Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1124, 27 August 2004

Mead Lover's Digest #1124 Fri 27 August 2004


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



International Mead Festival – Official Announcement ("Julia Herz")
Sodium Bicarbonate! My story. (Talon McCormick)
Is my cyser ruined? ("Kristinn Eysteinsson")
Weak Mead (the Sequel) ("J.M. Blakeney")
First Melomel (hillsofg)


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Subject: International Mead Festival - Official Announcement
From: "Julia Herz" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 20:38:26 -0700

Hi All!

I sent in this posting about a week ago right before Vince's posting but it
looks like it never made it onto the digest.

We are proud to announce the November 5 and 6 International Mead
Festival-Honeywines of the World.

Tickets Now On Sale! Check out to order.

Plan to attend the world's largest commercial mead competition and festival.
This third annual historic event will be held in Boulder, Colorado. Last
year we had over 60 commercial meads to taste from 7 different countries.

The list of activities is at <>
but included are:

4 seminars (2 Friday and 2 Saturday) – Beginning Mead Making; Advanced Mead
Making; Mead and History; and Mead Making as A Business. Seminars can be
attended by all who purchase a ticket to the festival.

We also will have the Morris Dancers (an old style English dancing) on
Friday Night and the Commercial Awards will be announced on Saturday night.

No doubt, independent of the festival and competition, there will be some
home mead tastings going on somewhere at the hotel. However, this year the
competition is just for commercial meads. We are looking into adding a home
mead competition component at future festivals.

We are proud to again have Ray Daniels as Judge Director. Daniel Williams
and Jean Gatza of the World Beer Cup and GABF Beer Competition again are our
Competition Manager and Database Manager respectively. Redstone Meadery, as
last year is host of the festival and is again the

Sponsors include: Association of Brewers, Brewing News Brews Papers,
Mountain Meadows Meadery, National Honey Board, Sky River Meadery, Spruce
Mountain Meadery, and White Labs Yeast.

We are also excited to announce a meeting for Meadery owners and industry
representatives to finalize plans in forming the "International Mead

Cheers and we hope to see you there.

Julia Herz





  • -Redstone Meadery



  • -International Mead Festival


Subject: Sodium Bicarbonate!  My story.
From: Talon McCormick <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 10:42:57 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

Recently, I've had some difficulties with my meads where I'd gone on my
own and experimented. Well, I asked for some advice and found that my PH
was way off! They were below 2.8 and should have been over 4.0… Well,
I'd heard some stuff about how you use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
to correct the PH… Well, this is the story of all about how I became
the prince of a town called Bubble Air!

Okay, I added some baking soda to my lemon mel and my "oops" meth.
I started with the 1 gallon meth. As this was a complete experiment in and
of itself, it wouldn't hurt and I'd not be too concerned if I'd messed it up
or lost it. I added half a teaspoon to it and it did a little bubble bit
and then simmered down. It rose from a 3.2 to a 4.2 with little bubbling
once the baking soda hit the bottom.

Now, since I figured it wasn't a violent reaction with the "oops" meth,
and since it was a 5 gallon batch, one teaspoon would work in raising the
PH a bit before I measure again without too much reaction… Leaving it
on the carpet where it had been for the last 3 months, I pull off the
airlock and dump a teaspoon of baking soda in… Pop the airlock back on
and sit back. Before the baking soda had fallen half way to the bottom,
a sudden fizz starts to form… It fizzes and bubbles soo well that it
bubbles through the airlock and sprays alcohol through the holes until
the pressure is soo great that the airlock and stopper go flying!

After exclaiming a holy exlitive, I try to cap the thing with my hand as
I pick up the slippery mess off the carpet. Trudging the 7 feet to the
kitchen sink as the foam sprays from under my hand like a fire extinguisher,
I make it to the sink and place it down as the foam overruns the carboy.
My wife hands me the mop and tells me to clean up the mess while I wait
for the foam to go down…

So, after cleaning the mess up, I re-measured the PH. It said it was
something like 3.4/3.2… Kinda in the middle. So, I add another teaspoon
to the mead and let it do it's thing, safely in the kitchen sink…

After this second eruption, my wife threatened to ground me and take away
my baking soda and teaspoon. I forewent the second PH measurement as I
believed it prudent action to clean up my carboy and get things back to
order as dinner was ready and I wasn't going to further annoy the lady
of the house with any more mead messes. (I had already made my passion
fruit mead earlier. Actually it's for her since she loves passion fruits.)

So, in conclusion, if you get the bright idea, even though you've tried
an experiment to see how it would react, when trying to ballance out the
PH of a batch, put it in your sink!

Subject: Is my cyser ruined?
From: "Kristinn Eysteinsson" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 18:04:35 +0000

I'm making my first batch of cyser. It started with a SG of 1.089. The
fermentation started out slowly but got going pretty well in a couple of
days. Now it's slowing down again and is almost finished. I noticed
this morning that there is mold growing on top of it. Does that mean I
have to throw it away or can something be done?

Kristinn Eysteinsson

Subject: Weak Mead (the Sequel)
From: "J.M. Blakeney" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 14:34:47 -0400

Well, the bubbles in the airlock stopped, so I transfered it yesterday
to a Carboy. As for the amount, the Carboy holds 6 Gallons, and I filled
it to just below the neck (about 1/2" below where the neck begins)
before I began to pick up sediment (I forgot to get a SG).
I tasted it, provided a sample to "she who must be obeyed" and
explained that it wouldn't taste as "yeasty" when it settles out and
clears. She says it is sweet enough and is already planning on giving it
away for Christmas..

I can't wait to bottle it, in the meantime I am thinking of a Cyser
with my own honey, I have a shallow super with about 50lbs of honey I
can hear whispering to me….


Subject: First Melomel
From: hillsofg <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 18:46:04 +0300

I haven't had problems making metheglins, but pondering my first
melomel, I came up with this question:

If I want to add my crushed fruit after the first fermentation has died
down, how do I go about it? I assume this means that after the must has
fermented for a week or so, I should strain it into a second sanitized
bucket containing the fruit. But from here, I am ignorant. The second
bucket should be airlocked, I assume? How long should the wine stay on
the fruit before racking into a glass carboy?

Or is there another method? Like pureeing the fruit, filling a nylon bag
with it and lowering it into the carboy? It would be the devil to
extract afterwards, I think.

Miriam Kresh

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1124