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View Full Version : Can you adjust final gravity post fermentation



Jmondro
10-27-2014, 07:45 PM
I am new to the forum and this is my first post. After completing my first batch, OG 1.150 finishing at 1.033, resulted in a sweet, sack mead. After tasting and doing some calculations I added sanitized water to obtain a final gravity of 1.020 which is a semi-sweet mead which I prefer.

My question is, does it matter if you ferment a higher gravity must (smaller volume easier to handle) to obtain a sweeter mead and dilute to a desired sweetness or start with the appropriate gravity to end with the desired final gravity - sweetness level?

Thig
10-27-2014, 08:07 PM
I would think adding water at the end is going to give you a thin, "watered down" taste. You are better off starting with right SG.

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Honeyhog
10-27-2014, 09:00 PM
Thig is right. You are better to start with a lower gravity then let it ferment to dry, stabilize, then backsweeten to taste with more honey which will give it a fuller mouth feel as opposed to the thinness you would get adding water.

fatbloke
10-28-2014, 12:58 AM
You see lots hereabouts using the "all fermentables in up front" method.

Which is like with beers, but because with meads we deal in gravity levels that are higher by some considerable amount, it's poor technique/method, that regularly leads to problems.

You've only to read here what happens with that method......

If it was high strength and sweet you were after, the others suggestions are better i.e. sna for the highest strength and step.feeding.

As it is, you've diluted your strength and that will have also likely reduced body/mouth feel.

All you actually needed to do, was to add some small increments of acid. I like a mix of 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric.

Often less than 1/8th tsp per gallon is enough to balance out excessive sweetness.....

Stasis
10-28-2014, 03:19 AM
Alternatively, you can create a second batch with the same recipe and ferment it dry. If in this case you were to combine them the FG should average out, leaving you with a total FG of around 1.015. However, you must be sure that both batches were created without defect and that both have been stabilized as yeast from the second batch could restart your 1st batch. You will also end up with double your mead. If you intend to age this you might want to postpone adjusting FG on the off-chance that fermentation restarts. Don't count on this happening, but you still need to age the mead in most cases anyway

Chevette Girl
10-28-2014, 01:11 PM
Welcome to the forum, Jmondro.

If you LIKE the way it tastes when you add water, go with it.

Or try a little acid blend in a small sample and see if that balances out the sweetness, you might find it's OK that way too, Fatbloke and I have noticed the same thing about balancing sweetness with some acidity :)

Alternatively you could make a smaller batch of a less potent mead and then blend it like Stasis suggested.

But if you haven't stabilized it (potassium orbate and potassium/sodium metabisulphite) and you do want to add more mead or water to your batch and then bottle it, you should make sure the batch is stabilized because diluting it or adding a weaker mead could start fermentation off again and while this is OK in the carboy, it is dangerous if it happens in the bottles.

For your next batches, Fatbloke and Honeyhog have it right, you don't want to start TOO high. My usual upper limit is a SG of around 1.125, otherwise it's just too hard on the yeast and no matter what its published tolerance, it will quit early, so if I want a higher alcohol content I will use staggered nutrient additions at the beginning and I will step-feed it more honey at the end (every time it goes below 1.005 I'd add honey to boost it back up to 1.020, check SG every week and repeat until the yeast stops eating).

Hope you find a way to make this batch pleasant, and good luck with future endeavours!

Jmondro
10-28-2014, 02:42 PM
Thanks for the replies,

As a follow-up, on the first batch I did use some acid blend and it did help but still too sweet. Started another batch today of Tupelo at a OG of 1.123 bet it turns out better.

Medsen Fey
10-28-2014, 09:22 PM
You can certainly dilute a batch and if you fermented 120 gravity points and have about 16% ABV to start with, diluting it may make it more palatable. Dilution down to 12% with a residual gravity of 1.020 won't leave you thin and flavorless. However, if you don't stabilize, the yeast may wake up and start fermenting again.