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Thread: My mead is too sweet!

  1. Default My mead is too sweet!

    Here we go :

    2/13/2014:
    18 lbs orange blossom honey with 5.5 gallons water
    4 grams K metabisulfite
    20 grams (4 packs) Lavlin D-47 yeast (re-hydrated as per Lallemand instructions)
    3/4 tsp yeast nutrient
    2 grams K bicarbonate
    ambient temp 60 F
    Two days of twice daily aeration with 3/4 yeast nutrient (staggered nutrient addition)

    2/16/2016. Tossed in 6 vanilla beans (they were kinda old)

    3/31/2014 Racked to secondary

    2015: Got too busy at work and with my kids and forgot about it in the basement. I did make sure the airlock was always full of water! Ambient temp in basement was stable at 60-65 F. I added some K metabisulfite and K sorbate.

    Oh, and my hygrometer broke and I never measured the SG or FG. Oh well.

    3/8/2016. Beautiful pale orange color, ,amazing citrus aroma, clear, taste is amazing but it is just a bit too sweet.

    SO, I was thinking of adding some acid (citric, wine blend, etc). I was just wondering the best way to go about it. I was thinking of taking a teaspoon of acid and dissolving it in some water and adding to the keg, then mixing gently and tasting until the acid balances out the sweetness.

    I have backsweetened before, but never "back acided" before.

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
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    Adding acid seems like a reasonable thing to do as far as I'm concerned. Acidity balances out, and even lessen the perception of sweetness. It's reassuring that you say that your mead is "just a bit too sweet," since acid will only take you so far.

    Do you know the volume of your mead? My preferred approach to acid additions is to measure out several samples of mead, then add different amounts of acid to reach. Whichever one tastes best, I add half that mass/volume to the whole batch. I then add more acid until I get to the mass/volume of the sample I liked the best. After all, you don't want to overshoot.

    However much you add, let the mead age another month or so. The acid taste will mellow, and you may need to add more to balance the sweet.

  3. #3
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    Sounds to me like your D47 quit early on you. That yeast has done that to me before as well, but I've had really good results with it when I use it with the TOSNA protocol, which you can learn more about at www.meadmaderight.com.

    Speaking of the TOSNA protocol, and looking at your nutrient addition schedule, it looks to me like you WAY underfed your yeast, which likely contributed to it quitting early on you.

    At this point you have a few options if you don't think your mead will be enjoyable as sweet as it is:

    1. Save it and blend it with drier meads as needed.

    2. Visit the Scott Labs website for instructions on restarting stuck ferments.

    3. Attempt to restart by adding some organic nutrient (Fermaid-O or boiled bread yeast), and then introduce a large portion (perhaps 1/2 to 1 gallon) of an actively fermenting mead to try to get a jump start.

    Good luck!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given, waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood, a numerous band. It burned in his spirit to urge his folk to found a great building, a mead-hall grander than men of the era ever had heard of, and in it to share with young and old all of the blessings the Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers." - Beowulf

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice! I have about 5 gallons in a keg. Yes I think the D 47 quit on me since I have done the exact same recipe in the past and it came out perfect (won a few ribbons, not too sweet). I just tasted some and it tastes very good, but yes just a little too sweet.

    I'll experiment with a small volume and some acid and if that does not work, I'll try to re-ferment.

    Another though I have it to make a braggot. I did this once with orange blossom mead and a belgian wit. It was incredible and might be a good solution. I have a mango mead that is way too sweet that I mix with sparkling water and use for mixed drinks.

    Thanks guys!






    Quote Originally Posted by Mazer828 View Post
    Sounds to me like your D47 quit early on you. That yeast has done that to me before as well, but I've had really good results with it when I use it with the TOSNA protocol, which you can learn more about at www.meadmaderight.com.

    Speaking of the TOSNA protocol, and looking at your nutrient addition schedule, it looks to me like you WAY underfed your yeast, which likely contributed to it quitting early on you.

    At this point you have a few options if you don't think your mead will be enjoyable as sweet as it is:

    1. Save it and blend it with drier meads as needed.

    2. Visit the Scott Labs website for instructions on restarting stuck ferments.

    3. Attempt to restart by adding some organic nutrient (Fermaid-O or boiled bread yeast), and then introduce a large portion (perhaps 1/2 to 1 gallon) of an actively fermenting mead to try to get a jump start.

    Good luck!

  5. #5

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    I might suggest steering away from "acid blend" and adding either malic acid or maybe even better tataric acid. You may find using lemon zest a good choice. That would actually be my first test to see if that works.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6
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    What Squatchy says. And goes without saying - although I will say it - that you could test whether the addition of acidity (whether lemon juice or malic or tartaric) works for you by bench testing through the use of small samples of known and specific quantities of the mead and adding specific and known quantities of each

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    What Squatchy says. And goes without saying - although I will say it - that you could test whether the addition of acidity (whether lemon juice or malic or tartaric) works for you by bench testing through the use of small samples of known and specific quantities of the mead and adding specific and known quantities of each
    Thanks again!

    It's always fun to experiment when it involves drinking mead

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