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Charlene
12-29-2005, 05:27 AM
I would like to start making mead. I've been making wine from kits for a while, so I do have all the equipment and understand about sanitizing, racking, etc. but I can't figure out where to get good honey. The only honey I see around here is at the supermarket - heavily pasteurized - and all the online resources I find are for the US. I don't think you can import honey from the US to Canada, can you?

Does anybody have any suggestions? I live in Southern Alberta if that helps.

SteveT
12-29-2005, 07:47 AM
Hi and welcome!

A google search turned up the following sites:

http://www.beemaid.com/BeeMaid/beemaid.htm

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Beekeeping/beeclub.htm

May be a place to start...

byathread
12-29-2005, 10:29 AM
Find local beekeepers. Try the Alberta Beekeepers Association. Apparently ABA members run about 90% of the hives in Alberta. I'm sure they can direct you to high quality local honey.

http://www.albertabeekeepers.org/contactaba.html

Best wishes!
Kirk

webmaster
12-29-2005, 10:48 AM
I've got this for honey suppliers in Canada:

Munro Honey and Meadery
http://www.munrohoney.com/
3115 River St
Alvinston, Ontario
N0N 1A0
CANADA
519-847-5333
info@munrohoney.com

The Bee Works
http://www.beeworks.com/
5 Edith Drive, R R # 2, Orillia.Ontario.
L3V 6H2. Canada.
Phone:- 705 326 7171
Fax:- 705 325 3461
admin@beeworks.com

Sorry I don't have anything yet in Alberta, but I'll contact the Alberta Beekeepers and update my list with their info. I do know that Munro Honey is supposed to be good....

Charlene
12-29-2005, 05:17 PM
Thank you! I've been looking for a place that sells honey (other than the regular pasteurized clover stuff) but it hasn't been easy. Someone on eBay is selling wildflower honey at a reasonable price, but you hate to buy from so far away even if it is in-country.

I also looked in the white pages and found something called The Honey Stop - but the honey they sell doesn't come from bees ;D .

By the way, 20% of the honey produced in North America is produced within 100 miles of my home. You'd think I could find something!

Charlene
12-29-2005, 05:39 PM
Oh and here's another question!

Can I do my primary fermentation in a stainless steel lidded stockpot? The lid isn't airtight. It will lift if pressure builds up, but not otherwise. I don't want to use anything too big for fear of overoxidation.

webmaster
12-29-2005, 06:19 PM
I would suggest either glass or plastic. Sometimes metal can impart a flavor to the mead. If you've a gallon glass jug, try that, and if you don't have an airlock, you can put a rubber-banded plastic bag over it to keep out dust and such. It won't be much of a barrier for bacteria and suchlike, though. If you can, get some airlocks and corks from a brewshop. Even tubing with the outside end put in a bottle of water is good, you just need a bacteria-proof barrier (and water works for that).

Charlene
12-29-2005, 06:45 PM
I would suggest either glass or plastic. Sometimes metal can impart a flavor to the mead. If you've a gallon glass jug, try that, and if you don't have an airlock, you can put a rubber-banded plastic bag over it to keep out dust and such. It won't be much of a barrier for bacteria and suchlike, though. If you can, get some airlocks and corks from a brewshop. Even tubing with the outside end put in a bottle of water is good, you just need a bacteria-proof barrier (and water works for that).


Oh I've got all that in triplicate. I was just worried about trying to do a primary fermentation of a 1-gallon batch in a 1-gallon jug. I was thinking it would do nothing but foam over for days on end, making an enormous mess in my kitchen.

I have a glass pot that I could use, I only have to find it.

webmaster
12-29-2005, 06:49 PM
Gee, I'm not the only one who is both a pack rat and disorganized? LOL.....

Glad to hear you've got the ducks all in the row. I wasn't sure by the question. Basically, metal is always bad. I heat my honey sometimes in stainless, but glass and plastic are what I use to ferment. Oh! You can get 1.5 and 3 gallon glass jars at Walmart....I do mead-making demos in them at re-enactments. I seal the tops on with duct tape (1002 uses, lol) when I'm done. You might consider that.

I'm with you on the 1 gal jug for a 1 gal batch. I've had that happen a couple times. That's why I went to 5 gallon batches...more headroom! ::)

byathread
12-29-2005, 07:21 PM
I've made more than my fair share of 1 gallon batches. I leave 3-4" of headspace depending on the veracity of the yeast used. I also aerate the first 3 days before topping with water or must, locking it up, and letting it go. The trick in aerating is to start slow, let it outgas, aerate a little more vigorously, outgas, eventually you can swirl, shake or otherwise aerate the hell out of it without risking a geyser. Also talking nicely to the yeasties seems to keep them a little more calm. :)


FYI, Chinook Honey Co is located near Calgary. http://www.chinookhoney.com/

Charlene
01-02-2006, 09:49 PM
By the way, after I posted my last question, I got up, went into the kitchen, looked at my stack of 3 gallon carboys....

...and realized that a 3 gallon carboy might just work as a primary fermenter for a 1 gallon batch. *palm to forehead*

I found some raw honey at the supermarket. I combined 1 kg of honey with 3L of cherry juice, some yeast nutrient, and yeast. Since there's no actual fruit in it, it's not a melomel, and since there's no apple juice in it it's not a cyser. I wonder what I should call it. The OG was 1.140. :o This seems high to me.

I was worried I'd end up with something that could take the tar off a roof, so I chose D-47 yeast. It's chugging away already.

Will it be okay if I just leave it to chug away for a few weeks, or is there anything else I should be doing? Aerating? Building an altar for prayers?

Also, I've read about using mahleb to increase the cherry taste of cherry melomel, but every supplier I've tried (including Penzeys) seems to be out. Is there anything else I can use? I want to stay far, far away from nuts, though.

Brewbear
01-03-2006, 01:17 AM
Hi Charlene,
For a more pronounced cherry flavor, I would use a mix of Montmorency and Rainier dry cherries - both in primary as nutrients and in secondary. You could also consider adding some cherry juice to secondary.
As for the SG, plugging in the numbers results in an SG = 1.125 and %ABV = 16.39 or so. Your numbers are a little high so I'm wondering if you used a concentrated juice that was supposed to be diluted and also if the must temperature was close to 68 deg.F or not. In any case, the yeast chosen should be able to handle the must, the only question is if it will result in a dry or a sweet mead. If the numbers I got from the mead calculator are right, you will have a semi-sweet to dry mead; if however your SG reading is correct, you will have a sweet mead.
Usually the first 3 days of fermentation are the time when airation is a key ingredient, after that airlock it and let it be. I usually rack when fermentation slows down to one blip every 10 - 15 seconds, given a good, strong fermentation at statr up.

Hope that helps,
Brewbear

Pewter_of_Deodar
01-03-2006, 11:21 AM
By the way, after I posted my last question, I got up, went into the kitchen, looked at my stack of 3 gallon carboys....

...and realized that a 3 gallon carboy might just work as a primary fermenter for a 1 gallon batch. *palm to forehead*

Actually, a 3 gallon carboy would be a perfect primary for TWO 1 gallon batches with a little spillage left over.

It was originally recommended to me that I fill my primary to the curve in the sides. With a 3 gallon, this would leave around 1/2 to 3/4's of a gallon of headspace. Racking would get you 2 full gallons plus a little excess...

Good luck!
Pewter

NYMoogle
01-03-2006, 08:17 PM
I got great reulsts finding apiaries with www.honeylocator.com .