View Full Version : PA Wildflower

11-11-2009, 12:21 PM
I know this will probably be a difficult question to answer, due to the irregularity of the honey.

I have easily available wildflower honey, mostly from here in Central Pa. When I say easily I mean, Walk across the farm to my Fathers house and pour it out of the bulk tank.

My question is what kind of mead is best suited for this type of honey. And can good mead be produced from this kind of honey. I know one of the more popular honeys I read about using here in the forums seems to be Orange Blossom. How ever I don't have as easy or free access to that.

Just wondering what thought you all may have on this topic


Medsen Fey
11-11-2009, 12:33 PM
There are a lot of recipes that use wildflower honey, but in every area wildflowers are different. Do you know which flowers produce most of the honey in your area? That will drive the character of the wildflower.

One of the best things you can do is take some of this honey and make a simple dry traditional mead with a starting gravity of around 1.085 using K1V as the yeast. When it is dry, with no sugar masking any of the flavors you will be able to tell what the flavor of the honey is like. If it makes a nice dry mead, it will serve you well in just about anything you want to use it in.

11-11-2009, 12:37 PM
Unless the bees are taking nectar from something that results in unpleasant tastes or smells, it will probably make at least decent mead. Unfortunately, wildflower honey varies so dramatically it's hard to make more substantial statements. Not only will it vary based on what flowers are around, it will vary by the season or even the specific month of the year. Do you have any idea what the predominant flowers are the bees would be harvesting?

Ultimately it's all about letting your nose and tongue be your guide. Taste the honey, try to imagine it with less or no sweetness, try to imagine the flavors blended with other flavors.

11-11-2009, 01:12 PM
Great mead can be made from that kind of honey - as well as mead that tastes like paint thinner. As has been noted, wildflower varies a lot depending on where it is produced and when in the season the bees have harvested the nectar. Even wildflower that is harvested from the same place, and in the same season, can vary from year to year. Both Arcanum and Medsen have given you good advice. First, taste the honey and see if you notice any "off" flavors behind the obvious sweetness. If not, then ferment out a batch of traditional dry mead with it. I'd even suggest a lower starting gravity - as low as 1.070. This "hydromel strength" mead will be done fermenting in about a week, and you'll get a good idea what flavors to expect from other meads made using it if you taste it after just a few more weeks of aging.