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Old 01-24-2009, 10:48 PM   #1
BillR
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Default Making a sweeter mead

My first two batches of mead are now 1.5 years old and are excellent. I believe they are dry, here’s details of one batch:

12 lb orange blossom honey
4.5gal water
D47
OG = 1.082
FG =0.996

I followed the basic mead instructions provided by Hightest.

Now I wish to start a somewhat sweeter mead, not a dessert drink, but I want to be able to smell and taste the honey. Do I simply increase the amount of honey to say 15lbs or add honey at the end of fermentation?

Does this increase the length of time until the mead is drinkable? Is D47 OK for this?

Thanks, Bill

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Old 01-24-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
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I don't think you can make mead out of a sweater. Sweaters are not fermentable as far as I know.

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Old 01-24-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
I don't think you can make mead out of a sweater. Sweaters are not fermentable as far as I know.


Better use Woolite
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
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Yeah if you go with a greater volume of honey the d-47 will give you a sweeter mead. I did a four gallon total size batch used about 12 pounds of honey and there was plenty of residual sweetness and honey flavor left when I racked it on fruit.

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Old 01-25-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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You'll get more control over the sweetness, though, if you ferment to dry and then stabilize and backsweeten. If you add too much honey in the beginning and it ends up stopping too sweet, you're stuck. Whereas if you backsweeten, you can keep adding a little more honey at a time until you get it right where you want it. You'll also get a bolder honey flavor, since the extra honey will not have been exposed any fermentation.

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Old 01-25-2009, 02:42 AM   #6
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If I "backsweeten" (no there's a new word!) can you give me an idea of when and how much?

Thanks for the help, Bill

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:46 AM   #7
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Bill- Using your original recipe as an example, wait until the gravity reads .996 and add 2 1/2 teaspoons potassium sorbate and 1/2 teaspoon potassium metabisulfite to stabilize (prevent renewed fermentation after back sweetening) and then add about a pint of OB honey. A pint in five gallons is a good place to start and shouldn't make a too - sweet mead. Bulk age for at least a couple of months (8-12 months would be better) and bottle.

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Old 01-25-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
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Could you perhaps use an ale yeast (or other lower attenuation yeast) to achieve something sweeter? The last time I tried to make a sack mead I bumped my honey/water ratio to 5lbs/gal and just ended up with rocket fuel but I was still using wine yeast... I have seen some recipes with ale yeasts (and JAOM with bread yeast of course) that take that route but I'm concerned about off flavors and was curious if others here do that.

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Old 01-26-2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigd View Post
Could you perhaps use an ale yeast (or other lower attenuation yeast) to achieve something sweeter? The last time I tried to make a sack mead I bumped my honey/water ratio to 5lbs/gal and just ended up with rocket fuel but I was still using wine yeast... I have seen some recipes with ale yeasts (and JAOM with bread yeast of course) that take that route but I'm concerned about off flavors and was curious if others here do that.

Yes, you can, when I do this I use a bit of light dry malt extract for nutrient (0.25lb-0.5 lb in a five gallon batch), as well as nutrient, make a aerated starter, and listen to this:
Basic Brewing? : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Basic Brewing Radio? 2007
about halfway down is a podcast of an experiement using ale yeast. I have used nottinghams and us-5 (sierra nevada strain) to great success, tho my favorite yeast is a wine yeast Lalvin 71B-1122. I like the tart, quick to mature taste, tho I have heard this is a finicky yeast it has not been for me, I just use multiple packets (3-5) and make sure I re-hydrate for a good amount of time before pitching into the must.
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