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The Best Honey For Elderberry Mead

Michael Gonzales
December 24, 2023

Mead is a fermented beverage produced from honey and water, often flavorful with fruit, herbs, or spices for additional flavors. Melomel (fruited honey mead) uses blossom honey combined with fresh elderberries for this melomel (fruited honey mead).

Start by stemming and juicing elderberries. Next, it’s time to add honey – liquid honey works great here; alternatively you could try using varietal varieties for additional complexity.

1. Clover Honey

Clover honey is one of the most sought-after types of honey available in the US. This light to pale gold liquid is produced from nectar produced from white clover flowers throughout North America, known for producing copious quantities of nectar and providing its primary source for this variety. Although clover honey often features as its main floral source, other sources can often be combined to add depth of flavor.

Honey can have a dramatic impact on both the flavor and final product of mead production, so choosing high-quality honey is of utmost importance when making mead. In addition to flavoring it can affect how quickly fermentation occurs as well as the quantity of alcohol it yields.

Clover honey can be found at most supermarkets and is a relatively affordable choice, yet when purchasing honey make sure that you look for one marked “raw” or “unfiltered,” which indicates it has not been heated or processed and contains all of its beneficial enzymes and pollen that make it such an healthful food source.

Taste-wise, clover honey is light and sweet with subtle grassy notes and may also contain notes of cinnamon or plums. Although this variety tends to crystallize more rapidly due to having more glucose than fructose in its composition, clover honey can still be creamed or beaten at high temperature to make it spreadable.

Clover honey makes an excellent complement for elderberry mead, complementing its sweetness while aiding fermentation. In fact, mead brewed from different varietals often has greater depth and complexity than one made entirely with one varietal of honey.

2. Orange Blossom Honey

Orange blossom honey is a variety of honey produced from orange blossom flowers collected by bees, making it both sweeter than other varieties and featuring a mild citrus taste. Orange Blossom Honey makes an excellent addition to sweet baked goods as well as pairing well with tea.

Orange blossom honey is one of the most beloved monofloral varieties and can be found across grocery stores nationwide. Produced by bees feeding on orange groves that provide them with an abundance of blooming orange trees, this delicious treat has quickly become one of America’s favorite treats!

Honey bees collect nectar by flying to different flowering plants and collecting nectar before returning to their hive where they will mix the nectar with enzymes to reduce its water content and transform it into honey. They will store their honey in wax cells until later use – these actions give honey its characteristic sweet taste.

Mead-making requires using different varieties of honey with distinct flavor profiles that will inevitably shape its final taste. Orange Blossom Honey boasts delicate sweetness with lighter hues than most varieties – ideal for creating delicious mead.

Orange Blossom Honey is no exception and boasts naturally occurring antioxidants which may aid the human body in fighting free radicals and improving overall health and wellness. Orange Blossom Honey features many such antioxidants including quercetin, hesperidin, luteolin, kaempferol galanin and naringenin to name just a few.

Of all the different varieties of honey available, many meadmakers find orange blossom honey the ideal choice for elderberry mead due to its light sweetness and citrus flavors which pair nicely with its elderberry notes. Orange blossom honey makes an ideal springtime mead choice!

3. Wildflower Honey

Mead can be made using any variety of honey, but selecting the ideal variety depends on desired flavors and aroma characteristics for your finished mead. Each honey type also contains different amounts of sugar which affects fermentation processes as well as final alcohol levels in mead production.

If you want the ideal honey for elderberry mead, look for raw, unfiltered honey that’s low in acidity and rich with antioxidants. This kind of honey will preserve more of the natural flavors and aroma compounds found in berries while offering a smoother and less overpowering taste than conventional varieties which often have sharp, bitter edges.

For homemade elderberry mead, combine fresh elderberries with honey in a glass container and allow it to ferment for 3-7 days in an ideal dark location without sunlight. Give the mixture an occasional stir a couple times daily.

Once the bubbles start slowing and your mead has become bubbly, racking it into gallon glass jugs with airlocks is recommended in order to protect it from wild yeasts that might spoil its taste by producing vinegar that could alter its flavor profile.

Fruit wines typically use added sugar because the natural sugar found in berries alone isn’t sufficient to make shelf-stable wines. Without sugar added, yeast would quickly consume all available sugar and stop producing alcohol altogether; leaving an unpleasant, non-alcoholic drink behind. Honey wine on the other hand uses honey as its sweetener, giving yeast enough fuel for producing alcohol while still retaining some of its original sweetness.

Elderberry mead requires using raw, unfiltered honey that contains more natural flavor and aroma compounds than conventional varieties. Furthermore, low-sugar honeys are less likely to scorch or turn bitter when heated and should therefore be preferred over more sugar-laden varieties.

4. Clove Honey

Clove honey is created by adding cloves to raw honey for an enhanced flavor and medicinal properties. Its antibacterial powers, soothing effect on sore throats and antimicrobial qualities make it a popular ingredient in home cures for colds and coughs as well as ways to increase immunity and fight off infections.

Clove honey is ideal for creating elderberry mead, as its inclusion helps produce a more well-balanced, complex and robust beverage than could otherwise be achieved using plain sugar alone. Furthermore, clove honey also balances out its high acidity to balance out its fruit wine characteristics – when making smaller batches a cup should suffice to achieve this balance while still bringing out all of the flavors of elderberries.

To prepare berries for fermentation, begin by stemming (remove leaves and unripe berries). Frozen clusters make this step much simpler – once frozen they pop right out. Next combine cleaned berries with enough boiling water to cover them, slowly heating until warm before adding raw honey and more warm water as necessary to stir into a smooth consistency.

At this stage, use a strainer or jelly bag to separate out any solids before pouring your mixture into a clean fermentation vessel. Note: when making wine from honey instead of straight sugar, additional acidity will likely be necessary since honey provides less hospitability for yeast growth than sugar does; generally speaking a powdered acid blend designed specifically for winemaking or lemon juice should help bring down its ph to between 3.4-3.6.

Once your mead has been fermenting for approximately one week, you can bottle and label it. Please be aware that honey-based mead takes longer to complete as its sugars can be difficult for yeast to break down; thus slowing the fermentation process a bit. However, don’t despair: your hard work will pay off! Eventually you’ll be sipping delicious mead from bottle.


  • Michael Gonzales

    Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gonzales-07bb4b31/ [email protected] Gonzales Michael


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