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Old 02-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default Potassium sorbate/ metasulphite flavor

Ok, so I am midway through my first mead. A 1.080 batch that finished out at 1.002. I just filtered and racked onto 2 tsp sorbate & 4 crushed campden tablets. I back sweetened to 1.010 with 1 additional lb of honey. My question is how long does it take for the flavor of the sorbate and metasulphite to mellow out or go away? And how long will it take for the additional haze to settle out. I filtered with a 0.5 micron filter, so I know the stabilizers are probably overkill, but I don't want to screw this up. I know they also help protect against oxidation.

Here's my before and after photos. The haze is ever so slight.

image-2181838916.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Flavors
Sulphite tends to reduce over time
Sorbate tends to stay the same or increase as it ages.

Thanks

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckjohn View Post
Flavors
Sulphite tends to reduce over time
Sorbate tends to stay the same or increase as it ages.

Thanks
I agree. Sorbate has a distinctive taste, although it can be slight. I rarely sweeten wines or meads because I don't really care for the taste of the sorbate.

Sorbate isn't an antioxidant, so it doesn't help with aging at all. It is simply used because it inhibits yeast reproduction so that a wine/mead can be sweetened. If you have the ability to filter, I'd probably filter out the yeast and then sweeten to taste to avoid using sorbate. I don't filter so that isn't a possibility for me.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'm trying my hardest not to screw this up... Honey is way too expensive to be casual about making a batch. I spoke with the mead maker from my LHBS, and his thoughts were that the aroma (from the freshly mixed mead with sorbate & sulphite) should die down anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. I hope I didn't overdo it!

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Ok, so to rescue this mead, I am hoping to make a starter of wine yeast, then add it back to my back sweetened mead with 4 bags of raspberries. Will I get any negative effects from doing this? I've read about malolactic re-fermentation causing a geranium scent with the potassium sorbate, will a regular fermentation cause this as well?

The smell is just too much for me... I would rather risk $15 in berries than dump a $45+ batch.

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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Likely you can kiss your filter goodbye if it was that cloudy after a 0.5 micron filter....
You aren't supposed to filter mud through it - you are supposed to filter an already cleared brew through it to catch the remaining biological material....

I hate to say it - but there is a phrase that comes to mind....

"Throwing good money after bad"...

Yep.. That's the one!

More than likely, you will only be $60.00 into a bad batch instead of $45.00 into a bad batch.... Not to mention the cost of a new filter cartridge...

Quit fooling with starters in an already stabilized blend.. You won't work out the Sorbate with more yeast... Flavor it with something strong (Like raspberries) and drink it right away before it gets any stronger....

Then....

Make up another batch...

So.. For your next batch.....

You have 2 options for a sweet-ish brew....

A. Be patient...
B. Start with a recipe that shoots for a fairly high OG to start out - and then pick your yeast so it peters out around the finished SG you want.... For example - I more or less followed the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead recipe except I went with D47 rather than Bread yeast.... It stopped at 1.01 - it hit 14% alcohol right on the dot - and petered out... (Just like what it says on the side of the envelope)....

Then, wait 4 -6 months and it clears to crystal, glass clear... all on it's own....

Ta-da!
OR....
A. Be Patient.
B. Make up a batch that targets some specific SG or % alcohol... Let it run dry... Let it completely clear... Wait a year while racking it off every 3-months or so ... Filter and back sweeten and it should be just what you want!

Thanks

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the condescension. If you read my original post carefully, you would have seen that the haze came from back sweetening. The original mead had not cleared much in over 6 months sitting, so I decided to try a filter. The filters are a 1 time use kinda thing, & I'm not dumb enough to try to reuse it. Also I spent many hours researching this and found a few cases in wine where sorbate was mistaken in a poorly marked kit, and added instead of the yeast. After making a very healthy starter the person in question was able to ferment completely, despite having dosed with sorbate. I decided to go this route since I over sweetened trying to cover the sorbate smell. At this point the yeast is chugging along, and the mead is taking up the raspberry nicely. The sorbate appears to have deminished, but that could be the raspberry covering it up. Most people probably won't even notice anything wrong about it, but I have heightened senses, so I am unsatisfied with the sorbate. In the future I will use the filter, and forget the sorbate.

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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You're lucky you didn't put anymore than what u did of the sulfite, no way could you get a repitch going then.

I'm just glad for ya that it worked and all seems well now. Keep us updated.

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #9
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Was this a 4 gallon batch? You didn't say in the original post...

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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5 gal batch. I went under with the stabilizers on a hunch.

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