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jlane
02-21-2008, 10:19 AM
Hello all,
I've been a beekeeper for years and I just started trying to make mead. I extract mostly clover/wildflower honey and goldenrod honey. I noticed most of the recipes call for orange blossom, buckwheat, ect. How much of a difference will substituting clover honey make in most of the recipes. Thanks for the help!

Dan McFeeley
02-21-2008, 03:08 PM
Hello all,
I've been a beekeeper for years and I just started trying to make mead. I extract mostly clover/wildflower honey and goldenrod honey. I noticed most of the recipes call for orange blossom, buckwheat, ect. How much of a difference will substituting clover honey make in most of the recipes. Thanks for the help!

It will, and it won't make a difference in the recipes.

Honeys vary according to floral source (I know you know this, but I'm writing for others who might be less familiar with the subject), and this depends on the local source. An orange blossom, buckwheat, or clover honey in one part of the country will be different from honeys of the same name, but from different parts of the country. The differences may be small, or they may be great. Wildflower honey, of course, is an open case!

Sure, if you use your local honeys as substitutes for honeys listed in recipes, the final product will be different. That's not a detriment, in fact, you might come out with something even better than the original recipe, just by using your own local honeys.

I'd suggest experimenting with various blends of your honeys. See what works. Take a look at generic descriptions of clover honey and goldenrod honeys and see how they compare with your honeys. Taste the wildflower honey you've been extracting and try and get a sense of where it might fit in.

Hope this is helpful -- keep posting if this wasn't helpful enough.

Oskaar
02-21-2008, 03:22 PM
One addition to what El Magnifico McFeeley said.

The late Roger Morse used Golden Rod honey extensively in his recipes so from my own perspective I would try that Golden Rod. I remember reading that he felt that it was too strong and astringent for table honey, but worked well as honey for mead.

Take a chance . . . Custer did!

Oskaar

Wolfie
02-21-2008, 06:51 PM
OB, clover and Buckwheat are honeys that are common in many places, so they are common to use in brews around the country. However Sage, mesquite and other varietals are used often as well. All honeys (I'm sure you can tell) have a slightly different character and that character will impart into your mead in different ways. Goldenrod sounds like a treat, I'm always interested in a new varietal.

Happy brewing!

Yo momma
02-21-2008, 07:04 PM
When I bought my 5 gal. of Widflower honey, the beekeeper said that last year the golden rod was the dominant field flower. The year before he said it was a good mixture. The Goldenrod flower grows well when the water is heavy for seedling and dry in the blossoming season. The honey is pretty strong with a good dark shade to it, very sweet though.

jlane
02-22-2008, 07:43 AM
Thanks for all the information. I will use the goldenrod this fall for mead making. I usually just leave it in the hive for winter stores. You can always tell when they have stored goldenrod by the overpowering smell coming from the hive. My goldenrod is always light in color (Upstate SC). I will try to become good at meadmaking with the free honey before I experiment with other varieties I have to buy. Thanks again for all the comments.

Medsen Fey
02-22-2008, 10:41 AM
Hello jlane,

Overpowering aroma and light color sounds like a winner for a mead. If you wind up with an extra gallon you'd like to sell, PM me. I think it would be great to try something like that.

Medsen

beachfrontmeadman
02-22-2008, 01:04 PM
there isn't really anything i can add to in this discussion, other than echo most things said, fey hit it on the nose, the light color will make something very pleasant looking in the glass, and the strong aroma will make for a wonderful nose

i order most of my honey from an Oregon based beekeeper, so i may have to get my hands on some golden rod

jlane
02-23-2008, 11:17 AM
I'll let you know if I have any extra fey. Hopefully we won't have a drought this fall. I prefer trade over selling honey :)