24 lbs of late season raw honey... Heat? Ginger mead?

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TXCrash

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As soon as the almost done apfelwein drops clear (or I may pick up a brew bucket...) I want to start a mead. I'm thinking a ginger mead - it'll be my first time making mead...

I've done SOME research - but much of the information is scattered and there are varying opinions. I've gotten good advice on beer here, so I figured I'd turn here for mead advice as well.

I know NOT to boil the must, I don't want to sulphite (sp?) the must, so pasturize at 145 F for 30 minutes?

Skim or not? As I understand it, the "impurities" in the mead contain nutrients for the yeast - bee guts, wild yeast (killed by the pasturization I hope - unless it's good wild yeast:drunk:..), beeswax...

I'd love a ginger mead - as I understand it that'll need to be something added in secondary due to the antiseptic qualities of ginger? Feel free to talk me out of ginger...

Also need to decide on a yeast.

I'll probably do a gallon batch of JAOM (considering doing a 5), Kinda tempted to do a gallon batch of "toss honey in with water - see what happens" batch (completely wild).

Discuss my (unfortunately sober) ramblings...
 

summersolstice

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No need to boil, sterilize, pasteurize, or do anything else to the honey and no need to skim. If there are any wild yeast in the honey, the far more aggressive commercial yeast will kill it.

Ginger's fine, but I think it has sort of a medicinal taste in honey. I use it in conjunction with other spices and I make sure the mead is semi-sweet, but that's my preference. Others may have theirs.

I like K1V-1116 and D-47. What kind of flavor profile are you looking for?

If you've read the directions for JAO mead, you'll know that what you propose to do is exactly what the recipe describes. You put everything in the jug, shake the crap out of it, top it up, and place your airlock.
 
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TXCrash

TXCrash

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After some brief mead yeast research - I think I'll go with the K1V-1116. Though, the D-47 sounds good too. I like fruity - I also like earthy. The wife wants a sweet mead, I want a semi dry mead... sounds like, based on the flavor profile descriptions, the K1V should give what I want.

I'll skip the ginger for now. No need to risk making an entire batch of "vicks vapor honey".

Funny thing is, I just realized this morning that I'd already bought a gallon of honey from the same apiary at a farmers market. I'm in-freaking-love with the honey from this guy's bees.
 

Mr. Nice Guy

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I know you are skipping the ginger but just for info; I have fermented with plenty ginger and it won't stop or even slow down fermentation, it is a rumor I guess. Powdered ginger has SO2 in it, maybe that would be a problem.
 

summersolstice

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After some brief mead yeast research - I think I'll go with the K1V-1116. Though, the D-47 sounds good too. I like fruity - I also like earthy. The wife wants a sweet mead, I want a semi dry mead... sounds like, based on the flavor profile descriptions, the K1V should give what I want.

I'll skip the ginger for now. No need to risk making an entire batch of "vicks vapor honey".
.
Both yeasts make very good mead and even if your mead ferments dry you can always backsweeten. Same with flavor ingredients. You can always add fruits and/or spices in the secondary or add spices, oak, or any other dry ingredients during bulk aging as well. Don't be afraid to try ginger if you like it. It does very well with mead and I have at least a half dozen different meads, including braggots, with ginger as an ingredient on my shelves that are all good. My warning was against to much ginger as a sole ingredient.

Good luck!
 
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