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Old 02-17-2014, 12:09 AM   #1
kevinb
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Default How do I back sweeten?

I made a simple mead with EC-118 yeast. Fermentation has stopped and my gravity is about 0.990. ABV is about 16.5%. How do I back sweeten? If I add more honey, I believe it will start to ferment since the alcohol tolerance is about 18%? Can I prevent the fermentation from re-starting? I have a 3.25 gallon batch. About how much honey to I need to get to 1.015?

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
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Get some Camden tablets and potassium sorbate. Add 1/2 tsp of sorbate per gallon and 1 crushed Camden tablet per gallon. Wait about 12 - 24 hours and then add your honey. Start with just a pound. See where the gravity is and adjust from there.

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Old 02-17-2014, 02:31 AM   #3
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Honey is reported to contribute 35 gravity points per pound per gallon (though I have seen some say as high as 40). So you need to add .714 (25/35) pounds per gallon, or 2.32 pounds for the 3.25 gallons you have. This can vary slightly based on the water content of your honey, but it should be well in the neighborhood.

That being said, I would back sweeten to taste rather than trying to hit a specific gravity.

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #4
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Can I add the honey directly or do I need to prepare it some how?

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinb View Post
Can I add the honey directly or do I need to prepare it some how?
You can add direct but it will likely stratify at the bottom, which means lots of stirring, but if you haven't de-gassed the batch its less of an issue.

you can take a similar amount of the batch and mix the honey into that (do that incrementally as its easy to over do it), then it should mix into the batch easier.

you can mix the honey with water in equal amounts which will dissolve the honey quickest but that dilutes the batch a tiny bit.

In any case all the methods should be incremental with a taste and gravity measurement each increment/addition.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:04 PM   #6
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As far as adding the Camden tablets and potassium sorbate, does the must need to be cleared first?

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Old 02-18-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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It will work best if your mead is clear, because the majority of the yeast will no longer be in suspension(they'll have settled out and been removed when you racked off of the lees). So, in a word, yes.

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