SMOKE BEERS
1st Dan Jagodzinski Other Smoked Beers Linwood, NY
2nd Paul McGinnis Jr. Other Smoked Beers Coatesville, PA
3rd Ron Daubel Other Smoked Beers Downingtown, PA
TABLE 18: SPC/EXP/HIST/SPICE
1st Garvin and Lewis Kellerbier Mclean, VA (BOS!)
2nd Bill Wible Imperial IPA Coatesville, PA
3rd Bill Wible Irish Red Ale Coatesville, PA
TABLE 19: MEADS AND CIDERS
1st Vince Galet Traditional Mead Collegeville, PA
2nd Al Hazan Cyser (Apple) Stroudsburg, PA
3rd Vince Galet Blueberry Fruit Melomel Collegeville, PA
THE BEST OF SHOW WINNER WAS FROM RICK GARVIN AND CHRISTINE LEWIS, FOR THEIR
AL FULSOM JR. WAS NAMED DELAWARE VALLEY HOMEBREWER OF THE YEAR!
From: email@example.com (Dick Dunn)
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 11:07:22 -0600 (MDT)
Jim Johnston <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in response to Adam Funk's question:
> > I have made a few batches of what I would describe as "ale-like mead":
> > fermented using ale yeast, primed and bottled as for beer, with an ABV of
> > around 6%, using honey as the sole source of fermentable sugar. I
> > thought it was very good. Should I not call it mead?
> It is a mead, in this instance a "hydromel"…
Jim's using "hydromel" to mean weak mead. I wish we (the mead community)
could get rid of this usage, as it's an error we've been propagating for
too many years. I'm not picking on Jim; it's widespread. It was in the
FAQ for this list for many years. "Hydromel" has been mis-used for so
long that we'd be best just to drop it entirely.
There are several reasons for this.
First, this usage as "weak mead" doesn't match the dictionary definition,
which is either (1) a mixture of water and honey (precisely hydro + mel)
and thus equivalent to a mead "must", or (2) mead itself.
Second, this usage doesn't match historical practice–as, for example,
Digby uses "hydromel" as another word for mead, with no connotation of it
being weak or low-alcohol.
Third, the cognates of "hydromel"–such as "hydromele" (French) or
"idromele" (Italian) mean just mead. I remember overhearing confusion
at last year's International Mead Festival, where Intermiel (Quebec) had
various bottles with the primary labeling in French; people were wondering
why the label said "Hydromele" on normal-strength meads.
Ken Schramm describes the confusion briefly, early on, in _The_Compleat_
_Meadmaker_, then thankfully avoids the term.
(Also available by request: rcd rant on mis-use of "sack":-)
Dick Dunn email@example.com Hygiene, Colorado USA
End of Mead Lover's Digest #1102