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Old 07-15-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
Budzien
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Default Add honey at monthly intervals, or leave alone?

I'm really hoping for a semi sweet- sweet mead. the OG was 1.120, and I just racked into the secondary (after 6 weeks) with an SG of 1.000. Should I be adding honey over the next few months? What do you guys do?



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Old 07-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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I'm really hoping for a semi sweet- sweet mead. the OG was 1.120, and I just racked into the secondary (after 6 weeks) with an SG of 1.000. Should I be adding honey over the next few months? What do you guys do?
Well, if you've had 3 identical gravity readings across a period of about a week (readings taken about 3 days apart), then it's time to rack it (which you've already done), then add sulphites (probably as crushed campden tablets) and potassium sorbate to stabilise it (the campden tablets/sulphites stun the remaining yeast cells and the sorbate prevents them from multiplying again).

After that (I like to leave it a couple of days), you can back sweeten it. I use a 50/50 mix of my preferred honey and water (as it helps it mix in quicker and more easily than just lots of stirring to mix pure honey in - and you don't need that much either). I add a small amount at a time 50 to 100 mls, depending on the batch size, then that's gently stirred in, followed by a gravity test to see where it's got to and most of the test goes back into the batch, but a tiny amount is tasted, so that a couple of further sweetening additions gets it to where I like my meads (I like mine medium, between about 1.010 and 1.015).

Oh, and while a lot of people recommend back sweetening before bottling, because using honey to sweeten a batch, can sometimes cause a haze (I think it's a protein haze), I prefer to do that part of the process before clearing as it means that I only have to clear a batch the once and not to have to do it a second time (unnecessarily IMO).

Then I leave it alone to clear naturally (normally). If you're feeling impatient, you can use something for finings to clear it quicker. It's up to you.


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Old 07-15-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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I'd like it to be a sparkling mead. Wouldn't a campden tablet prevent me from being able to carbonate?

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Old 07-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #4
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Yes, but so would feeding it honey until the yeast die. With bottle conditioning you can either have a dry mead that is carbed or a sweet one that still. If you really want both you either have to force carbonate in a keg or bottle pasturise. Or I guess sweeten it with an artificial sweetener...

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Budzien View Post
I'd like it to be a sparkling mead. Wouldn't a campden tablet prevent me from being able to carbonate?
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Yes, but so would feeding it honey until the yeast die. With bottle conditioning you can either have a dry mead that is carbed or a sweet one that still. If you really want both you either have to force carbonate in a keg or bottle pasturise. Or I guess sweeten it with an artificial sweetener...
Another option to use as a sweetner besides artificial stuff (i can't stand the flavor of the pink/yellow/blue packets) is Lactose, it's almost completely unfermentable so leaves residual sweetness
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:11 AM   #6
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Any idea how much lactose to raise the gravity .010 - .015 points in one gallon that currently sits at 1.000?

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Old 07-16-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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If I was to give up on the sparkling option, how much honey does it take to raise a gallon .010 - .015 points?

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Old 07-16-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Depends, what sized batch was it?

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Old 07-16-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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Any idea how much lactose to raise the gravity .010 - .015 points in one gallon that currently sits at 1.000?
The numbers aren't exact I believe most places sell it in 1 pound packaging, the best way would be to add it in increments, tasting and taking gravity readings until it is exactly how you like it, take notes so you know exactly what final gravity suits your taste and how much lactose you added, then next batch you have data to work from.


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