View Full Version : Has my mead stop Fermenting???

07-16-2015, 07:51 AM
I'm new to mead making and have been very excited about the progress until last night when I took a gravity reading registering at 1.000. I started at 1.115 on July 4th (11 days ago). I want a semi sweet mead and have 20 lbs of honey, 6.5 lbs of blackberries in a 6.5 gallon bucket. It smells wonderful and maybe I'm stressing over nothing. Has it finished and needs to be racked or could I have a stuck fermination? I used EC-1118 yeast. I'm just worried about my 20 lbs of liquid gold (honey).

07-16-2015, 08:31 AM
Sounds like a healthy fermentation. Congrats. 1.000 is bone dry. It cannot ferment any farther. If you want it semi-sweet, you will need to step feed or stabilize and backsweeten.

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:

07-16-2015, 04:24 PM
Thanks for your reply bi really though 20 lbs of honey would be sweet enough. I'm struggling with adding more honey. I'll research your suggestions to figure out how to step feed or back sweeten. Thanks again. I feel much better.

07-16-2015, 09:02 PM
Can you give a recommedation on how much honey to add if I step feed? Can I start with a 1.5 lb of honey? Then check the gravity. I just tasted a sample after pulling the fruit and oh boy is it strong. Definitely needs to be sweetened.

07-17-2015, 09:42 AM
Having the mead at 1.000 does not mean that it absolutely cannot ferment anymore since meads could ferment below 1.000. It should be more or less finished though. It depends why you want to step feed. Since you used Ec-1118 it would be hard to take the mead past the yeast's alcohol tolerance in order to end with a sweeter mead. The mead could end up with a final alcohol level of at least 18%.
If you want to stabilize the mead and back sweeten then it won't be called step feeding. To do this the mead should have stopped fermenting, which means that while the gravity is at 1.000 and should be more or less finished, you wouldn't be absolutely certain unless you take multiple readings to confirm no change in sg over time.
No need to rush to back sweeten since all meads would taste strong when they are so young. If you back sweeten the mead now in order to make the mead immediately palatable after fermentation I imagine it would be too sweet after some months of aging. I have a mead at 1.5yrs of aging and is bone dry, yet it tastes sweet to me since I am used to dry wines and never tasted a dry mead before. The honey profile is really starting to come through. Had I back sweetened from the start (and it DID seem like it needed it at first) it would have been too sweet for me now

To recap:
Backsweeten - Leaves the alcohol level where it is
Step feeding - raises alcohol level until yeast tolerance and beyond, leaving a net sweetness. This might easily be 18% alcohol and higher for Ec-1118

02-12-2016, 09:55 AM
Update: my blackberry mead has been sitting for 7 months in the carboy. I recently tasted and found the mead nice. To me a little dry but still nice. I am wondering if I can bottle some as is and then backsweeten for times I want a semi-sweet mead giving me a few bottles of dry and some sweeter. If I back sweeten is it safe to just add the honey or could it start ferminating again?

02-12-2016, 10:07 AM
You should stabilize with Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate before back sweetening. Otherwise you risk a fermentation re-start.