Back sweetening
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Thread: Back sweetening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Back sweetening

    Well I racked off and stabilized a few meads yesterday. One of them was the product of a stuck ferment that I successfully kick started back to life a while back. It's nearly clear now and finished at about 1.000. It's a really delicious lemon mead and the taste is outstanding. It's just too dry for my wife. I want that one to be a sweet mead. Now that it's been stabilized (adding the two potassiums), can I go ahead and sweeten it now and then bottle it or am I safer to sweeten....then wait....then rack maybe one more time before bottling? I'm guessing that if it's this good now, more time might just make it better!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    When you say added the two Potassium's I am assuming you are referring to Potassium Metabisulphite (K-Met) and Potassium sorbate. (sorbate) since the mead had been fermented to dryness there was actually no need to add sorbate as it is used to prevent further fermentation. since the sugars in the mead had been used up there was no chance of a ferment starting again.

    I am assuming you added the sorbate per label instructions at a rate of 1/2 tsp per gallon. that should be sufficient to prevent fermentation after sweetening.
    When back sweetening mead it is best to sweeten with honey of the variety used in the ferment or one of similar profile, However any honey can be used to create a completely different flavor profile. I use raw honey and as we all know raw honey has solids in it. these solids may or may not cause the mead to become cloudy. weather they do or not they will eventually become sediment on the bottom of the bottle. since mead is usually bottled in clear bottles the appearance of sediment swirling up from the bottom as the mead is being poured can be unsettling to some. For this reason when sweetening with honey I prefer to let the mead stand for at least 30 days before bottling. Never sweeten Mead with sugar syrup. I think that is a Mortal sin, forgivable by no penance.

  4. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    Yes, I added both at the rate prescribed. I added the sorbate thinking that adding the honey might start a ferment again. After I added it I got thinking about how much honey, how long before bottling, etc. I'm in no hurry to bottle but I kinda wanted to know what to expect. Thanks!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    Interesting. I was doing the same thing with "black raspberry and honey".
    Was planning on distilling but the wine (melomel) tasted so good that the wife and I decided to get wine bottles, corks, and a corker.
    Next batch is Cherry juice with honey.

    What type of yeast are you using?
    High Spirits Fruit and Schnapps Distilling Turbo Yeast here.
    Odd but it makes some really good fruity wine. Finishes at around 16% so if you start with say...17% or 18% potential alcohol you end up with some really sweet wine. The black raspberry turned out fantastic if you're into sweet wine.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    Interesting. I was doing the same thing with "black raspberry and honey".
    Was planning on distilling but the wine (melomel) tasted so good that the wife and I decided to get wine bottles, corks, and a corker.
    Next batch is Cherry juice with honey.

    What type of yeast are you using?
    High Spirits Fruit and Schnapps Distilling Turbo Yeast here.
    Odd but it makes some really good fruity wine. Finishes at around 16% so if you start with say...17% or 18% potential alcohol you end up with some really sweet wine. The black raspberry turned out fantastic if you're into sweet wine.
    Lalvin D47. It was one of my first batches and as I mentioned I had to restart the batch. I'm letting it sit now for a while. No hurry....
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    When back sweetening why does it have to be stabilized isnt the yeast dead at this point and adding sugar cant restart fermentation without yeast , I have added sugar to bottles of cider that were to dry and had no problems .

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Back sweetening

    @Ravenseye
    You can backsweeten minutes after adding the k-meta and k-sorbate; in fact, you won't want to wait too long as the meta can evaporate.

    @laketrout
    Following a ferment yeast is dormant, not dead. Even years (decades in some cases) viable yeast can be recovered from a mead/wine/beer/etc.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    1,577

    Default Re: Back sweetening

    OK , I knew I was missing something , I thought when the yeast was done working it was dead didn't know it could lay dormant . Thanks

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