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Old 10-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default Wildflower honey... Does it usually make for sweeter mead?

Last night I popped the airlock on a finished batch of JAOM that I made using fancy shmancy wildflower honey from the farmers market. There was almost no difference at all between the recipe used for this one and the others I have made (JAOM is JAOM) except for the honey.

Sweet Onion Chutney this one is good! The single sweetest mead I have ever made, with some interesting minty notes. This is by far my greatest JAOM achievement.

Has it been the experience of the rest of you that Wildflower brews a lot sweeter?

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Old 10-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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Not particularly. Though even using the same recipe like JAO, there's variables. Like the % water/fermentable sugar in the honey or the yeast and the temp it ferments at, etc etc.

Well done on a good batch, now all you've to do is repeat it ;-D

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Old 10-17-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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Where you get your honey makes a difference in your finished product taste. A local beekeeper will generally not warm his honey to the tempeture that the bulk packers do. The bulk packers heat the honey for 2 reasons. 1 in to delay crystallization and the other is to improve the viscosity of the honey while they are packing it. I read of one packer who heats their honey to 180*. Normally a local beekeeper does not heat the honey much. When you heat honey above 140* you kill the enzymes that are beneficial and also gives the honey its unique flavor.

Each honey variety has a unique flavor, and % of sugars. Wildflower honey is generally used among beekeepers to designate that the honey was produced during a bloom period where the is multiple bloom going on or overlapping. A good example is here in Southern WV in the spring we have Autumn Olive, Black Locust, Tulip Poplar, and Black Berry that all bloom early in the spring and the bloom overlaps.

The honey bees will segregate the honey in the cells of the comb but not on the frames. You can have one frame with all 4 types of honey in it.

Then also some beekeepers do not segregate their honeys by variety but mix it all together.

Another factor in your honey is the moisture content. Some years the moisture level in the nectar that the bees gather is much higher that in other years. This has an affect on the flavor of the honey once it is cured and capped.

Varital Honey is like wine in the fact that each year it will have a slightly different flavor.

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Old 10-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #4
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I think this one I'm going to have to bottle in a pretty fashion and hide from myself. I'm quite excited.

If anyone is interested I have the producers' labels somewhere at home. Don't remember off the top of my head unfortunately. I used a mix of 2 lbs of the wildflower, and 1 pound of another wildflower varietal that had an unfamiliar name. That is possibly where the minty note comes from. Now all I need is a brew bucket so I dont have to do 1 gallon batches anymore and an endless supply of free honey and I'll be well on my way to making the mead for my wedding...

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Old 10-17-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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By the way the other pound of honey was Basswood honey.

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Old 10-17-2011, 07:27 PM   #6
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BTW, I just realized it looked as if I wasnt paying attention. This is all very good information, a good chunk of which I either didnt know or didnt know in the level of detail you provided. Thanks bro.

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Originally Posted by kc_in_wv View Post
Where you get your honey makes a difference in your finished product taste. A local beekeeper will generally not warm his honey to the tempeture that the bulk packers do. The bulk packers heat the honey for 2 reasons. 1 in to delay crystallization and the other is to improve the viscosity of the honey while they are packing it. I read of one packer who heats their honey to 180*. Normally a local beekeeper does not heat the honey much. When you heat honey above 140* you kill the enzymes that are beneficial and also gives the honey its unique flavor.

Each honey variety has a unique flavor, and % of sugars. Wildflower honey is generally used among beekeepers to designate that the honey was produced during a bloom period where the is multiple bloom going on or overlapping. A good example is here in Southern WV in the spring we have Autumn Olive, Black Locust, Tulip Poplar, and Black Berry that all bloom early in the spring and the bloom overlaps.

The honey bees will segregate the honey in the cells of the comb but not on the frames. You can have one frame with all 4 types of honey in it.

Then also some beekeepers do not segregate their honeys by variety but mix it all together.

Another factor in your honey is the moisture content. Some years the moisture level in the nectar that the bees gather is much higher that in other years. This has an affect on the flavor of the honey once it is cured and capped.

Varital Honey is like wine in the fact that each year it will have a slightly different flavor.
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YES, WE HAVE TRIED OTHER YEASTS! USE BREAD YEAST FOR JAOM!

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:03 PM   #7
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The minty notes you got came from the Basswood. I just started a batch of chocolate mead using Lin honey as we call it here.

The Lin tastes sweeter to most people. I haven't tested the sugar content but it sure tastes sweeter.

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Old 10-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #8
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I appreciate it, this is great interesting stuff.

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You are more likely to have a threesome with members of the Japanese women's curling team whilst spinning a plate on your head than you are likely to screw up a batch of JAOM.

YES, WE HAVE TRIED OTHER YEASTS! USE BREAD YEAST FOR JAOM!

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