Mead Lover's Digest #1426 Sat 6 June 2009

Mead Discussion Forum


Raspberry melomel (
Granddaughter Mead (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1424, 23 May 2009 ("Louis LeBlanc")

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Subject: Raspberry melomel
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 16:53:56 -0400

Joe Kuhl asked about his raspberry melomel.

Your raspberries are already frozen – often a good first step.
My suggestion would be to do the fermentation in two stages – first the honey
and then the raspberries. This will give more of a raspberry flavor to the
mead instead of a "fermented raspberry" flavor. For even more raspberry
flavor, after the honey has stopped fermenting, add potasium sorbate to
stop additional fermentation and then add the raspberries for flavor.
I have found that there is less residual sugar in the raspberries than you
might think, and addition of the raspberries does not change the hydrometer
"potential alcohol" sugar reading very much. If you are not sure, do this
with one of your batches. If it is too sweet (which I doubt), do not add
the potassium sorbate to the second batch – which will make it drier –
and then blend the two.

I made one of my all time best meads with the addition of frozen raspberries
to a pre-fermented mead. My only lament is that I only made 1 1/2 gallons
of it as a trial. In retrospect, a 7 gal batch would not have been enough.
Carl McMillin
Brecksville, OH
{Proud to have a 2nd and 3rd in 2009 Mazer Cup International for spiced
and tart cherry meads)

Subject: Granddaughter Mead
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 17:08:41 -0400

I think 21 year old mead is a terrific idea. Given the long time-frame,
I would not worry too much about the exact dates. Certainly, you can start
the yeast before you travel from FL. When you get back, simply add some
more sugar/honey water to it and wait a day or so until it is actively
fermenting to add it to the honey water.

I made mead for all three of my kids weddings and they all have many extra
bottles that they open for their anniversaries. The 10 year old wedding
mead (my first attempt) is a real killer. My third, a blackberry mead –
at my son's request – was terrific at the wedding after 2 1/2 years of
"breakfast mead sampling" and blending prior to the wedding. But, based
on some of my other melomels, I think the traditional meads (my first two
weddings) will hold up better for long-term aging than the blackberry mead.

Carl McMillin
Brecksville, OH

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1424, 23 May 2009
From: "Louis LeBlanc" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 13:50:25 -0400 (EDT)

> > Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1421, 2 May 2009
> > From: Chuck <>
> > Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 04:54:50 -0700 (PDT)
> >
> > Sighhhhhhhhh…
> >
> > In MLD #1422, once again some one said that freeze concentrating mead to
> > make it stronger is illegal in the US…
> >
> > Hopping once again in the wayback machine, we go back to MLD #558 (1-May-1997)
> > wherein I wrote (in part):
> >
> > In answer to Rodney's post, in MLD's #556 & 557, Dick Dunn, Spenser Thomas,
> > Bill Shirley, and Darin NLN all wrote to state, or in some cases imply that
> > increasing the alcohol content of a mead by freezing was (in the US)
> > illegal.
> >
> > <SNIP>
> >
> > Considering that Dennis gave step-by-step instructions on how he did
> > it in a nationally distributed magazine, I'd suspect that we can make
> > and talk about making mead brandy, applejack, and other concentrated
> > victuals without going (Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink).
> >
> > Yes boys and girls, the answers to all your mead questions have already
> > been answered, before, in the MLD, if you would just read them, but you'll
> > have
> > to look up Dennis' article in Zymurgy for yourself.
> >
> > Chuck

Good memory to pull that out for that far back Chuck, but I couldn't find
Dennis' article – if you find that link, please forward it.

I did, however find some definitive info on the issue. I recently started
brewing beer (partly because I like beer too, partly because I'm dying to try
a braggot), and in my online search for useful info, I found James Spencers
"Basic Brewing Radio" podcast. ( In his 1-15-09
episode, he says that it is illegal, since it's a form of distillation.

In his next episode (1-22-09) James read an email where a listener from Maine
challenged him on this, saying that it is *not* distillation, but
concentration, and as such is *not* illegal. Since James couldn't stand not
to know for sure, he addressed it by calling the ATF. They sent him to the
TTB, where he got in touch with someone by the name of Art Resnick.

Mr. Resnick stated that their regulations are strictly for purposes of tax
classification, and do NOT apply to home brewers, and that the making of
eisbock *is* legal. He also provided the USC citation: 26 USC 5053E.

So, in the words of James: "Ice away. Let us know how it goes."

By the way, James has some great episodes on mead, including interviews with
some of the founders of various commercial meaderies and various mead makers
(the Mike Lozano and David Meyers episodes are great). He covers general
brewing subjects as well, like yeast, sanitation, kegs, brewing methods, you
name it. Very well done – they do enjoy their brew on the show, but they keep
it packed with info. They don't spend the whole show giggling like a bunch of
idiots. And no commercials in the show like some *other* home brewing
podcasts do.

Cheers all.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1426