Mead Lover's Digest #1317 Mon 23 April 2007


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



RE: 71B-1122 ("Mike Faul")
autolysis off-flavor (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1316, 20 April 2007 (
Re: MLD #1316, 20/4/07 – Berry types (Arthur Torrey)
Re: Heating the Honey Must (
Re: Heating the Honey Must (
Maple Syrup Mead (Dick Adams)
RE: 71B-1122 ("Jeff Tollefson")


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>Subject: RE: 71B-1122
From: "Mike Faul" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 09:00:58 -0700

I'd have to agree with Ken. I have done some pretty large batches using 71B
and they all come in around 14-15%. We have several meads that are single
bloom honey that were made with 71B and all of them are like clockwork as
far as the fermentation goes and where it ends up.


Subject: 71B-1122
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 19:23:28 -0400

I am very curious about the alcohol levels (18%?) that I have seen
attributed to 71B-1122 here. I have done repeated batches with that
strain, with residual sugar left at the end of the fermentation, and
nutrified to the point where they could have gone on longer had the
yeast been able to tolerate the yeast, and they have all stopped
around 14.5% ETOH. I had the levels tested at NYSAES on one of those
meads. It came in right on the money.

If you want 1122 to end sweet, start with a gravity over 1.140,
nutrify properly, and it should stop at 14.5% pretty consistently.


Subject: autolysis off-flavor
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 12:23:38 -0400

I include way too much quotation below as in digest-mode e-mail it is more
useful than not.

Ken's answer — that fermentation should be complete in 30 days — simply
implies that slow fermentation is to be avoided. I ferment in my unheated
downstairs in the fall and winter months which means 50-55 F. Active
bubbling does _not_ have a sharp drop off but rather a smooth continuous
decline, as measured by bubbles/minute through the fermentation lock (a
metric I recommend). I do not use clarifying agents, so precipitation is
driven only by gravity. At most first rackings, typically at the 35-40
day mark, I'll have seen a .080 decline in S.G. with another .020 to come
later. Perhaps 2/3rds of what I make are melomels or metheglins, i.e.,
with admixture, with the rest medium [Schramm defininition] plain meads
for later fiddling. Yes, everything gets nutrient and energizer kicks at
the start, I keep real records, and I know to plug in the computer before
I call the IT folks for maintenance.

None of this is a complaint of off-flavor due to autolysis as I have
never experienced this. Instead, it is observing that a naive reading
of various instructions, here and in books, to be quick, cool, and free
of yeast pre-racking collide with reality. In the engineering world
from which I come, this is said as "Fast, cheap, reliable — Choose two."
I'd re-word for mead as "Fast, cool, precipated — Choose two." I'm also a
statistician; with that hat on I'd suggest that multi-factor optimizations
do not have a global maximum, only local maxima.


  • –dan


 | Subject: Re: autolysis off-flavor
| From: Mail Box <>
| Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 16:39:54 -0400


 |  > 
From: dan
| > Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 15:03:41 -0400

| >

| > A variation on this theme: If I rack off at, say, 30 days
| > and a little bubbling is still present at 60 days, should
| > I rack again? I suppose this is a probability question:
| > is leaving the modicum of remaining yeast in place a
| > greater or lesser hazard than the risk of picking up
| > some mold or the like. After all, real wineries never
| > expose anything to air when racking kettle to kettle
| > and, well, I do — like it or not.

| > – –dan

| The purpose of racking is to leave either the gross lees behind, or the
| lees which have dropped out of suspension after the first racking.
| Gross lees is a term which applies well to wine making, but not so much
| for mead making. With much home mead making there are no gross lees
| (for example a pyment made with grape juice). With a large remaining
| proportion there are vastly reduced gross lees (for example a 5 gallon
| batch made with 5 lbs of blueberries kept in a fine nylon bag). So the
| initial racking for most meads is to remove as much yeast as is
| practical. Racking before fermentation has completed defeats this
| purpose. The activity of fermentation keeps the dead yeast in
| suspension and prevents flocculation. So my suggestion would be that
| there is no purpose in racking at 30 days or 60 days if fermentation is
| still continuing. Ensure a rapid and healthy fermentation by pitching
| an active starter into a properly aerated and nutritious must within the
| gravity tolerance of your yeast strain, and you should not have
| fermentation continuing at 30 days, and certainly not at 60 days.

| Racking before fermentation has completed only makes further racking
| necessary in the future as fermentation ceases and the remaining yeast
| is now able to settle. This increases the number of times you will be
| exposing your mead to oxygen during racking. When you do rack, limit
| your exposure to oxygen and bacteria by sulfiting and proper topping of
| your secondaries.

| Cheers,
| Ken

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1316, 20 April 2007
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 17:24:45 EDT

I've got 4 6 gallon carboys going at various stages. The ph range from
about 3.3 to 3.6. My intentions are to filter the mead down to a .5 micron
and not use sulfites (or any other chemicals). Anyone have thoughts on the
use of filtration vs sulfites?


Hi Dana, Thanks for your very detailed response. I actually bought a
filtration system put out by "Buon Vino". It's a pad/plate process as you
described. They suggest a three stage filtration process. The first filter
is a "course" 6 micron filter, followed by a "polishing" filter, down to 1
micron. Finally, a "sterile" filter is used down to .5 microns.

I guess my concern is that the filters may remove some of the flavors. I
know a local winery that uses a commercial filtration system similar to this
and his wines are very good. His claim to fame is that he doesn't use
sulfites. Any difference in wine filtering vs Meade filtering?

Subject: Re: MLD #1316, 20/4/07 - Berry types
From: Arthur Torrey <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 21:59:28 -0400

On Friday 20 April 2007 10:30, wrote:
> > Mead Lover's Digest #1316 20 April 2007

> >

> > 
Subject: Re: Berry types for mead? (Dick Dunn) #1315,

> >
From: Alida Dunning <>

> >
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 01:00:28 -0800

> >

> > Don't forget fruits other than berries. Apples, crabapples and rhubarb are
> > easy to grow and make great mead. Our local meadery makes a "highly
> > quaffable" blackberry-blueberry.
> > I agree that freezing brings out the flavor in strawberries. A buddy and I
> > made a batch using strawberries and cherries. We boiled the thawed, crushed
> > fruit with the honey and water for a few minutes and then strained it all
> > through a wire mesh strainer. This removed most of the fruit pulp ahead of
> > time. The pulp I made into a pie.
> > Alida, Homer Alaska.

> >> > ——————————

Many thanks to you, Dick, and the others that responded to my query about
berry types… I just placed an order this afternoon for some berries with
Nourse Farms <> in western MA. This is a place that multiple
references on the web were pointing at, and seems to have a nice catalog w/
plenty of helpful folks on the phone… They pretty much only do berries.

I have limited space, and don't want to overdo things, so I'm going to be
adding stuff slowly. As I mentioned, our next door neighboor is already
growing raspberries and blackberries in sufficient quantity to do us pretty
well, and is going to be putting in a bunch of blueberry bushes as well.

I am going to get a Samdal Elderberry and a bunch of horseradish plants
shipped to me, (DON'T WORRY! I'm not planning to brew mead with the
horseraddish ;-} – but we LIKE the stuff, so why not try growing it…)

Because of the local restriction on Ribes, I'm having two Rovada red currants,
a Ben Sarek black currant, and a Hinomaki Red gooseberry sent to a friend up
in NH who has agreed to grow them out for me…

I'll also be getting some hot pepper plants for making good food and
capsicumel later on…


Subject: Re: Heating the Honey Must
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 21:35:33 EDT

Dan McFeeley _mcfeeley@keynet.net_ ( wrote:
> > There has been discussion in the past on the virtues of boiling or
> > heating the honey must on this list, and I thought some information
> > from John White's chapter on honey in _The Hive and the Honey Bee_
> > (Dadant Publication, 1975) might be helpful.

> >

> > From what I can see, the benefits of boiling the honey must are meads
> > that clear more easily due to the denaturing of the proteins that cause
> > haze. The scum that comes to the surface can be skimmed, resulting in
> > a cleaner must. The disadvantages are an alteration of the flavor of
> > the mead from the high temperatures used in order to boil the must, and
> > a driving off of the volatile components that add bouquet and the more
> > delicate honey flavors to the mead.
If I am understanding correctly, this is referring to a pre-fermentation
boil. On the presumption that the objective is to "denature the proteins
that cause haze", I ask
Is boiling necessary or will pasteurization have the same effect?

Subject: Re: Heating the Honey Must
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 21:39:59 EDT

Dan McFeeley _mcfeeley@keynet.net_ ( also wrote:
> > John White cited research (in The Hive and the Honey Bee) by G. F.
> > Townsend published in 1939 examining variations in temperature and
> > time needed to kill off five vegetative forms of wild yeasts found in
> > honey (at 18.6 % moisture). White drew up a table which was
> > calculated from the data in Townsend's article. This is the table
> > (p. 513) below:
Is not honey suppose to be 15% moisture?
> > Time at Indicated Temperature Temperature
> > 470 min 123 F
> > 170 130
> > 60 135
> > 22 140
> > 7.5 145
> > 2.8** 150
> > 1.0** 155
> > ** Extrapolated from logarithmic curve constructed from
> > Townsend's data
Does anyone have a similar table from a more current source?

Subject: Maple Syrup Mead
From: (Dick Adams)
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 00:49:45 -0400 (EDT)

I have successfully and unsuccessfully made Maple Syrup Meads.
My conclusion is to add the Maple Syrup after a traditional
Mead has fermented dry. My reasoning is that fermentation
strips the flavoring from the Maple Syrup. However, that
technique may lead to other problems:

* If the yeast are not all deceased, they will have been

given a rich dose of sugar upon which they will thrive.


* Since Meads brewed for personal consumption do not focus on

clarity to the extent that Meads brewed for competition, I
have not evaluated how Maple Syrup will affect the clarity
of the end product.


Does anyone have some insights into brewing Maple Syrup Mead?


Subject: RE: 71B-1122
From: "Jeff Tollefson" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 16:17:00 -0700

> >
Subject: 71B-1122

> >
From: Ken Schramm <>

> >
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 19:23:28 -0400

> >

> >I am very curious about the alcohol levels (18%?) that I have seen
> >attributed to 71B-1122 here. I have done repeated batches with that
> >strain, with residual sugar left at the end of the fermentation, and
> >nutrified to the point where they could have gone on longer had the
> >yeast been able to tolerate the yeast, and they have all stopped
> >around 14.5% ETOH. I had the levels tested at NYSAES on one of those
> >meads. It came in right on the money.

> >

> >If you want 1122 to end sweet, start with a gravity over 1.140,
> >nutrify properly, and it should stop at 14.5% pretty consistently.

> >> >Ken

Hello Mr. Shramm!

Yes, I have used 71B-1122 a few times. Twice in 6 gallon batches and twice
with some one gallon melomels. All of those times I used hydrometers to
control the sugars and be accurate, shooting for a 14% abv and ending
gravities from 1.010 – 1.020. I was never successful and the yeast
consistently finished dry and around 16%.

I've talked to the guys at the brewshop about this, and they think it's
because I use Fermaid K as my initial nutrient (I also add DAP and aerate
two days later). Also, they were telling me there were "alot of complaints
about consistency with that strain".

Using this Fermaid K method is different than your beginner recipe, Orange
Blossom Mead. The only other difference to that recipe I was trying to
follow was that I was using wildflower honey instead of orange blossom.

Take care! Love your book.

End of Mead Lover