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Old 08-03-2008, 11:39 PM   #1
jahdrummin
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Default raw honey vs. heated honey???

Hey everyone, another question for ya....


Pertaining to the proper honey to use for mead, what is the difference between raw honey and heated honey is and which (if not both) is best suited for the production on quality mead...?

Thanks in advance

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:25 AM   #2
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raw still has waxyness in it, heated honey is a different animal. If you buy honey that is still in the raw state then most people will tell you to heat it and skim the floaties (wax) off the top. Since the place I get mine from spins it and heats it to a very low temp to get the wax out I dont do anything to it, other than ferment and eat. However, I dont see why using raw honey would be a problem since the wax wont ferment I dont see why it wouldnt fall to the bottom with the yeast cake. If you do decide to heat your honey then know/remember heat and honey dont get along, think oil rags and fire. Heat will destroy the delicateness of the honey and you will probably end up with something like walmart special honey.

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Old 08-04-2008, 02:16 AM   #3
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I'm definitely not an expert, but from what I've read, TooooMany is right on the money. If you feel the need to heat honey for sterilization or whatever, keep the temp low...in the range of 150F-160F for 10 or so minutes. It is generally accepted that higher temps release compounds contributing to aroma and taste. I could be wrong, but this is what jumped out of my head when reading your questions.

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Old 08-04-2008, 03:31 AM   #4
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I found a chart on Gotmead.com that shows you what temps and how long you will need to keep it at that temp to pasteurize.

Temperature (°F/°C) ---- Time (minutes)

123/51 ----- 470
130/55 ----- 170
135/57 ------ 60
140/60 ------ 22
145/63 ----- 7.5
150/66 ----- 2.8**
155/68 ----- 1.0**

** Extrapolated from logarithmic curve constructed from Townsend's data.

I will tell you this though. I was thinking the shorter time that it was on the heat the better and realized that by the time i had gotten it to 145 it had already ben on the stove for 20 minutes. By the time it had gotten to 150 it had been on the stove for 22 minutes. I took it off one minute after it reached 150. Icebathed it immediately. While it was coming down in temp it was still pasteurizing.

I watched a guy (on of the guys in charge of brewtribe.com) make a mead at our club barbecue. He didn't pasteurize the honey at all. He of course was not using raw honey.

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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I would say that if you want to play it absolutely safe then heat the mead. This will eradicate any chance of unwanted yeast and bacteria.

If you are a bit more adventurous try it without heating.

For a middle of the road solution you might try sanitizing your honey and water must mix with a metabisulfate then let it sit for 24 hours.

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Old 08-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #6
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Many mead makers have had great success without using any heat an raw honey, including myself. Honey is 80% sugar and 20% water. At this concentration microorganisms cannot survive. Only a few bacterial spores can survive in the honey and these don't last long in the low ph fermenting must.
The wine yeasts used in mead making are very aggressive and they are given a big leg up by pitching at the rates we use. This all means that there is very little chance for unpasteurized honey to infect and spoil you mead. The advantages of keeping all of those volatile aromas and flavors out ways the very small risk.

So sanitize the equipment. Use clean water and mix you raw honey with the water without heating. Pitch properly rehydrated yeast and you should not have any problems.

Craig

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Old 08-04-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.. very helpful you all are... until the next question....

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Old 08-04-2008, 10:04 PM   #8
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Default To heat, or not to heat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jahdrummin View Post
Hey everyone, another question for ya....


Pertaining to the proper honey to use for mead, what is the difference between raw honey and heated honey is and which (if not both) is best suited for the production on quality mead...?

Thanks in advance
I have never heated any of the honey I've fermented with. I do however sulfite the must & super areate it approx 36 hrs after. Though there are some who swear up & down that heating their honey is the best way to do it; just seems unnecessary to me. Regards, GF.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:12 AM   #9
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NO. you do not need to heat honey. All you need is energizer and nutrient, however these arent even absolutely neccessary as I have done mead with no additions at all and they were fine.

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Old 08-05-2008, 02:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
Though there are some who swear up & down that heating their honey is the best way to do it; just seems unnecessary to me. Regards, GF.
It's not only unnecessary it's pretty much straight up stupid. You really ruin your honey and in make your mead very bland and boring by heating your honey.

Also, this goes for honey in beer as well. Add it to the boil and you might as well just add some random fructose/glucose solution.
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