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Old 05-14-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
tonyandkory
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Default BlackBerry Honey

Hello all,
I just bought 12 pounds of Blackberry Honey and am kind of undecided what to do with it.

I was thinking of maybe just a straight mead but that depends on the flavor of the honey.

If I add fruit,in your opinion, what should I use? how much?
Should I add half the fruit in primary and half in secondary?

how can I add some body to this mead? my last one came out thin.(raspberry-vanilla)

and last about how many gallons can I get out of 12 pounds of honey?
can I do 6 with the help of inverted sugar, or should I just see where it gets me SG wise with just the 12 pounds?

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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I would do no more than 5 gallons, and that would produce a pretty light-bodied result, IMO. You might be better off doing 4 gallons. Don't add sugar; that's lame.

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Try not to stretch it so far, bring it down to a 4 gallon or even 3.5 gallon batch. that alone will make more mouth feel but more of a medium sweet mead.

Make a batch of traditional first, just the honey, water, nutrients and yeast, let that finish in primary then rack onto 3-4 pounds of blackberries in the secondary, that will give a stronger blackberry flavor and cool dark red/purple color and also help with the body.

You can then try aging it for a short time on oak chips that will give you some tannins that will help balance the sweet fruity characters and make the whole thing pop as well as add some hints of vanilla like and other balancing flavors. again also helping improve how it fills your pallet. If you don't want to go on oak chips you can pick up some tannin powder at the LHBS, similar effect without the added hints of extra flavor.

If you really really want to do 6 gallons, get more honey, try to get another 6 pounds of the blackberry honey or some generic raw wildflower or clover honey, something that is subtle in the varietal flavors so you can keep the blackberry in the original honey up front.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewingMedic View Post
.....rack onto 3-4 pounds of blackberries in the secondary, that will give a stronger blackberry flavor

If you really really want to do 6 gallons, get more honey, try to get another 6 pounds of the blackberry honey or some generic raw wildflower or clover honey, something that is subtle in the varietal flavors so you can keep the blackberry in the original honey up front.
Adding blackberries might be a good idea, but I would not expect blackberry honey to taste like blackberries. Varietal honeys do come predominantly from the flowers of a specific plant, but you can't expect the flowers to taste like the fruit.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GinKings View Post
Adding blackberries might be a good idea, but I would not expect blackberry honey to taste like blackberries. Varietal honeys do come predominantly from the flowers of a specific plant, but you can't expect the flowers to taste like the fruit.
That being said, adding any fruit other than blackberry, in my opinion, would remove any chance of distinguishing the honey flavor from the fruit - taking into consideration the OP's first thought was to do a show mead. A light amount of fresh blackberry in the secondary with respect to the batch size would be nice. Just enough to help what would naturally be (at most) a subtle hint of blackberry to start with.

Edit: Didn't notice TheBrewingMedic pretty much said the same thing.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinKings View Post
Adding blackberries might be a good idea, but I would not expect blackberry honey to taste like blackberries. Varietal honeys do come predominantly from the flowers of a specific plant,
Quote:
but you can't expect the flowers to taste like the fruit
.
sorta right, the flower doesn't taste like the fruit but the nectar contains same and similar volatile compounds as the fruit.

Orange blossom doesn't have orange and citrus flavors?

Have you had a single sources varietal from a fruit producing plant?

The flavors of the fruit does come through in the honey. When it's strictly a flowering plant it is more the aroma that is predominant.

Perhaps you are only a fan of clover honey, which is one of the only "varietals" than can have a small percentage of it's namesake as the nectar source and still be called a clover honey. Or maybe it's wildflower you prefer which could be nectar from any flower within the bees range.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewingMedic View Post
sorta right, the flower doesn't taste like the fruit but the nectar contains same and similar volatile compounds as the fruit.

Orange blossom doesn't have orange and citrus flavors?

Have you had a single sources varietal from a fruit producing plant?

The flavors of the fruit does come through in the honey. When it's strictly a flowering plant it is more the aroma that is predominant.

Perhaps you are only a fan of clover honey, which is one of the only "varietals" than can have a small percentage of it's namesake as the nectar source and still be called a clover honey. Or maybe it's wildflower you prefer which could be nectar from any flower within the bees range.
You talk like you have years of experience with honey and making mead. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you make your first mead about three months ago? Have you become a honey expert in three months?

FYI - I am not a fan of clover honey. I haven't kept count, but I've probably made mead with at least 20 varietals. Orange Blossom and meadowfoam are my favorites.

Orange Blossom does have a citrusy taste to it, but I don't find most varietals to represent their fruits flavor very well. I've made standard meads using blueberry, apple, raspberry, and blackberry honey. I would be amazed if anyone tried them and said "This one tastes like apples and that one tastes like raspberries".
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:50 PM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you make your first mead about three months ago? Have you become a honey expert in three months?.
My first post here was about three months ago, after months of reading posts as a visitor. My first mead was prior to that first post and as far as my experience with honey it goes well beyond that.

I wasn't always a medic, I have years of experience using honeys in commercial bakeries and restaurants where knowing how the flavor and aroma profiles work came in handy. I've sampled different varietals many times. have talked to bee keepers about honey, won't say I'm an expert there either as it hasn't yet become something I'd be interested in doing myself, but can see it happening in the future.

I've had lengthy conversations with very experienced meadmakers, done considerable research on my own including reading much of the conflicting information in the many books available about mead making.

With a health science background in high school and college, I may not know a lot of the nuances of the chemistry but enough that I at least understand what I have been taught about it as well as the many studies on honeys composition that I have read, not only on honey itself but also fermentation, so I will better understand the reactions that occur so I can always strive to make a better bottle of mead.

Am I an expert? not even close, barely a novice in my opinion as there is so much to learn about honey and therefore mead that there is hardly anyone that could call themselves an absolute expert on the matter. Much about honey has yet to be discovered which is ironic with it's incredible documented history.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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tonyandkory just got a wonderful welcome to HBT on their first post ever.

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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tonyandkory just got a wonderful welcome to HBT on their first post ever.
very true and I have already apologized for the hijacking of the thread and outburst in a private message which is where the conversation between GinKings and myself should have occured
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