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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 02:27:52 AM

Title: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 02:27:52 AM
Obviously this is my first time to try and make mead.  I put 3 plastic jars in water bath/electric stock pot.  Forgot to watch it and the jars tipped over and the honey poured into the water.  I don't know the temp of the water but it was extremely warm.  Did I just ruin 75.00 worth of honey on my first attempt? LOL and crying.  Didn't the outsides of the jars/unsterile stock pot just contaminate the honey?
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: jeffy on June 22, 2011, 02:39:39 AM
Not sure what you were trying to do with the water bath, but if the honey spilled into it then what you have is pasteurized, diluted honey.  You can ferment that and make mead once it cools.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 03:06:25 AM
I was just trying to warm up the honey so I could more easily get it out of the jars.  Then I was going to do a cold method mead. Should I just junk it and go buy new honey?
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 03:09:18 AM
Nooooooo :o :o :o

 Whats the SG of the honey/water mix?
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 03:13:56 AM
I don't know.  I just grabbed out 2 jars that had some water in the top but were still basically full and one jar was completely dumped out.  Its about 3/4 gallon of water.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 03:19:56 AM
Ok--about 3 lbs of honey are now in the water.  I had 3 (3lb) jars.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 03:32:49 AM
Ok--about 3 lbs of honey are now in the water.  I had 3 (3lb) jars.

 9 lbs honey in 3 qts water? Correct?

 Take a sample and check it with your hydrometer and see what the SG is. You need to know where you're at gravity wise.

How hot was the water? I really don't think you have hurt anything..
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 03:56:48 AM
Basically I have a stock pot with about 3/4 gallon of water in it that 1 (3lb) jar on honey dumped into (2 jars I pulled out cause I thought the tops were still on tight but they weren't and some water got in those 2 jars).  The water was really hot and made my fingers red but didn't burn.

So, now I just want to know----is the honey/water stuff I now have contaminated by junk that could have been on the outside of the jars or in the unsterile stock pot or my fingers?  It wasnt boiling.

Could I just go ahead with my mead (cold ferment method) taking in to account the approx 3/4 water already with the honey?
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 22, 2011, 04:00:51 AM
I would just proceed.  It is probably fine, but the only thing you're risking at this point is some yeast.  Wat kind of honey did you get for $25 for 3 lbs?
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 04:05:14 AM
I would just proceed.  It is probably fine, but the only thing you're risking at this point is some yeast.  Wat kind of honey did you get for $25 for 3 lbs?

 What TS said.

 If the water was that hot any "junk"on the out side of the jars was probably sanitized mostly any way, it doesn't have to be boiling, and the fermentation process will take care of the rest.

 Go for it.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 04:12:49 AM
The honey was Orange Blossom bought at a brewing supply store.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 04:21:45 AM
NB (northernbrewer.com) has Orange Blossom  for ~$12.00/ 3lbs (~$48.00/12 lbs) + 7.99 shipping.

 Check them out. It might save you a few $$$
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: ellen on June 22, 2011, 04:26:31 AM
Ok.  Thanks for the help everyone.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 04:29:28 AM
Ok.  Thanks for the help everyone.

 Let us know how it works out.

 We're here to help.

 Your mistakes are ours and ours are yours. ;D
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: gordonstrong on June 22, 2011, 12:47:50 PM
So you have 9 lbs of honey available to you, and 3 lbs have dumped into 3/4 gal water?  I would take the honey water, the rest of the honey, dump them all in a fermenter, top it off to 3 gal total volume, pitch yeast, add nutrients and go for it.  If it's hot enough to scald you, chances are it's fine with anything that's on the bottles.  The new yeast will tend to outcompete other bugs anyway.  It may not be what you wanted to do, but just plow ahead now.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: roxanne on June 25, 2011, 11:24:37 PM
For the future, another option is to warm the honey in the microwave.  Microwave for about a minute - it will flow pretty easily.  Better to start with lower times & then add more time.    I've also used a microwave to help with crystalized honey - Microwave for a minute or 2 (lids off).  Recap & shake (or stir if it's really solid).  Let it sit for a 5+ minutes so some of the honey sugar can redissolve.  Repeat as needed.  Just don't microwave for too long (if the water in the honey gets too hot, it may cause some spillover.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 27, 2011, 02:02:01 PM
For the future, another option is to warm the honey in the microwave. 

If you go with warming your beer in a microwave, just be very careful to know your equipment. Honey in a plastic jug can easily develop hot spots which melt or collapses the jug! I speak from sad personal experience.

Go low and slow. Only nuke the honey for a minute or so at a time (or just a few seconds if you're warming a small amount of honey). Consider using the defrost setting and watch the microwave like a hungry hawk.
Title: Re: Need Advice--Did I ruin my honey?
Post by: punatic on June 27, 2011, 03:41:57 PM
Microwave honey?!  Yikes! 
In a plastic jar?!  Double yikes!!

Patience Grasshopper...

Even completely crystalized honey will come out of a container if given a bit of time and a bit of low heat.  The most heat that should ever be applied is a water bath of hot tap water. 

Take your time.  Go slow.  Do you realize how many hours of hard bee work a pound of honey represents?

Microwave honey...  good grief!  ???