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Sweetening and Kegging

Deege

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 7, 2005
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www.fermentarium.com
I was looking to keg my mead but it is VERY dry. One is at 1.006 and the other is at 0.999. Both started at 1.082. If I add more honey the yeast will just eat it. I don't have the room in a fridge to store the kegs long term, so I was wondering what my options are?

I can put the meads in the fridge short term (next few months), but by summer the fridge will get "retasked" by my wife. So they will get warmed up, and my worry is that the yeast will wake up and be very hungry.

Should I

1) use potassium sorbate to quiet the yeast, then sweeten. Will the yeast ever come back?

2) just cool the mead for a month or two, then sweeten

3) leave it alone for 6 months, then sweeten

4) something better that I didn't think of

Thanks!
Deege
 

JoeM

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 9, 2004
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I think you're best bet is to sorbate and then sweeten...You could bulk age for an extended period of time, but i would suggest at least a year and even this isnt 100% garuntee depending on the yeast and the conditions.
 

Jmattioli

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Deege,

I'm with Joe M. Stabilizing with Sorbate especially if sweetening is the safest way to go and won't affect the taste if you use as directed by manufacturer. That is the method I use also.

Having said that Deege, I am wondering why you don't feed the mead to go a bit further. Your honey per gallon ratio is really low. Honey is not as strong as grapes and it appears you used no more than 2 lbs per gallon which is a bit light. This makes it very difficult, even with aging, to come out with a great honey nose and flavor. Most supeior meads have a minimum of 2 1/2 lbs per gallon at the least. Over 3 is much better for a straight mead in my opinion. I am guessing you are making a staright mead as I didn't see your recipe.

Joe
 

Deege

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 7, 2005
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www.fermentarium.com
OK. Here's what I did.

27.5 lbs of clover honey
10 gal of water
3 packets of Lavin 71b-1122
yeast nutrient (2 tsps "food grade urea and ammonium nitrate"??)
SG: 1.080
Temp: 65F

I later split the batch into two 5+ gallon batches, one rasberry and the other vanillia. I also added another 1.5 lbs of honey to each batch. The rasberry tasted good, just zero sweetness. It was kinda like a very dry red wine. It had a mellow alcohol taste that kinda sneaked up on you after sipping.

I've heard from several people that I added enough honey, and that they were suprised that it ran dry. Another brewer said that according to promash I had SG = 1.118. I know the amounts are correct, so *maybe* my initial reading was wrong. I had alot of initial readings though (all at 1.080), because it took a long time for my mead to get started.

My LHBS was suprised that I wanted to add more honey. The only thing I can think is that the conditions in my basement were prime happy hunting grounds for the yeast, and they went crazy? The temperature of the mead never varied much from 65F. That or it was weak honey. The honey was raw clover honey from my LHBS.

I ended up sorbating. We'll see how it goes....

Thanks,
Deege
 

Jmattioli

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
That sounds better Deege,
If i read your last post correctly I'm sure the 1.080 was close to correct for your batch size, about 12 1/2 gals.
10 gal water + 2 1/2 gal honey. 71B would go dry. That's only 2.2 lbs per gallon. With an average Clove honey one gets about 40 points per pound so your starting gravity would be about 1.088 . Yes that is a bit light to get sweet mead with 71B.

Maybe the recipe was made to not add 10gal of water but to add water to bring the Must to 10 gallons. That would have been 2.7 lbs per gallon and given you an SG closer to 1.108 which might finish at a semi-sweet 1.008 at the most.

Joe