Mead Lover's Digest #381                                  24 January 1995

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

Contents:
  latest mead (RON)
  a better yeast nutrient (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
  To Re-Yeast or Not? (Jim Osborn)
  Corking (brewing chemist Mitch)

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Subject: latest mead
From: RON.admin@admin.creol.ucf.edu (RON)
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 1995 14:58 EST

Lurking for a while and thought i'd pass on the latest
mead to the digest.......

12 lbs. Florida Wildflower Honey
2   lbs. Honey blend (Sam's - cheap) + 2 cups for starter
1.5 cups New York Maple Syrup - Grde A - Med. Amber
2 oz. Yeast Nutrient - from Beverage People - w/hulls (I think???)
1 tsp Acid Blend
1/2 fresh lemon juice some pulp
4 pieces dried orange peel
5 pieces dried tangerine peel
3 pieces dried lemon peel
1 oz. corriander
1/4 tsp Irish Moss

Yeast starter. 1.5 liter - 1 week and 2 days old Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast.
In 1.75 liter bottle.  Starter from 2 cups honey blend and 1 tsp. of Yeast
Nutrient above. Boiled and chilled.

Other Yeast Starter - 1.2 liter - 3 day old Wyeast American 1056.  in 1.75
liter bottle.  Started with 1.5 cups light DME with a few hop cones.
Boiled and chilled.

Started Saturday morning by generating ~6 gal RO (Reverse Osmosis) water.
Then treating it with 1 tsp. gypsum, 1tsp. CaCO3, 1 tsp Sea Salt.  Brought
to a full boil in 8gal brew pot for 30 min.  Heat off, let sit till 
finished eating and cool to 90 (all temps in C) added Honeys and syrup (75 
min).  Temp dropped to 75. Back on heat.  Stirred a few times for 30 min. 
(45 min) Temp up to 77.  Added rest of yeast nutrient and acid blend.  
Added lemon juice (40 min).  Chopped peels and corriander in chopper and
added (35 min).  Small amount of Irish Moss added (15 min). Temp
at 80. Started to get some hot break and moving around quicker.  Let
sit 10 min. Final Temp at 82.  Heat off, sat 5 min.  Stirred well
(whirlpooled).  Covered with saran wrap, put lid back on and ice bathed
for 2 hrs.  Removed saran wrap to find a nice conical forming upward
from the center of the brew pot.  Crystal clear with spices and fruit
mostly in the center.  Racked to carboys.  2.5 gal. got the Ale yeast
and 3.5 gals. got the Mead yeast.  OG was 1.079.  Nice citric smell
and taste.  Will try to keep temp at 68-75F for fermenting.  Will post
results 6 months to a year from now.

FWIW: The last and first time I used the Wyeast Sweet Mead was on a
Maple Mead that went from OG-1.116 to FG-1.050.  This mead has
taken a few ribbons.

Key for beginners:  let the stuff sit - ingore it - rack at 3-4 weeks and 
againor not at 6 months.  Have had great meads with different yeasts.

First time using RO water for a mead....Should my water treatment be 
changed????

Comments - Suggestions ????  Please forward:
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ron Raike  -  Facilities / Computers / Networks / Brewer
CREOL - Center for Research and Education in Optics                \  |  /
        and Lasers at the University of Central Florida             \\|//
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------*-------
email      ron@laser.creol.ucf.edu                                  //|\\
phone      407.658.6803                                            /  |  \
fax        407.658.6880

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Subject: a better yeast nutrient
From: CSS2@OAS.PSU.EDU     (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 13:51 EST

For my third batch of mead, I tried using an alternative to the chemical-based
yeast nutrient mixes that are available here in central PA.  I have found the
the nutrient that I used previously imparts a certain off-flavor to the mead
which takes a long time to age out.  As an alternative to this, I used
something that I had around anyway - dry malt extract.  I used 1/4 of a cup in
a 2.5 gallon batch of blackberry mead.  The results were very favorable;
fermentation took off right away and was completed fairly quickly (for mead,
that is).  I tasted my first bottle last week after only 6 weeks in the
bottle, and there was no off flavors whatsoever.
For those of us who brew beer and mead, this is a readily available tool that
seems to really do the trick.
As usual, your milage may vary :)
Hoppy Brewing
Curt
css2@oas.psu.edu

ps. this was light, unhopped dry malt extract!

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Subject: To Re-Yeast or Not?
From: jimo@eskimo.com (Jim Osborn)
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 12:15:08 -0800

I've got a batch of simple mead, just honey, water, yeast, and some
yeast nutrient and some tea, same as I usually make, but with a
bit less honey: four quarts to a five-gallon batch, instead of the
usual five quarts.  This batch was less active while I had it in
the open tub, stirring it a few times a day as usual, waiting for
the activity to die down enough to put it in the carboy.  Once in
the carboy it produced gas for a couple of weeks, and then seemed
to go to sleep.  On a really warm day, it'll put out a bubble or
two, but most of the time, the water in the vapor lock just sits
there.  

The whole thing is much less active than I'm used to, and I'm
tempted to try adding yeast, gradually over a period of a day or
so, to see if I can re-start it.  Any problems with doing this,
or any thoughts in general?

jimo@eskimo.com

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Subject: Corking
From: gellym@aviion.persoft.com (brewing chemist Mitch)
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 14:07:58 -0600 (CST)

Howdy !

I have been corking a number of meads now, and have a cork/storage kind of
question.

I know that corked bottles should be laid on their side at some point to keep
the cork wet; my question is when do you lay them down ? As soon as you bottle?
After a couple of weeks when the cork has firmed up ? 

Also, have you ever seen a bottle neck ring as a result of corking ? I have
once or twice, and have just attributed it to the solution I soak my corks in
the day or so before bottling (water and sodium metabisulfite - campden tabs)

Any old vintners want to help me out here ?

Cheers,

Mitch

-- 
|                       - Mitch Gelly -                        | Beavis and  |
|software QA specialist, unix systems administrator, zymurgist,|  Butthead   |
| AHA/HWBTA beer judge, & president of the Madison Homebrewers |   are not   |
|                - gellym@aviion.persoft.com -                 | role models |

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End of Mead Lover's Digest #381