Mead Lover's Digest #1337 Wed 15 August 2007


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



too much yeast? (Rick)
Mead sediment for (non-commercial) cooking (
Re: sugar vs honey (
Re: calculator follies vs rules-of-thumb (Mail Box)
Varietal Honey/Temperatures (jared miller)


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Subject: too much yeast?
From: Rick <>
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2007 14:02:13 -0500

I have made three 5 gallon batches of mead. In 2 of them, I started
with 12 to 15 gallons of honey and two 5g packets of yeast, per Ken
Schramm's "Compleat Meadmaker" instructions. After 4 or 5 rackings they
smell like yeast, and they taste bad like there's too much yeast, I
think. They're not putrid. If I add 1:1 sprite, it's not bad. A
wine-tasting friend of mine said it tastes like I put too much yeast in
it. I would like to know if I could only start with 1 packet of yeast,
as I always add nutrient, energizer, and I always aerate very well. I
don't believe that sterilization is the concern, as I am very strict
about that. It just tastes very "yeasty". I am also trying to stay
away from sulphiting. I can't remember how many packets that I put in
the one batch that turned out awesome, but I'm thinking it may have only
been one pouch.

Subject: Mead sediment for (non-commercial) cooking
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2007 15:28:22 -0400

Further Thoughts on Cooking With Mead:
I use spent grain from beer brewing to make bread.? My waste product
from mead fermentation is the dregs after racking.? After combining the
dregs?of similar batches into successively smaller containers (to allow
settling of the dregs and recovery of more mead)?the dregs are?a?somewhat
thick solution of yeast in mead.? I have successfully used THESE DREGS
as a marinade for?meat (e.g. pork).? When ready for grilling or frying,
the yeast can be rinsed off if desired or left on for a different set
of flavors.? I consider this to be an Excellent use for the dregs?that I
would otherwise?discard.? For melomels or?methaglins, select the proper
fruit or spiced dregs?to achieve the?desired flavor addition.?
Carl McMillin
Brecksville, OH

Subject: Re: sugar vs honey
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 17:12:52 EDT

Dick Dunn <>
> > Dick Adams ( wrote:
>> >> Rick <>:

>>> >>> 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?

>> >> The only reason I can think of to ferment sugar is so you can
>> >> know the foul fusel aroma/taste of undistilled whiskey.

The next two sentences were [But don't let that stop you.
Many homebrewers have done this at least once.]

> > I don't buy this at all–how do you figure? Which of the various trace
> > components in honey, do you think prevent production of fusels?

I was not suggesting fermented honey would not have fusel
qualities. We all know that fusel aroma/taste are byproducts
of alcohol production and are more prevalent as ABV increases.
If you're point is that fermented honey and fermented sugar at
the same ABV have similar fusel aroma/taste, you are most
likely correct if they have been fermented to 0.99 or less and
the honey characteristics have been overwhelmed by the
fusel characteristics.

But, fermented sugar is whiskey mash. On the two occasions,
I have done this, I found the fusel aroma to be more pungent
and the fusel taste to be more foul than I noticed from a sack
Mead (both OG: 1.16). Of course, your mileage may vary.


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

Subject: Re: calculator follies vs rules-of-thumb
From: Mail Box <>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 12:11:59 -0400

> > Dick Dunn wrote [snipped]
> > Honey has a specific gravity of 1.5. A gallon of honey weighs 12 lb.
> > Hey! Those are inconsistent! A gallon of water weighs 8.33 lb. But
> > we're talking rule of thumb, that is to say useful numbers. The SG of
> > honey isn't all that consistent; an error of less than 5% won't matter
> > (unless/until, perhaps, you're up to Mike Faul's production quantities!).

> >

> > Stop and think…Do YOU know where the exact 5-gallon line is on each of
> > your carboys? Do you always fill to exactly that line?

> >

> > The thing is, if you put a gallon of honey and four gallons of water into a
> > carboy, you can figure on a starting gravity close enough to 1.1 as you can
> > reasonably care about. It's pointless to -calculate- what it will be; just
> > mix it up and measure! Your hydrometer will give you a number you can use
> > and believe.

At the risk of posting a 'me, too!', I've got to say that this is some
of the best advice to come out of the digest is a good while. I've
often been amused by the lengths folks go to with their mead making,
using arcane formula and such. I care greatly about my mead making and
the quality of the finished product, but my crafting habits are probably
shockingly simplistic compared to some of the readers of the digest. I
typically buy honey in 5 gallon or 1 gallon quantities, and break the 5
gallon pails down into 1 gallon empty water jugs. When I want to make a
batch I guestimate the sugar contribution of my fruit (I make primarily
melomels) and add all or some of the gallon of honey. Or I'll work it
the other way and increase the volume, so I can use the entire gallon of

I always get an OG in the area of what I'm shooting for, which for me is
1.080 to 1.110. I do pick a goal within those ranges for each mead, and
my guestimation always gets me "close enough for government work". If I
need to add a bit more honey or a bit more water to bring it a few
points either way, so be it.

As casual as this may sound, I am a very careful mead maker. I observe
the usual sanitary countermeasures, and I am rigorous about my sulfite
levels and limiting exposure to oxygen after fermentation has completed.

But these methods don't have to be supported by laboratory

instrumentation to be effective.


Ken Taborek

Subject: Varietal Honey/Temperatures
From: jared miller <>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 14:37:02 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks to all for your replies.

Dick – I was speaking about a honey from a single source (ie tupelo,

buckwheat, blackberry, etc.) is varietal not the correct term?


I am using a pretty natural method, raw unboiled honey, no sulphites

(except in sanitation), and just enough nutrients for a healthy fermentation.
I don't want to stop fermentation, I believe that I would fall in the
category of feed it till it dies. All of my musts were started at 1.12-1.14
and most are 1 or below a month later, a couple are still at 1.04.


In my experiments I am using several different yeasts: Lalvin K1-V1116,

EC1118, and Red Star Montrachet, Cote de Blancs. That is about all I have
access to here locally, there is also White Labs which I haven't heard many
reliable things about and Pasteur Champagne, which I just haven't tried yet.
The Lalvin yeast were quite aggressive and quick, but all worked well.
My favorites so far are the 1116 and the Cote de Blancs. My concern is
that I have had the carboys at too high of a temperature range. My house
ranges from 70-80, although that falls within the manufacture's temp ranges,
I have been warned about it producing fusel alcohols at that high of a temp.
The other option I have is a storage facility that is kept at 55, which I
will use for my further batches. The Cote de Blancs yeast is probably what
I will use in the future and the web site cautions that it is sensitive
below 55, If I were to insulate it so that it doesn't get below 55 should
I be ok? Has anybody had good experiences with 55 degree fermentations?
I know the champagne yeast will work well, but I'm looking for something
not quite that alcohol tolerant, maybe in the 12-15% range.


I appreciate your responses,




End of Mead Lover's Digest #1337