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Old 07-21-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
KCPyrate
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Default Honey: Light vs. Dark

I was at a local farmer's market this past weekend. I found a very flavorful wildflower honey at one of the booths that was very dark in color, almost looked like molasses. Around here I find a lot of clover or wildflower honey but the color is usually a lot lighter.

I was getting ready to buy a few pounds and mentioned to the seller that I would be using it for brewing and he said "not to turn away business but if you are brewing or making mead you want the lightest honey possible, you should go over to that other booth..." He proceeded to tell me that the darker the honey the stronger the flavor would be and that it would taste too much like honey... not sure I see the problem here but maybe I'm missing something.

Thoughts & experience?

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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I have used up to 3lbs of mesquite honey in a 5 gallon batch and that was just as dark. It tends to have a more aggressive flavor but if you like how it tastes go for it. I wish I could still buy more of that mesquite to make a show mead with.

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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Here in Nebraska, just north of you, wildflower honey sometimes tends to have off flavors - sort of a bitterness - that woudn't do well in a mead. Having said that, dark honey can make some tasty mead, assuming the off flavors aren't present. The only way to know is to taste it. In my experience, honey sellers at the farmer's markets usually have little sticks to dip in the honey to taste. If it you like the flavor, you'll like the mead.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, that's kind of what I thought... I tasted the honey & it tasted great, I don't mind a forward honey flavor. Might have to go back this weekend and buy some.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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What would it hurt to do a 1 gallon batch to test it out? If it sucks, you're only out about 3# of honey.

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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+1 Taste it.

I've done the reverse. I made mead with bad honey. It's drinkable, but I'll never make that mistake again.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:58 AM   #7
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I for one prefer the taste of Darker Honeys.
My first batch of mead ever was made from Wildflower Honey from some of my Dads Hives that was 25/+ years old...that honey aged very well and was a very dark brown almost black in color.
I love strong honey.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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I agree with LCE I like the fall honeys we get from the hives they are always darker and stronger in flavor. Darker honeys from what I have learned from the old time bee keepers have more maltose and dextrose as apposed to sucrose and fructose which leaves a richer taste and not the dry taste that sucrose leaves in mead. I have no facts to back that up just what the good old boys tell me. (honestly I trust the old timers more than the books anyway)

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