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hepcat
04-01-2012, 06:02 AM
Having so much fun bottling my first batches of mead. Really looks good in the bottles, hope it tastes as nice as it looks some day!

And, OMG, I'd never bought vanilla beans before so didn't know how expensive they are!! $10US for two beans at my local grocer. The reason I bought them is that I made a trip to a Whole Foods market a few days ago which is a bout 35 miles away from me to get clover and buckwheat honey, of which they had neither. But while there, I found some commercial sweet mead made In CO so bought some to give it a try and although tooo sweet for my taste I reallly liked the flavor, it was a metheglin with honey, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean in it so def want to make some, just not so sweet.

I'm not having any luck finding clover or buckwheat honey here in Central Florida, plenty of good orange blossom honey to be had though. But there are quite a few good farmer's markets around the area so I'll have to keep looking. Haven't checked health food stores yet either. I want to make that Welch's grape juice pyment with it when I find it. Whole Foods did have some good wild flower honey so may go with that in place of the clover.

Honey
04-01-2012, 08:33 AM
I'm not having any luck finding clover or buckwheat honey here in Central Florida, plenty of good orange blossom honey to be had though. But there are quite a few good farmer's markets around the area so I'll have to keep looking. Haven't checked health food stores yet either. I want to make that Welch's grape juice pyment with it when I find it. Whole Foods did have some good wild flower honey so may go with that in place of the clover.

I'm in Broward County and my local Publix carries clover honey from Sue Bee at a decent price ($5.00 for a pound). It is whipped and I what I used in my "Joe's" batch. If you have a Publix up there try calling them and asking for a manager, they will often order something the chain carries but they don't happen to have in their specific store and it will save you the shipping cost. Congrats on your first bottling!!

Honey

mmclean
04-01-2012, 08:37 AM
I ordered my beans from Beanilla (http://www.beanilla.com/vanilla-beans-c-1.html?gclid=CIifoKbUk68CFQS0nQodtgHALw). They have some good deals.

I get my clover honey from Wal Mart. I know, but at $0.18 oz. it works for me. :rolleyes:

TheAlchemist
04-01-2012, 09:28 AM
Hepcat, you'll find vanilla beans cheaper at your LHBS, or try Penzey's on line. Honey, if you think $5/lb is a good price for honey, it's time you met your local beekeeper. I'm pretty sure flying bee ranch has buckwheat honey...

TAKeyser
04-01-2012, 11:41 AM
I'll trade you 3 lbs of Michigan Clover Honey for 3 lbs of Florida Orange Blossom :)

Honey
04-01-2012, 01:00 PM
Hepcat, you'll find vanilla beans cheaper at your LHBS, or try Penzey's on line. Honey, if you think $5/lb is a good price for honey, it's time you met your local beekeeper. I'm pretty sure flying bee ranch has buckwheat honey...

I have found a beekeeper on the 'net who is within my city limits. It seems a rather "home operation" as they do not list any prices and don't always have the honey (if I read it correctly) but I am thinking of ringing them up and seeing what they do have and what the cost (I'd also love it if they'd sell me some pure bee's wax).

Honey

Honey
04-01-2012, 01:02 PM
I'll trade you 3 lbs of Michigan Clover Honey for 3 lbs of Florida Orange Blossom :)

Orange Blossom is all over here... when I contact the bee keeper I will ask what type and also see if others in my area have it (besides just the grocery stores).

Honey

BrewinNColorado
04-01-2012, 04:48 PM
A good idea is to first see if there are others that are wanting the same varietal honey as yourself, and then to start looking around. When you call places, let them know that you have x number of people wanting x number of gallons, let them know what it is used for and see if they are willing to cut a little deal since you would be buying in bulk. They might not, but if you find one that does, make sure to thank him by bringing him a bottle or more.

skunkboy
04-01-2012, 08:22 PM
Having so much fun bottling my first batches of mead. Really looks good in the bottles, hope it tastes as nice as it looks some day!

And, OMG, I'd never bought vanilla beans before so didn't know how expensive they are!! $10US for two beans at my local grocer. The reason I bought them is that I made a trip to a Whole Foods market a few days ago which is a bout 35 miles away from me to get clover and buckwheat honey, of which they had neither.

You should check out :

http://www.amadeusvanillabeans.com/
http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com/servlet/StoreFront

Much cheaper than any grocery store, especially if you know people you can split up some beans with. 1/2 lb usually lasts me a year, unless I'm doing huge vanilla mead...

HunnyBunz
04-01-2012, 10:16 PM
Hepcat -

You might check for a good health food store that has spices in bulk. You can get whole or ground spices, usually for a lot cheaper than in grocery stores. And if they move through their products fairly quickly they'll be fresher than grocery store spices.

hepcat
04-02-2012, 06:52 AM
Yes Honey I can get the SueBee Clover honey in my Publix, it's just that for all future batches I make I wanted to avoid commercially processed honey. But I may end up using that for the grape pyment I want to make.

And I've used the Walmart brand clover honey too mmclean, lol.

And Takeyser, I might take you up on that!

And thanks for the tips on better deals for vanilla beans and other spices. Will def check that out for future purchases.

Soyala_Amaya
04-02-2012, 08:44 AM
Actually, I would highly advise AGAINST using Sue Bee and Wal-mart brand honey. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/

Good honey makes good mead, the money is worth it. If nothing else, find a reputable honey source that ships, like the Bee Folk you can find through this site, or use this http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_sobi&catid=97&Itemid=34. I serve my mead to my friends and family, and yeah, I may put 150-200 into a 5 gallon batch, but in the end, that's still $9 a wine bottle with cork and everything. Anything I can buy in that range at the liquor store wouldn't be near as enjoyable as my own mead, and my supplies for a 5 gall batch are usually much less than that. I only get to that high end range if I'm using exotic fruit and a lot of it, my batches usually have less than a $100 in them.

Don't use bad honey, please, it's just not worth the money you 'save'.

Dan McFeeley
04-02-2012, 09:36 AM
Another problem with mass produced honey, even if it's legit, is in the processing and packaging. Honey is thick and viscous, and often it is heated so that it flows easily and can be packaged/bottled without too much difficulty.

That's fine for honey meant for the table, but not for the meadmaker. Heating the honey for the length of time needed to process and package it can have an effect on the fine flavor/aroma nuances of the honey. Also, if the honey is kept in large storage tanks, the heat will be retained for longer periods of time.

--

hepcat
04-02-2012, 06:00 PM
I completely agree Ms Amaya and Mr Mcfeeley, I will probably go with a good unprocessed wildflower honey I can get if I can't find a good clover any where for that grape pyment I want to make.

Beavis
04-03-2012, 12:17 PM
tupelo season is starting the end of the month, for those of us in florida, that is supposedly great honey

and Hi i'm new and an addict

wayneb
04-03-2012, 05:02 PM
Welcome to "Gotmead," Beavis! And yes, Tupelo is incredible honey for meadmaking. If you can get your hands on some, by all means make a traditional mead out of some.

Medsen Fey
04-03-2012, 07:28 PM
Yes, Tupelo is less "perfumey" than OB and will make both great traditionals and melomels. Palmetto honey is also a great alternative to clover in Florida. If you want alternatives to buckwheat, in Florida you can get Avocado, Brazilian Pepper Bush and Mangrove honey all of which tend to be darker (avocado is really dark) and complex in flavor.

You can order Buckwheat and Clover from various sources, but one great option is Beefolks (http://www.beefolks.com/). They aren't cheap, but the quality is outstanding.

Good meading!
Medsen

hepcat
04-04-2012, 06:57 AM
Thanks Medsen! Those all sound like great alternatives.




Yes, Tupelo is less "perfumey" than OB and will make both great traditionals and melomels. Palmetto honey is also a great alternative to clover in Florida. If you want alternatives to buckwheat, in Florida you can get Avocado, Brazilian Pepper Bush and Mangrove honey all of which tend to be darker (avocado is really dark) and complex in flavor.

You can order Buckwheat and Clover from various sources, but one great option is Beefolks (http://www.beefolks.com/). They aren't cheap, but the quality is outstanding.

Good meading!
Medsen