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Old 01-17-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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Default Mead - Walmart Clover Honey?

I really want to make my first batch of mead but don't have a source for quality honey. I've emailed around and haven't had much luck. The only stuff I can find is store bought (supermarket, walmart). Soooo, how would the Walmart Clover Honey be in making a mead? Should I not even bother and order from somewhere online like AHS or Northern or Midwest? Anybody ever done a batch with Walmart Clover Honey? How was it?

I really want to get a batch or two going bad!

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Old 01-17-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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Wal-mart clover honey is just fine if you are making a JAOM. I use if for JAOM all the time.

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Old 01-17-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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Try it, and see how you like the taste. If it tastes ok, it will probably be ok for mead.

Cheaper honeys usually do better as melomels which will hide some of the honey defects, however you could probably do a straight mead with it.

No harm in trying a gallon just to see how it turns out.

I've heard of others on gotmead making meads with it, so it can't be too horrible.

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Old 01-17-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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You can make a decent traditional mead using processed, heated and filtered honey. If you manage the fermentation properly with adequate nutrients and use a yeast that can enhance the esters such as 71B you can produce a nice mead.

However, the fresher and less processed the honey, the better the mead will be, and you can make a noticeably better traditional mead using better honey. Even in melomels, better quality honey gives you a better result.

You can order very high quality honey from places like BeeFolks - it can be costly, but you'll get the quality you paid for, and that honey that will make a big difference in the aroma and flavor of the mead.

Almost everywhere in America has some local beekeepers. Check the yellow-pages, and the local farmer's market, or use the National Honey Board's Honey Locator. There should be some fresh honey somewhere within reasonable driving distance.

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Old 01-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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I used the cheaper clover honey from save-a-lot in a couple of trial batches- one of white grape/peach and one with apple juice- it is ok so far. The big batch of cyser that I used the wildflower honey in is a bit better than the the store bought honey one, but it could just be my imagination... None of them are very old, so I really can't comment yet on how good they will be, but they taste good but hot right now.

It will give you an idea of what mead tastes like and if you want to invest in buying great honey and making bigger batches. Even the cheap store bought honey makes a mead that while is different than I imagined, it is also better than I imagined mead to taste. I will be investing in better honey to make some good home grown fruit meads this summer. I am hoping to talk to the owner of the blueberry fields I pick as I saw that he had quite a few nice hives out behind the field and those fields were full of wild flowers.. May have to figure out some barter! Maybe picking bushes clean for him in exchange for some honey... He mentioned that he makes blueberry wine and finds it to better than any that he had bought. His fields have only been open for a couple of years to "pick your own" so I am sure that it will probably be a few years before he has a good crowd built up. Sorry about that little bit of off topic there!
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:44 PM   #6
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I made a JAOM version with Walmart honey and it was delicious. Nice honey flavor & aroma. I'm sure the local and varietal honeys are even better, but to me honey is kind of like chocolate or pizza--I've had good, excellent, and extraordinary, but I've never had any that was bad.

...Or as Winston Churchill once said about sex: "There are a lot of things worse, and a few things that may be better; but there is nothing quite like it."

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Old 01-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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is it $15 a pound? if not use it!

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Old 01-17-2010, 09:55 PM   #8
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It's fine, USE IT and RDWHAHB.

Sam's Club and Costco have the best deals on honey that I've seen.

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Old 01-18-2010, 12:49 PM   #9
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I use the honey from Sam's Club for base honey in meads. I think while you are learning about getting the recipes right, less expensive, but average honey that's modestly priced is a good idea. And, if you will be making something with other flavors, i.e., tea, juice, fruit, spices, then the walmart honey will be a perfect foil because it won't overpower all the other aromas. There will be plenty of time to find those varietal ones later. In the mean time, you'll have mead to drink sooner!

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:06 PM   #10
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I am a FIRM believer now that your mead will only be as good as the honey you use. The stuff from Wally and other discount stores, tastes OK, but they are filtered and sterilized to the point where you really get no varietal flavor or aroma at all. I prefer a good raw honey that has never been heated, filtered, or anything. You can get good prices on raw honey several places on the internet..including ebay.

HTH
Dan

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