mcfeeley at keynet.net
Mon Jul 1 13:49:14 PDT 2002
On Sun, 30 Jun 2002, Johann wrote:
>Hi all. I have two questions that I would like some in put on.
>First-To boil or not to boil honey for meads. I have read books and
>seen recipes suggesting one or the other. A book I have, " Making
>Meads" byBryan Action and Peter Duncan suggests that if you boil the
>honey, too much is removed from the honey during the boil and therefore
>makes for a lower quality mead. They suggest rather to use sulphite
>(campden tablets). Others I have talked to suggest that the boil is
>necessary because too many impurities exist in raw honey and could
>result in a off tasting mead. I don't doubt anyone's knowledge on this
>as I'm sure their experience has lead them to these conclusions, but I
>would like more opinions please.
I'd suggest being careful with Acton & Duncan's _Making Mead_ because
of its age. It was published in 1965 and I believe has had no revisions
then. Other well known mead books are also fairly old. Pamela Spence's
_Mad about Mead_ is the most recent book, coming out in 1997, but is
a general level how/to type book. I'm not saying to discount the book
altogether, just be sure to read it with a critical eye, and in light of
meadmakers are doing today. Keep in mind that Acton & Duncan's book
is about a British style of meadmaking in the 1960's, well influenced by
British home winemaking.
There really aren't any serious impurities in raw honey, after all, you can
eat raw honey with no ill effects. Nothing more than pollen, maybe a
few bee parts here and there like legs or antenna, not much else. I use
raw honey regularly, as often as possible, with no problems.
To my knowledge, only the late Dr. Roger Morse of the University of
Cornell has researched these areas. During his graduate years at Cornell
University, he found that raw and unstrained honey was best for meadmaking.
Boiling the honey must actually resulted in a loss of nutrients, easily seen
in comparing the fermentation with those that received no heat treatment.
The boiled meads required more nutrients than the untreated meads in
order to finish out in a comparable time. What was also interesting,
the meads that used raw honey, no boiling, no pasteurization, no heat
at all, finished out quickly and remained microbiologically stable. Sulfite
treatment wasn't used either and from the results, wasn't necessary for
sanitation. The testing was done under laboratory conditions at Cornell
mcfeeley at keynet.net
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