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View Full Version : Mead finished too sweet, repitch yeast?



McJeff
12-29-2013, 11:14 AM
So this is a 6gallon batch of cider(5 gallons cider+15lbs honey), did pectic enzyme over night. Pitch two packs of 71b the next morning along with a tsp of nutrients and aerated. Following two days i aerated and added tsp of nutrients each day. didnt actually take a starting gravity but the calculator says it should have been 1.146. Yes a bit high ill do it diff next time.

After a month i racked it on 12/26 and the gravity is 1.030, its actually still fermenting just a touch as i can see bubbles slowing rising thru the mead. I planed on taking another gravity in a few more days.

So my question is more hypothetical, when the mead finally does stop fermenting and its sweeter than i like. What are my options. Would repitching another package of 71b do anything? or do i just chalk it up to learning curve and drink it sweet?

danr
12-29-2013, 11:56 AM
I'll let someone with more experience comment on the repitching option, but another option would be to ferment another batch dry and blend the two together.

McJeff
12-29-2013, 12:13 PM
I'll let someone with more experience comment on the repitching option, but another option would be to ferment another batch dry and blend the two together.

crossed my mind, but ive no cider left :(

fatbloke
12-29-2013, 12:40 PM
Well presuming a modicum of accuracy from the calculator, if its currently sitting at 1.030 then it's likely on or about tolerance...... 71B is a 14% yeast.

Let it finish and get it clear then think about it......

Options to finish ?

Blending with a dry mead.

Fortifying with spirits (vodka for a neutral addition or whiskey/brandy depending on preference)

Masking sweetness with acid.

Masking with oak/tannin etc.

So, the blending is pretty obvious. Just that you may need to match the sweet one if it's got a particularly nice or exotic varietal etc.

Fortfying is relatively easy, just that you might need to experiment a bit to get the flavour you like. Like any liquid that is less viscous, you will lose some body but you will increase % ABV too.

Acid ? Well I haven't tried this yet but if you look at my blog, you'll see my post about moniack mead. It tested at 1.036 FG and 2.6pH. It tasted less sweet than the other commecial meads I'd tasted before but I'm guessing the acid balanced it just nicely....

The oaking and/or tannins is something I've tried a little but don't do regularly as I generally ferment dry and then back sweeten..... Plus it can be a little jit and miss......

McJeff
12-29-2013, 01:23 PM
Well presuming a modicum of accuracy from the calculator, if its currently sitting at 1.030 then it's likely on or about tolerance...... 71B is a 14% yeast.

Let it finish and get it clear then think about it......

Options to finish ?

Blending with a dry mead.

Fortifying with spirits (vodka for a neutral addition or whiskey/brandy depending on preference)

Masking sweetness with acid.

Masking with oak/tannin etc.

So, the blending is pretty obvious. Just that you may need to match the sweet one if it's got a particularly nice or exotic varietal etc.

Fortfying is relatively easy, just that you might need to experiment a bit to get the flavour you like. Like any liquid that is less viscous, you will lose some body but you will increase % ABV too.

Acid ? Well I haven't tried this yet but if you look at my blog, you'll see my post about moniack mead. It tested at 1.036 FG and 2.6pH. It tasted less sweet than the other commecial meads I'd tasted before but I'm guessing the acid balanced it just nicely....

The oaking and/or tannins is something I've tried a little but don't do regularly as I generally ferment dry and then back sweeten..... Plus it can be a little jit and miss......


oh this is an excellent response tyvm!
I had already planned on oaking this anyways. I had really good results oaking my previous cider that had a gravity of 1.020. So planned on doing that again. I really like the idea of fortifying with a brandy or whiskey.


So i assuming there is not point in re pitching 71B again because its already at the alcohol tolerance level of 14% correct? Any other stronger yeast will take it quickly to dry. which i dont want to do.

McJeff
12-29-2013, 01:24 PM
Im kinda new at using the mead calculator, how do you set it to know that with a starting gravity and yeast that it has reach the tolerance of the yeast?

McJeff
01-27-2014, 04:10 PM
So its been oaking for just about a month now and its mostly clear. Gravity again was 1.031(maybe .032 it was close). Bought some Jameson, Dewar and cheap vodka. Using teaspoon samples i did a bunch of diff mixtures. GF did like either Jameson of Dewar. Ended up with a 1:6 vodka/mead ratio that dropped the gravity to 1.021. But it had a very strong alcohol taste to it, too strong imo. :(

Think im goin to let it oak for another month and test it again.

Any recommendations on a brandy for fortifying?

McJeff
01-27-2014, 07:27 PM
hmm how about an Applejack Brandy to fortify with

fatbloke
01-27-2014, 11:57 PM
hmm how about an Applejack Brandy to fortify with
Well it's my understanding that "Applejack" is basically like a cider (hard) that's been freeze reduced ? rather than a "proper" apple/cider brandy like a Calvados.........

Maybe try it as an experiment ?

mannye
01-28-2014, 12:21 AM
Applejack is freeze distilled rather than heat distilled so instead of a "clean" drink, impurities (and presumably flavors) are concentrated as the freezing only removes mostly water. I would also recommend experimenting before potentially ruining a batch.

McJeff
01-28-2014, 08:26 AM
Oh yeah of course, I wouldn't just pour it in. Ill do some small scale testing first. Just not happy with the vodka or whiskey :(

mannye
01-28-2014, 10:43 AM
Oh yeah of course, I wouldn't just pour it in. Ill do some small scale testing first. Just not happy with the vodka or whiskey :(

Maybe if you made a batch of apple whiskey using Everclear and apple juice? Might be the ticket. I recently made apple pie "moonshine" with Everclear and it was a big hit. Without the sweet and spices, I can see it maybe getting the job done for you. Best part is that if it doesn't work, just throw in a clove and two sticks of cinnamon and in a week you'll have a delicious strong apple pie moonshine! (Without actual moonshine, of course)