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ash
11-28-2011, 08:17 AM
I have this piment I tried and I wanted it to be really sweet.

2 kg grapes (complete, frozen and mashed)
honey (I forgot to write down how much)
1/2 cane of vanilla
some cinamon

put everything in a 15 Liter carboy and topped off with tap water.

made a yeast starter and used wine yeast (white)

on juli 11, this gave me an SG of 1148
pot alc: 19

In oktober I measured again: SG of 998

total alcohol would be almost 19, so there are not much sugars left and it is not sweet at all.



I'm surprised to see the yeast getting the alcohol that fast and that much, because I never had it above 16 before....

Anyhow, its to dry and adding more honey might just get the honey fermented into alcohol?

The taste is also very not mead-like. Its a mouthfull of alcohol and biterness (maybe from the grape-skin?)


so, my Q's for you:

Do you guys think the off-flavours will age out, and if so, how long might that take?

What would be the best way to sweeten it and how much of what should I add?

Loadnabox
11-28-2011, 09:26 AM
First, the type of yeast would help to determine if there's risk in back sweetening. For 99% of the commercial yeasts out there you don't have to worry there's little chance of it restarting since 19% is at or above the tolerance of most yeasts.

Back sweetening most people here will recommend using more honey. We're making mead and want maximum honey flavor right? :) If you do back-sweeten, you should, either way, give it a week before bottling. During that week you want to be sure your SG doesn't change at all, if it changes any at all then you are risking a restart. if it doesn't move, the yeast are dead and you're probably safe.

As for the hot alcohol taste, that is a result of a high ABV mead. Anything over 14% is going to be very hot and take a long time to age out (2-4 years) I would suggest giving it several years before back-sweetening so you know what you have before messing with it.

This is a common problem with high ABV meads and why most people don't recommend making them, they just take a really long time to become drinkable.

ash
11-28-2011, 10:20 AM
berf, the suplyer told me the yeast would not go over 15.

I'll just stick to bread yeast next time.

Loadnabox
11-28-2011, 10:38 AM
berf, the suplyer told me the yeast would not go over 15.

I'll just stick to bread yeast next time.

!o.O!

this makes me all that much more curious what kind of yeast you used?

Either you managed to get a commercial yeast to do it's impersonation of Braveheart or your supplier was mistaken on it's alcohol tolerance.

ash
11-28-2011, 10:43 AM
"Bioferm Blanc
Saccharomyces Cerevisiae var. Cerevisiae.
Specially selected for the fermentation of white table wines with special regard to the natural aroma of the original fruit/grapes (produces very few secondary aromas)."

Chevette Girl
11-28-2011, 01:01 PM
Well! Apparently your yeast really, really liked you!

You didn't mention whether it was a white or a red, although I'm assuming white since you used a white wine yeast. Reds are usually fermented on the fruit but not left longer than a week or two, and they usually press the juice out of the grapes for whites, so that might be where some bitterness comes in.

Also, if you left the whole grapes in from July to October, that might be where some off-flavour came from, but it's also possible that there's just too much rough alcohol and once it's sweetened up a little and/or aged a bit, it'll all taste better.

ash
11-28-2011, 01:20 PM
I'll rack it one more time, put it in the basement and hopefully forget about it for a year or two, then see if it needs sweetening.

AToE
11-28-2011, 04:13 PM
That seems like the best plan to me, plus then if it does need backsweetening you'll have a much clearer idea of how much to add. I think the likelihood of this one restarting after clearing and extended aging is slim to none!

Loadnabox
11-29-2011, 09:24 AM
That seems like the best plan to me, plus then if it does need backsweetening you'll have a much clearer idea of how much to add. I think the likelihood of this one restarting after clearing and extended aging is slim to none!

+1 for this.

I did some quick research on bioferm blanc and it is rated at 15% alcohol tolerance. While it's not surprising for a yeast to go one or two points over it's rated tolerance four points over is unheard of!

Going so far over as it has, the chances of a restart are slim, the yeast are pretty dead.

I would still be cautious; a couple years from now when you back-sweeten wait a week after doing so , and make sure the SG doesn't change.

Medsen Fey
11-30-2011, 01:58 PM
Waiting a week after backsweetening really isn't long enough to be sure things are stable. If a yeast restarts in a high ABV environment, it will be a very slow process. I'd watch it for at least 1 month at a minimum. However, at 19% it is unlikely that anything will restart.

Are you certain about your starting gravity?