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Rookie mistakes, thin honey? I had to mix meads

Hi,
I have just finished racking my 5 gallon BOMM and one gallon JAOM meads to secondary glass carboys. I discovered my 5 gallon BOMM mead was really only a 4 ish gallon batch with a FG of 1.000. Then I realized to reach a SG of 1.10 I had to "added two more bottles of honey …not add more water. I used store bought orange blossom honey. Because I was having a hard time making the required SG I added no more water. I figure this is why I didnt reach the 5 gallon mark. The JAOM looked really nice but after removing all the fruit skins I lost quite a bit of volume. To top off the JOAM with mead would have cost me about $25-35 in store brought mead ( $22 for 325ml), and even more to reach a 5 gallon top off. I settled on adding some of my BOMM mead to the 1 gallon of JAOM to top it off. This left me with 3 more gallons of BOMM and 2 750ml bottles. I have no complaints with this , 4 gallons and two 750ml bottles…I am all smiles… After seeing my problems, I wonder if the honey I used may have been on the thin side. My next batch I will use raw honey…I read people who use the NB raw honey have great success, but there is no mention of pasteurizing the honey. Is honey pasteurization needed for home made meads? Any comments would be appreciated
Bassin75.

Honey does vary somewhat in relation to it’s water content, so it isn’t a bad idea to have a little extra on hand to reach your desired gravity. Search for “no heat, no SO2 technique” of making mead. If you pitch enough healthy yeast and are careful with sanitation, you can avoid pasteurization. Mead is acidic enough that you don’t have to worry about botulism and other serious pathogens. I have made some quite good meads using the no heat/no SO2 technique.

Actually, about the only dangerous thing that can survive in honey is botulism spores (not the active bacteria). That is why you are not suppose to give honey to infants that are less than 1 year old - their immune system isn’t developed enough to keep it from multiplying in the gut.

Luckily, even if any botulism spores are present in the honey you are using, it can’t survive the alcohol or the sulfite that you will add before you drink the mead.

There’s really no need to pasteurize honey. It’s essentially sterile. And while botulism spores can survive in honey, the bacteria require an anaerobic, non-acidic environment to grow and release toxin. The PH of mead is well below what botulism could replicate in.

Hi,

      My next batch I will try the raw honey at NB the user reviews are good. As far as the mead I am working on,two I will add fruit. One will be blueberry the other either apricot or cherry. These I plan to add K sorbate so the residual yeast will not re-ferment then K meta to avoid the fruit from oxidizing.I would like to oak one or two of the remaining  gallon jugs. I have some hops I grew in my yard Cascade and Chinook but I fear these additions my overpower the mead. Thank for your replies regarding raw honey!!

Basinn75

  My next batch I will try the raw honey at NB the user reviews are good. As far as the mead I am working on,two I will add fruit. One will be blueberry the other either apricot or cherry. These I plan to add K sorbate so the residual yeast will not re-ferment then K meta to avoid the fruit from oxidizing.I would like to oak one or two of the remaining  gallon jugs. I have some hops I grew in my yard Cascade and Chinook but I fear these additions my overpower the mead. Thank for your replies regarding raw honey!!

Basinn75

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