Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1306, 19 February 2007
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 12:52:54 -0700 (MST)

Mead Lover's Digest #1306 Mon 19 February 2007


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



International Mead Festival Results ("Vicky Rowe")
re: Colonies of Bees dying (
RE: Honey Question… ("Dan McFeeley")
IMF Commercial winners (Dick Dunn)
Re: high abv meads ("Robert Agnew")
IMF home meadmaker competition results (Dick Dunn)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1305, 15 February 2007 ("Dan&jan")


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Subject: International Mead Festival Results
From: "Vicky Rowe" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 12:41:55 -0500

Hi folks,

You can view results for both the commercial and
home competitions at the International Mead
Festival here:


Vicky Rowe
The Gotmead Webwench
Ph: 919-414-9911

Subject: re: Colonies of Bees dying
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 12:51:23 -0500

Being both a mead maker and a sideline beekeeper, I am
answering the posting about "A mysterious illness is killing
tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country,…"

In January, I attended the American Beekeeping Federation annual
meeting in Austin, Texas, where this was discussed vigorously.
The article was good enough, but the main symptom is sudden
disappearance of all the bees, and often in unusually strong
colonies. I lost 30% of my hives this year to this, which
is about average. Historic rates were never above 10%,
even for migratory (pollinating) beekeepers with their hives
on trucks.

All those universities were at a panel the last morning. The
fungus that is found seems to be Aspergillis so, as that is in
every soil sample you will ever take, the issue is resistance to
the fungus somehow failing as it must always be present. They
are busily screening possible sources of the lowered resistance,
and are actively seeking hives that have just now failed. One
man in the audience offered two semis worth sitting in the
desert in California that were just now ex post across-the-
board death.

The current working observations are these: Not every hive in a
group will be affected necessarily, so it is something brought
in. However, adjacent hives may be more likely to be affected
and so there appears to be a contagious quality. I can confirm
this; at site #4, I had a row of 8 from which I lost 5 and the
ones remaining are 1 on the left and 2 on the right. I may
have made it worse by combining weak hives, but that is the
conventional tactic in the field and in any case the losses
were adjacent and involved 4 races (2 Buckfast and 1 each of
Minnesota Hygenic, Russian, and Carniolan).

Of the factors being investigated, the one I am most interested
in is Bt corn, but that is besides the point. The apparent
mechanism for collapse with no bees present is profound: it has
already been shown in other species that fungus in the nervous
system makes it hard for the insect to learn (as if that were
not hard enough already) and thus with honeybees the working
assumption is that the field bees lose the ability to return to
the hive. This will cause food stores to fall and falling food
reserves shortens the time young bees spend as nurse (in-hive)
bees thus accelerating the collapse as after a few flights,
or perhaps even one, any given bee won't home.

To the extent I can do science, my findings will be confounded
with our excessively warm weeks after a hard frost. When warm
they fly, burning off food supply but bringing in nothing after
hard frost. I had to feed a lot and, in fact, was in my hives
Sunday to add a paste of sugared soy flour. Of the ones visited
today, I'd lost some more but these were clearly starve-outs (a
dead cluster at the top of the hive).

If this is off-topic, the moderator is welcome to crush it.

  • –dan

Subject: RE: Honey Question...
From: "Dan McFeeley" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 14:51:57 -0600

Hello Dana —

I hope you get several replies to your post, which will allow
you to puzzle out a practical solution to the question you
posted to this list. Here's one more.

In general, working from the mathematics that are involved,
you can estimate 35 gravity points per pound of honey,
diluted with water, to one gallon of honey must. From
there, you can translate gravity points to Brix. Roughly
speaking, dividing the gravity points by four will give
you the Brix.

The problem is the difference between sucrose and honey.
Brix calculations in winemaking work very nicely with sugar,
but not so well with honey. The gravity/Brix measurements
may match between sucrose solutions and honey must
solutions, but the amount of fermentable sugars in a honey
must will be less than a sugar solution with the same Brix/
specific gravity.

There is also the problem of sweetness profile. Sucrose
is a sugar with a specific taste and sweetness; honey is
made up of glucose and fructose as the primary sugars.
The sweetness contribution of honey v/s sugar will
be different. Plus, there will also be the additional flavor
contribution of the honey that will change the sweetnes
profile of the honey, as compared to a simple sugar

I would suggest working with 35 gravity points per gallon
of diluted must in a test batch, work from there, try that
out and see how that tastes, then make adjustments from
there. Not only will the sweetness profile of honey differ
from the same Brix of sugar, the varietal honey flavor itself
will make contributions to the overall flavor profile of the
pyment. In other words, it's not that simple working back
and forth between the Brix measurement of honey and

I'm also attaching a table showing the average composition
of honey, from John W. White jr.'s landmark analysis
of 490 USA honey samples, conducted in the 1960's.
Hopefully that will also help.




Characteristics Measured Average Deviation Range



Moisture, percentage 17.2 1.46 13.40 – 22.9
Fructose, percentage 38.19 2.07 27.25 – 44.26
Glucose, percentage 31.28 3.03 22.03 – 40.75
Sucrose, percentage 1.31 0.95 0.25 – 7.57
Maltose, percentage 7.31 2.09 2.74 – 15.98
Higher sugars, percentage 1.50 1.03 0.13 – 8.49
Undetermined, percentage 3.1 1.97 0.0 – 13.2
pH 3.91 —- 3.42 – 6.10
Free Acid, meq/kg 22.03 8.22 6.75 – 47.19
Lactone, meq/hg 7.11 3.52 0.00 – 18.76
Total Acid, meq/kg 29.12 10.33 8.68 – 59.49
Lactone/free acid 0.335 0.135 0.000 – .950
Ash, percentage 0.169 0.15 0.020 – 1.028
Nitrogen, percentage 0.041 0.026 0.000 – .133


Dan McFeeley

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

Subject: IMF Commercial winners
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 17:40:14 -0700

Lacking anybody else posting the results, here's a quick snapshot of the
commercial mead winners in this year's International Mead Festival
competition. Overall, I thought the quality was very good. Sure was a
lot of mead to taste!
There's more info at the IMF web site,

Gold: Cranberry Mead, Mountain Meadows Mead, Westwood, CA, USA
Silver: Honey Wine and Raspberries, INTERMIEL, Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
Bronze: 2003 Boysenberry Reserve, Redstone Meadery, Boulder, CO, USA

Gold: Tiny Tim, Thunderhead Brewing, Kearney, NE, USA
Silver: Hummingbird, Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery, Boulder, CO, USA
Bronze: Biere de Miele, Rabbit's Foot Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Gold: Jablkowy, Pasieka Maciej Jaros & "CORPO" G?dek Rogalski Sp.J., Lodz,


Silver: Red Branch Cider Company-Apple and Honey Cider, Rabbit's Foot

Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Bronze: Apple Cyser, Long Island Meadery, Holbrook, NY, USA


Gold: Sweet Desire, Wild Blossom Meadery, Chicago, IL, USA
Silver: Lurgashall Tower of London, B. United International, Redding, CT, USA
Bronze: Sweet Melissa, Medovina, Niwot, CO, USA

Gold: iQhilika African Herbal Blossom Mead, B. United International,

Redding, CT, USA

Silver: Kastelanski, Stawski Imports, Englewood, FL, USA
Bronze: Honey Wine with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Spruce Mountain Meadery,

Larkspur, CO, USA


Gold: Honey Wine and Blackcurrants, INTERMIEL, Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
Silver: Cherry Mead, Mountain Meadows Mead, Westwood, CA, USA
Bronze: Orange Mead, Honey Moon, LLC, Bellingham, WA, USA

Gold: Pinot Noir Mountain Honey Wine, Redstone Meadery, Boulder, CO, USA
Silver: White Pyment Mountain Honey Wine, Redstone Meadery, Boulder, CO, USA
Bronze: Blanc de Fleur, Wild Blossom Meadery, Chicago, IL, USA

Gold: Verge d' Or, INTERMIEL, Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
Silver: Red Branch Cider Company-Hard Peach, Rabbit's Foot Meadery,

Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Bronze: No Bronze awarded


Gold: Midas Touch, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE, USA
Silver: iQhilika African Birds Eye Chilli Mead, B. United International,

Redding, CT, USA

Bronze: Røsslyng Mead, Wynkoop Brewing Co, CO, USA


Gold: Bouquet Printanier, INTERMIEL, Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
Silver: Harvest Moon, Adytum Cellars, Woodinville, WA, USA
Bronze: Sky River Dry Mead, Sky River Meadery, Sultan, WA, USA

Gold: Camelot Mead, Oliver Winery, Bloomington, IN, USA
Silver: Munro Meadery Mead, Munro Honey & Meadery, Alvinston, Ontario, Canada
Bronze: Traditional Mountain Honey Wine, Redstone Meadery, Boulder, CO, USA

Gold: Munro Meadery Sweet Mead, Munro Honey & Meadery, Alvinston, Ontario,


Silver: Pirtle Mead, Pirtle Winery, Weston, MO, USA
Bronze: Honeymoon Nectar Sweet Honeywine, Mountain Meadows Mead, Westwood,



Gold: Melia, Rabbit's Foot Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Silver: Mead: Tupelo Honey Wine, Blacksnake Meadery, Dugspur, VA, USA
Bronze: Valley Vineyards Honey Mead, Valley Vineyards, Morrow, OH, USA

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: Re: high abv meads 
From: "Robert Agnew" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 17:27:48 -0600

>As I said, in my reading and study I have yet to encounter the
>recommendation to lower the fermentation temperature for mead, wine
>or beer in order to increase the alcohol tolerance.


>- — Bill Pierce
>Cellar Door Homebrewery
>Burlington, Ontario

I've been watching this thread with much interest because I had a high
gravity must going a few months ago (original potential alcohol was 20%).
Fermentation was beginning to slow to a crawl around 15.5% ABV using Wyeast
Dry Mead yeast. So, I put a heating pad on the carboy and increased the
heat from 66F to 74F. Fermentation picked up dramatically, then two days
later stopped completely with heavy sedimentation at 17.1% alcohol. The
strain is reported by Wyeast to be tolerant to 18% ABV. This is hardly a
scientific study, but does lend some credit to Dick Adams statement.


  • –Robert Agnew

Centennial, CO


Subject: IMF home meadmaker competition results
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 14:37:11 -0700

Here are the winners in the home meadmaker's competition of the
International Mead Festival. The categories here are BJCP. The winners
in each category are listed as first, second, and third place in order.
Other prizes noted at the bottom.
There's more info at the IMF web site,

Category 24A – Dry Mead (10 Entries)
Mark Healey Acton,ME
John Sather Orlando,FL Wonderfull Sunset
Keith Smock Felton,CA Sparkling Mead

Category 24B – Traditional Semi-Sweet (20 Entries)
Rick Reilly Fargo,ND
Shane Fox Aurora,CO Dragon Mead 002
Stephen Burton Chandler,AZ

Category 24C – Traditional Sweet (28 Entries)
Curt & Kathy Stock St Paul,MN tupelo
Rick Spaziani Lebanon,OR Poison Oak Mead
Robert Moore Shoreline,WA After All

Category 25A – Cyser (15 Entries)
Steve McKellips Mesa,AZ Bee Buzzed Cyser
Rick Reilly Fargo,ND Apple Stinger
Kathy Thompson Lafayette,CO Dueling Cyser

Category 25B – Pyment (17 Entries)
Eric Sprague N Berwick,ME GP
Deborah Lee Thornton,CO Zinfully Wild Pyment
Curt & Kathy Stock St Paul,MN Motley Merlot

Category 25C – Other Fruit Melomel (70 Entries)
Stephen Burton Chandler,AZ Prickly Pear
David Lester Santa Clarita,CA Pomegranate & Honey Wine
Ward Baldwin & Justin Stoerman Ray Town,MO Pillager's Passion

Category 26A – Metheglin (27 Entries)
Edward Silverman Falls Church,VA Hades Own Habenero Mead
Don & Beth Ferris Rockledge,FL Chai Surprise
Eileen Coles Glen Cove,NY Head Over Heels Vanilla Ginger

Category 26B – Braggot (12 Entries)
Taylor Caron Ft Collins,CO
Curt & Kathy Stock St Paul,MN Bottom's Up Braggot
Glenn & Dani Exline Rockledge,FL St Bernardus Strong Dark Belgian

Category 26C – Open Category Mead (43 Entries)
David Baldwin Grand Rapids,MI Spiced Orange
Mike Haws Arlington,TX Sweet Blackberry Kiss
Julia Herz Lyons,CO Cha Cha Cherry Braggot


David Baldwin Grand Rapids,MI Spiced Orange

Special Awards
Farthest Entry Kapaa, Hawaii Stephanie Krieger
Best Name Catatonic Catnip Metheglin Trevor LaRene
Most Exotic Ingredient Whole Beehive Kevin Cunningham

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1305, 15 February 2007
From: "Dan&jan" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 14:06:53 -0500

The previous posts pretty well explain the amount of honey to add.
You may want to consider the following: honey is usually ~85% solids BUT the
sugars in honey are sweeter to the taste than sugar (sucrose). You may find
in your bench tests that a ml of honey may give you the same sweetness as
one gram of sugar. By adding honey you will also introduce minimal amounts
of wax, pollen and proteins..

Dan Veilleux
in the mountains of NC
zone 6a

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1306