Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1164, 28 February 2005

Mead Lover's Digest #1164 Mon 28 February 2005


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



Re: potassium sorbate and blending ("Dan McFeeley")
Subject: Re: Jamaica Flower Mead ("Ken Taborek")
RE: Fermentation Temperature (Steven Sanders)
Hibiscus/Jamaica Flowers (Alexandre Enkerli)
Maple Honey ("Greg Osenbach")


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Subject: Re: potassium sorbate and blending 
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 11:31:27 -0600

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005, in MLD 1163, Janis wrote:

>I have tried to stop fermentation of a blended mead using potassium
>sorbate, however the fermentation is continuing.

[….] stuff deleted for brevity's sake

>Over 2 weeks ago, in a 5 gallon batch of the blended mead (SG ~ 1.019),
>I added 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of potassium sorbate, 2.5 teaspoons total
>as recommended by Ken Schramm in his book. As of today, the bubbles
> are continuing, and the gravity is now 1.013!

I'll guess you're looking at page 69 of the book, the section giving advice
for sweetening a finished mead. That's an important context — a mead
that has already finished out, and how to prevent the fermentation from
resuming once the mead is sweetened.

Potassium sorbate doesn't stop an ongoing fermentation. It's used
to prevent fermentation from restarting when a sugar source is added
to a dry wine or mead. In this situation, it may be best to let the
mead finish out on its own, rack off the lees once it's cleared
sufficiently and allow to settle for a little while longer. I wouldn't
add any more sorbate.

Here's a link to a more extensive article on the uses of potassium

Hope this is helpful!


Dan McFeeley

Subject: Subject: Re: Jamaica Flower Mead
From: "Ken Taborek" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 13:01:47 -0500

Many persons have pointed out that Jamaica flowers are hibiscus. If the
dried flowers are not available a good substitute may be found in Celestial
Seasonings Red Zinger tea, found in many supermarket tea sections.

Celestial Seasonings has many teas which lend themselves well to mead,
braggot, or winter beer.



Subject: RE: Fermentation Temperature
From: Steven Sanders <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 14:45:43 -0800 (PST)



> Subject: RE: Fermentation Temperature
> From: "Greg Osenbach" <>
> Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 08:02:11 -0800


> What yeast do you normally use for cold temp
> fermentations? And or what
> would you suggest for cold fermented traditional
> meads?


> Cheers,


> Spike

I use Lalvin D-47, and RC-212, and sometimes the 1118.. If memory serves,
55F is lower than the recommended temperature range for these, but it
seems to work alright. (I sometimes adjust it up to 60F. I tend to wing
it a lot 😉 ) I make most meads with a starting gravity of around 1.090,
pitch the yeast, and let it set at around 70 deg F for day or so, until the
fermentation gets going. I then stick the carboy in the temp controlled
freezer. You might have problems keeping the fermentation going if you
make high gravity meads. I'd use D-47 for a dryish traditional mead,
but there is all kinds of stuff to use, and its fun to experiment.


Subject: Hibiscus/Jamaica Flowers
From: Alexandre Enkerli <>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 07:55:34 -0500

David Brattstrom and others pointed out:
> Remember Hibiscus and Jamaica are the same thing
OIC!!! Well, then, I may not be the only brewer who's made a hibiscus
saison after all… 😉
Hibiscus tea is pretty common in several parts of Africa. In Egypt they
seem to serve it really sweet and really hot. In West Africa, they make
very sweet frozen treats with it.
Wanted to achieve a similar result with beer but the beer ended up
being very bitter (didn't get so much residual sweetness). Was a nice
beer: people compared it to Orval in terms of bitterness. But the goal
was more of an aromatic sweet drink.

So, with mead… Do you achieve a good balance with hibiscus bitterness
and sweetness? Or does this end up being a very bitter mead? Either
way, do you have a rough recipe/datapoint on hibiscus mead?

Do hibiscus flowers have an influence on pH/acidity/tartness too? The
aforementioned hibiscus saison was slightly tart but it was probably
because of the yeast.

AleX in Bloomington, IN

Subject: Maple Honey
From: "Greg Osenbach" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:32:44 -0800

Anyone out there have any experience with maple honey? I went out to one of
my local beekeeper's place to pick up some fireweed and some raspberry and
he said that he was lucky enough that his bees had made a few pails worth of
maple honey and that it was pretty rare. So I bought a 5 gal pail of the
maple and one of the fireweed.

The maple honey is a beautiful deep gold color and has a wonderful, rich
flavor that I have not previously tasted in a honey. I am going to start 2
batches of traditional today, one with each honey. Does anyone have any
suggestions for some melomels or metheglins that would work well with the
maple honey?


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1164