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JacquesDeschamps
04-23-2010, 11:28 PM
Hi I'm Jacques but everyone just calls me Bob. I'm new to meadmaking and I was wondering if anyone could tell me where to get quality honey near Montreal. I've been looking on the internet but the shipping fees for honey are just too high for my budget. I"m gonna try my first batch of mead with costco honey, not really because its cheap but rather because its the only thing I could find.

At first i was thinking of making Joe's ancient orange recipe but I'm not sure it'll turn out great with fleishmann's bread yeast, and if its gonna cost me 60$ of honey a batch I'd really like to know if its worth it or if i should just go ahead and try a more complicated recipe right away. Also if anyone has a link to a good recipe I'd really appreciate it :)

Thx in advance for the help from a new homebrewer

AToE
04-23-2010, 11:34 PM
Hello fellow Canadian - first off I'd recommend checking Superstore, and if you have anything like Wholefoods or planet organic try there too. For shipped google millers honey, their prices are low enough that it helps justify the shipping costs.

If you search around enough you'll start finding urban beekeepers and proper apiarists (sp?) in your area that will have great honey for reasonable prices. I'm just starting to find them in my area now after 8/9 months of looking.

tatgeer
04-24-2010, 10:03 AM
Here's the thing about JAO - it's a classic for a reason. It *does* turn out great with bread yeast, and there are enough other flavors in it that it also turns out great with cheaper honey. It also turns out so much quicker than other recipes that it's great for getting your feet wet. It's hard to wait 6-12 months to see if it's a hobby you like!

With mead recipes that have fewer other flavors/ingredients, it's more important to use really tasty honey, as more of the honey flavor is going to come through. Joe's is a lot more forgiving of Costco.

There's a great website in the US, http://www.honeylocator.com/location_results.asp?Location_ID=92 I did a quick search for Canada, and it looked like there might not be anything super close to you in Canada, but I'm also not sure how close you are to the US border and if there might be anything there that's helpful.

Give Joe's a chance - the only time I"ve had a batch not turn out well was when I forgot to get whole cloves and tried to guess how much ground cloves to put it - I guessed too high and got some *really* potent clove flavor - but even that was pretty good when mixed with a blander mead I also wasn't too happy with. :)

Arcanum
04-24-2010, 10:40 AM
Also check local farmer's/public markets for honey. You may find local apiaries have booths there.

AToE
04-24-2010, 08:06 PM
Also check local farmer's/public markets for honey. You may find local apiaries have booths there.

Seconded, I should have mention that this is how I've found the majority of the good honey in my area.

JacquesDeschamps
04-25-2010, 12:02 PM
Thx everyone, i just have one more question. If im making a JOA recipe but a 5gallon batch instead, do i just use 5x the ingredients (especially cloves and yeast). Oh and also do i just put the oranges with the peel and all?

dr9
04-25-2010, 12:12 PM
Thx everyone, i just have one more question. If im making a JOA recipe but a 5gallon batch instead, do i just use 5x the ingredients (especially cloves and yeast). Oh and also do i just put the oranges with the peel and all?

My personal taste:

Clove: Don't increase the clove amount. 1/5th of the amount in the recipe is probably just about right. In reading, it seems clove isn't something that will age down any time quickly, and it's very strong. If I remade Joe's, I don't know if I would add any at all, maybe 1/2 of one single clove.

Orange: Oranges are different. Cut the orange in half. Look at the peel. How thick is the white part? If it's very thick, just cut the oranges into halves. If the white part is relatively thin, go with quarters. Joe calls for 1/8ths, but my taste is that it exposes too much bitter white rind when it's in 1/8's, but my oranges had alot of pith (white rind). If I remade Joe's, I would use either halves or quarters depending on the thickness of the pith of the particular oranges. Short answer: Yes, peel and all.

Yeast: Why not? Seems like it would just work quicker, the yeast itself reproduces in the must to it's own tolerance for the environment, so I don't think you'd screw anything up either way.

aclimbatize
04-25-2010, 06:28 PM
Just a quick aside, you probably won't know what I'm talking about, but is the whole Jauques-Bob thing a reference to Twin Peaks??

JacquesDeschamps
04-25-2010, 08:11 PM
Just a quick aside, you probably won't know what I'm talking about, but is the whole Jauques-Bob thing a reference to Twin Peaks??

I checked wikipedia and found out that's some kind of television show, so no I wasn't aware of this show's existence.

dr9
04-25-2010, 08:25 PM
Neither was Laura Palmer aware of it's existence. But she is still dead.

Earthson
04-26-2010, 06:48 PM
Just did a quick search on Kijiji. There is an ad for Raw Honey in your area. No prices though. I pay anywhere from $2.60 - $3.00 per pound here in Alberta. Hopefully he is fair. http://tinyurl.com/2fbbwfa

AToE
04-26-2010, 07:13 PM
Just did a quick search on Kijiji. There is an ad for Raw Honey in your area. No prices though. I pay anywhere from $2.60 - $3.00 per pound here in Alberta. Hopefully he is fair. http://tinyurl.com/2fbbwfa

Where are you getting that honey? Mine's more like 3-4 bucks a lb from farmers markets and such.

Earthson
04-26-2010, 07:17 PM
Local dude in my neighbourhood has a couple hives. He sells at $3.00/Lb.

I get the better deal at the farmers market. When I buy 7KG, it is $2.60...maybe $2.65/Lb.

AToE
04-26-2010, 07:23 PM
Maybe I'm just not buying enough at once, I generally just get 3-4kg at a time, because that's usually their largest package.

Nysrock
05-01-2010, 09:45 PM
Living in Michigan I have visited Canada on occasion but am not at all familiar with the geography of the place. That being said, the last time I was there we stayed in a place up in Quebec. We went out on a drive one day to check out some local areas and found Intermiel. http://intermiel.com/index_an.shtml

Actually it was here that I was first introduced to mead as they had a sampling after a tour of their farm. I am not sure how much they sell honey for or how close to you it is but it was a very nice place and sold every aspect of honey/bee production that you could imagine. (and a few I couldn't:rolleyes:)

I hope this helps you some.

JacquesDeschamps
05-01-2010, 11:07 PM
Yes thank you very much Nysrock, I'm definitely going to check this out. On their website it says they have a store open in Montreal between July 1st and November 1st, I'm just wondering if they'll sell their honey in big packages, cause i don't wanna buy like 30 jars of 300grams of honey for 6$ each lol.

Chevette Girl
05-02-2010, 02:46 AM
If you ever find yourself in Ottawa with some clean empty jars or buckets, 1/2 hour south on Bank Street is where I get most of my honey, at Crerar's in Vernon. I think I pay about $6-7/kg when I make a big run (10 kg), the more you buy the cheaper it gets, I've found their bulk vat to be pretty consistent good general-purpose pasteurized honey. There's another apiary closer to the Que/Ont border, Bee Sweet or Api-Sante in Moose Creek that has more specialized honeys, I got their fall blend of goldenrod and aster and it tastes like the flowers smell, if you're in the area and looking for specialty tastes check them out www.beesweetontario.com.

Farmer's markets - definitely a great idea, I should look into that myself!

And for Joe's Ancient Orange, I like to take a zester to the peel, then I either peel it and squash the fruit or just juice it, I find the mead tastes kind of flat if there's no zest but including pith gives me heartburn and having done it many different ways, for me the zest with juice clears fastest and is easier to rack later. Although I may try cutting the orange in half to minimize pith exposure since I've now switched to using large-mouth glass jars for JAO, sounds like a handy trick, dr9!

I suppose the Jacques-Bob thing is one of those "everyone's named Jacques" Quebecker things? :) (I worked in construction, I think at least half the francophones there had the first name "Jean-" and they all went by their second name to avoid confusion ... ;)

fatbloke
05-02-2010, 05:27 AM
If you read around about JAO, you'll notice that the only reason Joe appears to say about cutting the orange into 1/8ths is because that's the size of the slices that fit down the neck of a 1 gallon jar/jug.

The bread yeast is so that it ferments well but doesn't ferment dry. If you tried a small batch with wine yeast you'll find that it's not very nice when dry (IMO that is).

I suspect that the use of whole orange is to have a sort of "marmalade" sort of taste, though if you "zested" the orange you can then peel off the pith and just use the zest and flesh.

Cloves are surprisingly powerful - the recipe say 1 or 2 per gallon, so X 5 would be 5 to 10 - I certainly wouldn't suggest that you use that many. A 5 gallon batch, well 2 to 3 is probably the most I'd consider.

Good luck in locating a reasonably prices honey source - some places can be a PITA to get bulk quantities reliably.

regards

fatbloke.....

sattlerjm
05-08-2010, 11:59 PM
I too wish it was easier to find local keepers that don't want 7$ for a 1lb bottle.

As far as oranges and especially pith go, one word Clementines!