Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1303, 1 February 2007
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 14:33:05 -0700 (MST)

Mead Lover's Digest #1303 Thu 1 February 2007


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



Re: Lavendar Mead (
Re: Novice Mead Maker needs advice (
Re: High alcohol/low temperature fermentation (Dick Adams)
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1302, 29 January 2007 (David Chubb)
Re: Insipid ginger mead (
2007 Upper Mississippi Mash Out Results ()
Re: critique of "Basic Mead Recipe" ("Dan McFeeley")
RE: High alcohol/low temperature fermentation ("Bill Pierce")
Meadllennium 2007 – Results ("OCurrans")


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Subject: Re: Lavendar Mead
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 02:23:40 EST

I have to second this recommendation. I've purchased from Mountain Rose
Herbs several times in the past and have always been happy with the product
I've received. They keep very well (I store in glass canning jars in a closet).

Janelle Leek
Brigit Find
Wolves Den/Clan Risio

In a message dated 1/29/2007 11:14:27 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Subject:  Lavender Mead
From: Jason Batey <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 09:07:02 -0800 (PST)

Greetings all,
Let me start by saying that I'm an herbalist with several years experience
but have never brewed anything though I'd like to start. I would recommend
getting lavender, or any other herb for that matter, from Mountain Rose
Herbs. ( I have been using them as a supplier for
years. Their herbs are all organic and of excellent quality and freshness.

Subject: Re: Novice Mead Maker needs advice
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:55:56 -0500

Re: Foaming when adding mead to pear juice
Almost anyone who has made mead much could answer your first question.
There is a LOT of carbon dioxide dissolved in your mead, expecially soon
after it has fermented. Any mixing or additions will release the carbon
dioxide, rapidly. Worst is the addition of powders with lots of nucleation
sites, such as an acid blend or nutrient. It only takes once cleaning up
sticky mead to make you carefull forever.
Carl McMillin

Subject: Re: High alcohol/low temperature fermentation
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:05:39 -0500 (EST)

Phil <> wrote:

> I visited the Lalvin site and 50 degrees is the lowest
> you can go with this yeast. I think the ferementation
> would take forever this cold.

My estimate is 18 to 24 days.

> Another problem you may encounter is difficulty in
> racking. If the batch is cold, more CO2 will be in
> suspension. Racking would take it out of suspension
> and blow through the racking tube, stopping the mead
> from going through. …..

I have yet to experience this problem. Perhaps it's because
when my Meads come out of cold fermentation, they sit on top
of a cabinet for a few days before racking. But, in the
winter, they can not get above 72F in my basement.


Please note that this thread only applies to high ABV Meads.
The issue is how do you get the yeast to ferment up to and
beyond it's stated alcohol toxicity level.

Another suggestion which I have not tried comes from Johnny Mc
on rec.crafts.brewing. He sees the problem as avoiding sugar
shock. My adaption of his BarleyWine procedure is a follows:

1. Create a 2 gallon starter using 3.5 lbs of honey (OG ~1.065).

2. Create 4.5 gallons of must using 33.5 lbs of honey (OG ~1.183).

3. Add 1 gallon of the must to the starter and oxygenate for 15

4. Store the other 3.5 gallons of must in one quart mason jars,
set the lids on loosely, set the jars in a water bath, bring the
bath to a boil for 15 minutes, and tighten the lids.

5. When the fermentation slows down, add one quart of must each
day oxygenating for 5 minutes minimum.

6. A few days after adding the last quart, rack and add 8 crushed
Beano tablets.

7. Age and rack as needed.

Johnny Mc makes no mention of fermentation temperature!

AGAIN, I have not tried this.


Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1302, 29 January 2007
From: David Chubb <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:12:46 -0500

> Subject: Novice Mead Maker needs advice
> From: "robert.white4" <>
> Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 22:19:56 -0500


> 1. I started a 5 gallon batch of Pear Mead. My process was to
> rack 4 gallons of mead on to 1 gallon of pear juice (perry)
> after the primary fermentation. This process turned my 5
> gallon carboy instantly into a volcano of foam! And by that I
> don't mean it exploded like a "bottle-bomb" but the foam was
> coming faster than the mead was going in. What could have
> caused that? I'm not aware of any chemical reactions that
> would have caused it and I wasn't pushing the mead through a
> pump, just a simple siphon.

Robert, Lets call this the "Mento's" principle(made famous by the Mento's in
Diet Coke internet phenomenon). You have a highly carbonated liquid (since
fermentation leaves a lot of CO2 suspended in the must) being added to
another liquid with lots of suspended particulate matter (Pear Juice). This
causes all the CO2 to come out of suspension (aka fizz) all at once in a
slightly viscous liquid. Voila instant foam.

You should be able to prevent this by slowly adding the 1 gallon of pear
juice to the carboy of must. Also helps to chill the pear juice and either
rack your mead or agitate the must to bring some of the CO2 out of

Subject: Re: Insipid ginger mead
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:13:15 -0500

Re: One year later, ginger mead was insipid
Sounds to me like you have a terrific start. Insipid may mean that the mead
needs some acid blend and more ginger. It is not too late to add either.
In fact, I prefer to start with year old regular mead, stabilize it,
and then add spices, fruit, and acids. For acids, I generally invite
some friends and add different levels of acids to seven to ten goblets
in rank order. Most often, almost everyone selects within one goblet of
other persons choices. I have the advantage of an analytical balance for
measuring micro amounts but a dilution approach for different acid levels
will work as well. You could try the same approach with a concentrated
ginger extraction by using a small portion of the mead and extract a larger
amount of ginger root – and then add differing amounts of the concentrate
and select the amount needed to achive the taste you and your friends like.
Then either use the popular amount of the concentrate to scale up for your
batch or use the info to add the proper amount of additional ginger root
to the mead if you don't have enough of the concentrate.
Carl McMillin, PhD

Subject: 2007 Upper Mississippi Mash Out Results
From: <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:18:48 -0600

Results, recipes and photos from the Upper Mississippi Mash Out are
posted at <>

Photos can be found at the bottom of the recipes, and more will be going
up today.

The Mash Out awarded 105 medals, including Best of Show carved wooden
chalices for beer, mead and cider. Every winner received a prize.
Score sheets were in the mail within three days. The Best of Show
winning beer was a sour beer: a Berliner weisse by Kris England.

This year, more than 120 volunteers from eight states and Canada
answered the call to help run what has become the third largest beer
competition in the country. Not bad for a six-year-old contest. To all
those volunteers, a huge THANK YOU! It was a great collaboration
between the St. Paul Homebrewers and the Minnesota Home Brewers

Held last Friday and Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Mash Out
experienced a 68 percent increase in entries over 2006. The 266 brewers
who entered the contest submitted 918 entries. They represented 66
homebrew clubs and came from 33 states. Clearly, the rest of the nation
has discovered the Mash Out – 525 entries were from outside Minnesota.
There were gold medal winners from both coasts, and Bob Boufford has the
distinction of traveling the farthest: 1,303 miles from Edmonton,
Alberta. We also had the honor of having Gordon Strong, Grandmaster III
judge and BJCP director, contribute to Best of Show judging as well
being head judge of numerous flights.

A special acknowledgement to organizer Al Boyce. Numerous people
stopped by the office to say it was the smoothest, best-run contest they
had ever attended. A lot of dedicated volunteers were behind that, but
it started with Al.

Be sure to be part of it next January!

Paul Dienhart
Mash Out Publicity Chair

Subject: Re: critique of "Basic Mead Recipe"
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 14:33:57 -0600

Hello Jim —

Dick Dunn gave an excellent critique of the
"Basic Mead Recipe" in the last digest —
there's not much more that I can add other
than to amplify a bit.

The recipe on the Kraus site is at:

I wanted to take a look, thinking the six tablespoons
of acid blend was a typo but there it was, six
whole tablespoons. Yikes! That's way too
much acid.

Yeast generally do well at a pH of about 3.7 and
higher, but not that much higher. A pH of 3.7
is an ideal figure for honey must, balanced well
between a health pH for the yeast, yet low enough
to discourage bacterial growth while allowing the
yeast to dominate. A pH that is too low, getting
close to 3.0 or lower, will slow the yeasts down,
slowing or even stalling the fermentation.

In an unbuffered solution, say, a solution of citric
acid and water, adding more acid will dramatically
change the pH. There's nothing to protect the
solution against pH changes.

Buffered solution has additional compounds
that will react with the acid, preventing wide
pH changes/swings.

Yeasts secrete organic acids during the course
of fermentation. In a typical grape must, there
are plenty of organic compounds that will
buffer against drastic pH changes as the yeasts
secrete organic acids. Honey is different stuff,
with a buffering capacity that varies according
to the varietal honey. Generally speaking, the
lighter the honey, the more unbuffered the
honey must will be.

I don't check the pH of the honey must regularly,
but when I do it's always been 4.0 or very close
to that. That's just about perfect. I like to
add dark honeys to the mix, and that seems to
adequately protect against too drastic a pH

You can see the effect on a mead when adding
acid at the start of the fermentation. It's going
to drop the pH, and once the yeasts get going
the pH will drop even further. Even if the yeasts
complete the fermentation in a fairly reasonable
time, they'll be somewhat stressed and more
likely to produce off flavors in the finished mead.

Hope this is helpful!


Dan McFeeley

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

Subject: RE: High alcohol/low temperature fermentation
From: "Bill Pierce" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 21:38:32 -0500

In a continuing discussion from MLD #1300-1302, Dick Adams writes:

"Alcohol toxicity is inversely related to heat which means if you
want to increase the
alcohol toxicity threshold, you should decrease the temperature of
the must."

Dick, I certainly don't mean to be a pest, but this is something I
have not encountered in my readings and study. For the sake of
science and my ignorance, could you give a source for your

Bill Pierce
Cellar Door Homebrewery
Burlington, Ontario

Subject: Meadllennium 2007 - Results
From: "OCurrans" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 15:33:13 -0500

MEADLLENNIUM 2007 was a great success. We had a record number of entries and
awarded a record number of medals. No categories were collapsed, and, once
again, we expanded the "Other Fruit Melomel" (25C) category to award medals
for Dry, Semi-Sweet and Sweet, in the category. The new Historical Mead
category only received a few entries, but we did not combine them into
mainstream categories, and medals were awarded anyway. We will look into
doing this another time to see if the interest is there.

The venue was excellent and we wish to thank the University of Central
Florida and the Rosen School of Hospitality Management for allowing us to
use their wine lab. This multi-million dollar facility was designed for just
this purpose and we are grateful.

Once again, the Alliance of Sommeliers provided their special lead-crystal
wine glasses for us to evaluate your meads. For this, we are also very

Thanks, too, to all that helped with judging, stewarding, registering,
tabulating and paperwork. Thanks to all that got the awards to us on time.

And, a special "Thanks" to all that entered. You are the reason we have
Meadllennium! We received meads from every region of the United States, with
the exception of Hawaii. We here in Florida are a long way from New
Hampshire and Maine, and even farther away from Oregon and Alaska – we
appreciate your continued support of our competition. Your meads were
excellent and are a demonstration of the skills of the meadmaking art – at
any level. Several of the judges commented on the overall quality of the
meads this year. 77% scored 30 or better; 23% scored 40 or better, with one
of the meads receiving 47 from a judge.

Check the Meadllennium page for all the results –

Howard H. Curran
Organizer – Meadllennium 2007

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1303