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Old 11-10-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Mead Ideas for a light fruity/ floral honey

Hey everyone,
I haven't ever brewed mead before, but want to give it a shot. A client of mine has a hobby sized company that supplies honey in the local area. The honey I got is labeled wildflower... however it isn't the same deep rich flavor that I've experience from other wildflower honeys.. and way different than a clover honey. She did also say that it is kind of a mix of honeys b/c it is the tail end of their processing and is considered "wet honey" b/c it is a higher moisture content (like 17% or something).

This honey is interesting.. I don't have a refined palate or anything, so I'm sure I'm missing some flavors, but what I pick up on is a strong grape-type flavor, somewhat like a white grape juice/apple juice mix flavor. There are also some floral notes, but pretty subtle.

What I'm looking for from you guys is a few good recipe options to use with a honey of this nature. I have 18lbs, so thinking of trying 2 or 3 different batches with different flavors. I'm probably going to do one batch just straight, no other flavors added.

I welcome full recipes or even just a suggestion of what to add.

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Old 11-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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I did something similar to what it sounds like you want to do recently. I brewed a 10 gallon batch of plain traditional mead, using a light varietal honey (similar in general to what it sounds like you are describing). I let primary fermentation mostly complete and then racked into 4 separate carboys. In 3 of the 4 I added fruit and racked onto the fruit. The fourth I left plain. I used: strawberry, pineapple, and sapote (not sure what you would call "sapote" in the USA, but you can find it with Google). This was my first attempt at "melomels" (fruit flavored mead).

Suggestion: take a hydrometer reading before and just after racking onto the fruit. You will probably get additional fermentation from the sugars in the fruits and without a reading you don't know the alcohol contribution. Not a big deal really, but my melomels are noticeably stronger than the plain so wish I new more precisely.

The fruit flavors, and in the case of the pineapple the acidity, came out a bit intense. So, I blended them with plain traditional mead to taste. The result has been quite popular. The plain mead has proven to be the favorite followed by the strawberry. The sapote has a spicy taste to it, much like the fruit, and is not for everyone but I think blending at lower levels will help. I need to do some acid reduction on the pineapple and then blend it as well. I have another 5 gallon batch of traditional mead brewing now to use for more blending.

This approach of brewing a plain traditional mead and then blending is also recommended by Ken Schramm, author of "The Compleat Mead Maker".

Another great blending idea is Braggot. I've made a couple of blended Braggot's that were delicious. See other threads on Braggot here.

So, in short, I suggest brewing a nice big batch of plain traditional mead and then racking some onto fruit and blending. This gives you lots of flexibility and a variety of interesting things to drink without a lot of additional effort.

Also, lots of great info here on the forum. See esp hightest's extensive FAQ at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/stic...ng-faqs-83030/. Particularly the sections regarding staggered nutrient additions and aeration (these are key things that are different from brewing beer).
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