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Amber Pixie
(@amberpixi)
Head PIxie Admin
Joined:5 years  ago
Posts: 34
10/02/2018 10:36 am  

I've tended to make one gallon batches of mead for years now, so when I have to buy enough honey to make a five gallon batch, I can't help but flinch at the price!  Since I don't have my own bees yet, I have to outsource. 

My preference is local producers with raw honey, but does anyone have any other suggestions for affordable bulk honey?

“since the thing perhaps is
to eat flowers and not to be afraid” ― E.E. Cummings


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vikingyeti
(@vikingyeti)
Eminent Member
Joined:8 months  ago
Posts: 21
12/02/2018 2:06 pm  

Yeah, it can be rough... 

I've looked at several places online and haven't found anything for under $55-60 for a gallon/12 pounds, which is about what I can get it for at my local health food store. They have a discount every first Monday so I usually wait and get it then. 

One option that has worked for me is buying it as demo honey for a workshop and having the event cover the costs. I usually do one-gallon batches in those cases though. Obviously this won't work for everyone...

What I've been doing with my five-gallon batches lately is having other people go in half with me. I get less bottles out of it in the end but I usually keep a couple extra since I'm doing most of the work racking and bottling and such. I've developed a collection of regular contributors who are always happy to go in...

Also, I've been making a lot of session meads lately. I can do a five-gallon batch with only around six pounds of honey. Those are lower-alcohol carbonated meads and age quicker so they're well worth it. 

I lucked out and got (literally, I think) a metric ton of old honey that had been sitting in 55-gallon steel drums in an old beekeeper's barn. It's super dark and full of chunky stuff from pollen and comb and whatnot. I've found that using just that honey makes for some fairly medicinal tasting meads but blending it with lighter honeys works well. Using some of it with the "junk" floating in it has made for some really strong, clean ferments so I suspect it's full of nutrients. Again, won't happen for everyone but I know other mead makers who have come across similar deals. It's too dark and old to sell so there isn't much else they can do with it. Ask, make your interests known, and perhaps ye shall receive...

If it's good for ancient druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! - Pete Seeger


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vikingyeti
(@vikingyeti)
Eminent Member
Joined:8 months  ago
Posts: 21
12/02/2018 2:08 pm  

Oh, and this looks like a good chance to bug you for a hi-res photo of either you (with your fella if you'd like) or something representative of your brewing setup for your profile in my next book. My deadline has been pushed up a bit, so...  ???? 

If it's good for ancient druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! - Pete Seeger


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