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longshot38
03-02-2013, 11:06 AM
has anyone used honey from walmart or the local grocery chain? or do you "need" to use special organic honey direct from an aviary? i was looking at some honey at WM yesterday, GV Brand, but was thinking do i need the "good stuff"?

thanks
dean

WVMJack
03-02-2013, 11:43 AM
It really depends on what you think is quality. Local raw honey sales support your local bee keepers, if you are a mead maker that should be one of your goals, if you are just making hooch probably wont matter where it comes from to you.

I personally think my honey tastes better than any ultrafiltered heated "honey" from WM, I might be biased. I KNOW mine doesnt have any strange antibiotics, lead from soldering, diluted with HFCS or mixed with honey from banned countries that seem to have problems putting melamine in baby food!

WVMJ

longshot38
03-02-2013, 12:05 PM
It really depends on what you think is quality. Local raw honey sales support your local bee keepers, if you are a mead maker that should be one of your goals, if you are just making hooch probably wont matter where it comes from to you.

I personally think my honey tastes better than any ultrafiltered heated "honey" from WM, I might be biased. I KNOW mine doesnt have any strange antibiotics, lead from soldering, diluted with HFCS or mixed with honey from banned countries that seem to have problems putting melamine in baby food!

WVMJ

i hear you jack, i really do, my problem is that there are no local aviary s in my area so i have to order in and the supermarket WM is my most accessiable source, i was wondering if i would be wasting my time.

thanks for the feedback
dean

WVMJack
03-02-2013, 12:16 PM
i dont know if you are wasting your time, some newbies start out with cheap honey and make something good to drink, not sure its really mead and then move on to real real honey. I see people post there are no local suppliers but have you looked for a beekeepers group near you? Where are you at, they even have groups in Alaska and Canada so there may be some near you but you just didnt look in the right place. I think a lot of beekeepers might be shy:) WVMJ

Medsen Fey
03-02-2013, 01:51 PM
If you do use great honey, you get better mead, but you can make a decent mead even with processed chain-store honey. If you use yeast that are big ester producers like 71B or côte des blancs it can help. Also, if you make fruit-dominant melomels, it can work fine.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

akueck
03-02-2013, 04:13 PM
I'd almost recommend using cheaper honey the first time. You're bound to "screw up" one way or another, and probably for the first several batches. Why not get the kinks out of the system using some less expensive ingredients? It can be stressful to put $50 or $100 (or more!) into a single batch and not feel that you know what you're doing.

Marshmallow Blue
03-02-2013, 07:24 PM
It's should be okay but an honey from an apiary will make a much better mead. Just look for grade A in grocery stores. If its not grade A, turn away. Also don't but honey flavored syrup. That's a tricky one since they package it in bears.

akueck
03-02-2013, 07:38 PM
Grade A honey is just a certain clarity (and I think maybe also color?). The grades are not based on "quality" in terms of "how good does this taste", but rather on the uniformity of the appearance. Maple syrup is graded the same, and I usually prefer Grade B because it is less filtered.

Marshmallow Blue
03-02-2013, 07:46 PM
I thought honey grades also deterred the percentage of water remaining in the honey, and maybe something else I'm not remembering. Or I'm just nuts.

Anyways, I've had a friend use grocery store honeyand that turned out okay. Trader joes sells 3 lb tubes of honey which has actually made me a couple good meads.

Cal
03-02-2013, 09:05 PM
My meads have been made with clover honey from Walmart and food depot. I would prefer to have honey from a bee keeper but I don't know any local.

akueck
03-02-2013, 09:56 PM
Yes, Grade A does have the strictest water content standard, but all of grades A-C have no more than 20% water. Also A has the lowest limit on "off flavors" like smoke, etc. Not sure how or who judges that that though.

longshot38
03-03-2013, 03:09 PM
well im in Newfoundland so not many bee keepers, if any that are local. in fact honey was one of the things the well to do imported while the "common folk" tended to use molasses as a sweetener.

thanks for the imput, its gonna be a couple of weeks till im able to start anything so i may, will, have more questions.

thanks
dean

Cal
03-03-2013, 05:15 PM
I saw this in Publix. Normally I would have never paid attention to it, but this thread made me stop and take a look.

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/5425/019cvn.jpg
http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/5892/021su.jpg

According to the label its a mix of honeys. This makes me curious of weather it would make a good mead or not. Thoughts?

Vance G
03-03-2013, 05:46 PM
All those are good honeys. The taste is averaged usually when blending to appeal to a wide audience. It will make good mead. Some more segregated varietals, not so rigorously filtered as store honey will probably make better. I use my own beautiful unfiltered clover/alfalfa/dandelion/fruit bloom because it is what I have available; at a most unreasonable price according to my wife! You can make more mead with cheap honey. If you learn to make it well, think how good you can do later with premium honeys.

Chevette Girl
03-03-2013, 11:19 PM
Or I'm just nuts.


Always a possibility...;D


well im in Newfoundland so not many bee keepers, if any that are local. in fact honey was one of the things the well to do imported while the "common folk" tended to use molasses as a sweetener.

Newfieland? Cool! You should put your location on your profile! (under User CP).

My brother in-law's in Nova Scotia and has ended up getting his mead honey at Bulk Barn, because all the apiaries he can find sell only small jars at obscene prices and won't do bulk sales. It's Burke's honey, not bad as far as I can tell. Costco honey is also reportedly quite decent as far as quality goes, that's all some of the folks around here have ready access to.

There's nothing wrong with starting with cheap(er) honey, it lets you get a feel for how it all works without fretting about lost investment, as Akueck said, and you'll still turn out something decent. If the honey tastes good before you ferment it, it should taste good after you ferment it. If it just tastes sweet, then your mead won't have a lot of honey character.

One of these days I'm going to be trying Giant Tiger's brand of honey for a JAO, we'll see how that works out.

Marshmallow Blue
03-03-2013, 11:32 PM
Boston honey co is the same way. Good luck paying under 15 bucks a pound.

psychopomp23
03-04-2013, 09:09 AM
well im in Newfoundland so not many bee keepers, if any that are local. in fact honey was one of the things the well to do imported while the "common folk" tended to use molasses as a sweetener.


Hey Dean! Another canadian here! whoooo! We're pretty lucky here in the gatineau/ottawa region we do have a lot of places that makes/sell honey. We can get 1kg of honey for about 8$ here (at least the last few ones i've bought) But if you're going to buy from a grocery store maybe try to find one that isn't pasturized or filtered for the purest honey taste possible. Like the picture below it doesn't even say if it is or not so personally i probably wouldn't buy that one

clone63
03-04-2013, 11:27 PM
...they even have groups in Alaska and Canada...
Another canuck here.

Yeah... Who would have thought us outlandish, deprived, forest squatters have apiaries.. SHEESH ;D

Seriously, if you CAN find an apiary, a big bulk purchase can be worth it. Our closest only operates 8 months of the year but a 30lb tub is $89. 30lbs?? Something like that, its been so long since I bought it haha. And that's unpasteurized 'raw' as well.!

xopher425
03-04-2013, 11:37 PM
I got a few pounds of honey at Whole Foods, used them for my melomel and my cyser. It was the 365 Everyday Value store brand, grade A, 3 pounds for $10. I have yet to see how the meads come out. Like others have said, I figured that these were my first batches, so if I really goofed then I wouldn't have lost too much. And to my uneducated palate, it'd be difficult to make something undrinkable (although I've occasionally wondered how I would get rid of 3 gallons of strawberry vinegar if something goes wrong . . . )

I'm sad because they seem to no longer be selling it; all three stores I've gone to the last few weeks have re-merchanised their shelves without it. Not sure if it's permanent or seasonal, and the staff doesn't seem to know either.

Looking at online merchants, price is so much higher, but I'm sure the quality is much better, plus I can start to play with the different varieties available.