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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    196

    Default Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    I made my first batch of mead earlier this year, predominately from last year's poplar honey.

    I know we should've aged it longer, but as is it was a huge hit with my husband (who hates wine) and in-laws (wine-lovers).

    The problem is I couldn't find any poplar honey this year. When I asked around I was told it's not good for making mead, but never got an answer why.

    So what's the deal? And is there a good substitute?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    I think meadmaking is so small that there are very strong opinions about what type of honey to not use for mead. If there were as many mead drinkers as wine drinkers you would see groups of ppl in favor of some of the less popular honeys such as buckwheat.

    As it stands now the mead drinking pop is so small that only the most generally popular honey will be promoted- my theory anyway.
    Last edited by Gus979; 12-12-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    That explains a lot. Sadly, that was the most delicious honey I've ever tasted and I haven't seen it since: I almost hesitated to use it.

    Perhaps with the K1V-1116 it was practically fail proof.

    I have as much to learn about meadmaking as I do beekeeping!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,819

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    Making mead is a hoot. The flavor of stronger flavored honey comes thru and if you made a good mead with Tulip Poplar, you could make one again. Buckwheat is great for mead and I wish I had a bucket of it. Ken Schramm's book The compleat meadmaker is a great place to start learning and he provides several good recipes too. Go to the homebrew portion of this forum and you will find mead making discussions and recipes. I have thirty gallons lurking in the dark getting ready to bottle and recipes I want to try for at least that much more. I may have to become a drunk if I can't give most of it away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    We have used tulip poplar, locust, clover and wildflower - all are good. Maybe the folks you talked to are limited in their experinces in making mead or think mead only comes in 1 flavor. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    I made my first batch of mead earlier this year, predominately from last year's poplar honey.

    I know we should've aged it longer, but as is it was a huge hit with my husband (who hates wine) and in-laws (wine-lovers).

    The problem is I couldn't find any poplar honey this year. When I asked around I was told it's not good for making mead, but never got an answer why.

    So what's the deal? And is there a good substitute?
    The whole point IMO of making your own (well there are many but for me #1 is) that you can make it the way YOU want it and don't have to take any grief from anyone!!! If you like it and other don't, well that'll just make fewer meadmakers hankering for that poplar. I make a house dry stout that I (and everyone who's tried it) just loves. When I have submitted it for competition, while it's perfectly executed if I do say so myself, it suffers points for being too roasty and dry for the style. Wouldn't change the recipe for love or money though . Take good notes and make that poplar mead any year you can!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    Vance, how do you make mead from buckwheat, we tried some honey and it seemed like maybe use it at the end to add some flavor but are you using all buckwheat? WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Making mead is a hoot. The flavor of stronger flavored honey comes thru and if you made a good mead with Tulip Poplar, you could make one again. Buckwheat is great for mead and I wish I had a bucket of it. Ken Schramm's book The compleat meadmaker is a great place to start learning and he provides several good recipes too. Go to the homebrew portion of this forum and you will find mead making discussions and recipes. I have thirty gallons lurking in the dark getting ready to bottle and recipes I want to try for at least that much more. I may have to become a drunk if I can't give most of it away.
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,819

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    I don't have enough buckwheat to make a brew entirely of it, but I would love to make a traditional mead with say KIV1116 yeast, adequate nutrient and buckwheat honey that I would plan on putting away for several years before backsweetening a little and bottling. I think it would be great but I like buckwheat honey! Five pounds in many five gallon batches would just add a good complexity. Goldenrod is treasured for the same purpose. Darker honeys bring more to the party. I would love to use buckwheat with pie cherries in a fairly dry mead. I wouldn't team it with say peaches or raspberries. A Buckwheat metheglyn with some ginger and star anise also sounds like a good hearty brew. But I enjoy dark beer and not useless coors/budlight/ect ect. Mead is a whole huge exciting world. Can't you just taste a good dark beer with some buckwheat tones? That is a braggot. Get some books. Start with Schramm's The compleat meadmaker.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    How well would buckwheat honey go well with a black stout?

    Sadly, I don't really have access to enough to make a mead out of buckwheat (at least no more than a gallon batch). I do like the sound of cherries though. How much do you use in your 5 gallon mead batches?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,819

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    The cherries are put in the bottom of the carboy right out of the freezer and I rack right on to them. A gallon ziplock bag stuffed full is enought to give the batch a strong cherry flavor. The first mead I did this with, I left the cherries in the secondary for 13 days. I was shooting for 14 but I tasted some of the fermenting cherries and they were really putting out a strong tannin bitterness. This bitterness has pretty well aged out in a couple months. That was with KIV1116 yeast which went to 16%ABV. I put cherries in the secondary of a batch using D47 and I racked off at 10 days because the sweet was gone out of the cherries but that yeast didn't seem to extract the tannin that the KIV did. The D47 went to 15.5%ABV so I don't think it is just the alcohol level. I am bulk aging both batches waiting for them to mellow a bit. Both Meads went way too dry to get past the sour cherries and be enjoyable. I will have to stabilize and backsweeten, then age some more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Randolph County WV, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Why not tulip poplar honey mead?

    We have a mead maker in our Association that has just been licensed to sell. I have tasted many of his meads and all have a different traits. He uses all types of honey including Poplar. In our area the Poplar season was wet and didn't produce much surplus. If you are looking for bulk honey I can recommend a WV company that runs 1300 hives and may be able to help you.

    West Virginia Honey Company. Just Goggle them and the site will come up.
    beesinwv

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