BVC - Re: BVC: Meade instructions for beginners (fwd)

Chuck_CTR_Graves@mmacmail.jccbi.gov Chuck_CTR_Graves at mmacmail.jccbi.gov
Wed Feb 9 06:16:51 PST 2000


Being a beekeeper, I know the concerns about China.  The US beekeepers have been
instrumental in getting periodic strictures in place.

Keep in mind, the article is complaining about the low European standards.  Take
a closer look at ours, they are stricter.  Of course, we use imported
honey...America has quite a sweet tooth.  But the level of adulteration is
really not very high.

Personally, I don't prefer store-bought honey but I do a LOT of metheglins and
the subtle differences between honeys can easily be lost.  For straight meads, I
like the naturals.

>I am also a rabid anti-boiler when it comes to the treatment of honey in
>meads.  I boil my water and then remove my pot from the heat and add my
>honey.  This pasteurizes the honey but without the effect of harming the
>flavor or aroma.   

Here, we disagree. I always boil. The majority of my sources cite it and so I
use it.  Mind you, the sources are not 100% boiling.  There are several recipes
which do as you suggest: bring the water to boil, remove the heat, and add
honey.

Besides, boiling and skimming is rather therapeutic.

I don't like aluminum because they are typically too thin. Without the thermal
mass of the pot (like stainless steel), the cooking is not as consistent. It is
too easy to burn the must.

I certainly agree on the yeast types.  I use ale yeasts almost exclusively. I
still grieve over the batch I made with dry mead yeast (suggested by someone who
knows I DESPISE champagne yeast.)

>I completely agree with Hamlin when he says WAIT.  I think that for a
>traditional mead it is important that you plan on at least a year before
>consumption.  The mead will probably continue to improve for a couple of
>years perhaps longer depending on storage conditions and original
>considerations like alc%, pH, sugar content, honey source, etc.   

You know I have to ask this:
    What is the definition of "traditional"?

Consider "long", "quick", "sweet" and "dry" in formulating your answer.  8^)

Regards,
Tadhg

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