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capoeirista13
08-22-2008, 03:48 PM
So I am wondering how much flavor the honey contributes to the final mead product. Also, how much flavor do additional ingredients, such as fruits, fruit juices, or herbs, contribute to the flavor? In addition, I read in another topic that 1 lb honey ~ 1% alcohol, do lbs of fruit follow roughly the same principle? :icon_scratch:

I am curious because in a day or two I am going to start a 5 gal. batch (my first one ever :toothy10:) using 10 lbs blueberry honey, 2 lbs blueberries.

I would also like to know, as a matter of curiosity, can the honey be substituted with stuff like a flavored syrup, like butterscotch for example.

Angus
08-22-2008, 03:58 PM
Hello capoeirista13,

First, I will answer the last question. No. If you use anything other than honey as the primary fermentable, it is not Mead.

Second question second. No. Different fruits contain different sugar contents and therefore contribute different amounts to the overall ABV. To calculate the amount that your fruit will contribute, use the calculator located in the main site.

First question last. Different honeys contribute different flavors depending on a few factors. First, how much honey you use. Obviously, the more honey, the more honey flavor. Second, if you boil the honey or not. Boiled honey can lose a lot of varietal flavor. Third, the age of the honey and quality. Fourth, type of honey. Some are very mild, while others (e.g. buckwheat) are very strong and contribute a lot. Also, annual variances in the honey crop can result in differences in flavor.

As for additional ingredients, that depends on the ingredient. Mild flavors such as some fruit will contribute very little, unless you use a ton of them. Other spices (cloves comes to mind) can overpower any other flavor in there, especially the honey.

The answer to your question is therefore very broad, but can be summed up thus: Honey must be the main sugar; taste the honey to know what it will contribute to the Mead; use the calculator to figure out what any additional ingredients will contribute; know your herbs and spices and taste every one to determine how much you think they will "add" the the final flavor profile.

Good luck on the batch.

Angus

Edit - before you start the batch, read the NewBee Guide, and as many forum posts as you can. Then ask questions and follow the advice given.

CBBaron
08-22-2008, 04:44 PM
Other spices (cloves comes to mind) can overpower any other flavor in there, especially the honey.


Definitely watch the cloves!!! I read a couple recipes that said use one or 2 cloves in a 1 gal batch. When I added the cloves, I looked at the very small amount of spice that represented and said to myself, "that can't be right" so I added 4. Now I have clove wine :(

Honey has a much higher concentration of sugar than any fruit, however fruits can contribute a noticeable amount of sugar and many contribute very strong flavors while others are very mild. Start with a proven recipe and then experiment from there. A traditional mead (no spice or fruit) may be a good way to start out. Lots of information here, especially in the newbies guide.

Craig

Teufelhund
08-24-2008, 09:42 AM
Ken Schramms book "The Complete Meadmaker" (yes, a shameless promo... :notworthy:)offers a honey table that shows moisture, sugar %, tastes, color & etc...
Concerning the herbs-fresh will give more flavor than dried due to moisture content. Syrups usually have other ingredients other than just that of the named syrup and since they usually have corn syrup as an ingredient, you'll have to debate whether or not you want that in the mead.
I've used a Smuckers boysenberry syrup before and the added taste was worth the experiment.
The rest has been more or less covered by Angus. :icon_salut::

:cheers:

DD

Dan McFeeley
08-24-2008, 11:49 AM
Here's a few honey tables that might be helpful:
(source -- research published by John White jr.)

But don't bypass the book after looking through the tables. There's lots of other good info there!


AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF 490 SAMPLES OF HONEY AND RANGE OF VALUES
__________________________________________________ _____________
Standard
Characteristics Measured Average Deviation Range
__________________________________________________ _____________

Moisture, percentage 17.2 1.46 13.40 - 22.9
Fructose, percentage 38.19 2.07 27.25 - 44.26
Glucose, percentage 31.28 3.03 22.03 - 40.75
Sucrose, percentage 1.31 0.95 0.25 - 7.57
Maltose, percentage 7.31 2.09 2.74 - 15.98
Higher sugars, percentage 1.50 1.03 0.13 - 8.49
Undetermined, percentage 3.1 1.97 0.0 - 13.2
pH 3.91 ---- 3.42 - 6.10
Free Acid, meq/kg 22.03 8.22 6.75 - 47.19
Lactone, meq/hg 7.11 3.52 0.00 - 18.76
Total Acid, meq/kg 29.12 10.33 8.68 - 59.49
Lactone/free acid 0.335 0.135 0.000 - .950
Ash, percentage 0.169 0.15 0.020 - 1.028
Nitrogen, percentage 0.041 0.026 0.000 - .133




Average Composition of Honey Samples Classified by Color

Color Code %Moisture %Fructose %Glucose %Sucrose %Maltose %Higher Sugars
__________________________________________________ _______________________

0 16.7 38.51 32.59 2.71 6.48 1.16
1 16.7 38.04 31.79 1.83 7.09 1.40
2 17.1 38.56 32.38 1.31 6.76 1.44
3 17.1 38.33 32.60 1.63 6.54 1.30
4 17.3 38.62 32.28 1.38 6.64 1.24
5 17.6 38.32 32.19 1.16 6.78 1.18
6 17.0 38.48 31.32 1.19 7.28 1.41
7 17.6 38.83 30.85 1.06 7.11 1.21
8 17.2 37.89 29.76 .99 8.37 1.75
9 17.5 36.92 29.96 1.01 8.33 1.89
10 16.5 34.19 26.47 .87 10.45 3.80
11 17.1 34.96 26.39 .88 10.04 2.64
12 18.9 36.34 29.60 .93 8.05 1.63



Average Composition of Honey Samples Classified by Color (cont.)

Color Code Color pH Total Acid (Meq/kg)
__________________________________________________ _______________________
0 Light half of Water White 3.87 16.25
1 Dark half of Water White 3.82 18.99
2 Light half of Extra White 3.83 21.44
3 Dark half of Extra White 3.79 24.15
4 Light half of White 3.32 27.67
5 Dark half of White 3.87 28.89
6 Light half of Extra Light Amber 3.94 31.44
7 Dark half of Extra Light Amber 3.95 34.05
8 Light half of Light Amber 4.18 33.80
9 Dark half of Light Amber 4.00 40.46
10 Light half of Amber 4.44 41.25
11 Dark half of Amber 4.40 46.00
12 Dark Amber 4.02 44.14


Citrus Clover Fireweed Mesquite Rasp. Sage T.Pop Tupelo

Moisture 16.5 17.7 16.0 15.5 17.4 16.0 17.6 18.2
Levulose 30.9 37.9 39.3 40.4 34.5 40.4 34.6 43.3
Dextrose 32.0 31.0 30.7 36.9 28.5 20.2 25.9 26.0
Sucrose 2.8 1.4 1.3 0.95 0.5 1.1 0.7 1.2
Maltose 7.2 7.7 7.1 5.4 5.7 7.4 11.6 0.0
High.Sug. 1.4 1.4 2.1 0.35 3.6 2.4 3.0 1.1
pH 3.84 3.77 3.03 4.20 4.04 3.51 4.45 3.87
Total acid 30.34 26.53 26.77 16.33 39.19 29.10 42.99 36.59
Ash 0.073 0.071 0.108 0.129 0.471 0.108 0.460 0.128
Nitrogen 0.014 0.039 0.032 0.012 0.07 0.037 0.076 0.046