Mead Lover's Digest #1377 Fri 6 June 2008

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

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Subject: Archives updated
From: (Mead Lovers Digest Admin)
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 23:20:56 -0600 (MDT)

I finally got the end-of-year changes done (yes, that's end of 2007!) for
the archive packages at
Normally I wait a little while into the new year so that the "current year"
directory isn't so sparse…I leave a handful from the previous year for a
while. But I'll grant that procrastinating until early June is pushing the
concept past the limit!

(At least everything was somewhere.)


Subject: Re: residual carbonation
From: Mike Faul <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 12:45:44 -0700

You can have residual sweetness below the specific gravity you mention
and not only that but the sweetness may not be from the normal sugars
found in honey.

Is there a fine layer of 'dust' on the bottoms of the bottles?

The ONLY way to ensure that re-fermentation won't happen in the bottle
is to do one of the following;


For Pasteurization you would either need to bring the product up to 160F
for a period of time (either in bottle or prior to bottling) and then
coll it back down.

For Filtration you would need to filter wit an absolute filter at .45 micron

For Stabilization you would use an amount of sulfer dioxide in high
dosages or lower dosages in combination with pot. Sorbate.

OR leave it in the carboy for decades.


> ——————————>

> Subject: residual carbonation
> From:
> Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 07:37:34 -0400


> I am finding petillence that I do not want. I am asking here as I've now
> had several batches show the presence of unwanted carbonation, and have
> only one theory on where it might be coming from.


> The unwanted carbonation is in bottles that are six or more months in the
> bottle, and which were 10-12 months in the carboy before being bottled.
> "In the carboy" means a primary fermentation, a movement to a secondary
> after 30-60 days depending on fermentation activity, retention in the
> secondary for 8-9 months, and then bottling. This note is prompted by
> a bottle that blew its cork out this morning (bottle was head down, so
> "bottle rocket" takes on its other meaning). It was bottled at 1.026 on
> December 20th last, having been in the secondary for ten months at that time.
> Ignoring that example, I have found unwanted carbonation even in bottles
> that were corked at 0.998 after eleven months in the secondary.


> My theory is autolysis based on having bottled from the secondary. In the
> general spirit of purity as found on this list, I heat nothing, I filter
> nothing, and I sulfite nothing. I can go to another round of decanting,
> i.e., moving from the secondary to a carboy whose only purpose is to be
> used in bottling, per se, but lengthening the time in the secondary is,
> I suppose, also an option though at the capital cost of more glassware.

>> – –dan

Subject: Earthy Esters
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 13:49:58 EDT

If I understand correctly, fermentation temperatures affect
the type of esters in your Mead. Higher temperatures promote
earthy esters while lower temperatures promote fruity esters.

Because my fermentations are almost always cool to cold, my
Meads tend to have fruity esters. So I don't believe I've
ever experienced the aroma and the flavor of earthy esters.

I would appreciate it if someone would share some examples
of earthy esters.

Also is anyone aware of a temperature range for esters?


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

Subject: RE: Newbie melomel
From: "Vicky Rowe" <>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 00:01:05 -0400

>While I have no problem with rehydrating nutrients, what is
>the advantage of waiting for the end of the lag phase before
>pitching the nutrients?

The yeast are ready for it, basically.

>I have not added DAP with either Fermaid K or Fermax. What is
>the advantage of the extra DAP?


More food for the yeast. Well-fed yeast living in a
balanced environment produce better.

>I induce 90 seconds oxygen after pitching the yeast, again
>after 12 hours, and adding Fermaid K at the 1/3 sugar break.
>However, I am experiencing ???mental disharmony??? about
>adding oxygen once the stationary phase has begun (which I
>presume is well before the 1/3 sugar break). Unfortunately, I
>have not been able to find a cite in support of my concern
>about the risk of causing oxidation. Please enlighten me.

Yeast require oxygen to reproduce. When they *do* reproduce,
*those* yeast need oxygen. It is an ongoing process. Many
envision the yeast as a single generation, when there are many
generations, each needing that oxygen. Basically the aereation
process during the first 1/3 of the ferment keeps the subsequent
generations of yeast in the oxygen that *they* need for healthy,
clean, fermentations. Also, and
this is why this is also good in a melomel, punching down the cap
twice daily, and vigorous aeration will break up and agitate
any pockets that may form, preventing these 'pockets' from
producing off flavors and possibly generating bacteria, as well
as helping to extract the most flavor from your fruit.

If you want chapter and verse, with 4-part harmony and hot
and cold running references, check here:


>Is there any significance to the 2/3 sugar break point?

It is recommended to stir every other day or so
until then (gently, no aereation needed now) to keep the lees moving.


>Oskaar is a sage and I am becoming more religious with each
>batch. But at what point should stirring stop?

I stopped stirring when the ferment began to approach the
expected stop point (this was around 1.003 in the last mead I made).

The point is, the old method of pitch, stir and forget would take
3-5 weeks (or *more*) to go through the primary, then give me a
mead that required months, or in some cases, years of aging.

Using this method, *every* mead is finishing the primary ferment
in 2-3 weeks, and is ready to drink in just a few *months* (though
they all improve with aging, gaining complexity and depth).

My last 2 batches were an orange blossom traditional, and a
meadowfoam traditional, and both finished *fast*, in 2 1/2 weeks.
The orange blossom was bottled and given to the person I made
it for just 1.5 months after pitching, and it was by far and away
the best orange blossom I'd ever made in 15 years of meadmaking.
The meadowfoam is now sitting on a couple ounces of oak
cubes and I figure I'll bottle it in a week or so, at around 3 months old.

So, I get faster, cleaner meads with no off flavors that are drinkable
in a couple months, vs. slow meads with off flavors that have to
age out for months or years. This is why I use this method. It works.
Use the link above to get into the science for those that are into
the nuts and bolts of it.

Personally, I'm ok with just knowing that every mead I've made this
way comes out better than my best mead ever (using the old method
of pitch and forget) since I started making mead. I don't need references
to see the results that I'm getting.

The next batches, getting pitched this weekend will be:

  • – another orange blossom to take to Pennsic in August

  • – a 5-gal batch of Joes Ancient Orange (because folks like it)

  • – a strawberry melomel (recipe in the Patron boards on Gotmead)

  • – a cherry cyser (also from the patron boards on Gotmead)


Vicky Rowe
The Gotmead Webwench

Subject: Meadery opens in Columbus, OH
From: <>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 9:34:57 -0400

At long last, Brothers Drake Fine Mead is opening!
Monday, June 9 will mark our first day – Grand Opening celebration to be
We have the following meads to offer:
Fleur d'Or – an Orange Blossom Traditional Mead (Dry or Sweet)
Scarlet Solstice – a Cherry, Marionberry, Raspberry Melomel (Dry or Semi-sweet)
Southern Belle – a Tupelo Traditional Mead (Sweet)
Testa Rossa – a Red Raspberry Melomel (Dry)

All of these are available for sampling and for sale in our tasting room.

Internet ordering to come soon – for now, email <> or
call us: 614-388-8765. We currently ship to consumers in Ohio or Minnesota.
We'll obtain permits in other states as we get requests.

Check out our website:

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1377