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ChrisPro
08-02-2013, 10:20 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm a relatively new meadmaker (long time brewer) and first time poster. For my first few batches I only made really dry meads or really sweet meads and have had no need to backsweeten. However, that is changing with a cyser that I have about ready to go. I used the calculator on the site to estimate how much honey I need to add, but I'd like to confirm that I'm doing it appropriately. Thanks for the help!


Batch size: 2 gal
"Brew" day: 10/23/12
Ingredients:
3 lbs orange blossom honey
1 gal pasteurized apple cider
water to top off
Lavlin D-47 yeast
(1 lb fresh cranberries - added later)

OG: 1.094
current SG: 0.998

Process:
- No boil
- Mixed the honey with the cider and aerated (with a sterilized hand blender and whisk)
- added water to get to ~2 gal
- rehydrated and pitched the yeast
- fermented at ambient temp (~68 in my apt)
- on 11/18/12, SG was 1.017
- Racked and split the batch into two 1-gal carboys
- added 1 lb fresh cranberries to one of the gal
- 7/18/13 - added 1 tsp potassium sorbate to each carboy

Now I've got some more orange blossom honey that I'd like to use to backsweeten.

With the calculator I used these estimates:
honey SG: 1.425
Add 4 oz (1/2 c) honey to 120 oz of 0.998 cyser gets me to a SG of 1.012.

A few questions:
1. Did I use the right assumptions for the calculator?
2. What's a good comparison for how sweet 1.012 is? I'd like to make sure there's some decent sweetness to counteract the cranberries, but not in the 1.02x+ range.
3. with 1 gallon batches, what's a good process to sweeten and ensure it's mixed well? (i've got plenty of empty 1 gal carboys I can rack to)
4. After I backsweeten, how long should I wait before bottling (i.e. for it to settle)?

Thanks for the help!

theEnvoy
08-03-2013, 10:04 AM
Here's my experience with backsweetening ciders: I added .5 cup honey melted into .5 cup of water into 1.8 (approx.) gallons of cider at .996 SG. Raised the gravity .01 to 1.006.

I added 12 oz can of apple juice concentrate to 1.8 (approx) cider at .998 and raised SG .01 to 1.008.

ChrisPro
08-03-2013, 11:44 AM
Here's my experience with backsweetening ciders: I added .5 cup honey melted into .5 cup of water into 1.8 (approx.) gallons of cider at .996 SG. Raised the gravity .01 to 1.006.


Thanks for the info. To clarify, my measurements below were to estimate how much honey to add to each gal of cyser.

When you say "melted," do you basically heat the honey on the stove then mix with the water? Just trying to find a way to make sure it's dissolved evenly. Thanks!

theEnvoy
08-03-2013, 12:49 PM
Yes, I just warm water in a pot (don't boil) and dissolve the honey. I let it cool before adding it to cider. If unsure on the amount to backsweeten, start small and add more until you get the sweetness/gravity you want. If you over sweeten, then it's tough to fix.