Mead Lover's Digest #1282 Thu 28 September 2006


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



Re: Jim Fleming (Vuarra)
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1281, 21 September 2006 ("Len Wenzel")
Jim's Racking Woes ("Dan McFeeley")
Re: MLD #1281, 21/9/06 (Arthur Torrey)
Filtering Nead (Dick Adams)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1281, 21 September 2006 (


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Subject: Re:  Jim Fleming
From: Vuarra <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 12:48:40 -0700 (PDT)

I don't remember the original post, but when I make my mead (and usually
tell a few people, which is a few too many πŸ™‚ ), I give it about 18 months
in the carboy.

That doesn't mean that I don't rack, but meadmaking is a lot of waiting.
I pitched some about two months ago, and I may just rack this next two weeks.
My last mead sat on lees for 9 months, and it tasted fine when done.

My rule of thumb is to let it clear on its own, then wait another few months.
It's never fun to have cork holes in the ceiling… and yes, that's happened
to me.


Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur.
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound.)

Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1281, 21 September 2006
From: "Len Wenzel" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 17:12:00 -0400

I've made a thyme mead, and I've made meads that had tarragon as one of the
ingredients. I've also used basil flowers and just about every herb in my
extensive herb garden, some of which are marjoram, thyme, sage, anise,
fennel seeds (zowie! Lot's of licorice!), rosemary, coriander, various mints
and, of course, tarragon.

A little bit of fresh herb goes a long, long way.

My method is to make mildly flavored straight mead (i.e. clover and/or
light-colored wildflower honey), and once it is fermented out, but not yet
clear, add the de-stemmed herbs. My meads all begin at 1.100 so when
fermented out are at or about 14% ABV. I trust that that level of alcohol
will prevent any bacteria that might reside on the herbs from taking hold
and I have never had an infection using this method. And since I do not use
pesticides in my gardens, that isn't a problem either.

How much to use? Start with 50 grams per gallon. Wait a couple of weeks, and
then taste/smell. You can always add more, but once it's added, you can't
take it back. BTW, the basil flower mead had wonderful aroma and a horrible
taste. However, it makes a wonderful marinade and whenever I want to add an
intriguing aroma a couple of ounces blended in does the trick.

Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, IL

Hi Chuck, thanks for your reply. I didn't mention but I was also
thinking of fennel seeds, and coriander for meads. Did you use seeds
from fennel, and or coriander, or fresh herb. If seeds did you use them
whole or use a pestle and mortar to slightly crack to release flavour?
I was thinking that the fennel would be big time licorice flavour. How
much would you start with for a nice suggestion of licorice in a mead?
I was thinking of trying either a fennel mead, or a thyme mead for my
first herbal mead.

Subject: Jim's Racking Woes
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 16:45:42 -0500

On Mon, 18 Sep 2006, in MLD 1281, Jim lamented:

>It's been about 24 hours since the racking, and as near
>as we can tell the worst of the yeast has settled, but
>OMG is the mead cloudy!! How long does anyone
>'guestimate' it'll take to clear up? Should I use pectin
>enzyme, or egg whites or whatever to assist in clearing?

Hard to say — definitely a bit more than 24 hours. πŸ™‚

Let it sit for a good long time, and it should clear
on its own again. It cleared once, it should clear again.

Hang around mead folk for a while and you'll hear this,
patience is both a virtue and a necessity in meadmaking. πŸ™‚

One cautionary note since this was a one gallon batch.
How large was the container you racked to? It should
be less than the original one gallon, in order not to leave
excessive headspace.

Dan McFeeley

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

Subject: Re: MLD #1281, 21/9/06
From: Arthur Torrey <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 21:33:45 -0400

On Thu, 2006-09-21 at 11:53 -0600, wrote:

> ——————————
Thanks for the confirmation, it is an interesting trivia item, but also
I think a good cautionary note. I am well aware that not all medicine
tastes nasty, but there is enough that does that it makes sense to use
moderation with the herbs since we want good taste, not healing
properties. Of course for an herbalist the priorities might be

> Subject: Re: MLD #1279, 11/9/06 Metheglins, sweetening melomels
> From: Michael Faul <>
> Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 20:38:35 -0700
> > Subject: Re: MLD #1279, 11/9/06 Metheglins, sweetening melomels
> > From: Arthur Torrey <>
> > Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 23:08:07 -0400
> >
> > Well Len, they can be good, I haven't tried the ones you mention, but
> > they might be OK. I would point out that the "traditional" name for
> > herbal meads was "Metheglin" which some sources I've seen suggest may be
> > a root of the word "Medicine" (because of similar tastes?) and were
> > intended in at least some cases for medicinal use as a way to preserve
> > the medical virtues of herbs for times when they weren't in season.
> > Taste was at best a secondary consideration.
> Metheglin is the Welsh root word for medicine..
> ——————————

I don't want to get into an argument about the topic, especially since,
as I mentioned, I don't have any personal experience with the filters.
I just know that I've seen LOTS of people mention taste loss associated
with filtering, both on this list and elsewhere. It is certainly
antecdotal evidence, but that plus the frequently mentioned comments
about the expense and other hassles associated with the home brewer
grade filters makes me not very interested in trying them.

It also occurs to me that there may be a difference between what happens
with a small home-brew grade filter rig and the commercial scale filters
that, judging from your sig, I suspect you are using.

> Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1278, Herbal Meads?
> From: Michael Faul <>
> Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 20:44:12 -0700
> >>Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1278, Herbal Meads?
> > 2. Mechanical ….
> > from all that I've read (I haven't tried them) Also many folks have
> > said that they filter out some of the taste along w/ everything else.
> >
> Unless you filter at or below .01 micron you stand virtually no chance
> of stripping any of the aroma or taste from mead.
> I have done several tests and used gas cromatograph to see the results
> and there is no difference.
> Mike
> – —
> Rabbit's Foot Meadery & Red Branch Cider Co.
> Award Winning Mead & Hard Apple Cider

> ——————————
I put pectic enzyme in any mead I make other than a simple, and some
people mention even putting it in simples. Some of the instructions
I've seen say that the enzyme is partly deactivated by alcohol, but
since I tend to use Ken Schramm's method of adding the fruit late in
primary, it doesn't make sense to add the PE until then. To compensate
I go a bit heavy when I add the PE, and if the must still looks murky
when I rack off the fruit will add a second dose.

After that, I don't worry to much about clarity until I think
fermentation is done and I'm almost ready to bottle. I find time will
settle most junk, and I get pretty clear results just from letting it
bulk age in the carboy.

If things are still cloudy as I get ready to bottle, I will use one of
any number of methods to get any remaining haze to settle. Bentonite
works, but I find the added water used to dissolve the bentonite may
dilute the mead just enough to get the fermentation going again. You may
also need multiple treatments, which increases the risk of renewed

Lately, I've been using a two part Kielsol / Chitosan process that I get
at my brew supplier (New England Beer & Wine Hobby, Woburn, MA) It is a
Crosby & Baker Ltd product, called "Super-Kleer K.C." It is a double
envelope, you're supposed to dump in part A (Kielsol) stir gently, then
add part B in 1 oz of warm water. It works really well in about 12-24

I can sympathize about the spill (aka alcohol abuse). Remember the
definition of Irish Purgatory – you get stuck head first into a barrel
filled with all the booze you've ever spilled, and if you drown, well

  • –> to H… with you! <GRIN> Don't add to much to your total…

Recently I purchased a pump style self priming racking cane which I've
found greatly reduces the hassles of racking. Instead of trying to
start a siphon going by filling up the hose with water or other tricks
it is a simple matter of sticking the cane into the source and the hose
in the destination, and giving it a short stroke or two to start the
siphon. No fuss, no headaches, no hassles. It's a little harder to
clean but nothing to worry about.

Good Luck,

> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1280, 17 September 2006
> From: "Jim Fleming" <>
> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006 23:04:11 -0400
> Thanks Dan for the wonderfully warm welcome and the nice informative
> article about "JAO" see…? we're a quick study! πŸ˜‰
> Now for the info, ugh!
> Well, we did the first racking, and wow! was I frustrated and
> disappointed with both myself and the results!
> First of all… When I went to get the gallon jug to siphon off the
> clear mead, it was rather dark, and there were a couple of obstacles
> in my way to get back from where the mead was being stored. As I
> negotiated my way back thru the obstacles, I didn't realize the mead
> was being shaken somewhat. ergg!
> So we waited 24 hours to see what would happen. Not much at all,
> needless to say. I decided I wanted to get the Mead off of the "gross
> lees" and we went ahead and racked it. Well, as you might imagine, the
> large stuff stayed in the glass jug. But I think while I was holding
> the tube near the top of the lees, I got it too close and quite a few
> of the expired little yeasties siphoned over into the new and clean
> jug…
> I almost forgot the worst part… While I was fiddling with the hose
> in the top jug, the end of the hose in the jug on the floor started
> creeping up and out of the jug, unbeknownst to me… AGH!!! I lost a
> few ounces of the precious stuff on the floor of our porch… big ugly
> frown face goes here: πŸ™
> It's been about 24 hours since the racking, and as near as we can tell
> the worst of the yeast has settled, but OMG is the mead cloudy!! How
> long does anyone 'guestimate' it'll take to clear up? Should I use
> pectin enzyme, or egg whites or whatever to assist in clearing?
> We hereby invite expressions of sympathy, and encourage tips about
> never moving the carboys, roughly, gently or otherwise…?
> Thanks, everyone…
> Cheers,
> Jim and Morisa

Subject: Filtering Nead
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:16:38 -0400 (EDT)

I bought out another home brewer at a fire sale price and am
about to sell some the excess equipment so I can buy a Buon
Vino Superjet Filter.

My situation is that I make 200 gallons of Mead from September
thru May. This is necessary so that production exceeds

Som simple questions:
1) Is the Buon Vino Superjet the right tool for 5 to 10

gallons at a time. If not, what is the best tool?

2) Where can I get the best price on a Buon Vino Superjet

or what you think is the best tool?


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1281, 21 September 2006
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 17:13:00 +0000

> Subject: Re: Dry Melomels……No matter what
> From: "Kevin Morgan" <>
> Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2006 21:42:53 -0400
> I made many melomels, some dry, some sweet, and most some where in-between.
> If I were you, and wanted a sweeter Mel, I would leave the basic recipe as is
> but, change the yeast to something like Wyeast 1056 or SafAle 56.
> These beer yeasts have a much lower Alc. tolerance……..Kevin

Good idea. I'll give that a shot. Thanks!

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1282

Vicky Rowe
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