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How to Back sweeten my Mead

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GntlKnigt1

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KC, I have had success stopping fermentation of K1 yeast, and stabilizing and cold crashing ( on patio here where temps vary from about 31 F at night and 44 F during the day) at about 1.020. Have done it more than once with no problems thus far.
 

ScottBehrens

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Aug 26, 2012
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Thanks GK. I wasn't going to approach this again considering the ass-kicking :violent1: I got for mentioning a method that up until 6 months ago was widely accepted on this forum and is still used today by some of the more prolific mazers on this site. Its the way I learned. But I am going to start a blending batch this weekend, just crashing it harder and faster this time. I haven't done this in the past, worries about throwing off the yeast/acid/body/tannin profile in your original batch, making further adjustments needed down the road. Time will tell.
 

ScottBehrens

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I was going to ask if you tried it with anything other than K1? I was planning on 71B this trip for the high gravity. I always check for free SO2 with a meter and adjust based on pH beforehand, thanks for the reminder. I just got the reagent for testing bound SO2 as well. Do you keep it at .8 molecular when doing this?
 

pwizard

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Oct 17, 2015
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Adding honey to backsweeten my meads have all ended in failure thus far. Every one of them eventually restarted fermentation, and while some were okay with a little more fermentation, they still went drier than I liked again. Some, made bottle bombs (3 lost bottles). And the rest that didn't explode have made some of the tartest, driest mead I've ever tasted; more like a blueberry/blackberry champagne with tons of carbonation. Kinda neat at first, but it's gotten so dry and tart now that it's more useful as entertainment, to let people taste it and watch their reactions. :)
How do you stabilize your mead? I've never had that happen.

I generally wait 1-2 months to backsweeten, and I get rid of as much sediment as I can first (I don't mind raw honey fallout in my bottles but yeast sediment is a different matter). I add my sulfite/sorbate and then wait 24 hrs to give the chemicals a chance to do their work before I add honey. Even then I put an airlock on the carboy instead of a solid bung so it won't blow up if fermentation starts again. After that, I wait a week until I bottle, assuming there is no sign of fermentation going on again after that time. I've never had an exploded bottle so far. I had a mead carbonate very slightly in a wine bottle (little more than a few bubbles) but that one probably wouldn't have blown up anyway.
 

EbonHawk

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Apr 24, 2014
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Oops, sorry for the confusion. I've never stabilized one. I added honey and it all refermented, no matter what I thought wouldn't happen because the yeast was at its tolerance. I was just trying to make sure he understood that if you didn't do something, then expect the results (failures) that I got. Better to use the chemicals suggested instead if you don't like surprises. Sorry about that.
 

Cobrac

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Sep 6, 2016
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That's the first I've heard that sorbate treatment isn't permanent. People use it all the time and nobody ever said diddly about it having a shelf life. This warrants further investigation.

There is an alternative, however - cold crash, clear, and force filter through 1 micron. No chemicals, no yeasties.

That is very interesting way to do it, but i do wonder: Will all flavors and aromas still be there after such filtration or does it remove some/much of them? Im just curious since im trying to find a non-chemical way to have a sweet mead without the risk of a restarted fermentation in my bottles.
 

Squatchy

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That is very interesting way to do it, but i do wonder: Will all flavors and aromas still be there after such filtration or does it remove some/much of them? Im just curious since im trying to find a non-chemical way to have a sweet mead without the risk of a restarted fermentation in my bottles.
So that's not hard. Just run your yeast into the ground so they tap out and add more. It may start up again but it will eventually die of Alcohol poisoning and will not be able to eat anymore.
 

Cobrac

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Sep 6, 2016
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Alright, got it. But lets say if I want a sweet low ABV mead, is that even possible without sorbate? I usually make sparkling meads, but I want them clear so dont want any bottle fermentation at all, if possible. I use pressurized stainless kegs to carbonate. So therefore cold crasching and filtering sounded interesting to me.
 

HeidrunsGift

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Feb 1, 2016
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How low do you want it? If you want 5% low, you'll probably need ale yeast. If 11% is what you want, you can probably find a smack pack sweet mead yeast that will do the trick. Most of the dry yeast from Lalvin that I use are 12% and above, so those won't do the job without sorbate. As squatchy said, keep adding honey till it maxes itself out with the yeast that you choose
 

chefofyourlife

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Aug 19, 2019
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How Long To Cook Meatloaf

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Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg beaten
1 cup bread crumbs or bread, soaked in milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
....
 
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