Pouring out that honey to make raw organic clover mead

Raw Organic Clover Mead

Making the journey

My passion for mead making runs deep. I use the word passion because it’s a nice sounding word that conveys my enthusiasm for the art of apian alchemy.  Though, there are moments in time, when a word like obsession seems to more appropriately distill my preoccupations.

When some of my friend asks me what I’m doing for the afternoon and my response is that I am going on a four hour journey to acquire 40 pounds of the finest raw organic honey for a decent price, I’m not surprised that this sounds unreasonable to many of them. They are, however, usually surprised when, indeed, they next see me with 3.5 gallons of honey in tow.

Whose reason? Yours or mine, joker?

When you are making four meads a year, 40 pounds of honey is not at all unreasonable. It is certainly not unreasonable to drive 4 hours to get the raw organic stuff for the same price you get the regular stuff at the brew shop (and from the same source!) Four trips to the brew shop would have taken that much time anyhow.

That’s one long journey!

These are the justifications I tell myself. I also carry a strong suspicion that when glasses finally meet lips for the first hesitant taste, the end result will be a look on faces  that will go from  concern to approval. Dare I say, it will be followed by an altogether beautiful and tragic desire for more.

Raw organic clover honey from Glory Bee Foods
Raw Organic Clover Honey from Glory Bee Foods in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Raw Organic Clover Mead

Raw Organic Clover Mead

  • 12 pounds raw organic clover honey
  • 4 gallons water
  • two teaspoons bee pollen
  • Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast

Prepare yeast start with a cup or two of 105F-110F water. Add two teaspoons of honey. Add two teaspoons of bee pollen. Add yeast. Let sit for at least fifteen minutes. While yeast is preparing, add 1.5 gallons of room temperature tap water to sanitized fermenter. Combine honey into fermenter. Shake vigorously. Add another gallon of water. Shake vigorously. Keep adding water and shaking until you are at five gallons of total volume. Measure gravity or brix then add yeast start. Three months to finish fermenting. Age in a secondary or bottles as long as desired.

5 gallons of off-dry raw organic clover mead

30-60 minutes

Tap water! Bee pollen? No boil?! These things may seem anathema to you (or downright questionable) but I can guarantee you it works, Our brew crew has easily made half a dozen meads in this fashion. Every one of them has been delicious, clean and clear. Did I mention delicious? The depth of flavor and complexity of the honey character is vastly improved when refraining from heating the honey.

Besides, if you’re going to pay extra for raw organic clover honey, why not make a raw organic clover mead?

Secrets to success no-boil mead

This will be the first 100% raw organic clover mead made from raw organic honey. I have no doubt in my mind the mead will ferment flawlessly as the rest of our unboiled meads have. The secret to success can be simplified to two main things.

The first is providing plenty of nutrients Having readily available nutrients help your fermentation to get a healthy start. This is where the bee pollen comes in. Bee pollen is packed full of natural fertilizer for the yeast.

The second part is to add the yeast to the diluted honey/water mixture as soon as possible once the honey is in solution. Follow those two tips and your chances of success are almost assured.

Making raw organic clover mead
Queen Bee

Mead is simple

Mead is, quite simply, the easiest alcoholic beverage you can make. The brew day itself from start to finish takes no more than an hour. After a few mead making sessions, it can easily be accomplished in 30-45 minutes.

The hard part is waiting for the yeast to do their job. The even harder part is waiting for your 12%+ honey wine to mellow out a bit. For that there is no advice I can give.

However long you wait, enjoy your raw organic clover mead.

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