From the HBD Archive
From: bergman@m2c.org (Michael Bergman)
Subject: Re: Mead Worries
Date: 1989-11-21 14:45:01 GMT

Falk writes:

I started my first batch of mead Saturday morning, my recipe is
4 lb Honey + water to make 1 gallon
juice of 4 oranges
2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp pectin enzyme
wine yeast

Within hours, some horrible-looking matter had precipitated out of the
wort; I assume that something reacted with the orange juice but I'm
not sure. After about 24 hours, the precipitate had settled to the
bottom of the jug and what's on top looks like I'd expected.

Does this sound normal, or have I made some horrible mistake?

I have no idea about the precipitate -- you don't say whether you simmered the
mixture, or boiled it, or did nothing--"horrible" is insufficient description.
I frequently find that the mead must stratifies -- the honey doesn't really
stay completely mixed with the water, so I get a clear, yellowish, slightly
murky top 80% and a darker, brownish, not-so-clear-distinctly-murky bottom
20%. Usually most of the action is on the top, with a wine yeast, but there
should be a fair amount of precipitate as time goes by.

What I am worried about (well, not _worried_(RDWHAHB)) is the juice of *4*
oranges in *1* gallon of mead. Most of the recipes I am familiar with, for a
straight mead, call for the juice of *1* orange or lemon for *5* gallons of
mead. So I would say you were in the process of making a melomel (I think I
have the term correct) which is to say, a wine based on a mixture of fruit
juice and honey-water, rather than a mead. I don't know how much tolerance
for acid the yeast has -- it may be too acidic, it may be fine. Personally,
I've had fermented orange juice and I don't like it, but this shouldn't be
*that* strong.

I suspect that the effect of the orange juice will be make you want to age it
a little more before drinking it than otherwise. Please let us (or at least
me) know how it comes out!

- --mike bergman
Massachusetts Microelectronics Center
75 North Drive, Westborough, MA 01581, USA +1 (508) 870-0312
UUCP: (...harvard)!m2c!bergman INTERNET: bergman@m2c.org

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