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Old 02-01-2011, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default exceeding attenuation with energizer and nutrient

I am a beginner so bear with me. I started my first attempt at a mead on 1/23.

I made a starter with wlp720 on 1/22 using 3 cups water and one cup honey.

On 1/23 I added 12# of clover honey to 2 gallons water heated to 140f. i then cooled added to fermenter and filled to 4 gallons. pitched starter at 75f. added 4 grams yeast nutrient and 4 grams yeast energizer.

OG was 1.100

1/24 g was 1.070 stirred vigorously and added 1/2 tsp energizer and 1/2 tsp nutrient

1/25 stirred vigorously g 1.060

1/26 stirred vigorously added 1/4 tsp nutrient and 1/4 tsp energizer g 1.052

1/31 stirred vigorously and g 1.016!!

1.016 is lower than I thought it would be at FG

My question is, Did the nutrient and energizer increase the attenuation? If so, How much lower might it go? I originally wanted a sweet mead, How should I proceed now? Still bubbling away!

What should I do? I was going to clear in individual gallon jugs. Should I rack it over now, or soon?

I took out a short glass and it tastes pretty good now!

Any advice?

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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The white labs sweet mead yeast has an ABV tolerance of 15%. Since virtually all the sugars in a mead are fermentable (which is different from beer) the concept of attenuation really holds no meaning in mead (except braggots). The yeast will ferment all of the sugar until they reach their ABV tolerance level (unless they stick for some reason).

You starting gravity of 1.100 is about 13.5% potential ABV, so this yeast should take it completely dry with a gravity less than 1.000 unless it gets stuck.

The easiest way to handle it now is let it finish and clear. Then use sulfite and sorbate to stabilize it so that the yeast won't ferment any more. Then you can backsweeten with more honey to get the taste just right.

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