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Thread: two questions

  1. #1

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    Joined this forum a couple of weeks ago and enjoy it a lot, I log in every day to read the posts and go through the different areas and links.

    We just harvested for the 2nd time this year and the older gentleman (83 years old <g> ) who extracts our honey for us accidently left about 10 of our frames out in the rain on his deck. We have wanted to try and make mead and I wonder if I could go ahead and use this honey since it has gotten wet? Our friend said to just put it back on some of the hizes and the bees would dry it out but I thought that since we are going to put honey into water to make mead anyway why not go ahead and use these frames? Any ideas?

    Second, I want to try and crush and extract method with these frames if we are going to use it for the mead. Do you simply extract it from the frames, crush it with your hands and strain it? That seems too simple. Would it be better to crush it using a small fruit press that we have?

    thanks,

    Derek in the Hocking Hills of Ohio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    793

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    >>>>use this honey since it has gotten wet?
    It should be fine if you are planning to start your ‘mash’ right away. Since there is water in some of the cells you could get fermentation started within just a couple of days.

    >>I want to try and crush and extract method

    That would also be ok. However, by using crush and extract you may end up with more wax in the extracted honey. I even saw one recipe that mentioned allowing a few crushed drove larva to make it into the mask.

    Either of these two issues makes it very critical that you heat the ‘mash’ and remove all scum before starting your primary fermentation. When heating the ‘mash’, use a candy thermometer and keep the solution at 140 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Stir fro time to time near bottom of the pot and continue to remove any scum (feed this back to bees once it cools). Removing the wax will assist in ending up with a clearer mead. Heating also kilss any wild yeast fermentation processes that may have already started. This permits whatever mead or wine yeast you use for a starter to control the primary fermentation process.

    Another thing that I do is to use any frames of uncapped honey in the fall extracting harvest for my mead production. Since its water content was too high to cap, I figure it is still excellent for this use.


  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply!

    Derek


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

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    As far as crush and strain, yes, I just mash it in my hands. Squishing the wax into fist sized balls.

    As far as heating the mash, I admit I'm no expert on mead, but I did just go to an all day workshop with one of the leading mead book authors in the country (people flew in from as far away as Vermont to attend) and several other mead experts and he NEVER heats the mash. I also know a local mead maker who concurs. All of the delicate nuances and flavors of unheated honey are a big part of the boquet of a good mead. If you heat it you will lose all of that. The yeast you add will be a totatly different type of yeast than the sugar tolerant yeast on the combs and will have all the advantages when fermenting at the dilution you will use.

    But then I think its sacreligious to heat honey without an AWFULLY good reason.

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