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Old 09-10-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Honey water content


I am planning to brew my first mead in the next week or so.

I found a beekeeper who is willing to sell me honey. However, they are recommending I buy a cheaper version than what they normally sell since it is for mead.
He has told me that it is higher water content mixed honey and I got the impression that it's what he normally would throw away.

Without an exact water content % on hand I don't expect a concrete response, but I'm interested if anyone has ever heard of such a practice or if I should look elsewhere? I didn't get a chance to look at it either since they didn't have any of it on hand.

Pretty much I just am looking for your opinions although I know there's not much detail to go on.

I don't want to spend 6 months aging my mead only to find it's no good obviously .

The price is $4/kilogram by the way. Cheaper than what I've found around here even in supermarkets.


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Old 09-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by threten View Post

I don't want to spend 6 months aging my mead only to find it's no good obviously .
Sounds odd to me, but if the honey tastes good, and looks good, your mead will be good. No Worries.

If you make sure that the consistancy is similar to what you'd find in the store, you'll be ok. I would be cautious of some dink trying to water down his honey, but I've never heard of that.

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Old 09-10-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
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Get a pound of honey. add enough water to bring it up to 1 gallon total volume.

make sure you mix it well, possibly heat it a little, then cool.

take a hydro reading.

normally honey will give you about 1.034 gravity per pound / per gallon of water. if you only get like 1.030 I say its still good honey. if its only 1.018 I'd skip it.

the main issue with 'watery' honey for a bee keeper is it could spoil. Honey's low moisture content keeps the wild spores inside it from doing anything. once it thins out, those spores could take hold and you'd have a wildborne infection.

you may have a great deal...or a bit of a ripoff.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:16 AM   #4
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It may be from some part of the extraction/cleanup process.

If it has not been sitting around getting colonized, it should be fine - but only if (and it should be) he's selling it at a price coincident with its higher moisture content.

If he can't tell you what the actual moisture content is, you can figure it out in several ways - one is the lb of honey to a gallon of water (or ounce [weight] of honey to a cup of water, same thing) and a hydrometer - at the ounce size, he should be willing to have you give it a whirl right there - bring your hydrometer and hydrometer jar.

Another is to carefully weigh a particular volume of water, normal honey, and the cheaper honey. There's also a refractometer, which he may have - they are sort of expensive toys, but useful if you need one for work purposes.

What you are looking for with any of this is "how much of this is equivalent in sugar content to a lb of 'regular honey' ". Once you know that, you know if it's really cheaper. If it's really cheaper, since you are planning to dilute it anyway, if it's not so dilute that it's gotten spoiled, it's a deal, and perhaps a recurring one. Jump on it.
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