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Corvus
02-21-2006, 05:37 PM
Hi there,

thought I would also send a small pic of what I have been up to. ;D

Here is one of my 15 l carboys and 3 of my 5 l bottles. All contain traditional mead.
The bottle to the left contains mead made of forest honey ("honeydew").
To the far left is a 0.75 l bottle of my first batch. (I have 6 left for ageing)
The 15 l batch will be stopped shortly as I wand to go for a dessert mead.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Zimti/PICT0035small.jpg

greets

Corvus

lostnbronx
02-21-2006, 06:03 PM
Corvus,

These look very nice! Please keep us updated.

Can you describe the honeydew you used in your left-hand batch in the photo? I've had the opportunity to try out New Zealand honeydew (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=1169.msg9475;topicseen#msg9475) recently, and I find it to be fabulous. Traditionally, though, honeydew has had a bad reputation amoung honey affecianados, and I'm trying to figure out the cause. There are Greek honeydews available these days that are supposedly of a very high quality. I'm just trying to understand why it's been panned over the years.

-David

Corvus
02-21-2006, 07:48 PM
Hi David,

This specific honeydew is practically in toto produced by the little sap sucking lice on the different types of fir, larch and pine trees. Then of course processed by the bees that collect it.
The colour is very dark red-brown, the only thing visible through a 1000 g jar is a light source. It also has this smokey taste that reminds me of peat. Very aromatic indeed.
The producer was kind enough to promptly(next day) supply some data regarding this honey(dew):
Fructose: 35.5 % (+/- 2.5)
Glucose: 27.3 % (+/- 2.5)
Saccharose: 1.2 % (+/- 1.2)

Oligosaccharid incl. Melicitose : approx. 10%
Maltose: approx. 4%

Up to now I can come up with this:
I started and pitched on the 14/02/06
Yeast strain LW 415-58 (2 g)
2 kg of honey(dew)
~1/2 Teesp. nutrients
2 Teesp. lemon juice (fresh)
3 Teesp. Darjeeling tea
Water to the desired S.G.

Started off right away.
S.G. before adding starter : 1.135
S.G. after adding starter: 1.126

on the 19/02/06
S.G. down to 1.077
Temp. 21C
pH: 3.7

Very little lees covering the base of the bottle.
approx. 1 cm of foam on the top, generally white, some beige areas.
Smells great, aromatic, slight yeast smell as usual (with mine anyhow ;) )

I don't want it to go too far to the dry as I prefer the semi sweet to sweet meads, so I will monitor closely as it is going quite fast.


Greets

Corvus

byathread
02-22-2006, 04:26 PM
Cool! Thanks for the great info Corvus.

I've tried a couple of European forest honey's and they were both excellent. I'm not sure if either contained honeydew or in what proportion, but both were visually similar to the one Corvus described. The German Forest honey included as major floral sources - raspberry, blackberry, linden and sweet chestnut. I have no idea what the major floral sources of the Hungarian Forest honey I use, but it is similar in color, aroma and flavor as the German I tried. I look forward to trying these in a 100% show mead batch, but have only blended or used in melomels so far.

Unlike some of the local dark wildflower honeys around here (which I find to be, well, kinda burly, with some musky tones that I don't think lend to a perfect show mead), I find the Forest honey's to have have a very refined, rich, well-rounded flavor on the tongue that I think will make for great traditional meads. Kinda the difference between the some of the newer hybrid hops and the old world 'noble' hops. Forest honey is noble indeed!

IIRC, Ken Schramm mentioned using some very nice Turkish honeydews in some of his meads with good results.