BVC - Boiling honey and pasteurization.

Mills, Scott Scott.Mills at
Thu Feb 10 09:55:48 PST 2000

> As you can tell, I always boil the honey. Within a period 
> context, it is far and away the most common technique. 
> And what I attempt are period reconstructions. For the 
> most part, I view the "to boil or not to boil" debate 
> from that perspective.

As I mentioned in my very first post that certainly the boiling
and skimming method seems to predominate the period English
texts.  From the standpoint of tradition and trying to recreate
a period beverage using completely period techniques it is a 
completely valid procedure.  If you are working from a 
documented period recipe and that period recipe notes a 
specific method of preparation then that it was you 
should use.

Mentioned before was that the process of boiling and skimming was
found to be enjoyable and therapeutic.  That's the best justification 
I have ever heard for boiling.  This is a hobby and supposed to
be fun and we should do whatever brings us the most joy.

My original point was that to a novice and first time meadmaker
who is not working from a documented period recipe, or using
period tools or ingredients I would not recommend the boil 
and skim routine.  It just increases the chance of a boil-over, a big mess,
a scorched must and is unnecessary hassle.  After all, 
don't we want thier first brewing experience to be as easy 
and hassle-free as possible?

> <and the devil on his shoulder quips> 
>     Can you point me to nationally known mead makers that DO 
> boil their    
> honey?

No actually I cant.  This doesn't mean they don't exist it just 
means I don't know who they are.  It has been my observation that
almost all of the meadmakers that I see consistently placing
in the national competitions find the boiling and unnecessary step.
These same meadmakers seem to prefer raw unmolested honey.

You can make good even GREAT meads with store-bought processed
honey and by boiling it despite my personal preferences.



Scott Mills	 
Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com 
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