Mead Lover's Digest #1551 Fri 4 November 2011


Mead Discussion Forum



RE: vanilla ("Wout Klingens")
How much vanilla? How much ginger (
Pasteurization (William)
Squeeze (Paul Shouse)
Re: pasteurization (
RE: how much vanilla ("Wout Klingens")


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Digest Janitor: Dick Dunn

Subject: RE: vanilla
From: "Wout Klingens" <>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 19:57:38 +0200

Dick Dunn writes:
I wonder if "How much vanilla?" won't end up like a replay of "How much
ginger?", with answers over a very wide range.

That depends on the people answering… Let's face: all questions have been
asked and most answers have been given many times over.
I do my research and share. Before I ask a question, I look it up. So I am
quite careful about what I ask.
In my opinion my question was more about tasting notes and flavor
development regarding vanilla flavored mead than an inquiry about the simple
amount of beans.
I think, that there are a lot of how-to's and recipes, but very little about
I do have to agree, that the title should have been more descriptive though.

Dick Dunne also said:
And in both cases, what's really needed is people to sit down in one place
and try some of these meads (metheglins) to get a real sense of how they
stack up.

As said, my question was about development in time, not about comparing.
But isn't that exactly what this list is for? Virtually sit down and


Subject: How much vanilla?  How much ginger
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 19:11:44 -0400 (EDT)

Dick ponders if the "how much vanilla?" thread will turn into a "how much
ginger?" thread. I'm not sure but I've got a 5 gallon batch of ginger
mead going right now. I put in 3.75 lbs of ginger and it doesn't suck!!!
I'm really looking forward to how it comes out. Anybody out there drink
Blenheim's Ginger Ale?

Subject: Pasteurization
From: William <>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:31:42 -0200

Responding to Ricardo Mandl's questions:

The principle of pasteurisation is is to kill yeast cells by heating the
mead to 55 – 60 degrees Celsius for a short time (1 to 2 minutes) and then
cooling the mead. The higher the temperature, the shorter the time. Dairy
industries pasteurize milk by heating to 100 degrees C for a few seconds
and then cooling. The temperature shock kills the yeast and other microbes.

For mead there are various methods to do this. The easiest one is to heat
the mead in a vessel to the pasteurization temperature and then immediately
bottling it. There is tendency to lose some alcohol in the process.

Another process would be to heat the mead by passing it through a stainless
steel coil contained in a bath of hot water (75 – 80 degrees C). The flow
of mead is controlled to so that the residence time in the coil (time a
given volume of mead takes to pass through the coil) is such that it
reaches the pasteurization temperature and stays there for the necessary
time. Adjusting the length of the coil may also help. A second coil
connected in series but immersed in cold water immediately cools the mead
as it leaves the heating bath. This is ideal to minimise deleterious
effects on the mead and evaporation of alcohol. A thermometer on the outlet
side of the heating coil serves to give a precise tuning to the

Large operations use plate heat exchangers to do the heating / cooling,
such as in dairy products.

Some experts say that pasteurization of wines can be damaging to wines (and
to meads, by extension). My own experience is that pasteurization of meads
really affect their quality – not making them bad, but different, if
compared to same unpasteurizes mead. My method was very primitive –
immersing the bottles in hot water and removing them when the temperature
reached the desired temperature. The control was done by immersing a
thermometer into one of the bottes. The bottles were corked as soon as
removed from the bath, still hot. Very sore on the fingers! It is obvious
that the method could be much improved. I only pasteurized a couple of
batches – I did not see any measurable benefits vs the trouble and painful

I read somewhere that Pasteur himself noted that the pasteurized wines
acquired a taste of aged wine, close to the taste of wines aged in the
bottle. The jury is still out for that one.

As to yeast nutrients, if you and the yeast are happy with the mixture,
keep using it. I use a mixture of DAP, potassium hydrogen phosphate and
Epsom salts, freely based on Roger Morse's original recipe, minus the
vitamins. I don't use yeast hulls as the ones available in my country
(Brazil) have a bitter taste, having been obtained from beer producers.

As to airlocks, I have nothing against your acquaintance's liquid vaseline
method. It obviosly works for him. But I prefer plastic tubing immersed in
a glass of water or airlocks. If I did not have airlocks or plastic tubing,
I would use his method. My granny used to pour melted paraffin wax on jams
to seal them off from the air.

Sa=C3=BAde and cheers to all!


Subject: Squeeze
From: Paul Shouse <>
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 10:30:55 +0900

I've been contemplating a new (for me) way of dealing with the problems
of back sweetening without causing unwanted fermentation. My idea is to
ferment the must, then 'squeeze' water out of the resulting mead using
low temperatures by discarding the resulting ice, and then back sweeten.
I'm hoping that relative increase in alcohol will prevent new
fermentation from starting. There are several pitfalls to avoid in this
operation and I'd appreciate any comments, especially from anyone who
has tried a similar technique.

  • -Paul=

Subject: Re: pasteurization
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 00:59:26 -0400 (EDT)

Our fellow Meadmaker, Ricardo Mandl, <>
from Argentina asked about pasteurization of Meads.
> > I was trying to find information about pasteurization of
> > Must AFTER primary fermentation. I wonder if elevating the
> > temperature of the Must at some point to kill the yeast,
> > but not enough to evaporate alcohol, would ruin the wine.
> > This as a means to stop fermentation (kill the yeast)
> > before it finishes all the sugar, to end up with a sweeter
> > mead, to avoid using sorbate or chemicals, or to be able
> > to do sparkling mead knowing the yeast has finished working,
> > and adding new yeast for the carbonation.
Killing yeast is an honorable endeavor. The simplest methods
are to (1) use a yeast with a low alcohol tolerance level (ATL)
or (2) add alcohol (brandy, vodka, etc.) to raise the ABV of
the Must above its yeast???s ATL. Both methods present problems.
To find a yeast with an ATL below 12% ABV usually means using
a beer yeast. Adding alcohol often mean a lot of alcohol. For
example: Lalvin???s 71B-1122 dry yeast has an ATL of 14%. Other
Meadmakers have reported that fermentation ends between 13.5%
and 14.5%. If you had 10 liters of Must at 10& ABV, and
wanted to raise ABV to 15%, you would need to add 2 liters of
80 proof alcohol.
Another method is flash pasteurization. It requires the Must,
to be moved in a controlled, continuous flow while subjected
to temperatures of 71.5°C (160°F) to 74°C (165°F), for 15 to
30 seconds. For homebrew Mead, this would mean pumping the
Must through a wort filter submerged in a pot of water held
at the temperatures above.
If you can afford it, another method is to filter out the
yeast via a Boun Vino Mini-Jet or its equivalent and using
fine filters. You may need to make multiple passes through
the filter and then you have the risk of oxidation

Richard D. Adams

Subject: RE: how much vanilla
From: "Wout Klingens" <>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 08:40:51 +0100

Carl McMillin writes:
My spiced meads perhaps become slightly more spicy with age.

Thanks Carl. That was the kind of answer I was looking for.
I suppose it must depend on the kind of spices you add.

Kurt Sonen writes: It varies, but for a strong vanilla flavor, 10 beans /
gallon. Some used even more with other ingredients. Obviously, you can use
Thanks Kurt. I would be very interested to hear, how this turns out,
specifically your tasting notes.

It seems, that I didn't get my point through.
Let me try again.
So I had this traditional mead. Worked out great. But no complexity. After
adding the bean I tasted all kinds of fruit flavors, which I didn't put in.
And a whole range of flavors I couldn't recognize. That's complexity in my
book. That makes the result larger than the sum of its parts.
So I am very happy with the result, but as Carl points out, mead will change
dramatically over the years. What I am interested in is, if there is anyone
out there, who used vanilla as I did (must be, if I read the recipes) and
have some tasting notes for me. I am hoping for something like this:
Vanilla mellowed out, still a hint there, good balance with honey, complex
flavors like apple, apricot, orange, earthy tones. Strong honey on the nose,
hints of fruit, woody, vanilla.
Well, it's all about balance, but also about complexity….

Thanks for the answers.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1551