non-honey "mead"

For those making mead and related drinks
oldbloke
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non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:54 am

Saw a recipe elsewhere for a "mead" made with golden syrup instead of honey - flavoured with cinnamon and cloves.
Bloke reckons it came out good, and syrup is way cheaper than honey, but...
Honey is 80% sugar and the other 20% is stuff that contributes to the flavour
Golden syrup is all sugar, though most peeps reckon they can tell a difference in taste between brews using it and brews using ordinary sugar or brewing sugar.
Worth a try as one of my occasional experimentals?
How about using black treacle instead (or half and half) ? It's even cheaper...

second2none

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by second2none » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:23 pm

I saw that recicy too and already have my golden syrup!
This forum is much friendly than that one, kinda made me angry that people were picking holes his that guys recipe when they hadnt even tried it themselves!
I would guess its just going to end up like a sugar wine, I get the feeling that if it turned out nice it would be much more common, I guess the key isnt going to be aging it and spicing it for a little edge.

I was put of by using black treacle coz there was a post on this site (which i couldnt find) by someone saying they made a black treacle stout and being a dentist couldnt bring himself to drink and rather he should give it away to his patients!

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:22 pm

I didn't think people were "picking holes" so much as discussing the idea in a general way. I was one of them... But this forum is a bit friendlier in a few ways, for sure. Nobody insisting that any cider without malic and a year of maturing is tramp juice, for one thing...
ANYWAY
As I usually split a yeast pack across 2 demis, I thought of doing one with golden syrup and one with black treacle, then I came to my senses...
I've been shopping, and (hopefully tomorrow) will do a gallon with 4 tins of golden, just under a tin of black coz I happen to have it in, some strong tea for tannin, plenty of nutrient, high tolerance yeast, and some or all of: a clove, a cinnamon stick, a cardamom pod, some ginger, and some vanilla essence.
Turns out golden syrup is 80% sugar, just like honey. The black treacle is 64%. So that lot theoretically ought to get to 19%, 20 if lucky. Which'll prolly take until Christmas 2013, but hey. The idea is a half strength dark rum. Which might help me drink less real dark rum...
Last edited by oldbloke on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boingy

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by boingy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:34 pm

I think mead without honey is probably not mead.
That's not to say it will fail, just that it will be a different drink.
Careful with black treacle. It's a very, very dominant flavour.

simco999

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by simco999 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:36 pm

boingy wrote:I think mead without honey is probably not mead.
That's not to say it will fail, just that it will be a different drink.
Careful with black treacle. It's a very, very dominant flavour.
Agreed - no honey - no mead.

Anything with Golden syrup or treacle is an experiment!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:26 pm

Yeh, if you use the word mead for this it has to be in those "not-really" quote marks.

Where I grew up, we called golden syrup treacle. Now I find out most people hold that word back for the dark stuff.

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:28 pm

boingy wrote:Careful with black treacle. It's a very, very dominant flavour.
Do you think nearly a pound of it will be too powerful in a gallon? Bearing in mind I do like dark rum, and am intending the treacle flavour to be upfront. I could maybe use just half and make up with brown sugar....

fatbloke

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by fatbloke » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:43 pm

oldbloke wrote:
boingy wrote:Careful with black treacle. It's a very, very dominant flavour.
Do you think nearly a pound of it will be too powerful in a gallon? Bearing in mind I do like dark rum, and am intending the treacle flavour to be upfront. I could maybe use just half and make up with brown sugar....
Yes, I suspect that a whole pound of black treacle would be over poweringly strong tasting, and I doubt you'd get much in the way of a rum flavour, more like a very strong burnt sugar flavour.

I'd have thought an experiment like this, and you'd be better placed using fruit juice of some sort as the main liquid, then some dark sugar too up the SG to where you want it, and maybe a table spoon or two of the black treacle, mainly for flavouring.

Don't forget, you can add more if you wanted a stronger taste, but once it's in, it'd be a bugger to remove or mask the burnt flavour....

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:38 pm

Nah, the whole point of the silly experiment is to use syrup instead of honey. It's a pseudo-mead, not a super-WOW. Maybe I'll just use a few Tbsp of black and buy another can of golden.

Rookie
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by Rookie » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:22 pm

boingy wrote:I think mead without honey is probably not mead.
It isn't, but that doesn't mean you won't end up with something good.
I'm just here for the beer.

scott78

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by scott78 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:23 pm

If you want to make mead with honey, but are put off by the price you might want to google for your nearest beekeeping group. Its been a bad year for honey and lots of it has too high a water content to store well. you might get some direct for a lot less than the shops.

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:41 pm

scott78 wrote:If you want to make mead with honey, but are put off by the price you might want to google for your nearest beekeeping group. Its been a bad year for honey and lots of it has too high a water content to store well. you might get some direct for a lot less than the shops.
Any idea how one would measure the sugar content? There are beekeepers round here so I might be tempted to ask around.

scott78

Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by scott78 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:17 am

most keepers use refractometers set up for high brix readings.

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:47 pm

Just done this:

Dissolved in warm water: 4 tins golden syrup, generous 3tsp(ish) black treacle.
Added: 1 cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, 1 clove, seeds of 1 cardamom pod (ground), 1/2l strong tea
3tsp nutrient, few drops vanilla extract put in demi.
syrup mix added, cold water added to drop temp below 35.
Gervin GV4(26) high-tolerance yeast rehydrated and pitched.

I've left it plenty of headroom (I hope) and in a couple of weeks will add another tin of syrup dissolved in a bit of water to top it up.

oldbloke
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Re: non-honey "mead"

Post by oldbloke » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:17 am

Just realised I left out the acid, so popped 1/2tsp citric in it. It's remarkably well-behaved, topfoamwise, so I may get the last pound of syrup in it sooner rather than later

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