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hiram_abiff
04-04-2011, 08:54 PM
Hello, I have a quick question about honey. I have three local honeys to choose from, wildflower, buckwheat, and clover. Which one would do you suppose would make a better sack mead? No added ingredients, just honey, water, and yeast (and whatever it takes to keep ferment healthy). thnx!

AToE
04-04-2011, 08:57 PM
What's the wildflower like? It's impossible to really give any advice on that one, because it varies so much from place to place and time of year to time of year.

If that one doesn't blow you away then I would use a blend of buckwheat and clover personally, with perhaps 1/3 buckwheat.

hiram_abiff
04-04-2011, 09:23 PM
I have to special order the wildflower and the buckwheat, they have the clover on hand. haven't tried them yet. just asked the health food store what they can get, and that is the list they gave me. the bees are about 15 miles from me. probably sleeping still.

AToE
04-04-2011, 09:31 PM
The wildflowers a wild card then, could literally taste like anything at all.

hiram_abiff
04-04-2011, 09:37 PM
i heard that buckwheat makes a bad mead... is that why you suggested 1/3?

AToE
04-04-2011, 09:45 PM
Don't listen to crazy things you hear from anywhere other than this website (but our crazy statements are always right ;)). Buckwheat makes excellent mead in many cases.

It's particularily useful in blending though - think about any ingredient, sometimes too much is too much, but none isn't enough. Often critical elements of food taste horrible on their own (salt for example). Luckily, buckwheat honey is not horrible!

But, it is a strong taste and a strong aroma, not something everyone likes. But I think blended with clover honey (in any amount, but for the uninitiated let's say 1/3 or less) or other honeys it can do wonderful work that anyone should enjoy.

Especially in a very sweet mead buckwheat honey can play an important role by helping add some much needed bitterness and complexity.

hiram_abiff
04-04-2011, 09:54 PM
i think i will try a clover and buckwheat mix. i might go 3/4 clover 1/4 buckwheat just to make things easy. a sack takes about 4 pounds, right?

K5MOW
04-05-2011, 07:24 AM
i think i will try a clover and buckwheat mix. i might go 3/4 clover 1/4 buckwheat just to make things easy. a sack takes about 4 pounds, right?

Ok new be here. What is sack and do you mean 4 pounds for one gallon?


Roger

Golddiggie
04-05-2011, 10:58 AM
The honey to mead ratio does depend on the honey, but you usually use 3-4# per gallon of must to get the high ABV batches. I would suggest going a little under your goal, keeping honey on hand for use towards/at the end. It's far easier to add more honey at the end to get your goal than try to plan for the batch to finish at a specific FG (such as to go to medium dryness).

Personally, I like wildflower honey the most, and have used it for the honey in all my mead so far. A lot of people use clover, or orange blossom honey too, with solid results. It really depends on what you like in the honey.

I would suggest using the mead calculator from the menu bar to the left to figure out how much honey to use for your target volume. Add the honey to the container, then top off with water. Get it to mix fully before going on to adding nutrients and the yeast. Then just follow normal practices to get it to ferment fully.

Gespacho
04-05-2011, 04:03 PM
I have a question that fits with this thread. There's an apiary just south of my town that has alfalfa honey. Does anyone know how well that works out for a sack? Should I blend a little clover/buckwheat/dandelion with it?

wayneb
04-05-2011, 04:37 PM
Alfalfa has a characteristic grassy quality (that I like to think of as "green"). I'm not particularly fond of it in high concentrations, but other folks seem to like it. That said, if I were doing a traditional sack, I'd not do it from 100% alfalfa.

Gespacho
04-05-2011, 04:46 PM
Well, that's something to think about. So a mix of alfalfa with a more full bodied honey might be a good idea. My supplier down at the farmer's market does have a fair bit of honey. Maybe a 70-30 alfalfa-orange?

wayneb
04-05-2011, 05:13 PM
I'm not sure about Orange Blossom with Alfalfa, either. The aromas might clash rather than complement. Something like dandelion might be better. It would cut the green-ness, and not add some other heavy perfume-like floral character.

Gespacho
04-05-2011, 05:17 PM
Sounds like the beginnings of a plan. There's plenty of each available just south of the city. :) Thanks again Wayne.

K5MOW
04-05-2011, 06:29 PM
Hello, I have a quick question about honey. I have three local honeys to choose from, wildflower, buckwheat, and clover. Which one would do you suppose would make a better sack mead? No added ingredients, just honey, water, and yeast (and whatever it takes to keep ferment healthy). thnx!

Can some one tell me what the term (SACK) meens?

Thanks

Roger

AToE
04-05-2011, 06:39 PM
There are definitions of mead types on page 1 of the newbee guide - sack refers to meads with higher than normal amount of honey, and the more technical definition nowadays denotes meads with higher than say 15% alcohol.

Medsen Fey
04-05-2011, 07:03 PM
BJCP style guidelines (http://www.mazercup.com/bjcp_characteristics.htm) say Sack strength is 14-18% (or higher presumably)

K5MOW
04-05-2011, 08:43 PM
Ok thanks so much. I thout that is what it met but was not shure.
Thanks so much. I will read the newbe page and try to learn the terms.


Roger

jkane
04-06-2011, 01:38 PM
Clover can be pretty plain. In a sack, that can lead to jet fuel! It could end up a bit boring and alchohlic tasting.

Wild flower, as already said, is just that, wild. It can be almost anything. I'd go with it if for no other reason than it is fun to experiment.

Buckwheat is one of those honeys that some people love and others hate. If you like molasses and dark brown sugar, then you might like it. If not, keep the percentages lower.

hiram_abiff
04-06-2011, 08:28 PM
Apparently I was a little mixed up with my terms as well, and i am learning alot from everyones posts. i was under the impression that a sack mead was one that you could pretty much chew on. i was thinking that the levels were dry, medium, sweet, and sack. didn't realize that it was alcohol related. guess i wasn't going for a sack, since i was planning on trying the cote des blanc yeast strain this time. thanks for enlightening me!:icon_thumleft:
i went in to order a pound of buckwheat to add to about 2 or so pounds of clover, and they told me that they wouldn't order it for another 5 or 6 weeks:violent4: they told me 1 week two days ago. sooo... i'm changing directions now:cool: guess i'm gonna go with a straight clover "sweet" mead. but thank you all for sharing your meady wisdom:cheers:
Oh yeah...... I LOVE these smilies!