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View Full Version : Aeration and Backsweetening



THawk
11-04-2012, 05:58 AM
2 Questions:

a. How does one backsweeten without the use of chemicals? I think I'm allergic from the stabilizers used in commercial wines (but I can drink my own mead without any problems)

b. Can I use a stick blender to aerate/mix my honey-water (using a 2-gallon bucket instead of glass carboys)? Shaking the heck out of gallon jars is getting old pretty fast... ;D

IrishMonk
11-04-2012, 06:40 AM
A: good question... look forward to learning the answer as well. I have read that freezing the wine will kill the remaining yeast, but I have also read that it will NOT kill the yeast, so... ???

B:a lot of ppl use food grade 5 gallon buckets to ferment in, making it easier to aerate with paint mixers etc. Or, you can remove some of the must and mix it in a sterilized blender... then return it to the carboy.

fatbloke
11-04-2012, 07:06 AM
2 Questions:

a. How does one backsweeten without the use of chemicals? I think I'm allergic from the stabilizers used in commercial wines (but I can drink my own mead without any problems)

b. Can I use a stick blender to aerate/mix my honey-water (using a 2-gallon bucket instead of glass carboys)? Shaking the heck out of gallon jars is getting old pretty fast... ;D


A: good question... look forward to learning the answer as well. I have read that freezing the wine will kill the remaining yeast, but I have also read that it will NOT kill the yeast, so... ???

B:a lot of ppl use food grade 5 gallon buckets to ferment in, making it easier to aerate with paint mixers etc. Or, you can remove some of the must and mix it in a sterilized blender... then return it to the carboy.
A. yes, but you usually have to make sure that the batch has exceeded the tolerance of the yeast, so that there's no ability in the remaining yeast cells to start to re-ferment........you will also read of some who suggest that pasteurisation works as well i.e. it kills off the yeast cells with short term heating, like any other pasteurisation method - I don't like the idea, as any heat can change the taste of a brew, especially if it contains certain fruit that give a "cooked" taste when heated.

It may be that you need to source stabilisers/preservatives that you don't have a reaction too. Maybe sodium benzoate ? Which, while it's a complete PITA if it's been used in a fruit juice, as it can be a complete bugger to start a ferment, if the ferment is already complete, surely if it doesn't cause you to react, then it should be fine (subject to any possible problems I might not have thought of - like using sorbate without sulphite and the sorbate being munched and producing "geraniols" and ruining the batch).

B. Yes as well. I just suggest that if the batch has whole fruit in it (that's not being retained within a straining bag or similar), then it's safer to remove some of the must and blitz it in a sanitised liquidiser/food processor/jug with stick blender. That way, you don't blitz the hell out of the fruit, possibly breaking up any seeds/pips and adding the potential for bitterness from them.

THawk
11-04-2012, 07:27 AM
B. Yes as well. I just suggest that if the batch has whole fruit in it (that's not being retained within a straining bag or similar), then it's safer to remove some of the must and blitz it in a sanitised liquidiser/food processor/jug with stick blender. That way, you don't blitz the hell out of the fruit, possibly breaking up any seeds/pips and adding the potential for bitterness from them.

Oh I almost never use fruit in primary anymore, unless it's a JAOM or a JAOM variant. If I do, I'll probably end up using 2 buckets -- one with the fruit and spices at the bottom (dry goods) and mix the wet works in another bucket then pour the lot in... The pour should give it extra O2 before I pitch the yeast...

THawk
11-04-2012, 07:30 AM
A: good question... look forward to learning the answer as well. I have read that freezing the wine will kill the remaining yeast, but I have also read that it will NOT kill the yeast, so... ???


Most likely freezing won't... Unless you freeze it for years. I've read about chucking yeast (bread/wine/etc) into the freezer to keep it viable if you don't plan on using it for an extended time. Most of my yeast is in the fridge... I just remember that too cold and yeast go to sleep. Too warm and they go to sleep -- forever... ;D

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 12:26 AM
My best alternative to using chemicals and still ending up with something sweet? Step-feed it until it stops eating, then age it a year or two to make sure it's DONE... so far so good. If you don't want rocket fuel, select a yeast with a lower tolerance, like 71B or bread yeast or an ale yeast. I did it with RC212 most recently and only fed it once before it quit.

The way I step feed is I pick a SG that's the sweetest I'd want to drink (usually 1.030) and a SG that's the driest I'd want the batch (ie, 1.010) and every time it goes below the dry SG, I boost it up to the sweet SG, repeat until it's done and the SG stops changing.