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brewbush
01-05-2017, 11:53 AM
I am soon to start my mead with 15 gallons of orange blossom honey. I will be using D47 to ferment at around 62F.

My question is how do you plan to keep residual sugar in the mead. I have one mead I backsweetened with sorbate and it ended up giving a strong floral smell which I did not find pleasant.
I have used the online calculator with 2 different volumes
If I start with 4 gallons, 15# honey, it gives me an OG 1.135, ABV 17.25%
with 4.5 gallons, OG is 1.12 and ABV 15.54%

With D47 it "should" stall out around 14%. 5 gallons would be completely dry, theoretically 4.5G and 4G will leave residual sugars, but I do not know how (cant think of) to calculate the %residual sugar and extrapolate that to how it will taste?

I am looking for a mildly sweet mead, not syrupy. And not dry, ..... right in the middle

Any thoughts?

Maylar
01-05-2017, 12:30 PM
The most "foolproof" method is to stabilize and back sweeten. The floral smell (like geraniums) is a classic symptom of using potassium sorbate without also using potassium metabisulfite. You need both chemicals when stabilizing.

Other than that, you can feed the yeast honey until they reach alcohol tolerance and die. Where that will be exactly depends on a number of factors. Rather than starting with excess honey up front, it's much preferred to start at a reasonable gravity level and have a healthy ferment going then incrementally add more honey until the yeast poop out.

Squatchy
01-05-2017, 12:53 PM
Make something with a gravity of 1005, 1010, 1015, and so forth and then taste them. That will give you and idea of sweetness. Go measure your other batch and let it's gravity be an example. Add more honey to it and find out what you think you like.
The ABV tolerances listed are guide lines. The yeast will end up somewhere around that depending on several factors. Each batch can vary a little.

As Maylar said. Stabilize and backsweeten according to your taste. Some honey is more tart/acidic than others. So a certain gravity, say 1010 for example, will seem more or less sweet depending on how acidic your particular honey is.

Same for yeast. For instance D21 presents the honey nuances better than D47. So, you may like one of those at a little different gravity than the next.

By tapping out your yeast, and/or just stabilizing, you have total control of how sweet you like it. Remember, over time it will taste a little sweeter. You can always add more later. ANd some days you taste different than others. So don't make your final choice on just a single days tasting. Start low and sneak up on your final gravity over time.

I would take your stabilized mead. Place the same amount in 3-4 different glasses. Add x to glass one. x.5 to second one. 2x to the third, ect. Now you have clear cut examples and can A/B them to ech other. That will help a lot. You will also then know how much you need to add to your main batch. by doing the math.

MrMooCow
01-07-2017, 11:58 AM
But Squatchy, math is /hard/.... ;)

I agree with the above. My only addition would be that if/when you decide to do more complex meads, you back sweeten with the same combination of sugars you started with. E.G. blueberry juice and honey, or malt sugars and honey, etc.

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Squatchy
01-07-2017, 12:17 PM
But Squatchy, math is /hard/.... ;)

I agree with the above. My only addition would be that if/when you decide to do more complex meads, you back sweeten with the same combination of sugars you started with. E.G. blueberry juice and honey, or malt sugars and honey, etc.

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That is what I do as well, mostly. It's not set in stone. Here's an example. Maybe if your finished with your mead is at the stage you want to back sweeten and you want to use honey. It's not unusual for me to have several varietals of honey laying around the house. After considering my finished profile prior to back sweetening, I may feel one varietal will add a better fraction to my finished mead than would the one I used as my base.

I have found it's often nice to add some darker honey with a lighter one. Maybe a buckwheat addition would be appropriate, in a cyser for example, if was needing a better anchor in the honey fraction. Or maybe a citrus piece to brighten up a dark brooding mead with not much bouquet.

The nice thing is we have the freedom to move around as needed. :)

MrMooCow
01-07-2017, 01:38 PM
That is what I do as well, mostly. It's not set in stone. Here's an example. Maybe if your finished with your mead is at the stage you want to back sweeten and you want to use honey. It's not unusual for me to have several varietals of honey laying around the house. After considering my finished profile prior to back sweetening, I may feel one varietal will add a better fraction to my finished mead than would the one I used as my base.

I have found it's often nice to add some darker honey with a lighter one. Maybe a buckwheat addition would be appropriate, in a cyser for example, if was needing a better anchor in the honey fraction. Or maybe a citrus piece to brighten up a dark brooding mead with not much bouquet.

The nice thing is we have the freedom to move around as needed. :)
That is a fantastic idea. Too bad I don't have a sensitive enough palate. I'll just have to remember to kidnap and lock you in my basement before the next round of back sweetenings. ;)

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Squatchy
01-07-2017, 01:50 PM
LOL. I bet you have a better palate than you might think.

I think for all of us it comes down to being equipped. The first contest I helped judge I found I ran out of words before the competition was over. It helped a lot to get a hold the different flavor wheels. This helped to differentiate flavors and smells on a smaller scale. In other words I had the smell but the wheel helped me to split it up in smaller segments. That gave me mope words that were more specific.

Example: Big word, Darker sugars. Little words that are in the big word. Brown sugar, butterscotch, caramel, creme bruleigh (sp) Faun (sp) maple, molasses, bourbon, mocha, vanilla, coffee ect.

So as you can see. The wheels will broaden your vocabulary and help you to be more expressive. It helps to better pick out the exact flavors your smelling as well. I would encourage everyone to take of advantage of all the different wheels that are available to help define flavors and aromas. As well as give you the descriptive's to express these things.

This will also give you more confidence