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Achtlaut
02-10-2016, 10:03 AM
Looking to make a Mead around 5-7%abv and I would like it to be sweet, is it better to use a beer yeast that will die out around that or use a wine yeast with less honey than normal, ferment it dry, then back sweeten?

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Maylar
02-11-2016, 02:39 PM
There are no yeasts that will die at 7%. Ferment dry, stabilize with sorbate, and backsweeten.

Achtlaut
02-12-2016, 02:15 AM
There are no yeasts that will die at 7%. Ferment dry, stabilize with sorbate, and backsweeten.
Beer yeasts get close

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Mazer828
02-12-2016, 09:08 AM
I think we're doing this thread a disservice. It is certainly possible to make a hydromel (aka: short mead) in the 5-7% abv range without taking all the sweetness out of it. And finding a yeast that has a low abv tolerance is just the first step. There are plenty of yeast charts available out there to list abv and other qualities of yeasts available to the home brewer/vintner/mazer. It'll be your job to find one that will create a flavor profile that will compliment your honey and other ingredients (which haven't been mentioned).

A few questions:

When you say sweet, how sweet do you mean? Line syrupy dessert sweet? Or just not bone dry sweet? Or somewhere in between? Did you have a target final gravity in mind?

Here's how I've approached this successfully before, so maybe this'll give you a place to at least start.

I like a semi dry short mead, which most people agree has plenty of residual sweetness to balance the crispness of being lightly carbonated (my preference for this style; just drinks better IMHO). I'll start out at about 1.070 OG, and use a nice, dependable wine yeast strain like Lalvin 71B-1122. That yeast will take a 1.070 must down to 1.000 or below, but don't be afraid. Again, I find it leaves a very enjoyable amount of sweetness. However, if you would prefer to stop it before that, you can:

A. Rack it off the lees, and cold crash it when it hits about 1.015-1.020. That'll very likely get it to drop out. Rack it again, and let it set, taking gravity readings for a few weeks to make sure it's stable before bottling.

B. Rack it and hit it with sulfite and sorbate when it gets to the gravity you want.

You may find a beer yeast that has a lower abv, like maybe 8 or 9%, and that's fine, but keep in mind that's likely in beer wort, not mead must. The landscape is night and day different, so YRMV. Also, remember to consider the flavor impact that yeast will have on your mead, and the yeast's nutrient requirements.

Maylar
02-12-2016, 02:21 PM
Beer yeasts get close



Which one? The ale yeasts I've used will go to 12-14%. Even bread yeast will hit 12 easily.

Achtlaut
02-12-2016, 09:33 PM
I think we're doing this thread a disservice. It is certainly possible to make a hydromel (aka: short mead) in the 5-7% abv range without taking all the sweetness out of it. And finding a yeast that has a low abv tolerance is just the first step. There are plenty of yeast charts available out there to list abv and other qualities of yeasts available to the home brewer/vintner/mazer. It'll be your job to find one that will create a flavor profile that will compliment your honey and other ingredients (which haven't been mentioned).

A few questions:

When you say sweet, how sweet do you mean? Line syrupy dessert sweet? Or just not bone dry sweet? Or somewhere in between? Did you have a target final gravity in mind?

Here's how I've approached this successfully before, so maybe this'll give you a place to at least start.

I like a semi dry short mead, which most people agree has plenty of residual sweetness to balance the crispness of being lightly carbonated (my preference for this style; just drinks better IMHO). I'll start out at about 1.070 OG, and use a nice, dependable wine yeast strain like Lalvin 71B-1122. That yeast will take a 1.070 must down to 1.000 or below, but don't be afraid. Again, I find it leaves a very enjoyable amount of sweetness. However, if you would prefer to stop it before that, you can:

A. Rack it off the lees, and cold crash it when it hits about 1.015-1.020. That'll very likely get it to drop out. Rack it again, and let it set, taking gravity readings for a few weeks to make sure it's stable before bottling.

B. Rack it and hit it with sulfite and sorbate when it gets to the gravity you want.

You may find a beer yeast that has a lower abv, like maybe 8 or 9%, and that's fine, but keep in mind that's likely in beer wort, not mead must. The landscape is night and day different, so YRMV. Also, remember to consider the flavor impact that yeast will have on your mead, and the yeast's nutrient requirements.
This was beyond helpful thank you

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GreenBee
02-12-2016, 09:57 PM
There are no yeasts that will die at 7%. Ferment dry, stabilize with sorbate, and backsweeten.

I'm using a beer yeast that suggests a wort (must) of no more than 1.060.

Maylar
02-13-2016, 10:18 AM
I'm using a beer yeast that suggests a wort (must) of no more than 1.060.

Which one?

bernardsmith
02-13-2016, 10:32 PM
That the wort starts at 1.060 has no bearing on what the yeast itself can ferment. Correct me if I am wrong but beer yeasts are usually selected for the flavors they impart or inhibit and not for their ability (or inability) to ferment all the fermentables in the wort (and of course, not all the sugars in beer are fermentable - hence the need to balance the sweetness with hops)