Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1262, 2 May 2006

Mead Lover's Digest #1262 Tue 2 May 2006


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



slow digests for a bit (Mead Lovers Digest)
RE: Adding syrup to melomel (Edward Martin)
Current batches of Mead (Edward Martin)
Re:Newbie question – carbonated mead (Mail Box)
butternut aged? (stencil)
Searching for recipes Mango Melomel ("ryanbr")
shipping mead (
How to adjust acidity? (Mike Peremsky)
Why are bjcp judges judging cider and mead? (Robert Keith Moore)


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Subject: slow digests for a bit
From: Lovers Digest)
Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 14:29:48 -0600 (MDT)

Digests may be slow-to-nonexistent for the next couple weeks. The janitor
is playing hooky, and I'm not sure whether the alternate/surrogate janitor
might put out a digest or two. The usual sporadic flow of digests won't
resume until after mid-May.

Patience is a virtue for meadmakers.


Subject: RE: Adding syrup to melomel
From: Edward Martin <kitkatnedrat@sbcglobal.netgt;
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 08:57:29 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,

The syrup that I got was bought from a grocery store – so, there wern't

any directions on how to use it. After giving it some thought and listening
to suggestions it seems that I should have added the syrup to the secondary
in small doses and continue to do QAT – quality assurance testing (drinking)
till I found an acceptable taste. I guess I was just hoping that someone
would say that typically a concentrate can be used at 5 oz. per gallon.


Till nest time,


Ed Martin


Subject: Current batches of Mead
From: Edward Martin <kitkatnedrat@sbcglobal.netgt;
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:09:56 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,

I'm very excited because I have 5 batches of mead going right now.


Blueberry melomel: This was a big surprise. I was expecting a a very

blueberry taste yet I got a more robust red type taste. The color is a
nice purple. I think some oak added would add complexity. The only problem
with this one is, being two months old, it may not last till full maturation.


Strawberry Melomel: Tastes nice. It has more of an acidic taste with a

tangerine type color. It almost seems that the strawberry taste is that
of a strawberry that was not ripe – can this be? I'm sure the acidicness
will disipate with age, making this a yummy mead.


Raspberry Melomel: This one is very good with a very bright red color.

I love the tartness of the berries and the acid helps to balance this out.
The one thing is that I think I may have let the berries stay in to long
because it has a slight rancid taste – can that happen?.


Apple and cherry with syrup melomel: we won't talk about these two…ughh!


I would love to hear comments, suggestions or about your meads.




Ed Martin

Subject: Re:Newbie question - carbonated mead
From: Mail Box <mail-box@adelphia.netgt;
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:42:33 -0400

> Subject: Newbie question - carbonated mead
> From: "Timothy J. Gibbons" <tim@timgibbons.netgt;
> Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2006 12:12:05 -0400

> Hi. I embarking upon making my second-ever batch of mead.

Welcome to the hobby! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

> My two main questions:
> 1) How do I go about making mead that is dry but not too dry? Was
> waiting for the bubbles to stop the wrong thing to do? Is there a
> general rule of thumb for how long quick meads take to ferment,
> realizing that tastes differ as to how dry you're looking for.
> 2) How do I know when I'm at the point where there's enough yeast and
> sugar left to carbonate it, but not so much as to cause explosion? Is
> there something similar to beer making I should do, where I put in a
> certain amount of honey per certain amount of mead before bottling it?

Guessing where your fermentation will stop is potentially very
dangerous. Unless you choose to use force carbonation (i.e. kegging),
making a sweet, carbonated mead has risks involved that I am unwilling
to take on. The only reasonable method here is to add a non-fermentable
sweetener to a dry mead, and then add a fermentable sugar for the
sparkle. Making a dry, carbonated mead is much safer and more reliable,
and the beer making world supplies most of the technique required.
Ferment your mead dry, and prior to bottling add enough fermentable
sugar to contribute enough pressure for carbonation, but less than will
create bottle bombs. For a 5 gallon batch, 5 oz of corn sugar is the
typical carbonation level for a beer. For a champagne level of sparkle,
up to three times that may be used. I'm more into safety than I am into
sparkle, and so I've yet to use more than 10 oz of sugar in a 5 gallon

Be sure to use bottles which can safely contain the pressure you select.

Beer bottles and crown caps are fine for one atmosphere, but champagne

bottles and wire closures should be used for higher pressures. There
are commercially available champagne bottles which will accept a crown
cap and a plastic cork and wire closure, and these allow you to delve
into disgorging and other more advanced practices in sparkling wine


> One thing to note is that I didn't do any measurements while making the
> first, but I do now have a hydrometer, since I would assume that would
> help in being more precise.


> Thanks for your help.

> > – -tjg

Good luck to you!



Subject: butternut aged?
From: stencil <etcs.ret@verizon.netgt;
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 18:41:47 -0400

I had to drop an old butternut tree earlier this week and in the course of
bucking and splitting I was struck by the wood's sweet, vanilla-like aroma.
I've got a piece, wrapped in foil, baking now in a toaster oven at 400F, and
the kitchen smells like an Italian bakery. The lumber appears too weak and
non-uniform to have been practical for cooperage, but I wonder if anyone has
heard of any reason *not* to try to use it to flavor a melomel or show mead?
The tree is (I think) juglans cinerea or White Walnut, not carya cordiforma,
the butternut hickory.

stencil sends

Subject: Searching for recipes Mango Melomel
From: "ryanbr" <;
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 14:03:00 +0800

As I am new to mead making and have access to some large Mangos,
I am hopping someone can help me with some recipes for Melomel and
other types using Mangos.
Brian Ryan
Western Australia

Subject: shipping mead
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 23:09:14 EDT

In a message dated 4/7/2006 12:09:44 AM Central Daylight Time,

> "Angie Smith" <; writes:


> >I live in one of those backwards states that prohibits shipping
> >wine (Indiana).


> I live in Maryland so you ain't seen backwards yet.


> >I noticed on that they are able to ship to Indiana.


> I'm impressed because everything at that site seems to be under
> construction.


> >Is it because they are a distributor for Indiana?


> I can't figure out what they are. Their winery might be in Indiana.
> To be a distributor, you need an in-state office. But the general
> rule is distributors sell to retailers who sell to consumers.


> Unless Indiana has changed it's laws, it is one of 19 states that
> have non-felony laws prohibiting shipments from out of state
> wineries to consumers. See


> Also the Supreme Court heard a case last year on this. Some states
> may have changed their laws since then.

This doesn't affect the legality, other than invoking the "it's only illegal
if you get caught" maxim, but for shipping mead to friends, I usually bottle
those I'll send via USPS in brown soda bottles; generally Sioux City Birch
Beer. I've had good results mailing to various parts of the US, as well as .au,
.uk, and .nz with that strategy. I guess it's a good thing I like Birch Beer.

Subject: How to adjust acidity?
From: Mike Peremsky <mperemsky@yahoo.comgt;
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 08:32:56 -0700 (PDT)

Ok, I have seen more articles than I care to count
that say "I have adjusted the acidity…". But I
cannot find anything anywhere that tells me how much
of an acid blend or tartaric acid or Calcium Carbonate
is going to adjust the acidity of a 5 gal must.

Does anyone have a chart or guideline somewhere that
they can share so I can make a guestimate as to how
much acid blend or calcium carbonate I should add so I
can get the acidity where I would like it?



  • – Mike


Subject: Why are bjcp judges judging cider and mead?
From: Robert Keith Moore <rob@ineedachef.comgt;
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 10:11:52 -0700

Why are there not judges being trained for cider and mead? I think a
wine judge would do a better job than a beer judge. I have had seasoned
wine drinkers tell me how wonderful my meads are and consistently have
the same opinion in a blind test while bjcp judges all differ. What I am
saying is 3 different wine judges, same opinion. Three different bjcp
judges 4 different opinions.
Where are the real judges?


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1262