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Honeysuckle Mead/melomel

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St Allie

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I collected 5 litres of flowers today ( 20 cups) It should really make a 3 gallon batch according to most online recipes, however, will taste the must after straining tomorrow and see how strong the taste is.

Added 4 litres boiling water.. 1.5 kilos of honey simmered with half a litre of water and impurities skimmed off.. nutrient, campden, 2 lemons (juice and zest) and a cup of strong black tea.

Leaving it 24 hours then straining it and adding the yeast.. Lalvin EC118

Currently there is a very strong honeysuckle perfume.. will take the SG after straining it and adjust the level.. aiming for around 1.070 to 1.075.. I don't want the abv too high, trying to keep the delicate flower scent intact.

Allie
 

Tom

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sounds interesting. Let us know what it "tatsts" like when finished.
 

St Allie

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SG 1.078.

Tom it'll be at least a year before I can give you any idea.
( patience is a virtue!)

Smells like dandelion wine but stronger..with a honeysuckle overtone.

Allie
 

Wade E

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That sounds good. My friend used to have a few of these of these plants growing up his light pole and I used to pluck the middle out and suck on that. Get your minds out of the gutter everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Mud

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I might try this, St Allie. There are honeysuckles growing all along the road near my place. The only iffy thing is getting enough flowers. if there isn't enough I'm going to try wisteria.
 

St Allie

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at least the flowers are easy to pick Mud.. when I made the gorseflower wine.. I was picking thorns out of my hands for weeks..

it'll be interesting to see how much you get.
 

Mud

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This is a wild honeysuckle, right? I thought honeysuckle and columbine were the same flower, but Rodale's says they're not. Honeysuckle is Lonicera and Columbine is Aquilegia Doesn't have any pictures, though. Either way, I really can't decide whether to strip the flowers for mead or transplant them into my lawn. When did I start liking flowers?

wild-honeysuckle.jpg
 
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Mud

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That's most definitely not what is growing here, but that would be a nice score, too. Aaargh! Can't stop liking flowers. <facepalm. heads off to drink bourbon in the morning, shoot a gun, and generally restore stereotypical masculinity>
 

St Allie

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the pic that bhamguy posted is honeysuckle.

the pic mud has posted is aquilegia or grannys bonnets.

...here's a few non poisonous flowers that you can make wines from..

elderflower
honeysuckle
cowslips ( now protected in britain)
rose petal
sage flowers ( also known as clary)
gorse
golden rod
carnation
clover
hawthorn blossom
pansy
lime bract and flower
dandelion
marigold
wallflower
orangeblossom
feijoa blossom

some flowers are poisonous.. daffodils and rhododendrons for example

Allie
 

Mud

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ok. Thanks St Allie. Guess they're going in the flower bed, not the mead. <eats red meat>
 

fatbloke

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the pic that bhamguy posted is honeysuckle.

the pic mud has posted is aquilegia or grannys bonnets.

...here's a few non poisonous flowers that you can make wines from..

elderflower
honeysuckle
cowslips ( now protected in britain)
rose petal
sage flowers ( also known as clary)
gorse
golden rod
carnation
clover
hawthorn blossom
pansy
lime bract and flower
dandelion
marigold
wallflower
orangeblossom
feijoa blossom

some flowers are poisonous.. daffodils and rhododendrons for example

Allie
Well apart from the difference between toxic and non flowers Allie, I'm gonna pick a bit of a hole in your ingredients.


I think (a small typo?) that you say about using EC-1118 i.e. a champagne yeast.

I've found that there are better yeasts to use, especially if the aim is to maintain a floral characteristic.

EC-1118 is good, don't get me wrong, but it does seem to over do it because of the nature of the yeast. It seems very much to blow the finer aromas and flavours out the airlock - as for trying to stop the ferment that high? well good luck, you'd probably have to cold crash it at the same time as using sulphites and sorbates and still have to put it in a stock pot on the heat afterwards to get to about 60C or so to physically kill the yeast.

For florals, I've found 71B to be good, also K1V-1116, though that can taste quite rough when the ferment is first finished - but it ages wonderfully.

I'd have thought that the best approach would have been to use a floral honey (lavender???) then put the flowers into a straining bag in secondary (a bit of research about how honeysuckle can be extracted i.e. heat, cold water, alcohol, etc etc - lot's of perfumes are extracted differently) to keep as much of the perfume/aroma as possible......

I don't know if any of the less frequently used yeasts (from morewine) would have been better to use, I just would not have used the EC-1118 unless I was looking for a mead that was supposed to display "champagne characteristics".......


Hope you don't mind this, it isn't meant as criticism - I keep a little EC-1118 but it's only there for restarts, if I screw up with something else......


regards

fatbloke
 

St Allie

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No problem at all Fatbloke..

the quick answer is..I can only get EC1118 at present ( and some cider/beer yeasts)

Some here, have access to a great range of yeasts and some of our members ( in india for example) only have access to beer yeasts.

if those other yeasts quoted, were easy to get my hands on, I certainly would give them a go.

Allie
 

Runningwolf

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Wow I can't believe cow slip is protected in Britain. There is tons of that around here. It's done flowering now but comes up at the same time as skunk cabbage in the spring.
 

fatbloke

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Gotta remember that just because the name (the colloquial one that is) is the same it doesn't necessarily mean it's the same plant.......

British Bluebells are similar looking to the Spanish ones but the Spanish ones don't support the same fauna! So now one of the conservation nazis is up in arms about it.

I'd think there's probably a similar issue with the cow slip..........don't forget either that due to the size of the country, space/land is at a far greater premium, hence "they" spent years ripping out hedgerow, now there's subsidy from the EU to conserve it so some farmers are putting it back in with help/support of the conservation lot..........
 

fatbloke

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No problem at all Fatbloke..

the quick answer is..I can only get EC1118 at present ( and some cider/beer yeasts)

Some here, have access to a great range of yeasts and some of our members ( in india for example) only have access to beer yeasts.

if those other yeasts quoted, were easy to get my hands on, I certainly would give them a go.

Allie
It's a suggestion, but what about splitting a commercial pack - afterall there's plenty of wine made in NZ. I make mainly meads, and after a fair bit of investigation, found that the "fabled" Maury yeast mentioned in the writings of the late Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey/Bee breeding/keeping used, is available as Lalvins D21. When he couldn't get that he moved to the Montpellier strain which is Lalvins K1V-1116.

A friend who uses D21 in the US keeps me supplied but it seems that "Morewine" (again in the US) repackage some of the more unusual strains into homebrew sized packs. I keep meaning to email them to see if they'd ship me some i.e. just a couple of sachets in an envelope - so it could arrive letter post. Pretty sure that should be Ok (in respect of NZ customs) as "they" must have to import some strains like that for your wine industry........

Gotta be worth looking into..........

regards

Fatbloke
 
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St Allie

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Definately worth looking into.. so far, I've only made one melomel and one mead.. so it's still a learning process for me. Am a bit more proficient with ciders. Will have a go at cyser next time.

The honeysuckle recipe was defaulted to a mead.. the original recipe was based on sugar additions and was fiddled with, because I had some clover blend honey to hand.

thanks for that!

Allie
 

fatbloke

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Definately worth looking into.. so far, I've only made one melomel and one mead.. so it's still a learning process for me. Am a bit more proficient with ciders. Will have a go at cyser next time.

The honeysuckle recipe was defaulted to a mead.. the original recipe was based on sugar additions and was fiddled with, because I had some clover blend honey to hand.

thanks for that!

Allie
Ah, well given your location, I got some of this last week. So maybe it would be "killing two birds with one stone" ????

Surely it must be available locally........

regards

fatbloke
 

St Allie

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Ah, well given your location, I got some of this last week. So maybe it would be "killing two birds with one stone" ????

Surely it must be available locally........

regards

fatbloke
rewarewa is a different plant altogether. A NZ native.

I'd stick with clover here, it's half the price.

Allie
 

fatbloke

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Well he must be getting it a good price then, cos there's not much difference between that and english clover etc.....

Or just follow the lines of "what the hell"! and make some to try the different varietal honeys with traditional mead.

This afternoons job, was to rack 3 x 1 gallon batches. Two are variations on Oaklahoma Wild Flower (my friend sent me a gallon of it) and the other one is using a Blended Polish honey that someone who used to work with me brought back from home.

I've been arranging a 15kg bucket of Polish Buckwheat honey via one of the blokes at Gotmead. The chap mentioned above is getting delivered to his house and will bring it back with him. Saving a fortune in either driving across to Poland to collect it, or shipping it.

Either way, try as many varietals as you can. And don't just presume the cheap honey, crap mead POV. One of the nicest ones I've made was using blended Greek honey from the local branch of a German discount chain. The mead came out amazing. I was very pleased.

You can always just go for enough for a 1 gallon batch. That's what I do, as I'm convinced we should be able to make it reasonably cheaply, reasonably quickly. I don't compromise on the yeast and nutrient ingredients and if the recipe involves fruit I try and stick to the exact ones mentioned by the original author. To try and understand the flavour that they were aiming for.

Doesn't always work. Though I won't bin any failures. They either get chucked under the stairs for more ageing or go through a friends still to recover the alcohol. As little as possible wasted....

regards

fatbloke
 
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