The original resource on authentic Honey Wine - THE Reinheitsgebot of MEAD!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heat vs. Cold process?

The majority of professional Meaderies are started by home beer brewers who know nothing about professional white wine making (but with passion and good intentions!) and that is why you still see the antediluvian practice of heat pasteurizing or boiling the honey must, and or because the Meadery owner(s) does not want to invest in the equipment or labor necessary to cold-process their honey wine. In addition, they may just be are unaware that it can be done cold. The Meadery might make a great product with heat, and I have tasted many of these Meaderies imbibes that were quite good, but there is no question their product would be even better if they cold processed it. Grape wineries do not heat pasteurize or boil their must for a reason, they know what they are doing. If they heated their must you would see a damaged product. There are even more delicate flavor components in honey than there are in grape sugar and grape compounds that are negatively affected by heat. So the argument if anything should be that Mead, more so than grape wine, should never be heat pasteurized or boiled.

It is unlikely that an established Meadery that heat pasteurizes or boils their product will change their methods do to this information. However a new startup Meadery can and should follow a cold process protocol. If you want to start a Meadery, I  can help. I consult with several Meaderies and I teach how set up the cold-process way.

Another thing to consider is that there are many compounds in honey that are beneficial to your health. When you heat pasteurize or boil your honey you destroy much of that health advantage.