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Old 10-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
taishojojo
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Default How to back sweeten?

Could someone provide a good link to back sweetening, please.
I had a batch get really dry. I bought a yeast that I was told had a tolerance of 12%.
I racked to secondary and gave it a taste... it had a some teeth to it. Final gravity put this thing at 16.5%. I was wondering how to properly back sweeten.
I figure Ill need some Campden tablets or somesuch.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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You can use wine conditioner, which is a combination of invert sugar syrup and potassium sorbate. Metabisulphite can help too. Something like 1/8 tsp in 5 gallons. There's a few related links at the bottom of this thread.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Wine conditioner tends to cause refermentation...I used it twice and both dry wines took off. If you use it, dose with sorbate and k-meta. I now always use 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon plus k-meta as recommended on bottle, usually 1/4 tsp per six gallons anytime I backsweeten with a fermentable sugar. This is added to a dry wine, or one that has fermented as far as it will go. Very important to use sorbate PLUS SO2. Always wait 7-10 days after backsweetening, apply airlock, to check via hydrometer for fermentation activity, then rack one final time if sediment has dropped, then bottle.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:53 AM   #4
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Or you can backsweeten, and then bottle pasteurize immediately.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:26 AM   #5
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As sarmac said, you need both potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite additions to truly stabilize and prevent refermentation once you add back sugar.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:25 AM   #6
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pasteurizing would do the trick, but could darken the final product unless you have killer heat exchangers. It would need to be done very quickly, and could reduce your alcohol percentage.

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Old 10-11-2012, 03:49 AM   #7
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Bottle pasteurization doesn't allow for condensation of the liquid except within the bottle. It is difficult to quickly cool the liquid in the bottle without cracking the bottle.

I bottle pasteurize cider all the time. It is not adversely effected by letting the brew air cool to room temperature in the bottle. I've not done so with mead, so I can't speak as to what it may do to the color or flavor.

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Old 10-11-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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I thought the usual method was let it clear then add some meta and sorbate? I didn't think pasteurizing was common practice for meads, which are easy enough to ferment out then sweeten.
Pasteurization is more of a cider thing for various reasons.
In fact, surely the secondary fermentation prior to pasteurization would result in sediment in your bottles?

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