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Old 06-14-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
Bridochristie
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Default Poor quality honey

Hi guys,

About five weeks ago I started my first mead(show mead) however at the time I only had access to poor quality supermarket honey. It has cleared nicely but I now have access to better wildflower honey and was wondering wether I should rack the poorer quality mead onto some morello cherries in syrup I have in order to disguise any flaws. I could then re start with the better honey. I don't want the first mead I taste to be poor due to the ingredients.
Thanks for your help

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Old 06-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
fatbloke
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Originally Posted by Bridochristie View Post
Hi guys,

About five weeks ago I started my first mead(show mead) however at the time I only had access to poor quality supermarket honey. It has cleared nicely but I now have access to better wildflower honey and was wondering wether I should rack the poorer quality mead onto some morello cherries in syrup I have in order to disguise any flaws. I could then re start with the better honey. I don't want the first mead I taste to be poor due to the ingredients.
Thanks for your help
You could try to see if anywhere locally, keeps any mead. You're considerably closer to Lindisfarne than I am, but there's a place that sells it down here.

All of the commercial meads I've tried here have been "dessert" type, cloyingly sweet, so enjoyable but not if that makes sense.....

If the first mead you've made has fermented dry, then you can always stabilise it (sulphite and sorbate) and then using a hydrometer, back sweeten it, adding a little of the good honey (or even one of the darker, stronger tasting ones from the Rowse honey range - local supermarket). I tend to do that. I like my meads with a final gravity of about 1.010 to 1.020 (the commercial meads I tested the other year all come out at about 1.040, despite being 14% ABV). So don't just pour a jar in, mix it 50/50 with water and add it a little at a time, stirring gently and then checking the gravity as well as the taste....... You should find that back sweetening with honey, means that the main honey taste that's at the forefront of the flavour will be what you've back sweetened with - Oh and if you find that you get some hazing, back sweetening with honey, don't worry, just use some Kwik Clear, or some bentonite

The cheapo supermarket stuff is very good for the JAO recipe.......
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
Bridochristie
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The gravity of it now is .995 and has been for at least 5 days. Is it just a case of g the stabilisers and then backsweetening it? Do I need to monitor it to make sure fermentation has not restarted?

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Old 06-15-2011, 04:57 AM   #4
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@ .995, I'd have thought its done. Though it might be safer to let it sit for another week, just to allow it to settle, as you'll probably still get a few bubbles as it vents a little CO2.

I'd normally suggest that you clear it first, but if its one that is gonna get back sweetened with honey, I prefer to do that before its clear, as honey can cause a protein haze, so it saves the hassle of clearing it twice. But the "gently" thing is because you don't want to over sweeten. Some people slightly under sweeten because the mead can recover some perception of sweetness during ageing....

Oh, and don't forget, meads can be a PITA, quick enough to make, but take a fair amount of time to come good. I found the patience hardest to learn!

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