In my last blog post, The President's Porter, I wrote about making a variant on the Whitehouse's Honey Porter. That made me think about using honey as the sugar for fermentation, which naturally led me to think about making mead.
The principal sugar used in making beer is maltose, a dissacharide made from two units of glucose. The sugar in honey, by contrast, is principally invert sugar. Invert sugar is a mixture of the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Fructose and glucose can also form a dissacharide called sucrose, cane sugar. The reason invert sugar has its name is that a mixture of fructose and glucose rotates plane-polarized light in the opposite direction from sucrose.
Invert sugar is very sweet and honey makes an excellent starting material for mead, a honey wine.