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Old 11-06-2013, 01:18 PM   #1
vamo
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Default Is it ok to add honey during fermentation

I attempted my 1st mead last night, I used 12lbs of honey and 3 gallons of water and ended with an OG of 1.102. I was hoping for sweet final product with a bit of a bite. I am thinking of adding another 3-6lbs to the fermentor. Will this mess anything up? If not what is the minimum amount of water I would need to dissolve 6 lbs of honey?

My Yeast is a redstar champagne yeast; I know this is inteded more for dry wines, but I was hoping that the amount of sugars I am using would still leave a good deal of sweetness.

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Old 11-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
MarshmallowBlue
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You can add more, but it will ferment that. Sounds like what you want to do is backsweeten it.

This is when you let the ferment finish. Then you MUST stabilize it with sorbate and sulfite, then you can add honey to backsweeten it to your liking without it fermenting.

You are referring to step feeding now, which is used for making high ABV batches. That is when you gradually add more honey to not stress the yeast out up front with a full load of honey.

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Old 11-06-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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Is it necessary to add it gradually at this point? It has not been fermenting long and should have a ton of unfermented honey left. I am not an experienced winemaker iv only made beer to this point I thought sweetness could be acheived by gving the yeast more sugar than they require for their max abv.

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Old 11-06-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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The thing is the yeast don't give a crap about what the tolerance says on the package. It very well could just eat all the honey you add, still leaving it dry. If your goal is to have a sweeter product, just back sweeten it later. 4$ will get you enough sulfite and sorbate for many gallons.

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Old 11-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Adding honey during a ferment is called step-feeding. As long as you monitor the SG and don't slam it with too much honey at once, you can do it. A champagne yeast should be able to chew through the extra honey no problem.

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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If you want a high abv, like 18%+ you can step feed honey as the yeast eat it, no need to dissolve it in H2O. Eventually the ABV will reach a point that it will kill the yeast. The other choice is to backsweeten as mentioned above.

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Old 11-16-2013, 06:36 AM   #7
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Step feeding is fine, but you'd normally have already added the nutrient/energiser mix for about the maximum %ABV you're aiming for.

You could step feed, but I'd wait until it's about the 1.030 sort of area, then add either FermaidO (as opposed to fermaidk) or some boiled bread yeast or some yeast hulls, and maybe a Vitamin B1 tablet crushed up.......

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