Our ScienceFrom hive to fermenter, our mead is crafted carefully.
We Start With Honey
To make our mead, we start with honey from our own hives. In our apiary, we keep a minimum of fifty hives. Each hive can produce an average of 50 to 60 pounds of honey per year, but since our first priority is ensuring the survival of our bees, we minimize the honey we take from our hives. When we run out of our own honey, we buy honey at premium rates from local beekeepers to help give them the financial freedom to be able to treat their bees for disease early in the season. We also buy from a honey distributor who consolidates honey from other NB beekeepers.
Since all of our honey comes from bees visiting different flowers in different areas, the characteristics of our honey vary from batch to batch. That’s why our mead releases are small-batch and artisanal. We can’t produce exactly the same mead, since the honey will vary from season to season and even year to year.
Choosing Our Apples
The other major variable in mead is the type of juice or water used to dilute the honey so it can ferment.
In general, we use fresh-pressed apples instead of water. Store-bought apple juice would never taste the same as real, fresh-pressed apples from local orchards, which we blend with our local honey to create unique flavour expressions before fermentation even begins! Since different varieties of apples come into season or go out of season throughout the year and there are always different proportions of certain varieties within the pressed juice, similar to the flowers’ seasons affecting the taste of honey, no two batches will be exactly the same.
Our snow mead is made with ten thousand litres of snow, which melts into a thousand litres of water. We sanitize with ozone, test the water for purity, wait for the ozone to dissipate quickly into oxygen, and filter. This results in a harvest of pure, clean water from our own rural property!
Mixing and Fermentation
We fill our mixing tank with fresh-pressed apples, which we always aim to use within a day of obtaining them from the orchard to keep them fresh, or with water in the case of our snow mead. Then, we add hundreds of pounds of honey at a time to the mixing tank. We add the honey slowly to ensure it fully dissolves and leave it to mix until it is completely blended. Then, we pump it into our fermenter and add the yeast to begin fermentation.
Fermentation takes as long as the yeast wants to take! Of course, yeast requires feeding, so we add nutrients on a regular basis throughout fermentation until the yeast finishes fermenting. Then, we wait until the yeast settles out of the mead before transferring it to a secondary container.