Mead Lover's Digest #983 Sat 4 January 2003

 

Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

 

Contents:

Re: Oxy-Clean as sanitizer? ("Ken Taborek")
Re: MLD #982, Oxy-Clean as sanitizer? (Melinda Merkel Iyer) ("Robert Goul…)
Would it still be good? ("Craig Lee")
honeylocator.com & varietals, beginners (Ken Schramm)
Re: beginner seeking advice ("Ken Taborek")
Beginner advice (LJ Vitt)
MY MEAD SHIMMERS…. (CELTMAN@prodigy.net)
reply to beginner seeking advice (Thad Starr)

 

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Subject: Re: Oxy-Clean as sanitizer?
From: "Ken Taborek" <Ken.Taborek@verizon.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 19:23:50 -0500

> I went to my local homebrew shop yesterday to pick up some
> ingredients for a Christmas brewing. While there, I noticed a new
> sanitizer for sale, a white powder packaged in clear plastic bags and
> labelled "oxygen-based cleanser." One cup of this mixture was selling
> for $5. It looked suspiciously to me like Oxy-Clean, which is
> available at my local discount store for a fraction of the price. I'd
> love to switch to this stuff as it cleans instantly and doesn't stain
> like Iodophor. But it's hard to tell with them white powders. I want
> to be sure before I switch, so I don't ruin a batch of mead πŸ™‚ Has
> anyone used Oxy-Clean as a sanitizer? Reports or concerns to share?

>

> Happy Holidays to all, and to all good brewing!

>

> Melinda

Melinda,

I use a product called One Step No Rinse, which is an oxy based sanitizer,
and I've been very happy with it. The price your shop is charging seems
very high to me for a cup… I buy mine in pound bags that last me quite a
long time since it takes only a tablespoon for a gallon of water to make a
sanitizing solution. I've been eyeing up Oxy-Clean as a cleanser, but my
supply of One Step is still flush, so I have not really done my due
diligence on it yet.

There has been a lot of discussion of Oxy-Clean on the Homebrew Digest, and
on rec.crafts.brewing. The Homebrew Digest is posted to rec.crafts.brewing,
so it's archived with it. I'd suggest that you do a Goggle search in
rec.crafts.brewing for "Oxy-Clean" and "oxyclean", you'll find a lot of
information from people who use it as their cleanser of choice.

Happy New Year to all!

Cheers,

Ken


Subject: Re: MLD #982,  Oxy-Clean as sanitizer? (Melinda Merkel Iyer)
From: "Robert Goulding" <sanctuary@rushmore.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 02:12:13 -0700

Melinda Merkel Iyer wrote:

I went to my local homebrew shop yesterday to pick up some
ingredients for a Christmas brewing. While there, I noticed a new
sanitizer for sale, a white powder packaged in clear plastic bags and
labelled "oxygen-based cleanser." One cup of this mixture was selling
for $5. It looked suspiciously to me like Oxy-Clean, which is
available at my local discount store for a fraction of the price. I'd
love to switch to this stuff as it cleans instantly and doesn't stain
like Iodophor. But it's hard to tell with them white powders. I want
to be sure before I switch, so I don't ruin a batch of mead πŸ™‚ Has
anyone used Oxy-Clean as a sanitizer? Reports or concerns to share?

Happy Holidays to all, and to all good brewing!

Melinda

  • – —

Melinda Merkel Iyer
http://www.iyerfamily.net/

Melinda,

First, there is an alternative to Iodophor. It is called One-Step because
it does not need to be rinsed. It is made by Logic, Inc, which also makes
another (stronger) oxygen based cleaner called "Straight-A". They are both
made for brewers.

While I do not know the answer to your question it is one I have had myself.
Oxi-Clean is way cheaper. I have done some research to come up with the
following information about the differences between One Step and Oxi-Clean.
My apologies to whomever helped me with gathering this information for not
doing anything with it till now. Maybe this e-mail will get us all an
answer!

This information is from the Material Safety and Data Sheets from both
companies. If there is a chemist among us who can tell, from this
information, whether OxiClean will safely substitute for One-Step, please
speak up. I will e-mail .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files with the complete MSDS's
to anyone who wants them but I think that this is the pertinent information.

Logic, Inc. (One Step) CAS#

Sodium carbonate peroxihydrate > 40% 15630-89-4

Sodium Sulfate > 40% 7757-82-6

Appearance: White, odorless, granular powder.

Solubility in water:

Excellent

Orange Glow (OxiClean)

Sodium Percarbonate 50-70 % 15630-89-4

Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash) 30-50% 497-19-8

General Description: White granular mixture; forms oxygen, hydrogen
peroxide and soda ash when mixed with water.

To the unknown chemist, thanks in advance!

Robert Goulding

sanctuary@rushmore.com

Remember "Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like bananas"!


Subject: Would it still be good?
From: "Craig Lee" <bluegw@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 08:52:50 -0500

hope your the right place to ask?

i still have an unopened half liter bottle of mead i purchased from Lorna
doone farm in 1976. the label says it was prepared from grape & apple juice
fermented with honey, not less than 22% proof.

since i have moved many times since i bought it – i has gone through a
variety of environments and tempature changes.

question then: if opened today – would it still be good?

thank you for any assistance
craig lee
alexandria, va


Subject: honeylocator.com & varietals, beginners
From: Ken Schramm <schramk@mail.resa.net>
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2003 10:16:21 -0500

I just used the honeylocator.com site to purchase some sourwood honey.
I found Tommy Woodfin's name, and although the honey wasn't cheap, the
service was great. Don't think I'm complaining here – sourwood honey is
never cheap, and Tommy's honey proved to be of very high quality. It's
the nature of the beast. His price was actually a bit less than I've
seen elsewhere. He is a beekeeper in North Carolina, and he was
totally honorable in his business practices. The honey arrived safely
in just a few days. He must have hung up the phone and packed my order.
Honeylocator.com is operated by the National Honey Board. I have no
economic interest in either the NHB (they're a nonprofit established to
promote honey) or Tommy C. Woodfin. NHB did grant me the use of a few
beekeeping photos for the book.

I am making a sourwood mead as my long overdue tribute to Bill Pfeiffer.
I used some sourwood honey that I purchased last year in North
Carolina, but needed more for sweetening. The new honey I just received
has even more of the sourwood character than the honey I used in the
primary fermentation. Just a ton of complexity in the nose. The mead is
now in the secondary, and has largely cleared. I'm figuring about three
or four more weeks and it'll go into the keg.

Only one data point, but the honeylocator.com worked out nicely for me.
There are many different varietals listed in the pull-down menus. For
the most part, I am an advocate of supporting your local beekeepers, but
when you get a hankering to make a mead with a varietal you can't find
near home, this is a nice resource. I've had great luck with orange
blossom, raspberry blossom, and tupelo, among others.

Benny Junker asks:
What other equipment will I need? – That'll probably do a for a
traditional. You'll still need bottles, a capper and caps, and patience.

Also what do you who have brewed mead a lot know now that you wish you would
have known when you made your first batch?

Whoa there. I ended up having to write a book to answer that question,
and most of the folks here are going to feel I didn't cover some subject
(or five) thoroughly enough. The short list:

Buy the best honey you can find.
Use a large starter of an appropriate yeast.
Use a dose of nutrient.
None of us live long enough to spend time bent out of shape about mead.
Getting tweaked out doesn't solve your problems, and it just screws up
your flyfishing.

Happy New Year to everybody, and a special thanks to Dick for the year
of MLD we just finished and for the year we've just begun.

Ken Schramm,
Troy, MI

AKA The Compleat Meadmaker to some,
A Complete A–hole to others.


Subject: Re: beginner seeking advice
From: "Ken Taborek" <Ken.Taborek@verizon.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 15:01:34 -0500

Hi Benny,

Welcome to the hobby!. Reply is inline below.

> I am gonna try to make some mead. I have never ever made any type of
> homebrew before. First question to those who make wine and beer also, Is
> Mead a good thing for beginner to make first?

Absolutely! Mead is far easier, in terms of the steps involved, than even
extract brewing. Mead and wines are also more forgiving of oxidation in the
early stages, and also don't need to follow as rigorous a schedule as does
beer brewing.

> I am planning on ordering the 3 Gallon mead kit from Leeners.
[list snipped]
> What other equipment will I need?

It looks like a good kit. You'll want to get a hydrometer, and learn how to
use it. It's probably the single most useful tool. Of course you'll need
something to bottle in, and that opens up a lot of options for you. If you
want to use beer bottles, you'll need a capper and a supply of caps. If you
want to use wine bottles, you'll need a corker and a supply of corks. If
you choose to use flip top bottles you'll need to pick up a supply of those,
and a bag of spare o-rings.
A 5-7 gallon bucket with a lid drilled for an airlock will be very useful if
you want to make meads with fruit, since the carboys have such a narrow
neck. The larger bucket is probably your best bet, since if you continue
with the hobby you might like to move up to making 5 gallon batches, and a 7
gallon bucket fermenter is ideal for racking into a 5 gallon glass carboy.

> Also what do you who have brewed mead a lot know now that you
> wish you would
> have known when you made your first batch?

I would have always made a quart/liter starter rather than sprinkling dry
yeast into my must (or even pouring in a "pitchable" liquid yeast); I'd have
aerated the must a few times a day for the first 2-3 days; I'd have topped
off to the very top of the carboy rather than allowing a lot of air space to
remain after racking; I'd have started measuring acid levels earlier than I
did; and I'd have learned earlier how to properly use sulfites to protect my
mead and extend it's shelf life.

Best of luck with your meads!

Cheers,

Ken


Subject: Beginner advice
From: LJ Vitt <lvitt4@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 13:20:59 -0800 (PST)

Benny Junker asked about making mead without any experience in making beer
or wine.

Go for it Benny!

I don't see any reason you should learn sanitation or other procedures on
wine or beer first. You can do it with mead just fine.

Benny listed equipment be plans to order. A hydrometer and a test jar for
it will be useful for measuring specific gravities. You should have
information about using it too. I got that information out of brewing books.
Wine making books also have it. I don't remember seeing this information
in mead making books or magazine articles.

How are you going to disolve the honey in water?
If you plan to heat water and then mix in the honey, you will need a
large kettle. I would suggest stainless or porcelin(sp?).

A large funnel to get it into the carboy is also useful.

You will need everything you listed in your entry in MLD#982.

 

  • – Leo

 


Leo Vitt
Rochester MN


Subject: MY MEAD SHIMMERS....
From: CELTMAN@prodigy.net
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2003 21:58:37 -0500

Hi all
Got into brewing 2 years ago (beer and mead). My dad
and I liked the beer – but noone else in the family
would even open a bottle (I visit the bottles in my
brothers fridges when i go over). Frustrated I gave up
brewing but not before I had made a batch of mead….
Two years later I am cleaning out the basement and
decide to try the mead before I throw it out (basic
papazian – honey water yeast and irish moss – on the
lees the whole 2 years).

WOW! IT SHIMMERS! And the taste was

awesome! Needless to say I am back to brewing πŸ™‚

 

Now for my questions:
1 – how do you convince swill-sucking-siblings that
homebrew will not kill them and that they should see
the light? Other people must have had this problem.

2 – has anyone attempted a mead cognac? I am VERY
partial to cognacs and would love to make a mead that
tastes like DELAMAIN. Any suggestions/ recipes?

3 – I also make liquers and would like to make a mead-
liquer. Any recipes would be welcome!

4 – Are there any people on Long Island who make mead?
The local brew club only had one person in it who did.

5 – What is the latest on the meadery that was
supposed to open here on Long Island? Anybody know?

Sorry for the long post but I am making up for lost
time. πŸ™‚

Thanks
Kevin

"not all who wander are lost" – tolkein

 


Subject: reply to beginner seeking advice
From: Thad Starr <starr@epud.net>
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2003 21:31:54 -0800


"I am gonna try to make some mead. I have never ever made any type of
homebrew before. First question to those who make wine and beer also, Is
Mead a good thing for beginner to make first?"

"Also what do you who have brewed mead a lot know now that you wish you would
have known when you made your first batch?"

In reply to this question I would say your on the right track. I think
mead is an excellent thing to start your homebrewing experience on.
I've never brewed beer before, but have several friends that do, so we
compare notes and techniques. We all agree that mead is a lot better
place to begin. It's relativley easy if you stick to the fundamentals,
you don't need as much equipment or ingredients, you do however, need to
be a lot more patient. I've only been a mead maker for 1 year, so in no
way do I have it figured out. If anything, I've got more questions now
than when I began. My advice to you, is to set some goals before you
begin. Do you just want to make something you can drink, or are you
searching for that perfect mead you can enjoy and share, and more
importantly, know how you made, and make it again? Are you after a
sweet, semi-sweet or dry mead? When I started, I went for the shotgun
aproach. I bought several different yeasts, and made lots of experiment
batches. Some I boiled, some I sulfited, others I just mixed up and
pitched the yeast. Some hade 1tsp of acid blend, others 2tsp or nothing.

I kept notes, but they were more observations than facts. Some of the

meads were great, others just "good". Why were some better than
others? Could I make it again? Now I bought a hydrometer and PH strips
and am going about it differntly. Sorry for rambling, but here's my
point. What is your goal? If it is to make mead to drink, go for it.
Get a hydrometer, and measure what you've created. Measure it every
time to rack to see the changes along it's path. It will help you
understand whats happening . Do some research on Yeasts. I personally
think it is the single biggest contributing factor in mead. Start
simple and get complicated from there. Why make a metheglin or melomel
for your first try. All of the adjuncts cover up any of your mistakes.
It'll taste really good, because of the adjuncts.

 

Thad


End of Mead Lover's Digest #983


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