Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1141, 22 November 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1141 Mon 22 November 2004
Mead Lover's Digest #1141 Mon 22 November 2004
Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor
Re: Honey flavours once fermented ("Dan McFeeley")
Sweet Mead (Timothy Harris)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1140, 18 November 2004 (Michael Faul)
RE: Honey flavours once fermented ("Vicky Rowe")
first mead (Chris Telkamp)
Heaven in a Glass… ("Mark A. Salowitz")
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Subject: Re: Honey flavours once fermented
From: "Dan McFeeley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 12:11:53 -0600
On Thu, 18 Nov 2004, in MLD 1140, James P. wrote:
>UC Davis worked on a flavour wheel for describing wine.
>The mead/honey industry doesn't have the clout or money
>to pay for the developing of a similar resource for describing
>I've visited a honey tasting facility, but I'm not able to describe
>the differences between the various varieties to a suitable
>"qualitative" level, let alone to a quantitative level.
>However, the MLD can start the ball rolling, by providing
>"flavour descriptors" for identifying the various flavours in
>honey (pre-ferment or post-ferment).
>I guess there needs to be descriptions for honey, and descriptions
>for the honey without sweetness (mead), and then we will have a
>guide for selecting honey to provide a particular flavour profile in
The meadery industry may not have the money, but there is the
right kind of clout that can get things going. Ken Schramm was
talking about this at the Boulder 2004 Meadfest — there are grant
funds out there for researching applications of honey in the food
& beverage industries. That would certainly include mead. Write
a good grant application, establish that you can do the research,
and the chances are fair to good that you'll get the funding. That's
what I mean by a particular kind of clout, i.e., using your own
initiative and native talent to get to where you want to go, using
available resources. Ken's got a lot of good ideas on this —
we'll probably see more on this in the future.
This is really a tough question, made even more complex by
looking at honey as the fermentation medium. Grape wine
is determined by seasonal factors, and the particular
genetics of the varietal grape which are fixed. Honey does
not have genetics as a part of the causal factors making up
the flavor profile, so there is even more variability. Add
the huge number of varietal honeys across the country (not
to mention "wildflower" honeys), seasonal variations, and
you're looking at a huge number of flavor profiles.
Something I've wondered about — wine flavor can be roughly
broken down into flavors contributed by sweetness, tannin,
alcohol, fruit, and vinous quality imparted by the yeast
fermentation. I'm mostly wondering about the relationship
between "fruit" and vinosity, how they interrelate, and
whether the interrelation of honey character and vinosity,
as an analogy to that of wine, would differ in its own
Subject: Sweet Mead
From: Timothy Harris <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 18:00:08 -0800 (PST)
Hello all! This is my first post and just wanted to comment on how to
get sweet meads. I have been making mead for about ten years now and
have learned much from my mistakes. To make a sweet mead what has worked
for me is to use a good starter of Wyeast#1056 American. Thats right BEER
yeast. It's crip and clean and does the trick, provided you pitch a little
nutrient and aerate the hell out of it!
Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1140, 18 November 2004
From: Michael Faul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 21:09:49 -0800
> Subject: MLD #1139 Honey flavours once fermented
> From: "James P" <email@example.com>
> Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 12:50:58 +1000
>>>Has anyone done a comparison of what different honeys taste like
>>>once fermented? Without anything else added (not even nutrients)?
>>>It could prove to be an interesting exercise.
> I asked a similar question on the GotMead forum
> and didn't get a response that identified "something close to oenology in
> winemaking" for mead.
> UC Davis worked on a flavour wheel for describing wine. The mead/honey
> industry doesn't have the clout or money to pay for the developing of a
> similar resource for describing honey.
It is not possible. There are too many variables in honey. Rain that
year, fruits and blooms in that run of honey, where you bought it, Maine
or ZCalifornia wildflowers are totally differnet etc.
Rabbit's Foot Meadery
Award Winning Mead that is both historically accurate AND delicious!
Subject: RE: Honey flavours once fermented
From: "Vicky Rowe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 20:45:43 -0500
> I asked a similar question on the GotMead forum
>and didn't get a response that identified "something close to oenology in
>winemaking" for mead.
Probably because Dan has been offline for a while and got backed up, as
did I. We both missed that one. I know Dan has much to say on the
subject, and would have, did he see it. Guess I'll have to come up with
a better way to monitor for interesting posts. With nearly 5K posts on
the forums now, its getting hard to keep up.
>UC Davis worked on a flavour wheel for describing wine. The mead/honey
>industry doesn't have the clout or money to pay for the developing of a
>similar resource for describing honey.
Oddly, they *are* doing something with honey, and we're contacting them
to learn more about it. Dan and I are both in the R&D group for the
newly formed International Mead Association, and that is one of the
things we're tasked to find out. Ken Schramm is also looking into the
'science of fermentation' as well.
>I've visited a honey tasting facility, but I'm not able to describe the
>differences between the various varieties to a suitable "qualitative"
>level, let alone to a quantitative level.
>However, the MLD can start the ball rolling, by providing "flavour
>descriptors" for identifying the various flavours in honey (pre-ferment
I think this would be great. I've the same problem with coming up with
'qualitative' descriptions. I'd love to see what others do.
>I guess there needs to be descriptions for honey, and descriptions for the
>honey without sweetness (mead), and then we will have a guide for selecting
>honey to provide a particular
>flavour profile in a mead.
One of our main tasks in the IMA Research group is to help develop a
medhology to give us our own set of descriptors and industry
characteristics, like the wine industry has. Dan McFeeley, Ken Schramm,
myself and 5 other folks, including a couple meadery owners, a mead
retailer, a soon-to-be meadery owner and a beekeeper and honey expert
are working with UC Davis, the NHB and the rest of the mead and honey
industries to come up with this information, with tons of input from the
rest of the mead-making community. The goal is to define mead-making,
and the influence of the various honeys and other ingredients to provide
a surer guide for making a specific sort of mead.
I for one expect to learn a *lot*, while I do my part in contacting most
of the meadery owners out there, while working with the Gotmead regulars
to gather the information that will feed into all this. Hopefully, what
will come out at the other end is an 'oenology' for mead. Dan is using
the word 'medhology', drawing for the ancient word for mead, 'medhu'. I
kind of like the word……..
The Gotmead Webwench
Subject: first mead
From: Chris Telkamp <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 20:59:43 -0800 (PST)
I made my first batch of mead ever. I don't know how it will turn out.
I have never even tasted mead. I have made wine before, have some of that
working right now. This is what I have done to make my mead. I looked
on the internet for a simple recipe for a gallon of it because I don't
know if I will even like it (but if I do, then I have to wait a good long
time for some more!). So, I put a gallon of water in a pot and boiled it.
I did not want to boil the honey – being a beekeeper I think that heating
the honey (really should not heat it over 110 degrees) ruins the flavor
- its the best when its raw in the combs. So I put two qts and one
pint of honey in a small plastic bucket and poured the hot water in it
and stirred it to dissolve the honey. Then I added one cup of raisins
to that. The recipe called for white raisins, but I only had the dark
ones so that's what I used. Then I added one crushed campden tablet.
I covered the bucket with a thin piece of plastic and let it sit on the
counter overnight. Next morning I squished the raisins with a potato masher
and then strained it thru a cloth bag into another bucket. I then added
one pkt of pasteur champagne yeast and let it sit for about a half hour.
After that I siphoned it all into two three litre bottles, covered with a
piece of plastic and rubber band, and its sitting on a bench next to the
furnace in the basement. I was a little worried because it sat there for
two whole days and nights without anything happening (quite unlike some of
the wine I've got going) then it started bubbling up and it is working quite
nicely now, not too fast or furious and not too slow – just right I think.
It is a pretty golden color. The honey I used, 2 qts was a very light
delicate flavored honey, and the 1 pint was dark and robust flavored.
So, I'll be wondering for a year how the stuff is going to taste – I'll
let you know next Christmas! Any comments?
Subject: Heaven in a Glass...
From: "Mark A. Salowitz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 12:05:04 -0500
I don't say much across the list, but I read quite a bit… and I'd love
to share the bountiful fruits of my labor.
Early this year, I took 20 pounds of Raspberry Blossom honey from Bees
Knees in Oregon, 5 pounds of raw honey "Really Raw", a slap pack of
Wyeast Pastuer Champagne yeast, and 10 pounds of red raspberries and
went to work.
First, I froze the raspberries. Then I heated the must up to about 160
as I added both honeys and skimmed off the top, then stirred in my
nurtient and energizer. I chilled the must with a faucet coil chiller,
and then aerated rather nicely with a good fish tank aerator and 3
stones until I got tired of knocking down foam…. about 45 minutes.
Pitched the yeast and walked away.
Two week later, fermentation had slowed, but was still going, I thawed
and refroze the raspberries. Came back in a month when fermentation was
stopped, stopped, stopped… thawed the raspbeeries and ran them through
a juicer… and the sludge the the juicer.. and thru the juicer… until
i got as much out as I could. Poured that red semi-paste into the
secondary, racked the primary into it, and let it sit for 6 months. I
knew the gravity at the end of primary was sitting around .998 and I
didn't want it dry, so I made and added more raspberry honey must to fill.
About 5 weeks ago, when I decided I better get it off the sediment, I
popped the top off and was greeted by the most wonderful bouquet of
raspberry I'd ever smelled, and suprisingly little sediment. I capped it
off, and last week I bottled it.
What is sitting in my basement right now is a delicately sweet, flowery
aroma of freshly picked raspberries, remeniscent in some ways of a very
nice raspberry candy…. that packs a nice wallop in the hind end. It
goes down clean, fresh, and beautiful from the first sip to the bottom
of the bottle!
I haven't thought of a name for this one yet, by at the top of my list
right now is "More! More!" and "Make me again!"… Just kidding. I will
say one thing for sure, 5 gallons is not enough, and I do not regret
buying 100$ worth of raspberries a bit 🙂
End of Mead Lover's Digest #1141