Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1321, 23 May 2007
Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 21:29:18 -0600 (MDT)

Mead Lover's Digest #1321 Wed 23 May 2007


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



Re: Need advise (
Re: sugar shock (
prefered yeast types ("Doug Honey Love Ranch")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1319, 5 May 2007 (Alida Dunning)
Another melomel question (Ed Howell)


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Subject: Re: Need advise
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 15:38:51 EDT

Our colleague Omar wrote:
> I'm getting prepared for my next mead/wine making season – it's
> currently too hot at my place so I'm waiting till June and the clouds
> come so it gets cooler for my yeasts. In preparation to that, I'm
> getting my supplies and planning my schedule. So, these are my
> questions:

Wow, cooler in June than in May. Must be great cloud cover!

> 1. I bought some blueberry blossom honey – any suggestions for a mead
> based on this? I'm trying to get the most of it in regards to flavor
> and character, but I know that it may overload my mead, so I'm
> wondering whether I should blend it.
> I can blend it with the following:
> a) clover
> b) orange blossom
> c) chamomille blossom
> d) wildflower
> e) dzildzilche (I've never tasted this one, actually)
> Or, should I use this blueberry blossom honey for a melomel?

Never used Blueberry honey, but have used Raspberry honey
which was so delicate in taste, I would not blend it with anything.
My suggestion is to taste it out of the primary and decide if it
needs fruit in the secondary. If it does, think blueberries.

> My goal is to have a semi-sweet, still mead, with alcohol content
> somewhere about 9% – 11% (to match mi wife's liking).

A smart man is one who thinks of his wife and makes sure she knows it.

> I have the most common Lalvin yeasts available, as well as Red Star's
> Montrachet and Premier Cuvee.

According to Jack Keller (,
Red Star's C=F4te des Blancs will bring out the bouquet and has an
alcohol toxicity level of 13% in cool fermentation.

Lalvin 71B-1122 would also be a good choice with alcohol toxicity at
14%. One of my favorites is DV10, but it will ferment dry and you will
need to add honey to sweeten. DV10 is also hard to find in 5 g packets.

> 2. I avoid fermentation during these hot days – at least while I can
> improve my home so it gets cooler; I know that high temperatures are
> not so good for FERMENTING meads, wines and beers, but, what about
> FERMENTED ones that are currently aging?
> I have some wine and some mead that have finished fermentation and are
> currently aging.
> The temperature inside does not get above 25=B0C (77=B0F) where they are
> aging, but I know I'm still far from the optimal temp for aging.

Cooler is better than warmer. This might be a good time to discuss
a wine chiller with your wife. 😉

> 3. My first mead is now 1+ year old. I tasted it yesterday, and it's
> getting better. It was VERY harsh and dry the first time I tasted it (8
> month ago). It also lacked body. Today, it is not so harsh, it's
> getting better, more palatable, although it still needs aging. In
> regards to this, I have a couple of questions:
> a) It has a nutty aftertaste – which I don't dislike, but it doesn't
> agree with the flowery taste. I'm not sure whether it's because of
> aging 'sur-lies' or because I used baker's yeast (I know, I know… it
> was my first mead 'experiment'). It doesn't taste bready anymore. Is
> there anything that I can do to soften this taste? I have got rid of
> the yeast already (a very thin layer, though).

Age it longer is my only suggestion.

> b) This mead lacks body. I think it will develop some more interesting
> flavors (I tell you this based on the great improvement I just tasted),
> but I don't think it will develop body. I'm planning to sweeten this
> mead once it meets my taste requirements, but I'm not sure that the
> sugar will add enough body. I was considering some gliceryne… any
> suggestions?

Honey will add some body. Never used gliceryne.

> 4. Any ideas about using dry malt extract for providing residual
> sugars?

It's an idea worth testing. Start with 10 ml of DME in about
900 ml of Mead and add to taste.

> I want semisweet meads, but I'm still learning how to safely and
> reliably finish fermentation, then sweeten when finshed… in the
> meantime, I'm wondering if the non-fermentable sugars from DME
> can do well in providing sweet taste. I've reviewed the MLD archives,
> but found little useful information about the use of malt or malt extracts.
> There are several braggot recipes, and many discussions about braggot,
> but little information about what malt or malt extract can add to mead,
> and how to use them wisely. Any hints about its use and how they would
> change the mead's flavor/character would be welcome.

I made a Braggot with a Coopers IPA kit (1.7 kg), 2 lbs (.9 kg)
of light DME, and 7 lbs () of Clover honey (3.2 kg). It was light
on body (to my tastes) for an IPA. Next time 3 lbs (1.6 kg) of
DME and 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) of honey.

In response to one previous question from Dick Adams, the temp range at my
city is:
Winter: 5=B0 C min, 20=B0 C max, outside
Spring: 10 =B0C min, 35=B0 C max, outside
Summer: 10 =B0C min, 25=B0 C max, outside (clouds do well in keeping things
Autum: 10 =B0C min, 25 =B0C max, outside

For those of us who think in Fahrenheit,
5=B0 C =3D 41=B0 F; 10=B0 C =3D 41=B0 F; 10=B0 C =3D 41=B0 F; 35=B0 C =20=
=3D 95=B0 F=20
and I thought Mexico was hot and humid like Miami and Houston.


Richard D. Adams, CPA (retired)
Moderator: misc.taxes.moderated

Subject: Re: sugar shock
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 18:57:34 EDT

I asked:
> In the realm of the Mazer,
> * What is sugar shock?
> * What are ill effects of sugar shock on Mead?
> * Is there anything positive about sugar shock?

Ken Taborek and Carl McMillin both supplied excellent answers
which were most appreciated. Johnny McKissack of Tyler, TX
brewed a Barleywine that reached 23% before Hurricane Rita
forced evacuation, cut off electrical power, and raise the
temperatures into the 90's! For some reason, his wife did not
approve of space in the SUV for the Barleywine? But it did

In an e-mail he wrote me, he discussed avoiding sugar shock
by adding a quart of high gravity (1.246) must while keeping
the SG below 1.15. I'd like to try something similar with a
Braggot, but did not have a sufficient understanding of sugar
shock. Now I know enough to be dangerous!


Subject: prefered yeast types
From: "Doug Honey Love Ranch" <>
Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 06:46:36 -0700

I was wondering what yeast the list members recommend to produce the highest
alcohol levels for dry mead. I am getting ready to start my 2007 6 gallon
primaries with the 240 lbs of honey I have. In the past I have typically
used 10 to 12 pounds of honey in each primary, this usually get to 12%.
I like my drinks with a real kick and I do this with my fruit wines,
I usually mix with enough sugar to get 14%; some of the yeasts say they
are tolerant up to 18% but I do not know if they work well with honey.

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1319, 5 May 2007
From: Alida Dunning <>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 22:48:53 -0800

Thanks for all these tips!
I live in Alaska, but bring coconuts back from Hawaii every year. Next time,
I think I will not be afraid to add some pasteurized coconut milk.
I will try adding some dried, shredded meat to the batch soon. I ended up
adding some organic extract to some of the batch I entered in the first mead
judging at Ring of Fire Meadery, and received an honorable mention in the
melomel category. However it was only three months old and I'm looking
forward to seeing how it comes along for one year. The flavor is delicate
and slowly emerging.
My pineapple mead took second.
tomorrow: making a batch of mango

On another note some of the guys around here are making up "mead" using
agave syrup, which is not honey, so technically not mead, but very good.
Heather is a popular additive to both the agave brew and meads. We have a
lot of mead makers and home brewers in this town!

>> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest
>> From: Alida Dunning <>
>> Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 21:31:44 -0800


>> Hi There
>> Does anyone have any tips/recipes for making mead with mature coconut
>> (meaning not green)?
>> I've started one batch using mostly only the water with a little shredded
>> meat, and some sprout material. I've heard warnings about the oil going
>> rancid in recipes for beers and wines. This is why I used mostly the water,
>> but I could not resist using some of the delicious fresh meat. I have not
>> seen any mead recipes. I'm thinking of adding some grated meat or toasted
>> meat soon to produce more of a coconut flavor. Any suggestions are welcome.
>> Thanks.


> You can purchase coconut extract (health food store) Flavorganics Extracts
> Newark, NJ They make a variety of extracts. Without the oils.

> – —

> Diane Dunn, Ailurophile Boulder County, Colorado


> Two of the primary causes of rancidity are oxidation and heat. There
> is so much going on during primary fermentation, I would suggest NOT
> adding the coconut meat until you had 7-10% alcohol to protect the
> coconut.


> I had a fabulous Coconut Stout. It tasted like a Mounds candy bar,
> but not as sweet. So coconut is cool; it's how you brew with it that
> causes problems.


> Dick

> – —

> Richard D. Adams, CPA (retired)
> Moderator: misc.taxes.moderated


From: robert Moore <>
Date: Tue, 08 May 2007 17:08:42 -0700

I have used canned coconut milk in several meads and also used fresh
coconut juice from young (white) coconuts. The canned stuff definitely
left an oil film on the top. Most of which was lost during careful
racking. I still can see it floating on top when I look into my glass.
Rancid? Luckily no. I never even gave that a though, and I am a chef!
My first batch 2003) was a tropical blend (pineapple, guava, mango,
papaya and coconut) using all juices and canned coconut milk (4 15oz
cans in 6 gallon batch.) I do not think the coco meat alone will impart
enough flavor without using a large (I like coconut) amount.

Do you live in Florida? I have n access to "green" coconut or sprout matter.

Subject: Another melomel question
From: Ed Howell <>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 06:33:57 -0700 (PDT)

I am planing on making a pomegranate melomel and have
found a source,, for
pomegranate concentrate. The site says that 1 tbs of
the concentrate equals 1 pomegranate. I am thinking
about using this along with 5 or 6 fresh pomegranates
when the are available. Is thes a good idea or should
I use all concentrate? How much of the concentrate
should I use?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Ed Howell

ps. The also have a red raspberry concentrate that I
am also considering, same questions apply

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1321