Mead Lover's Digest #1463 Sat 20 March 2010

Mead Discussion Forum


reusing bottles (Joshua Alkire)
Re: reusing bottles (Joshua Alkire)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1462, 13 March 2010 (glacialgal)
Re: Australian Honey (
RE Australian Honey (#1462) (James Parkinson)
Re: Honey from Australia (
Mead Free or Die call for entries (Michael Fairbrother)

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Subject: reusing bottles
From: Joshua Alkire <>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 14:11:36 -0600

I am a beginning mead maker and was wondering about the possibility of using
old liquor bottles instead of new wine bottles. If, for example, I were to
wash out an empty bottle of vodka with diluted chlorine bleach, could I then
use this container to bottle my mead? Instead of a cork, there would only be
a screw-on plastic cap. Is this air tight enough? Are there any dangers
associated with reusing bottles?

Also, I am curious about how long mead lasts. I know that it can last
upwards of twenty years in a bottle and in fact gets better with age, but
what about after you open the bottle? Many grape wines also get better with
age (under the right conditions), yet you are still supposed to drink it
quickly once the bottle is opened. Should a bottle of mead be drunk within a
few days once it is opened, or can it last for a few weeks…months? (On the
other hand, who would want to leave a bottle of mead half-empty for an
entire month!?)


Joshua Alkire

Subject: Re: reusing bottles
From: Joshua Alkire <>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 14:17:04 -0600

Oops! One last question. How portable is a batch of mead while it is
fermenting? I am a student currently living in a duplex, but this summer, I
will be moving back to my parent's house (only 10 min. away) and then moving
to a new apartment in the fall. The initial fermentation stage should be
done by the time I move it, and I am only looking to make two 1-gallon
batches, so it's not like I'm lugging around a huge 5-gallon carboy in a
trailer. But I still wonder: would the vibrations of my car upset the
fermentation of these two gallons of mead during transport?

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1462, 13 March 2010
From: glacialgal <>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 15:16:31 -0800 (PST)

My son-in-law works for the airlines, they confiscate any honey brought
on-board as hand luggage…Lorraine (NQ Aust).I get my natural honey from
Middle Percy Island.

Subject: Re: Australian Honey
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 00:42:40 EST

Kevin Kurkul _kkurkul@students.colgate.edu_
( wrote:

> I'm originally from the States but I'm currently spending a few months
> in Australia. I'd like to bring back a bit of Australian honey to make
> a gallon or two of mead once I get back home. Does anyone know of some
> good varietals of honey I may be able to find here which wouldn't be
> available in the states? Also does anyone know if it is a problem to
> get multiple pounds of honey back into the States through customs?

I know it's illegal to transport honey without a permit into
Australia and there is a border inspection checkpoint between
Western Australia and South Australia to prevent transporting
honey and other things. I don't know how U.S. customs treats
imported honey, but I doubt they will allow it without a permit.

The majority of honey in OZ is gum tree honey which includes
Eucalyptus honey. It has a strong medicinal taste. While I
am generally to boiling honey, gum tree is an exception. It
probably needs at least a 90 minute boil. Aussies use it in
Metheglins, Braggots, and Mead Liqueurs where other ingredients
mask the medicinal tastes.

Thanks to my mates Charlie and Steve I spent a wonderful two weeks
in OZ in December 2007. Charlie and I went across the country
stopping in every Meadery we could find.

If you're in Western
Australia, a trip to Bartholomews Meadery
in Denmark would be well worth your time. If you're near Adelaide,
Maxwell's Winery has excellent Meads as do Chateau Dorrien and
Daringa Cellars. The three of them are close enough to go to
each of them in a few hours. I only found one Meadery in Victoria
and that's the Walkabout in Milawa. Dutton's Meadery in Manilla. NSW
has been closed for years. There is also the Dingo Creek Vineyard
in Traveston, QLD, but I didn't have the time to stop there. I also
missed the Blackwood Meadery in Karridale, WA. But my mate Charlie
says it has very good Meads.

I suggest you bring back their Mead instead of their honey. Don't
worry about the alcohol limits – just declare it and pay the duty.

Dick – “Mead is no more a honey wine than beer is a malt wine.”

Richard D. Adams, CPA (Retired)
Ellicott City, Maryland

Subject: RE Australian Honey  (#1462)
From: James Parkinson <>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 16:09:45 +1000

> Does anyone know of some good varietals of honey I may be able to find here
> which wouldn't be available in the states?
Get some Tasmanian Leatherwood for a sparkling mead.

Any of YellowBox, Red Gum or IronBark (and probably most eucalyptus
varieties), and make a lemon mead, a lemon/ginger mead or an
Orange/Cinnamon/Clove mead (slightly sweetened, not dry). Basically any
mead with ginger or citrus is compatible. Anything that is “red fruit”
or red coloured mead probably isn't what you want to make.


Subject: Re: Honey from Australia
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 14:50:59 -0400

Kevin asked about bringing honey back from Australia. I came back to Ohio
at the end of January 2010 with a 15 kg bucket of Australian honey that
just fit in a small suitcase with a few clothes. The TSA left their slip
in the suitcase and obviously had opened the two layers of garbage bags,
but did not remove the duct tape from the honey bucket, so it arrived with
no problem. The bucket had a honey label from the supplier and I had
marked the type of honey on the lid and sides of the bucket. My son in
Australia has made three meads from local honey. One was highly floral,
perhaps a lavender smell and taste made from Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey.
I have also seen blends of this in Australia to tone down the flavor –
but you could do that with blending after fermentation. A second was close
to clover and good but not unusual, and a third was sweet/tart like a lambic.

Yes, try various honeys you can find and bring some back something unusual

for mead.
Carl McMillin
Brecksville, OH

Subject: Mead Free or Die call for entries
From: Michael Fairbrother <>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 16:36:32 -0400


The second annual Mead Free or Die is scheduled for April 24th 2010, in
Londonderry NH. More details can be found at,

This competition last year had 168 entries, from 18 states. We have
another 660lbs barrel of wild flower honey that is up for the club of
the year.

Michael Fairbrother

Mead Free or Die Organizer
President Brew Free or Die

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1463