Heat or no-heat?

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cfonnes

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I happily collect 5 gallons of wildflower from my first year hive (leaving plenty for winter).

I have read Ken Schramm, The Complete Meadmaker, and have decided to use his recipe for a medium sweet mead. Then next summer when my black raspberries are ripe I will add some to the secondary.

My question is, heat or no-heat? What are your experiences with no-heat?
 

bernardsmith

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What would be the value and purpose of heating unless you wanted to make jam rather than a mead or melomel. In my (albeit limited ) experience the only thing that heat does is to blow off volatile aromatics and flavor molecules and if you are using honey for its flavor and its aroma and choosing berries for theirs then heating would not make a great deal of sense. If you are anxious about wild yeasts in your berries then add K-meta. Honey - as you may know - is not likely to infected with bacteria or mold (its shelf life can be measured in centuries not years).
That said, I think mazers might have heated honey to remove impurities like bees' knees and wax but wine makers have been making wine from pressed grapes for millennia without any care about spiders' webs or flies' wings. If your honey is OK to eat then it is - in my opinion - ok to dilute and ferment. The fermentation process itself will separate any residual wax that you have inadequately filtered
 

Arpolis

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Usually I use the no heat method because you get a stronger flavor than just heating to sterilize the honey. I have a first year hive I am making a gallon of mead from too! :tank: However there is something to caramelizing honey. If you heat honey for a minimum of 45 min up to 2 hours depending on the level of burn you want then you get a better mouthfeel and a whole new flavor profile. I did an orangeblossom mead were I caramelized the honey for about 45 min for a very slight color/aroma change and did a no heat orange blossom side by side. Both had citrous notes but the slightly Caramelized one was better received by friends and family. Many said it had apple notes and was just damn refreshing and pleasant.

So this all depends on what you want out of the mead. But just to sterilize a honey for a few minutes I think is pointless. So heat it good and long or not at all.
 
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cfonnes

cfonnes

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Caramelizing sounds interesting for a future batch. How hot do you get the honey?
 

WVMJ

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Your bees put so much effort into making a fine honey why would you want to heat it up (besides burning it for a Bochet) and blow the essence of your honey up in steam? On the other hand people who boil their honey like their meads just fine, they all taste pretty much the same after they are boiled! WVMJ



I happily collect 5 gallons of wildflower from my first year hive (leaving plenty for winter).

I have read Ken Schramm, The Complete Meadmaker, and have decided to use his recipe for a medium sweet mead. Then next summer when my black raspberries are ripe I will add some to the secondary.

My question is, heat or no-heat? What are your experiences with no-heat?
 

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