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Mead Lovers Digest #0783

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Mead Lovers Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #783, 18 January 2000 

Mead Lover's Digest #783 18 January 2000

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

PLEASE don't submit in HTML (Mead Lover's Digest)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 ("Frederica & Patrick Parker")
Competitions, braggot, and ale mead (
Re: Books & Commercial Meads (Dave Polaschek)
Re: Buying Honey (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 (Paul Mozdziak)
Re: Mead books (
Vanilla Extract in Mead (
Hey! We're offensive, folks! (Mead Lover's Digest)
Polyclar (
silver foot (
A little sweetie (joel tracy)
RE: Vanilla extract? (Gregg Stearns)
Feb. 26, 2000 (
Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 (Dave Burley)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000 ("Thaddaeus A. Vick")
Re: Honeymoon's over! (Dan McFeeley)
1st Batch ("Spies, Jay")
Bitter meads ("William Arthur Millett")
vanilla mead (Dan Thompson)

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Subject: PLEASE don't submit in HTML
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 17 Jan 00 14:59:14 MST (Mon)

I've gotten numerous articles lately submitted to the digest in HTML.
Please don't. Since the digest is published in plain text, this just means
your article gets bounced back to you so that you can resubmit it in plain wastes a bit of my time, wastes a bit more of your time, and
may delay your article.

You may well wonder why the digest doesn't allow HTML. Reasons:
* A significant number of people don't yet have HTML capability in their
mail readers.
* HTML is rarely necessary for the sort of articles we get.
* HTML increases the size of messages substantially, particularly because
many of the current crop of HTML-generating programs are so badly
written. 50% overhead is not at all unusual.
* If I started accepting HTML I'd have to put the whole digest in HTML.
This isn't to say that the digest will never switch over to HTML, only that
we're not there yet.
- ---
Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000
From: "Frederica & Patrick Parker" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 22:53:14 -0000

Hi Nathan

I don't know how many replies you may have received about books on mead, but
my favourite reference book on the subject is titled "Making Mead" by Bryan
Acton and Peter Duncan.

I don't know if it's still in print - I've had my copy for years - but it
might be worth a look on Amazon.

Hope this helps,


> 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: Competitions, braggot, and ale mead
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 100 17:21:20 -0600 (CST)


I recently bottled my first braggot, a pale braggot that fermented out to
around 7.3% alcohol; I kept this as a still beverage, and I'm hoping some
can hang around long enough for me to see how it tastes once properly aged.

My girlfriend and I, though, are so happy with it that we want to enter it
in a competition. So, like, where are the competitions? Are there any that
are going on fairly soon? Are there any that are close to St. Paul, MN?
It seems a lot easier to find beer competitions with an occasional mead/cider
category than any mead competitions, and we'd really prefer to have mead people
do the judging here and give us some feedback.

I was also curious about the ale mead in the Acton/Duncan book. We started a
1 gallon batch around 11/18. After a month, maybe less, it was crystal

However, a month further down the road, the stuff is still giving off the
occasional bubble through the fermentation lock. I can see across the room
through the stuff, without any haze.

Perhaps I should also mention that we didn't add all the honey at once. We
lost a bit too much volume after the second racking (initial fermentation got
real atomic, so I wanted it off the lees). To get the OG back up to a
defensible strength, I added a smallish amount of honey around 12/5. This was
before the stuff was fully clarified, but I thought it was noteworthy. Oh,
and I added water during the various rackings, so that there wouldn't be too
much headspace.

I'm wondering whether my fermentation has basically been completed for a long
time, and the fermentation I'm seeing now is just some malo-lactic ferment
that started spontaneously.

In other words, if I take gravity readings (after I replace the hydrometer,
which I broke today while bottling my first date wine) a week apart, and the
SG doesn't change much, can I go ahead and bottle the stuff?

Many thanks.

- --Jack Stecher
- --
The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk.
--George Santayana


Subject: Re: Books & Commercial Meads
From: Dave Polaschek <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 19:06:58 -0600

Nathan Kanous wrote:
>So this whole thing begs the there a good book out there
>about mead? What is it? Thanks.

I wrote a book about mead called "Mead Made Easy". The entire text of the
book is available on the web at <>. It's
not a perfect book, but many folks seem to like it. Many of the recipes
in it come from (with permission, natch) people on this list. The
commentary and mistakes are mine.

Dick Dunn wrote:
>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.

I asked them about this a few years back (spring of '96 if I remember
right) when I stopped in at the Barghetto winery and tasted their wines
and mead. They make quite a few good wines.

I agree that they would probably do a nice mead. The idea of a dry (or
drier) mead just didn't seem to be anywhere on their radar. When I
suggested that it might be a good thing, I got told that mead was
supposed to be sweet and spiced. It took a major effort just to get a
glass of the mead that wasn't heated with spices put in it ("I want to
taste what kind of character it has underneath that stuff"). Now it may
just have been the people in the tasting room, but one of them claimed to
be someone in charge (I don't remember for sure, but either the winemaker
or the owner). <shrug>

- -DaveP

Dave Polaschek - Polaschek Computing, Inc. -
PGP key and other spiffy things at <>
"Socrates was a philosopher. He went around pointing out errors
in the way things were done. They fed him hemlock."
-Gil Amelio, quoting a "young philosophy student"


Subject: Re: Buying Honey
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 20:12:53 EST

Angela says:
"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"

Did you try your local food co-op? Did you look in the phone book under
"beekeeping supplies"? Have you stopped at any produce stands? Have you
checked your local brewing/winemaking suppliers?
If you travel past any orchards & notice any boxes of hives, consider either
looking for the beekeeper's name & number on the boxes (which might involve
trespassing) or finding a way to talk the farmer & ask whose hives they are.
There have to be some Bay Area beekeepers. If not, check produce stands &
food co-ops in wine country or Central Valley (I know we have them in Davis &
Sacramento, & they stock honey in large jars and in bulk). Remember you're
looking for "unheated, unprocessed honey" that smells & tastes nice. If you
still have trouble finding any reasonably priced, unprocessed honeys, email
me & I'll forward one or two phone numbers of suppliers from my neck of the
woods who may also sell to the Bay Area.
Good luck. Steve.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000
From: Paul Mozdziak <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 08:25:33 -0600

Please update my email address--I have moved to North Carolina.


Paul Mozdziak
Assistant Professor
North Carolina State University
Department of Poultry Science
Scott Hall/Campus Box 7608
Raleigh, NC 27695

Fax 919-515-2625


Subject: Re: Mead books
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 20:22:58 EST

Nathan asks:

<< 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? >>

If there is "one" must-have book about mead, I haven't found it. I don't
know Morse's approach, but my personal opinion is that someone is well served
by having The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (which includes a mead appendix by
author Papazian) and by having "Mad About Mead" by, I believe, Pamela Spence.
The former is just a little bit more scientific, but very accessible. The
latter is a bit "New Age." Slightly different approaches, & both quite
relaxed. As an alternative to that Papazian book, you could get the
Gayre/Papazian book about mead, which is mostly about history and includes
only a little bit about recipes.
So who out there on the digest is going to write the DEFINITIVE mead book,
pulliing information together from all different sources??? (I can help, but
don't have the expertise to pull it off on my own)


Subject: Vanilla Extract in Mead
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 20:45:19 -0500 (EST)

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

No, the amount of extract that would be used, when diluted by the rest of the
must prior to fermentation will lower the alcohol content of the must to a
point which will not affect fermentation. The vanilla extract in my cupboard
is only 35%, I believe that I have seen some as high as 40%. Even adding an
ounce per gallon (which seems like a lot to me) you would only have a little
over 1/4% alcohol in the must -- not enough to worry about.



Marc Shapiro
Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."
- -- Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Farm Winery


Subject: Hey! We're offensive, folks!
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 17 Jan 00 19:42:42 MST (Mon)

I thought the subscribership might be interested, or amused, or frightened,
to know that the last MLD was found to contain offensive language, violated
a policy regarding sexual discrimination, and was therefore not delivered
to at least one subscriber. This was all determined electronically, by a
piece of "content management software".

Looking back at the digest, I couldn't quite figure out what tripped the
robo-prig's sensors, although I have a couple guesses, assuming that it's
pretty stupid and just looks for unacceptable words without regard to

So does this mean we have to watch our language to avoid alerting some
badly-written piece of software? Absolutely not. Tailor your language to
what is appropriate to the topic of the digest and to the sensitivities of
reasonable *people*. The bad programs (and programmers) can go hang.

Just realize that if you're getting your MLD at your work email address,
and if you work for a company that's heavily into political correctness
and employee surveillance, your MLD subscription may be cut off abruptly.
If it happens to you, I'll let you know, if I can do so.
- ---
Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA


Subject: Polyclar
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 22:54:20 EST

I recently sampled a dry still mead that I made about 3 years ago. It seems
to me that it is lacking in some flavor/aroma components almost to the point
of being insipid. There are only 2 variables that are significantly different
from all the other meads I've made: 1) I added polyclar at the end of
fermentation, and 2) I am currently suffering from a head cold. Whilst I pray
that the problem is the latter, I fear that the polyclar may have stripped
away some of the elements that make mead such a sensual drink. I've never
used the stuff before and can only assume that I had a problem with the mead
clearing. Will polyclar rob a mead of it's character? Can I add more honey or
blend this with another batch to try to revive some of this lost character?
It would not bother me if I ended up with a sweet mead, but am loathe to risk
another batch by blending.
TIA, Charlie


Subject: silver foot
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 14:59:11 +1100

In Mead Lover's Digest #782 17 January 2000
Spencer W Thomas <>
wrote: "1311 in Archaeol; (1887) L. i. 176, j mazer cum pede argenteo.
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!"

A mazer with a silver foot. Sounds tres elegant!

But we haven't yet made the semantic/linguistic connection between Mazer the
drinking vessel and Mazer being specifically the vessel for mead.


PS What's with all the mead traffic? There seems to have been lotsa big digests
the last couple of weeks.


Subject: A little sweetie
From: joel tracy <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 20:19:55 -0800 (PST)

OxladeMac wrote:

". . . 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."

With my first few attempts, I made mixtures that
fermented for ever (one is still bubbling after over a
year), and I purposely used a champagne yeast, having
read that it could tolerate higher alcohol contents in
the must. I could stop it several different ways, but
there's something about the honesty of one of first
tries that I don't want to do that.

Instead, now I use other yeasts (though I'll still use
a champagne yeast from time to time), and, to get a
sweeter mead, I top off with honey water. You've
probably read about it here often enough. When the
yeast craps out, you're more likely to have residual
sugars that way. I imagine it would vary from recipe
to recipe, but I do it with most of my meads now.

Just my two little red pennies.

de Maigne


Subject: RE: Vanilla extract?
From: Gregg Stearns <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 23:06:18 -0600

>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

The best recipe I've seen called for a 4 oz bottle of REAL Vanilla
extract for a 5 gallon batch. I tried a scaled down version, and no,
the vanilla alcohol content doesn't really affect it. You'd have to use
WAY too much vanilla to raise the alcohol level that much. With
vanilla, you have to remember that the odor creates most of the flavor,
so a little goes a long way.

- ---

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


Subject: Feb. 26, 2000
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 01:11:39 EST

If there is anyone in CT interested, we are having a meeting by the CT
Beekeeper's Association and the topic being covered is Medieval Beekeeping
and Mead Making. It should be a very interesting meeting. Anyone interested
in directions or want more info, contact me


Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000
From: Dave Burley <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 09:40:29 -0500

Message text written by

If you read your SG at 75F, for example, and
your hydrometer is calibrated at a lower
temperature, you need to ADD the correction.

Dave Burley =


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #782, 17 January 2000
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 07:02:21 -0800 (PST)

> 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.

A very cute story, unfortunately we have yet to find any reliable
documentation for it. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the "honey"
refers to the sweetness of the newlyweds' feelings toward one another,
and the "moon" refers to the often rapid waning of those feelings as the
first rush of love ends. In even the earliest usages of the word, there
does not appear to be any reference to mead, actual honey, a period of
solitude for the newlyweds, or the specific period of a month.

> > 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.

Also, some of us are interested not only in mead for its own sake,
but in the history of this marvelous substance. Sometimes, history is
not as cute as we could wish. One of the hardest things for an amateur
historian to learn is to distinguish between history and storytelling.

Example: Braveheart -- bad history, good storytelling
Your highschool history text -- good history, bad storytelling

Both have their place, but the two should not be confused.

Cellach Cosnocht mac Cuain, Rogue Herald
Barony of the South Downs, Meridies

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 #782, 17 January 2000
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 07:06:59 -0800 (PST)

> 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.

It does? Perhaps I'm confused about how long wine takes, but I've
tasted and made several meads that were thoroughly ready to drink inside
a year. This past weekend, I and several friends disposed of two bottles
of a mead that was brewed last March and bottled only a couple of weeks
ago, and it was quite good.

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 #782, 17 January 2000
From: "Thaddaeus A. Vick" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 07:14:34 -0800 (PST)

> 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.

As another one of your friends in the SCA (I hope we're all friends
here :), I'll add my agreement to that. As a rule of thumb, count no mead
lost while it's younger than two years. If it still tastes bad at the
end of two years, but isn't hideous, give it another two. I've personally
witnessed lighter fluid transforming into a tipple worthy of Odin's
hall in a year's time. I generally give mine a year, minimum from the
brew date to the time I declare it ready. (Which is not to say I don't
sometimes open a couple of bottle early. :)

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: Honeymoon's over!
From: Dan McFeeley <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 10:12:25 -0600

On Tue, 11 Jan 2000, in MLD #780, Andy Wainwright wrote:

>To me, Mead is a wonderful brew, the stuff of legend......when tasting a
>good one, you can close your eyes and almost see the great hall, trestle
>tables filled with goodfolk amid much merriment, buxom wenches keeping a
>careful lookout, ensuring every goblet is kept abrim, lest there be bellows
>of "MORE MEAD"......mead to accompany the generous fare of roast boar, sawn
>roughly from the carcass.....everyone their own bejewelled dagger....


>As far as tracing the true meaning...who cares....I'm a mead romantic who
>intends to cling to folklore. I would question a true 'meadlover' who would
>go out of their way to dispel the myth and romanticism of a truly marvelous
>beverage. Please let sleeping dogs lie!!!

Apologies if we've been a little iconoclastic. I'm still doubtful that
the honeymoon tradition of a month's supply of mead existed back in ancient
times, if at all, but that does nothing to tarnish the mystique of mead
traditions. There is no doubt that mead has significantly influenced the
mytho-poeic imagination of ancient peoples, and it plays a symbolic role
in many myths and tales, resisting any deconstructive efforts. Mead is to
paganism as wine is to Christianity, lots of room for imaginative forrays

Professor Peynaud of Bordeaux France tells us that the color of a wine, its
intensity and shade is called its robe. Sight is the first sense to come
into play in the enjoyment of wine. The glass is held up so that the light
is caught and held, turning it to a gustatory jewel to be appreciated at a
distance before the senses of smell and taste are brought into play. One
enters unhurriedly into the enjoyment of a fine wine, cherishing each of its

A robe is only a robe if there is no sense of *what* is being enjoyed. The
wine gains in appreciative qualities if comes from a chateau with a long
and distinuished history, even if it is known that there was little difference
in a blind tasting comparision with other wines. History and tradition can
and should enhance the enjoyment of an excellant mead -- one of my co-workers,
a psychiatric nurse on the hospital unit where I work, sampled one of my
meads and later told me how much she had enjoyed trying a beverage which she
knew was "historical."

There is so much history behind mead, where to start? Is it possible to
plumb its depths? Michael Enright, in _Lady With A Mead Cup_ (Four Courts
Press, 1996) relates the discovery of a 500 liter bronze cauldron found at
the Hochdorf burial site in Germany. It had been three quarters full of a
honey mixture to be used in making mead, with approximately 58 different herbs
identified by chemical analysis and possibly more than one hundred altogether.
A mead requiring such protracted effort surely held great symbolic importance,
Enright says, but what that symbolism was is mostly lost to us.

Honey was a symbol of resurrection in ancient Egypt. It was also named as
a poison to ghosts, the dead or evil spirits in a lullaby dating from the
New Kingdom. What would mead have meant to the Egyptians?

Mead was thought of favorably in the Classical world. Pliny the Elder gives
attention to mead, and Galen has been quoted as saying "Mead ten or twelve
years old is a most sovereign and a pleasant remedy for many diseases."

It is also said in the Koran "The righteous shall be given to drink pure
mead sealed with musk."

Adrienne Mayor ("Mad Honey" _Archaeology_ Nov/Dec 1995) speculates that in
ancient Greece, bee-prophetesses, or 'melissai,' drank mead made with honey
from the Black Sea region, a honey known to have serious toxic qualities,
inspiring their prophetic frenzies. He even goes so far as to propose that
mead spiked with "mad honey," as it was known then, was the "secret
inspiration of the Delphic Oracle."

Mead is long held to have played a central role in many mythic cycles stemming
from the Indo-Europeans. G. Dumezil, in _Le festin d'immortalite'_ (1924)
believed that most Indo-European mythologies centering around mead had
four stages, not necessarily hierarchal, involving the preparation of the
mead, a demon among the gods, a false bride (a god disguised as an attractive
woman), and the destruction of the gods. Contemporary analysts would
disagree with Dumezil's attempt to recover an "orignal version" of the myth
but agree that there are many common themes linking the mead cycles found in
different cultures. Mead is associated with wisdom and poetry, and those who
possess the sacred caldron attain immortality. As Jarich Oosten puts it,
"The mead is drunk by the gods, and those who drink the mead are gods by that
very reason. Those who lose access to the mead become demoms and trolls"
(_War of the Gods_ 1985, p. 65).

There is an old Irish tale of the Well of Uisnech, circled by the nine hazel
trees of wisdom. The hazelnuts dropped from the trees into the well and were
eaten by the salmon who lived there. Those who partook of either the hazelnuts
or the salmon gained the gifts of seer and poet. Significantly, the ancient
Irish were said to have made a special mead mixed with juice of the hazel tree.

There are folk working in the fields of comparative religion who have taken
a serious look at these Indo-European myth cycles and the later Grail
traditions. The myths centering around mead and the cauldron are being
suggested as forming a background and information source for the Grail
traditions. It's important to be careful in avoiding a direct causal
link -- Leander Keck of Emory University has often been quoted as saying
"Ideas do not flow in pipes." There was lots of mixing and swapping of
ideas and motiffs, but also a broad cultural milieu that cast a subtle
influence in the generation of these tales.

This only scratches the surface of the myths and traditions of meadmaking.
Questioning the honeymoon tradition isn't a bad idea, especially if it is
not genuine folklore and only something later generations came up with.
Nothing wrong with clearing away a little dead undergrowth to get at the
roots of the traditions!

Happy meadmaking!

Dan McFeeley


Subject: 1st Batch
From: "Spies, Jay" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 13:46:13 -0500

All -

Angela Byrnes said in MLD #782:

>>>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.<<<

Just a thought, Angela: normally in meadmaking we try to ferment in some
sort of a *container*...fermenting on your kitchen floor may lead to some
possible off flavors, what with the heel scuffs and the stray crumbs and
such...not to mention the fact that racking to secondary would be well nigh


On another note...try here for some varieties of honey. I personally have
not ordered from them, but their prices and varieties seem to be very

Again on another note...I always thought that the original "Mazer" was a
horn of some type. Favored not only for its "masculine" qualities, but also
for the fact that its shape precluded its being set down on a table...thus
it could not be left unattended and be subjected to random additions of
poison by nefarious neer-do-wells... Just my .0001

Jay Spies
Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery
Baltimore, MD


Subject: Bitter meads
From: "William Arthur Millett" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 20:15:32 -0200

Hi MLDers,

Has anyone experienced bitterness in meads? I have a few lots that are
otherwise good, some even worshipful, but they have this bitter aftertaste.
The bitterness is reminiscent of hops. There is no other aroma besides the
ones you'd might expect in a well done mead. It is a very definite bittter

The meads are well aged - two to three years and were kept in the dark. Year
average temperature around 77F. No infection is noticed. Some of the meads
are crystal clear, while others have a slight deposit. Meads were bottled in
green corked wine bottles or brown beer bottles with crown caps.

I used nutrient salts and acid mixture (tartaric and citric acids) according
to what the usual literature prescribes (Roger Morse, namely). All
fermentation went uneventfully.

No hops were used. And they never got near the meads

I have read that bitterness may be due to the type of honey used. Has anyone
heard of this before? I use essentially citrus and some wildflower to give
aroma and colour. The honey is from the same source, in some cases from the
same lot. It has been a disapointment to know that an otherwise perfect mead
is spoiled by this bitterness. I know it develops as the meads age, because
no bitterness could be felt when they were younger.

Can anyone help me out on this one?




Subject: vanilla mead
From: Dan Thompson <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 17:34:26 -0400


A couple people were asking about making a vanilla mead. For a reference
point, I made such a mead a couple years ago and it came out very good.
For a 3 gallon batch I sliced 4 vanilla beans into half inch slices and
added them as I heated my must. I left the beans in until the first
The mead finished with an unmistakable vanilla flavor but not overpowering.
It was one of my favorite meads, very good for desert.



End of Mead Lover's Digest #783

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