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hagfan
04-29-2013, 08:33 AM
I just finished my second batch of Traditional mead and made a rookie mistake.
When I backsweetened it I used the same amount of honey as when I made my first batch. I am guessing that this honey must be sweeter because my mead is now too sweet. SG of 1.052. Is there any way to fix this?

Here is what I started out with.

3.5lbs Honey
3 qts spring water
1 tsp Nutrient
1/2 tsp energizer
1/2 pk yeast Red Star Cotes de blanc

OG was 1.12 and final was 1.01.
To backsweeten I added 12oz water and 1pt. of honey.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

randomguy18840
04-29-2013, 09:59 AM
As long as you didn't add any potassium sorbate you could always pitch a stronger strain of yeast like K1V 1116 or EC1118. Or you could leave it as is, and make a dry batch and mix the 2 until you have the sweetness you want.

clone63
04-29-2013, 11:52 PM
I would personally add water to get a gravity consistent of what you want.

You'd have to do a simple calculation taking the percentage of what you added to determine the new ABV and then determining what the new gravity will give you after fermentation. E.g., if you add double the water, the abv will be halved. Going from there, it will be a few more calcs. to see how far the yeast will go.

But of course if that's your only carboy, that's not very helpful..

fatbloke
04-30-2013, 12:26 AM
Whereas I would fortify it with vodka or everclear. It will improve dryness in taste or gravity and also the reduction in body/viscosity that might have come from the extra honey, plus the increase in alcohol will likely prevent any possible recurrence of fermentation.

It may need ageing for longer to smooth out.

Instead of vodka, brandy or whisky of some sort would also give it an alternative character.........

hagfan
05-01-2013, 10:40 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I believe I will pitch more yeast and try to restart the ferment.

fatbloke
05-01-2013, 10:55 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I believe I will pitch more yeast and try to restart the ferment.
As far as I can see, you've quoted earlier that you started at 1.120 with a final at 1.010 ? i.e. a drop of 110 points ?

If I've read correctly, you're probably not gonna be able to restart, 110 point drop equates to 14.9% ABV so unless you doubled the volume with water, then did an acclimatised restart and step feed, it's likely to struggle.

King of the restart is Uvaferm 43 (apparently, I haven't used it but that's anecdotal from some "in the know"). EC-1118 is what's regularly suggested, but even those two are likely to fail with nearly 15% alcohol already present.

This is exactly the kind of reason why any changes hard to correct if wrongly handled should be done incrementally......

Which brings me back to fortification for this batch, rather than trying things that are unlikely to work and potentially mess up what will probably be fine...

paraordnance
05-01-2013, 06:08 PM
Add a bottle of fine vodka and let it sit for 3-6 months. I bet it will be heaven and sack strenght around 20-22% ABV. Don't mess with the yeast you just going to make matter worse

hagfan
05-02-2013, 07:25 PM
fatbloke,
Will I not be able to ferment the sugars from the honey that I added to backsweeten?

paraordnance,
How much will the vodka alter the true flavor of the mead?

fatbloke
05-02-2013, 11:07 PM
fatbloke,
Will I not be able to ferment the sugars from the honey that I added to backsweeten?

paraordnance,
How much will the vodka alter the true flavor of the mead?
The alcohol (and CO2) are waste products of yeast metabolising the sugars yes ?

Equally, just because sugars are present doesn't mean yeast can metabolise them. In fact, too higher sugar level will prevent fermentation, just like plants not growing in pure animal dung, which has to rot down a fair bit before plants can access the nutrient value.

It's also why yeasts for making booze, particularly wines, have a maximum tolerance for making alcohol. Otherwise you'd make spirits purely from fermentation and not need distillation for them.

You already have a level of alcohol that exceeds many wine yeasts so just trying to use a yeast that has a higher maximum tolerance isn't going to create an environment conducive to further fermentation is it.

As for the vodka suggestions ? It will change the base flavour the least of all the spirits that can be used to fortify it. I would just take a gravity reading as it stands, then gently add enough to drop the gravity reading by say, 10 points, maybe even just 5 points, then taste it.

You could do that until it hits either a given level on a hydrometer or to how the reduced flavour is most pleasing to your taste, then just bulk age it for 12 months to allow it to mellow.

Oh and I'd use everclear over vodka as you'd have a much smaller increase in volume for a larger reduction in sweetness....

hagfan
05-03-2013, 11:48 AM
fatbloke,
Thank you for your lengthy explanation. It helps me to better understand how the yeast and sugars work.
I also appreciate all of the other suggestions.

Chevette Girl
05-04-2013, 07:16 PM
You could also try diluting (with water) and re-fermenting a portion of your batch to bring the sweetness down a bit, then combine it all back together again. Heck, dilution alone might get it to start back up without interference...

paraordnance
05-07-2013, 04:07 PM
I'd still use vodka given his circumstances. He is dealing here with high FG (1.050) where dilution is a benefit. Vodka at 40% ABV probably around 50-55% of pure water. Diluting will get you benefits of both, lower FG and stronger mead at the end. If you dilute with Everclear you will just fortifity it to extreme alcohol content and it still be fairly sweet. But this is just my guess. I never used vodka for this purpose. I have used 200 ml of 95% ABV Everclear grain alcohol to fortify 1 gal of one of my meads from 15.5% to 20% ABV and its taste horrible. All I can basically taste is grain alcohol with some honey on background. Its been in bottle for 6 months and its not mellowing out just yet. I will never do it again (it was fortification experiment and not overly sweet mead salvation though).

hagfan
06-23-2013, 01:45 PM
Update:
I decided to make another batch of mead and get it as dry as possible and blend the three together.
It worked out well. I blended them together today and was very pleased with the outcome. It is only a little sweeter than my very first batch.
All in all I was able to salvage all of it without any loss and without having to add any other alcohols.
Thanks again for all of the advise.

fatbloke
06-23-2013, 03:40 PM
Update:
I decided to make another batch of mead and get it as dry as possible and blend the three together.
It worked out well. I blended them together today and was very pleased with the outcome. It is only a little sweeter than my very first batch.
All in all I was able to salvage all of it without any loss and without having to add any other alcohols.
Thanks again for all of the advise.
Excellent. Well done. Going for blending, instead of fortification, goes to prove that "there's more than one way too skin a cat"......