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Old 04-08-2008, 04:57 AM   #1
JNJC
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Default Beginner - Basic Mead Tastes a bit dry

Hi Guys,

I decided to experiment with trying to make mead. I tracked down a rhubarb mead recipe off the web somewhere and gave it a shot. The recipe was along the lines off:

1Kg Honey
5L Water
1Kg Rhubard
Yeast (it said champagne yeast but all I could get my hands on was white wine yeast)
Yeast Nutrient

So I combined all the above added the yeast and let it ferment for about a month. From here I have strained it and put it into a secondary fermenter. While I was transfering I had a quick taste. It was nice but very dry. I was wondering is there a way of reducing the dryness.

I was thinking maybe I could add lactose or something like that to sweeten it up ?

Part of me wants to bottle it as it and see what it tastes like so I was thinking of taking 1.5L of it and sweetening it and bottling the rest as is ?

Anybody got any ideas ?

TIA,
John


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Old 04-08-2008, 04:59 AM   #2
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I say split it up into halves and back sweeten half with some more honey.


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Old 04-08-2008, 05:09 AM   #3
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+1 for the split.
How much honey would it take to over power the yeast? White wine as in...12% or 18%...Find out what your yeast will tolerate, and go above that....by a little. You'll end up with a pretty hight ABV, but it's going to be good.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:10 AM   #4
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or you could just kill the yeast.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:13 AM   #5
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It's all very simple:

It's dry because you used a champagne yeast. If you want a sweet mead you need to use a sweet mead yeast.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloSabresBrewer
I say split it up into halves and back sweeten half with some more honey.
Thanks for the replies,

When you say "back sweeten" what do you mean? Should I transfer half to another fermenter and sweeten there ? If so any idea how much honey I would need to add to stop it fermenting again ? You also said I could kill the yeast, how do I do that ? If I sweeten with honey and then bottle will the yeast just carbonate the bottles ?

Thanks again,
John
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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If you sweeten with honey there are two options:

Add enough honey that you pass the yeast's max abv tolerance. As stated, this will be between 12 and 18% depending on what wine yeast you used. This can be tricky, because you would just have to keep adding honey, wait to see if it ferments it all away, and keep going till the yeast give up and you start making it sweeter. Also, some people say that this can stress the yeast. The other thing you need to consider if, do you want a possibly 18% abv sweet wine?

Kill off the yeast and back sweeten. This you do by racking the half you want into a new container that has a sorbate mixture in it, available in a few forms. The sorbate will kill off the yeast and then all you have to do is add the honey. I would suggest doing this either by raising to a desired SG, or by adding measured amounts to a glass of it, then multiplying up to see how much to add to the whole batch.

If you don't either kill the yeast or over power them, eventually the yeast will start eating the sugars again. And if this happens in the bottle, at the least your corks will shoot out (if you use corks) and at the worst your bottles will explode dangerously.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:39 PM   #8
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since this is a tiny 1.25 gallon batch, I wouldn't split it since you only have about 12-14 bottles worth.

white wine yeast usually gets into the upper teen's for ABV, so the fact you went light on the honey means it all fermented and there's no residual sweetness.

perfectly normal. I prefer my meads sweet, so I stick to less robust yeasts (14% ABV max) and go for 2.5-3lbs of honey per gallon of mead being made. That's usually just right for my tastes.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:59 AM   #9
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I would add k-meta and sorbate to stabilize your wine then back sweeten with honey or a simple sugar syrup consisting of 1 cup of boiling water and 2 cups of sugar and mix it thoroughly. then let it cool down to room temp and add it slowly until you like it. Be careful not to over sweeten as you will have to dilute to ndo that!
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I have a feeling if I start messing with it I may just end up making matters worse and using ingredients that might be best used in batch no. 2. Plus the neighbours might start talking if they hear explosions coming from the Irish guys shed....

I think I'll just bottle it as is and call it my "Dry as a Bone Mead"....

Thanks again for the replies, every time I have posted on this forum I learn loads....

Regards,
John


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