Mead Making with Steve Piatz – BeerSmith Podcast #150

by Brad Smith on June 8, 2017 · 2 comments

Steve Piatz, the author of “The Complete Guide to Making Mead” and 2008 mead maker of the year joins me this week to discuss making the perfect mead.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:44)

  • Today my guest is Steve Piatz. Steve is the author of The Complete Guide to Mead Making (Amazon affiliate link), 2008 Mead Maker of the Year, as well as a long time mead maker and judge.
  • We briefly discuss how Steve got into making mead.
  • Steve explains how almost all mead makers have moved to a “no boil” or cold method for making meads.
  • We discuss the importance of yeast hydration and the use of Goferm when preparing yeast.
  • Steve talks about aeration of the must and also daily degassing of the must during active fermentation.
  • He shares his thoughts on aeration with pure oxygen and also using a second dose at 12 hours.
  • We discuss staggered nutrient addition options and which one he prefers.
  • Steve shares his thoughts on which fruits work best in a melomel or other fruit mead.
  • He talks about the challenges in working with whole fruit, fruit juices and purees and how he manages fruit in the must to minimize waste and maximize flavor.
  • Steve explains the intricacies of choosing a final gravity for various fruits so it will properly balance the sweetness of residual honey against the acidity and tannins in fruit.
  • We talk about why refractometers are not a good choice for high gravity meads and even some hydrometers have a hard time handling very high gravity melomels.
  • We spend some time discussing backsweetening mead, though Steve prefers to balance his meads by careful selection of original and final gravities.
  • He shares his thoughts on finishing meads and also his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Steve Piatz for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Lotton June 9, 2017 at 5:09 am

Very interesting to hear such an expert. Interviewer left a bit to be desired but don’t we all.

Rich August 31, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I found Steve to be an interesting contrast to the interviews you did with Ken Schramm and Michael Fairbrother. The latter two not surprisingly tackled the issue of mead making from more of a pro’s point of view (of course Michael was mostly talking about making braggots too), but Steve related very well to the home mazer. I learned a lot from all three interviews that I’m incorporating into my own mead making, but I found Steve’s perspective very approachable. Thanks for another great interview!

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