Mead Lover's Digest #1543 Tue 13 September 2011

Mead Discussion Forum


Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1542 ("The Bannisters")
hmf and mead ("Wout Klingens")
Using 'lesser' honey in meads with other ingredients (Russ Riley)

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Digest Janitor: Dick Dunn

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1542
From: "The Bannisters" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 12:13:06 -0700

Re: Dick Dunn/Mike Faul and others

As an extreme newbie to this wonderful world, I have been following your
discussions with great interest. The following may be silly questions
(if so, please forgive) but:
If an application can be made to restrict semi-generic terms on wine
labels, why couldn't an association representing Mead makers apply to
have the use of the word Mead (no matter how you spell it) restricted
for use on real meads? (I believe you mentioned this, Dick.)
After all, if the governments lists it as a wine then surely it should
be given the same protection as products in its category. Since the
vintners have laid the groundwork, it might be simpler than it seems to
fix this.

The US federal regulations state:
§ 24.257 Labelling wine containers.
"(iv) The statement of composition must include enough information to
identify the tax class when viewed with the alcohol content. First, the
wine should be identified by the word ?wine,? ?mead,?
?cider? or ?perry,? as applicable. If the wine contains more
than 0.392 grams of carbon dioxide per 100 milliliters, the word
?sparkling? or ?carbonated,? as applicable, must be included in
the statement of composition. If the statement of composition leaves
doubt as to the tax class of the wine, the wine must be marked ?tax
class 5041(b)(1) IRC? or an equivalent phrase. etc…" Here the term
mead is used as a product unto itself.
"(c) Use of semi-generic designations ?(1) In general. Semi-generic
designations may be used to designate wines of an origin other than that
indicated by such name only if?

(i) There appears in direct conjunction therewith an appropriate
appellation of origin, as defined in part 4 of this chapter, disclosing
the true place of origin of the wine, and

(ii) The wine so designated conforms to the standard of identity, if
any, for such wine contained in part 4 of this chapter or, if there is
no such standard, to the trade understanding of such class or type.

(2) Determination of whether a name is semi-generic ?(i) In general.
Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, a name of
geographic significance, which is also the designation of a class or
type of wine, shall be deemed to have become semi-generic only if so
found by the Administrator."

So, doesn't this mean that anything labelled mead must meet an
identified standard/trade understanding of class/type?

In an earlier section, it states:
" Subpart I?Production of Agricultural Wine
§ 24.203 Honey wine.
(a) Subject to paragraph (b) of this section, a winemaker, in the
production of wine from honey, may add the following:
(1) Water to facilitate fermentation, provided the density of the honey
and water mixture is not reduced below 13 degrees Brix;

(2) Hops in quantities not to exceed one pound for each 1,000 pounds of
honey; and

(3) Pure, dry sugar or honey for sweetening. Sugar may be added only
after fermentation is completed.

(b) After complete fermentation or complete fermentation and sweetening,
the wine may not have an alcohol content of more than 14 percent by
volume or a total solids content that exceeds 35 degrees Brix."

I didn't see a listing for "Mead" even though that is the term in the
labelling section. Could the above be used to implement a restriction on
improper use of "mead" or any derivative spellings through ingredient

Maybe someone who speaks lawyer/government-ese could have a look and see
what can be done. Just a thought.


A. Bannister

Subject: hmf and mead
From: "Wout Klingens" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 11:22:08 +0200

Anybody knows what happens with the HMF levels when aging mead with residual
What is the influence of HMF to the mead taste?
IOW, what's so bad using "old" honey?

Subject: Using 'lesser' honey in meads with other ingredients
From: Russ Riley <>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 19:51:06 -0700 (PDT)

I have a question, but just so you know where I am coming from here is a
bit of background on me: I've brewed much more beer than mead, but I think
my next few batches will be meads since they've really been capturing my
imagination lately. Having said that, I would like to stretch my money
as much as possible without giving up too much in the way of quality,
which leads me to my question…

Has anyone here used store-bought honey when making non-straight meads
(no snickering folks – I just mean melomels, metheglins, etc.), and how
did they end up? That is, when you tasted the final result, did you find
youself thinking 'I can't even tell I cheaped out on the honey' or 'Gross,
I'll never do that again'? Or maybe somewhere in between. This assumes
the main flavor components (fruit, spices, whatever) was high quality.

I suppose a related question is, if I do buy the cheap stuff, whether you
think I am better off paying a little more for organic or not. The Costco
near me has Dutch Gold for $2/pound and Dutch Gold Organic for $3/pound,
hence my line of thinking.

Anyway, thanks for any feedback you can give me. If you don't want to
admit to cheaping out on the honey, just say your "friend" did it 🙂


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1543