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Honey from Sunflowers?

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Brew On

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Post Wed May 16, 2012 2:39 pm

Honey from Sunflowers?

I have never made mead before and looking to do my first. A neighbor gave me a 3 pound jug of honey originating from North Dakota bee keeper. I do not know the primary stomping grounds of those bees. I do know there is plenty of sunflower, corn and beans up there.

Should I even give a care about the origin of the honey?
For a first batch should I go with a known honey type (wildflower, clover,...) so I have something to gauge against when tasting?

It may be possible to find out the pedigree but is it worth it?

I am leaning heavily towards "damn the torpedoes and make some mead already". Agree or disagree?
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"And I don't won't another drink, I only want that last one again" - James McMurtry, Hurricane Party
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Baratone Brewer

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Post Wed May 16, 2012 3:16 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

Essentially you have a wildflower honey. Since it was more than likely not a single source honey. They can be unpredictable and Ph values can vary greatly. So, you'll really have to keep an eye on Ph.
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Rookie L A

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Post Wed May 16, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

The most important question: do you like the taste of the honey?
Rookie,
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Baratone Brewer

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Post Wed May 16, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

Have you thought about trying a melomel?
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Brew On

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Post Thu May 17, 2012 12:10 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

A raspberry melomel would likely be a big hit with my wife. I have a fairly time consuming basement remodel project affecting my brewing ability (space and time). Keeping it simple is very important.
So I ask in making a melomel, in simple terms, is the only added step to add fruit when racking to the secondary?

BB - I'm curious why you ask about considering a melomel. Is it because I will then have a more predictable outcome, raspberry, due to the "potluck" nature of the honey?
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"And I don't won't another drink, I only want that last one again" - James McMurtry, Hurricane Party
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Baratone Brewer

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Post Thu May 17, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

Brew On wrote: So I ask in making a melomel, in simple terms, is the only added step to add fruit when racking to the secondary?
Yep, and I also recommend finishing atleast semi-sweet. Raspberries are significantly acidic and can over-accentuate a dry mead,.

I'm curious why you ask about considering a melomel. Is it because I will then have a more predictable outcome, raspberry, due to the "potluck" nature of the honey?

While clover honey is my preferred varietal honey for a melomel or cyser, I have used wildflower honey in melomel many times. The fruit will add benefical flavors and aromas to an unpredictable wildflower mead. You can also blend the wildflower honey with a single source honey such as clover.
I currently have a Wildflower Sassafras mead going.
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Brew On

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Post Fri May 18, 2012 6:07 am

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

I figured there were two routes to take when formulating the recipe, use only the amount of honey I have which will determine the batch size or use my honey in a standard sized recipe but augment with other honey. The latter fits more with your suggestion and I could add clover honey. Unfortunately, it will be awhile until things settle down enough to get serious.

On a different note I have an update for you Baritone. Last winter you answered some questions I had on my wife's and my first batch of wine. The morning I went down to degass and clarify it I discovered we had water in our basement again. In the melee of cleanup which lasted for days the wine suffered from neglect and mishandling. Airlock was knocked off and water from the floor was accidentally slopped in. We finally bit the bullet and decided to have drain tile put in and finish the basement. Knowing it would be months and moving almost everything into a storage unit I knew there would be no time for dealing with it and also with the water getting into it I made the tough decision to dump it. I tasted it and the best I can describe was a vinegary presence and it had some small white floatys on top. Let me say, if that is the worst thing happening in my life I'm very fortunate.

I can't wait until the project is DONE so I can get back to brewing and try vinting again.
Thanks for the great help,
VK
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"And I don't won't another drink, I only want that last one again" - James McMurtry, Hurricane Party
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Baratone Brewer

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Post Fri May 18, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

Wow! Hate to hear about the wine. Hopefully, you'll have the problem with your basement fixed and all will return to normal soon.
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Brew On

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Post Fri May 18, 2012 9:09 pm

Re: Honey from Sunflowers?

Yeh, pretty tough to do especially when it was an anniversary present from her. Next time.
thanks, cheers
-Amateur homebrewer
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"And I don't won't another drink, I only want that last one again" - James McMurtry, Hurricane Party

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