[Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead

Ian Rocas rocas511 at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 25 16:47:45 PST 2007

As a rule, when I brew mead I typically bring the must just to a boil and then imediately start to bring the temperature down to 90 degrees for pitching.  The results are usually quite good.  

Kotek.  I wanted to ask you (and other meaders out there) about the use of potasaium sorbate.  In all my years of mead making I have never done this.  Probably because I once heard that it effects the taste of the mead in a way that can only be aged out over a period of months or years.  I have also heard conflicting reports on how well it works.  Sometimes it seems as though yeast is harder to put down than Dracula!  Has anyone experienced any of this? To date, my practice has always been to simply keep my mead refrigerated.  What has been your experience?


> From: osermart at msu.edu
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 18:44:19 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead
> Kotek, 
> > I bought a book on basic brewing, and almost all their suggestions for Mead
> > is roughly; "Boil up honey and water, add yeast, leave for a week or two,
> > then add a campden (sulphur dioxide) tablet to stop fermentation, bottle and
> > store for 6+ months before drinking"
> As to boiling, there are options.  Some folks boil, others simply heat the 
> honey and water.  Boiling breaks the proteins, and heating too hard can 
> cause the flavor of the honey to be reduced. 
> Campden is an anti-bacterial and is optional, depending on the yeast you 
> use.  Some yeasts will naturally produce small amounts of sulphur dioxide 
> (such as Lalvin 1118 yeast). 
> > I've never elsewhere read anything suggesting the sterilization of the brew
> > before bottling - I presume this is to keep it sweet and not bubbly (or
> > explosive). Is this common, and does the tablet affect the flavor at all?
> This isn't sterilizing the brew.  To stop the yeast, use potassium sorbate 
> to put the yeast to sleep and then 36-48 hours later you can rack and filter 
> into another carboy or bottle for aging. 
> Adding campden can affect some people who have an allergy to the sulphites.  
> If you get a headache with sharp, stabbing pains from drinking things like 
> most domestic wines, particularly reds, you may be allergic to sulphites.  
> This is also a debatable topic. 
> Thus speaketh Lord Gilebert le bracceur de Dijon, through the hands of his 
> wife, Lady Helena Sibylla  :D 
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