Is raw honey better for mead?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Raw honey is generally considered better for making mead compared to processed honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated or filtered, which means it retains all of its natural enzymes, pollen, and other beneficial components. These components contribute to the unique flavors and aromas in mead.

When honey is heated and filtered during processing, it can lose some of its natural qualities. Heating honey can destroy the delicate enzymes and other beneficial compounds, while filtration removes pollen and other particles. This can result in a honey that is less flavorful and lacks the complexity that raw honey offers.

Using raw honey in mead allows for a more authentic and natural flavor profile. The enzymes in raw honey can also aid in the fermentation process, helping to break down sugars and produce a well-rounded mead.

Furthermore, using local honey is often recommended for making mead. Local honey is honey produced by bees in your region, using nectar from local flowers and plants. This not only supports local beekeepers and promotes sustainability but also adds a unique regional character to your mead.

Local honey may contain traces of local pollen, which can contribute to the terroir of the mead. Terroir refers to the environmental factors that influence the flavor and character of agricultural products, including honey. By using local honey, you can capture the essence of your specific region and create a mead that truly reflects the flavors of your local environment.

In terms of sourcing raw and local honey for mead-making, one option is to look for beekeepers or honey producers in your area. Many beekeepers sell their honey directly to consumers, and you may be able to find raw and local honey through farmers’ markets or specialty food stores.

If you’re just starting out with mead-making and don’t have access to local honey, you can still use raw honey from other regions. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile may differ slightly from meads made with local honey.

To summarize, raw honey is generally considered better for making mead due to its retention of natural enzymes and other beneficial components. Local honey adds a unique regional character to mead and supports local beekeepers. Whether you choose raw and local honey or raw honey from other regions, you can create delicious and authentic mead by using high-quality honey.