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ThistyViking
11-15-2003, 09:55 AM
I was reading elsewhere about blending varietal Honeys inorder to make better meads. I'm interested In starting to do this. Right now the only information I've seen has been incomplete.

In Brittany (France) they blend Heather, Wildflower, and Buckwheat in WineBarrels. One Meadmaker has suggested that 2 pounds of buckwheat is a good amount, but didn't specify batch size or total amount of honey used. Obviously 2 pounds in 15 gallons, is very different than 2 pounds in 3 gallons. Not to mention a 2#-4# per gallon range for batches.

Can anyone with experience help fill in the gaps on the art of honey blended meads?

I really like Orange Blossom Honey and have a good source for bulk purchases that I'll be visiting in February. Any suggestions for a blend with OB Honey?

Thanks
John D.

chuckwm
11-20-2003, 01:28 AM
I was reading elsewhere about blending varietal Honeys inorder to make better meads. I'm interested In starting to do this. Right now the only information I've seen has been incomplete.

In Brittany (France) they blend Heather, Wildflower, and Buckwheat in WineBarrels. One Meadmaker has suggested that 2 pounds of buckwheat is a good amount, but didn't specify batch size or total amount of honey used. Obviously 2 pounds in 15 gallons, is very different than 2 pounds in 3 gallons. Not to mention a 2#-4# per gallon range for batches.

Can anyone with experience help fill in the gaps on the art of honey blended meads?


John,

I'm sorry if I wasn't specific enough.

I always make five gallon batches so the two pounds of buckwheat that I add is in addition to (probably) about 10 pounds of other honeys. A lot of what other honey I use depends on what I have available.

For example, if I have a couple of pails with a pound or two left in them, I'll clean those out just to be able to reuse the pails. If I have "a plan" like a Chai Metheglyn, well then I'll specifically plan what honeys would best suit the additions.

For example, I have found that one of my Smoke'n Ginger Chiles or the aformentioned Chai Metheglyn need a very strongly flavored honey to stand up to the strong flavors of the additions. In both cases I used 100% buckwheat. If you read that 100% buckwheat has to age for years before it is any good, don't believe them.

Now, how much honey to use. I always make 5 gallon batches (actually 5.25 gallons for racking losses) that have an OG of 1.100. I have found that this level of alcohol makes a pleasant semi-sweet mead and is stable once it finishes (at about 1.005 - 1.008 ).

How do I hit 1.100 every time? I figure that each pound of honey contributes 45 gravity points. So the formula I use is

pounds of honey
X
45
=gravity points
divided by total amount of must that the honey is diluted to
divided by 1000
+1

For example 13 pounds of honey diluted to 5.25 gallons should yield an OG of 1.1114

13 pounds*45 points=585 gravity points
585gravity points/5.25 gallons = 111.42
111.42/1000= 0.111 +1 = 1.1114

This would tell you that if you wanted an original gravity of 1.100, you would probably want to use 11.7 pounds of honey. (Work it out.)

Clear?

Chuck

ThistyViking
11-21-2003, 02:28 PM
I always make five gallon batches so the two pounds of buckwheat that I add is in addition to (probably) about 10 pounds of other honeys. A lot of what other honey I use depends on what I have available.
...
For example, I have found that one of my Smoke'n Ginger Chiles or the aformentioned Chai Metheglyn need a very strongly flavored honey to stand up to the strong flavors of the additions. In both cases I used 100% buckwheat. If you read that 100% buckwheat has to age for years before it is any good, don't believe them.
...
Chuck

Thanks Chuck, that will get me started pretty well. I suspected it was a 5 gallon batch size, but was unsure.
I tend to make 7.5 gallon batch sizes.. planning to end with 6.5 gallons at bottling (6.5 gallon carboy, +1 gallon for topping/sampling)

I see you are aiming for a lower OG than my meads have been to date. I'll get some K1-V1116 and try to aim for one of yours. Now to get some buckwheat honey...

ThistyViking
01-01-2004, 08:53 PM
A followup on this thread, now that krogers carries Buckwheat honey I have a local supplier (who knew?)

Anyway, applying your advice to a mapple syrup mead
I substituted 1 Gallon of Grade B Vermont Maple Syrup for some of the honey. also 2.25 lbs of buckweat honey 5 lbs of wildflower honey (from the same VT farm as the maple Syrup)and 12oz of clover honey to hit 1.100 on my 6 gallon must. I had D-47 and 1118 on hand so I pitched the D-47.

In essence the Maple syrup has taken the place of the heather honey. Nothing to do now but wait and deplete my Reserve of Blueberry Melomels and Blueberry Sack Cysers.

ThistyViking
01-02-2004, 10:45 AM
Started my first Small mead tonight.

1.50# Buckwheat honey (nutrient source)
2.75# Sourwood Honey
5.00# Clover Honey
Water to 3.5 Gallons must size.
Lalvin D-47

O.G. was 1.090

Chuck do you see any obvious pitfalls in this must?

At the end of the process I'll try experimenting
with acid blend for the first time. Was really
hard not to make a cyser, but I have to make
a regular old mead sometime.

My new problem, 2 days into the new year,
2 meads started. all primary fermenters engaged
What will I do tomarrow? Clean Champagne
bottles I guess.