Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1296, 7 January 2007
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 22:57:03 -0700 (MST)

Mead Lover's Digest #1296 Sun 7 January 2007


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



RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1295, 28 December 2006 ("J Russ")
Fermax versus other yeast nutrients (Dick Adams)
Re: To splah or not to splash (Dick Adams)
Question for any Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast users out there… ("Todd Miller")
entries open for Upper Mississippi Mash Out ()
Adding vanilla and cinnamon – How much per gallon? (Dick Adams)
braggot, attempt two ("John P. Looney")


NOTE: Digest appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests.
Digest archives and FAQ are available at
A searchable archive is at

Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1295, 28 December 2006
From: "J Russ" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 08:00:37 -0500


Hops out of the freezer and at room temperature for a few days – or even a
few months – won't "spoil" them, but you lose Alpha Acid strength and some
flavor and aroma. Old hops or ones kept at a warm temperature for too long
are still usable. Scottish Ales, most Belgian Beers, etc… are good
candidates for old hops.

Note that pellet hops store far better than leaf hops and will stand up to
temperature abuse pretty well.

The liquid yeast (I assume it was liquid as dry does not require
refrigeration) will probably lose some viability, but could still be good.
Depends on its age, strain, and your luck. If you make a starter, you
should be able to tell if it is vigorous and healthy. Smell it and taste it
before pitching to make sure it's not funky.



Subject: Fermentation Fridge died
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 15:00:22 -0500 (EST)

My fermention fridge stopped cooling. The compressor kept running so I am
hoping that it only needs a freon charge. I will have no problem taking it
to the dump because it was a freebee and its replacement will be a



My concerns are the yeast and the hops. The temperature was 48F (~9C)
in the fridge where the yeast was stored and 14F (-10C) where the hops
and the Maple Syrup was stored.


I am estimating the fridge stopped three days before I caught it and it
was at 77F (25C).


The yeast went into the chest freezer where a controller keeps the
temperature at 44F (6.7C). The hops went into the standup freezer at 0F
(-17.8C). I threw out any grain because it was over 3 years old.


Will this rise in temperature affect my yeast or my hops?




Subject: Fermax versus other yeast nutrients
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 22:04:56 -0500 (EST)

I have been using Fermax for the last three years and am
within 10 batches of needing to buy another two pounds. Can
anyone tell me the difference between Fermax and other yeast
nutrients as far as meadmaking goes?


Subject: Re: To splah or not to splash
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 22:33:42 -0500 (EST)

Drew Dawson wrote:
> According to

>> From: "Mitchell Omichinski" <>


>> I come to mead making from wine making, where the practice of splashing
>> the fermented must to the bottom of the carboy on first racking is a
>> common practice. The beneficial effects of aerating the forming wine in
>> this manner are accepted as common knowledge. However, this practice of
>> splashing on first racking seems to be taboo for mead, or is it?

> Brief background: Mead writing tends to come from two different
> camps. One is wine makers and one is beer makers. Beer making
> almost always involves boiling and then cooling the liquor. Wine
> making (I am told) almost never does.


> If you are following a mead making practice that heats or boils the
> must, then it is important not to splash or otherwise aerate the
> must while it is still hot. I'm sure someone better than me can
> quote a transition temperature, but I recall it being around 100F.
> (I forget what the products of "hot side" aeration are.)


> I heat to 160F (may try no-heat soon), and then siphon after using
> an immersion chiller. So I can splash a little if I wish. I don't
> bother because I usually do a multi-day yeast starter (that is
> aerated as much as I can) and use that. As yeast mainly uses
> oxygen in reproduction, my thinking is that I don't need the major
> aeration in the actual batch.


> But I'm only about 2 years into making mead. I'm probably wrong
> about many things.

I belong to the Third Camp (those who began brewing with Mead).
If you got the honey from a beekeeper, you should heat it. My
honey comes from a processor. I cheat by adding two gallons of
hot water (as hot as my crumpy electric stove can get it in 15
minutes), stir it with a power drill, add cold water (60F; ~15C),
stir it some more, and skim it with a flat strainer. Before the
rehydrated yeast is pitched, the must gets about 90 seconds of
oxygen. After pitching, I add the first dose of yeast nutrient.
Then I cold ferment at 60F and below. My yeast of choice is
Lalvin EC-1118 – some people prefer K1V-1116.

Aerating the secondary reads like heresy to me!


Subject: Question for any Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast users out there...
From: "Todd Miller" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 15:24:32 -0600

Happy New Year, folks-

My typical mead recipe uses ~12 lbs of honey for a five gallon batch. For
my next batch, I'm considering bumping the amount of honey I use
(wildflower, from southern Wisconsin) up to ~18 gallons. Just curious about
how dry I can expect it to ferment out to, if anyone has experience with
that. Thanks!


Theirs is a hidden land; wolf-haunted,
Stormy highlands with perilous paths,
Where mountain torrents plunge through the mists
And flow unseen…


  • -Beowulf



Subject: entries open for Upper Mississippi Mash Out
From: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 17:06:29 -0600

Entries are being accepted until Jan. 13 for the big contest in St.
Paul, Minnesota. Best of Show winners in mead, beer and cider receive a
hand-carved wooden chalice. Every winner receives a prize as well as a
medal. For all the details, go to:

Paul Dienhart

Subject: Adding vanilla and cinnamon - How much per gallon?
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 23:07:59 -0500 (EST)

The following question was received via email:

> I would like a sweet mead and want to split this into two
> batches, one straight and one vanilla/cinammon… but don't
> know how much or when to put the vanilla/cinammon in.

I have never used either. Does anyone have a per gallon range?
Better yet, does anyone know a URL for these two and others?

There are obviously numerous variables. My inclination would
be to add an ounce of vanilla to 5 gallons and test it a few
days later – but then I'm big on Quality Assurance Testing.

I did reply that I would add them to the second racking. When
I reply again, I will tell him to add them to the carboy so the
Mead is racked onto them.


Subject: braggot, attempt two
From: "John P. Looney" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 22:35:01 +0000

OK, so thanks to some of the advice on list, I made 10 gallons of rather
excellent braggot. All that's needed now is to fine-tune the recipe to my
taste. I went with a caramel malt, so it came out like a full-bodied ale,
that ended up with a light aftertaste.

However, a slightly different question for those that like their ancient
history…Fergus Kelly's excellent 'Early Irish Farming' book details how
Ocáire (cow herds with a small land grant) were expected to give their lords
a certain amount of 'food rent'. These foods included barley, malted barley,
and honey. Their lord/king would then use some of that to make braggot. The
idea would be that he would then throw parties where braggot would be given
away; hospitality was the main way to gain status in early Irish society.

He doesn't offer an idea of how to make a braggot however – hops weren't
introduced to Irish brewing in the second millenium, I think. How important
are hops to a braggot ? Could I use some other flower with anti-bacterial
properties, like heather ? Sound historical references for any suggestions
would be appreciated.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1296