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Old 01-07-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
dav8dav
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Default To Campden or not to Campden

I'm about to make a basic mead from the recipe that is stickied at the top of this forum.

I just wanted to ask about the benefits of adding campden tablets to the must. Is this definitely not necessary for mead? What is the common practice if you don't intend on pasteurizing/ boiling the honey? I have a bottle of the tablets laying around, and just wanted to know whether it was worth throwing them in to kill any wild yeast/ unwanted organisms in the must.

Thanks for any answers!

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Old 01-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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campden is good to use if you don't want to boil the fruit or other things you are using in your must. It will kill wild things which may make your mead taste bad.

I don't boil my fruit but I will bring it to about 190 or 200 for about 15 mins just to make sure any nasties are killed off.

You don't have to heat up honey at all, it is naturally sanitary. If you must heat it up, don't boil it. Just bring it up to about 190 for 15 mins. That is really not needed tho.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon O View Post
You don't have to heat up honey at all, it is naturally sanitary.
The man speaks the truth.
I don't use campdon at all in mead. I add fruit after the must has hit big alcohol levels, so I don't usually even worry about the fruit additions. I figure that 12% alcohol is probabaly a better sanitizer than campdon anyway.
Don't mistake me....it won't hurt anyting....just not really needed.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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As Brandon O & BK have mentioned, there is no need to use any form of metabisulfites when making a traditional mead. The reason for this is that honey is antimicrobial by its very nature. Specifically, the factors that contribute to the antimicrobial properties of honey are:
• High osmotic pressure, low water activity (Aw)
• Low pH - acidic environment
• Glucose oxidase system - forms hydrogen peroxide
• Low protein content
• High carbon to nitrogen ratio
• Low redox potential (Eh), due to high content of reducing sugars
• Viscosity opposes convection currents and limits dissolved oxygen
• Chemical agents
• Pinocembrin
• Lysozyme
• Acids (phenolic)
• Terpenes
• Benzyl alcohol
• Volatile substances (possibly phytochemicals influenced by bee enzymes)

(Ref: National Honey Board, I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THE BEAR FACTS ABOUT HONEY, Nov 2003)

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information guys! I made it last night and pitched the yeast without using the campdens.

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Old 01-09-2009, 04:09 AM   #6
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Campden tablets are sulfites. Sulfites give me (and some other people) headaches.

I like the above idea of adding fruit after the initial fermentation when the alcohol level is high. I've only made one melomel so far, a cantelope melomel, and I've not had any problems with it, despite not heating or using campden tablets.

I kind of suspect it is like a caesarean section: doctors constantly recommend it when it's really not necessary 95% of the time.

But, admittedly, I'm a noob and have a ton to learn.

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