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runningman683
02-12-2014, 12:22 AM
So, I found some really, really good honey at the local farmer's market. If you ever have a chance to try some coconut honey I highly recommend it. The only other honey I've found is from the supermarkets, the generic mass-produced stuff.

The problem I'm having is that the really good honey is really expensive. $25 for 3lbs. I've only been making mead for about three months, so I'm still in the experimenting and "hopefully I don't screw this up" stage. I'm doing one gallon batches, so it's a little difficult to justify $25 per each batch when there's a decent chance it won't turn out well.

My question is: if I'm making a melomel would it drastically impact the final product if I use the cheaper honey to ferment and then used the good honey for back sweetening? Or maybe a 50/50 mix between the two for fermenting?

Keep in mind that my quality is probably going to be pretty low anyway until I get some more time under my mead-making belt. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

MJ7
02-12-2014, 12:37 AM
Different honeys will produce different aromas, to the well trained palette, regardless of cost.

Cold filtered raw honey is my personal favorite, but I have a Costco Clover Honey mead fermenting right now and it tastes very nice, I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference between Costco clover honey and some other clover honey.

There are over 300 types of honey in the US alone, there can be 300 different meads just based on that fact.

fatbloke
02-12-2014, 02:54 AM
Well not knowing whether that's expensive or not, I can't say but.........

if you like it a lot, then I'd suggest you keep it and use it later when you've more of a mind as to which yeast you prefer and make it as a traditional. Just keep 4 oz to back sweeten the trad.......

After all, it doesn't matter if it crystallises etc. Thats a non-issue.......

Mels etc, it matters less as to tbe quality of the honey as its not going to be the main focus of the flavour is it.......

GntlKnigt1
02-12-2014, 04:18 AM
Well, I suspect Hawaii should have a TON of awesome honey !!!! Orchid honey maybe? I have NO idea what that would be like....

Here is a place you can look for benchmark prices in continental USA.
http://www.dutchgoldhoney.com/

Bob1016
02-12-2014, 08:04 AM
Try the honey locator on the honey boards website, it should find you some local producers. Sometimes I like to pair honeys with fruits for melomels (OB and lychee because they're both so aromatic and light), but if you are doing a fruit dominant melomel, you can let the hone slide a bit because the honey is just there for sugar and the fermented honey flavor.
As for my preference, I don't even care if it's filtered most times as I can do that, or let it clear on its own. Try looking for Christmasberry honey (Brazilian pepper), it's an amazing honey with sweet potato, pumpkin and a slight zesty flavor.

mannye
02-12-2014, 10:07 AM
The problem I'm having is that the really good honey is really expensive. $25 for 3lbs.
.


Actually not as bad as you think. Try buying some tupelo and you will see what I mean. But yes, in relative terms vs OB or some other more common varietal, 8.33 a pound is a little more than twice the cost.

Make a few batches of BOMM, which I have found is a quick way to learn at least how to complete a successful ferment since you can find out in a month if you did it right vs a year with most other traditionals. It also allows you to practice backsweetening, step feeding, oaking and all the advanced stuff again with much quicker results so you can learn from your mistakes over a year rather than over a decade.

NOTE...it will STILL take many years to become a mazer but you will "get your yellow belt" faster with BOMM. JAOM too, but that's really two or three months before you can say "bottle." :)

McJeff
02-12-2014, 10:38 AM
Well, I suspect Hawaii should have a TON of awesome honey !!!! Orchid honey maybe? I have NO idea what that would be like....

Here is a place you can look for benchmark prices in continental USA.
http://www.dutchgoldhoney.com/

I'm going to order a bucket of organic from Dutch Gold, im curious to see what it's like vs what I get locally at 100 bucks more.

GntlKnigt1
02-13-2014, 02:59 AM
Hawaiian Christmas Berry honey
http://www.nhb.org/honey-locator/varietals/hawaiian-christmas-berry
from 3 places in Hawaii
http://www.nhb.org/honey-locator/find/floral-source/hawaiian-christmas-berry

When I do a search by state for Hawaii, I only get this listing (very strange)
http://www.honey.com/honey-locator/profile/royal-hawaiian-honey

Hopefully, you will find a honey you are happy with at a price you can live with. Actually, as I said, the Dutch Gold site was just to be a benchmark. There have to be some incredible beekeepers in Hawaii....just WAY too many flowers for there not to bee there.

runningman683
02-13-2014, 02:42 PM
Thanks for all the good feedback! I had a feeling that the honey quality with melomels could be a little lower without drastically affecting the final product.

There are a lot of really good honey's here, the farmer's market has probably a dozen different varieties. Pretty much they're all expensive though, around the same price or more $25+ for 3lbs.

I'm in talks with some of them to try and get some "bulk" prices, but I'm pretty small time right now so it probably won't make much of a difference. Maybe once I start getting up into 5-10 gallon batches of mead? I look forward to it.

mannye
02-13-2014, 03:08 PM
First of all you're in Hawaii so.....win. Secondly, 25 bucks for 3 pounds if it's really nice honey isn't THAT bad (it isn't great, but it's not terrible). Maybe if the guys are cool, they will give you a break if you share the mead.

McJeff
02-13-2014, 03:17 PM
Do your own bees?

MJ7
02-13-2014, 11:45 PM
Thanks for all the good feedback! I had a feeling that the honey quality with melomels could be a little lower without drastically affecting the final product.

There are a lot of really good honey's here, the farmer's market has probably a dozen different varieties. Pretty much they're all expensive though, around the same price or more $25+ for 3lbs.

I'm in talks with some of them to try and get some "bulk" prices, but I'm pretty small time right now so it probably won't make much of a difference. Maybe once I start getting up into 5-10 gallon batches of mead? I look forward to it.

25 for 3 lbs is horrible, at least in my neck of the woods. I can get cold filtered local wildflower honey straight from the beekeeper for 46$/12lbs.

I can pick up Costco clover honey 40.50$/15lbs and it is great, not as good as the local but still good for a nice mead.

Once you get to 5-10 gal batches you should almost exclusively buy in bulk. Get yourself a couple 5 or 6.5 gal carboys/fermenters and see what you can work out with the locals.

The local beekeeper around me will sell 3lbs for 18$, but as stated, in bulk 46$ for 12 lbs. They are always willing to deal with you if you build a nice relationship. I'm going to see if I can get even more for less. I'm going to contact this beekeeper and see if I can get 30lbs for 85$ cash money.

Shelley
02-14-2014, 06:56 PM
The local beekeeper around me will sell 3lbs for 18$, but as stated, in bulk 46$ for 12 lbs. They are always willing to deal with you if you build a nice relationship. I'm going to see if I can get even more for less. I'm going to contact this beekeeper and see if I can get 30lbs for 85$ cash money.

That's a really, really good price for local, raw honey. If I go lower than $4/pound (bulk) I'm probably losing money, factoring in my time at a fairly modest rate. I am not criticizing your local beekeeper at all -- prices vary regionally a great deal, and some beekeepers are just picking up some pocket money, not looking to recoup much on costs. But if you have that as a source, then good on you!

GntlKnigt1
02-18-2014, 09:47 AM
Here is a comment that I gleaned from Vicky's comments at the US Davis conference about a honey tasting.... https://www.facebook.com/GotMead/photos/a.221841874669640.1073741828.126199320900563/222080527979108/?type=3&theater


Got Mead? (https://www.facebook.com/GotMead) Hawaiian Lehua - extremely thick and can be difficult to extract. Native to Hawaii. The tree branches are used to placate Pele. Impressions from attendees: caramel, butterscotch, malted milk balls, grainy texture, almost a macadamia nut quality.

McJeff
02-18-2014, 01:25 PM
Here is a comment that I gleaned from Vicky's comments at the US Davis conference about a honey tasting.... https://www.facebook.com/GotMead/photos/a.221841874669640.1073741828.126199320900563/222080527979108/?type=3&theater


Got Mead? (https://www.facebook.com/GotMead) Hawaiian Lehua - extremely thick and can be difficult to extract. Native to Hawaii. The tree branches are used to placate Pele. Impressions from attendees: caramel, butterscotch, malted milk balls, grainy texture, almost a macadamia nut quality.


ohh that stuff was yummy

GntlKnigt1
02-18-2014, 05:55 PM
You were there?

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

McJeff
02-18-2014, 09:52 PM
You were there?

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

Yeah. If you look at the pics, I'm the guy with the blank overwhelmed look :p

GntlKnigt1
02-19-2014, 01:36 AM
Yeah. If you look at the pics, I'm the guy with the blank overwhelmed look :p
Awesome !!! Had to be really memorable ! But the only pic I saw was of a wine glass, and I didn't see your reflection in it. You have it posted somewhere?

McJeff
02-19-2014, 11:39 AM
Awesome !!! Had to be really memorable ! But the only pic I saw was of a wine glass, and I didn't see your reflection in it. You have it posted somewhere?

yeah it was def an experience, im waiting them to post the videos so i can review what i think i learned and remember. Was just look on the UC Davis site and nothing is up yet :(

I only took two pics, one of the diff honeys and some wine glasses :P