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Using honey without making mead?

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firebob

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I got three 55 gallon drums of raw clove honey 2 years ago at an auction for $1.75 a gallon. Last year we made tons of mead; but we still have a 55 gallon drum left.

The misses and I have talked about replacing some for the sugar with honey this year but were wondering about how it will affect the over all flavor. As anyone ever played with honey when they were not making mead? If you have tried it could you describe the back round flavors that it left.

It looks like we will be doing a peach and white grape blend this year. We have the peach with a little oak started and thinking about adding the honey to the grape once they get ripe. We have plenty of dandelion, honeysuckle, rose, maple, and apple on hand that we sometimes use during blending for back round flavors.
 

Sacalait

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I've used honey to back sweeten and as a way to smooth out the harshness of a young wine but that's about as far as I've gotten with it.
 

firebob

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I have used honey for back sweetening a few times also. I think I could replace 1/3 of the sugar with honey but I have no clue.

Sacalait thanks for the reply.
 

smurfe

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I have used honey to raise the gravity to where I wanted it. Does that make it a mead? How much honey you have to add to make it a mead?
 

Wade E

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Hmmmm, thats a good question Smurfe! I would imagine that it doesnt matter as long as there was no sugar fermented to make it a mead.
 

firebob

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I’m not sure smurfe but that is a good question.

It looks like we will be using some honey unless we find something leading us to not doing it. We still have a while till the grapes are ready…
 

Wade E

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I cant think of any reasons not to use honey!!!!!!! If I had that much honey there would be a lot of mead being made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

firebob

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I currently have 2 – 40 gallon pickle kegs of mead. I did bottle some of it for a family reunion earlier this year and I sent every one home with a bottle.

I would rather have a glass or two of the wine we make then a glass of mead any day. I just don’t want to mess up a good size batch of wine with a few gallons of honey.
 

Wade E

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Really? Both of the melomels Ive made blow the doors off most of my wines but its just so darn expensive for the honey.
 

Sacalait

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Do any of you cook the honey prior to introducing it to the wine for either back sweetening or as a way to increase the SG initially?
 

Wade E

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Warming it up is fine but boiling it will rid it of most of the aromatic flavors.
 

firebob

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Thanks wade I had never heard of melomels. After googleing it I see I’m good to go. I’ll be using less then the recipes I saw but I think I’ll use about 20 gallons of the 75 gallons I have left.

Next year I will make a true melomels with the drum that I have left.



I like to get the honey up to about 80*F after mixing in a little water. The drums that I got have crystallized so I have to get it up to about 100*F to get it smooth.
 

Nubz

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this is actually a good question if you think about it

does adding honey with the sugar make it a mead or not lol
 

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