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Dmntd
08-23-2005, 04:43 AM
I haven't been pasturizing / scimming the must these last few batchs, I've noticed the must I've pasturized clear much faster then those I didn't.

I Made a recipe then split it in half, pasturized one gallon not the other, the 1 I pasturized has been bottled while the batch I didn't pasturize has yet to clear.

I've also noted, mead made from must that has not been heated, have more of a honey aroma & flavor compared to those which have been "cooked".

Anthony

lostnbronx
08-23-2005, 04:54 AM
Dmntd,

Do you feel yourself leaning one way or the other on this point? There are some widely differing views on it. Do you think heating vs. non-heating is even an appropriate way to approach this, or do you see it as advantageous to do one or the other, depending upon the situation? Are there particular recipes, do you think, which warrant one approach over the other?

-David

Dmntd
08-23-2005, 05:35 AM
I'd have to say for the most part, I prefer the cold blended method. Heating the water to make blending easier follows cold blending.

I've read to many pages of what folks have opined on the Heated V. Cold debate, which is why I desided to try them both for myself. The one thing I noticed in quite a few of the pages on this debate, is most are one sided without any mention of the benifits of the other.

I see advantages to both;

Blending the must cold preserves the best the honey has to offer in the way of flavor & aroma in the finished mead. This method is my choice for making special mead, like varietal or show and meads for compitition.

For the funky stuff I make like peanut butter or thai iced mead, I can't see that it matters as much. The same would be true for a batch I want to finish & clear fast, a table mead like the one I pitched tonight. This seems to be the fastest method from carboy to bottle.

I feel the method used should very much be dictated by the results your after and how long your willing to go without mead to drink.

We should bring this thread up in a year, just to see how I think about the topic then.

Anthony

JoeM
08-23-2005, 05:55 AM
I've tried all different metholds of must prep over the years but now use the cold mix method almost exclusivly. I agree 100% with your observations that it produces a mead that is finer in flavor but tends to clear slower and not as well. The theory behind this is that heating both causes proteins to precipitate that would otherwise cloud the mead, and drives off volatile aroma and flavor compounds that add to complexity.

Oskaar
08-23-2005, 07:02 AM
I'm there with you Joe and Anthony.

I mostly like no-heat method because of the nuances passed through to the mead. There are times when I will pasteurize, and I have one friend that likes a straight sweet traditional mead boiled and scummed well. He knows what he likes and since he's buying the fixins I'll make what he likes.

I have about 3 gallons of a traditional sweet mead that I pasteurized a year ago, and it's still just staring at me refusing to clear. So in my typical stubborned fashion, I drink it just to spite it! LOL That'll teach it not to clear. I haven't fined it or filtered it because it's outstanding as it is and I don't want to leech off any of the flavor characters. So for now, it stays cloudy!

Cheers,

oskaar

memento
08-23-2005, 08:05 AM
So let me ask a questions here. I'm a patient person and would be more than willing to use the cold method, but what I've been doing is boiling my water, then mixing the honey into it. The reason for this is that I have well water, and with the well water there is bacteria. I'll be happy to wait an extra month or 2 or whatever it takes to let the honey clear.

I'd MUCH prefer to do everything cold, but I'm worried about that bacteria in my water. Is that likely to be a problem? What can I do to ensure that it's not going to add some funky flavors without boiling the water?

Oskaar
08-23-2005, 08:22 AM
Let your water cool off to about 75 F and then mix in your honey. That way you've boiled off the mucky flavors, and let it cool so as not to cook your honey.

Cheers,

Oskaar

intothefray
08-23-2005, 08:29 AM
I don't know.. I got my 5 gallons of honey in and it's some pretty unpleasant stuff... I don't think I want to even try to not heat this stuff up. Is that going to matter? I'm assuming I'll probably end up having to rack over some fruit to get some flavors in it or use it mainly to give some beer a kick.

memento
08-23-2005, 08:52 AM
I've yet to see honey that I couldn't use to make good mead of some kind. What kind of unpleasant stuff? Is it "raw" honey? How does it taste?

Oskaar - that's what I do now, but I'd like to skip the step of boiling and then cooling gallons of water. I am patient, but I also would like to avoid pouring all that electricity into my stove. But my instincts tell me that I'll have to keep doing that.

Oskaar
08-23-2005, 09:37 AM
Hey Memento,

You may need to just stop using the well water and go with spring water from the store. If the water is that funky, and it's impacting your electricity bill as well as the final product (your mead) then in your shoes I would probably either buy a good filtration system, or just get some good bottled water and add some epsom salts to bring up the mineral content. The other thing you can do is heat half of the water necessary and then add some cold bottled water to bring the temp down. Either way, I'd really consider bottled water.

Hey IntotheFray,

Dude, where did you buy your honey? Take it back and tell them it is unacceptable and you want a replacement. If they balk at that tell them you're going to post their name and business address here on gotmead.com so other people will know to steer clear of them. You can even file a complaint with your local Consumer Affairs Department. I ran into that problem with Costco and Barkdale's Honey on my yeast test. I raised hell with both of them and got a voucher from Costco, and a certificate from Barkdales which I promptly ran through the shredder. Bottom line is if you constructively pitch a fit, you'll be surprised at the results.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Dmntd
08-23-2005, 09:57 AM
Memento,

I filter all my drinking water, the tap water here in Los Angeles, is so heavily chlorinated I can't stand the smell or taste of it. For any volume over 1 gallon, I buy natural spring water at the store. This has been the best choice for myself based on time, effort and expence.

Anthony

memento
08-23-2005, 10:56 AM
I'm still feeling everything out. So far I've done 2 batches in my new house and this is the first time I've ever been on a well AND had to have an electric stove. I only know of the bacteria because of the inspection test that was done on my water system when I bought the house 2 years ago. Every well has bacteria. I have 2 ways to get the water - it can either be straight from the ground or it can be through my softening system that also removes iron. Since my water is hard, from what I've read here, it's good for the yeasties. Even softened, it still has a good deal of minerals in it.

So far I've boiled the water and there has been no funk, but I know how inefficient electric stoves are and I feel like I'm wasting a lot of resources to boil 5 gallons. I'm planning on trying Joe's Ancient Orange, so maybe I'll do that without boiling since it's a small batch.

intothefray
08-23-2005, 10:59 AM
Sorry, I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I got what I paid for.... I ordered a 5 gal bucket of "Amber" honey.. didn't know it was "baking grade" and not even sure if it makes a difference. I assumed it was just wildflower honey. I just wanted something I could play with that was cheap. I got it from silverbow honey. I could have got nice clover (and vetch?) honey locally but I never got ahold of the guy until my shipping mishap (discussed in my first post).

I did finally receive my replacement and when I opened the honey (after letting it cool some) it made me want to puke. That's most likely from shipping but even letting it air out for 8 hours the smell still was nasty to me. I could not bring myself to taste it. So hence my thoughts to boil the hell out of it leaving the honey sugars (and maybe just some of the crappiness).

I guess I'll have to learn the hard way. Wish there was someone close to me I could offload it onto :) I might open it up again tonight and take a taste for luck.

Oskaar
08-23-2005, 11:12 AM
Yeah, sounds nasty. Bummer dude. Is baking honey supposed to smell that bad, I've honestly not smelled or tasted "baking" honey before.

Hope it works out,

Oskaar

memento
08-23-2005, 11:13 AM
That brings up another question I have! :) What exactly IS "bakers (or baking) grade" honey? I've seen it online, but can't find what the difference is.

lostnbronx
08-23-2005, 12:24 PM
So far I've boiled the water and there has been no funk, but I know how inefficient electric stoves are and I feel like I'm wasting a lot of resources to boil 5 gallons. I'm planning on trying Joe's Ancient Orange, so maybe I'll do that without boiling since it's a small batch.


Keep in mind that you really don't need to boil water to kill bacteria. Water pasteurization temps are +/- 160F for 15 - 20 minutes. You'd be amazed how much electricity this will save, and your water really won't get much safer with more time or energy expended.

-David

memento
08-23-2005, 12:27 PM
good point! I should have thought of that. Will take that approach.

JoeM
08-23-2005, 12:36 PM
I'm with Oskaar on the bottled water. I use bottled spring water for all my mead and beer purposes. Its cheap, convenient, premeasured, tastes good, and you can be relatively sure itís not contaminated (one would hope).

intothefray
08-24-2005, 11:36 AM
Probably not the best place to put this, but since we discussed my honey some here:

I opened it up last night and it was still smelling quite nasty. I noticed the top was kinda white and lid had 1/4 in of foamy scum dried on it.. I washed the lid and skimmed the top layer of honey out of the bucket so what remained was a dark amber color. It no longer smells horrid and the honey doesn't taste bad. It's pretty strong though compaired to my clover honey, but not pukey as it was before.

It's nothing for a show mead, but I beleive it's usable.

lostnbronx
08-24-2005, 12:49 PM
Sounds like some water got spilled onto the honey at some point, maybe with a bit of organic windblown matter that decomposed. the rest of it should be good, but I'd use sulfites in any mead made with this honey, just in case.

-David