hist-brewing: Boiling vs Pasteurization & Sulfiting or doing nothing

JazzboBob at aol.com JazzboBob at aol.com
Sat Feb 12 19:18:03 PST 2000


Has anyone done a side by side comparison of Meadmaking by the 4 proposed 
methods?  I've read many comments about boiling vs a hot 160 degree steep to 
pasteurize - sulfiting or not sulfiting - and the occasional do nothing but 
throw in lots of yeast.
It seems to me that alot of these different brewing techniques stem from 
meadmakers that come from 2 backgrouds; winemakers and beerbrewers.
The winemakers are used to sulfiting grape and fruit musts and do not have 
the experience and equipment (pots/burners/chillers) to do a boil. It may 
seem natural to treat diluted honey in the same manner as wine.
The beer brewers are used to boiling wort to make beer so it seems natuaral 
practice to bring the honey up to a boil.  They might not be familiar with 
sulfiting or understand it.
Now we have a lot of rhetoric being kicked around about boiling being 
detrimental to the honey aroma and I'm not sure who's saying it based it upon 
actual experience and tasting.   I suspect that alot of the lost aromatics in 
boiling come from folks that take a long time to heat and cool the honey 
must.  I have a big burner, pot, and wort chiller that drops the boil very 
quickly (5 min from boil to 160)
I brew beer by boiling and so I boil my mead too.  I do a 1 minute boil and 
quick chill.
My meads are brilliantly clear, very aromatic, and full of body and legs.  I 
rack twice and sometimes thrice and then bottle very clear sediment free 
bottles.   I have won numerous awards and recieve favorable comments about my 
meads.
I'm thinking of doing a 4 way split batch - Stir & mix honey with nothing but 
pitching alot of yest / Sulfiting /  Pasteurization steep at 160 / quick boil 
& chill.
Any thoughts or comments? 
Bob Grossman  2 time AHA BarleyWine Gold winner  1 Silver Award for Mead

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