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Old 07-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
Nolan412
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Default Will it finish sweet or really dry?

This is my first batch of mead I have ever made. I did three one gallon batches. One with 3lbs of honey, one with 3 1/2lbs of honey, and one with 4 lbs of honey. All three I used a champagne yeast and fermaid k. Now my initial impression was that I would finish with a dry, medium, and sweet mead with about 14% alc, but with some more research I am unsure. Will the champagne yeast just power through all the honey in all three batches and leave me with three strong meads? Or will it ebb off like I initially hoped? Is there anything I can do to save my meads?

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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With champagne yeast they all have the potential to be dry. You could be looking at ABV of about 13, 16, and 18%.

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nolan412 View Post
This is my first batch of mead I have ever made. I did three one gallon batches. One with 3lbs of honey, one with 3 1/2lbs of honey, and one with 4 lbs of honey. All three I used a champagne yeast and fermaid k. Now my initial impression was that I would finish with a dry, medium, and sweet mead with about 14% alc, but with some more research I am unsure. Will the champagne yeast just power through all the honey in all three batches and leave me with three strong meads? Or will it ebb off like I initially hoped? Is there anything I can do to save my meads?
You haven't done anything wrong particularly that they'd need "saving"......

It's just as Yohef says. Most champagne yeasts will do 18% easily, so whether they'll all ferment dry depends on mixing, aeration, nutrition levels and pH swings etc.

In any case, they're basically (from the sound of it), traditional meads. Which often taste bloody hideous when young. They generally need plenty of ageing before being even half drinkable. Even then you might age them for a minimum of 6 months to a year and still find that they need back sweetening.....
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:13 AM   #4
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Would you recommend that I let them finish out the fermentation and back sweeten, or should I attempt to end the fermentation prematurely? Also is it too late to add fruit to the mixture to make it a little more appetizing?

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Old 07-08-2013, 02:23 AM   #5
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You could end it premature but it might result in less dry and a sweeter taste and have lower abv

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Old 07-08-2013, 02:30 AM   #6
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ideally, I would like them all to finish right around 13 or 14 percent alcohol by volume, and have the second to be a little bit sweeter. Is there any way to tell when I should stop the fermentation if I didn't take a beginning gravity reading?

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Old 07-08-2013, 03:15 AM   #7
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No, I'd let them finish dry, then back sweeten.

People often get these "miracle" ideas about being anally accurate by "killing" the yeast, without knowing that its not that straight forward. Sulphites and sorbate don't kill yeast. Sulphite will stun it and sorbate stop it multiplying, but often the active cells carry right on some.....

Its usually recommended that you cold crash first, then hit the batch with the stabilising chems while still cold. That seems to work best.

Just that its easier to let it finish on its own and then stabilise and adjust sweetness........

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Old 07-08-2013, 03:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, it has only been fermenting for about a week, is it too late to add fruit for flavoring?

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