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Old 12-30-2018, 08:41 PM   #1
JonBoy
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Default From Hive to Bottle

My wife and I are amateur beekeepers. We have 4 hives here in S.A. and a couple in the hill country. This year 2 of our S.A. hives did incredibly well and we ended up with 105# at the end of the season. 4 months ago I took some of our honey from the last 2 harvests and waded into the world of making mead. I've been homebrewing beer for 6 or 7 years now but I've never made wine.

3# of honey per gallon. I did 1 gallon of traditional mead (honey, water and yeast only) using our light spring honey and 1 gallon of Christmas using our dark fall honey. They both finished out at ~14% ABV. The traditional is a little drier than the Christmas but neither required back sweetening after stabilizing. All-in-all this was incredibly easy to make but it definitely requires a lot of patience.

After 4 months of resting and racking 3 times to clarify today was bottling day. I have to say that while I'm not a big white wine fan this stuff is delicious!!! It took a lot of self control to keep from pouring off a few glasses while bottling

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Last edited by JonBoy; 12-30-2018 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:46 PM   #2
Lee230
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Cool! Really like the way your pics turned out, good eye!!
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:49 PM   #3
Shinesintx
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Awesome, thanks for sharing. I’ve considered getting into bee keeping at my property in the woods.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:54 PM   #4
Johnny Dangerr
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Grew up with two hives in the back yard. Lot of work twice a year, and numerous stings throughout the year. Two neighbor husbands took my day out front down by the light pole and explained to him why he was getting rid of the hives.
I have never thought about starting back into all the fun.......
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:10 PM   #5
MetalMan2004
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Those look right nice. I made Meade a couple of times. Took a couple of years of aging before I felt it was mild enough to really drink. Good stuff though!
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:13 PM   #6
JonBoy
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Those look right nice. I made Meade a couple of times. Took a couple of years of aging before I felt it was mild enough to really drink. Good stuff though!
Sounds about right. The folks who have been doing this a lot longer than me said to save off 4 bottles of each and have 1 each year to see how it changes with time. Wine & mead making is definitely the slow play hobby as a batch usually has to rest 18 months minimum before its decent to drink.

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Old 12-30-2018, 09:22 PM   #7
MetalMan2004
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Unfortunately a good portion of mine was wasted to drunks. I bottled mine in beer bottles because, like you, I was/ am a home brewer. Had a couple friends try it and they weren’t fans. After that, anytime I had a byob event and someone ran out but wanted to keep drinking they got some mead. It never ended well.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:38 PM   #8
Efren
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Nice! Do you guys sell your honey?
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:53 PM   #9
JonBoy
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Nice! Do you guys sell your honey?
We started selling this year. In past years we only harvested enough for personal consumption and to give away to friends/family as gifts. Sold about half of it off so far...lots of folks at my work were buying it up to give as Christmas presents.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:24 PM   #10
Brian77429
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If you can wait five years it even better! You will lo e making mead. Especially since you have access to honey!
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #11
lovemylegacy
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We started selling this year. In past years we only harvested enough for personal consumption and to give away to friends/family as gifts. Sold about half of it off so far...lots of folks at my work were buying it up to give as Christmas presents.
Do you still have some to sell?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:34 PM   #12
Bkag09
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Do you still have some to sell?
Interested as well.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:37 PM   #13
RascalArms
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Pretty neat!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:40 PM   #14
camoclad
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Dilly dilly
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:43 PM   #15
hog_down
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I have a hive in my back yard, and just got into beekeeping. 4 full frames of brood/honey/pollen, and I am pretty excited about the spring.

Can you share your mead recipe? or a link?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:49 PM   #16
88 Bound
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Nice! I would be interested in buying some if you still have some to sell.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:51 PM   #17
4_Fingers
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Bee's are a lot more work then people think
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:53 PM   #18
Flex
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Also interested in some. If not anybody have a recommendation?

I really want the actual honey comb to eat. Best preworkout snack there is.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:01 PM   #19
BitBackShot
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This is awesome. Great job.

When I was in high school, our dumb chemistry teacher told us all we had to do to make homemade wine was "throw some fruit juice, a little yeast, and some water in a glass jug and let it be". While technically correct, he left out the part about the CO2 escape valve.

A 1-gallon glass jug exploded in our attic at 3 in the morning and glass shredded through our AC ducts. On top of the fact that people probably heard it 2 miles away, the pungent scent of fermenting apple juice flowed through our entire AC system.

I did not get away with it if anyone is curious.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:12 PM   #20
Katch66
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Dilly dilly
Make that an autumnal mead.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:30 PM   #21
Acameron52
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Awesome. I will def be getting into bee keeping when I get my own little piece of land in the next few years. Nothing better than fresh honey!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:36 PM   #22
BlackHogDown
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Awesome!

I have a hippie brother that makes the stuff. Your batch makes his look like prison wine, though. I'd give it a shot.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:30 PM   #23
flywise
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Very nice
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:06 PM   #24
Gummi Bear
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We just found out today that my daughter has received a scholarship from the Metro Beekeepers through her FFA program.

Her first class is on Monday.

Shes really excited, and so am I. Ive been wanting to learn about beekeeping for years, now we get to learn together.



I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...

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Old 01-10-2019, 10:59 PM   #25
JonBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4_Fingers View Post
Bee's are a lot more work then people think
Yes...they...are. We learned that the hard way. Our first two or three years we were having 75% loss rates on hives just making a lot of amateur mistakes. Once we finally got a lot of those mistakes out of the way things are better but with varroa mites, hive beetles, wax moths, pesticides, and a number of diseases just waiting to take a hive down you really have to keep on top of your hives...much more so than Beekeepers had to 30 or 40 years ago.

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:01 PM   #26
JonBoy
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Originally Posted by 88 Bound View Post
Nice! I would be interested in buying some if you still have some to sell.
If you're local in San Antonio I'd be happy to sell you some...I'm not a site sponsor and cant sell on here but for anyone interested just PM me.

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:05 PM   #27
JonBoy
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Originally Posted by Flex View Post
Also interested in some. If not anybody have a recommendation?

I really want the actual honey comb to eat. Best preworkout snack there is.
I have a top bar hive in my back yard. They went queen less mid summer and had a bit of a set back in numbers so they didnt produce a harvest able amount of honey this year but typically I pull 8-10 frames of comb honey when I harvest them...yum!

I still have about 4-5 gallons of honey split between 3 different harvests. I have light spring honey, some dark honey dew honey I harvested in early spring and more recent dark fall honey. All delicious and unique.

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:07 PM   #28
JonBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hog_down View Post
I have a hive in my back yard, and just got into beekeeping. 4 full frames of brood/honey/pollen, and I am pretty excited about the spring.



Can you share your mead recipe? or a link?
If you have Facebook look up the group ModernMeadMakers...they have a great page with lots "how to" documents and recipes including the Traditional and Yule (aka Christmas) mead recipes I used on these 2 batches. There are tons of folks on that page who have been making award winning meads for years that love to help new folks out with advice.

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Last edited by JonBoy; 01-10-2019 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:11 PM   #29
JonBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummi Bear View Post
We just found out today that my daughter has received a scholarship from the Metro Beekeepers through her FFA program.

Her first class is on Monday.

Shes really excited, and so am I. Ive been wanting to learn about beekeeping for years, now we get to learn together.



I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...

Henry David Thoreau
Thats awesome!

Hook up with your local beekeeping association. Central Texas Beekeepers has a strong following here but they have similar ones all over Texas including up near you. Talking with seasoned beeks will help you avoid some of the learning curve I learned through school of hard knocks.

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Old 01-13-2019, 10:15 AM   #30
Raypo
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That looks really good. This process is foreign to me.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:23 PM   #31
Kenny Borel
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Dilly dilly
LOL Surprised it took that long
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