View Full Version : Back to Basics - Stabilization

Chevette Girl
07-01-2016, 12:44 PM
So we talked to our very own WayneB about stabilization during the Back to Basics segment on the June 21 show.

The bottom line is if you're bottling something with any residual sugar (or if you need to backsweeten), you either need time or some other form to make sure you're not going to get bottle bombs.

We discussed waiting it out, racking and clearing, cold-crashing, filtration, and chemical stabilization using potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate, the standard one-two punch to knock out your yeast and keep it from getting silly ideas once its job is done.

If anyone has any more questions or needs further clarification on anything we said, here's the place to ask!

We will be discussing backsweetening on the show of July 5!

07-01-2016, 02:15 PM
Could you discuss if stabilization is necessary before adding fruit, in secondary?

07-01-2016, 03:17 PM
You did not say anything about aging and stabilization last time.
It seems that I have read about potassium sorbate does
not age well. It produces bubblegum flavors over time?
Campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite) does allow
the mead to age well. Can you discuss this and
how soon you can back sweeten after adding the two

Chevette Girl
07-02-2016, 01:11 AM
I haven't heard about this bubblegum flavour from sorbate, but if other bacteria get to it, it can taste like geraniums smell, so this is why you want to use the sulfites when you use the sorbate. I'll see if I can find anything on that in the meantime, and we'll make sure we discuss timing during the show. Personally, I always get airlock activity for a few days after stabilizing so I usually wait a week or two before backsweetening and then I check the SG a few times in the following weeks to make sure it is actually stabilized properly before I bottle.

And jflanigan, good question, you're right, we didn't really cover that in either the stabilization segment or either of the fruit segments of the show. The short answer is that it depends on whether you want a gentle fermentation of the fruit you add in secondary, or whether you are more interested in using the fruit to sweeten the must up a little and don't want it to ferment at all. Think of it like adding wine vs grape juice for how different the flavour would be in your mead.