How much honey for 6 gallon of mead? - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > How much honey for 6 gallon of mead?

09-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
kdar
Recipes

Aug 2012
Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 18

I am planning to make 6 gallons of mead. How much honey would I need to use? I have about 10 pounds of Costco honey now.

09-08-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
Bigbeavk
Recipes

Jan 2011
Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 604
Liked 61 Times on 51 Posts

Depends on what kind you want to make but most recipes I see recommend 3 to 3.5 lbs per gallon of mead.

09-08-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
Golddiggie

Recipes

Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 497 Times on 431 Posts

Use this calculator to figure out how much to use for the strength you want... Normal range is 2-4# of honey per gallon of must (not water).
__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

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:
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

09-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
fatbloke

Recipes

Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Golddiggie Use this calculator to figure out how much to use for the strength you want... Normal range is 2-4# of honey per gallon of must (not water).
Well the gotmead calculator is as good as any, but I don't like the "guesstimate" element of it.

I prefer to mix 3lb with water so it makes a gallon total, then take a gravity reading, to work out if I need to add any more. By that "logic", it'd be 18lb of honey, made up to 6 gallons before the gravity check, then it would be relatively easy to add more, 1lb at a time, to increase the gravity to whatever the desired level might be.

I'd be more concerned about the provenance of the honey. "Costco" honey is likely to have been blended and otherwise processed to hell and back (presuming that Costco US is the same group as the company of the same name here). It'd probably be fine for a nice, tasty melomel, cyser or pyment etc, but I wouldn't think it suitable for a traditional mead.
__________________
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

09-08-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
Recipes

Jun 2012
Edmonton, AB
Posts: 73
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Add it in steps, I find 16 pounds gives me a good solid mead.

09-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
Golddiggie

Recipes

Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 497 Times on 431 Posts

For any traditional mead, I use local (or at least regional) honey. I also prefer to use wildflower honey over others since, to me, it contains a really nice blending of flavors.

As for the calculators, the only way to get any kind of accurate numbers is to KNOW the sugar concentration of the honey. You can test for that, if you think ahead and such. I know the Got Mead tool isn't going to work for everyone since the sugar concentration from harvest to harvest, hive to hive, will be different. So the tool uses a normal concentration as it's baseline. BUT, you can adjust that to match the sugar level of the honey you're working with.

As I had mentioned, you also need to know what your target is. If you want a mead in the 8% range, 10# should/could do it. Of course, it really all hinges on the sugar concentration of the honey you'll be using.

I was given some honey from BJ's a while back. I used it to make the base mead for my Mocha Madness MK2 batch. It's going to get some serious flavor additions (coffee beans and cacao nibs) over time, so I don't care, so much, about the honey used for the base. I would be more cautious about using that type of honey for anything else though.
__________________
Hopping Tango Brewery

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:
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

09-08-2012, 11:06 PM   #7
Calvus
Recipes

May 2012
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 7

Quote:
 Originally Posted by fatbloke Well the gotmead calculator is as good as any, but I don't like the "guesstimate" element of it. I prefer to mix 3lb with water so it makes a gallon total, then take a gravity reading, to work out if I need to add any more. By that "logic", it'd be 18lb of honey, made up to 6 gallons before the gravity check, then it would be relatively easy to add more, 1lb at a time, to increase the gravity to whatever the desired level might be. I'd be more concerned about the provenance of the honey. "Costco" honey is likely to have been blended and otherwise processed to hell and back (presuming that Costco US is the same group as the company of the same name here). It'd probably be fine for a nice, tasty melomel, cyser or pyment etc, but I wouldn't think it suitable for a traditional mead.
Costco honey is legit. Thread and article about it in an earlier thread. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/cost...rticle-350878/ I have made a few batches with their clover and it has a really great flavor.

But for the original question, I do exactly what fatbloke does and start with 3lbs/gal and then add 1lb at a time to hit a target SG.

09-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
fatbloke

Recipes

Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Calvus Costco honey is legit. Thread and article about it in an earlier thread. -----%<-----
Oh, I have no doubt about that.

It's just that "store bought" brands tend to have been processed and blended for eating, not for mead making.

They'll have likely heated the hell out of it, thinking that they're doing it some good, blended it possibly with types of honey that aren't as compatible with mead making (in some cases - thinking of stuff like "Eucalyptus honey" and stuff like that), etc etc. There's no way of knowing. Whereas honey of "known" provenance, origin and type etc is a better bet. Smaller suppliers seem to have a better handle on the point that it might not be used just for eating and are better at supplying info about it's origin. After all, if they make claims that can be disproved, it's easier to sue them all the way to the bankruptcy court!

If you can get your honey from a reliable source, preferably a local apiarist, you could probably get it raw and unfiltered. At worst, it will have just been filtered to remove any hive debris etc....

That's what I was alluding too.

There are a couple of big chain suppliers here too, and no I wouldn't use their honey for anything that I wanted to focus on the honey flavour. Whereas if it's gonna be flavoured with fruit or whatever, then fine, go for the cheapest as the other flavours will mask any mediocre taste from over processed honey......
__________________
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!