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Old 09-19-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
Nastynate65
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Default Cream Honey for mead?

Hey guys, I was wanting to get started on my 3rd 5 gallon batch of mead, but something has been bothering my lately. A local beekeeper dropped off 15 lbs. of cream honey for me (wildflower). Up until now, I've only ever seen/used liquid honey being used in mead recipes, but I've never read anything about using cream honey.

I know there are two opinions whether honey should be boiled or not boiled in starting a recipe. In The Compleat Meadmaker, by Ken Schramm, most beginner recipes call for boiling approx. a gallon of water for 10 minutes, remove it from the heat source, then to stir the honey in for approx. 10 more minutes. Whether or not this kills the full effect the honey has on flavor/aroma of the mead, I'm curious, can creamed honey be used here? I don't see myself being able to turn this 15 lbs. of cream honey into liquid honey with what I have, unless I use the above process.

Any advice on how to use the creamed honey I have for a 5 gal. recipe would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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Old 09-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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Try putting the honey into your kitchen sink and fill that with water in the 100-110F range for a while. Ken has posted on the Got Mead? boards about how his book is outdated for methods to be used. So no boiling/heating above 100-110F for meads.

I only warm my honey up when I need to in order to get it to flow/mix better. Then I cool jt down to my pitch temperature.


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Old 09-19-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanks, I could try that actually. I was worried some people might suggest microwaving the container & honey. A dumb question but, could it possibly expand by liquifying?

The only reason I would 'boil' the creamed honey, is because I'm unsure of what temperatures are needed to liquify it, or how long it would require those temperatures. All I've found about creamed honey lately is just how to go from liquid TO creamed honey for ease of preservation/transport. The worst case scenario I've imagined is that if I can't liquify it through hot water + sink, I could just use the method mentioned by Ken Schramm. Consequence: loss of flavor/aroma in what may be a melomel or cyser anyways. Benefit: I don't have 15 lbs. of creamed honey laughing at me. Is there any other reason I should NOT 'boil' the creamed honey (ie. it could possibly go back to creamed while in the must)? Thanks a bunch!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:21 PM   #4
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Maybe I'm missing something, but can't you just disolve it? I dont see any reason to try to covert it back to liquid first. I've not tried it but ive heard putting honey and water together in a blender works well for set honey ...
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:44 PM   #5
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You think you have issues with 15# of honey laughing at you.. I have a full 5 gallon bucket that has been cursing at me for months now. That's 60# of wonderful regional wildflower honey that's just waiting to be turned into mead batches. I'm actually taking it up to my new place tomorrow, so I could be making a batch as early as next week. Just need to check the dates on the packets of Lalvin yeast packets I have in the fridge.

I really think that warming the honey up to about 100-110F will convert it back to liquid form. If not, then try adding a bit of warmer water to some to see how it reacts. I would go with small temperature increases so that you retain the as much flavor/aroma of the honey as possible.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Yea I was just looking up what "creamed honey" is and basically it looks like honey that they let crystallize. It is just a controlled crystallization so that you have very small crystals which create the creamy feel. Just spoon in your creamed honey into a blender and add water. Blitz for a bit and that will liquidate it without destroying the aromas and serve as aerating the honey as well.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
Yea I was just looking up what "creamed honey" is and basically it looks like honey that they let crystallize. It is just a controlled crystallization so that you have very small crystals which create the creamy feel. Just spoon in your creamed honey into a blender and add water. Blitz for a bit and that will liquidate it without destroying the aromas and serve as aerating the honey as well.
For those of us without blenders, see my previous posts. Or, if you don't want to clean up the blender (and lose some honey because of it), just use the warm-up method.

The first batch of honey I purchased was crystallized, so I had to get it back into liquid form. Easily done with some warmer water and mixing (by hand, no need to use appliances here).
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice! I'm going to try warming the honey first then in warmish water, and if its still creamed, scoop it into a mixing bowl and just add warm water to it while agitating it.

Blender seems like a good idea, I had to borrow mine from a friend when I was doing my blackberry melomel. A blender would probably be better to agitate the creamed honey, but like Golddiggie stated, I can imagine it'd make a mess and take a while to properly clean any honey left behind in the blender.

Soon as the Wyeast order from a local homebrew store comes in, I'll try this out!
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:51 AM   #9
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Wyeast order ? I've tried a couple of liquid yeasts and I'm not overly impressed - especially with their so called "mead yeast". I mean, how do they know what yeasts were originally used ? Do they have a time machine ? Or is it just marketing rubbish ?

Dry yeasts have a higher cell count, less transport/storage issues and there's enough know about the differences between grape musts and honey musts during ferments.

Oh and its considerably cheaper.........
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:07 AM   #10
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I've not used any of the Wyeast 'mead' yeasts yet. I have used their Eau de Vie for a 21% batch though. Otherwise, I just use Lalvin strains for my meads.

I'm not looking at the price tag, just picking the right yeast for the job.


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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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