Bee Sugar Board Wine…?

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David Violante

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Feb 10, 2020
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New York
Well… kind of… I was making winter sugar feeding bowls for my bees and had a learning experience. The idea is to bring a high sugar content of water to a boil and then up to 260F, let cool, and then pour into paper bowls, stir until crystallized and then cool. I used an infrared thermometer instead of a candy thermometer, and so was not measuring the actual temperature of the liquid. It went up to probably 300F plus and began to caramelize then just crystallized. Sigh. Now what? I really didn’t want to throw it all out, so… make wine?

I took out the sugar cakes that wouldn’t redissolve, and measured SG. The bulb was half out of the mixture. I added about 3-4 gallons of water and brought the SG to 1.100. I added an ounce of oak chips, acid to bring the pH down to 3.8 and made a yeast starter with GoFerm and Tr-313, gradually added must to it, then I pitched and waited. Two days later, still it hadn’t taken off. So, made another starter and spent more time gradually adding must to the starter and then pitched. Today, it’s going like gang-busters.

Fingers Crossed. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. If good, great! If not, nothing too much else wasted for a trial. And I made another set of bee candy that turned out great...
Probably need yeast nutrient for this, I don’t imagine there’s much there as it is. I’d treat it like a mead for nutrients and use a TOSNA protocol.
Jim good call… I’ve done just that. I usually split the nutrients into four doses, but I added half up front and will add 1/4 and 1/4 until I get to the 1/3 drop. While it took off a bit quick, it’s moving slowly.

I just moved it from a larger fermentation vessel into a fermonster to reduce headspace and let the CO2 fill it up and displace anything else in there. No need to do punch downs and the TR-313 doesn’t hardly foam at all so I don’t have to worry about overflowing. It’s a nice caramel color…


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