From the HBD Archive
From: <>
Subject: Meads (additives)
Date: 1989-03-03 15:33:00 GMT

Hello again,

I have been reading the mead entries with interest and
happily compiling new knowledge until this last onslaught
prompted a reply.
1! Any damn-fool mead maker knows better than to BOIL
his/her mixture. It is maintained at a temperature
well below boiling for a protracted (1-5 hours) period,
which, in the cases of either metheglyns or melomels
aids in mingling the various essences of the ingredients
as well as in sterilizing.
2! I have been making meads, some of which have taken
prizes at competitions, for ten or fifteen years, and I
have never found it necessary to add nutrient to my brew.
Let it be known now, also, that I dislike "sweet" meads,
considering them useful only for sundae syrups, and that
I also find "small" meads without character. I do not
consider that my brews warrant the cognomen "great",
nonetheless. I do add acid and tannin IN NATURAL FORMS,
(i.e., citrus fruit and strong tea). It is worth noting
that discarding the inner rind and pith of the citrus
fruit, while using the zest, juice, and fruit pulp,
minimizes unpleasant bitternesses. I use one orange and
one cup of double-strength tea for a 1-2 gallon batch,
more accordingly for larger.
3! Perhaps this book suggests a need for nutrient because
it uses wine yeast. It is a proven fact that bread yeast
works better on meads than "brewer's" yeasts. The use of
bread yeast also makes for HEAVY sediment and a real NEED
for aging, however, the aging need not be as long as the
two years stipulated previously. A four-month minimum is
sufficient, although the products tend to continue to
improve significantly up to about 18 months.
4! I DID agree with one remark, the one concerning multiple
racking. Not only is this desirable for taste purposes,
once you get good at it, you can produce a product of
crystal clarity without finings of any sort. The closest
I come to fining is adding about an ounce of good clear
WATER to the top of each bottle on my final rack.
5! For comparison purposes, and for those who wish to know
exactly what I consider to be "sweet" or "dry" -- my
melomels tend to be dryer than unfermented apple juice, but
sweeter than commercial ciders, such as Strongbow. My meads
and metheglyns fall into a sort of "light white" category.
The very sweetest of them compares favourably with a Moselle,
and most are considerably dryer, although I've never quite
achieved a true "sec." It probably needs more astringency,
which would, in my opinion, destroy some of the "meadish"

For what it's worth, did my comment on yeast and flavour
ever get through to the network? I never saw it in the

By the way, regarding the question on brewing books and
considering my first interchanges on this hotline, I'm
really dying to COUNT how many people are going to leap
into the breech and tell the lad "Charlie Papazian|"

Further info -- I STILL haven't been abl;e to lay my hands
on a copy. Can anyone contact me personally about maybe
sending me one and me reimbursing them?


Cheers to all,
-Ye Olde Batte (MHALLEY@MUN.CA)

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