Mead Lover's Digest #1396 Sat 8 November 2008


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008 ("Dennis Key")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008 (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008 ("")
Boiling mead, the rest of the story ("Erroll Ozgencil")
Valhalla Mead Only Competition ("David Houseman")


NOTE: Digest appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to
Use for [un]subscribe/admin requests.
Digest archives and FAQ are available at
A searchable archive is at

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008
From: "Dennis Key" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 13:03:22 -0600

Subject: Melomel assistance

From: Matt Falenski <<>>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 07:37:28 -0700 (PDT)


Right now it is way too sweet so I was planning on adding about
a half gallon of boiled water to thin it out a bit. But I was
also hoping to get a bit higher alcohol.

Can I just add some more EC-1118? If so, how should I do that?
Make a starter with some of the mead before I add it to the full batch?
Dump in the pack? Or just let it go on its own?

I appreciate your input!

Greensburg, PA

I suggest splitting the batch in half and adding water to top it up then
repitch with a Champaign or Cuvee yeast. You've probably reached the
EC-1118's alcohol tolerance level so diluting an pitching the same yeast will
lead to a drier mel but not higher in alcohol. Champaign and Cuvee yeasts
usually produce an alcohol level around 18-20% if they're pushed. If you
end up with a too dry mel, add a bit (2-3 cups) more honey to restart it.
Keep adding smaller bits of honey when it stops fermenting until you reach
the sweetness you want. You might want to add some potassium sorbate in
the last racking before bottling to prevent refermentation in the bottle
(bottle bazookas, sticky mess all over!!).

Dennis Key
Dragonweyr, NM

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 06:37:17 EDT


EC-1118 has an alcohol tolerance of 18%. With your starting SG of 1.104,
you "could" go to below SG of 1.000 and still not have reached the yeast
tolerance. For example, a final SG of .990 leaves you with 15.1% alcohol.
Leave that batch alone and let it ferment out. You'll have a very dry mead
when all's done.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008
From: "" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 12:49:56 GMT

Clarification – Of back sweetened mead.
Ok, I have a small but ugly problem. My meads have a tendency to ferment
to completion, however, I don't enjoy them that hot. So, I have tried to
backsweeten a few times. I typicaly use bentonite. Well, I get these very
odd "orbes" in my mead that then make racking difficult. I figure that
I should sweeten (with raw honey) after I have clarified the wine. Any
suggestions or comments?

Subject: Boiling mead, the rest of the story
From: "Erroll Ozgencil" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 10:17:20 -0700

Boiling weakens a mead's aroma. I know this because I just concluded a
three year experiment to put that claim to the test. Two meads went
head to head in a double blind tasting. One got a ten minute boil,
while the other was not boiled. Aside from that they were as identical
as I could make them. Details on the the evaluation and the surprising
twist that boiling might improve the flavor here:

There were six of us at the tasting and we all agreed that the no-boil
mead had a stronger aroma, but five of us thought the boiled mead was
"smoother," and four of us preferred the boiled mead overall, despite
the better aroma of the no-boil mead, because of its better flavor. I
don't know what this might mean, but the four of us who preferred the
boiled mead were women and the two that preferred the no-boil mead
were men.

I think boiling might have its place in making mead, especially in
mead made from strongly flavored honey (the mead we tasted was made
from heather honey, a strong honey that makes a great mead). I would
think the stronger flavor could benefit most from the softening that
we saw with boiling.


Subject: Valhalla Mead Only Competition
From: "David Houseman" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 18:21:21 -0400

The result for the Valhalla Mead Only Competition are posted on-line at This was the largest Valhalla yet
with 102 entries from across the country. Congratulations to Lyle Brown
for his fabulous Semi-sweet traditional mead made with sage honey. It was
certainly hard to pick between so many wonderful meads. Special thanks to
the organizers, Suzanne McMurphy and Tim Ackerson and our host, Chris
LaPierre at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant.

David Houseman
Judge Wrangler

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1396