View Full Version : When do I add my Raw Honey to water if I'm not pasteurizing?

04-14-2012, 07:44 PM
Hi, Newbie Mead-maker here! Greetings! This is my first post and my first time making mead. I would like to do this without boiling the nutrients out of my honey....so I will boil my spring water and let it cool. When is the best time/temp to add my honey? I plan to get my D47yeast started and sit for 15 mins before I pitch it. I will also be adding nutrient. When is the best time to add that? I appreciate some advice on what's the best way to do it this way. I realize that it is often recommended to boil the honey, but I am just not interested in doing it that way. Cheers!??? Oh, BTW...the honey is raw.

04-14-2012, 08:35 PM
I don't know a whole lot, but as many people will tell you not to boil your honey as will tell you to do so... it seems to be more of a preference thing.

I'm not entirely sure about the nutrient thing, as I'm just screwing around with various JAO-style meads (a very easy, throw-it-in-a-jug-and-forget it for two months recipe), so I haven't learned most of the finer points yet, especially about nutrients.

If you're worried about infection/contamination, honey itself is pretty antibacterial, and the alcohol and honey should kill off most nasties during the fermentation process, so raw honey should be perfectly fine without boiling.

Welcome to the addiction, btw;D

04-14-2012, 08:54 PM
Thanks, Sprigg! I'm gonna go with my instincts, as I do when I'm cooking , baking sourdough, growing veggies, or painting. I boiled the water, letting it cool, and will add the raw honey as soon as the water is at room temp. I trust honey and believe it has the power to fight off any offenders! ;D

04-14-2012, 10:08 PM
Hi! Welcome to "Gotmead!"

Your instincts are good in this case - honey does not need to be boiled, neither to pasteurize before fermentation, nor to remove various proteins that come to the surface when honey and water are boiled together - although many old recipes do require boiling. We've found that not boiling your honey will preserve more delicate aromatics, and will produce a more satisfying mead in most cases.

04-15-2012, 03:53 AM
Further to Waynes post, here is your best guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) when starting out. Yes it does take a bit of reading, but it's full of brilliant guidance and probably answers a lot of the initial Q's you may have.

I notice you say about using D47 yeast. It is a good yeast, but has a very narrow temperature range. Others hereabouts have found that you need to keep the ferment below 70F/21C with it, as it can produce fusels if fermented warmer - so I'd say it's worth keeping that in mind.

Raw honey is fine, if it does have any bits of debris in it, they'll come out during the racking process later on.

As to when to add the nutrient, I'd suggest it depends on what kind of nutrient/energiser/combination nutrient you have. The NewBee guide explains a lot, including staggered additions. I'm thinking that if you have something like Fermax or similar, then perhaps just a tiny bit into the must before you pitch the yeast (peoples experiments, plus some research sources have shown that the usual nitrogen source, di-ammonium phosphate, can sometimes be detrimental to yeast - which is why it's suggested to use GoFerm to rehydrate the yeast, then pitch the yeast/GoFerm/water into a new batch, and not add any nitrogen containing nutrient or energiser until you see some visible signs of ferment).

It's worth paying plenty of attention to the aeration process (a hydrometer is your friend when working out where you are in the fermentation), as it's routinely suggested to aerate the batch down to about the 1/3rd sugar break, and the only way you're gonna know where that is, is with hydrometer readings.

Split/staggered nutrient additions are also worth knowing about i.e. knowing how much nutrient/energiser you'll be using total, then splitting it up, into at least 2 doses (if you want to break it down more, then that's fine - you just have to work out how many doses and when you'll thinking of adding it). The first is normally added when there's visible signs of fermentation starting (after the "lag phase"), then the second dose after you've achieve the 1/3rd sugar break (and after the batch has been aerated a final time - as that helps prevent mead/gas eruptions from escaping CO2).

Dunno if any of that lot will help.... but good luck with your batch.

04-15-2012, 10:22 AM
Welcome suzycreamcheese.
I too use store bought Spring water and don't boil it.
And I'm a fan of not heating the honey at all either.
I will warm the jar up a little in a hot water bath a few minutes before I add it to the must water so it flows faster.
Best of luck with your batch.

04-15-2012, 02:08 PM
Thank you all for your advise and welcoming words! Cheers, Suzy

Chevette Girl
04-17-2012, 01:40 PM
I don't boil my water or heat my honey. My water comes straight out of the tap (municipal, filtered and treated with chloramine), although sometimes I'll use hot tapwater to rinse out the honey jars, it's much faster than waiting for it to dissolve in cold water.

The thing with boiling your water is it will dislodge any dissolved oxygen in it so you'll have more work aerating to put it back into the water.

The only time I ever bother boiling the water these days is when I'm making a wine with sugar, it's just the best way to get granulated sugar to dissolve, and I don't generally boil all the water either, just enough to dissolve the sugar.