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Old 12-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Super Dark Bitter Honey

So I'm trying my hand at a mead. (blueberry) After purchasing 12lbs of wildflower honey from my local brew store and bringing it back home and starting to pasteurize it I'm shocked at the dark amber color and the bitterness of the honey. I'm not sure i have the right honey for recipe...to me it tastes more like molasses. hahaha. Should i go a different direction with this honey and get a sweeter honey to start the blueberry mead. Any advise would be great.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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Sounds like you got buckwheat honey.
Some have had success with it, most hate the stuff.

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Old 12-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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And why on earth would you pasteurise it, when its already natures most anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance ?

If you're gonna use it in beer then fine maybe it would be boiled with the grain, but if it's going in a mead then you're likely to damage it, even slightly.....

While its raw its at its best for mead making as it will have retained all the natural flavours and aromatics....

If its very dark like you say, then use another honey for the main sugar source and maybe as much as 1/3rd of the dark stuff for varietal character.

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Old 12-26-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
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I pulled about a 1/4 of wax off the top of this stuff as it pasteurized...i was under the understanding that stuff would slow or hinder the fermentation? At 140 degrees i didn't think there would be any damage to the product.

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Beermaker right? Its natural for you guys to boil everything, did you boil the blueberries, why not? You may have more trouble from fermenting the blueberries, they have a natural sorbate in them that can inhibit the yeast but you can usually get over that with a good starter and some nutrients. Although honey is antimicrobial in its concentrated state, once its diluted that anti stuff is gone. If you want to keep the flavor of the honey just adding some potassium metabisulfite is a lot easier and wont boil away the taste of the honey. I think you blueberries should be able to stand up to this honey if its wildflower, blueberries have a strong taste. Are you adding like 20 pounds of blueberries? Good luck, WVMJ

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Old 12-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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So after playing phone tag with the people from adventures in homebrewing i took the "honey" back in to try and exchange it for the real thing. Everyone was kinda stumped as to what it was. At first they are like...no that's honey...then after a few tastes they said it its some type of beer extract. Not sure but i have the real thing now lol. As to the stuff i skimmed off of there it was like glue when it cooled
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Beermaker right? Its natural for you guys to boil everything, did you boil the blueberries, why not? You may have more trouble from fermenting the blueberries, they have a natural sorbate in them that can inhibit the yeast but you can usually get over that with a good starter and some nutrients. Although honey is antimicrobial in its concentrated state, once its diluted that anti stuff is gone. If you want to keep the flavor of the honey just adding some potassium metabisulfite is a lot easier and wont boil away the taste of the honey. I think you blueberries should be able to stand up to this honey if its wildflower, blueberries have a strong taste. Are you adding like 20 pounds of blueberries? Good luck, WVMJ
Just following the directions from the recipe on this site and rolling with what ever info i can get from my local brew friends. Thanks for all the input as i ran around in a panic.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
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That's funny!!! They sold LME as honey.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:17 PM   #8
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OMG...hahahaa. I really must double check everything before i leave...especially when u have to turn it back in while its snowing like this. Took me over an hour to get there..its usually about 25 min. There is like 2 inches of snow and people are acting like its a blizzard these days.

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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If you ever get mystery honey again you may want to try a trick that IIIUVEATAR once posted when I was asking about honey flavor. He advised diluting a small amount in water, this will reduce the overpowering sweetness and let you smell and taste the underlying subtleties. I happened to have a buckwheat honey at the time and this test revealed a horrible cow manure smell and taste to the honey (characteristic of buckwheat). Anyway, this is really a good idea even when you know what you have when preparing to make a batch of mead, if your honey has certain underlying characteristics it may cause you to pair it with different fruits or spices than you otherwise would have and give you a better result.

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halbrust
Sounds like you got buckwheat honey.
Some have had success with it, most hate the stuff.
Halbrust,

I had a gallon of this god awful stuff (buckwheat honey). I burnt the heck out of it and made a bochet. The house smelled like a barn for two days afterward (even with all the windows open). It's in the secondary now and has not one detectable barnyard smell or taste, instead it has a heavy sweet molasses flavor and color. I don't know what else this honey could be good in but you can burn the nastiness out of it if you can stand the lingering smell for a few days.
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