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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Is it a bad idea to mix cheap honey with expensive honey
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
paddy711
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Default Is it a bad idea to mix cheap honey with expensive honey

I have never made mead before and i am going to make two batches (a total of 11 gallons) in a few weeks. The first is just a traditional mead, the second is going to be a melomel. Good quality honey is expensive and i need alot so to save money how terrible would it be to mix cheap walmart honey with some nice quality stuff.

I have read on here that when making a melomel you can get away with using a cheaper honey because the fruit will blend with the honey flavor. can i get away with using the cheap stuff in the melomel and should i use good stuff in the traditional mead. or will it be beneficiary to use a mixture of the two honeys for both meads. does the honey really have that big of an impact on the outcome of flavor.

any feedback is helpful, thanks

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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Mostly sugar is sugar and the yeast will eat it. I haven't done much mead (my first is in the 2ndary right now for another month or 2). But from my wine and beer making I know that the flavor out depends on the flavor in, so if the honey use going in doesn't tastes undesirable, then mixing it will leave you with that same undesirable flavor.

What I'm getting at is that if you think the Walmart (or other source) doesn't taste the way you want, don't use it, but if it tastes ok on this end, you've got better odds on the other end.

again, just my $.02 with limited mead experience.

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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Melomel: 80% cheap, 20% expensive (for a bit of complexity);
Mead: 20% cheap, 80% expensive (since that's all you'll be tasting in this one).

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Old 01-19-2011, 10:00 PM   #4
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I say it depends on how much fruit you're throwing in teh melomel. the stronger the fruit taste/aroma the less honey will make it through.

But what variety is the spendy honey? 100% buckwheat honey is going to make a very dark, strong flavored mead that might be best 'cut back' with a lighter honey.

Also, have you ever tasted mead? Because making 4 cases of the stuff and not knowing if you even like it...well...you get my point

Do read up on staggered nutrient additions, and degassing during primary. I'd go with narbone 71-B yeast if you can. Its a mead makers heaven.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:41 PM   #5
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thanks for all the help,

i have never tried mead before but it sounds pretty tasty and im a big fan of alcohol so i figured it would be fun to make. i am new to making homemade booze but after my first batch of cider was successful i think i am hooked for life. i have a bunch of available equipment so i figured if i am going to make something go big or go home.

i have been reading up on staggering the nutrients and all the stuff i need to make a successful mead, and i was going to use the 71 b yeast for the melomel and i was going to use d47 for the traditional. i have never used either of them but it seems everyone on the forum seems to think the are the best to make a sweet to semi sweet mead.

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Old 01-20-2011, 02:24 AM   #6
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Hey fellow michigander. Just cause it's Walmart don't assume you are getting the cheapest price.

I just bought 3 lb jug @ Wally World for $9.58 or $3.19 / lb

I was delivering gas to a customer yesterday that happens to be a beekeeper. I bought a 12 lb pail of raw unfiltered honey for $22 or $1.83 / lb

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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just because a honey is cheap does not make is poor quality. many cheaper honeys can taste nicer than expensive honeys. an expensive honey does not mean that the mead will taste good. really the price is irrelevant, what matters is the final taste.

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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most commercial honey is a mix of allot of sources.
the large honey producers sell their honey for a couple bucks to the packagers(SueBee)
it is all mixed together filtered, sometimes pasteurized and packed for retail.
It comes from all places countries and you would be surprised if you knew all the countries of origin. A while back a warehouse in India, relabeled honey from china and sold it, turned out it was cut with HFC.
I supply some mead makers and in return I get mead, plus I let them do the extracting
buy from a beekeeper and you know what you get

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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Paddy711,

Find a Beekeeper!
Around here the walmart honey is $3 a pound. When I go to the local beekeeper I buy the best stuff in this entire region for $2.50 a pound.

I've ordered Sample jars of Orange Blossom, Alfalfa, Thistle, Goldenrod and one or two others. NOTHING that I've tried compares to the sweetness and silky smooth feel of Don Popp's Honey. You now the Best Part? I get it FREE sometimes because all of Don's hives are on my Grandparents Clover fields!!! ( I even get RAUN Honey Farms honey free, because they're on my Grandparents fields as well! ) Valley Vineyards, 40 minutes away, Meadery (actually a winery, but they make Real Mead) they use Don Popp's Honey for there Meads, and Don Popp's will ship to anywhere in the country. He's got 2 or 3 500 gallon honey dispensers full at all times, and he sells White or Amber honey if you specify.


(left overs from my batch of mead)

This Stuff ROCKS!!

Edit: That cup of honey you see there, It's SO good that's what I had for lunch!

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Old 01-20-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadymi View Post
Hey fellow michigander. Just cause it's Walmart don't assume you are getting the cheapest price.

I just bought 3 lb jug @ Wally World for $9.58 or $3.19 / lb

I was delivering gas to a customer yesterday that happens to be a beekeeper. I bought a 12 lb pail of raw unfiltered honey for $22 or $1.83 / lb
Another fellow Michigander here... do you have to do anything different if using unfiltered honey?
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