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Redman
02-19-2006, 08:37 PM
Hi! I'm new to this board and I hope someone can help me. I have an extended history as a homebrewer, and I've made several batches of mead. I recently came into possession of 12 lbs. of orange blossom honey and I want to make a batch. I have been told that I shouldn't use the whole 12 lbs. of OB honey and that I should blend it. Do I blend? Blend with what? Clover honey? What's your take on my situation. Thanks for helping! Later.

flatlandfiddler
02-20-2006, 12:14 AM
No problems with using just orange blossom honey.

Oskaar
02-20-2006, 04:03 AM
Well,

Again, it depends on what you're going for. Do you want a varietal mead (single source honey) or do you want something else with a bit more complexity and character? Orange blossom makes an excellent varietal honey for a traditional or show mead. If you want to make a five gallon batch of sweet mead, then you'll need more than just 12 lbs of honey to do it right, unless you plan on halting the fermentation while it is still in the residual sugar stage.

If you do want to blend your OB then I'd recommend sage, mesquite, alfalfa or clover as a good blending mate.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Redman
02-22-2006, 09:14 PM
How much honey do you recommend for a 5 gal. batch? I made a 5 gal batch of a dry mead with 10 lbs. and it turned out excellent. I have to admit, the alcohol content is a bit low, but it was my first attempt.

Oskaar
02-23-2006, 05:35 AM
How much honey depends on what you want as an end product. Sweet, dry or semi-sweet. You'll add more honey for sweet, less for dry and somewhere in the middle for semi-sweet.

Then you have to match it up with a yeast that will get you where you are wanting to finish up.

So, what is it you are looking to make, and what sweetness level are you looking for. When you have a good idea of what you want, post that up in the "Mead - The process of making it" topic thread.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Redman
02-27-2006, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the info! I'd like to go for a drier mead and I already have a Champagne yeast for it.

Oskaar
02-28-2006, 05:04 AM
OK, specifically which yeast do you have? EC-1118, DV10, Pasteur Champagne, Pasteur Premier Cuvee?

It makes a difference which champagne yeast you use, and how you feed it nutrients. Any of the Pris de Mousse yeasts will throw heavy amounts of sulfite when improperly managed in primary fermentation. They will produce up to 50 ppm of sulfite which is equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon in a five gallon batch, which incidentally is the recommended dosage for a sulfite addition. If you have friends that are "allergic" to sulfites then I would recommend that you steer them away from any mead you make with EC-1118 and Pasteur Premier Cuvee if you do not follow a diligent schedule of nutrient dosing because it's possible to end up with a mead that has as much sulfite as if you added 1/4 tsp to your batch.

That being said, other champagne yeasts like DV10 do not produce the amounts that the Pris de Mousse yeasts will, and can be used for lees aging as well which in my opinion really helps to add complexity. If you want to get really daring, you can encourage some Brett activity and follow with some MF if you're feeling really over the top.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Redman
03-01-2006, 08:56 PM
I believe it was the Pasteur Champagne that I used last time. I really must have gotten lucky when I did the last batch.