View Full Version : WANTED: a relatively fool proof recipe

09-05-2004, 11:51 PM
I have a batch of mead (my first) I started a year ago and its coming alone OK (I think). I have a small batch of maple something-or-other I started about the same time and its present status is "unknown". Not knowing if the experiments I have started will yeild anything drinkable I am afraid to try an untested recipe with my newest ingredient.
I have happened across a supply of honey from Africa. To bee specific it is from Africanized Honey Bees and is very similar to buckwheat honey except it tastes a little more carmely (new word)

I am looking for a time tested simple recipe so I don't screw this one up.

09-05-2004, 11:52 PM
Incase your asking yourself........Yes the Africanized Honey Bees are the world famous KILLER BEES......should make a great name for the mead.....

09-06-2004, 12:27 AM
Hi Helios,

Welcome to the board!

If your Killer Bee Honey is like buckwheat honey, you're going to be in for a serious wait for it to mellow once the brewing is done.

Joe Mattioli had some really valuable information on using buckwheat honey to influence the taste of the mead you're making. I think the number he indicated was 15% of the overall would influence the taste without prolonging the wait once the mead was started. I think he also mentioned that he generally does not exceed 40%.

I don't know if you have Ken Schramm's book, The Compleat MeadMaker, but it has some excellent recipes in it that are all tested by the author himself. Here is a basic medium sweet recipe that I make now.

5 gallon batch

15 lbs orange blossom honey
4 gal H2O
2 pkgs Lalvin K1-V1116

That's the basic recipe for a 5 gallon yield. You can use 2 tsp of yeast energizer, and 1 tsp of yeast nutrient; or about 4 or 5 grams of Fermaid (by Lalvin) instead of the yeast nutrient and energizer.

You may want to consider doing a 1 gallon test batch first, so you would adjust the ingredients accordingly.

You would need to get another type of honey and mix the KillerBee honey with it in order to keep the aging time low. So it would be up to you to adjudicate how much of a ratio of KillerBee honey you would use.

Hope that is helpful,


09-06-2004, 12:31 AM
I just have 12 pounds ( 1 gal) of KillBee Honey so to bring it up to 15 I guess I could mix in a lighter honey....thus making it a faster process...
I only have one book for mead making and It basicly just covers ..well the basics.

09-06-2004, 12:32 AM
You ought to put those little springy antennae on each bottle like the ones from the "Killer Bees" on Saturday Night Live! ;D


09-06-2004, 12:33 AM
I mentioned that the batch Im sitting on now is a year old and quite bitter and that was just clover honey with some apples and cinnamon added.... I wonder how long this killer bee honey alone will take?

09-06-2004, 12:36 AM
I would just start with a gallon batch then. If you're not really sure of the type of honey you've got, don't waste it all on a test batch. One of the things you may want to do is go a little more than three to one mix in favor of another honey (Clover, wildflower or orange blossom should all work well) so you would have two and a half pounds of the lighter honey to one half pound of the KillerBee honey for your gallon mixture.

Add the water to one gallon, pitch the yeast and go for it. I don't think you'd need the energizer or nutrient in this batch. That K1-V1116 is some pretty killer yeast, I made a ten gallon batch of cyser last week and it was kicking ass and taking names in about six hours.


09-06-2004, 12:39 AM
If you only have that one book then I would definately recommend getting Ken's book before you start. It will give you some great ideas, solidify your basic knowledge, and point you in the right direction for some great meadmaking.


09-06-2004, 12:40 AM
when I got the honey the person had it lined up with buckwheat being the heaviest and darkest and the killerbee was next in line.......very similar in look and taste......so I have to assume its close in all aspects......
I would feel better about doing this is i knew my first batch wasnt going to be a total loss....but then again....you cant very well taste it there....

I read also that the PH can be tested and adjusted.....guess a trip to my local supply store is warrented now...

09-06-2004, 12:44 AM
A one gallon batch is your safest bet then. That way you only boost a half a pound if the batch is bad, instead of all 12 if the batch is bad. See?


09-23-2004, 05:39 AM
Even if it's crap I always find a way to drink it................. ;)