Making a sweet mead drier
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Making a sweet mead drier

    First time mead maker here. First batch was started on 11/12/16 with sg of approx 1.09. I added nutrient at 24, 48 and 72 hours and it seemed to be fermenting well up until about 11/25 or so. I figured it was done so I racked it to the secondary. Sg reading was approx 1.007. It tasted sweeter than I expected and I want it to be drier. Assuming there is still some sugar there to be fermented will this be converted naturally in the secondary or is there something else I need to do to make it drier or is it too late. It is not bubbling anymore and there only a small airspace in the carboy now.

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  3. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    Yes, it should dry out slightly more over time as the secondary fermentation, but only to the alcohol tolerance of the yeast and other variables; the yeast you used and it's alcohol tolerance, your fermentation room temperature, oxygen levels in primary fermentation.
    Your alcohol is at about 10.8% now, so primary is done, and there is probably still a slow secondary ferment occurring, even if you're not seeing bubbles in the air lock. I once used my camcorder to watch a batch and learned that in a situation like yours, my batch was still bubbling about once every 12 minutes, and that lasted for a month.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    What yeast did you use?

    You might add a higher alcohol tolerant yeast like EC-1118 (18%). EC-1118 will eat all the sugar and make it as dry as it can be up to 18%, if that's what you want.

    See Berry's thread and SG chart;

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-to-meadmaking

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    I used Lalvin 71b-1122. I was after a semi sweet mead with the recipe I was using. Maybe that's what I ended up with and I just don't know it: I am a first time mead drinker too. I guess I thought it would go to at least 12% and it is a little shy of that.

    If I add some different yeast to the secondary should I add some nutrient too. What about the airspace being small?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    I might leave it, 1.090 is around where I usually start, for a sweet to semi sweet mead. I think 71b-1122 will finish out at 12%.

    E1118 will dry it right up and take it to 18%, you could try D47 14-16% not sure if it is good for a secondary fermentation or not, someone with D47 experienced might add their opinion.

    You might also rack it and add chorine free water to lower the alc % and if the yeast is still active it should still finish at 12%.

  7. #6
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    D-47 is fine for a secondary ferment but keep the brew space between 64 and 70. I would take some of your must/mead and water it in half, add a little honey and get the new ferment rolling then top off your carboy for the secondary fermentation. A little nutrient and energizer would be good. Some bee pollen would be better for yeast food.

  8. #7
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    Mar 2014
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    Chester, CT
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    Thank you for the feedback. I think I am going to rack it again at the end of December and see what it tastes like then and remeasure the sg before deciding what to do. I might break the batch up into a gallon and a 2 gallon batch and go different ways to see what happens. Cheers.

  9. #8
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    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    Some bee pollen would be better for yeast food.
    Never thought about using pollen, are you using it as a nutrient? How much do you use, does it noticeably add any flavor and what about potential of introducing wild yeasts?
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  10. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    In my limited experience wild yeast will not out complete a commercial yeast, have never sanitized fruit or honey. Usually make two of the same and split one yeast pack between them.

    Have used pollen a year ago and still aging that batch. So I can't tell you about that.

    Add the pollen after your batch is bubbling that way you know your yeast is working. Make two to compare.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Making a sweet mead drier

    I'll be giving some pollen a try this spring.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

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