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n00b+62 lbs honey+Mead book ::help::

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byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
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Boulder County, CO
If the Steinberg is suitable for temps down to 50, I think you should go for it. Cooler temps mean slower fermentation which ought to decrease the loss of aromatics.

I'm jealous of your cool temps. The heat index has been around 110 F for a week here. Dog days of August, man. Whew!! :'(

PS - Luck!
 
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Pawn

Guest
Guest
byathread said:
If the Steinberg is suitable for temps down to 50, I think you should go for it. Cooler temps mean slower fermentation which ought to decrease the loss of aromatics.

I'm jealous of your cool temps. The heat index has been around 110 F for a week here. Dog days of August, man. Whew!! :'(

PS - Luck!
Hey thanks, that will work great, Im going to put it in the fruit room at my folks.

Yeah tell me about it, its been pretty hot here as well (90f is hot for us), it kind of sucks having to move 20 gallons of beer out of the bathtub to take a shower, lol.
Cheers...John
 

Miriam

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Feb 2, 2005
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John,

I suggest that one of your plain meads that you'll be making on Sept. 3rd not include nutrient or anything but the three basic ingredients. You will see how well fermentation goes and how delicious it is, as pure and un-interfered with as possible. Just remember that racking and bottling should be done at new moon time, too.

Marion, are you reading this? See what you converted me to? ;)

Miriam
 
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Pawn

Guest
Guest
Miriam,
After reading all the horror stories (stuck ferments) I was more than a little daunted, Ken Schramm's book is great but the yeast descriptions leave little to be desired, they would be fine if I was a seasoned wine maker.

I found a reply from Marion stating he uses a 3;1 honey water ratio, this fits fairly close with Ken Schramm's medium show mead, in which Mr Schramm also indicates D-47 yeast and ample nutrients, if you have any other yeast preferences please speak up soon. ;)

::yes I am still going to try it without nutrients::

I am thinking of brewing two batches of the medium show mead, one with 12.5 lbs honey to 5 gallon total volume, and the other with 14 lbs (the max) to 5 gal volume.

I still havent decided on the water, but am thinking I will use the heavy calcium laiden water from the drilled well for both brews as the spring water would have to be boiled or otherwise purified (it has wigglers).

Im hoping this recipe and water will have a good chance of fermenting out without problems, I see D-47 is rated as low as 50f also, anyone think I will have problems with this yeast at 55 to 65f ferment temperatures?

I think I will hold off on the dry mead (steinberg yeast), I am thinking this dry mead will have a better chance fermenting out with no nutrient additions, but on the other hand the medium show mead will be more of a crowd pleaser, so if the two batches of medium show mead have problems in the primary I will reserve this honey incase I need to start another, who knows, if the 2 medium batches have problems they may endup being dry mead. :)

Cheers...John
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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Howdy Pawn,

Somehow I missed this thread.

Listen if you're looking for a sweeter mead, or even a medium sweet mead, you'll need to up your honey levels if you plan to use D-47 you'll need to have a starting gravity of about 1.120 or above. In the following link to my yeast test with D-47 you'll note that the gravity at racking was 1.009 which is about medium sweet to me. The starting gravity was 1.120 so that means you'll need at least 16 lbs of honey in your five gallon yield in order to give you a medium sweet mead using D-47.

http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,650.msg4213.html#msg4213

Hope that helps,

Oskaar
 
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Pawn

Guest
Guest
Hi Oskaar,

No problem, I would have eventually ended up bugging you as well as these other nice folks.
I guess I better not take them recipes for granted, I remember viewing your yeast test's a while back and like a fool I didn’t bookmark that thread, thanks for digging up the link for me!
unfortunately I still know so little about mead I can't really explain what I want any other way than just saying I want a mead that finishes with the flavor of this honey, is not overly sweet, and will be enjoyed by many,lol.

I have been open fermenting my beer (primary) lately, I see Marion is using this method with mead, I’m wondering if I might have luck starting a must in a bucket then funneling into a 6.5 gal carboy at full krausen to add oxygen and install an airlock, just a thought, Cheers...John
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Pawn said:
snip . . . I still know so little about mead I can't really explain what I want any other way than just saying I want a mead that finishes with the flavor of this honey, is not overly sweet, and will be enjoyed by many,lol. . .
That's about the best description of a nice medium sweet mead I've heard! It seems like the more I learn about mead, the less I feel I know about mead. Kind of ironic! LOL

Some of the best mead that I've had is from Croatia, and I just ran across a couple of recipes from a beekeeper there. Vicky and I were on the phone looking a some Slovak, Polish, Russian and Croatian websites for links and recipe information and stumbled across a Croatian Honey/Beekeeper's website. I'm translating the recipes (there are some local dialect issues on my part that I want to be sure are translated correctly before I post them up) I'll take a whack at making them once I have them posted. One of my friends smuggled some Acacia honey in from Croatia, so that sucker is going to get made into mead once the weather breaks here and I feel I have a ten day window for a fermentation at a reasonable temperature. There is also a recipe for a Gverc which is a traditional drink made around the Zagreb area of Croatia that I'll post as well.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
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Boulder County, CO
Oskaar said:
Vicky and I were on the phone looking a some Slovak, Polish, Russian and Croatian websites for links and recipe information and stumbled across a Croatian Honey/Beekeeper's website. I'm translating the recipes (there are some local dialect issues on my part that I want to be sure are translated correctly before I post them up) I'll take a whack at making them once I have them posted.
You guys rock!! Count me in, I'm very excited to try my hand at brewing some traditional old world meads.

Oskaar said:
One of my friends smuggled some Acacia honey in from Croatia...
Do you happen to know if Croatian honey is from Acacia sp.? I've been told by a beekeeper/importer that German Acacia honey (and presumably Polish Acacia honey) are in fact from Robinia sp. Acacia species are not adaptable to the northern climes of Germany or Poland (that I'm aware of), though I have discovered that Robinia sp. (probably Robinia pseudoacacia - Black Locust, which is naturalized across much of Europe) are common nectar plants there. However, I know Croatia has a considerably warmer/milder climate that Northern Europe and true Acacia sp. may grow there. Regardless, they should be fairly similar honeys as both are in the Leguminosae family.

Just curious,
Kirk
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
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Boulder County, CO
Nevermind. I think I answered my own question. I had a few minutes at lunch to research and the best single source of info for my quest was found <a href="http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sea/Products/AFDbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1454">here</a>.

Robinia pseudoacacia is a very significant plant in world agroforestry, being used for timber, fodder, honey production, etc. It is also grown widely across Europe (particularly Hungary though including at least eastern Croatia), Asia and elsewhere. Also, they had this to say about the honey produced from it.

"R. pseudoacacia honey is regarded as one of the world’s finest. The slowly granulating honey is water-white, heavy bodied, fine flavoured with high fructose and low enzyme content."

The tree is native to eastern and southeastern US (as Black Locust) and is available from multiple suppliers (do a search on honeylocator.com) including, I believe, Spring Hill Merchant*. Just in case others are interested in authenticity. FYI, this seems to be a very common honey in European meads (in my very limited research).

In case anyone else had the slightest interest... ;)
Kirk



* Its just listed as Locust honey on the website (which could conceivably be from Honey Locust, related but in a completely different genus), though honeylocator lists it as Black Locust. I've sent the kind folks at Spring Hill Merchant an email to confirm.
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
644
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Boulder County, CO
The ever-helpful and friendly Terri Watts from Spring Hill Merchant promptly informed me that it is in fact Honey Locust honey (also known as Gleditsia triacanthos for you latin buffs). Not the first time Honeylocator.com proves inaccurate when it comes to honey varieties, but still an invaluable resource. So it looks like authentic old world "Acacia" honey will need to be purchased elsewhere. Terri also informs that their wildflower is excellent and mostly a mix of honey locust and blueberry as the primary floral sources.
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Most of the "Acaia" honey in Croatia is from the false locust (tree) Robinia pseudacacia. It is called Bagrem in Croatian and is pretty damn incredible honey. I love the stuff so I'll be making a gallon batch of it here in the next few days.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
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Boulder County, CO
Aha! my research lead me to the correct conclusion. I will try to get ahold of some so I can try your recipe too.

I can get imported "acacia" honey from middle eastern shops here (I think they were from Croatia or eastern Eur). However, they come in 1 lb jars and are pricey, so I think I'll hold out and find a supplier of Black Locust honey from the eastern US.
 
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Pawn

Guest
Guest
Hey Oskaar,
I did some reading, and that sounds like some really good honey, any idea where I could purchase a bottle of Acacia mead ( without taking out a mortgage) for my wife and I to taste?

Here is a place to buy Acacia and other honey by the ton ;D
http://www.agriseek.com/buy-sell/e/Ag-Products/Bee/Honey/Acacia/

byathread,
I came up with some of the same info as well as finding the Locust tree grows just about anywhere and the honey locust and black locust are native to the US, I don't remember ever seeing a large grove though, perhaps these other countries don't have evergreens for the locust to compete with, heh, the honey 10.99 a lb though ??? I Might buy a lb just to taste, and leave the acacia mead making to you pro's.

3 more days till I start my mead's ;D
Cheers...John
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
644
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0
Boulder County, CO
I called Miller's but they said they do not normally carry Acacia honey. If they did, I'd guess it would be from true Acacia sp. I know true Acacia honey is produced in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and probably California, as well as Mexico. Texas is famous for its Huajillo honey (Acacia berlandieri) and also produces Whitethorn honey (Acacia contricta) as well as honeys from other Acacia species. True acacia species are very common legume trees/shrubs in the harsh lands of the southwest (as well as arid lands worldwide), as well as being very heavy nectar-producers. I look forward to late April every year when the local Acacia's are smothered in their tiny golden puffball flowers.

But I digress... ;)

Kirk
 

byathread

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
644
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0
Boulder County, CO
Incidentally, I went to a middle eastern market yesterday to pick up a couple of things and check on the "Acacia" honey. It is from Hungary (who have extensive plantations of Black Locust for wood, fodder, honey, etc) and runs $4.50/lb. I opted instead to get an 18oz jar of Forest honey from Bulgaria to try out.
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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We have several middle-east markets here in the Orange County area of So Cal and they're a great resource for mead making. Everything from spices to wonderful fresh fruit and different honeys. And of course, Lamb!

Cheers,

Oskaar
 
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Pawn

Guest
Guest
No middle-east markets here but we do have Lamb ;D

I almost didn’t start that batch of mead I had scheduled for Sept 3rd, it seems Yeasties are not the only ones that thrive at the new moon, to cut the story short I have a funeral to attend next Saturday and possibly 2 more in the near future (bought a new suit today).

Due to the recent events I was a little paranoid about the natural mead so I used nutrients in hopes of having a good (fool proof) first batch, my wife helped me we had about one hr of free time.

5 gallon
16 lbs honey
2 tsp DAP
Pitched 2 packets (re-hydrated) Lalvin D-47 @ must temp 80f
OG 1.131

I ran 2 gallons of the must through the blender, and the next day there was still 1 inch of foam at the top, no activity, removed the foil cover and installed a airlock.

Sept 5th noon, 15 bubbles per minute, slight melting plastic smell, temp 72f.

Sept 7th same activity and smell, temp 72f, corrected Gravity 1.110, added 1 quart 1.131 must with 2 tsp yeast hulls.

What do you folks think, is 72f to high of a primary temp?
The beers/carboys sitting around the mead are @64f (secondary), so that mead is definitely putting off some heat.

If you all think this temperature is good for primary, I also planned on moving this batch to the fruit room at the farm for secondary which should stay between 55 and 60f all winter, thanks, Cheers...John
 

Brewbear

NewBee
Registered Member
May 10, 2005
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Hi,
This link is to a web page describing all of the various yeasts, well most of them. http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp
As far as D-47 is concerned, 72 deg.F should be good. The temps in my neck of the woods are in high 70's with the A/C going full blast but I had to start 2 5 gal batches. One is a show mead with only honey, water and yeast (K1-V the temp range is much higher).

Hope it helps,
Ted
 
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