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knowlesbrew
02-28-2009, 09:36 PM
I was wondering if it would be advisable to stabilize a batch of mead after it gets to a target gravity of like 1.010, even if it is still fermenting. My thinking is if I stop the fermentation from getting a batch too dry I wont have to go back and back sweeten it before. Or would it be better to bulk age and back sweeten?

akueck
03-01-2009, 01:06 AM
My first mead was a cyser and I got the recipe here. It did call for a cold crash and then racking onto sulfites/sorbates when the SG got to 1.017, and that worked fine. So, it can definitely be done. You will need to chill the mead for several days before you rack (while still cold) onto the chemicals, or they might not kill the yeast entirely. Keep in mind that you might still get some fermentation while it's being chilled. I think mine went down a point or two between sticking it in the fridge and the FG after all was done.

I'm sure there are lots of pros and cons to doing this vs. backsweetening. The biggest plus for this method is that the sugars left over will not be the same as raw, unfermented honey (or other sugars), so it won't taste like you added honey at the end. You may or may not want it to taste more like honey than fermented honey, so I guess that's up to you.

kudapucat
08-04-2011, 02:03 AM
My first mead was a cyser and I got the recipe here. It did call for a cold crash and then racking onto sulfites/sorbates when the SG got to 1.017, and that worked fine. So, it can definitely be done. You will need to chill the mead for several days before you rack (while still cold) onto the chemicals, or they might not kill the yeast entirely. Keep in mind that you might still get some fermentation while it's being chilled. I think mine went down a point or two between sticking it in the fridge and the FG after all was done.

I'm sure there are lots of pros and cons to doing this vs. backsweetening. The biggest plus for this method is that the sugars left over will not be the same as raw, unfermented honey (or other sugars), so it won't taste like you added honey at the end. You may or may not want it to taste more like honey than fermented honey, so I guess that's up to you.


Having never cold crashed before, I'm trawling the search engine for how much chemical is required to stabilise. It appears to be something completely missing from the forum. People always refer to "The amount the packet said"
Well My packet says Sodium metabisulphate, and I expect the sorbate when I buy it will say just as little.
Could somebody please let me know the dosing amounts?

I choose this thread because the 4 Weeks Cyser I'm making also says to crash at 1.017, so I'm guessing that you made the same one as I am now, and would ba able to give me the best advice.

Please if one exists point me to a thread answering this question, as I have followeed Medsen's advice, and entered "Cold crashing" in the search engine, and read every one of the 10 or so responses. I have searched for "stabilising" and read every search result, and I cannot find anywhere just how much of the blessed poweder to add.
I don't think I've ever been this frustrated by a mead question as I'm SURE I've read the amounts here somewhere before. ;-)

SRodgers
08-04-2011, 08:26 AM
I did a search on potassium sorbate.

Here is a thread with a post from Medsen that has a lot of info on the subject.

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18187&highlight=Potassium+Sorbate

Hope this helps.

kudapucat
08-04-2011, 09:13 AM
I did a search on potassium sorbate.

Here is a thread with a post from Medsen that has a lot of info on the subject.

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18187&highlight=Potassium+Sorbate

Hope this helps.

Thanks SRodjers ;-) Appreciate it.

kudapucat
08-17-2011, 07:06 AM
You will need to chill the mead for several days before you rack (while still cold) onto the chemicals, or they might not kill the yeast entirely.

How long is 'several days' ?
DW is wanting her fridge back and I'm getting impatient myself.

jon667
08-19-2011, 07:32 PM
Hi,
Newbee here...sorry to interrupt the flow, but eventually I will need to add sorbate to stop fermentation before bottling and I was wondering if this can be done well without chilling?
I've got a steady 66 degree basement, so it is not exactly warm, but my fridge really can't hold the carboy.
Can I just bulk age a bit longer, rack off the lees a couple of times, then sorbate without chilling?

MrMooCow
08-19-2011, 08:38 PM
Actually stopping fermentation is very difficult. As long as the yeast are active they're pretty hardy beasts. Once they eat all the sugar and/or reach their ABV tolerance they'll go dormant. Once this happens, sorbate and a bit of sulfite should prevent renewed activity without cold crashing.

- Brett

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AToE
08-19-2011, 09:31 PM
Exactly, what's being discussed here isn't using sulphite and sorbate to stabilize a finished-fermenting mead, which is easy, it's using them in combination with more agressive techniques to (atempt to) stop fermentation while it's going.

MrMooCow
08-19-2011, 09:41 PM
That's not what jon667 seemed to be asking about. *shrug*

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AToE
08-19-2011, 10:21 PM
That's not what jon667 seemed to be asking about. *shrug*

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I'm confused - I was reinforcing your post, not countering it or responding to it! Maybe I should have been a bit clearer on that!

kudapucat
08-19-2011, 10:42 PM
That's not what jon667 seemed to be asking about. *shrug*

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This is the unfortunate thing about pronouns in the English language.
By "here" AToE was telling Jon that the thread prior to his question was about crashing, not stabilising a finished ferment.
This language is really screwed sometimes, and even worse when you can't supply tone, expression gesticulation or appropriate timing, as is with this media.
It helps to use the persons name when replying, and excess use of tense is good. ie if AToE had said " what was being discussed here Jon, was..." then it would have been clearer.

AToE
08-20-2011, 12:08 AM
This is the unfortunate thing about pronouns in the English language.
By "here" AToE was telling Jon that the thread prior to his question was about crashing, not stabilising a finished ferment.
This language is really screwed sometimes, and even worse when you can't supply tone, expression gesticulation or appropriate timing, as is with this media.
It helps to use the persons name when replying, and excess use of tense is good. ie if AToE had said " what was being discussed here Jon, was..." then it would have been clearer.

Yup, this language is bad enough, when it's written it can be darned near gibberish at points! I'm bad too, because I sometimes lapse into my conversational English, leaving words out left right and center...

MrMooCow
08-20-2011, 12:15 AM
My bad. I was sitting in a public hearing for toll rate hikes in Chicago. My annoyance with the speakers, on both sides, caused me to misread the post.

I've been to three of these now, and the only thing I've managed to conclude is we really need to put birth control in the water before these people breed.....

- Brett

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SRodgers
08-20-2011, 01:16 AM
How long is 'several days' ?
DW is wanting her fridge back and I'm getting impatient myself.

I've not tried this myself so someone else would be better at answering but....I'd guess that 2-3 days would be plenty for cold crashing. That should slow the yeast down and help with the stabilizing.


Hi,
Newbee here...sorry to interrupt the flow, but eventually I will need to add sorbate to stop fermentation before bottling and I was wondering if this can be done well without chilling?
I've got a steady 66 degree basement, so it is not exactly warm, but my fridge really can't hold the carboy.
Can I just bulk age a bit longer, rack off the lees a couple of times, then sorbate without chilling?

It helps but I don't think you have to Cold Crash it in order for stabilization to work.

brian92fs
08-20-2011, 01:26 AM
I've not tried this myself so someone else would be better at answering but....I'd guess that 2-3 days would be plenty for cold crashing. That should slow the yeast down and help with the stabilizing.


I've never tried it, but I seem to remember seeing 4 - 5 days mentioned in several places.

fatbloke
08-20-2011, 03:35 AM
I believe, from reading various posts, in various locations, that the cold crash can actually take quite a time.

It's all to do with the actual temperature that you're reducing the ferment too. Because if it's just a domestic fridge, then it's gonna be set to something like 1 to 4 C (standard temps for cold food storage), but that means that it takes a while for the temperature to "tell" the yeast to switch off, and for the yeast to actually cease activity.

Whereas, if you have spare freezer space, the fact that most domestic freezers work at between -10 and -18 C, means that it "tells" the yeast to "shut down" more quickly, though I'd have thought that you'd still need to keep your eye on it, as you'd need pull it out and rack/apply stabilising chem's when ice crystals are starting to form (unless you're making ice wine of course), because you wouldn't want the brew to get so cold that it can damage the fermenter (especially if it's glass).

Which is probably why, it's said, that stopping an active ferment is quite hard and that it's easier/more preferable, to let it ferment dry and then back sweeten.....

just my tuppence worth....

regards

fatbloke

Medsen Fey
08-22-2011, 04:36 PM
When you cold crash, ideally you leave it for a couple of weeks to allow as many of the yeast as possible to precipitate out. Then you rack off of them and stabilize. The fewer yeast cells in the suspension, the more likely the stabilizing agents will work, and the less chance you'll have for renewed fermentation.

kudapucat
08-22-2011, 04:52 PM
Oh :-(
Damn.
Racked this last night.
Put it in the freezer for 2 hours prior to racking.
Not clear, but lots of lees had dropped. Hope it works out. It tastes great.
I'm not sure it'll keep long enough to have needed stabilising. Just bottled and put in fridge probably would ha e done it.