Mead Lover's Digest #1388 Mon 8 September 2008


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1387, 4 September 2008 (fivecat)
Re: Bud scientific (Mail Box)
Re: Bud scientific (Dick Dunn)
RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1387, 4 September 2008 (brian white)
Mead Judge Exam (
cider gum (circle mouse)
RE: Bud Scientific ("Vicky Rowe")
VALHALLA 'The Meading of Life' Mead-Only Competition ("David Houseman")


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1387, 4 September 2008
From: fivecat <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 14:30:26 -0400

Actually, I tried something like this with a few bottles of a homebrew ale I
made many years ago. Just before bottling I went into our garden and picked
four long, thin, red cayenne peppers and put one into four separate bottles.

Months later, I opened one. The burn wasn't an "oh-so-good" burn. The burn
was like trying to drink liquid napalm.

I tried a second one a few weeks later, trying to convince myself that it
couldn't have been that bad.

It was.

I poured out the other two bottles that same afternoon.


Steve S wrote:
> > Subject: Relatively new to mead making, need advice on "back sweetening"
> > From: Steve Scoville <>
> > Can anyone give me advice on the mechanics, methods, and amounts to use
> when
> > adding honey back to a mead that has finished fermenting and has been
> > stabilized with potassium sorbate?
> My Advice is that with a last name like "Scoville"…you should mix up a
> batch of Capsicumel im-mead-iately!!! LOL! Now that's an eye-roller!

Subject: Re: Bud scientific
From: Mail Box <>
Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 17:07:53 -0400

> Subject: Bud scientific
> From:
> Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 18:56:17 -0400
> I just think it's funny you brought up Budweiser as an example of
> scientific perfection in brewing…bleeechhh! Beer for people with all the
> palate of a 2×4.

You may hate the beer (I do also) but there is no denying their rigorous
and scientific approach to brewing. They spend a lot of money on the
Don't look for InBev to make any improvements to the AH line of beers.
Brewers have been consolidating for many years now, and every change
I've noticed has been a negative one.

> Subject: Advice on back sweetening
> From: Steve Scoville <>
> Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 12:06:54 -0500
> Ken, please send me your email address directly to
> I would like to follow up on your comments
> without cluttering up the digest.
> Regards,
> Steve (The Earl of Sorta) Scoville


I'd be happy to discuss mead off line from the digest. But I have to
wonder about your request for my email address. It is listed with every
post I make to the MLD, including the post regarding back sweetening.

Ken Taborek

Subject: Re: Bud scientific
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 23:51:27 -0600 wrote:
…[previous ref deleted]
> I just think it's funny you brought up Budweiser as an example of
> scientific perfection in brewing…bleeechhh! Beer for people with all the
> palate of a 2×4…

The consensus of homebrewers and meadmakers with experience is that the
major brewers are very good specifically -because- they can make the
lightest beers without a trace of faults. Think about it: They have
nowhere to hide…they can't disguise any faulty practice.

You may not like their -product- (I certainly don't!) but that's not a
fault of the -process-.

> I love the fact that they have always prided themselves with their
> "beechwood aged" bull, when beechwood imparts absolutely no flavor or body
> to the brew…it simply acts as a place for the yeast to settle and lager.

AFAIK (for 40+ yr) the purpose of "beechwood aging" has been, and has been
represented as, clarifying the beer…as anybody from Michael Jackson to
Budweiser themselves would have said.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

Subject: RE: Mead Lover's Digest #1387, 4 September 2008
From: brian white <>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 10:39:10 -0600

I've only been brewing mead for about 2 years and was looking for some input
on yeast starters for mead. I tried it for the 1st time using 1cup DME,
1000ml of watter, white labs yeast and 1 cup of honey. After letting this
go on a magnetic stir plate for 40hours i pitched into my must that just for
a twist was prepared with Hibiscus so it is a blood red. I came home from
work 6 hours later and i have never achieved such a grand fermentation
with all the c02 bubbles coming up and the airlock going like crazy.
This event has made me love my mead even more and if anyone could send
some input on the subject would greatly appreciate it.
Brian White

Subject: Mead Judge Exam
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 22:54:23 EDT

In case you were not aware, the first BJCP Mead Exam
was given on August 3rd in St. Paul, MN.

A copy of the actual exam is on the Mead Resource page
of the BJCP web site.


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

Subject: cider gum
From: circle mouse <>
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2008 16:16:00 -0700 (PDT)

any of you have any experience fermenting cider gum (Eucalyptus gunnii) sap?


Subject: RE: Bud Scientific
From: "Vicky Rowe" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 12:47:22 -0400

>I just think it's funny you brought up Budweiser as an example of
>scientific perfection in brewing…bleeechhh! Beer for people with all the
>palate of a 2×4. I'm glad Stella bought'em out…maybe the'll start
>producing some decent suds. I know it's the most popular beer in America,
>that's because most of the people who drink it are people who care more
>about getting drunk than taste. Bud killed a good Pilsner recipe by adding
>way too much cheap rice adjunct and relabled it "The Great American Lager!"
>I love the fact that they have always prided themselves with their
>"beechwood aged" bull, when beechwood imparts absolutely no flavor or body
>to the brew…it simply acts as a place for the yeast to settle and lager.

Bud-bashing aside, there is a body of work out there, from respected
sources such as the University of California-Davis, Lallemand and others
that detail their work on fermentation management of wines. Since mead is
a wine with honey instead of grapes, many of their recommendations apply.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning or otherwise telling *anyone* that
they should change their way of making mead. If pitch and wait or boiling or
making it 'period' is what you like to do, then that is what you should be
doing. To each his/her own. All I'm saying is that for *me*, utilizing the
knowledge that these places have created through their extensive research
has given me a product that is much better than it was previously.

I've learned a lot about tastes and what is a 'good' mead over the years of
judging and tasting meads, and having the chance to hang with folks like
Ken Schramm, Ray Daniels, Oskaar and other very experienced people who
have given me the benefit of their knowledge. What I've learned from them
tells me my meads have changed a lot over the years. And in recent times,
for the better.

But, to completely discount the huge pile of data on managing fermentation is
to miss out on a lot of really good info on meadmaking. ::shrug:: I resisted
changing my 'pitch-n-wait' method for years. I can say without doubt that
my meads *after* starting to add staggered nutrients and oxygenating my
musts for the first 1/3 of the ferment (using a simple lees stirrer on a
drill) have resulted in meads that are at *least* an order of magnitude
better than they were before. Others have commented on the 'complicated'
methods. Not so, I stir daily, measure daily, and keep good notes. I add
nutrients at measured intervals. Not complicated, and the extra equipment
consists of a lees stirrer (though I'm eyeing an airstone).

Everyone does what suits them. But we shouldn't discount the efforts of
the dedicated folks who have put so much into expanding the knowledge of
fermentation. Heck, Garth Cambray, owner of Makana Meadery in South Africa,
got his Ph.D in fermentation!!


Vicky Rowe
Owner & Webmistress,

Subject: VALHALLA 'The Meading of Life' Mead-Only Competition
From: "David Houseman" <>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 21:34:14 -0400

It's nearly October and time for the 4th Annual VALHALLA 'The Meading of
Life' an AHA/BJCP sanctioned mead only competition. This year's competition
will be held Saturday, October 25, 2008 at our gracious host, Iron Hill
Brewery, West Chester, PA. We're looking for judges, stewards and of
course entrants with Mead.

Entries must be received by October 17, 2008, $7 fee per entry (Checks made
out to Suzanne McMurphy). Entries must be in a 12 ounce bottle, 2 six ounce
bottles or approximately a 750 ml bottle. We suggest (but do not require)
sending 2 bottles per entry for sparkling meads so a fresh bottle can be
opened for BOS. Please visit the competition website

Mail entries to:

Home Sweet Homebrew
2008 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Packages MUST to be BOLDLY and CLEARLY marked VALHALLA!

If you are interested in judging or stewarding at Valhalla please email
Dave Housemen at as soon as possible to reserve
your seat. Newer judges interested in judging mead may apply.

Please arrive at Iron Hill West Chester by 9:00 am on Saturday October 25th,

Winners in Valhalla qualify for entry into the International Mead Festival.

Suzanne McMurphy
Valhalla Organizer

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1388