Mead Lover's Digest #1397 Tue 18 November 2008


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor



Re: Melomel assistance (mail-box)
Re: back sweetened mead (mail-box)
Mead Free or Die (Michael Fairbrother)


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Subject: Re: Melomel assistance
From: mail-box <>
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 13:18:10 -0500

> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008
> From: "Dennis Key" <>
> Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 13:03:22 -0600
> I suggest splitting the batch in half and adding water to top it up then
> repitch with a Champaign or Cuvee yeast. You've probably reached the
> EC-1118's alcohol tolerance level so diluting an pitching the same yeast will
> lead to a drier mel but not higher in alcohol. Champaign and Cuvee yeasts
> usually produce an alcohol level around 18-20% if they're pushed. If you
> end up with a too dry mel, add a bit (2-3 cups) more honey to restart it.
> Keep adding smaller bits of honey when it stops fermenting until you reach
> the sweetness you want. You might want to add some potassium sorbate in
> the last racking before bottling to prevent refermentation in the bottle
> (bottle bazookas, sticky mess all over!!).
> Dennis Key
> Dragonweyr, NM

But do not sorbate without sulfiating, and do not add sorbate to an
active (even if very slow) ferment.

I typically sulfite a week or more before I'll add sorbate to a non-dry
mead, unless the mead has already gone through a long period of bulk
aging. It's a safe practice.

Ken Taborek

Subject: Re: back sweetened mead
From: mail-box <>
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 13:29:29 -0500

> Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1395, 25 October 2008
> From: "" <>
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 12:49:56 GMT
> Clarification – Of back sweetened mead.
> Ok, I have a small but ugly problem. My meads have a tendency to ferment
> to completion, however, I don't enjoy them that hot. So, I have tried to
> backsweeten a few times. I typicaly use bentonite. Well, I get these very
> odd "orbes" in my mead that then make racking difficult. I figure that
> I should sweeten (with raw honey) after I have clarified the wine. Any
> suggestions or comments?

I back sweeten almost all of my meads, as I prefer to hit exactly the
alcohol level I want. That also eliminates any issue of alcohol
hottness, but I think you are using the term incorrectly. 'Hot' usually
refers to a high alcohol drink, and if you're fermenting dry and back
sweetening you're getting the alcohol content you wanted based on your
OG. So you should be quite comfortable with it, or reduce your OG
appropriately. I think you're confusing hottness with dryness. A mead
fermented to completeness will be dry, yes. I like them that way, and
tend to sweeten half batches for my friends and family who prefer a more
sweet drink. The added sugar can balance a high alcohol content, yes.
But again if you're crafting your mead to a wine strength than even
fermented dry it should be well balanced.

I've never experienced these 'orbes' you refer to. Can you be more
descriptive? Are you allowing your bentonite to soak well before adding
it to your mead? Bentonite can be a pain at times, you've really got to
work it well before adding. How are you back sweetening? I use honey,
some reserved from the original honey if I'm making a varietal mead. I
just warm it a bit in the microwave to make it pour easily and stir it
in. This will be after bulk aging and a few rackings, so the stirring
doesn't disturb much if any lees.

Ken Taborek

Subject: Mead Free or Die
From: Michael Fairbrother <>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 15:36:55 -0500

Joining the ranks of other great mead only competitions, Mead Free or
Die, is scheduled to have it's first competition on April 25th 2009.
The web site is still in progress, but you can find out more information

Michael Fairbrother
Mead Free or Die

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1397