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Old 11-19-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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Default Cane sugar to boost ABV

I know it can be done and there is an entry for it on Hightest's spreadsheet, but are the any negatives to watch out for when adding some table sugar to mead?

I have 6lbs of honey and want to do a 2.5 gallon batch. I would like to get it to finish around 1.005-1.012 to be on the semi-dry side. The yeast Im using is a 12-14% ABV tolerance.

If I dont add any sugar, the FG will drop below 1 and to get it to finish about where I want, I need to add about a pound of sugar. Will that be okay?

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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I put in 6# of honey and 32c water, which gives a total volume of 2.51g and a gravity of 1.085

To get around 1.005, it was about 10.5%...1# of sugar only got you to 12.8% which would not be enough to overwhelm the yeast anyway.

I'd try to find more honey or replace some of the water with juice if you really want a higher abv drink.

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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I want to use the LALVIN 71B-1122 yeast which I see with poop out at 12-14% ABV. Is there any chance for is stopping around 12 or 13 or will it always go closer to 14?

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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You could try various methods such as cold crashing and racking to try and remove most of the yeast at or around your intended sweetness and abv calculation, however it's still a crap shoot.

I don't know the specifics of 71B, but I know that my Cote de Blancs seems to crap out a little sweeter, and I'm using ~3#/gallon. You're at just under 2.5#/g

I also don't trust the ranges you see on yeast. I've had nottingham dry out a mead at ~13%.

The only one I know that seems to crap out ALWAYS in that 11-12% range is the Sweet Mead (can't remember if it's Wyeast or WL or both -- but search around this forum, a lot of people mention the problems they have with ).

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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adding sugar wont give you a sweeter brew. the yeast will eat that too and give you more alcohol in payment. if you want a sweeter brew add Potassium Sorbet at the end of fermentation then add more must. or you can add non fermentable sugars like lactose. just warn people before you give it to them.

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
adding sugar wont give you a sweeter brew. the yeast will eat that too and give you more alcohol in payment. if you want a sweeter brew add Potassium Sorbet at the end of fermentation then add more must. or you can add non fermentable sugars like lactose. just warn people before you give it to them.
I know the sugar will totally ferment out. I want it to finish out around 1.005 or so I know the way to do this is to overwhelm the yeast and get them to stop fermenting. Im just trying to figure out if I need more honey or can just use some cane sugar to get to that point where the yeast stops....
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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I would do it with more honey. 1# of table sugar is a lot (IMHO) in a 2.5g batch.

The other option is to just let it ferment out to completely dry and then sorbate/sulfite and then backsweeten. It's much easier to control exactly where it's going to end up using that method.

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:24 PM   #8
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let them finish. add potassium sorbet. add more honey.

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6 View Post
You could try various methods such as cold crashing and racking to try and remove most of the yeast at or around your intended sweetness and abv calculation, however it's still a crap shoot.

I don't know the specifics of 71B, but I know that my Cote de Blancs seems to crap out a little sweeter, and I'm using ~3#/gallon. You're at just under 2.5#/g

I also don't trust the ranges you see on yeast. I've had nottingham dry out a mead at ~13%.

The only one I know that seems to crap out ALWAYS in that 11-12% range is the Sweet Mead (can't remember if it's Wyeast or WL or both -- but search around this forum, a lot of people mention the problems they have with ).
Okay, I think I'll give it a shot and add more honey and a little sugar to get the OG just where I want. I'll shoot for 14% ABV being a finishing gravity of about 1.005 or so and hopefully I can get it to finish out right around there.

The one thing I love and hate at the same time is the guessing game with beer and mead. Its fun to experiment and see what happens, but also makes planning very difficult!
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:29 PM   #10
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Just use honey, please no sugar. If your making a mead why would you use anything but honey? As mentioned though there are several options to getting a sweet brew. Stabilizing post ferment, cold crashing and overwhelming the yeast. You appear to have chosen the later, which I generally do as well. Choose an appropriate yeast but keep in mind a few things. Yeast's alcohol tolerance is an estimation, it could end early or you could get a stronger brew then you intend. I tend to add less honey than i expect I need, in case the yeast die out early. Then add honey a little bit at a time, seeing how much of it ferments out.

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