Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1221, 12 October 2005

Mead Lover's Digest #1221 Sat 12 October 2005


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



nitrogen/nutrients/go-ferm/fermaid K/fermentation (Aaron Martin Linder)
Re: Gluconic acid availability (Erroll Ozgencil)
Any Hope? ("Randy Wallis")


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Subject: nitrogen/nutrients/go-ferm/fermaid K/fermentation
From: Aaron Martin Linder <>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 13:11:48 -0400 (EDT)


I am a homebrewer who is trying to get more into making meads. I have a
few basic questions. In the past I have made one or two meads a year,
usually a cyser and a light (7% ABV) mead (you might call it something
else!). Anyway, I am starting to get more serious about it, as the women
in my life tend to enjoy fruity, meady-type drinks more than my favorite
beverage, ale! I also have been getting more into wines lately. Anyway,
as I get more serious, I pay more attention to how I do things…

So, I made a nice cyser a month ago using

4 gallons fresh-pressed apple cider (tart and sweet)
1 gallon clover honey from food co-op
10 grams of Lalvin D47

Nutrients: Dissolved 10 g Lalvin go-ferm in 75 mL 110F water and let drop
to 104F. Added yeast and let sit 20 minutes. Added 75 mL must and let
sit 20 minutes. Pitched into must and let ferment. AFter a couple days I
added 10 g Fermaid K. The fermenatation was vigorous and thorough,
dropping from 1.094 SG to 0.996 SG.

Does anyone else use go-ferm and Fermaid K. If so, what ratios of each
have provided good results, do you deviate significantly from what I used?
Do you use additional nitrogen in addition to the go-ferm and Fermaid K?
How do you estimate how much nitrogen is needed and when?

A few days ago I bought a lot of orange blossom honey, wonderful taste and
aroma, wow! sure beats clover and wildflower that i've used in the past,
maybe that's why i never liked mead all that much! anyway, i diluted the
honey down to SG 1.114 for one batch and down to SG 1.094 for another
batch, both 5 gallons.

I followed the same procedure as for my cyser except that I used probably
around 14-16 grams of go-ferm due to a weighing error. i used lalvin
rc212 for the higher gravity mead and lalvin 7b-1122 for the lower gravity
mead. I used 10 grams of each yeast.

anyway, after 60 hours since pitching, the meads are bubbling out of the
airlock only once every 5 seconds or so and are not showing much foam on
top. there are a few isolated colonies of yeast growing on top, and there
is some CO2 buildup but not the vigorous ferment i'm used to with past
meads and my beers. while hydrating the yeast i noticed it was foaming a
little and could see CO2 bubbles near the top of my jar, so i thought the
yeast was good. it just isn't very prolific.

anyway, would you advise pitching more yeast, aerating? is it necessary
to aerate when using dry yeast? i usually use liquid yeast and always
aerate for that but heard aeration isn't necessary with dry yeast.

maybe i don't have enough nitrogen? i don't know.

any advice would be helpful.


Aaron Linder
Research Laboratory Specialist Associate
The University of Michigan
School of Public Health I
109 S. Observatory, Rm. 3610
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Subject: Re: Gluconic acid availability
From: Erroll Ozgencil <>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 10:45:55 -0700

On 10/7/05, Dan McFeeley wrote:


> Also — gluconic acid is the primary acid in honey, and the
> flavor profile is going to be different from wines made from

As far as I know, gluconic acid isn't available at retail the way citric,
malic, and tartaric acid is. Is there something about it that makes it
difficult or expensive to produce? Or is it just lack of demand? I always
thought that if you wanted to add acid to your mead, gluconic would your
first choice.


Subject: Any Hope?
From: "Randy Wallis" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2005 22:31:09 -0400

Two years ago, on the day my daughter got married I started a 5-gallon
batch of peach melomel. My goal was to send her a bottle every year on her
anniversary. The brewing was pretty much uneventful and straightforward;
at no time did I notice any problems. After 8-months I bottled. A couple
months after bottling we went on vacation with our daughter and son-in-law
and I took along two bottles, one for all of us, and their first one for
their anniversary a month later. The one we had on vacation was very good,
it had a very mellow taste with just a hint of peach and we were all very
excited about watching it improve with age. My daughter also said the one
they had on there first anniversary was very good. Three weeks ago I sent
them their second bottle. Saturday I called them to see how it was and by
my daughter?s hesitation I could tell it was not going to be good news.
She beat around the bush a little but finally just blurted out ?it was bad
dad?. According to her it was very acidic and sour, so I pulled a bottle
and opened it and sure enough there was a hint of vinegar in the smell, and
what my daughter took for acid I could tell was a slight vinegar taste. I
really don?t know how it happened because I am fanatical about sanitation
on all my equipment and never touch my mead with anything that has not been
sanitized, but I guess some how I got an infection. It has never happened
before or since (I have made four batches since then and all are fine). So
is there anyway possible to save this mead? If this was just normal mead I
would just caulk it up to a learning experience, but seeing it was very
special mead I would really like to salvage it or at least some of it. I
told my daughter probably the easiest thing would just be for her and Chris
to get divorced and remarried so we could give it another shot, but she did
not really like that idea. So, are there any thoughts out there? Is there
anybody out there who had this happen and had something work, or for that
matter tried something that did not work so I can avoid that path? Also,
since it is bottled and corked is it something that is going to keep going
and get worst? Lastly, why did it taste good after 3-months in the bottle
and bad after 18 and is there a chance that some of the bottles are not
affected, could this be an infection that was in the bottles and not the
mead? Back then friends would give me bottles and I would wait and wash and
sanitize them before use. Now I give it a very good washing and strip the
label when I first get it and then wash and sanitize before bottling. So,
if there was a weak link in the chain two years ago it was the bottles.

Randy Wallis

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1221