Boiling honey or not(Re: hist-brewing: mead)

Gregory Rehm gregjr at
Mon Sep 27 22:10:11 PDT 1999

Hello all,

This my first post on this list after lurking for some time.

I've made meads, and melomel with and without boiling the honey.  In my
experience, there can be little doubt - boiling makes clearer, less aromatic
mead.  The relative merits of sanitization from boiling and the relative
overall effect of the reduced aromatic compounds can be debated, but I think
it misses the point.

If a historically inspired or acurate beverage is desired, clarity can play
a reduced role.  Finings are a relatively recent developement and
micro-filtration is more modern yet.  I have enjoyed making mead that
retains a completely murky, cloudy appearance.  I don't think it reduces the
appeal of the beverage one iota.  Indeed, bucking the current trend of
crystaline drinks suits me fine.  There's something magical about dumping a
load of honey in some warm water, throwing in some yeast and getting a
beverage that thrills your friends and ties you to history.  As for
clarifiers/finings, loads of live yeast help stabilize a young or low
alcohol meads and their taste is an important part of the history of these

I find a mead with a strong honey nose, a wine like flavor and a hefe weizen
appearance wonderfully un-modern.  I think i've made my position CLEAR ;)

Gregory Rehm
greg at

----- Original Message -----
From: Kirsty Pollock <kirsty.pollock at>
To: <hist-brewing at>
Sent: Friday, September 24, 1999 5:36 AM
Subject: RE: Boiling honey or not(Re: hist-brewing: mead)

> I did have a good success with a half honey/half golden sugar mix (2lbs,
> respectively) with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and a bit of lime juice as
> flavouring. I boiled it a bit, but not more than say 10 mins. Used a wine
> yeast. It was pretty vigorous, but stopped fermenting and cleared
> quickly (a couple of months). I racked it twice, and it was medium sweet
> so far no fizziness/exploding bottles and goes down rather well.

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