Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1201, 20 July 2005

Mead Lover's Digest #1201 Wed 20 July 2005


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



Re: How can you repair an Oxidized batch of mead? ("Dan McFeeley")
Re: No More Headspace ("Dan McFeeley")
re: Plastic Carboys (David Collins-Rivera)
Re: Mint in mead (Randy Goldberg MD)
Beach plum melomel ("Elaine Cunningham")
RE: Recipe Request: Orange-Camomile (Betty Fisher)
mint mead thoughts (MICAH MILLSPAW)
I can help fuel up the space shuttle! ("Douglas R. Briggs")
Hot Chocolate Mead ("RobertG")
Braggot Recipes ("RobertG")
rasberry/blackberry mead ("Kowalski")


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Subject: Re: How can you repair an Oxidized batch of mead?
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 10:20:36 -0500

On Thu, 14 Jul 2005, in MLD 1200 (yay!) Mike Castelluccio wrote:

>How can you repair an Oxidized batch of mead?
>I have a batch of mead ageing, and I have not been as attentive
>as I should have and now the mead is showing signs of oxidation.
[….] stuff deleted

Could you elaborate a little more on the recipe, what went right and
what went wrong, and what you're perceiving in terms of taste as
to oxidation? Oxidation can mean a lot of things, and it's hard to
offer advice without knowing what it is that you're tasting.


Dan McFeeley
Kankakee, Illinois USA

"Meon an phobail a thogail trid an chultur"
(The people's spirit is raised through culture)

Subject: Re: No More Headspace
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 10:26:51 -0500

On Thu, 14 Jul 2005, in MLD 1200, Doug Smith wrote:

>I have an interesting situation (I don't know if it should be
>escalated to a problem just yet…). My current batch of mead,
>started about a week an a half ago, has consumed its headspace.
>I was sure that I left about an inch, or a little less, in headspace,
>but today I looked, and the bubbles were traveling up the neck
>of the airlock. There's even a ring of yeast inside of the airlock's
>neck. Also, unless it was the result of a careless passerby, it
>looked as if the mead had tried to toss the airlock off altogether.
>Should this be a point of concern? I don't too much like the idea
>of yeast trying to ferment *in* my airlock (not to mention the
>now constant contact with the rubber stopper).

You can swap the airlock for a blow off tube. They're pretty easy
to make. Take an airlock, cut off the part that goes into the carboy
stopper. Push this into the stopper, then attach a vinyl hose to
the plastic section protruding from the stopper. Run the end of
the hose into a glass or jar containing a sanitizing solution of
some kind, sulfite works well. Viola! No more worries.


Dan McFeeley
Kankakee, Illinois USA

"Meon an phobail a thogail trid an chultur"

Subject: re: Plastic Carboys
From: David Collins-Rivera <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 10:07:35 -0700

Steve Thompson asked about the carboy I used.

It was not a PET plastic Better Bottle, or any other brand designed
specifically for fermenting. It was a water carboy from a water delivery
service, made for water and water alone. Since I got it for free, it seemed
like a good thing to try, but it was never meant for wine or mead. I didn't
notice any oxidizing of the mead from this bottle, but a subtle
plasticky/chemically taste was definitely present.


  • -David


Subject: Re: Mint in mead
From: Randy Goldberg MD <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 15:37:41 -0400

> The recipe calls for 8 oz. of bruised spearmint leaves to be muslin
> bagged in the secondary fermenter.
> I do not have access to fresh spearmint but I do have a lovely organic
> patch of 'gingermint'
> { mentha x gracilis } which is described for use as 'culinary'.


> Does anyone out there have any experience with this mint and would it
> be an acceptable substitute for the spearmint? In similar measure?

In culinary applications, any variety of mint may be traded for any other
one-for-one without mishap. Gingermint does indeed have a ginger-like
gracenote in its flavor profile.

I have had very poor experiences with mint in mead. I find the mint
flavor never comes through, whether I've added the leaves in primary or
in secondary, in quantities up to 2 lbs in a 5 gal batch. I now reserve
mint for my "fresh mint liqueur" and make my metheglins with other herbs.


Randy Goldberg MD
RandomTag: What's another word for 'thesaurus'?

Subject: Beach plum melomel
From: "Elaine Cunningham" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 17:21:42 -0400

I'm a long term lurker and avid mead afficianado from southern New
England who is just venturing into home brewing. Today I purchased two
beach plum bushes, loaded with tiny green fruit, and am looking forward
to trying my hand at a beach plum melomel. Does anyone have a good
recipe and/or helpful hints?



Subject: RE: Recipe Request: Orange-Camomile
From: (Betty Fisher)
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 09:59:48 -0400

I'm giving away secrets here, but for the improvement of meads everywhere…

The Orange-Camomile can be achieved by adding teas and dried bitter/sweet
orange peel (1 oz per 5 gallons is plenty for nose & flavor). The teas
& orange peel should be steeped in your starting (hot or warm) water
before adding honey. I steep it until I like the flavor of the tea –
usually strong. It will be slightly subdued by the honey, but most tea
flavinoids will stay in solution through the fermentation.

Specifically about Camomile: This herb can lend a bitter, grassy taste –
so be sure to taste the tea first to be sure that this is what you want.
Also, Camomile [Anthemis nobilis & Matricaria chamomilla] has natural
'healing' properties that may (I don't really know for certain) be carried
through the fermentation. Traditional uses include: anodyne, antiphlogistic,
antispasmatic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant stomachic –
usually known for calming effects and ability to sooth stomach & bowel
cramps. Perhaps this should be a 'warning' to consult an herbologist or
at least reference books before adding herbs to your mead.

Hope this helps. ~Betty

Subject: mint mead thoughts
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 06:24:45 -0700 (PDT)

I have some thoughts about your mint mead.

>I will be modifying the recipe accordingly to fit >my
on hand ingredient list.
>The recipe calls for 8 oz. of bruised spearmint
>leaves to be muslin bagged in the secondary
>fermenter.I do not have access to fresh spearmint
>but I do have a lovely organic patch of 'gingermint'
>{ mentha x gracilis } which is described for use >as
>Does anyone out there have any experience with this
>mint and would it be an acceptable substitute for
>the spearmint? In similar measure?
>I may consider adding the fresh leaves as suggested
>in the secondary or I may soak the leaves in vodka
>for a few weeks and add that as needed,or both!

I say use the mint that you've got, but use a lot
more. I have made several mint meads (spearmint
peppermint and penny royal, even a chocolate mint) by
collecting about 1 pound of mint leaves from the
garden, and throwing them into the water that I intend
to use for making mead. Heat to a boil and hold for 15
min., shut off heat, then skim out the leaves. them
cool off or add your honey (depending on your
preference) This produces a very minty water base.

>I'm also using Montrachet yeast instead of the Prise
>de Mousse yeast they recommend .
>I know Montrachet has a reputation for 'off smells'
>initially but that
>always disappears in time, in my experience, and I
>like the character in the end product.
>Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

I would stay clear of the Montrachet and the Prise de
Mousse for the mead you descibe. IMHO neither will
compliment the flavours.
I have had good luck with ale yeast in cysers. And in
my mint meads I have liked the fairly neutral Pastuer
White yeast or it Lavlin equivalent.

Micah Millspaw –

Subject: I can help fuel up the space shuttle!
From: "Douglas R. Briggs" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 13:39:46 -0500


<Standard first-time poster de-lurking apology goes here>
This was my third mead, and I need some help troubleshooting it, since it
turned out differently from my expectation. I brewed in late August of last
year, a fairly standard 3-gallon recipe. I pitched Wyeast #3184 (Sweat
Mead). I racked it to secondary and added about 1.5 lbs of pitted, sliced
cherries a couple of months later. Since then, I haven't touched it until I
bottled it last weekend and primed it with a little corn sugar to hopefully
get some carbonation in the bottles.
What I got was flat cherry-flavored rocket fuel. It wasn't sweet and it
wasn't fizzy. And it nearly took the varnish off the table when I spilled
ABV was 11.27%, and the flavor is *HOT* (alcohol heat, not the good kind
from spicy peppers). It's got plenty of cherry aromatics in the aroma and
flavor, but I'm having trouble getting up the courage to hand it over to my
normal brew-tasting crowd (mostly co-workers whom I don't want to poison).
So here are my questions:
1. I think I left this on the yeast too long and I lost all the fermentable
sugars. Does this seem reasonable? Could there be another explanation?
2. When should I have bottled this?
3. I'm making a blueberry mel right now and have the mead in primary and
plan on adding the blueberries relatively soon. How long should I wait so
that I don't have to worry about sterilizing the berries?
4. I think that the yeast went dormant after several months with no more
sugar available, and that's why it didn't carbonate. Is this plausible? Will
it carbonate (even a little) if I let the bottles wait?
Thanks for any insight you can give me.

Subject: Hot Chocolate Mead
From: "RobertG" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:03:43 -0600

Anybody out there made a mead with hot peppers and chocolate? I am looking
for a recipe. Thanks.

Robert Goulding

Subject: Braggot Recipes
From: "RobertG" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 19:30:16 -0600

I don't know who asked for bragott recipes either but here are some of mine.
My ratio of honey to malt is half and half. A touch more honey if I am
using liquid malt extract. My first recipe is a barley-wine style braggot.
I used Eau de Vie yeast that was good for 21%. And I got it too. I got 146
points of fermentation: from 1.172 OSG to a finish at 1.026

Eau de Vie Braggott

13 lbs light LME
14 lbs clover honey

Boiling Hops
21/2 ozs. Cascade @ 6.2%
4 ozs. Centennial @ 10%

Aroma Hop
.8 oz Centennial

I boiled the hops and LME for an hour then the Aroma hops for 2 or 3
minutes, turned the fire off and added the honey. There is at least one
school of thought that says anything over 150 degrees for a minute takes
care of bugs. So as long as I am over 150 There are people who don't heat
the honey at all in some things but I at least try to avoid boiling
mine.when the honey is all mixed in I call it good for sanitation. I know I
used no grains, I wanted to know what the yeast was like so I just used hops
I know the characteristics of. I made this in May of 2001 and kegged it in
Feb of 02. It was quite good at just under a year old and at now over 4 it
is tremendous. I have about a third of a Corny keg left of it. I pour
wineglasses of it a couple times a year for special occasions or good
friends. At 42 proof it is nothing to sneeze at. In my next recipe for a
Porter-Braggot I use Nottingham which as an ale yeast or as a Mead-Ale yeast
just can't be beat IMHO


5 lbs Honey
3 lbs Amber LME

1 lb. Briess 40 Love
1/2 lb. Briess Special Roast
10 ozs Chocolate
4 ozs carapils (For head retention)
4 oz. Black Patent

Boiling Hop
1.1 ozs. Centennial @ 10.9

Aroma Hop
3/4 oz. Cascade @ 8.1 (Not that it matters for an aroma Hop)

Nottinghams Ale yeast

Brew it just like an ale and turn the fire off before adding the honey,
chill and add the yeast.

If you want more braggot recipes (or Mead-Ale recipes: as they're also
known) just ask me:

I have another post, probably in this issue. I am and do here ask again if
anybody has a Hot Chocolate Mead recipe ie, Hot peppers, chocolate of some
kind and honey. Please let me know. Thank you

Subject: rasberry/blackberry mead
From: "Kowalski" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 21:57:51 -0400

As the berries ripen here in upstate NY, I would like to make a berry
melomel. If any subscribers have berry/honey/water/other ingredient recipe,
please advise quanties of each.
Thanks, Mark Kowalski

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1201