Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1118, 29 July 2004

Mead Lover's Digest #1118 Fri 29 July 2004


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



Re: first batch (Phil)
Re: Mead in wooden casks (Phil)
Mead Labels (
Re: First Batch (Greg Osenbach) (Vuarra)
First Mead ("phil")
Iced Mead ("Douglass Smith")
Interesting name-game, is it legal? ("Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)")


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Subject: Re:  first batch
From: Phil <>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 16:18:05 -0700 (PDT)

The first big mistake that all homebrewers and
meadists make is not having everything properly
sanitized. This leads to infection which results in
bad beer or mead. If you're an experienced
homebrewers, you'll understand that. If you never
brewed beer before, I recommend you do this before
making mead. Beer takes only a few weeks to make;
you'll know then if your sanitization practices are
correct (as opposed to a year).

A second mistake that a lot of meadists make is that
they rush it. Mead takes time. Don't expect to drink
it for atleast a year (or two).


Subject: Re: Mead in wooden casks
From: Phil <>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 16:37:39 -0700 (PDT)

I have a fifteen gallon demi-john filled with mead.
It's a PITA to rack. The first problem is that, when
filled, weighs about 145 pounds. The second (and
bigger problem) is that a demi-john is as thin as a
Christmas ornament. It won't take much to break it.
Given a choice bewteen the two, I'd go with the cask.


Subject: Mead Labels
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 20:10:37 -0400

Okay, I've finally done it.

I've put my labels on the web. They're available under our BEERZ website
( The labels are available at:

There are General-Purpose Labels, Special Occasion Labels, Beer Labels, Wine
and Mead Labels, and Cider Labels. The labels are MS-Word documents. Pick a
label you like, click on the link, and it should come up. Click on the text
for each label, and change it to whatever you want. You can also change the
font, depending on what's available on your computer. Then print as many
copies as you need, cut them apart, and glue them onto your bottles. A color
printer is highly recommended. They'll just look better.

Some of the label sheets are big files, and may take a minute or two to load.
The previews on the label page were saved in a sketchier format, so that the
page would load faster, so the actual label sheets look *much* better than the
previews. Feedback is encouraged.

There's also a resource page for beer, wine, cider and mead makers
(, which includes a bottle calculator
(i.e., How many 22 oz bottles do I need to bottle 3 gallons?):

There's also info on blending apple varieties for cider.



  • — Joyce


Subject: Re:  First Batch (Greg Osenbach)
From: Vuarra <>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 19:43:14 -0700 (PDT)

/Q Hello everyone. I am new to this list as was wanting to make my first
batch of mead. I have two questions

First: I think I have the basic process down in my mind but I am sure
that there are some pitfalls that I am not aware of. Is there any
obvious mistakes that first timers commonly make that I should watch out

for? /q

Sanitation. Use a carboy that is about 20 – 23 L, or 5 – 6 Imp. Gallons.
Get the honey from a apiary that filters but not pasteurizing (sp?). And a
lot of time on your hands, so find a nice place to store it for a year.
I got lucky, with temperature variations accounting for no problems.

/Q Second: There is no lack for recipes. Can anyone suggest a good
recipe that would make a good first batch? Something simple and hard to
screw up? Thanks! /q

I used 15 lbs of honey, about a 1/2 tsp of yeast ghosts, aka yeast nutrient,
enough water to make the full batch, and your yeast. I used Lalvin EC-1118,
which gives a dry, potent mead, but after just about a year, it's so mellow,
I'm going to be calling it my Mythological Mead — you don't realize you're
drunk until you try to stand up 🙂 🙂 🙂

/Q Spike
a.k.a Greg Osenbach /q

Welcome aboard, Spike!


Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur.
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound.)

Subject: First Mead
From: "phil" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 02:24:44 -0700

Hi Spike,

Apple melomel is the most dependable, trouble-free, forgiving,
easy-to-make mead I have ever made. Here is my recepe with my lessons

Apple melomel is also one of my favorite meads. I have made many
variations of it and thoroughly enjoyed-too quickly-each one. No matter
what flavor of apple juice or honey you use, if you like mead, you will
love it. This one is my most refined.

15 lbs. medium honey

2 gal. Apple juice (NO PRESERVATIVES!)

2 pkg. yeast,

Water to 3/4'th full of a 5 gal carboy.


2.5 tsp. pectic enzyme (optional)

Yeast: I have had my best results with Lalvin's K1V-1116. It seems to
love apple juice. It starts well and finishes clean taking this
sweetish, heavy'ish, must down to almost dry.

Making this mead with other yeasts, I have had slowly leaving Listerine
taste with montrachet, and a slow start but no problems with lalvin


I was taught to use 2 packages of yeast -when I first started this
hobby-by a brewing supply store owner who had an Enology degree from
Davis. It works great. I just hydrate it in a glass of about 6 oz.
water for about 15 minutes. I tend to kill yeast when I only have one
package and try to make a starter.

Juice: apple juice provides all the nutrients. Apple juice without
preservatives is readily available and not that expensive. If your
yeast doesn't start – – If there are preservatives in the apple juice,
that's the answer. It can be curable, sort of.

I like the organic gravenstein apple juice at Trader Joe's. It has a
nice fruitiness and its acidity balances the "finished" product.

Honey: To me, medium honeys seems to balance nicely with apple flavor.
The only mead I have tasted and didn't like the honey was avocado honey

Pectic enzyme: It's a gelatin like stuff that attracts particles, falls
into the dregs, and your mead is clear. This mead gets pretty clear

Give the must a good long mix, about 5 minutes, and the honey will stay
suspended. My supplier sells a spoon that will reach to the bottom of a

1/4 carboy of headspace is enough to keep it from foaming out the
airlock. When the foaming goes down, I add more water. It's up to the
neck long before the first racking.

Before my first racking, I wait around six weeks; I think that a little
autolysis adds a nice mouth feel. I fill the carboy with water every
time I rack.

Within 1.5 years you will think you died and gone to heaven.

Have Fun!

Phil W.

Pasadena, CA.

Subject: Iced Mead
From: "Douglass Smith" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 10:40:22 -0400

Hi all,
I was reading a page listing some advanced brewing techniques and it
mentioned something called "icing" where about 2.5 gallons of mead would
be placed in a bucket, then in a freezer overnight. In the morning, a
block of ice, consisting of water and contaminants in the mead, would
float to the top. What remains is a thick, syrupy concentrated mead,
very clean, with high alcohol content. This can be prepared/bottled as a
sipping liqueur, or reintroduced into the batch of mead from which it
was taken. My two questions are this: 1) Has anyone tried this, and if
so, how did it turn out? And 2) How would one go about determining the
alcohol content of this? (seeing as removing the water would increase
both specific gravity and alcohol % per volume). Thanks in advance

  • – Doug –


Subject: Interesting name-game, is it legal?
From: "Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 18:57:40 -0400

I encountered an interesting 'name game' the other day – I was at an event

with vendors, and one of the vendors was selling "Honey Tincture" in various
flavours. When I asked what the difference was between a 'Tincture' and a
'Mead' the fellow told me that there wasn't any other than in the name.


However he said that there were advantages to playing the name game because
'tinctures' were considered to be in the class of herbal medicine, while mead
is considered to be alcohol. Since herbal medicines are pretty much
unregulated this gave him considerable advantage. Supposedly by calling it a
tincture he avoided hassles with UPS and other shippers, both in dealing with
interstate shipments and the 'over 21' signature requirements. In addition
(and possibly even more useful) because it was 'medicine' he could sell
'tincture' without having to go through all the hoops and headaches of dealing
with the BBQ boys at BATF! (I don't know just how much he was selling, but
from the comments he made it sounded like a considerable amount)

While I can see how it might be a handy dodge to enable shipping mead as gifts
or to competitions (I recall past discussions of this) I am somewhat suprised
that the gov't would miss such a chance to rip off the taxpayers yet again.

Is this actually a valid loophole, or is the guy just lucky enough not to have
been noticed as yet? (BTW, I have been intentionally vague on details, and
intend to continue to be so…)

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1118