Sunday, May 31, 2009

IRT "sollyhousecash" comment on the 20/04/09...

is there any cost differance between grape concentrate and Honey?

ie: whats cheaper to make? not trying to make cheap wine but just interested in the costs,

To be honest, I can't really say........

They can both be used for similar things i.e. back sweetening or adding "body" (viscosity/mouth feel) to a wine, but basically they're entirely different (apart from the obvious differences).

I don't often use grape concentrate for adding body, I prefer to use "wine tannin" for that, and I don't use it for back sweetening as I don't want a wine/grape flavour to a wine/mead, unless it's a specific part of the recipe i.e. you're using it to make up a must for a "grape" type wine.

I can't remember the price of the grape concentrate......£5 or £6 a 900g tin comes to mind, but I'd guess it depends on where you buy it (and how much you need).

Honey ? well you might find it as cheap as £1.50 to £2 a lb/454g in the supermarkets, but that's gonna be cheapo blended shit of unknown provenance - with really useful comments on the label, like "produce of more than one country". Basically it depends on what you want it for, because it's hard to compare meads and other country wines. If it's just being used as a sweetening source for another flavoured wine, then fine, cheapo supermarket shit might do the job, or if you're making a fruit based mead i.e. pyment, cyser, melomel etc etc then as long as the fruit or spice flavour is the main one the cheap supermarket honey might also be Ok, but if you're gonna make a "traditional" mead, then you are probably gonna get what you pay for (in most cases). If you can, get a lb of the "target" honey and taste it, if you like it then give it a go. Hell if you can do, get a number of different honeys and do a comparative tasting (including a supermarket one) and you'll start to understand the difference.

My next target is gonna be the elusive "Buckwheat" honey, because so many of the books and websites etc that I've read about making meads say that it's good to use the darkest, strongest tasting honey's you can get. Buckwheat is, apparently, the strongest and darkest.

We'll see eh!

p.s. Oh and I've got it on good authority, that a honey to avoid in mead making is Eucalyptus. Plus you also often see "Leatherwood" honey. Now I don't know for certain whether Leatherwood is actually related to Eucalyptus, but it (the leatherwood honey) does seem to have "eucalyptus overtones".... so probably best avoided as well.

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