View Full Version : Sweetening a tart melomel

10-04-2009, 09:22 PM
I plan to back-sweeten a cherry and berry melomel that finished rather tart. It has been in a secondary carboy for 2 months. 5 gallons, OG 1.100, FG 1.000. Please advise:

1. I値l first add K-sorbate and K-metabisulfite to stabilize. Bottle instructions on sorbate are to use ス tsp per gallon. Instructions on metabisulfite are シ tsp per 5 gallons to kill wild yeast in must or 2 oz per gallon to sanitize water. 2 oz seems like overkill (it would be the entire jar). Does 2.5 tsp sorbate and シ tsp metabisulfite sound right for this purpose?

2. What is the best approach for figuring how much honey I want to add? I知 assuming to sweeten a subsample to taste and scale up. But are there other considerations? Would getting an acidity titration kit be helpful, or do I just go by taste?

3. What's the best strategy for getting the added honey to dissolve (I don稚 own one of those drill attachments)? I won't be able to keep the headspace oxyegn free (no CO2 source for purging).

10-05-2009, 12:27 AM
Let me take your questions in order. First, if you can measure your metabisulfite by weight rather than by teaspoons, I encourage you to do so. You'll get far more accurate results that way. That said, if you don't have a gram scale, then the 1/4 teaspoon is about right, unless your mead's pH is on the high side. I don't think that is an issue for you since you say that it finished tart, so if you can't measure the pH exactly, go with the 1/4 tsp - it should be enough in most cases. The amount of sorbate sounds like a little much, but not enough to be a problem.

Regarding backsweetening, let me encourage you to get a little practice with the Search Tool. If you pull down the search function from the menu bar above and go to Advanced Search, then search on the terms 'backsweetening' and 'wayneb' (without the quotes) you'll see a list of threads including one initiated by Sasper, answered by Medsen Fey, pointing to an earlier thread containing my directions for backsweetening. That thread should answer your questions about how much honey to use, and how to add it. You won't need a drill-powered tool to do it my way, I can assure you.

If that doesn't answer all your questions or if you can't seem to find the thread using Search, let us know.

10-05-2009, 08:46 AM
Found it. Those posts answer my questions with regard to backsweetening this particular mead. I think I still have some questions about the value of acidity titration kits and a pH meter, but they are not pressing and I'll try using the search function at my leisure.

10-05-2009, 01:04 PM
Great! If you find McFeeley's (that's Dan McFeeley's) posts about the difficulties with acid titration measurements of honey musts in your search, you'll find out why pH is a much more useful measurement than TA is in meadmaking (just to pique your curiosity!). ;)