View Full Version : How sweet is sweet?

10-10-2004, 01:50 AM
I realize this is a very subjective question but I would like an average consenses. Personally I break residual sugar and sweetness as related to hydrometer reading like this:
Dry Mead 1.005 or less
Semi-Sweet 1.006 - 1.015
Sweet 1.016 -1.025
Very Sweet 1.026 - 1.030
Dessert Mead 1.031 and higher
This is just my personal opinion and scale and taste experience.
I would be interested in the personal tastes and scales of others who have made or tasted a variety of meads with varying Final SG readings. I am not looking for aggreement but rather your perception to arrive at a more reasonable scale when making meads for others. There are no wrong answers.
Thanks in advance for your input.

10-10-2004, 08:03 AM
I recently ordered a couple of bottles of Bunratty mead from the local store and was a bit surprised as to how sweet it was when compaired to most of the wines I'm used to drinking. I should of done a specific gravity on it but was way too interested in the flavor to think of it untill it became too late. My first batch ended at 1.07 and seems quite sweet but the Bunratty mead was only a little less sweet with a white wine flavor. I'll start checking specific gravities on any comercial mead I come across and posting the results. Beeboy

10-10-2004, 08:33 AM
Beeboy wrote:

My first batch ended at 1.07 and seems quite sweet but the Bunratty mead was only a little less sweet with a white wine flavor.
Thanks Beeboy,
For the record was that 1.070 or 1.007? It seems to me you might have made a typo as 1.07 is cloyingly sweet.

10-11-2004, 05:02 AM
No the 1.07 was correct, had to dilute the mead while in the secondary a couple of times to get it that low, guess what I did with the extra. ;D The only reason the sweetness isn't totally overpowering is that the fruit gives the mead a tart flavor that kicks in almost as soon as you sip it. It's a prime example of mixing the ingredents first, read the directions second and figure what I did wrong third. I was aiming for something sweet and boy did I get it.
The comercial Bunratty mead didn't have much of a tart flavor which is why the sweetness was more apparent. I am also wondering if it was aged in charred oak because of it's flavor which was a bit like Jack Daniels. I'll be able to judge sweetness a little better after a couple more batches, maybe I should brew some one gallon batches just to experiment with sugar content and flavors. Just a thought. Beeboy

10-13-2004, 01:00 AM
Here's one I found on BJCP Guidelines for Mead.
It was a beer site.

dry: 0.990 - 1.010
semi-sweet: 1.010 - 1.025
sweet: 1.025 - 1.040+

Any other opinions would be appreciated.

11-01-2004, 07:59 AM
Is there a way to cut the sweetness down without diluting?

I have a mead I started about a month ago. Started at 1.140. Things got busy around here and I just racked to secondary yesterday. It was at 1.076. Obviously very sweet, almost sickeningly sweet. I would like to get it down a bit more, maybe in the 1.040 range. Since racking to secondary fermentation has started up again so we'll see where that takes it after a week or two.

If after a couple weeks it doesn't move much what are my options (if any) other than diluting? Do I repitch a new starter (afraid that will ferment it out too much), or what?

Any ideas will be appreciated. Thanks.

11-01-2004, 05:54 PM
jab, what yeast did you use?
What is it's alcohol tollerance?

My thoughts on this are to find out what your currently pitched yeast alcohol tollerance is and then go a step up from there if it finishes fermentation too sweet for your tastes.
Create a starter with the second yeast prior to pitching it.

Example, you have a yeast that has a tollerance for 12-14%. Pitch one that has a slightly higher tollerance such as 18%.

Here's a reference chart from Lallemand and their yeast products to give you a jumping off point for your calculations.

11-01-2004, 07:58 PM
It stuck on you. Should go down at least a 100 gravity points which puts it where you want it. Repitch with Ec-1118 or K1V-1116 and put in a hydrometer. When it gets to 1.040 then put carboy in refrigerator for 2 days. Yeast will go to sleep on bottom and then you can rack and stabilize with Sorbate and sulfite without it going dry.

11-02-2004, 10:09 AM
I used Montrachet which I believe has a tolerance of about 13%. I won't have a chance to do much with it until after the MeadFest, RealLife(tm) is getting in the way of the fun stuff again. If it hasn't dropped much I will re-pitch with something a little more aggressive.

Do I have any other options for stopping a fermentation than sulfite? I know one person who is waiting to taste who is allergic. If that is the only way then I can work around that probably.

Thanks for the tips BTW!

11-02-2004, 05:27 PM
You could always use the cold finning process. That's where you put your batch into the refrigerator at about 40 degrees and the yeast will become dormant and settle out. At which point you can take and rack off of them.

Would take about a day or two in the refrigerator to truly get the yeast to settle out.

Now, this isn't a guarantee that there isn't more suspended yeast in your batch once you've racked it, but it is a method that will make them go dormant faster.

11-02-2004, 06:58 PM
Filtering or heat are about your only other options to be on the safe side.

12-21-2004, 05:36 AM
Hey Joe,

Funny that you mention this. Here is what Ken says on page 64 of his book:

Dry meads: 0.990 - 1.006
Medium meads: 1.006 - 1.015
Sweet meads: 1.012 - 1.020
Dessert meads: 1.020+

Sorry for the very late reply to this thread. ;D ;)