Mead Lover's Digest #1494 Fri 15 October 2010

Mead Discussion Forum


RE: Braggot ("Bill Pierce")
Re: First Time Mead Making Question (mail-box)
sweet woodruff (Timothy Harris)

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

Subject: RE: Braggot
From: "Bill Pierce" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 12:44:00 -0400

In MLD #1493 Dick Adams states that the difficulty of making braggot is
inversely proportional to the alcohol content. I tend to disagree. My
braggot recipe has an O.G. of 1.064; it finishes at about 1.007 or 7.5
percent ABV. While not exactly low in alcohol for beer, neither is it as
high as most honey beverages. The recipe uses 50 percent malt by weight
(with 10 percent of the grist being Carapils malt in order to preserve some
body, and 5 percent light crystal malt, although light malt extract could
also be used) and 50 percent clover honey by weight. It is bittered to 12
IBUs (no flavor or aroma hops) with noble Hallertau hops. I carbonate it to
4.0 volumes of CO2 to make it quite sparkling.

The result is much more like a honey ale than mead, but it does have
noticeable mead-like qualities, including an easily perceived honey aroma
and a light body with a sparkling finish. It has been very popular with
both confirmed beer and white wine drinkers.

I once tried using no hops at all, and it was slightly cloying and
oversweet. My conclusion is that malt beverages need hops, even if in small
amounts such as American light lagers, to add balance. Although I have
never tried it, this might also be a candidate for bittering with gruit
(other herbs).

I have done reasonably well in competitions over the years, but this is the
only recipe that ever earned me a best-of-show award, at a relatively small
(100 entries) competition nine years ago.

The braggot remains a commonly brewed recipe in my repertoire. It hides its
alcohol quite well, and like mead it does not diminish in quality with long
aging (several years).

Brew on!

Bill Pierce
Cellar Door Homebrewery
Burlington, Ontario

Subject: Re: First Time Mead Making Question
From: mail-box <>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 13:36:28 -0400

> >
> > Subject: First Time Mead Making Question
> > From: fivecat<>
> > Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 19:25:10 -0400
> >
> > Greetings All,
> >
> > I'm a seasoned ale homebrewer who is finally making his way into making
> > mead. I've read numerous books on mead making and feel I have a pretty good
> > handle on the basics.
> >
> > My wife tried an Apricot Mead that she liked enough to ask me to try and
> > make one. Since it's my first mead and since money is a little tight
> > (danged money) I'm using the following two ingredients:
> >
> > 9lbs. Trader Joe's 100% Desert Mesquite Honey
> > 1 gallon (4 bottles) Looza Apricot Nectar (Ingredients: water, apricot
> > puree, sugar. 40% juice)
> >
> > Yes, I know this is decidedly low-brow mead, but I'm experimenting here.
> >
> > Does anyone have any suggestions for additional ingredients? A specific
> > yeast to use? Predictions on how this will taste 3 months/6 months/a year
> > from now?
> >
> > Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Tom
> >

First off, welcome to the hobby! As a seasoned homebrewer of beer
you're well ahead of the game, as you'll have a very good grasp of
sanitation. That is the sole landmine mead making presents, and you're
already well aware of the best practices.

Your recipe is "low brow?" Not at all! Really, your proposed recipe
should make for a very nice mead. The only improvement I might suggest
is to wait until your local grocery offers apricots for under $2/lb and
buy about 20 lbs of them. But the nectar is the easy way to go, and I
have used a similar method/recipe many times.

As to your solicitation of suggestions, this depends on what you are
trying to create. I prefer to ferment to dry and then back sweeten. So
for your recipe I'd use any wine yeast, probably red star montrachet,
and once dry I'd back sweeten with either honey or in this case more of
the apricot nectar. I have seen these nectars in the grocery. They are
rather thick, and will need pectinase to clear. The process would go
something like this:

Time 0 – Pitch yeast and pectinase;
Time 2 months – Rack, sulfite and sorbate, add more pectinase;
Time 4 months – Rack, add nectar to sweeten (1 bottle?), sulfite and
sorbate, add more pectinase;
Time 6 months – Rack to bottling bucket, bottle.

This should see you leaving behind all of the solids of the fermentation
process and the nectar behind, while extracting the subtle apricot
flavors and still producing a clear mead.

Regardless of your methods, let us know how your apricot melomel turns out!


Subject: sweet woodruff
From: Timothy Harris <>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 10:57:35 -0700 (PDT)

Has anyone used sweet woodruff in mead? How much to use in a 5 gallon batch?
Thanks! Tim

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1494