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Thread: How to stabilize without adding sulfite?

  1. Default How to stabilize without adding sulfite?

    Is there anyway to stabilize mead without adding sulfite or any other chemicals?
    Seems like cold crashing is one way but it doesn't guarantee stop in fermentation.
    Help appreciated!

  2. #2
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    This has come up a lot lately. You can serch for a more detailed response because at least i have already answered this a couple more times.
    For reliable results only sulphites are really the method. Others, less reliable are

    Filtration
    Fortification (but over 18-19% to make sure it wont referment)
    Cold crashing and fining agents and racking. But this is not really reliable.
    Ferment until the yeast tap out because they cant keep fermenting (they reach their abv tolerance). Some people have done this, even myself with different results. Sometimes its ok, but if you change the bottles to higher temperatures or dilute the mead after the fermentation, it can cause bottle bombs.

    Again all of this is not safe if you plan to backsweeten. Sulphites are found in most foods, so unless you really are allergic i suggest you use them or stick to drier meads. I understand not wanting to use chemicals but in the end if you want sweet meads...

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    .5 micron filtration is supposed to filter out all organisms both yeast and bacteria.
    2 micron filters out yeast only.
    If dry you can get by with just fining agents.

    If you want to backsweeten, I would recommend:
    1) a lower ABV (13-15%) mead and ferment to poop out of the yeast AND
    2) cold crash for 2 weeks and rack, THEN
    3) filter: preferably with 0.5micron but 1-2 MiGHT be enough.

    If you do all 3 in theory you should have no problem backsweening.
    2/3 would be a questionable but possibly could work.

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    Seems like a good plan then would be to...

    1. Ferment to 1.000 or below

    2. Cold crash for at least two weeks and rack off

    3. Filter twice. Once for coarse particulate and then once for fine particulate.

    4. Keep stored on the cooler side.

    5. Fortify if you don't think you filtered well enough or just want to play it extra safe. This seems counterintuitive to how I want my mead, though.


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    …fermentation and plant use – as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on our life path – are an inescapable part of our exploration of what it means to be human; that, in fact, our humanness (as we now understand it) could not have occurred without the gift of fermentation or plants.
    ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner

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    Yes but I forgot one other option as an alternative:
    1) ferment to dry and
    2) backsweeten with non-fermentable such as lactose and/or sugar substitute

    With this approach you would need to add one vanilla bean per gallon to soften minimal flavors of lactose. Plus vanilla by its very nature has some sweetness to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    Yes but I forgot one other option as an alternative:
    1) ferment to dry and
    2) backsweeten with non-fermentable such as lactose and/or sugar substitute

    With this approach you would need to add one vanilla bean per gallon to soften minimal flavors of lactose. Plus vanilla by its very nature has some sweetness to it.
    You are right, i forgot. Nonfermentables such as lactose (altough other bacteria can ferment lactose, but not yeast) or stevia is an option. Altough he asked about "stabilizing", if you want sweet this is an option.

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    My favorite non-fermentable sweetener is Xylitol. I hate artificial sweeteners because of the aftertaste and Xylitol has none. It's an organic sugar alcohol made from birch trees. With my ciders, I find that 3 TBSP per gallon is semi-sweet. Be aware though that it's toxic to dogs - so if that's an issue for you then find something else.
    Dave from New Haven County

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    For those wanting to use sulfites, here is how to do it right...

    http://www.meadmaderight.com/adding-sulfite.html


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    …fermentation and plant use – as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on our life path – are an inescapable part of our exploration of what it means to be human; that, in fact, our humanness (as we now understand it) could not have occurred without the gift of fermentation or plants.
    ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner

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