Originally Posted by max42
Hope this is not a dumb question but I don't understand back sweetening. By that I mean if the mead has fermented to completion, no more hydrometer changes, why doesn't it restart fermenting if I add more sugar?
If the mead has really fully fermented to completion (ie no more residual sugar to feed on) then you can back sweeten if you remove all the yeast before adding any sweetener. You do this primarily by allowing the mead to age and as it ages by racking to a clean and sanitized carboy every couple of months.*** After two or three rackings there should be very few yeast cells in the mead. It is at that point you add K-sorbate and K-meta. This will prevent any of the few cells - remember they have not eaten anything for months - from reproducing. Yeast has a limited life-span (not sure how long any one cell can live) , but if they have nothing to eat and there are very few AND you have added chemicals to prevent those still in the mead from budding and reproducing then they really cannot convert very much of any additional sugar. It is then and only then you can add sweetener and then bottle
*** each time I rack , I rack onto K-meta and this prevents or inhibits oxidation. When you stabilize and add k-sorbate you should also add k-meta at the same time.