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Old 10-09-2012, 04:49 PM   #11
igliashon
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To my girlfriend and me, sucralose tastes like sugar. Soda also tastes like sugar. We don't notice a difference in flavor between sugar and sucralose. As far as sorbitol, we actually did a double blind test with the two of us. We could both detect 100% sorbitol-based fake honey, but when we mixed half real honey and half sorbitol honey we could not tell the difference from 100% real honey. The fake honey is a great backsweetener that I've used a fair bit. It tastes mostly like honey but has none of the smell of honey, but the simcoe is going to cover any honey smell anyways.
I'm not as experienced with sorbitol, but I can always identify sucralose, even when I don't know it's an ingredient or when I don't expect it to be one. From what I've read, sorbitol (along with xylitol and mannitol and the other sugar alcohols) can cause gastrointestinal upset and have a laxative-like effect in sufficient quantity. I'm not sure what that quantity is, or how much I'd be ingesting per bottle of mead if I used it to back-sweeten, but it seems like something I'd rather not mess with.

I actually don't expect that the simcoe is going to cover anything up; at least, not to my hyper-sensitive olfactory system! My girlfriend and I are both hypersensitive when it comes to smells and tastes, so I want to be really careful with my choice of backsweetener. Hopefully I won't need one! But if I do it'll probably either be lactose or stevia.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #12
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Put it into a keg and force carb after the sulfite addition. Plus, if it manages to ferment again, the pressure valve will keep it from blowing.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #13
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I don't have kegging capabilities...no room in my tiny apartment.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #14
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In my experience it really doesn't take much to backsweeten. If you want natural, non-fermentable sugar then you're probably looking at lactose. Good thing yeast is lactose-intolerant! If you have a local friend with a kegging setup and bottle filler you can beg to go to their house and use it maybe?

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:15 AM   #15
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If you wan't to sweeten you could keg, Carbonate, add sugar, bottle, and pasteurize your beer! Though you already mentioned that was not possible.

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by igliashon View Post
I don't have kegging capabilities...no room in my tiny apartment.
Bummer.

Not to twist the knife, but I like to make cider and my recently built kegerator is a god send. Opens up so many options for backsweetening and carbonating.

Sorry again. Wish I had some good advice for you.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #17
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Someday, I will have an apartment large enough to accomodate a kegging setup. And a yard, where I can setup a propane burner to do my boils, so I can do larger than 3-gallon batches. But for now, I gotta keep it modest and creative.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:11 AM   #18
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Yeah sulfites work great if you have a keg. Bottle pasturize? Just give a water bath in a canner. They have a wire rack and everything though I imagine that if the bottles are breaking then I suggest more reading on water baths.

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #19
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Alright, finally brewed this, but changed the recipe up a bit at the last minute. I went with galaxy hops instead of simcoe, because the honey I got turned out to have a very interesting fruity bouquet to it that I thought might not pair well with the resiny simcoe flavor.

3 gallons:

2 lbs caramelized raw unfiltered wildflower honey (cooked on high heat for ~45 minutes), added at flame-out
4 lbs raw unfiltered wildflower honey, added at flame-out
8 oz maltodextrin, at 60 minutes

0.25 oz millenium pellet hops, 17.4% AA, at 60 min
1 oz galaxy hop pellets, 13% AA, at 15 min
1 oz galaxy hop pellets, at 5 min
I'll probably dry hop with 1 oz of whole cascade hops for 2 weeks before bottling

2 tsp yeast nutrient at 5 minutes
Fermentis Safbrew S-33 (didn't realize I was out of US-05, and this seemed like a better choice than the S-04, T-58, or WB-06 I had on hand)

Caramelizing the honey on the stove was fine; I used my spare brew kettle and there was PLENTY of room, it foamed up a bit but didn't make it more than 1/4 of the way up the pot. The smell was amazing, it went through a lot of different phases of aroma and finally settled on campfire roasted marshmallows. I didn't quite stir it enough though, as some honey scorched onto the bottom of my pot (having a heck of a time getting it off, too!). The wildflower honey I used was already very dark to begin with, I'd say about 25-30 SRM, so the final must was pitch-black, darker even than my RIS. I think this caramelized honey is going to add a ton of flavor, though, and I'm definitely going to use caramelized honey in a few more brews...I've got a spiced winter ale recipe coming together that I think would benefit greatly from the burnt honey. I highly recommend trying it! I think this mead is going to be really something else.

One curious thing though is that the OG came out quite lower than expected, 1.066. I did some calculations and reckon I averaged 32 ppg from all the honey, not the projected 40 ppg that Hopville suggested. However, I'm not terribly concerned about this batch coming out too dry...the honey is so full-flavored that I expect it will end up plenty sweet. Nevertheless, if you do try the recipe yourself, and you don't use a really dark full-flavored honey, I'd recommend using more like 2.5 to 3 lbs of honey per gallon of water.

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #20
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Excited to hear about this. I tried B' Nectar's Evil Genius and was still excited about the IDEA, but didn't like how sweet it was.

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