Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1231, 27 November 2005

Mead Lover's Digest #1231 Sun 27 November 2005


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



Raspberry Mead ("Curtis,Dave [St. John's]")
Lychee Mead (ALAN K MEEKER)
flavour carry through in honey (mkiley)
Film Yeast (Chris Dettner)


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Subject: Raspberry Mead
From: "Curtis,Dave [St. John's]" <Dave.Curtis@EC.GC.CA>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 15:04:00 -0330

It's been a while since I have been able to read some of the articles
and I take pleasure reading about those making raspberry mead. I truly
envy those having a supply of raspberry honey as it is something I do
not. Reminiscing about a batch I made a few years back however, I would
offer the following as a lesson learned so others can avoid
disappointment. I had made a 5 gallon batch of Raspberry Rhubarb Mead
and fermented the fruit directly in the primary fermentor. Skipping the
details and going to the final result, I admit the batch had a beautiful
color, smell and taste. However, I would have to qualify that and say
first taste. The drinking and tasting in the mouth was nice but an
after taste followed with every glass and was strongly nutty to oily in
flavour. My mistake; or so I believe – I left the fermentation go too
long with the kernels of the raspberry imparting the nutty flavour on
the mead. In more recent meads with raspberries, I have juiced the
berries first and shortened the exposure time of the raw fruit in the
primary fermentor. The result has been very successful.
Best wishes to those who brew and happy times to all.

David Curtis

Subject: Lychee Mead
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 14:59:30 -0500

Randy Wallis wrote about his positive experience in making a Lychee
mead. Thanks Randy, I too was introduced to Lychee fruit in Hawaii but
never tried make a mead from them because fo the expense. I'd neglected to
consider the use of canned Lychee fruit but will definitely give it a try. We
were fortunate enough to host the AHA annual homebrewer's conference here
in Baltimore this Summer where I had my first taste of Lychee mead. It was
from a club in Florida (I also learned that Lychees are grown in FLA as well
as Hawaii) and was one of the best things I sampled at the conference. I
believe the meadmaker even used Lychee honey in addition to the fruit. I
had a couple of questions about your Lychee mead. What was the starting
batch size? Are the canned fruit whole and, if so, did you break them up
or puree them before adding them to the carboy? Was the canned fruit in
a sweet syrup and was this added to the carboy as well?



  • -Alan Meeker

Baltimore, MD


Subject: flavour carry through in honey
From: mkiley <>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 22:06:51 -0500

I've pollinated blueberries for years and seen, smelled and tasted a lot of
blueberry honey. It has no scent or flavour characteristic of the fruit
itself. The scent of the flowers is similar to that of all other vacciniums
and reminds me of privet, a smell I've never liked. Blueberry honey has a
slight but distinct flavour of that and I find it to be one of the poorer
honeys I come across.

I know this to be a minority opinion. Blueberry honey sells very well in
Maine, mostly in eight ounce jars for the tourists. I'm told there is a
good market for it in Japan where blue has good luck connotations. I try to
let my bees turn it all into bees so it doesn't get into my crop. That's
just what I like, YMMV. It is widely assumed in the honey packing biz that
'blueberry' varietals have large amounts of other nectars, given the
reluctance of bees to work blueberries if they have any choice in the
matter. Bob Stevens of Betterbee calls it 'bluebelion' because he believes
it to have so much dandelion. Here in Maine there are many trees that bloom
during blueberry season that the bees work cheerfully. Naturally they don't
add any character one would perceive as berrylike.

We also used to make large quantities of wild raspberry honey in the
clear-cuts of northern Maine. That crop failed for a number of years in a
row and I gave it up but I hear it hit again this year like the old days.
Wild raspberry honey is very light and delicate, a delicious honey. I can
detect no hint of raspberry flavour in it even right in the comb but once
again I get a lot of disagreement on this. Because of its delicacy
raspberry honey makes a very light mead. If you want raspberry flavour
you'll have to add berries.

I would point out here that 'fruit honeys' are not uncommon and have added
concentrate. I wouldn't recommend these for mead.

I've been trying to come up with a honey that tastes like the fruit of the
plant instead of the flower and can't. Any suggestions? Tupelo fruits are
very sour miniature limes. Gallberry, as its name implies is bitterly
inedible but makes a superb honey like all hollies. Milkweed makes
delicious, fine, clear honey with no trace of pod taste. Pumpkin, squash
and cucumber are all edible, if not fancy, honeys with no vegetable to them.
If your raspberry honey doesn't taste like raspberry jelly I wouldn't blame
the beekeeper.

Michael Kiley

Gourmet honey direct from the beekeeper.
< >

What's so funny about bees, love and understanding?

Subject: Film Yeast
From: Chris Dettner <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 08:34:02 -0800 (PST)

Trying not to panic. I went to transfer a mead that had aging for awhile
in a carboy that perhaps had to much space at the top. I noticed a very
slight white film at the top that I believe is film yeast. I had flushed
out the extra space with co2 but I guess that was not good enough. Lesson
learned and will top off with more honey and water next time. My question
is what should I do? This mead was made with the no heat method with no
preservatives of any kind. It taste great so I do not believe the film
has affected it adversely yet. Normally at this point I transfer to a keg
purged with co2 and let it sit about a month before bottling directly
from the keg. Not sure if I should leave it alone or add some type of
preservative or perhaps try to pasteurize it in the bottle.




End of Mead Lover's Digest #1231