Mead Lover's Digest #1323 Sun 3 June 2007


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1322, 30 May 2007 ("David Browder")
Re: Subject: To puree or not ("John P. Looney")
RE: prefered yeast types ("Douglass Smith")
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1322, 30 May 2007 ("Jeff Tollefson")
Re: To puree or not (
Re: To puree or not (
Re: To puree or not (Dick Dunn)
going primitive (


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1322, 30 May 2007
From: "David Browder" <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 12:53:13 -0400

To puree or not (Ed Howell)
I'm in Blackberry Country, tried pressing in a wine press, various food
processors, mushing em up with my fingers and then blanching them with
boiling wort, an on an on. Bout ten years ago i tried a STEAM JUICER.
Liked it enough to go and buy one before the Summer was over. Works for me
(And all those people that borrow it)!!

Subject: Re: Subject: To puree or not
From: "John P. Looney" <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 18:02:56 +0100

It's been my experience that pureeing isn't really required; I use a
freeze/defrost cycle, then a small amount of pectinase. Then you get bits of
fruit large enough to strain out later, so you don't need to filter etc.


Subject: RE: prefered yeast types
From: "Douglass Smith" <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 13:29:35 -0500

Doug wrote:

> 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.

I made the inane blunder of attempting a high S.G./high alcohol mead last
year without adding nutrient. Needless to say, getting this batch fully
fermented has been extremely frustrating. It's currently undergoing it's
*third* fermentation, which I'm using Uvaferm 43 for. It's a Lallemand yeast
which was specifically bred to finish stuck fermentations of high S.G.
musts. My mead isn't finished, so I don't have any definitive comments on
it, but it's worth looking into. As a side note, the first two fermentations
of the aforementioned mead were performed with EC-1118 and K1V-1116,
respectively, but the combination of low nutrients and sugar shock defeated


  • – Doug Smith –


Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1322, 30 May 2007
From: "Jeff Tollefson" <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 12:32:02 -0700

 	 	>Subject: prefered yeast types ("Doug Honey Love Ranch")
>From: Vuarra <>
>Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 07:24:01 -0700 (PDT)


>I'm just finishing a mead using Lalvin EC1822. Using my wife as a barometer,
>I'm looking around 19% alcohol, with a very slight sweet taste.


>Purists go to the next article: I *did* one S.G. reading just before adding
>yeast, and I think it was around 1.150 or so, but pretty much irrelevant,
>as I didn't really take temperature into account, plus I added *a bunch*
>more honey after primary fermentation was done and the level of liquid
>in the carboy had dropped. It was pitched a year ago, and it has a very
>slight burn to it… can't really call it rocket fuel, but in this case,
>it's a bad thing.


>Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur.
>(That which is said in Latin sounds profound.)

If you are shooting for 19%, all you are going to get is rocket fuel because
of the high alcohol. If you are looking for a bit of sweetness, it is going
to be hard to balance it. You are going to have to add ALOT of honey to
backsweeten it to the point where it has any form of balance. IMHO I think
you should make a very sweet, low abv mead and blend it with this one,
shooting for 14% or so. Look up the Pearson's Square to accomplish this.

What it comes down to is do you want a super high alcohol mead that exists
purily for the novelty, or a good tasting mead that goes down easy and makes
you drunk quickly anyway? 14% is still almost 3 times as strong as most
beers anyway!

Subject: Re: To puree or not
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 16:08:09 EDT

Ed Howell _edhoel@yahoo.com_ ( asked:

> I have approx. 8 lbs of fresh blackberries that I am going
> to use in a melomel. When I add these to the secondary
> should I puree them first or leave them whole?

I pureed and poured them into the secondary before
racking. There were lots of seeds. Next time I will
puree and filter to minimize the seeds before pouring
into the secondary. Might even filter twice!


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

Subject: Re: To puree or not
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 21:08:09 +0000 (GMT)

 	 	> Subject: To puree or not
> From: Ed Howell


> I have approx. 8 lbs of fresh blackberries that I am
> going to use in a melomel. When I add these to the
> secondary should I puree them first or leave them
> whole?


> Thanks,
> Ed Howell


I would say puree them first – otherwise you will be
puree-ing them afterwords.


Subject: Re: To puree or not
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 21:44:31 -0600

Ed Howell <> wrote:

> I have approx. 8 lbs of fresh blackberries that I am
> going to use in a melomel. When I add these to the
> secondary should I puree them first or leave them
> whole?

I strongly suggest you do NOT puree them.
(This is "strongly" as in "been there, done that, didn't like it.")

Main reason:
Pureed fruit in general tends to form a thick layer of sludge at the bottom
of the fermenter. You can lose a fair bit of mead; more to the point it's
one way to get the proverbial "Racking From Hell"–it clogs up everything
you try to use to strain as you rack, and you're racking your brain too
trying to figure out what to do without contaminating or oxidizing the

Secondary reason:
You get significant tannin from the whole fruit (as compared to say
extracting juice and using that). This is good to the extent the tannin
adds structure and character. It is bad if the tannin overwhelms and
makes the mead too astringent or even bitter. It is easier to control
this if you don't have the fruit completely opened up. (I wonder how much
additional tannin is extracted by breaking up the seeds, but I have not a
clue of an answer.)

My suggestion:
Freeze the fruit, then thaw. This breaks down the cell walls enough to
make the fruit soft and release juice, but not so much as to turn it into
pulp. Also, if you add the fruit while fermentation is still reasonably
active, you get a bit of "carbonic maceration" to further extract juice.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: going primitive
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 00:09:18 -0400

Has anyone ever fermented honey with the comb,
thinking of pre-1870 when harvesting honey meant
burning a block of sulfur in the straw skep and
cutting the combs out, i.e., no clean extracted
honey but an as-it-comes-from-the-hive mess,
which would include brood, etc.?

  • –dan

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1323