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Phished880
07-16-2009, 05:54 PM
I've been lurking around for a bit and had a question. I noticed a bunch of posts about sweet, semi-sweet, and dry. How does your desire in taste factor into your recipe formulation? I hope this makes sense..... if not i can attempt to clarify.

Jeremy

Medsen Fey
07-16-2009, 06:25 PM
Welcome to GotMead Jeremy!

I hope I am understanding your question.

The desire to hit a certain level of sweetness drives many of the decisions in a recipe. Most notably the yeast selection and how much honey you add (or your starting gravity). But there may be several approaches to getting the result you want.

For example if you want a dry mead with 15% ABV, you add enough honey to get the gravity to a Potential alcohol level of 15% (gravity about 1.110) and use a yeast with alcohol tolerance above 15% such a K1V (18%). With good management the yeast will consume every bit of the sugar and leave it dry.

For a sweet mead at 14% ABV you might choose to start with a gravity of about 1.120 or higher and use a yeast with an alcohol tolerance of only 14% ABV (such a ICV-D47). This will allow the yeast to choke on the alcohol and stop leaving you with plenty of sugar left.

There are however, other ways of doing it such as cold crashing as active fermentation at the desired level of sweetness, or using an approach that takes the mead dry, and then stabilizing with sorbate/sulfite and adding honey to backsweeten up to the level of sweetness desired.

There is always more than one way to skin a cat.

Clearly if you know what you want, you have a much better chance of making it.

Are you thinking about any recipe in particular?

Medsen

wayneb
07-16-2009, 06:38 PM
Hi, Phished880! Welcome to "Gotmead?"!!

Of course your own personal taste will influence your perception of how sweet a particular mead tastes. As well, the balance between sweetness and other flavors (acidity, alcohol content, tannins, etc.) will change the perceived sweetness. But since people seem always in need of classifying systems to describe things, in order to generally classify the amount of residual sugar in a particular mead and to relate that to approximate sweetness, several folks have come up with sweetness scales to classify meads. One of them is as follows, relating the final specific gravity:

Dry 0.990 - 1.005
Semi-Dry to Semi-Sweet 1.006 - 1.015
Sweet 1.016 - 1.020
Dessert (or very sweet) above 1.020

Again, these are classification guidelines, not to be taken as absolute reference values. Just because one mead finished at a specific gravity of 1.015 and another clocks in at 1.017 doesn't automatically mean that the first tastes less sweet than the second.

I think this is what you were after with your question. If not, then please explain what you're after in a little more detail.

Hope this helps!

Phished880
07-16-2009, 09:09 PM
first off. thank you for the warm welcome.

Currently have a gallon of agave "wine?/mead?" with a mix of 1lb 8oz of light nectar and 8oz of maple agave nectar(trader joes) with a 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient, water to fill, and montrachet yeast. SG was 1.074

But the main reason for my question is because i want to make 2 batches.
1) a true mead. i think as of today i think i would like a med strong(8-10% ABV) sparkling...(is this tough for a first mead?)

2) a pyment with 1/2 gallon of reisling and then honey. haven't really gotten to far planning this.

please let me know if you feel i'm tryiing to go 0-60 in .05sec
also any help on either of these would be great.

Medsen Fey
07-16-2009, 09:37 PM
But the main reason for my question is because i want to make 2 batches.
1) a true mead. i think as of today i think i would like a med strong(8-10% ABV) sparkling...(is this tough for a first mead?)

2) a pyment with 1/2 gallon of reisling and then honey. haven't really gotten to far planning this.

please let me know if you feel i'm tryiing to go 0-60 in .05sec


Trying to run before walking is half the fun. It becomes more like a sack race, but hey, for learning there's nothing like experience. :D

Making a relatively low alcohol sparkling mead is not too hard. Just do a search looking for PBakulic as author with the term atmospheres to get some good info. Trying to make a sweet sparkling mead can be dangerous and I wouldn't recommend that as your first attempt.

Riesling pyment should be great. There are some good threads on pyments if you search. Folks here will be happy to help you fine tune a recipe as you are ready to get going.

Good Mazing,
Medsen