BVC - Re: BVC: Meade instructions for beginners

Niewoehner, Hugh hughn at
Wed Feb 9 13:33:57 PST 2000

Per the pasturization concept...The following are extracts from a number of
posts by Master Gerald Goodwine on CALONBREW.  Good references too. 

You'll note that you can pasturize at fairly low temp's if your willing to
wait long enough.  Or, shoot for 135.  Not an unbearably long time and cool
enough you shouldn't loose too many volatile elements.  


Below is a re-posted chart showing time and temperatures needed to eliminate
wild yeasts when preparing a honey must.  The original source is a 1939
article by G. F. Townsend in J. Econ. Entomology, titled  "Time and
temperature in relation to the destruction of sugar tolerant yeasts in
honey."  The information below comes from John White's chapter on honey in
_The Hive and the Honey Bee_, 1978, p. 513.

Townsend found that five honey yeasts common to Canada were destroyed under
the following conditions.
Time at indicated temperature (minutes)	Temperature (degrees F)
               470                              125
               170	                        130
                60	                        135
                22                              140
               7.5 **	                        145
               2.8 **	                        150
               1.0 **	                        155

** Extrapolated from logarithmic curve constructed from Townsend's data, 
   according to John White's notes.

It's important to note that these are minimum temperatures needed to kill
wild yeasts, but may not eliminate other microorganisms such as spoilage
bacteria. It's still necessary to use techniques such as pitching a big
starter at the start of the fermentation.  Using yeast with a "killer
factor" is also helpful.  Also, as you can see, very little time is needed
at temperatures of 145 to 155 degrees F.  On the other hand, the higher
temperatures carry the increased risk of destroying some of the aromatic
compounds in your honey.

>sooo, don't heat the must at all??
Sometimes there is a such thing as too many ideas.  The bottom line is this.
Some sort of must sanitation is necessary if you don't want to risk making
vinegar, growing mold, and or getting food poisoning.  There
is some truth to the fact that nothing harmful will grow in wine but that's
wine, not fruit juice,  or honey water mixes.  Assuming you get wine instead
of those other nasties you can still have aceto-bacteria
turn it to vinegar and a whole slew of other microbes can attack wine (or
mead) making it unpleasant to drink.  In general they won't hurt you but
they make the product undrinkable.

The two major methods are as follows.

Make the pH around 3.5 and add sulfite.
Good sanitation
Good protection over time. ( something falling in won't grow)
Good aroma profile

Need pH meter to do it right
Can leave sulfite taste and aroma
Changes the acid balance to something more like a white wine.
Not a period method

Sanitizes the must.
Period technique.
Breaks down protein if boiled
Breaks down enzymes at above 170 deg F 145 deg for 20 min will take care of
most yeast bacteria but not proteins or enzymes.
Works at any acid level
Pasteurizing does NOT prevent fermentation, unless you were hoping to use
the wild yeast present in the honey.  And who knows what else you will find
in the honey, once it is diluted to where it will ferment, mold, etc.

Loss of some volatiles and aromas
Some say longer aging times but not all agree on this
Doesn't prevent reinfection throughout the brewing process (one must be
careful about reinfection)

Bottom line: Choose a method of sanitation.
I recommend getting some cheap honey and try boiling vs 120 deg for 20 min.
Fancier techniques are for fancier honey. 

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