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ThistyViking
05-26-2004, 01:35 AM
People make their musts in a Variety of ways. This can be confusing to the new meadmaker. I will try to find posts advocating each method below, and explaining the reasoning.

How should I Prepare my must?
A> Boil
B> Pasturize
C> Chemical Sterilization (campden Tablets... Potasium Meta-bisulfite)
D> None of the Above

ThistyViking
05-26-2004, 01:38 AM
How should I Prepare my must?

D> None of the Above

When I make a must, it is just the ingredients. Other than minor heating of my honey to get it out of the jar easier, I neither pasturize, boil nor sulfite my Must initially.

Honey is a very robust food storage system. Most micro organismas that land on honey die due to dehydration as the sugar sucks all the water out of the little beasties. Those organismes that can go dormant in honey have a tough time surviving when honey is rapidly diluted in must preperation.

I have a very good well water system and check the water quality periodicly. I also Sterilize all my equipment before use.

The final effort to minimize off flavors is the use of k1-v1116 yeast. this is a highly competitve yeast that out preforms wild yeasts, and is known as a killer yeast (though exactly why I'm not sure).

A Final Note... Sterilization of all equipment is a neccessity, perhaps more so on this method than any others.

ThistyViking
05-26-2004, 01:41 AM
How should I Prepare my must?

B> Pasturize

Greg Fink from rec.crafts.meadmaking had the following to say.

> Personally, I prefer to pasteurize. This is an effective way to kill off any
> unwanted microorganisms that may have found a home in your honey.

> I prefer not to use sulfites because some people are allergic. Otherwise, it's
> an easy, mess-free way to sanitize. I don't like the idea of anyone not being
> able to enjoy my mead. As a sufferer of many food allergies myself, I know
> what it's like to be at a table where everyone is enjoying a dish except me.

> As for boiling, I haven't tried it yet, and may in the future. It certainly
> seems easier than pasteurizing. Some literature suggests that the boiling
> process can eliminate some of the delicate flavors of honey. One of the things
> I enjoy most about mead is the complicated honey flavors and aromas.

> I encourage people to experiment and decide what works best for them.

> Greg F.



Steve Thompson replied with some needed information on pasturizing.

> I've used this method and have held the honey/water mixture at about 160-170
> F for about 20 minutes, occasionally skimming the stuff that floats to the
> top. The last couple of batches I've made, I have not pasteurized my mead
> and have had very good results. Sanitation is the key... everything must be
> very, very clean. And, I typically make a starter for the yeast to give the
> fermentation process a head start.

> Steve