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Mead Lovers Digest #0782

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Mead Lovers Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 

Mead Lover's Digest #782 17 January 2000

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

RE: Origins of "honeymoon" (
Mazers and intro to mead ("Alan Meeker")
Books (Nathan Kanous)
Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000 (Dave Burley)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000 ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000 (Vicky Rowe)
Buying honey (Angela Byrnes)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000 ("Belinda Messenger Ph.D.")
Chaucer's (
Re: Mazers (Spencer W Thomas)
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers ("Stephan Butcher")
Commercial meads (Dick Dunn)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #780, 11 January 2000,the name of this (OlsonCatko...)
Re: Flavorless melomels (Terry Estrin)
Re: Meadery Directory (Dan McFeeley)
RE:Subject: Low Gravity (Gregg Stearns)
Meaderies ("Luke Van Santen")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #780, 11 January 2000 (
citrus fruit zest (Chuck Wettergreen)
Flavorless Melomels ("Stephen J. Van der Hoven")
Chicory Honey (Dan McFeeley)
finished Blueberry melomel (Gregg Stearns)

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Subject: RE: Origins of "honeymoon"
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 11:27:25 +0200

Hi -

I apologize if this has been submitted before, I've been only skimming the
digests lately. The word "honeymoon" - broken down becomes "honey" and
"moon." In previous centuries, the custom was for newlyweds to spend the
first moon, or month of their marriage more or less exclusively with each
other. Coincidentally, the length of a female's menstrual cycle is one
month. In other words, the month-long period (pun intended) immediately
following a marriage was considered critical, as it was only by "being"
constantly with his new wife that a husband could ensure that any children
appearing ~9 months later were his.

Honey surely refers to many things, including sweetness and mead. Honey (and
mead) were reputed to increase fertility (also related to the above

> I would question a true 'meadlover' who would go out of their way to dispel
> the myth and romanticism of a truly marvelous beverage.

If the object of one's love is deserving, then knowledge can only increase
its appeal.

/Kate Collins


Subject: Mazers and intro to mead
From: "Alan Meeker" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 07:54:55 -0500

> Rob asked for a source of 'authentic' mazers and Alan offered his wife's
> pottery services (I almost phrased that wrong in the first draft -
> neglecting the word pottery! ) to make him what he wanted.
> As a question of semantics, isn't a mazer a maple bowl? As per it's word
> origin, mazer actually means Maple. While I agree that some excellent
> drinking vessels could be made of pottery and give much pleasure to the
> drinking of a fine mead from a fine vessel, would it truly be able to be
> called an 'authentic mazer'?

I'm not sure how authentic Rob wants his Mazers and am unsure of the actual
definition. I offered my wife's /pottery/ services based on the mazers I saw
on the Mazer Cup web site last year. To my eye these looked to be ceramic...

Joel tracy wrote about his first time (with mead):

>I first ran into mead at a the Maryland Renaissance

Small world Joel, this is where I first ran into mead myself probably some
15 years ago or so. I was amazed - had never tasted anything like it. A
sweet sack mead as I recall...

- -Alan Meeker


Subject: Books
From: Nathan Kanous <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 08:48:13 -0600

Hi Everybody,
I think I started the short thread on the "Making Wild Wines & Meads"
book. I also read another review of a book the same authors "penned" about
cordials. It was reviewed similar to the review that Dick provided for the
Wild Wines and Mead book although a bit more scathing. I own Morse's
Making Mead....the only mead book I own. Needless to say, one try with his
approach and I'm not real impressed. So this whole thing begs the there a good book out there about mead? What is it? Thanks.
nathan in madison, wi


Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000
From: Dave Burley <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 09:38:44 -0500

Message text written by

Rich Bremer asks about pushing down the cap during the primary fermentation
of a fruit mead.

Pushing this cap down has two positive effects. 1) It slows the development
of acetobacter on the pulp cap in the event the cap is not covered by a
plastic sheet ( I recommend it be covered) and the fermentation is not
under CO2 pressure ( use rubber bands daisy chained around the edge of the
sheet to form a flexible seal and develop a positive CO2 pressure) 2) it
improves the extraction of anthocyanins and flavor from the fruit.

With grape wine, I usually punch down and stir two or three times per day


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 07:58:23 -0800 (PST)

> From: Diana Schroeder <>
> I too am new to the group, the lovers group, and share many of Whynotts
> views. While I have made many many gallons of mead, I feel alone. I
> just made a mead friend locally, and hope to have a mead making party
> this spring but I would love to be able to try other peoples meads!

I usually take mine to SCA events. It seems like about 2 out of 3
people in the SCA are brewing something, and they're always passing it

> Am I a tart to say so?

Hehe, as a confirmed mead slut, I'll give that one a big resounding
no comment. :)

> Perhaps a clearing house of meads is in order? Where people send 5
> bottles of a brew and recieve 5 bottles from 5 different people, and so
> on and so on...

Sounds like a great idea. It's probably illegal though. Someone
want to look into that?

Thaddaeus A. Vick, Linguist to the Masses Email:
URL: ICQ: 21574495
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
depends on the unreasonable man."
-><- George Bernard Shaw -><-


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000
From: Vicky Rowe <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 10:27:45 -0500

> Subject: Mazers and 'name of group'
> From: Yacko Warner Yacko <>
> Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 14:03:07 -0500
> Reply to cover two issues:
> Mazers:
> Rob asked for a source of 'authentic' mazers and Alan offered his wife's
> pottery services (I almost phrased that wrong in the first draft -
> neglecting the word pottery! ) to make him what he wanted.
> As a question of semantics, isn't a mazer a maple bowl? As per it's word
> origin, mazer actually means Maple. While I agree that some excellent
> drinking vessels could be made of pottery and give much pleasure to the
> drinking of a fine mead from a fine vessel, would it truly be able to be
> called an 'authentic mazer'?
> Just my wondering.... Suppose it depends on what Rob is really asking
> for. :)

Just for the record, I'd be interested in a source for a authentic looking
mazer as well......

> Point two:
> On the 'mead lovers' thread and the enjoyment of mead in locations, I
> believe that Vicky Rowe has an excellent resource on her pages
> ( listing commercial meaderies.
> to be precise.

Thanks, Yacko! I've put up the pages both to forward the 'need for mead'
that we all have, and to hopefully provide a really comprehensive forum
for the dissemenation of mead info. To that effect, I'm reading up on how
to put together a 'contributions' page for folks to contribute recipes, tips,
etc. as an adjunct to MLD, which is my favorite source of mead making

> Perhaps we could impose upon Vicky to add another section, seeing as
> there's some empty spots in the table she has at the top of that page :)
> hehehe.... a listing of retaurants/bars that will actually serve mead! I
> knew of one in Ft. Collins CO that supposedly had mead on tap, but never
> confirmed it. At the least, Vicki has a great repository of info on her
> pages for those seeking commercial mead.

I'd be happy to! Now, who wants to volunteer the info? I'd *love* to
be able to provide that kind of info!

Along the same lines, I have space, and was wondering if Dick Dunn
(Hi, Dick!) would like to have the archives mirrored to my server?
I'd love a chance to not only provide the info, but also to catalog it so
you could surf the archives with an index, so as to provide faster
'zeroing in' on the needed info (not to mention having a complete
archive of my very own! MUAHAHAHA).

Seriously though, the one major thing I don't have
is the vast amount of info that comes out of this digest. I am very avid
about my meading, to the point of hoping to found a meadery here in
NC at some point in the not-too-distant future, and want to disseminate
the wonderful info I've found in various places........

Anyway, I'd also love any suggestions anyone cares to make about
what sort of content should have, and would love to
host your articles (with full credits, and links of course) on mead
making, techniques, recipes, commentary, and my latest idea,
commercial mead reviews. I'm designing the pages now, so please
feel free to email me at
(remove the capital letters) if you would like to comment, criticize,
or contribute (or all three!)

Vicky Rowe
The MeadWench


Subject: Buying honey
From: Angela Byrnes <byrnesa@leland.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 08:18:35 -0800

Hello - I've just subscribed to the MLD and am a newbie to making mead. My
first batch is merrily bubbling away on my kitchen floor. I'm wondering if
you know of sources to purchase honey? I've searched our local health food
stores, grocery stores and even looked for beekeepers in our area (SF Bay
Area, CA - no luck). I've found clover, small quantities of orange blossom
and some wildflower at exorbitant prices... I paid them, of course,
because I really wanted to do this, but I'm hoping to find more variety
somewhere - anywhere! Thank you in advance.

Angela Byrnes


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #781, 12 January 2000
From: "Belinda Messenger Ph.D." <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 09:22:39 -0800

>Subject: Passion Melomel
>From: "Andy Wainwright" <>
>Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 17:54:00 -0600
>Has anyone tried making a Passionfruit mead/melomel ?? I'm a passion fruit
>addict, and can't help thinking that the combination would be divine!

I currently have a 5gal batch of mango-passionfruit melomel in a carboy...I
used 1 gallon of mango-passionfruit unsweetened concentrate and 8 lbs
wildflower honey. At last taste, it was very much like a sweetish plum
wine...yum. The problem with it is that it appears to still be fermenting,
after a year in the secondary carboy and hasn't fallen clear. I don't know
if this is due to the fruit or something I did...I didn't boil the fruit
concentrate so I don't think I'm having a pectin haze.
Anyway, definitely a worthy taste combination, despite its problems.

Belinda Messenger, Ph.D
AgraQuest, Inc.
1530 Drew Ave
Davis, CA 95616
530-750-0150 extension 21
530-750-0153 (fax)


Subject: Chaucer's
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 12:31:09 EST

CptOzzy says:
"Also Bargetto Winery sells Chaucers mead over the internet. Shipping was out
of this world. It was sweet and very young. I still have a bottle going on1
1/2 years old. In another year or so I may drink it. The first bottle (opened
as soon as I got it) tasted like sulfer, the second bottle opened 9 months
later was much better."

At the risk of reigniting the Chaucer's discussion, I wanted to relate that a
"good" bottle of Chaucer's to me tasted overprocessed & un-honeylike --
despite its sweetness -- while a "bad" bottle was oxidized & tasted like wet
cardboard. I'm not sure I'd steer someone to it without this warning, or age
it without bearing in mind it may not store well. But everybody should try


Subject: Re: Mazers
From: Spencer W Thomas <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 12:53:20 -0500

> As a question of semantics, isn't a mazer a maple bowl? As per it's
> word origin, mazer actually means Maple.

The word "mazer" derived from or is analogous to words meaning
"maple." It's not clear that it means, even in that sense, precisely

The OED says (in part)

1. A hard wood (properly maple; but cf. quot. c 1500 in b) used as a
material for drinking cups.


2. A bowl, drinking-cup, or goblet without a foot, originally made of
`mazer' wood, often richly carved or ornamented and mounted with
silver and gold or other metal. Often applied to bowls entirely of
metal or other material.

1311 in Archaeol; (1887) L. i. 176, j mazer cum pede argenteo.

1530 Burgh Rec. Edinb. (1871) II. 39 A masser of siluer ourgilt.

1555 W. Watreman Fardle Facions ii. ix. 193 Of the Skulles of
the heades thus slaine, thei [Scithians] make masures to drincke

1645 Evelyn Diary 25 Jan., They shew'd us..mazers of beaten and
solid gold set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

There were some quotes about wooden mazers, too. It's interesting
that the earliest quote at least includes some silver, if I'm
interpreting it correctly. And the 1555 quotation indicates quite a
different material!



Subject: Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers
From: "Stephan Butcher" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 10:20:41 -0800

Since I am still new (when do I stop saying that?) and I am not sure if it
was mentioned I have to tell everyone the reason I make meads at all. It
all started back when I bought my mom a juicer (pulp extractor) when I was
about 13. I made potato juice and did some reading and found that this was
toxic as well as a way to make both fuel and drink! So I started making
fuels for go-carts and such. Years later I made some batches of bear with
friends. Always fun, more because of the saying, "it takes beer to make
beer", than the actual process. It was more like making fuel to me. Then I
found the SHHB (see subject line). The pages dedicated to herbalism are
hefty and very well done but the mead recipes and honey section are amazing.
The next week I made my first batch and when I was done I couldn't believe
how easy and stress free it all was! It was like cooking. The book
relieved me with a couple of great observations.

1. Mead happens - Before man, honey fell, it rained, the yeast in the air
brought it life and the bears had a party!

2. The basic recipe is SO simple that it begs to be "improved". Like
omelets, or soup.

3. Myth explosion - Buying new yeast for every batch, hydrometers, and other
equipment, while it may be useful, is not necessary.

Essentially, the book has made mead making more of an expression, like
cooking is to me. A creative outlet, where the skills to the basic recipe
are mastered (sort of) and now it is time to play. And I will mention that
it only took the first batch to give me this over-confidence!

Sorry if this book was already discussed, but I feel like I need to
evangelize it.




Subject: Commercial meads
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 13 Jan 00 21:31:22 MST (Thu) wrote in the last digest...
> Response to Douglas Whynott
> ...several package stores carry
> Bunratty Mead from Ireland, A sweet pyment that is very good, about $18.00

I'm a bit confused/concerned here. The only Bunratty product I've seen in
our part of the country is something they label "Meade" (note spelling),
and it is a pyment in one sense of the word, but it is not particularly
good [see note below]. However, I know that Bunratty also makes a real
mead; I've just not found it in the US...and part of my confusion is that
the deceptively-named "Meade" hasn't been nearly as dear as $18. So I'm
hoping that CptOzzy has found a more real mead from Bunratty.

[regarding "not particularly good", above: Yes, I know, _de_gustibus_
_non_disputandum_est_...but there are some standards. The Bunratty "Meade"
that we see in this part of the country is a white wine (that is, a grape
wine) of at-best-mediocre quality, to which has been added enough honey
and a few nondescript herbs to mask the faults of the wine. This fits one
of the definitions of "pyment"--wine to which honey has been added to
sweeten it, whether because sweet(ened) wine was the style of the time or
because the wine needed it to be palatable. But it's certainly not mead;
it doesn't *taste* like mead; the use of the slightly-misspelled "Meade"
seems an attempt to deceive. Allowing for tastes, I will say that I don't
care at all for Bunratty "Meade", nor do the mead-makers I know, but if
you like it, all well and good. Just please don't use it as a standard of
mead, because it's not a mead.]

> Also Bargetto Winery sells Chaucers mead over the internet. Shipping was out
> of this world. It was sweet and very young. I still have a bottle going on1
> 1/2 years old. In another year or so I may drink it. The first bottle (opened
> as soon as I got it) tasted like sulfer, the second bottle opened 9 months
> later was much better.

Well-said. Bargetto's has made this mead with somewhat varying style for
quite a few years. Even at best it's way down to the sweet side of the
scale, and as released it lacks any sort of complexity or interest. I have
not had the patience in recent years to try aging it as CptOzzy has, but I
think it's worth a try. Bargetto are competent winemakers, and have also
made (in addition to regular wine and mead) a varying assortment of fruit
wines over the years. I still remember their pomegranate wine; I wonder if
they've made it at all recently. (OK, one further step of digression: Who
else has tried a pomegranate mead?) Anyway, I think that if Bargetto could
see or find a market for a more sophisticated mead, they might be able to
do a good job at it.
- ---
Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA
...If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #780, 11 January 2000,the name of this
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 06:56:12 EST

Interesting question, one I never considered before now. In my personal
opinion, which is in no way a official answer. Mead is either drink you love
or don't love. I know several how enjoy drinking it, but making it?? It
takes longer to make and age than wine, so it's also labor of love. Nothing
will put me in a better mood than when I start making mead. Also, look at
the varity of honey you can experiement with. Thats my answer to your

Now you can find Mead on the market. The most common brand is Chaucers Mead,
there are others but they appear to be regional, and made by small local
wineries. I know that some in Minnesota make it and a few in Washington
state do. Also, try going to <A HREF="Shop@AOL">">Shop@AOL:</A> and search under their fruit wine selection. I haven't cracked
the bottles I have but they do sound good. If nothing else I will learn more
about what I don't like in mead.



Subject: Re: Flavorless melomels
From: Terry Estrin <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 16:42:48 -0800

Jeff Rose wrote:

>I've been experimenting with different melomels over the years (orange,
>strawberry/kiwi, blueberry, cherry/boisinberry, apricot/white raisin) and
>I always have a problem making the finished mead taste like the fruit it
>was made with. It doesn't seem to matter whether I use whole fruit, fresh
>juices, zest, or concentrates, I always find the fruit flavor lacking.

One thing I've noticed is that certain fruit flavors just don't hold out
very well. I made a batch of Papazian's Barkshack Ginger Mead with
blueberries a few years back. The primary ferment was very blueberry-ish,
but once bottled and aged, the only real blueberry character that remained
was a delicate smell. The same can be true for strawberries. Some other
fruits however, such as elderberries, cherries, blackcurrants, or grapes
have a strong aromatic component that tends to remain intact, even after a
vigorous fermentation. Here's what's worked for me (let's say we're using
cherries, pits removed):

1. Freeze the fruit to burst all the cells, and chop it up. Some fruits
taste better cooked (i.e., tayberries).
2. Use at least three pounds of fruit per gallon of melomel.
3. To minimize flavor blow-off during fermentation, do the primary ferment
in two stages: let the honey-must ferment for a few weeks first, followed
by the pre-frozen, chopped fruit. Leave the fruit in as long as possible,
especially the skins (not true for strawberries, I've heard, because the
seeds can leave a bitter taste).
4. Strain the must through a nylon bag, and squeeze the heck out of it, so
you get all the fruit juice.

There you go. Let us know if the procedures you follow (esp. fruit per
gallon) is much different from this.


Terry Estrin
Vancouver, British Columbia


Subject: Re: Meadery Directory
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 23:32:31 -0600

On Wed, 12 Jan 2000, in MLD #780, Vicky Rowe wrote:

>As far as where to get it, I cleaned up the list of meaderies worldwide
>that was provided here by <insert apology> a person whose name escapes
>me at the moment, and added some new ones, and deleted some defunct
>ones. I have it at my mead info site: at this
>location: .
>Fellow list members, I would very much like to put a public acknowledgement
>up for the list, if someone would be so kind as to tell me the person's name.
>I currently have it credited to the Digest in general.

I was the original poster, but I'd also like to add the names of others
who helped. The original listing of meaderies was taken from a directory
published in the August 1996 issue of _Inside Mead_ and was substantially
updated, thanks to Jim Brangan who was kind enough to provide the notes from
his own meadery research. Also thanks to Steve Holat, Bruce Morrison, Bruce
Steven, Sam Mize, as well as other contributers for their help.

Dan McFeeley


Subject: RE:Subject: Low Gravity
From: Gregg Stearns <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 00:01:28 -0600

>Subject: Low Gravity
>From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
>Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 17:22:59 -0800 (PST)

>> 3) Your must is too hot. Hotter liquids will give a lower gravity
>> reading. If you don't have a handy-dandy correction chart, be sure to
>> cool the must to 65 degrees F to get an accurate reading. That's the
>> temp at which the numbers on hydrometers work.

> Where might I find such a chart? I always have trouble with this
>because I don't have a wort chiller, so I feel like I have to get the
>must into the carboy before it cools down so it doesn't get infected,
>and then it's hard to take measurements.

If I remember correctly, and someone please let me know if i'm wrong, I
think it's something like .001 degrees for each degree Farenheit over

So if the must was 75 degrees Farenheit, and your Gravity read 1.100,
you would need to subtract .010 to get the correct reading at 65 F.

- --
Gregg Stearns | 237 South 70th | tel: +1.402.441.3292
Editor Vnews Insider | Suite 220 | fax: +1.402.483.5418 | Lincoln, NE 68510 |


Subject: Meaderies
From: "Luke Van Santen" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 11:34:12 -0600

All -

I know Wynkoop (in Denver) used to serve mead. I had it several times, was
great once and OK the others. I do not know if they still serve it.

It seems that Coopersmith's in Ft. Collins (CO) would also serve mead due
to their very close relationship with Wynkoop, but I never had any mead
there. (Did have their chile beer - damn is that stuff GOOD and boy do I
miss it!)

There is a winery called Minnesota Wild in MacGregor, MN that also makes
mead (they call it honey wine, no doubt to comply with some obscure,
antiquated, goofy ass Minnesota liquor law) that is pretty good. Their
main product is wine made solely from wild fruit, hence the name.



Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #780, 11 January 2000
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 09:15:28 EST

In a message dated 1/11/00 12:36:59 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Which gets me back to mead-lovers. I've written this post because there have
been two recent posts, possibly by the same person, asking where he can find,
buy and taste mead, and I don't think there's been an answer. Beer drinkers
have great brewpubs galore to visit, but the mead drinker? Hmm. So if us
novices can't find it or buy it, could some of you tell us about the qualities
of the drink itself? Why are you a mead lover? What does it taste like?
What's the effect of drinking it? Gayre, who in his book comes as close
as I've seen to communicating this love of mead, says, among other things,
that mead has been thought of as an aphrodisiac. Is that true? Is that
what this love thing is about? Or is it something else of a higher (or
possibly lower) nature?

To tell you the truth, I don't know if I like mead yet or not. I have been
making it for a little over a year, but I would not drink any of the results
I have produced so far. Many of my friends in the SCA have told me to keep
waiting -- that it will improve with age. I certainly hope so! In this past
year I have definitely learned a few things about mead making. (I started
off as a beer brewer who simply looked upon honey as a different source of
sugar. I obviously did not understand the subtleties and nuances of making
mead! -- all of which explains why my first batches suck so much.)

One of the things I have learned is an intense hatred of champagne yeast.
The stuff is evil! It just won't die! From stuff I've tasted that others
have made, as well as some of my stuff, I have determined that I don't like a
really high octane mead. The high octane batches take much longer to mellow
out so that they don't have that harsh alcohol flavor. Without resorting to
chemicals, heat, or some exotic filtration method, I have not figured out a
way to get Champagne yeast to leave ANY residual sugar unless the OG's were
up around 1.160 - 1.170 - which gets into my objection with too much alcohol.
Perhaps given enough aging my opinion will change on some of these batches.
However, at this point, I must say I am partial to a semisweet (FG=1.020) to
a sweet (FG = 1.040) mead. I like to be able to taste the honey. I like to
be able to have a nice pleasant flavor settle in my mouth. I don't like a
dry mead that tastes like nothing. To this end, I have become a very avid
supporter of ale yeast's used in mead.

I got into mead making as a way to placate the members of my local SCA group
who did not like beer, no matter what style or how well made. (Gasp! How
could they not! :-) The ones in particular that I am trying to include seem
to prefer sweet meads as well. Since I love a well made beer, I would have
to say mead as a whole was an acquired taste -- acquired for the soul purpose
of pleasing others.

In reality, I haven't had enough mead to consider myself capable of judging a
mead's merits or characteristics. Like I said, I've made some myself, and I
know maybe half a dozen other mead makers whose stuff I have on occasion
tasted. I guess I will have to organize a mead tasting event sometime in the
near future!



From: joel tracy <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 13:28:48 -0800 (PST)

Good morrow,

I've been looking through all my stuff for mead
making with vanilla, and I started wondering... I
found a recipe wherein the author added several ounces
of vanilla extract. I've used a little here and
there, but doesn't the high alcohol content of the
vanilla affect the fermentation process? Limit it or

de Maigne


Subject: citrus fruit zest
From: Chuck Wettergreen <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 07:57:56 -0600 (CST)

Considering that I probably have more kitchen gadgets than most, I greatly
enjoyed reading about everyone's different methods for getting citrus
fruit zest.

Me, I do it the old fashion way, I use a zester. A zester is a small hand
tool, about five inches long with five small sharp circles at the end of
the handle. When drawn across a citrus fruit, the zester removes only the
zest and none of the white bitter pith. Zesters cost about five bucks and
are available at most supermarkets and kitchen-gadget stores.

This past weekend I used my zester to zest a case of clementines prior to
making my "Oh Sweet Clemintine" melomel. It took about a half an hour to
remove the zest from the contents of the case.

Chuck Wettergreen
Geneva, IL


Subject: Flavorless Melomels
From: "Stephen J. Van der Hoven" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 08:45:52 -0700

I don't have an answer as to why Jeff Rose's melomels end up flavorless,
all I can offer is my techniques. I have made a number of melomels
(raspberry, red current, plum, blueberry, kimi/lime, and Concord pyment)
and all have had good fruit nose and flavor. I have always used fresh
fruit (10-11 lbs/ 5 gallons) which I then freeze to burst all the cells
and reduce wild yeast/bacteria populations. I primary ferment with
honey only and then rack on to the fruit. There have been discussions
in past MLD's about the merits of putting fruit in the primary vs.
secondary ferment. Here's my two cents worth. The only reason I can
see for putting fruit in the primary is to add nutrients. However, many
a fine traditional mead has been made without the added nutrients of
fruit. Having said that, I do add some yeast nutrient (about 1 tbs/ 5
gallon batch) to help the primary along. Reasons for putting fruit in
the secondary are that there is less chance for loss of fruit
aroma/flavor in the less vigorous/shorter secondary ferment. In
addition, the high alcohol content will inhibit growth of unwanted

Although Jeff didn't go into details of his fermentation techniques, the
main difference I can see is that he puts the fruit in primary while I
put it in the secondary. So, I suggest he try racking on to fruit after
the primary. And maybe use a very aromatic fruit like raspberry. The
aroma from my raspberry mel almost knocks you out of your chair when you
open a bottle.


Subject: Chicory Honey
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 10:33:08 -0600

This item came across on the Bee-L Digest -- subscribers were discussing
honey having chicory as the floral source. I thought MLD readers might
be interested.

For those who might want to find a supply of chicory or other honeys to
experiment with, the National Honey Board has a large directory of honey
suppliers, available at their web site:, or you can call the
hotline number at 1-800-553-7162 or 1-303-776-2337 and ask them to mail it
to you. The honey resource that Chuck Wettergreen mentioned a MLD's back,
Dutch Gold?, would also be a good supplier to check with. I'd heard
somewhere that they like to work with meadmakers.

Dan McFeeley

- ------------------------[snip!]-------------------------------------

This reference may be of some help to you,it is from

"Plants for Beekeeping in Canada and the northern USA, by Jane Ramsay,
published 1987 by IBRA p.43 :

"Cichorium intybus L. common chicory, blue daisy, blue sailors, wild succory...

Value for honey: HP3 (honey potential=51-100kg/ha); plants may close up
in the afternoons and so yields N in the mornings only; surplus H has been
obtained where this is grown on a field scale for roots or seeds (e.g..
England and Michigan); one of the most attractive plants to bees.

Honey: is yellowish-green in colour; flavour is pleasant and has a
coffee-chicory taste

Notes: cultivated as a crop for roots or green fodder in some countries, but
is a noxious weed in some provinces of Canada."

Frank C. Pellett, American Honey Plants, (1977, Dadant & Sons) has a similar
write-up, p. 105.


Subject: finished Blueberry melomel
From: Gregg Stearns <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 11:20:36 -0600

Here's the final recipe for my blueberry mead:

2 lb. 14 oz Honeyman's Sweet Clover
1 lb. frozen IGA blueberries
1 gallon Culligan bottled water
1 package Edme ale yeast (I rehydrated prior to pitching
according to the package directions)
1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 tsp. Irish moss

Starting gravity: 1.090 Final Gravity: 1.002
1/7/00: 1.006 Bottled: 1/15/00

It's a wonderful color, though very little blueberry flavor is present.
Pictures can be seen at my web site
Look under recipes, it's the blueberry mead, bottom of that page.
- --

Gregg Stearns | 237 South 70th | tel: +1.402.441.3292
Editor | Suite 220 | fax: +1.402.483.5418 | Lincoln, NE 68510 |


End of Mead Lover's Digest #782

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