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Old 03-01-2010, 12:33 AM   #21
FalmouthBrewmeister
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I did a 5 gallon mead (approx) just after Christmas with 15+# walmart clover and lavalin ec-1118 champagne yeast. It was my alteration of JAOM. I secondaried it last weekend, and it has clered already. OG was 1.112 and is now 0.900. Tasted the hydro sample and is freaking amazing. I never thought Wally World honey would work out this well, but I was in a rush and am happy with it.

I used 2 teaspoons fermax and pitched the yeast dry on top. I added 1 teaspoon fermax after 3 weeks and 1 more 2 weeks after that.

I also did 3-1 gallon batches with 3# Wal-Mart clover honey and 12 oz. CRAISINS with the same yeast, same pitch (dry) and 1/2 teaspoon fermax at pitch and 1/4 teaspoon at 3 weeks. These tasted excellent at secondary racking last week.

I like to be cheap and also like to spend money. It depends on my mood.

I just got in some 20# wildflower honey for a few gallon batches. I will let you know how it all goes.



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Old 03-01-2010, 12:52 AM   #22
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To add to the above post:

I did not have a way to aerate except to shake the everloving crap out of it when I started. (like 10 tiring minutes) I have done ok, but am happy I just bought an aeration system (pump, tubing, filter, stone). I got it from http://www.NorthernBrewer.com for $35 along with a few new beer kits and the honey I mentioned.

here it is: http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/aeration-system.html

I am a beer brewer who got bitten after trying meade for the first time last fall at a local Ren Faire. I have bought a few and was disgusted at the sweetness and syrupiness that these bottled jokers were selling. At the faire, it was pretty dry yet still had a bold honey flavor, but who knows where they are getting it. A local winery or meadery perhaps. I have been collecting champagne bottles to give this as gifts to friends. I am lightly frosting the bottles by sandblasting them at low pressure. Because I am going for still meades, I am not worried too much about weakening the bottles too much.

Woah, bunny trail there. Anyway, From friends I have met, just like beers, the honey you use will be reflected in your final product, but as I have seen here, you are adding to the meade (melomel, pyment, etc.) then use the cheap stuff. If you are shooting for just honey, water and yeast, then go artisnal, dont boil, (so pitch a HEALTHY starter) and give it love.



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Old 03-01-2010, 04:38 PM   #23
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I use it as my "base" honey in my melomels, and add some some Orange Blossom honey (available in other grocery stores) for the better flavor later in the fermentation.

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Old 03-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egghead View Post
I use it as my "base" honey in my melomels, and add some some Orange Blossom honey (available in other grocery stores) for the better flavor later in the fermentation.
That sounds like a good idea. You just add however much cheap honey that will bring you to your desired ABV, ferment dry, stabilize, then back sweeten with an expensive honey (like orange blossom). I think that'll be my strategy for meads.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #25
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Clover honey has a distinctive flavor. It isn't like you're fermenting corn syrup (unless it's imported from China ) so you're going to have clover honey flavor with some orange blossom mixed in which won't taste the same as one made without the clover. I'm not saying it won't taste good, but it will be different.

I'm fortunate in that I live in Florida where I can get fresh orange blossom honey almost as cheap as Costco clover honey. If I lived in another part of the country, I'd look for local honey producers to find the best and most flavorful honey I could find (including clover) - usually if you get it from the beekeepers, the price will be pretty cheap. Using the freshest, least-processed honey possible will produce the best meads.

Medsen

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Old 03-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #26
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I personally don't like clover honey and can taste it in a melomel even if it is heavily fruited. Try a one gallon batch and if you like it go big. To each his own.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #27
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I've been using Wally World clover honey in my small test batches. Since it's been pasteurized and filtered, I find it to be rather neutral in flavor. Once I have the test batch about where I want it, and get ready to go to full production, that's when I go for the expensive stuff.

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:17 PM   #28
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While my mead needs to age a bit, I do like the flavor of the clover honey (gordons foods and walmart brands) and if I like them as well as I do, I can't wait to make some with good honey.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:36 PM   #29
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Clover is good honey. My personal preference is for clover that hasn't been heated, filtered and processed, but no one should get the impression that clover isn't a good honey. If you can find raw clover, try it and see.

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:49 AM   #30
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I can find some very yummy wildflower honey that is local to me, but the cost of that is almost $4 a pound and with a boy who is gonna graduate this spring- well, I might just have to wait to make a good wildflower mead! but I am wondering if I went to them to plead my case and get a bigger amount, if they might take pity on a poor mead maker!


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