Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1149, 29 December 2004
From: mead-request@talisman.com


Mead Lover's Digest #1149 Wed 29 December 2004

 

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

 

Contents:

adding juice to primary? ("eric")
Re: Re: Methlegins From Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004 (Ken Vale)
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004 ("Diane Kistner")
Great Vanilla beans! (Talon McCormick)
Re: Methlegins (David Chubb)
Meadllennium 2005 ("Meadllennium Team")
Re: description and tasting (Jim Johnston)
Re: Methlegins (Marc Shapiro)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004 ("Farquhar T. Morgan")

 

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Subject: adding juice to primary?
From: "eric" <zeee1@nebonet.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 13:40:11 -0700

Hello all

I currently have about 4 gallons of dry mead in a 5 gallon primary
fermenter with the intent to add plum juice when fermentation slows down
considerably, to get some plum flavor without all of the juice fermenting as
well. Only 9 lbs honey with champagne yeast, so I'm thinking it will take
off again because there may not be enough sugar to get to the alcohol % to
stop fermentation. Do you all think it would be best to treat juice with
campden, then after 24 hours add to primary, ferment again til it slows back
down from the new sugar, then rack to secondary to age, or put the juice in
secondary fermentor, add campden, wait 24 hours, then rack mead onto juice?
Then rack into aging fermenter when it slows down again.
Racking/bottling is the most nervous time for me, I am paranoid about
contamination, so my first thought (just me) is, rack as few times as
possible!
Or with a pretty high alcohol content, would it be safe to skip campden for
the juice? About 5 lbs plums are still frozen whole, planned on thawing and
juicing. Any better to halve and pit, gentle smash, and throw in skins and
pulp too, or would just juice be fine? First melomel, so I have no idea as
to needed/wanted properties from skins, etc? (I dont have any mead books to
refer to). Add more honey to primary to get more sugars, before adding
juice? Add pectin treatment to juice? (some in mead now).
Suggestions and comments welcome!

Eric


Subject: Re: Re: Methlegins From Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004
From: Ken Vale <kenvale@rogers.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 22:28:28 -0500


>From: "Michael Zahl" <mzahl@neo.rr.com>
>Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 17:19:02 -0500

>

>On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 Joshua A. Laff writes:

>

>*snip*

>

>"Usually, I keep in the herbs until the first racking if its a straight
>methlegin, or second racking if I've got fruit in there (I always put fruit
>in the primary, and rack after two weeks)."

>

>- —-You mention leaving the herbs in throughout the primary and possibly
>well into the secondary fermentation…

>

>It seemed to me from what I've read in the recipes I've found, that you
>simply steep the herbs in hot water for 20-45 minutes (recipes vary here),
>then discard the herbs…

>

>Is that not the case?

>

Just like everything else in life there are many ways of doing

things, you can boil the spices first and add the result to the must, or
you can add the spices to the must itself (in a nylon mesh bag or not,
in the Primary and/or the secondary), you could add extracts of spices
to the finished mead. Everybody will do it a different way, no way is
better or worse than any other way, and the recipes will reflect this.

 

Ken


Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004
From: "Diane Kistner" <dkistner@treeheart.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 08:13:39 -0500


> Subject: Description and Tasting
> From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli@indiana.edu>
> Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 08:15:15 -0500

>

> So… What we need isn't someone with the olfactive or gustative
> equivalent to "perfect pitch." After all, that person would
> mainly see
> flaws in meads which don't come close to a given standard
> (people with
> "perfect pitch" complain about music being out-of-tune). No! What we
> need is a group of people with great relative perception and great
> communication skills. Then perception can truly be inter-subjective,
> which is much better than if it were objective or "absolute."

A very interesting post, Alex. I'm new to meadmaking, and also new to music
composition, but I understand perfectly what you are saying.

I'm wondering if anyone has a way of determining by smelling what's coming
out of the air lock how a mead is progressing. I started my first kit-based
dry mead on December 16, and the smell emanating from the air lock was
really wonderful. But I swirled the carboy a bit a few days ago to try to
loosen some of the yeast stuck in the neck, and some of it got pulled up
into the air lock. Now it smells decidedly different, and I'm wondering if
that's because it's reaching a predictable point or if it's because I've
somehow ruined it and need to get it racked out of that bottle quickly to
avoid more damage. (I wasn't planning to rack it until two full weeks had
gone by.)

Gotta do something with this today. I hope somebody can answer this question
quickly!

Diane


Subject: Great Vanilla beans!
From: Talon McCormick <nmccormick@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 08:56:42 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

This is where I get my vanilla beans:

http://stores.ebay.com/Vanilla-Cafe_W0QQsspagenameZl2QQtZkm

Great person to do business with and ships really fast!
I've currently got a vanilla meth going using his madagasgar vanilla beans.

Talon.


Subject: Re: Methlegins
From: David Chubb <dchubb@virpack.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 10:09:35 -0500

*snip*

>

> Second: Josh writes: "As for vanilla, I've used it once, and
> I used vanilla beans. I was happy with the result, but I've
> never used vanilla extract."

>

> – —- Anyone have a good and reasonable suggestions & source
> for purchasing vanilla beans? I think I'm going to try that
> on my next batch instead of vanilla extract… I'm in the
> middle of "vanilla experiment #2" and if that doesn't work to
> my liking, I'm going with vanilla bean(s) or giving up and
> finding some other flavors to try! *wink*

Remember to get "real" vanilla extract. It's going to cost a lot more than
the other stuff on the shelf but it's going to be actual extract of vanilla
beans. Most of the stuff on the shelf that says vanilla extract is made from
some chemists idea of what vanilla tastes like.

On the back of the bottle it should say for ingredients: vanilla, water,
alcohol. No preservatives, no checmicals, no "extra" stuff.

I by mistake used the wrong type once…*shudder* Most foul stuff known to
man. (my wife measured out the wrong stuff) I use only beans now….I save
the pods from when I'm baking and chop them fine before adding to a small
mesh baggie that I add in during primary and leave in through secondary. I
get my beans either from a spice merchant that comes to our town every
summer during our local street faire or online. (I have had pretty good luck
ordering online from a reputable dealer who sells by weight.)

Wassail,
David Chubb


Subject: Meadllennium 2005
From: "Meadllennium Team" <hcurran@cfl.rr.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 11:23:48 -0500

Sorry this is so late, but we have had website troubles. Here are the
details.

Meadllennium VIII

This is the first mead only competition of 2005. In 2004, Meadllennium was
the largest home made mead-only competition in the United States. This event
is sponsored by the Central Florida Home Brewers

Entry procedures have been streamlined to make entering the competition as
easy as possible. Awards include stylish mead medallions for all first,
second, and third place winners. For entries which score 35-40 a Silver
Certificate and for 41 and higher a Gold certificates will be awarded. All
First Place and BOS winners will receive a lovely etched Meadllennium VIII
glass. Club with the most points will receive a special award (the host
club, the CFHB, is excluded from this award).

Competition Date: Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 11:00AM

Location: Preston & Teresa Hoover Estate
1927 Coble Drive
Deltona, FL 32738
Phone: 386-574-8741

Entry Deadlines: Open January 3, and Closes Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Entry Fee: $6.00 each (Walk in entries accepted if pre-registered)

Entries: 3 bottles 6 oz or greater.

Categories: New 2004 BJCP Style guidelines, Category 24, 25, and 26. Check
them out at: http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/ . Up to nine categories will be
awarded (categories may be collapsed depending on number of entries) as
listed below:

1. Traditional Mead Dry (includes varietal)
2. Traditional Mead Semi-Sweet (includes varietal)
3. Traditional Mead Sweet (includes varietal)
4. Cyser (Apple Melomel)
5. Pyment (Grape Melomel)
6. Other Fruit Melomel
7. Metheglin (spice and herb)
8. Braggot
9. Other Category Mead (includes experimental)

Ship Entries To: Meadllennium VIII
c/o Rockey Measom
2247 King Johns Court
Winter Park, FL 32792

Drop Off Location:
Heart's HomeBrew & Wine Making Supply
6190 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32810

Awards Ceremony: Sunday, February 6, 2005 at the Central Florida Home
Brewers monthly meeting beginning at 4:15P. All prizes not presented at the
meeting will be mailed to winners within two weeks.

Request Entry and Bottle Forms via email at: bachian@juno.com

For additional information contact Ron Bach 407-6962738 or e-mail:
bachian@juno.com

Registrar: Rockey Measom 407-673-1099 or e-mail: rockey9@earthlink.net

Head Judge: Mike Urban 407-977-5494

Meadllennium Team E-mail: mead@cfhb.org


Subject: Re: description and tasting
From: Jim Johnston <jim@tervolk.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 13:35:15 -0600

> Alexandre brought up some very interesting points,

> And a mead-making community such as this one is the best way to collect
> data points, which can then be compiled into actual data.
> This implies copious notes taken by both makers and tasters. Of course,
> the best method would be for different people to sample the different
> meads and communicate their thoughts.

I agree here. Discussion of the topic of tasting is paramount. As
meadmakers, we are the ones with the most intimate understanding of the
subtle nuances of mead. Our role is to explore, discuss and educate.
Of course, this is difficult in the face of the usual discussion we
have "just try it, it's good" just to get people over their inherent
fear of this unknown poison we offer them. It would help to have
better descriptors other than dry or sweet.

>

>> On subjectivity and objectivity in the tasting experience:
> Subjectivity doesn't mean "lack of accuracy" and
> objectivity doesn't imply "scientificity." One is from the perspective
> of the perceiving subject, the other one is from the perspective of the
> object's characteristics. Perception is inherently subjective and
> talking about perception (setting up descriptors through communication)
> is, literally, inter-subjective. As the result we'd like to achieve is
> itself perceptual, an inter-subjective method is most appropriate.
> In fact (social scientist creeping up), by tasting different meads and
> exchanging thoughts on their characteristics, people might develop a
> consensual set of descriptors. Like language, these descriptors would
> be "conventional" in the sense that they'd be decided upon by a
> community. No need for votes or hierarchy, they'd come up as making the
> most sense for everyone. In other words, they'd be "symbolic." Much of
> science is based on just that (think measuring units).

My first degree is in Anthropology, and so I can begin to grasp his
meaning here. In that discipline, you learn the skills of observation
and understanding of our culture by stepping outside to observe ( and
immerse yourself in) another culture that is much different, then when
you return to our own culture it seems not only foreign, but also open
to a different understanding. For us to understand mead more
completely, we should first look at the critics who judge and write
about wine and beer. By understanding the terms they use, and how they
are applied, we can then return to mead with a fresh set of "outside
eyes" and find the similarities and differences. Some of the terms
used by wine and beer judges and critics apply handily to mead, and
should be used without shame. But mead also has some other subtle
findings, especially in aroma, that are unique. It is here that we
must begin to discuss and agree upon terms that are unique descriptors
of this unique beverage.

>

> So… What we need isn't someone with the olfactive or gustative
> equivalent to "perfect pitch." After all, that person would mainly see
> flaws in meads which don't come close to a given standard (people with
> "perfect pitch" complain about music being out-of-tune). No! What we
> need is a group of people with great relative perception and great
> communication skills. Then perception can truly be inter-subjective,
> which is much better than if it were objective or "absolute."

We don't want to try to pin down perfect terms at first. Descriptive
language, just as language as a whole, evolves in time. English was
not written as a language overnight. It evolved in time, borrowing and
adapting words, phrases and meanings that reflect the state of
cultures, subcultures and individuals. As someone's e-mail tag line I
once read says, "English doesn't just borrow words from other
languages, it chases them down dark alleys, knocks them to the ground,
and rifles through their pockets for spare grammar", or something to
that effect. This is one reason why I would be unafraid of borrowing
descriptive terms from the wine and beer communities.

>

> Well, mead tasting can learn from winetasting methods but mead and wine
> are different enough that the same nomenclature would turn out to be
> misleading, no?

Not at all. One place we can begin to draw people into the world of
mead is by giving them some common ground they can understand. It may
be easier to get a person to try a glass if we describe it initially in
terms outsiders can relate to, then encourage them to discuss the
subtle aromas and flavors that are unique to mead. Many people can
understand wine terms as basic descriptors, then we begin to introduce
other deeper descriptors for the subtleties. I usually have to start
by dispelling the notion that all mead is heavy, thick and sweet. At
this point, I hand them a lighter dry or semi-dry mead, and tell them a
little about the honey, equating this to the different types of grapes
used in wine. The education process is very important as it allows
understanding to take place. The place to start is a single sip.

Jim

Trying to Understand Mead and Mankind


Subject: Re: Methlegins
From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro_42@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:41:56 -0500

On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 17:19:02 -0500 Michael Zahl wrote:

>

> On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 Joshua A. Laff writes:

>

> "Usually, I keep in the herbs until the first racking if its a straight
> methlegin, or second racking if I've got fruit in there (I always put fruit
> in the primary, and rack after two weeks)."

>

> – —-You mention leaving the herbs in throughout the primary and possibly
> well into the secondary fermentation…

>

> It seemed to me from what I've read in the recipes I've found, that you
> simply steep the herbs in hot water for 20-45 minutes (recipes vary here),
> then discard the herbs…

>

> Is that not the case?

I steep my herbs and spices overnight, then remove them.

> Second: Josh writes: "As for vanilla, I've used it once, and I used vanilla
> beans. I was happy with the result, but I've never used vanilla extract."

>

> – —- Anyone have a good and reasonable suggestions & source for purchasing
> vanilla beans? I think I'm going to try that on my next batch instead of
> vanilla extract…

Try Penzey's (http://www.penzeys.com). That is where we order most of
our spices from.

Marc Shapiro
mshapiro_42@yahoo.com


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1148, 26 December 2004
From: "Farquhar T. Morgan" <farquhartmorgan@sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 17:29:50 -0500


Re: Vanilla Beans

I get mine at the local Bulk Barn… They usually have lots. I don't know
what reasonable to you but they cost $5.00 for 2 here in Ontario, and I
usually use 4 per 8 gal batch.

Respects….


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1149