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What Honey to Use for Mead? Our Expert Opinion

When it comes to crafting the perfect mead or “honey wine””, selecting the right honey is key. Whether you’re a seasoned brewer or just starting out in your mead-making journey, choosing which honey to use for your mead can be overwhelming. 


From light and floral varieties to dark and robust options, there’s something special about each type of honey that will bring unique flavors and aromas into your creation.


But how do you know what kind of honey is best suited for making a delicious batch of mead? In this article, we’ll explore different types of honey available on the market today as well as tips on how to select the right one for your recipe! 


We’ll also discuss some benefits associated with using quality local raw wildflower honey when creating an award-winning contemporary style mead – so stick around until the end!

Different Types of Honey for Mead

When it comes to mead, honey is the star of the show. It’s what gives mead its unique flavor and aroma, and different types of honey can have a huge impact on how your finished product tastes.


Light Honey:

Lighter colored honey like clover or orange blossom honey are milder in flavor than darker varieties, making them ideal for lighter styles of mead such as melomels or pyments.

They also don’t overpower other flavors you might add to your mead such as fruit or spices. Clover honey also is good for the mass production of mead since it is the cheapest honey in the market.


Dark Honey:

Darker honeys like chestnut or buckwheat honey tend to be more robust in flavor and can lend a deeper complexity to your meads. These types of honey work well with stronger styles such as metheglins and braggots that require more body and character from their ingredients. 


The presence of dark honey may indicate that it has been heated. This can occasionally work in your favor, like with a bochet mead, or against you if you’re aiming for a traditional mead.


Raw vs Pasteurized:

Raw honey has not been heated during processing which means it retains all its natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, aromas, flavors and colors – all important components when crafting delicious homemade meads. On the other hand, pasteurized honey has been heated at high temperatures which destroys some beneficial compounds but does make it easier to dissolve into liquids (like water).


Local raw honey will always give you the best results since you know exactly where it came from and how it was processed. Additionally, there is something special about using local ingredients. If you do not have access to local honey then imported varieties are still good options; just make sure they are labeled “raw” so that you know they have not been heat treated during processing.


No matter what type of honey you choose for your mead, it is important to select the right variety for the desired flavor and aroma. In the next section, we will discuss how to pick the perfect honey for your mead.


Key Takeaway: Different types of honey can have a big impact on the flavor and aroma of mead. Raw honey is a great option since it retains all its natural components and is likely more pure than bulk honey, but pasteurized varieties can also work. Local raw honey is ideal, but imported raw options are still good choices.

Selecting the Right Honey for Your Mead

When it comes to selecting the right honey for your mead, there are a few things you should consider. First, think about what kind of flavor profile you’re looking for in your mead, like a stronger or more delicate flavor for example. Different types of honey can impart different flavors and aromas, so choose one that will complement the other ingredients in your recipe.


Next, consider budget and availability. If you’re on a tight budget or have limited access to certain kinds of honey, then this may be an important factor when choosing which type to use. 


You may also want to take into account how much honey is needed for the amount of mead you plan on making; some honeys can be more expensive than others depending on their rarity or origin.


Finally, taste test. Before purchasing any type of honey for your mead-making project, make sure to sample it first if possible – either by tasting it directly from the jar or spooning a bit onto some bread or crackers (just like wine tasting). 


This will give you an idea as to its flavor profile and help determine whether it would work well with other ingredients in your recipe.


It is important to remember that not all kinds of honey are the same; each variety has its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles which can have a major impact on the final taste of your mead. Therefore, it is wise to do some research beforehand and find out what type best suits both your needs and tastes before committing yourself fully.


When selecting the right honey for your mead, it’s important to consider flavor, aroma, and texture. With that in mind, let’s look at how to add honey to your mead for the best results.

Adding Honey to Your Mead

Adding honey to your mead is an important step in creating the perfect balance of sweetness and complexity. The amount of honey you add will depend on the type of mead you’re making, as well as your desired flavor profile.


Depending on your specific recipe and desired outcome, you can adopt various approaches to incorporate honey into mead. Let’s take a look at the fundamental techniques:

Traditional Method

To begin this process, honey is blended with water and heated to an ideal temperature of 150-160°F until it dissipates entirely. Then yeast must be added for fermentation which can take a few weeks or even months before completion.

Direct Addition Method

If you’re looking to make a sweeter mead, then this method is perfect for you! Start by mixing honey directly into the fermenting liquid. Then add yeast and let it start its fermentation process. The great thing about this method is that, since the honey won’t dissolve fully in the liquid, your finished product will be deliciously sweet!

Step Feeding Method

Through this process, honey is incrementally combined with the mead. First, a portion of the honey is fermented while more is added over time to regulate both sweetness and alcohol composition within the final beverage. This approach allows for great command in crafting your ideal mead.

Reverse Osmosis

This process is used to purify the honey by eliminating water, minerals and other contaminants prior to adding it into the mead. Not only does this reduce the chance of spoilage, but it also provides a superior taste in your finished product.


Adding honey to your mead will give it a unique flavor and complexity, while also providing numerous health benefits. Let’s look at the advantages of using honey in mead next.

FAQs in Relation to What Honey to Use for Mead

Does it matter what honey I use for mead?

Yes, the type of honey you use for mead can have a big impact on the flavor and complexity of your final product. Different honeys will impart different flavors and aromas to your mead, so it is important to choose one that complements the other ingredients in your recipe. 


Additionally, some honeys are more fermentable than others, which can affect alcohol content and sweetness levels. Ultimately, choosing the best honey for your mead is an important part of creating a balanced and flavorful beverage. 

Can you use regular honey for mead?

Yes, you can use regular honey for mead. It is the most common ingredient used in making mead and provides a sweet flavor to the drink. However, it’s important to note that different types of honey will provide varying levels of sweetness and complexity to your mead. 


For example, wildflower honey may give your mead a more complex flavor than clover honey or orange blossom honeys but for those wishing to create winter holiday blends, which frequently include citrus flavors, orange blossom honey is a popular option. Experimenting with different types of honey can help you find the perfect balance for your unique recipe.

Is raw unfiltered honey good for mead?

Yes, raw unfiltered honey is good for mead. It contains all the natural sugars and minerals that will contribute to the flavor of your mead. The more complex flavors you get from raw honey can add depth and complexity to your finished product. 


Unfiltered honey also has a higher concentration of yeast nutrients which helps with fermentation, resulting in a smoother tasting beverage. Raw unfiltered honey is an excellent choice for making quality meads that are sure to please even the most discerning connoisseur.

Is Amber honey good for mead?

Yes, amber honey is a great choice for mead. It has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients and it adds complexity to the finished product. Amber honey also provides sweetness without being overly cloying or heavy on the palate. 


Additionally, its color can add an attractive golden hue to your mead. When used in combination with other honeys, it can create unique flavors and aromas that can make a tasty mead and stand out from others.

Can you use supermarket honey for mead?

Yes, you can use supermarket honey for making mead but it won’t give the same results as artisanal or raw honey which helps in developing a nuanced flavor and fermentation necessary for a high quality mead.


Should I boil my honey for mead?

It is not necessary to boil honey for mead as it can change the flavor and diminish the rich aroma which is necessary for mead. Warming the honey in gentle heat is a better alternative. This helps in preserving taste, aroma and helpful enzymes.

What kind of honey is good for mead?

Any kind of high-quality organic or artisanal honey is perfect for making mead. Honeys which have a floral and fruity note have been considered to be most suitable for making mead. You can experiment with various types of honey until you find the one you prefer.

Can you use store bought honey for mead?

If the store-bought honey is of good quality and organic, then you can definitely use it for making mead as it helps in a healthier fermentation process but it is always better to use raw and artisanal honey for a more nuanced flavor.

Can you use set honey for mead?

Set honey, which is the crystallised or creamy form of honey can also be used for making mead as it gives a unique texture to your mead. While using set honey, it is important to use gentle heat to liquefy the honey before adding water to it.


Whether you’re looking for something light and floral or dark and robust, there are many different types of honey and new honey varietals that can be used in your mead-making process. 


With the right selection of honey, you can create a unique flavor profile that will delight connoisseurs while offering wine lovers a change from the same old grapes, and beer drinkers with complex flavors not overpowered by sweetness. Honey is an essential ingredient when it comes to making mead – so take some time to research what type of honey best suits your needs!


At Hidden Legend Winery, we are always looking for the perfect ingredients to make our meads as complex and delicious as possible. Feel free to browse our selection of delicious meads!

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