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Old 07-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
msarro
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Default Higher ABV Sweet Mead - Using a lower alcohol tolerance yeast?

Hey everyone, i have posted this question on other forums but haven't really gotten a great answer.
If I am attempting to create a sweet mead and want to avoid backsweetening or killing fermentation at a certain point, can I use a lower alcohol tolerance yeast?

Based on my calculated OG (this may change) I'm looking at 1.122. This is capable of fermenting up to around 15.6% abv. I'd like to stop it around 14-15%. If I use a yeast with a tolerance of 14% (71B or d47), this should leave a significant amount of sugars in the mead by the time the yeast gives out, right?

So what would the impact on the yeast do? Fusel alcohols? Off flavors?

Trying to fukmble through this and most of the reading I've found (compleat meadmaker, wild about wines, and the gotmead forum) doesn't do really cover intentionally using a lower tolerance yeast.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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That's what I'd do if I was trying to get some residual sweetness in a beer. I just started playing with meads though and I did use d47. The way my buddy at the LHBS described it, you would want to do just what you're planning.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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Fantastic, that is exactly what I was looking for. My big concern was fusels from stressed yeast, any any other stressed yeast nastiness like off flavors.

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Old 07-31-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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I think you've got a good plan. I like using a yeast's alcohol tolerance to retain sweetness. The yeast's alcohol tolerance is not an exact science. It's more of a ballpark. I much prefer 71B over D47. 71B is rated at 14%, but don't be surprised if it gets up around 15%.

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Old 08-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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Can you give me some insight in the flavor profile difference between those?

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Old 08-01-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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I like 71B over D47 better for two reasons. One is that D47 if not kept under 70*F in the butter zone of more like 65*F then you do get a lot of Fusel alcohols. I dont have a real good way of making sure the temps stay that low for sure so 71B works for me due to the better temp tolerance. Secondly if you use recepies with Malic acid in it "Like a Cyser, Pyment or various Melomels" then 71B metabolizes malic acid which gives the product a smoother taste. But if you have stable and great temp controle then D47 is great to give a better mouthfeel in meads and enhance the varietal character of the honey.

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