View Full Version : Fermentation Question

05-31-2016, 06:32 PM
Hello everyone,
I had a question concerning fermentation. Below is the web address to the recipe I used. The honey is OB- 15 Lbs. My OG was 1.112. I used Lalvin 71B yeast. I followed the recipe exactly and have so far completed 1 week of fermentation With an alcohol tolerance of 14% and wanting this to be a sweet mead, will I need to stop it early?


06-01-2016, 12:56 AM
Read through the posted link. The recipe looks pretty good. My question is how do you plan to stop it once it gets going? What is your SG at this point? Cooler fermentation temps will slow it down a bit as you progress and may give you some more time to formulate a plan. My experiences with 71-b were all done with a similar OG as yours and went to 1.004 in 2 weeks max.

06-01-2016, 05:12 AM
I haven't taken another reading. I plan to do so later today. I was thinking of racking to secondary with some potassium sorbate.

06-01-2016, 08:34 AM
Why not just add enough more honey to get you close to your target gravity and let it take it's course?

06-01-2016, 09:28 PM
In my (limited) experience, 71B likes to eat right around 110 points (2 points) before it is done. So I would venture to guess you will end up just above 1.000 if you let it finish.

I back sweetened my first batch using the following formula (found on r/mead) and it ended up almost exactly where I wanted it:

Desired gravity points x current volume (in gallons) / 37 = pounds of honey needed

Since I wanted to go up about 30 points my calculations were (30x6)/37= about 4.5 lbs of honey. IIRC (no notes) I added just under that because it was all I had left at the time. It put me right at 1.020 after a couple of weeks of letting it sit.

I did not stabilize, but I had been done with fermentation for probably 3 months and it had been racked 3-4 times prior.

I have seen another calculation that is something like:

1# = .008 points @ 5 gallons. So 4.5# would be right about 43 points with that calculation (at my 6 gallon volume).

So somewhere in the middle of those might get you where you want (depending on your target FG). Start on the low end of what you think you will need, and you can add more later if needed....but it is hard as hell to take it out.

06-04-2016, 09:20 AM
I have an update for everyone and a couple more questions. today the 4th of jun is day 14 of fermentation. the airlock is bubbling on average every 14 seconds. I took a gravity reading 4 days ago and it was 1.032. today it is 1.020. that is my target FG. here are my questions. I used orange blossom honey however, I do not have any more to back sweeten. can I use store bought orange blossom honey to back sweeten? if so should I just let it ride till it ferments out rack it to secondary and then add the appropriate amount of honey to the must? If I do that I would mix it to a small amount of water and add to the must. Should I add sorbate and or meta to the mixture prior to back sweetening? if fermentation is done and I rack it to secondary, I definitely don't want fermentation to kick off again. I want to try and back sweeten before I let it start to clear. Thanks in advance for all the information. This is my first batch.

06-04-2016, 10:10 AM
Hey Drew,
Since it seems like your must is still fermenting, it might be better to let it ride for now. The reason being is that it's very hard to stop an active fermentation. Sorbate prevents fermentation from starting up, but it doesn't kill the yeast or stop fermentation once it's started.

What I would do is wait until you hit your final gravity and fermentation stops on it's own. This will either be at 1.000 when the yeast run out of sugar, or a little higher if they reach their ABV limit before using up all the sugar. Either way, fermentation will stop and the yeast will go dormant and settle to the bottom.

At this point you can rack, stabilize with K-metabisulfite and sorbate, and backsweeten. I say use whatever honey tastes good to you! There's no rule that says it has to be identical to the honey you used in your must.