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frigid
12-01-2010, 09:35 PM
Hello!

New guy here & the above title says it all...kinda.

My father in law saw that I had a carboy of mead going (well he had to ask what it was) & was amazed. He then proceeded to tell me he had quite a bit of honey back at the farm & wanted to know if I wanted some. I of course said sure but then forgot about it.

Well he shows up with this 5 gal bucket half full. However...

It's 10 years old & unprocessed. very dark & bits & pieces all through it. Smells & tastes good however.

Any Idea how to proceed?

I was thinking of fermenting as is with a high abv tolerant yeast & racking often.


Thanks for the help!

chiguire
12-01-2010, 09:47 PM
Hello!

New guy here & the above title says it all...kinda.

My father in law saw that I had a carboy of mead going (well he had to ask what it was) & was amazed. He then proceeded to tell me he had quite a bit of honey back at the farm & wanted to know if I wanted some. I of course said sure but then forgot about it.

Well he shows up with this 5 gal bucket half full. However...

It's 10 years old & unprocessed. very dark & bits & pieces all through it. Smells & tastes good however.

Any Idea how to proceed?

I was thinking of fermenting as is with a high abv tolerant yeast & racking often.


Thanks for the help!

Welcome, Frigid.

I have made mead with 30+ year old honey, one batch of JAO mead that turned out well, and one 5 gallon batch that is sitting in a secondary and will be aging for quite some time... We'll see how that one turns out.

I suggest you read the NewBee Guide, it is very useful and may give you some ideas on how you might want to use it.

What do you mean by "as is"? That part confused me a bit.

AToE
12-01-2010, 10:09 PM
Just ferment as normal. If it hasn't already spoiled it's fine, honey can last centuries (more even).

Don't need to boil or pastuerize your must, just mix her up with cold/warm water and make something great!

I wouldn't worry too much about a high ABV yeast, but if you want you should do some research into the "k factor" yeasts (think "k" for "killer").

Welcome to the site by the way.

frigid
12-01-2010, 10:51 PM
By as is I mean leaving all the bits & pieces in there.

Just heated & tasted some more, thinking clover..

phreebyrd
12-01-2010, 11:00 PM
roll the dice and see what happens with some one gallon batches

darthbooger
12-02-2010, 09:59 AM
You can make like a million batches with 2 and a half gallons! Well I personally like 3 gallon batches myself, it makes almost a perfect 12 - 750ml bottles worth of mead, enough to be satisifed with what you made and stll some left over bottles to give away and show off, I almost dont like one gallon batches because I havent made a bad batch yet and I find myself really upset I only made a gallon when its really good, but hey ya gotta start somewhere, if your just completely at a loss you can send me some honey =]

PitBull
12-02-2010, 11:23 AM
By as is I mean leaving all the bits & pieces in there.

Just heated & tasted some more, thinking clover..
All the miscellaneous tiny balls of wax and unidentified bee parts will end up in the lees at the bottom of the carboy. I just finished a traditional mead made with crystallized (warmed to un-uncrystallize it), raw desert wildflower honey and it turned out great. All or almost all of the undesirable stuff will be gone with the first racking.

Golddiggie
12-02-2010, 12:42 PM
I think that there are many people here that would LOVE to have you're "problem" of having 2-1/2 gallongs (about 30 pounds) of FREE honey to work with... I would love to have that 'issue' right now too... ;D Although that would mean getting either more carboys, or buckets, to make batches in...

I'm also starting to like 3 gallon batches better than 5 gallon batches. Just easier to manage, and weigh enough less to make things easier to move around (when needed)... I have one 1 gallon batch going right now that's more of a 'concept' mead... If it works out well, I'll have my brewlog notes to refer back to in order to make a larger batch. This is my 'Mocha Madness' batch... In honor/memory of my father who's favorite ice cream was mocha chunk/chip (mocha ice cream with chocolate chunks or chips in it)... If I can get it right, I plan to make a larger batch pretty quickly after this one is dialed-in... Especially since it's probably going to age for a rather long time... :eek:

frigid
12-02-2010, 07:00 PM
HAHAHAHA,

I'm starting to feel better about the project. I figure about 30 lbs in the bucket so two 5 gal batches.

He has at least 10 more 5 gal buckets...some half full, some full.

Appreciate the help, thats kinda what i figured on the bits & pieces but it's nice for some reassurance from someone w/ more experience.

Now I gotta decide exactly what to make.

Golddiggie
12-02-2010, 07:34 PM
frigid
You could go for 3 gallon batches, get at least two fairly standard mead's and a melomel out of the 30 pounds... Or a couple of 3 gallon and a few more 1 gallon batches... The combination possibilities are up there...

If he's looking to just 'unload' 5 gallon buckets of honey, I'll gladly take one... Don't really care what kind it is, as long as it's still viable (which it should be) I'll take it... Send it via ground, or even freight, and let me know the shipping cost and I'll send that to him/you... Seriously... I could even send some extra for him being so kind (out of work, so money is a bit tight right now)...

fatbloke
12-03-2010, 12:48 AM
All the time your F-I-L has free honey for you to use, then just get brewing away (hell if he brings some over then just get some on the go - if he offers you more then even better, it'll store/wait just as well at your place as it will at his......)

Any debris left in the honey will, as someone else has pointed out, end up in the lees/sediment. If the honey is crystalised then only use water warm enough to dissolve it, resist heating it if you can.

Above all, just go for it. I wish I had relatives with gifts/goodies like that......

regards

fatbloke

frigid
01-02-2011, 10:04 AM
Back again after initial fermentaition.:) This stuff had a VERY active fermentation & ate about 17 lbs of honey in 4 days. Finished very dark, same as the honey & I got a ton of particlate matter out when I racked. bugs, wax, sticks, dirt etc.

Used champagne yeast & need to take a grav reading but it definately has an alcohol zing to it now. Guessing it is around the yeasts tolerance, supposedly 17% or so...this ones going to have to sit.

Now I gotta go buy more carboys, I used the rest in 1 gal, half gallon growellers & a 3 gal batch of cranberry.

stuff is bubbling all over the place;D

fatbloke
01-02-2011, 10:14 AM
Back again after initial fermentaition.:) This stuff had a VERY active fermentation & ate about 17 lbs of honey in 4 days. Finished very dark, same as the honey & I got a ton of particlate matter out when I racked. bugs, wax, sticks, dirt etc.

Used champagne yeast & need to take a grav reading but it definately has an alcohol zing to it now. Guessing it is around the yeasts tolerance, supposedly 17% or so...this ones going to have to sit.

Now I gotta go buy more carboys, I used the rest in 1 gal, half gallon growellers & a 3 gal batch of cranberry.

stuff is bubbling all over the place;D
Excellent, that's brilliant.

I'd actually suggest not fermenting anything in the 1/2 gallon jars, only because the setup to do something, followed by loses, racking etc might mean that you find it's a lot of hassle for such a small amount.

Don't chuck them out though. It's fair enough to have normal 750ml bottles but if you want a bit more, then the half gallon jars are brilliant.

Or of course, when you've finished doing all the main stuff with the mead and you've got it clear etc, so it's ready to bottle/age, then the 1/2 gallon jars come into their own. As they're idea for ageing and also give you more than just a bottle to test/taste.....

That's what I do anyway.......

Well done with your efforts, good luck with it...

regards

fatbloke