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Izzie1701
08-24-2015, 01:44 AM
I am going to attempt my first mead. Have made wine and beer before but I am new to mead. We have a friend that is going to supply us with honey straight from the hive. My question is this honey will be raw and unpasteurized. With beer I have always boiled which would kill any foreign bacteria. With meads everything I read says not to boil. So how do I insure I don't get off flavors in fermentation with potential foriegn bacteria. Ang thoughts? Boil don't boil? Thank you in advance.

hobbitfu
08-24-2015, 07:17 AM
Pitch an adequate amount of properly rehydrated yeast and provide staggered nutrients additions. A healthy fermentation will dominate any potential wild yeast and alcohol content will then be inhospitable to bacteria.

Other more experienced posters will provide more and better advice I'm sure (I'm primarily a beer brewer... But am conditioning my first mead - unboiled)

bmwr75
08-24-2015, 09:44 AM
Bacteria don't grow well in honey. So, the current thinking is to NOT boil the honey. Boiling honey changes the flavor profile of the final mead. Not necessarily worse, just different flavor.

mannye
08-26-2015, 05:09 PM
I am going to attempt my first mead. Have made wine and beer before but I am new to mead. We have a friend that is going to supply us with honey straight from the hive. My question is this honey will be raw and unpasteurized. With beer I have always boiled which would kill any foreign bacteria. With meads everything I read says not to boil. So how do I insure I don't get off flavors in fermentation with potential foriegn bacteria. Ang thoughts? Boil don't boil? Thank you in advance.

I'm just making a jaom with honey that's so unpasteurized there are still bees in it. No need to boil. Unless you want to. I actually haven't tried boiling yet. I think I might just for laughs with a one gallon batch. I think it might be a good way to make a really neutral mead to use to top off aging jugs.

EJM3
08-28-2015, 06:03 AM
I've made lots of mead, none of it boiled to sterilize the must. Just added water & nutes, the yeast did the rest with no off flavors or aromas. A good fermentation will take care of any spoilage organisms, some people that's done in 3 or 4 days. Mine take a couple weeks to a month to complete, no issues with spoilage either...

WVMJack
08-28-2015, 09:51 AM
Thank your friend for giving you some pure raw honey. You can of course get contamination in a mead, some sulfites added at the start will help ensure success. Your term foreign bacteria is a bit strange since the bacteria in the honey is normally there all the time, as in native bacteria:). There is bacteria in the hive and yeast to help ferment the pollen to make bee bread, hopefully some of that wonderful pollen makes its way into your honey.

Cooking honey is an age old method, what it basically does is drive off the aromatics and turn any honey into a generic tasting honey, we just did this on purpose to some Russian Olive honey that tastes very bad raw but when boiled the off taste vanished and we were left with a very generic tasting honey that is making a nice generic mead and some of which we then made into a tej and an anise mead as well as a ginger cooking mead. The cooking does denature the proteins and they precipitate out faster and so the mead clears pretty fast. If you got a nice honey dont cook it, if you got an off tasting one that you can get cheap then cook it and use it for meths etc.

WVMJ

mannye
08-28-2015, 11:53 AM
Thank your friend for giving you some pure raw honey. You can of course get contamination in a mead, some sulfites added at the start will help ensure success. Your term foreign bacteria is a bit strange since the bacteria in the honey is normally there all the time, as in native bacteria:). There is bacteria in the hive and yeast to help ferment the pollen to make bee bread, hopefully some of that wonderful pollen makes its way into your honey.

Cooking honey is an age old method, what it basically does is drive off the aromatics and turn any honey into a generic tasting honey, we just did this on purpose to some Russian Olive honey that tastes very bad raw but when boiled the off taste vanished and we were left with a very generic tasting honey that is making a nice generic mead and some of which we then made into a tej and an anise mead as well as a ginger cooking mead. The cooking does denature the proteins and they precipitate out faster and so the mead clears pretty fast. If you got a nice honey dont cook it, if you got an off tasting one that you can get cheap then cook it and use it for meths etc.

WVMJ

Great advice! I'm going to remember that! We get a very strong honey here that's termed "medicinal" in flavor but is really cheap (I can't think of the name right now) because it doesn't make for good eating. Maybe a boil will be the ticket!