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Old 09-23-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
GhettoDickens
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Default Sweet mead question: how to stop the yeast

Hey all,

I am trying to make a semi sweet mead (1.020-1.030) that is 10%. I also want to achieve this without having to back sweeten. Here is my issue:

The yeast I usually use (D47) can easily eat through the honey I am going to add for this recipe (around 7 lbs for a 3 gal batch). So how do I ensure I will retain that residual sweetness...oh, and did I mention I am wanting to add fruit to this?

How do I go about this? Add the the fruit when its a little over half way done fermenting and then sorbate it once I reach my desired FG? How do other people achieve this?

Thanks for the help! Cheers!

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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With my spiced pumpkin mead I just measured the gravity till it hit 1.022 and then threw it in the fridge and cranked it to it's coldest setting. Once the yeast slowed down 48 hours later I added potassium sorbate and camden tablets per package directions and left it in the fridge for another week or so untill clear. I then racked into a new container with another dose of Camden tablets and watched the fermentation. There was none once warmed to room temp. Gravity did drop with a little fermentation in the fridge and it ended at 1.016. Hope that helps.

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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I'm thinking I will do something similar. I'll ferment the mus almost completely, rack onto fruit and monitor the gravity. Than I will sorbate it at around 1.015 if the yeast are still working after the fruit addition.

This will be an experiment I guess...

Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-24-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Just a quick suggestion for future reference - if you cold crash, then rack the mead off leaving behind as much of the yeast as you possibly can, then hit it with the sorbate, you'll have a much better chance of preventing a re-start of the yeast.

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhettoDickens View Post
I'll ferment the mus almost completely, rack onto fruit and monitor the gravity. Than I will sorbate it at around 1.015 if the yeast are still working after the fruit addition.
Sorbate (or campden, for that matter) will not stop fermentation. It is used to keep fermentation from restarting. Sorbate keeps the yeast from reproducing. An active fermentation contains millions and millions of yeast cells. Prohibiting them from reproducing doesn't do a lot because you still have millions and millions of active yeast cells.

Refrigeration slows/stops fermentation. The yeast become dormant and settle to the bottom. Racking off the yeast leaves the vast majority of yeast behind. Then, add sorbate and sulfite (campden) to prevent fermentation from starting again.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenSchramm View Post
Just a quick suggestion for future reference - if you cold crash, then rack the mead off leaving behind as much of the yeast as you possibly can, then hit it with the sorbate, you'll have a much better chance of preventing a re-start of the yeast.
Thank you for the advice Mr. Schramm. I will give that a go in the future.

Cheers!
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinKings View Post
Sorbate (or campden, for that matter) will not stop fermentation. It is used to keep fermentation from restarting. Sorbate keeps the yeast from reproducing. An active fermentation contains millions and millions of yeast cells. Prohibiting them from reproducing doesn't do a lot because you still have millions and millions of active yeast cells.

Refrigeration slows/stops fermentation. The yeast become dormant and settle to the bottom. Racking off the yeast leaves the vast majority of yeast behind. Then, add sorbate and sulfite (campden) to prevent fermentation from starting again.
Clearly I am knew to this mead making thing! I definitely did not realize that, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Cheers!
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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How soon can you bottle after cold crashing for 48 hours, racking off the yeast, then camden and sorbating? I ask because I racked into a container that is larger then my original and I don't want the mead to sit in it that long. Can I bottle right away or within a few hours? or should I put it back in the smaller container?

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Old 10-26-2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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About 24 - 48 hours after the camden and sorbate let it warm to room temp. Observe over 3 days after brout to warm temps for 24 hours and take gravity readings. If all stay stable then bottle.

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:39 AM   #10
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Yeah, but remember this is a very hairy proccess... Stopping an active fermentation is always chancy even under the best of circumstances. However, never hurts to try eh?

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