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BBQ Sauce Mead


Registered Member
Jun 24, 2019
Hi all! I'm not looking for feedback on how to perfect a recipe, but rather make sure that none of the ingredients we're including are going to turn out poisonous or rancid, etc.

So, my friend and I are embarking on a quest to brew a mead that resembles a honey BBQ sauce as closely as possible. The thought would be to, in the initial fermenter, include smoked honey, brown sugar, molasses, garlic cloves, ginger root, oregano leaf, chili and cayenne peppers, onion, and maybe lemon and cinnamon stick, then after fermentation is complete back-"sweeten" with apple cider vinegar for tang. Is there anything in this combination that would cause any serious issues, other than the overall objective being ridiculous?


Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
Saratoga Springs , NY
Hi FaithlessValor - and welcome. I guess I am a purist and so my concern would be with the addition of vinegar. I tend to think of vinegar as live - so filled with aceto-bacter and the last thing one wants to do is introduce aceto-bacter anywhere near anything you are fermenting to make ethanol (alcohol). Ethanol + air + aceto-bacter = vinegar but you may not be a purist and so you may be intending to use shelf stable vinegar. In which case I still shudder at the thought of placing vinegar anywhere near any of my wine/mead making equipment but your "make room" is yours. In terms of harm I cannot see any health risks but I would suggest that you look for a molasses made earlier in the process than black strap. Black strap being the last of the last of the junk that is left after the sugar is processed. Also you may want to avoid using molasses to which sulfites have been added as a preservative. They are added to inhibit fermentation. Good luck.


Honey Master
Registered Member
Jan 10, 2014
Bbq sauce is balanced with sweetness and during fermentation sugars are eaten. So you will need to backsweeten with sugars, not just vinegar. Perhaps you might find that the ferment has changed the profile of the ingredients in such a way that you do not need the vinegar. If you intend to drink this my thinking is that you will not need the vinegar. If you intend this as a marinade or for bbq maybe you might need it.
I have a wine I really enjoy using as a marinade. I stumbled upon this by chance. If this fails (and if you're into making mead) perhaps while making mead you might stumble upon a recipe which you think is suitable for marinades or bbq. I find metheglins often come to mind as suitable for marinades


Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Nov 9, 2012
I make a lot of BBQ sauce. In my experience, an awesome BBQ sauce needs a balance of 4 elements: Sweet, Heat, Sour, and Savory.

Sweet is obviously honey here, so a sweet mead it is.

Heat should be multiple types of heat for complexity. Multiple pepper types or chili types. Black pepper, long pepper, Tasmanian Pepper berries. The potential is unlimited.

Sour could be vinegar, but fresh lemon juice added post ferment could work too. A note on acetobacter: max acetic acid levels that acetobacter can handle are generally in the 7% range. This means if you had a 15% ABV mead and added a vinegar mother plus oxygen, you would end up with ~7% acetic acid (vinegar) and 8% ABV. For reference, most purchased vinegar is 5% acetic acid.

Savory means anything that doesn’t fit above. Herbs, spices, salt, etc. Typically this is where your wow factor is. Don’t be afraid to have 20+ ingredients in here.

All of this could be worked into a mead. I don’t know if I would want to drink it, but marinade for sure. It will take quite sometime to get it right (I’ve been working on my BBQ sauce for 20 years and it will never be finished. Always trying to improve). Good luck!

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