Mead Lover's Digest #1579 Fri 6 April 2012


Mead Discussion Forum



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1578, 26 March 2012 (Lauren Cohen)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1578, 26 March 2012 ("Dennis Key")
Re: hydrometer readings (wilf how)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1578, 26 March 2012
From: Lauren Cohen <>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 10:34:15 +0200

Hey all,

I saw a lot of misconceptions in the kosher mead discussion, so let me
address them here, and sorry in advance if it gets a little ranty.

*Susan says*: "Only unleavened bread items are allowed during Passover so
since yeast does the leavening, I would think mead would not be allowed."

When we say that 'leavening' is prohibited, that's really just the closest
English translation we can find for the Hebrew word 'chametz.' 'Chametz'
is literally defined as any food item where either wheat, barley, rye,
oats, or spelt have come into contact with water for more than 18 minutes
(yay for natural fermentation!). That is why, when matzah is baked, it
must be finished within 18 minutes. This also means that yeast is
theoretically kosher for passover, which is why wine is fine. There are
also kosher for passover vodkas, and it is possible to make kosher for
passover mead.

*Phil noted*: "While Lalvin yests has that 'kosher symbol' on it, there are
those who say that all yeast is kosher. I've also seen the kosher symbol on
honey while others say that all honey is kosher."

Absolutely right vis-a-vis the honey thing. I don't know if yeast requires
a kosher symbol for every-day use. However, it absolutely requires a
kosher for passover symbol to be used on passover. The reason is that
yeast is often cultured on a base that is chametz, and there is no way to
prevent chametz from getting into the final yeast packet.

*Josh admittedly annoyed me (sorry Josh) by saying*: "What makes a normal
wine not Kosher for Passover (KFP) is the yeast in it and other addatives
like Corn Syrup," and "I agree with you, the Passover wines out there
suck!," and "I'm sure the mead will go over much better at the Seder,
Elijah will like it too I'm sure!"

1. What makes "normal" wine unkosher is a long, complicated discussion
involving idol worship and fun things like that. I have never seen wine
with corn syrup in it, and corn syrup is technically kosher for passover
(another long, complicated discussion).

2. If you think Passover wine sucks, then you have missed out on the past
20 years of kosher wine development. Several kosher wineries have won
prizes for the quality of their wines, and most kosher wineries make all
their wines kosher for passover because it's just easier that way. Some
good brands available in the US include Yarden (my favorite), Gamla,
Bartenura, Rashi, and Alfasi. If you know where to look, you can even get
kosher wines from Chile and Argentina. Bartenura's Moscato D'asti (which
comes in blue bottles) is especially popular among families due to its low
alcohol content, which makes it more child-appropriate, and its sheer

3. Unlike other Jewish occasions in which wine is consumed, the beverage
for passover *must *be grape wine (grape juice for people who medically
cannot consume alcohol). Therefore, mead cannot be used for any of the
four cups of wine, though it may be consumed otherwise.

Lauren Cohen

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1578, 26 March 2012
From: "Dennis Key" <>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 15:47:53 -0600

Subject: Re: Orange mead
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 09:37:52 -0500 (CDT)

I think, unless you want a mead that will jump up your nose and grapple

your sinuses into submission, you reserved about four times the zest you'll

I have made a few orange meads using zest only. The first used the

zest of one large orange (and, incidently, about six cinnamon sticks)
for six gallons and came out very nice with good orangey/cinnamon notes.
So using the more is better plan (very risky!) I used the zest from six
oranges with cinnamon and the result was virtually undrinkable. It
became barely tolerable after five years in the bottle but I still
didn't like it much. I gave most of it away to a couple of people who
actually liked it. I recommend no more than the zest from two oranges
for 5-6 gallons.

Dione Greywolfe
Dragonweyr, NM

P.S. Dick–you go guy! Leaving the entire digest in your reply more
than once (I did it once) is rude and ignorant. If it were me, I'd
consider banishment after a second offense!

Subject: Re: hydrometer readings
From: wilf how <>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 15:55:39 +0100 (BST)

Hello all,
I've got a traditional mead which has pretty much stopped fermenting. The
final gravity is however according to the hydrometer sitting at 1.005.
As I was going to bottle condition this batch I wanted to be as dry as
possible before priming. I've tried coaxing it along with a bit more
nutrient, a new yeast population added gradually and a good stir but the
gravity hasn't dropped at all.

This brings me to my question.
I don't have a vast experience with mead so I was wondering if all the
waxes and other proteins etc would contribute to a false reading. I did
think that all the sugars in honey were all available and therefore should
ferment right out.

Is there really something else going on or has it just stuck a bit sooner
than I wanted.

Secondly, I've always primed with sugar at about 2-3 oz for 5 gallons (UK).
How much honey should I use without producing bombs?



End of Mead Lover's Digest #1579