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Thread: Submission request: Boil, or Sulfite must prep

  1. Default Submission request: Boil, or Sulfite must prep

    I'd like to find some people who use chemicals in thier must for sterilization, and people who Boil thier musts to write elloquently about their reasoning and philosophies in thier approach to making mead.

    I Take a no boil, no pasturization, minimal chemical approach myself and will write up that approach. Serious meadmakers following other approaches are needed to write introductions to thier methods for the new meadmaker.

    Submissions selected will be coppied to a new locked Sticky thread and Attributed to the submitter.

  2. #2
    alwaysbrewing Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Musts: Boil, pasturize, or Chemicals steriliza

    I'm a newbie to this forum. I started as an all-grain beer brewer which I enjoy. The first mead I made I boiled but I definately prefer no boil. I've done 3 or 4 boiled meads and 4 or 5 meads with no heat and never had a problem. I'll never heat honey again. I treat my carboy with bleach and water then thoroughly rinse several times. I pitch a rolling starter. If the gravity is high (1.120-1.145) I'll double-step the starter. I've seen fermentation begin within 2 or 3 hours using this method and finish a primary within 2 weeks. For nutrient, I've been using Fermax and had good results with that but if you over add you will have a residual nutrient taste in your mead. I read somewhere where bee pollen was a good natural source of nutrient. I'm gonna try that next. Lately, I've been focusing on Braggots. My favorite varietal mead I've made so far is orange-blossom. That is great honey and it's so light and aromatic.

  3. Default Re: Musts: Boil, pasturize, or Chemicals steriliza

    Nice introduction AlwaysBrewing. Looking for something a little narrower here, so perhaps I should give my Example.
    Here is first Draft of What I am writing for D. Looking for submissions for A, and C.

    ------------------- lead post ---------

    How should I Prepare my must?
    A> Boil
    B> Pasturize
    C> Chimical Sterilization (campden Tablets... Potasium Meta-bisulfite)
    D> None of the Above

    ----------------------------------------

    Must Preperation: D> None of the Above

    When I make a must, it is just the ingredients. Other than minor heating of my honey to get it out of the jar easier, I neither pasturize, boil nor sulfite my Must initially.

    Honey is a very robust food storage system. Most micro organismas that land on honey die due to dehydration as the sugar sucks all the water out of the little beasties. Those organismes that can go dormant in honey have a tough time surviving when honey is rapidly diluted in must preperation.

    I have a very good well water system and check the water quality periodicly. I also Sterilize all my equipment before use.

    The final effort to minimize off flavors is the use of k1-v1116 yeast. this is a highly competitve yeast that out preforms wild yeasts, and is known as a killer yeast (though exactly why I'm not sure).

  4. Default Re: Submission request: Boil, or Sulfite must prep

    Hi,

    I boil my water but not my honey.

    I make a tea out of Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and risne out my fermentation vessile, utinsils, funnels, sneaky pete, etc. Everything gets rinsed with this herbal wash rather than use any store bought chemicals.

    I use this rinse on my bottles as well as heating them in the oven.

    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
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    Default Re: Submission request: Boil, or Sulfite must prep

    I am of the opinion that all equipment use in meadmaking should be sterile and free from bacteria before one starts. Having said that, one who uses grade A or B honey will find the moisture content to be not more than 18.6 % by definition. According to information in the Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm, "The low moisture content keeps the growth of wild yeasts and other organisms naturally found in honey in check." Honey is claimed by many as to have anti-infection and wound healing properties in alternative medicine books. Therefore I find it only necessary to either use purified water or boil the water I will be using to kill any organisms that might be present. I therefore reason that it is not necessary to sulfate or boil the honey when making mead. A little heat helps to dissolve the honey in the water but anymore than that in my opinion is unnecessary providing sterlized containers and utensils are used. Once fermentation starts, the alcohol produced then starts acting as a preservative and a deterrent against unwanted bacteria until even the yeast bacteria is not able to survive. Therefore I conclude that boiling and sulfiting is not a requirement in meadmaking. However, having said all that, I am convinced that adding sulfite at bottling time,in the recommended or less quantities, if tolerable, has other beneficial effects such as preventing oxidation, discoloration and other insurance against pre-corking microscopic accidental contamination especially when it will be stored for a long time.
    That's my 2 cents,
    Joe

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