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coppermpuse
05-21-2014, 03:19 PM
I have extracted honey this spring and for some reason the moisture content is too high. It has started to ferment slightly as it has a slight vinegar smell. Can this honey still be used to make mead? Do I need to do anything to it (ie. heat it?)

GntlKnigt1
05-21-2014, 04:45 PM
It would be interesting to weigh a gallon of it in a plastic milk bottle....but I suspect you're going to be limited to vinegar making with it.

icedmetal
05-22-2014, 10:00 AM
Honey moisture content being too high indicates that the honey wasn't "ripe" when you pulled it from the hive(s). As to whether it's still usable for a fermentation? Not sure. If you'd used it as soon as you pulled it off the hive, it would have been fine. Now though, you've given it some time to pick up airborne bacteria that may cause problems. I'd do more research, but it sounds like a roll of the dice to me.

Bob1016
05-22-2014, 11:16 AM
If you have the room, space, time, and willingness to toss it if it doesn't turn out, then I'd make a must, sulfite it, wait a day, then pitch a ton of active yeast (1g/L dry yeast rehydrated, then put into starter).


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coppermpuse
05-22-2014, 01:13 PM
It was capped and ok when I extracted it. I suspect that since it sat in the bucket in the garage several days before I could bottle it, it drew moisture from the air.
Is it possible to heat it to pasteurize it before I use it? I have like 30#

BBBF
05-22-2014, 01:38 PM
I'm thinking this might be a time when it's ok to boil the honey.

GntlKnigt1
05-22-2014, 01:48 PM
Boiling, or just pasturizing at 150 F might drive off moisture, and kill some bacteria but if there is an ammonia smell (and taste), thats going to remain. Sulfite might kill bacteria, but.....

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dartMonkey
05-23-2014, 03:11 AM
It was capped and ok when I extracted it. I suspect that since it sat in the bucket in the garage several days before I could bottle it, it drew moisture from the air.
If it's capped then it has very low moisture content and you are "all good". Honey is hygroscopic though and it will suck in moisture from the air if you let it ... so there's your problem. You need to seal it or otherwise isolate it from the air as soon as you've extracted it. Particularly, as here, if you live in a humid environment.
Another point maybe worth noting is that if it crystallises (by itself) it is also more prone to ferment.

ostensibly
05-23-2014, 09:12 PM
I've had honey-based vinegars that were delicious. Dunno what your circumstances are but that could be a possible backup plan.