Fortified Mead

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Peter D Day

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Anyone have any experience making a fortified mead? After reading about fortifying wine it seems like it would be fairly easy to do. Like fortified wine you could add the alcohol of choice when the fermentation has reached the sweetness you desire. The higher ABV as a result of adding the alcohol would kill the yeast leaving the sweetness behind. Any ideas on what alcohol would be the best. I'm thinking of making a desert mead, sweet and strong and am looking for ideas and others' experiences. Thanks.
 

Will_white

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Anyone have any experience making a fortified mead? After reading about fortifying wine it seems like it would be fairly easy to do. Like fortified wine you could add the alcohol of choice when the fermentation has reached the sweetness you desire. The higher ABV as a result of adding the alcohol would kill the yeast leaving the sweetness behind. Any ideas on what alcohol would be the best. I'm thinking of making a desert mead, sweet and strong and am looking for ideas and others' experiences. Thanks.
I haven't tried it yet but I've had the idea to use barenjager to fortify a dry mead.
https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/09/homemade-honey-liqueur-barenjager-recipe.html
 

Bombo80

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I have made fortified wines in the past. I like your idea of doing it with mead. I would do it the same way as a wine. basically it is a wine anyway. Start the fermentation, with your SNA, but maybe not as much. Watch your gravity. When it gets to 1.020 - 1.025, use the Pearson square to figure your ABV and volume, then blend it with the amount of neutral grain spirits that you got in your calculation. Let it sit for a week, or so, to clear, then bottle. I have some leftover Basswood honey I might try it with.
 
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Peter D Day

Peter D Day

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So nice to get feedback from someone who has experience with this. Thanks Bombo80. Like to ask you a couple of questions please. I'm guessing at approx. 1.02 your fortified wine was pretty sweet, is that so? Do you have a recommendation for a neutral grain spirit? Regards.
 

Bombo80

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Yes, it is fairly sweet. But that is what you are looking for in a dessert wine.

I usually get the 190 proof Everclear. But have found a cheaper one too. You could also use the 151 proof, you just need to make the proper adjustments in the Pearson square formula. I use the one on Jack Keller's website.

When I made my fortified wines, I basically used 3 quarts of the wine and one quart of the neutral spirits, for your 20% ABV fortified wine.
 
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Peter D Day

Peter D Day

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Yes, it is fairly sweet. But that is what you are looking for in a dessert wine.

I usually get the 190 proof Everclear. But have found a cheaper one too. You could also use the 151 proof, you just need to make the proper adjustments in the Pearson square formula. I use the one on Jack Keller's website.

When I made my fortified wines, I basically used 3 quarts of the wine and one quart of the neutral spirits, for your 20% ABV fortified wine.

Can you check my math for me Bombo80 please. Here's my plan. Start a mead with a SG of 1.140, and when it gets to 1.020 add 100 proof neutral grain spirit to stop fermentation and reach a desired ABV of 20 per cent. At 1.020 my ABV should be 15.75 %. Using the Pearson Square, I calculated that I should have to add about one half cup of grain spirit per one quart of mead. Did I get this right? The yeast I plan to use is Lalvin QA23 which has an alcohol tolerance of around 16%.
 

Bombo80

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Peter, That is pretty darn close. Here is the calculator I always use ... http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/blending.asp. Using the 2nd equation.

For your calculations at 15.75%, using 100 proof (50% abv) neutral spirits, 32 ounces of your wine blended with 8 ounces of 100 proof neutral spirits, will net you 22.6 % ABV. Not too far over the 20%
If you use the 1st equation, it will give you the exact amount, in PARTS, which ever volume you decide to use.

You need to really make sure what you are using for your fortifier. 100 proof is 50% abv. This could be a vodka from any liquor store. I actually get the neutral grain spirits, which I find in either 151 proof (75% abv) or 190 proof (95% abv). You need to use the ABV in the calculations, since that is what you are using for your wine also.

Good Luck.
 
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