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Old 01-28-2013, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default i'd like this train to stop soon...

my 5-6 gallon batch of mead is about where I'd like it to stop. it's at 11% abv with an S.G. of 1.043. I'm shooting for 12-13%.

what do I do to stop this thing? I've heard/read about different methods, but I don't know what the best way to act is..
do I add sulfates? cold crash it? I need your expert advise

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:02 AM   #2
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I had a pumpkin melomel that I wanted stopped at 9%. It fermented super fast and being only 2 gallons I threw it in the fridge & cranked it to it's coldest temp when I noticed it at 9% ABV. After 48 hours I added 1.5 crushed camden tablet per gallon and 1/2 tsp per gallon potassium metabisulfate and after a week I took it out of the fridge and it had settled at 9.5% ABV. Fermntation did not pick back up after warming to room temp so all went well for me with that method.

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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I may try that with a smaller batch.. how long ago was that? and how did/had it kept in the bottles? the reason I ask is that I've read, campden doesn't kill wine yeast. It kills wild yeast. so while it will seemingly stop fermentation for a while, the yeast (over time) will regenerate and begin to ferment the remaining sugars. (usually after bottled)
Can anyone's experience support this?

The safe way to go (based on everything I've read) is to let the fermentation finish. Add potassium sulfate and wait a few days. (sulfate rendering the yeast unable to reproduce)
rack off the remaining yeast and back-sweeten to desired gravity.

the only other way I could think to do this is to know what alcohol tolerance would kill off the yeast and start with a gravity that would leave a desired amount of sweetness after yeast depletion.. but who can guess that?
from the sounds of it, there are usually some resistant strains that will carry on much longer than their "cousins."

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:12 PM   #4
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If you really want it to stop I'd hit it with sulphite and sorbate.

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DashCooper View Post
I may try that with a smaller batch.. how long ago was that? and how did/had it kept in the bottles? the reason I ask is that I've read, campden doesn't kill wine yeast. It kills wild yeast. so while it will seemingly stop fermentation for a while, the yeast (over time) will regenerate and begin to ferment the remaining sugars. (usually after bottled)
Can anyone's experience support this?.
Oh yea that batch was a year ago in April if I remember right. So it has been just over 9 months and it is still bulk aging with no real sweetness drop as I can tell. Now I have not busted out the hydrometer but I give a shot sized taste test at least once a month and I notice no further fermentation even though I know the yeast used has an ABV tolerance above the what the sugar level should provide.

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If you really want it to stop I'd hit it with sulphite and sorbate.
Haha my suggestion exactly. Just if you have an active fermentation it is good to stun the yeast with cold to give your chemicals the best chance at stopping fermentation.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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ok. I'll give it a shot!

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:29 AM   #7
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what yeast did you pitch in this ?

It's going to be quite sweet if you stop fermentation at 1.030 or higher. This would be too sweet for my tastes but if you think you'll like it go for it.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:30 AM   #8
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Pasteurize it. Cold shocking and dosing with campden plus sorbate just delays the refermentation, given enough time it is likely the yeast will eat that residual sugar. Now if you plan to consume it quickly you may be successful, but campden and sorbate do not stop an active ferment in its track. Very lucky if you have been able to stall and stop an active ferment by cold shocking and stabilizing. Some use sterile filtration on top of all that and still have continued fermentation.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:39 AM   #9
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Saramc,

Have you pasteurized? Before or after corking? What temp did you have the water at and how long did you leave the bottles in it?

Edit - I probably should have searched before asking, but I will see what you say.

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Old 01-29-2013, 05:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illuveatar
what yeast did you pitch in this ?
White Labs WLP720 sweet mead/wine yeast
Quote:
Originally Posted by Illuvetar
It's going to be quite sweet if you stop fermentation at 1.030 or higher. This would be too sweet for my tastes but if you think you'll like it go for it.
I think I'm actually going to stop it around 1.020 if I can.

I'm not sure what pasteurization entails.. doesn't that affect the flavor?
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