Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Its time to dispell the myths, through testing
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2013, 01:30 AM   #21
saramc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: suburb of Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,743
Liked 147 Times on 133 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntingohio View Post

Again i was contesting the satement that mead NEEDS to be aged, which is incorrect. You may want to age mead,but its entirely possible to make a table mead in two months.. or even less. Yes I agree aging can bring out more honey
character and residual sweetness.

If I had a better source for bottles I would have aged them, but at $3 a bottle I would have more in bottles than it was worth seeing as the honey was cheap and very craptastic.
It is possible to make a table mead in two months, yes, but it is an individual CHOICE as to if you CHOOSE to drink this mead at that time. Authors share recipes and give their advice, and it is up to you, the reader, as to whether you follow the recipe and advice. You can draw your own conclusions. Nothing scientific. But it is a very individualized decision when it comes to whether you like something or not. Our likes and dislikes are unique, as are the meads we all make. If you CHOOSE to consume an eight week mead that is on you. All that counts is whether YOU enjoy it.

You indicate your honey was "cheap and craptastic" and that you do not use glass bottles. You need to consider quality as a factor for a satisfactory end result. If your ingredients and fermentation/storage vessels are subpar then your finished product will be impacted. But then again, it is your opinion that the honey was cheap and craptastic--nothing scientific there, just your opinion.

I will continue to follow the age old advice, and respect the history of mazers of the past, and allow my mead to age the recommended time as indicated within the notes. And I will toast myself when I deem a batch worthy of consuming sooner than expected, and if it takes 1-3-5-7 years to reach the point of approval then that is fine by me. That is the choice I make.

In closing, I think if you really want to experiment in a scientific way then perhaps you should follow a true scientific model. If you enjoy your eight week old mead, congratulations on your success. But seriously, $3 for one empty glass bottle? Can you not find 'used' empty bottles?
__________________

Motto: quel che sara sara

saramc is offline
Revvy Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #22
Matrix4b
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 590
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts

Default

I have been making mead for about 5 years and have about 30 batches under my belt, 5-6 gal batches, not 1 gal. I consider myself to be a novice and I have done some experiments myself. From what I have read on this "Experiment" is that it is not really set up right.

The experiments that I have done beyond my normal mead making. All 5 gal batches.

1. To oak or Not to oak: This was a regular sweet honey batch of alfalfa hone, good quality. Following the exact same procedures on both batches with racking times, amounts, and ingreedients. I made up a 10 gal batch and then divided it into two carboys. Tested the gravities and they were the same. Then on one of them I oaked it with 1 oz of lightly toasted Oak chip for 3 weeks and then racked and bottled both. Waited 6 months and opened a tester. The Oaked turned out better hands down. Further testers on side by side blind tasting proved that the oaked both aged quicker and was tastier quicker and was over all smoother of a mead.

2. Tale of 3 toasts: Did 3 batches of sweet honey mead with the same wild flower honey and used 1 oz of oak in each with a different level of oak, light, medium, heavy. Each presented a unique character that I added to my understanding of mead and helped me match the level of toast with the type of mead I am making.

I plan on a third with a Step feading vs no Step feeding to see the difference.
Another test I plan on doing is bottle aging vs carboy aging. Though that one is going to take several samples to test the viability of the consistency claims because that is what is at stake.

My point is, you need two batches nearly the same with the only difference being one change, not several. And then since this is a test of aging, take samples of it for a blind taste test at different time intervals. Only then can you truely judge. I think that is what is meant by the fact that this experiment is non-conslusive and that you cannot truely make the claim that you had. That aging is not neccessary. Many factors come into play.

Of course different processes can produce mead that is drinkable sooner. I have seen two of the same exact batches be drinkable at different times.

In all cases, don't be discoraged. Becoming a better mead maker is ALL ABOUT experimenting and improving your mead through making batches differntly and seeing the differences. There is no perfect mead. Also, like beer or wine or even distilled, there are many different tastes here. One mead that is enjoyed by one person may not be liked by another. That doesn't make it a bad mead. I do my experiments to improve my processes and vary my processes and learn. At this point in my art I consider myself a novice and barely out of noob-dom but I am learning.

Hopefully you will continue your quest and make a process of mead making that needs less aging but I will be suprised if you get it drinkable with anything less than 6 months aging. Even though aging will make it better.

Matrix

__________________
Matrix4b is offline
Revvy Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #23
huntingohio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: rural, ohio
Posts: 340
Liked 53 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Forgive me iF I sound like an ass. my dept got sent home early from work today so I am peeved.

WVMJ-. I did use cheap crappy honey, in fact I stated in the first post that it was wally world brand clover honey. It IS 100% honey, though its not as good as say an orange blossom or the beloved tupelo.
A lesson i was taught when i was very young is assume breaks down like this- ass/u/me, in other words assuming makes makes an ass out of you and me, You because you were incorrect, me because of mud being thrown at me.I'm more than intellegent enough not to ferment corn syrup.

golddiggie- I'm glad what you do works for you. However name calling and childish jabs aimed at someone that dosnt agree with you is truly ignorant [its not an insult its a fact, look up rhe deffinition of the word]. I believe we should leave that sort of activity to politicians, not resort to it on an open disscusion forum.
Again ill state its a table mead, that was clear because of the fining agent I added, and was served semi chilled. It wasnt near as amazing as say a two year old blueberry melomel I cracked a few months ago but it was better than a few of the more inexpensive comercail meads ive had.

Saramc- I agreewhole heartedly!! as ive said 3 times now. My goal wasn't to make an amazing mead. I have a couple cellared that are working on it, it was to make a simple table mead, that could be ready fairly quickly, could keep the pipleline full, or one could quickly brew up to see if they even like mead. Some how the thread devolved from that, but when you challenge some other artisans processes there bound to bite back.
The mead was actually enjoyable, not going to win an award but great if youve had a crappy day at work and just want a simple drink but dont want to get into the private reserve in the cellar
My secondary is glass btw, just a simple one gallon jug. I usually do primary in a bucket, mainly because it allows me to go over a gallon batch that way i have extra for readings, loss to lees, and can fill the jug completley to the top if wanted.
I actually am buying used bottles.. I'm getting ripped because my LHBS dosnt have any atm, they ordered them but havent gotten them

Matrix.. ya caught me.. I know i should rightfully have only changed on variable at a time, but i only have 3 buckets and didnt want to spen a ton of money on honey for just a table mead or end up with 50 bottles of it.

__________________

P1 Strawberry bannna melomel
p2 mixed berry cyser
p3 lemon ginger melomel
2 gallon fermenting kit is OTW!!!

huntingohio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-14-2013, 11:40 PM   #24
WVMJ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Karnage, WV
Posts: 1,128
Liked 107 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

HO, I did miss the part about crappy honey in your first post, sorry, I wouldnt have contributed to a post that wasnt serious about making mead. If you actually do a real test with real honey please let us know, I would be very interested as I have been advocating take care of your yeast early and it shouldnt take 3 years for your mead to be drinkable. I know where my honey comes from, every drop of it, I dont even have to think if there is any HFCS in there or tell people there isnt. Next time you want to do an experiment maybe run it by the group here first, might save you some time and make it a real test. WVMJ

WVMJ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-15-2013, 04:49 PM   #25
Matrix4b
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 590
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts

Default

[QUOTE=huntingohio;4784987Matrix.. ya caught me.. I know i should rightfully have only changed on variable at a time, but i only have 3 buckets and didnt want to spen a ton of money on honey for just a table mead or end up with 50 bottles of it.[/QUOTE]

Hey, I understand. I wonder though. What you said has touched a memory.
I saw in one sticky on more advanced techniques of mead making that someone did a primary with cheap honey and back sweetened it with the good stuff and found the taste about the same. I wonder if it's true.

So one experiment I plan on getting to is get some cheap honey. Do 2 batches, 1 using cheap honey, the other using the good stuff. Something simple like alfalfa or wildflower. All this for the primary. Getting the gravities the same at the start would be the key here. Then when it comes time to back sweeten it, back sweeten them both with the good honey. Then wait for aging and see what the difference is.

I wonder what the results would be.

As far as the "Cheap Honey" what I have found is that for almost the same prices at costco I can get a good quality wildflower. When the price difference is with in 5 to 10 cents a pound, I would just go with the better honey.

Hit up your local apiaries (Bee Farmers) for good prices in bulk. You may need to buy 60 pounds at a time or 120 but it's worth it. Honey doesn't really go bad. I will crystalize over the course of a couple of years but simple hot water bath will loosen it up enough to deal with. And it supports locally. And occasionally you can find a really good deal if you go in with a group for a 50 gal barrel and split it up.

Good luck.
Matrix

__________________
Matrix4b is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #26
Homercidal
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 24,438
Liked 2449 Times on 1726 Posts
Likes Given: 1404

Default

Not to hijack the thread, but I've read disconcerting reports that some "Chinese" honey is being routed through other countries and sold as 100% pure honey, even though they may contain other products. They specifically mentioned that Brand Name honey was included in the list of "fake" stuff. So you may not be able to judge a honey's quality on the name in the front.

It's even been suggested that some of the producers were importing honey from other countries to make up for the lack of honey in the US and trying to pass it off as local. I wish I had more information, but I'm sure the answers are out there in google search land.

__________________
Homercidal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-15-2013, 07:52 PM   #27
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 62,905
Liked 4951 Times on 3587 Posts
Likes Given: 1002

Default

My friend Eric (Saccharomyces on this forum) makes meads often, and has a very quick aging schedule.

There are a few keys, like quality ingredients including yeast strain, fermentation temperature control, nutrients, degassing the C02, etc. I think at the NHC 2011 (I wasn't there) he brought a 3 month old mead and it was outstanding according to those there.

Most people get into trouble when having an explosive "hot" fermentation, so that the fusels and other higher alcohols cause a "burn" or "hot" sensation. A very well made mead (or wine) can be ready soon, but a more complex mead with more complex flavors will be better with a little age on it.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Find me on facebook: Lorena Evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-15-2013, 11:02 PM   #28
AZ_IPA
PKU
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Cold Part of AZ
Posts: 43,958
Liked 6350 Times on 5497 Posts
Likes Given: 859

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
My friend Eric (Saccharomyces on this forum) makes meads often, and has a very quick aging schedule.

There are a few keys, like quality ingredients including yeast strain, fermentation temperature control, nutrients, degassing the C02, etc. I think at the NHC 2011 (I wasn't there) he brought a 3 month old mead and it was outstanding according to those there.

Most people get into trouble when having an explosive "hot" fermentation, so that the fusels and other higher alcohols cause a "burn" or "hot" sensation. A very well made mead (or wine) can be ready soon, but a more complex mead with more complex flavors will be better with a little age on it.
I was there and had it, and it was three WEEK mead, not three months. I believe it was bottled on day 17. Standard strength traditional mead using quality honey, but extreme detail given to all aspects of the production. One thing he does, aside from the usual proper yeast preparation, nutrient additions (based on what the must is doing, not some arbitrary schedule), oxygenation multiple times a day, and very controlled fermentation temperature; is pH management at the ~50% sugar break and again at FG. Coupled with cold crashing at desired FG and filtration, he has mastered creating a really good "quick" standard strength mead.

This was also the consensus of the Mazer panel at NHC: great mead can be made in weeks/months, not years, if you're willing to dedicate yourself to a meticulous process. If you take some Walmart clover honey, shake it with some water, and toss in some EC1118, you'll still make mead, but not on an aggressive schedule.

I too was skeptical until I tried it. He's way more involved and meticulous with his process than I care to be, but maybe that's why he is opening a meadery and I am not.
__________________
AZ_IPA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2013, 03:36 PM   #29
huntingohio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: rural, ohio
Posts: 340
Liked 53 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

I think he is on gotmead to is he not?? I resd about a guy trying to do that over there some time ago, was a great thread

Matrix- my local "apiary" dried up with the ruff time of the drought this summer. It wasnt really an apiary but an amish man that raised bees on his family flower farm. They had a rough go about mid summer since there so small its hard for them to take a big loss for this year, hopefully this spring he will be up and running again. The backsweetening with the good stuff is somewhat true ime. If using a yeast like ec1118 that blows through honey flavor you CAN use a cheaper clover honey and ferment dry, stabalize, clear, and then backsweeten with the good stuff. Its a cheap way to get good tasting mead from low quality honey. However over a time of aging the original honeys character will show back up to the party and start a knifefight with the backsweetening honey. This results in a possible bloodbath for your taste buds, in summation es no bueno for longer aging.
I might make one gallon batches but they do scale and I have dabbled in the 5 gallon realm. I live in an appartment and like variety so i go one gallon. I would have to look but if memory serves me right ive made atleast 15 batches a year, one year double that. Im gonna put it at a safe number of 50 or so batches seen to completion at this point. and thats just of mead i have atleast 50 more of wine and a few beer [was on one of those anti- glutten diets for a couple years cut into my beer habit, but ive gained 40 lbs]

Homercidal- I think i know what you read. It was most likely about bee farmers feeding there bees HFC to increase production. Which is common practice in there industry. In fact its more likely to be table sugar since sucrose and sucralose have been proven in university studies and a study by the FDA to increase bee lifespan, production, and decrease hive dessertion. You will find this in ANY comercail honey. I will tell you how to tell the difference after my rant

BEGIN RANT/Not aimed at you homer, just general statements. If you think small farms dont do it you need a helmet and safety scissors. A bad yield for a small farm is going to hurt worse than a bad yield for a large farm. The only way to tell is if your honey burns at 148F or under. GV clover honey and there new simply honey brand both scorch at approximately 150F which is within the margin of error to say there is some sucrose in there, but not all. I could really blow your mind and prove to you that "organic" "cage free" and other labels as defined by the fda are GMO seeds, penned animals, and generally not what you think they are. I have worked in the farming industry and that includes organic farms and "artisianal farms" [think small farmers market farm}, the moral of that story grow as much of your own food as you can./ END RANT
rember 148F is the temp that if it scorches it contains non honey ingredients, which will most likely be found in atleast 98% of all honey, small or large apiary

Glad to hear about sach, Although I wasnt as meticulous as him I think we both came to the same conclusion. I wish him nothing but luck with his meadery, I'll be in line for a bottle.

__________________

P1 Strawberry bannna melomel
p2 mixed berry cyser
p3 lemon ginger melomel
2 gallon fermenting kit is OTW!!!

huntingohio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2013, 04:32 PM   #30
Intheswamp
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Somewhere in south Alabama
Posts: 69
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntingohio View Post
<snip>

Homercidal- I think i know what you read. It was most likely about bee farmers feeding there bees HFC to increase production. Which is common practice in there industry. In fact its more likely to be table sugar since sucrose and sucralose have been proven in university studies and a study by the FDA to increase bee lifespan, production, and decrease hive dessertion. You will find this in ANY comercail honey. I will tell you how to tell the difference after my rant
<snip>.
Hmm, well you're kinda off on your take on the HFC thing. Basically it's fed so the bees will survive through the winter after most of their honey is harvested. "More likely" it *isn't* table sugar. The big honey producers (we're talking 200+ and up to thousands of hives) feed liquid feed by the tanker truck full...using hoses and nozzles to fill feeders. Feeding "table sugar" would get to be rather expensive for them and somewhat time consuming. I agree, though, that sugar is better for the bees than HFC but honey is even better for the bees...I leave honey on the hive for my bees and feed cane sugar when needed....but I'm just a hobbiest. I disagree with your broad-brush statement that ANY commercial honey has HFC in it...that's giving somewhat of an absolute and I don't think you have the resources to do the research to state that. If you buy "no name" Chinese counterfeit honey then you may get HFC or something else in it, but to say all commercial honey has HFC in it is wrong.

Ed
__________________
Intheswamp is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
myths etc. zing Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum 12 11-05-2012 12:44 AM
Addressing a few myths... Rob-O General Beer Discussion 29 09-27-2011 12:37 AM
Starter myths Piotr Fermentation & Yeast 4 10-19-2010 10:52 PM
Homebrew Myths menschmaschine Brew Science 19 04-23-2009 05:45 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS