Why honey is expensive

For those making mead and related drinks
Jambo
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Jambo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:11 pm

Have just double checked my book (Making Mead by Bryan Acton and Peter Duncan, excellent, Laripu's recommendation), they actually state up to 8 yrs for Heather mead!! Sorry I haven't a scooby on your other question - early days with my mead making!

McMullan
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by McMullan » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:27 pm

I've just prepped a fresh kolsch yeast to find out #-o [-o<

wolfenrook
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by wolfenrook » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:08 pm

I have a few bottles of hydromel priming at the moment, used CML Real Ale yeast. Not tasted yet though, as wouldn't be overly good flat. :lol:

I have however tasted Lyme Bay Winery Yore, and that was delicious. Much easier to drink than a full on mead.

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Wonkydonkey » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:47 pm

Carnot wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:33 pm
Many thanks of all the positive comments.

Message for Bigbud78. I regret that we do not have any means to accept on-line payments. I refuse to accept Paypal's T&C's and we are too small to use other payment methods. Most of our sales are to locals who either buy direct from us or via some local retailers. Our honey usually gets exported by the locals shipping to family and friends all over the world. If you really would like to try our honey then I regret it would have to be a cheque or bank transfer and we would send the honey by Royal Mail, not the cheapest I know but probably the safest.

If any of you are interested in honey composition it is typically something like (as Wt %)

D -glucose 31%
L- Glucose 38%
Maltose 7.5%
Higher Sugars 1.5%
Sucrose 1.5%
Water < 20%

There are huge variations but sucrose is rarely above 5%. Any honey with more than 5% sucrose is likely to have been adulterated. The high glucose content makes honey a very good source of fermentables. However analysing honey for sucrose is far from easy and beyond the scope of homebrewers. Even making a moisture determination is not easy. Though refractive index is often used, if one carefully reads the methodology then it is clear that the RI- moisture content tables are calibrated against sucrose-water mixtures. They are best indicative rather than absolute. Heather honey always appears to have a higher water content- in reality I think that this is down to the composition of the heather honey. Although there are some internet stories of NIR (near infra red) analysers, I ,and many others, are very sceptical as to whether this technology can do what is suggests. The only definitive method for determining moisture is by Karl Fischer titration and these analysers are well beyond a homebrewers pocket.

If any of you can acquire cappings then the best method I have found is to place the cappings in a filter bag (200 micron is fine available on eBay) and wash the honey with warm water into a stainless steel bucket. Do not use hot water as this will melt the wax and plug the filter bag. It takes a fair bit of manipulation and to acquire 20 lts of 1.1 must is about two hours work. I sterilise everything with sodium percarbonate. The washed cappings can be melted down but that is not as easy as it sounds as there will be a fair amount of propylis to deal with. If anyone is interested I can give some tips another day.

Once again thank you for the positive comments; I was not quite sure what to expect.

By the way if you wonder what i do for a living i am a petroleum chemist. Chemists tend to be fair brewers.

am i missing something, wheres the fructose in the honey

as for heather honey having a higher water content, i thought it was down to it being thixotropic anyhow if the bees cap it over then its ready

cheers
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Carnot
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Carnot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:01 am

No you are not missing anything. Sucrose is a disacharride of glucose and fructose. That means that honey does not naturally contain much fructose, which is not that surprising.

There is a belief among bee keepers that the water content of heather honey is higher, due to the refractive index being higher. As I stated I am not convinced about this as using the refractive index as a means to determine water as it depends on a close correlation of the RI:water scale to heather honey. All of the data I have seen involves the RI:water scale being based on sucrose loadings in water . i.e sucrose was used as the calibration substance. This might be applicable to the food industry for estimating sugar or water content in foodstuffs but for honey it is at best indicative as honey does not contain a great deal of sucrose; in other words stretching reality. In order for it to be accurate a correlation of RI:water would have to be made for each type of honey which is well beyond the scope of bee keepers, since you would have to have an accurate means of moisture determination . That means an expensive Karl Fischer analyser. RI measures optical density which can be correlated to water in a pure substance like sucrose. With honey I am not so sure. The thixotropic nature of heather honey is not indicative of higher water content but due to gel properties. Gels are formed by dilute cross linking, possibly due to proteins in the honey.

Likewise I do not put much faith in refractometers over hydrometers in must sugar content estimation. Depending on what you are brewing, cider, mead,beer, etc the sugars in the must are far away from the sucrose that was used to produce the scale to estimate water (or sugar). I had very poor correlations on correlating the Brix: SG with an ale must (Courage Directors) such that it was next to useless. In my opinion the hydrometer is probably best.

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Wonkydonkey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:31 pm

Sorry but I'm starting to think your full of Male cow manure.

I just smell an odur that in what you write.
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Carnot
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Carnot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:50 pm

Wonkeydonkey,

You are more than entitled to express your opinion and I am glad that you have spotted an error in my writings. My error was not to check my source of information and ensure it made sense, which in retrospect it does not. I took the honey composition from a book by Ken Schramm The Compleat Meadmaker, which lists an extensive range of honey compositions. I failed to remember that L-glucose occurrence in nature is extremely rare, and nearly all glucose is of the D type. My university days are long behind me when I studied all this stuff.

Secondly I compounded my mistake by believing Ken Schramm was right even when I had nagging doubts that nectar must contain fructose, and because I was traveling I posted a hasty reply, which is always a mistake. Fructose does occur in honey and it is the highest percentage by weight of sugar . It would appear that the Ken Schramm book has mistakenly confused L-glucose with L-fructose.

I hope that goes in some way to redeeming myself for making a schoolboy error. You spotted the error and were quite right to challenge. That makes for good science and meaningful discourse. Please accept my apology.

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Wonkydonkey » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:27 pm

I'm not here to pick a fight, i'm here to learn, just like others are.

anyhow, it was the fact that you posted the composition of your honey with and D and L glucose, which for those that dont know are left and right, i shall not go any deeper. and there was no mention of fructose.. i gave you a chance by asking, am i missing something and said fructose.... and you answered it in the sucrose. yep thats right. its a disaccharide (glucose and fructose). i'm not sure how long you've bee a beekeeper with 80 hives
But me being a beekeeper 14yrs, i knew that fructose is should be the most monosaccharide in honey. not always due to different nectar sources. like rapeseed.

Thats why challenged what you wrote, and i stated it in my own way. so you had to look for another source of information.

your Apogee is excepted, we all human and make mistakes.

cheers
i'm glad we cleared that up 8)
back to good brewing :wink:
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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Wonkydonkey » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:11 am

Carnot wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:50 pm
Wonkeydonkey,

You are more than entitled to express your opinion and I am glad that you have spotted an error in my writings. My error was not to check my source of information and ensure it made sense, which in retrospect it does not. I took the honey composition from a book by Ken Schramm The Compleat Meadmaker, which lists an extensive range of honey compositions. I failed to remember that L-glucose occurrence in nature is extremely rare, and nearly all glucose is of the D type. My university days are long behind me when I studied all this stuff.

Secondly I compounded my mistake by believing Ken Schramm was right even when I had nagging doubts that nectar must contain fructose, and because I was traveling I posted a hasty reply, which is always a mistake. Fructose does occur in honey and it is the highest percentage by weight of sugar . It would appear that the Ken Schramm book has mistakenly confused L-glucose with L-fructose.

I hope that goes in some way to redeeming myself for making a schoolboy error. You spotted the error and were quite right to challenge. That makes for good science and meaningful discourse. Please accept my apology.
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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Why honey is expensive

Post by Wonkydonkey » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:29 am

Carnot wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:01 am
No you are not missing anything. Sucrose is a disacharride of glucose and fructose. That means that honey does not naturally contain much fructose, which is not that surprising.

There is a belief among bee keepers that the water content of heather honey is higher, due to the refractive index being higher. As I stated I am not convinced about this as using the refractive index as a means to determine water as it depends on a close correlation of the RI:water scale to heather honey. All of the data I have seen involves the RI:water scale being based on sucrose loadings in water . i.e sucrose was used as the calibration substance. This might be applicable to the food industry for estimating sugar or water content in foodstuffs but for honey it is at best indicative as honey does not contain a great deal of sucrose; in other words stretching reality. In order for it to be accurate a correlation of RI:water would have to be made for each type of honey which is well beyond the scope of bee keepers, since you would have to have an accurate means of moisture determination . That means an expensive Karl Fischer analyser. RI measures optical density which can be correlated to water in a pure substance like sucrose. With honey I am not so sure. The thixotropic nature of heather honey is not indicative of higher water content but due to gel properties. Gels are formed by dilute cross linking, possibly due to proteins in the honey.

Likewise I do not put much faith in refractometers over hydrometers in must sugar content estimation. Depending on what you are brewing, cider, mead,beer, etc the sugars in the must are far away from the sucrose that was used to produce the scale to estimate water (or sugar). I had very poor correlations on correlating the Brix: SG with an ale must (Courage Directors) such that it was next to useless. In my opinion the hydrometer is probably best.
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