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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Troublesome ferment with costco honey
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:48 AM   #11
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DI,

Some additional data. I have been using Sams Sue Bee Clover honey for the last three 5 gal melomel batches and have been refining my SNA that is approaching the one described by Arpolis. I haven't been using as much nutrient/energizer, but have been staggering it over a number of the initial days. Arpolis makes a good point about the extreme lack of nutrients in the ultra filtered honey sold by Costco/Sams and I will up my amounts on the next batch if I'm still using Sams Honey. So far, I have had good initial fermentation, but I also see continued fermentation during subsequent monthly rackings on top of additional honey.

I'm also looking at honey suppliers like eBee (http://www.ebeehoney.com), Bee-Pure Honey (http://www.beepurehoney.com), and Ebert Honey (http://www.eberthoney.com). You should be able to find a supplier that could get the price down to below $4/lb when buying 12 lbs or more.

Keep us updated on the progress.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:59 AM   #12
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So you pitched a 14% tolerance yeast into a must with a LOW OG (for mead, 1.06 is extremely low)?? Also, nutrient amounts are typically 1/2 tsp of yeast energizer per gallon of must, and/or 1 tsp of nutrient (fermaid/fermax) per gallon. Adding an 18% tolerant yeast won't do you much good since you had a LOT OG must to begin with. Also, if you only aerated once, you didn't do nearly enough. Also you only degas/aerate until you hit the 1/3 break...

I would suggest going voer to the Got Mead? forums and read up there. Instead of stabbing in the dark to try and get something worth bottling. You REALLY need to get your process down before you mix up another batch.

As for getting honey, start looking around for good apiaries in your area. I find it hard to believe there are none within driving distance of you. Check the LHBS scene too. I got my last [5 gallon] bucket from the LHBS in Marlboro, MA (wildflower honey that was local to them, really good stuff). Came out to $2.75/# that way. Check with HBC's in your area to see if they know of brewer friendly apiaries.

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:07 AM   #13
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Also try the Honey Locator to see if there are any in that db close.

http://www.honeylocator.com/

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:11 AM   #14
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By the gallon it runs 40$, 5 gal 150$, tulip poplar, locust and wildflower mostly. Its why I got my own hives, hoping to get enough to make those traditionals that take years to age and not be short on mead to drink WVMJ

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Wow y'all pay a lot. 2.72 a # here in Ok. 12 lbs aka 1 gallon 36-38$
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottv View Post
Wow y'all pay a lot. 2.72 a # here in Ok. 12 lbs aka 1 gallon 36-38$
psst, $36/gallon is $3/# there hoss... $38/gallon comes out to #3.16/#

I like my $2.75/# for really GREAT wildflower honey. Seriously the stuff tastes amazing. Great color (nice and dark) too. Just need to give it enough time to become great, which is about 2+ years for <18% ABV...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:15 AM   #16
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You're in the middle of California's Great Valley, AKA the Beekeeping Center of the (almond-dominated) Universe! Gotta be some honey around. If you want Montana honey or just want to make sure my niece gets every christmas present she asked for try out glaciercountyhoney.com 12 or 35 lb buckets

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillhousesawdustco View Post
You're in the middle of California's Great Valley, AKA the Beekeeping Center of the (almond-dominated) Universe! Gotta be some honey around. If you want Montana honey or just want to make sure my niece gets every christmas present she asked for try out glaciercountyhoney.com 12 or 35 lb buckets
Stuff looks pretty light in color to me... Mid season harvest?? I really like the late season harvests.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:42 AM   #18
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Update for anyone interested: I just aerated/degassed again today and checked the gravity while I was at it, and it looks like it's dropped to 1.04 so it's definitely fermenting, just slowly. I don't mind a slow ferment, I was just worried that it would completely cease up like my last attempt with costco honey. I'll be sure to update once it eventually finishes too.

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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
So you pitched a 14% tolerance yeast into a must with a LOW OG (for mead, 1.06 is extremely low)?? Also, nutrient amounts are typically 1/2 tsp of yeast energizer per gallon of must, and/or 1 tsp of nutrient (fermaid/fermax) per gallon. Adding an 18% tolerant yeast won't do you much good since you had a LOT OG must to begin with. Also, if you only aerated once, you didn't do nearly enough. Also you only degas/aerate until you hit the 1/3 break...

I would suggest going voer to the Got Mead? forums and read up there. Instead of stabbing in the dark to try and get something worth bottling. You REALLY need to get your process down before you mix up another batch.

As for getting honey, start looking around for good apiaries in your area. I find it hard to believe there are none within driving distance of you. Check the LHBS scene too. I got my last [5 gallon] bucket from the LHBS in Marlboro, MA (wildflower honey that was local to them, really good stuff). Came out to $2.75/# that way. Check with HBC's in your area to see if they know of brewer friendly apiaries.
Yes sir, that's correct. I'd say my process fairs pretty well most of the time, but as a poor college student trying to make a budget batch of mead I decided to give the cheapest honey I could find a go, and I have to say it's definitely been my most challenging batch so far, but as long as the flavor's decent in the end I'll be a happy camper.

I think for my next batch I'll definitely check around at all the local apiaries again, but my problem last time was that they either didn't sell bulk honey or it was out of my price range.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:53 AM   #19
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IME, very rarely (not impossible, just not very likely) does cheap honey provide something really good/pleasing in the glass. Even less so when you make several wrong turns along the way. If you're going to invest the time to make a really good mead, then use quality ingredients. The ONLY time I would even consider using cheap honey is when the flavors is has will be covered up by others. Even then, you're better off with something with good flavors since (oh so often) traces will still come through in the end.

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Old 12-25-2012, 03:54 AM   #20
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I stumbled across this thread and it caught my interest as I recently started a batch of Costco mead.

I'm an avid beer and wine maker but a complete rookie when it comes to mead.

While strolling the eils of Costco I can't help but look at anything with sugar in it and not think about making booze out of it.

Anyway, I grabbed 6 kilos of honey, dumped it in a carboy, added 15 L of water, a touch of yeast nutrient and an old pack of ec1118 that was in the fridge.

After a quick spin with my wine degasser I through on the airlock and sat it on my heated floor at 28 degrees.

Now...ec1118 was my go to cider yeast and it always worked fast and aggressive...but this pack was a little old so I figured it was causing my sluggish start.

After a couple days there wasn't much of a head on the must, but it was fermenting steady with a bubble every 2 seconds.

I'm about 20 days in and its still going slow and steady with a bubble every few seconds. I haven't taken a hydrometer or ph reading yet.

Anyway I'm glad to hear that mead is suppose to be slow...but it also sounds like this batch may be rubbish due to my poor ingredient choices...either way a learning experience for me.

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