Dealing with crystallization

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So I had about 2 gallons worth of honey that had crystallized in the 5 gallon bucket that I had bought it in. I had left it too long without using it and I think I accidentally didn’t seal the bucket itself enough to keep the moisture from getting in. So, knowing that it is still good honey and not knowing what else to do with it, I decided to make a batch (two actually) with honey that had been boiled first, much like beer is always brewed. It is a fairly common, though much debated, practice whose pros and cons are most scientifically investigated in this double blind taste test. Summarizing a very useful and informative post, essentially boiling will take away aroma but give you body and flavor.

So here’s to giving it a try. A normal plain mead recipe, one batch made with D47, one with EC1118 (because that’s all I have left in my yeast storehouse), with all that delicious honey brought to a rolling boil before being added to the bucket, cooled, and yeast pitched.

  • 1gallon honey (approx. 10 lbs, did not very precisely measure this)
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 1 tsp irish moss
  • 5tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 batch with 1 packet D47 yeast, 1 batch with 1 packet EC1118 yeast

If the method works out without completely failing, then I may be adding strawberries in the secondary for these two batches to be my strawberry mead of this season. If boiling does lower the aroma but increase the body and flavor, that would work really perfectly with the strawberries bringing in their aroma in the secondary but enjoying the flavor and body of the boiled honey.

Stats:

  • Started: 29 May 2012
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Racking

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Racked today the mole mead and the POM that I started at about the same time. (In the meanwhile, did a batch of a nut brown beer from a kit). The POM is tasty and plain (as it should be I guess!) and the mole mead is man WOW! Just spot on with the balance of the flavors and the slight spicy aftertaste and the sweetness of the honey and chocolatey of the chocolate. Maybe just a bit more cinnamon next time. Anyway, stats:

Mole Mead:

  • Started: 6 April 2012
  • 1st rack: 12 May 2012 (got rid of a ton of cocoa gunk on the bottom and all of the crushed chili peppers)

POM:

  • Started: 7 April 2012
  • 1st rack: 12 May 2012