Mead Lover's Digest #1335 Sun 5 August 2007


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



RE: sugar vs. honey ("Vicky Rowe")
Re: Water (Dick Dunn)
Re: sugar vs honey (
Re: Sugar vs. Honey ("David Houseman")
Mead Day is Here!!! ("Janis Gross")
New to the group (jared miller)


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Subject: RE: sugar vs. honey
From: "Vicky Rowe" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 13:11:44 -0400

Hi Rick,

You could substitute sugar, but then it wouldn't be mead. Mead is by
definition fermented honey, water and whatever else you add. Substituting
sugar will give you an interesting fermented beverage, but it won't give
you the flavors that are unique to mead. Honey contains so many flavors
that come from the various flowers the bees visited, where sugar would
have no flavor of its own and will give your drink a 'wine' taste.

The general conversion to substitute honey for sugar: you should use about
a pound of sugar to 1.25 pounds of honey in the original recipe. This
conversion is approximate because the solids content of honey has a large
range, but most honeys are around 80 percent solids.


Vicky Rowe
The Gotmead Webwench

> >Subject: sugar vs honey
> >From: Rick <>
> >Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 01:17:20 -0500

> >

> >I am a beekeeper, and my wife would like to see what a mead
> >would be like if I were to substitute sugar for the precious
> >honey that we also sell. Can someone tell me how many lbs of
> >granulated sugar would be the equivalent of 12 lbs of most
> >honeys? I am going to make two batches of Ken Schramm's
> >"Mambo in Your Mouth"; one with honey, one with sugar.
> >Also, is there any reason not to attempt this?

Subject: Re: Water
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 11:27:55 -0600

In the last digest, I wrote and Dick Adams replied:
>> > > First off, very hard water can give off-tastes in mead. But as long
>> > > as it's within reason (presumably Burton-on-Trent's water wouldn't
>> > > make a great mead) it's OK.

> >

> > With all due respect for your opinion. what is the evidence that
> > Burtonized water will ???give off-tastes in mead????

I did say "presumably" in the second sentence, but I think I've got good
reason even though I've not actually done the experiment of making mead
with such hard water. Two points:

Water with the mineral content of Burton actually -tastes- mineral-ish.
Try this: pour a taste sample of relatively soft water. Then to a quart
of that water add about half a teaspoon of gypsum and stir to dissolve.
It takes a while. Pour a sample of that and compare with the first.
(This roughly reproduces the calcium and sulphate contents of Burton water;
it doesn't get the carbonate [also substantial], nor the sodium and
magnesium [not a lot but higher than most water supplies].)

High sulfate content can enhance bitterness.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: Re: sugar vs honey
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 13:23:20 EDT

Rick <>

> > I am a beekeeper, and my wife would like to see what a mead would be
> > like if I were to substitute sugar for the precious honey that we also
> > sell. Can someone tell me how many lbs of granulated sugar would be the
> > equivalent of 12 lbs of most honeys?

12 lbs of honey * .796 = 9.552 lbs of sugar. This is because
sugar has a BRIX of 100 while honey has a BRIX of 79.6.

> > I am going to make two batches of Ken Schramm's "Mambo in Your Mouth";
> > one with honey, one with sugar. Also, is there any reason not to attempt

The only reason I can think of to ferment sugar is so you can
know the foul fusel aroma/taste of undistilled whiskey. But
don't let that stop you. Many homebrewers have done this
at least once. From my experience, it is drinkable if heavily
diluted it with soda.

Whatever you do, don't ferment either "Sweet Sorghum syrup"
or Molasses unless you are going to distill them. I did both.
The fermented "Sweet Sorghum syrup" is two years old and is
still undrinkable. The stench of the fermented Molasses was
bad, I fed it to the rats in the county sewer system. However,
nobody warned me not to ferment the "Sweet Sorghum syrup".

Note: Sorghum and Sweet Sorghum are two different plants.


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

Subject: Re: Sugar vs. Honey
From: "David Houseman" <>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 13:32:21 -0400


Honey has a typical gravity of 1.035 points per pound per gallon. Cane
sugar is 1.046 points per pound per gallon. So 12 lbs of honey represents
420 gravity points. In 5 gallons this results in an original gravity of
1.084. You'd only need 9.13 pounds of cane sugar to get the same gravity

David Houseman

Subject: Mead Day is Here!!!
From: "Janis Gross" <>
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 09:20:34 -0600

Hello meadmakers and meadmaker wannabes,
Mead Day is here!!!

If you are hosting a Mead Day site, be sure to register
( ) and then fill in the
delicious details after your mead adventure so we can get a good tally
for how many gallons of mead were made. If you are not hosting a site
but would like to join in the fun, check the registered sites for one
near you:

Whether you boil, pasteurize, or don't heat the must; make the Mead Day
mulled apple cyser recipe
(, follow a different
recipe, or make it up as you go, above all, be sure to Have a Great

Mmmmm mead……

Janis Gross
AHA Project Coordinator
303-447-0816 x134

Subject: New to the group
From: jared miller <>
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2007 20:23:23 -0700 (PDT)

Hello All,

I was introduced to mead about ten years ago by the cast of a ren fair.

At the time I wasn't into wine personally, but I was interested in period
beverages. I helped(watched) a couple people make mead over the next
several years. I pretty much forgot all about it until recently.
Ironically I make my living now as a sommelier for a resort in southern
California and was approached by my chef looking for mead to use in a sauce.
As I was trying to locate a mead for him to use, I started entertaining the
thought of just making my own. A couple quick Google searches turned into
a 3 month research obsession and 15 bubbling carboys all over my house(my
wife loves that!). I have read several years of the archived digest,
and thank all who have contributed, it has been a wealth of knowledge!


I am in the San Diego/Del Mar area and I am looking to establish a

relationship with other mead makers and local beekeeper's, anybody out


I am also looking for any advice on making a mead for my chef. He wants

a lower alchol level and high residual sugar varietal mead. The time
frame I have is about 4-6 months, is that possible? I know it might sound
bad to use mead in a sauce, but its just a job and all of my other meads
are for personal comsumtion. Any help, recipe's, suggestions would be
greatly appreciated.






End of Mead Lover's Digest #1335