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Mead Lovers Digest #1569

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Published in 
Mead Lovers Digest
 · 10 Apr 2024

Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1569, 2 February 2012 

Mead Lover's Digest #1569 2 February 2012

Mead Discussion Forum

Re: Apricot Mead (Chazzone)
RE: Adding fresh Rosemary or Sage directly to a bottle a mead (Stephen Morley)
More on apricot mead (
apricot thoughts/cautions (Dick Dunn)
RE: Apricot mead ("Wout Klingens")

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Digest Janitor: Dick Dunn

Subject: Re: Apricot Mead
From: Chazzone <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 18:20:29 -0500

> Other than using fresh apricots (clearly the best option), what
> would you
> have suggested I do to add additional flavor?

Fresh or frozen apricots is exactly what I would have started with,
unless I could source fresh juice.

Dried apricots would also be an option, but they'd take a bit of work
to get the most flavor out of. I'd cut or grind them as fine as I
could, add just enough water to make a slurry. Then freeze to bust
the remaining cells, and finally thaw and squeeze the juice, or add it
all to the must and drain off the pulp later.

Obviously, it'd take some effort, but an excellent result usually
requires an above average effort.

- -zz


Subject: RE: Adding fresh Rosemary or Sage directly to a bottle a mead
From: Stephen Morley <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 20:48:34 -0500

On Jan 23, 2012, at 11:19 AM, Henry Murray wrote:

> I am going to add fresh rosemary or sage to a bottle of mead [~14 ABV]
> and see/hope that the essence of the rosemary or sage can be extracted
> into the mead. The whole thing might make a nice presentation? Any
> thoughts or comments. How long should something like this set if it
> will actually work? I am also hoping that the 14 ABV will keep bacteria
at bay.

This is what we made, years ago. Does have a strong flavor, but it was never
to my liking (my ex had me make a lot of herbal meads, most I did not enjoy)

For 2.5 gal.

1 c. fresh rosemary
½ c. lavender flowers (used some young stem bud ends if short of fresh
2 tsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
2 c. fresh sage leaves
4 oz. raisins, chopped

7.5 lb. honey
¼ tsp. Irish Moss
¼ tsp. Wyeast nutrient
½ tsp. ID Carlson yeast energizer

Tasting notes from the time indicated that the lavender might have been a
bit much.

Herbs probably were left behind after the first racking off the primary.

(The raisins are what we normally add to herbal/plain mead to provide some

But I don?t think you?d want to add it after fermentation.


Subject: More on apricot mead
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 11:21:43 -0500 (EST)

Lots of good suggestions have been posted. For next batch, you may want to
try fermenting the honey/water most of the way before adding the apricot.
This should give a stronger (and fresher) apricot flavor and aroma.
If apricot schnapps or apricot brandy is to be added to your current batch -
instead of adding to each bottle or adding to the batch to taste, I would
suggest an external set of 5 or 6 goblets with a defined amount of mead
and differing amounts of schnapps or brandy added (with the schnapps also
increasing the sweetness). This allows you to determine the effect of
too much, too little, and just right. Then adjust the batch accordingly.
Some additional apricot nectar could also be tried.
Carl McMillin
Brecksivlle, OH


Subject: apricot thoughts/cautions
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 21:47:30 -0700

I've used both fresh and dried apricots a few well as fresh
peaches which behave fairly similarly.

Dried apricots: Be sure they're not sulphured!

Any peaches/apricots: These are soft fruits and they break down during
fermentation. The first time I tried it (with apricots) I ended up with
what I have dubbed The Infamous Racking from Hell...29 years ago and I
STILL haven't forgotten the hassles, nor has Diane!

There was perhaps 10 cm of sludge in the bottom of the fermenter. The
mesh we put over the racking tube kept clogging and needing to be
loosened. I don't remember how long it really took, but I'm sure it
was well over an hour. Overall it took 3 rackings of that melomel to
get it cleaned up and it -still- threw some sediment in bottle.

The big mistake was having the apricots effectively pureed.

Since then I've used sliced fruit with much better results, although it
still does break down during fermentation. I put the fruit in at/near
the start of fermentation to get the most benefit of carbonic maceration
(fancy words for rapid fermentation stage getting into the fruit and
releasing character), and surely that causes more physical break-down.

A few other bits...

Fruit should be ripe but NOT over-ripe if you can help it.

Peaches are slightly easier than apricots.

In one batch of peach melomel I did scald/peel the fruit. Experience
since says that was a stupid waste of time, although I still think a
good wash to get rid of the fuzz probably helps that first racking.

Although I said the trouble is because peaches and apricots are "soft
fruits", I've had no comparable problems with mangoes, which kinda seem
like they ought to behave similarly based on texture.
- --
Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA


Subject: RE: Apricot mead
From: "Wout Klingens" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 09:42:35 +0100


Commercial juices are optimized for best taste.
Usually the fresh juice is filtered, pectin removed, some water removed en
the syrup is ready to ship.
After that water will be added to match acid and sugar balance, which makes
it fit for human consumption.

Best chances are, that you need 100% commercial juice for you mead and add
enough honey to make the style of mead you aim for.
But you maybe do not want to take a chance but be sure. In that case you
need to test your juice.
Often the SG for commercial juices is around 1.045, which is close to the SG
of fresh fruit juice. Test it with a hydrometer. The amount of acid in the
juice is tested through a TA measurement. Testing kits for TA are cheap and
readily available in your homebrew store.
Depending on the style of mead you'd want to add acid, or dilute the juice,
if acidity is too high. Again: depending on the style of mead.
Fruit juice unfortunately cannot be compared to grape juice, so the quality
of the juice (=sugar content plus acidity for the amateur homebrewer) has
often to be adjusted.
Quality improvement of the must can be achieved by adding chopped raisins or
other juices to the must.
Nitrogen, minerals and other components which determine favorable
environment for the yeast, is also often a problem. So you might need
nutrients, depending on the yeast demands you use.
Body can be improved by adding banana juice, though us meadmakers do not
have problems with body because of the honey.

It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. Test SG from the juice, measure
TA and adjust and in most of the cases you are fine.
Remember, you add honey, so the resulting mead should be quite drinkable
anyway :)

I hope this helps.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1569

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