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Old 06-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default How to backsweeten...

Quick newb question... (I searched, but didn't find the answer I was looking for)

How exactly do you back sweeten? Do you add additional honey(flavors) during secondary? Thanks!

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Old 06-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert but if you bottle your beer you can only back-sweeten with unfermentable sugars such as lactose or Spenda (I've used both). Reason being if you add fermentable sugars such as honey your yeasties will devour them and you will end up with bottle bombs.

I back-sweeten to taste in the bottling bucket BEFORE adding priming sugar. I dump Splenda directly into the beer or if I use lactose I boil it in some water for 5 minutes and cool before adding. Then once I get the desired "sweetness" I add the priming sugar as usual and bottle.

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Old 06-15-2011, 05:12 AM   #3
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If I'm using honey, I ferment dry, then take a gravity reading, mix honey and water 50/50, then add a little at a time, then stir gently and take another reading. I like my meads to be about 1.010 - I only sweeten at this stage with honey because it can cause a protein haze and I don't want the hassle of clearing it twice.

If I'm using something else instead of honey, then I leave it till just before bottling.

Oh, and unless the ferment had finished below 1.000 I also stabilise it, especially if sweetening with a fermentable sugar........

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Old 06-15-2011, 05:24 AM   #4
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backsweeten is simply adding sugar...or in this case honey, to increase the sweetness of the final product.
typically this is done to brews that have been fermented dry. usually because your using a yeast that goes to a higher alcohol content than what you want.
of course this means if you add any more sugar/honey in it will resume fermenting.
so you have to stabilize the mead first to stop the yeast from fermenting any more.

first thing is to get rid of as much yeast out of it as you can. generally by letting it settle and racking.
then to either heat treat (kill yeast) or add chemicals in to stop the yeast.
then you can add honey to sweeten it up without it re-fermenting.

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Old 06-15-2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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Oops! I didn't realize this was the mead forum.

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Old 06-16-2011, 04:17 AM   #6
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I have only made one mead and it finished very dry. So I added potassium metabisulphate to sterilize the mead then the next day I added potassium sorbate to inhibit the yeast from waking up. I then added honey mixed with water to get to a gravity of 1010. I followed the directions on the packages for the amounts of those additives. I ended up adding 8oz of honey to backsweeten. I was surprised how much difference that small amount of honey made in a five gallon batch.

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