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Old 12-28-2012, 04:31 AM   #11
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I go for raw wildflower honey. It's slightly filtered in that large hunks of bee are not present. Great tasting stuff in both it's original form, and when turned into the elixir of the gods called MEAD!!

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damdaman
...The author makes a compelling case for the health benefits of these ingredients, particularly after they've been fermented.

Incidentally (or perhaps not incidentally?) royal jelly contains all the b-complex vitamins which act as a yeast nutrient that honey lacks.
What a great thread to find! I'm preparing to make my first mead, and would like to go and do it as naturally and traditionally as possible. Which is great considering I found a video on YouTube last night of a man using bee pollen as a nutrient for his yeast. How much royal jelly would suffice for a 5 Gallon batch?

I'm personally thinking of do this: using an unpasteurized Summer Blossom honey(a mix of clover and summer florals), yeast(with the exception of bee pollen and royal jelly to help keep the yeast healthy), and water. No staggered nutrient addition, or outside nutrient/energizer products. I even plan on allowing it to sit properly until its clarified, as to not use any bentonite. I don't even want to use potassium sorbate before bottling.

What are your thoughts, guys?
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltzanc View Post
I'm curious, do you know how they used to get the honey in the first place back then? Obviously they didn't have suits to protect themselves. The old grab and run method maybe?
I have read stories of tribes in Africa that commonly visited trees which had interior hives established and it would rain, filling tree with water, and add heat of Africa and you had mead. They stumbled across this during a trip to harvest honey, but it had rained recently...and there you have it. They commonly used smoke and there was almost always a honey gatherer amongst the tribe, someone who was at one with the bees, like a horse whisperer.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
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I wonder if the addition of royal jelly would take it out of the "show mead" category since its a natural byproduct of bees and honey production

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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I would suggest you make a first mead the modern way, with nutrient, acid blend, sulfites etc and then get into the minimal intervention tradtional mead making, at least you would have one batch to drink while waiting for the other one to clear and then you could compare a modern vs minimalist mead. I have not done the wild mead yet, need to have more honey and some extra combs before I commit them to destruction to make this the right way. WVMJ

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:14 PM   #16
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Even early beekeepers used the whole hive ( from woven skeps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive) and sacrificed the hive each year. So in addition to all the goodies mentioned above, there were probably lots of bee parts mixed in as well. Probably lots of nutrients! They used smoke to calm the bees. The soggy mess was left to drain. Royalty was given the first clearest honey; the beekeepers were left with the sweet dregs which they mixed with water; hence the recommendation for boiling for hours (water was all really nasty in those days), and taking off the "scum" off the top.
"Natural" yeast is really hit and miss; that would likely be the most difficult part. Also no hydrometers. So probably a really mixed bag. But should also be noted our forebears had few sweeting agents, and were a whole lot tougher than we are (and died a whole lot earlier, usually from infection, if not war), so were probably pretty ecstatic to get inebriated on pretty much anything.
Let us know how this turns out; sound like fun!
Great fun reading is the closet of Sir Kelem Digby opened, which is chock full of scary and interesting Mead and other recipes from the 1500s.http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16441
Cheers!
Mad Doc

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:43 PM   #17
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If anyone's interested I started a more in-depth discussion of whole hive mead here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/whole-hive-mead-381773/

I have to say, I've started making all my batches with royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis and no commercial nutrient. I'm loving it!

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #18
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Have you bottled one yet? WVMJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
If anyone's interested I started a more in-depth discussion of whole hive mead here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/whole-hive-mead-381773/

I have to say, I've started making all my batches with royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis and no commercial nutrient. I'm loving it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltzanc
I'm curious, do you know how they used to get the honey in the first place back then? Obviously they didn't have suits to protect themselves. The old grab and run method maybe?
my dad used to not wear a suit when checking his hives.. but one of his hives last year got aggressive (they suspected Africanized) as in they chased him back to the house and stayed there for several hours. they eventually calmed down, but they ALWAYS wear suits now.

my point is, with the exception of Africanized bees, they are quite docile during twighlight times of the day.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
Have you bottled one yet? WVMJ
Yes. And me and my girlfriend are drinking it waaaay too quickly, it's very tasty.
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