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    Unless I missed something it would seem that you have waited 6 months after fermentation to add sorbate. Generally it is considered a good idea to add your sorbate with your first dose of sulfate when racking from your primary fermenter.


    As far as backsweetening you will be adding much less honey and you will have some ethanol to help dissolve.

    I would put the honey in then rack about 1/2 of your must onto it and stir slowly. Once dissolves transfer over the rest.

    My 2 cents

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk

  2. #42
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    Thank you for the advice. I must have missed that about sorbate. I always thought it was a very late addition. So, if your sorbating at the first rack, presumably 2-4 weeks after pitching yeast, how much longer after that should I wait to backsweeten?

  3. Default

    Just to be clear it is after fermentation is complete and when a stable gravity has been reached. Then rack and stabilize.

    Personally I usually let things sit for at least a few months and taste when I rack off of the fine lees and decide what I want to do at that point.

    Oak, backsweeten, add spices/fruit or just age as is for longer.

    I find it takes around 6 months for most of my meads to stop changing/matuting so I can reliably make changes. The mead will continue to change after this point but it is usually less dramatic.

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk

  4. #44
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    I'm a little upset with myself. I used the calculator to determine how much honey I needed to backsweeten my mead to my desired level, 1.015 for a moderate sweet wine. I stirred it in until completely dissolved, added my adjusted sulfites and left it alone for a couple weeks.

    I came back remeasured the gravity and it wasn't where I wanted it. So I figured it didn't all disintegrate. I stirred again and left it for a week. It didn't do anything. So I thought I must have calculated something wrong despite checking my math on 2 different apps with the same results. I added more honey to make the difference and waited a couple weeks. Today I measured it and it's at 1.022 - dang. Other than blending it with another dry wine, is there anything I can do to bump the residual sugar down a little? I have no idea how this happened.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    I'm a little upset with myself. I used the calculator to determine how much honey I needed to backsweeten my mead to my desired level, 1.015 for a moderate sweet wine. I stirred it in until completely dissolved, added my adjusted sulfites and left it alone for a couple weeks.

    I came back remeasured the gravity and it wasn't where I wanted it. So I figured it didn't all disintegrate. I stirred again and left it for a week. It didn't do anything. So I thought I must have calculated something wrong despite checking my math on 2 different apps with the same results. I added more honey to make the difference and waited a couple weeks. Today I measured it and it's at 1.022 - dang. Other than blending it with another dry wine, is there anything I can do to bump the residual sugar down a little? I have no idea how this happened.
    No.

    Why didn't you read it after the first add? It will show on the hydrometer right away.
    Acid adjustments could make it seem a little less sweet even without changing the gravity
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #46
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    I didn't read it immediately after the first add as I felt the honey may not have fully disintegrated evenly throughout. How would this have changed things though? I still did a reading a couple weeks later before deciding to add more honey.

    My PH is at 3.51. it already has a nice bite to it. I'm not sure I'd make it more acidic unless you feel I should.

    It sounds like I'll have to blend this with another wine then. I'm so irritated that I got this wrong. I'm not sure how this happened.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    I didn't read it immediately after the first add as I felt the honey may not have fully disintegrated evenly throughout. How would this have changed things though? I still did a reading a couple weeks later before deciding to add more honey.

    My PH is at 3.51. it already has a nice bite to it. I'm not sure I'd make it more acidic unless you feel I should.

    It sounds like I'll have to blend this with another wine then. I'm so irritated that I got this wrong. I'm not sure how this happened.
    I misread the post and didn't realize you measured it beforehand on the second add.

    I always do acid trials to see if it gets better with the correct acid and correct amount
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. #48
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    I'm going to try to make time this weekend to experiment with blending my mead to get the sweetness down. I have a bone-dry batch of Francesca (white) wine. My plan is to use a graduated cylinder or beaker and to start playing with different blend ratios until I'm satisfied with the result. Once I'm happy with the exact ratio, the following weekend I'll blend the full batch and immediately bottle. Does this sound like a good plan?

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by That1Guy4Ever View Post
    I'm going to try to make time this weekend to experiment with blending my mead to get the sweetness down. I have a bone-dry batch of Francesca (white) wine. My plan is to use a graduated cylinder or beaker and to start playing with different blend ratios until I'm satisfied with the result. Once I'm happy with the exact ratio, the following weekend I'll blend the full batch and immediately bottle. Does this sound like a good plan?
    Check this out it a piece I wrote before

    How to do intelligent acid additions
    RYAN CARLSONˇMONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2018ˇ

    heres a copy and paste from a piece I wrote for another group I'm in. Hope you like it. Talking acid additions how to and blending meads how to.
    So I have a few hours of respite between pain pills that I can sit in my chair and type on my keyboard. So I thought I would bring this to you guys as I promised.
    Incidentally. This same approach will work just the same if you were doing blending of meads together, or, * if you are doing an acid test.
    First off I want to say that generally, you will find that the same acid that is located in your adjuncts in the must will match best to your flavor profile. That's not always the case. But it happens enough that I at least do a down and dirty test first to see if perhaps the mead I'm working on happens to be one of the few that an opposing acid works better for some unknown reason. So what I mean here is that if your adjuncts naturally have tartaric acid in it. Common sense would suggest that tartaric acid would be the best choice. But sometimes I find that even if my fruit has tartaric acid in it naturally. That for some reason malic seems to taste the best in the test. So before you settle down on one acid over the other do a quick unmetered acid test on the fly just to see if by chance your mead might be the oddball that wants a different acid for some reason. I would also say to toss in the trash any acid blend you probably have sitting around the house as well as any citric acid you have in your possession. If you want and need citric. I strongly suggest that zest from one form or another will work so much better than the citric acid. That is unless you really like sour patch kids and stuff like this. Haha. A few peoples names just came to mind. You guys can do what you do. I won't bother you anymore about that! The acid blend is never a good choice in my mind because it's a blend of several acids usually and it just plain sucks. That's as politically correct as I can get here. I make up solutions on a small scale from time to time. Usually in pill jars. And once it starts to get nasty toss it and remake some new stuff. You will probably start to see crystals in some of it or black dots, and that's a sign it needs to be tossed out. Back to citrus. Don't be afraid to try different things. One of the best meads I ever made was a peach bouchett that I made. And ended up adding grapefruit zest and juice to it. That's somewhat unconventional. But I'm so glad I wasn't too closed minded to trust my hunch. This happens a lot as you get better. So trust your intuition.
    Here is a link to a chart that declares which acid is found in what fruit so you can know what to expect to work best. But as I just said it's not always the case. http://www.brsquared.org/wine/CalcInfo/FruitInf.htm…
    So now that you can find out what kind of acid is in your fruit. It's now time to figure what amount sits the best with your palate.
    So anytime we are doing bench trial, the idea is to determine on a small scale what we need to add to out large batch to make it as good as we can get it.
    So to do this. We have to be able to calculate things based on some kind of metric that works best for you. I used to think that I was strange in that I took what I learned in school. And over time transformed it into what I called to myself "hillbilly math" only to find out from my son. That much of the math my grandchildren are learning is what I came to create on my own over time. Hillbilly Math. I thought I was stupid for doing this. And found out that lots of people massage math around in there head to get the answers and that I should consider that as something smartish people do. Rather than working a system that works less comfortable for them.
    So any way. We need to have a way to know how much acid we have in a set amount of water. And Tom Repas has given us the same piece I was going to provide so we won't need to go over that again. Just look in the above to catch that info if you haven't already. And here is an example.
    10% solution. 1 tsp=5ml= approx 5 grams. If you mix 1 tsp acid in 10 tsp of water, you have a 10% solution. By weight, add 5g acid to 50g water.
    There are approx 20 drops (from an eyedropper) in 1 ml.
    When you put your glasses out, measure the volume either by volume or weight. 50 or 100 ml makes the math easy to adjust your total batch accurately.
    Example. Your batch is 5US gallons = 18.9litres which is 18,900 grams. You have a 50ml sample that you choose 3 drops of acid to be the sweet spot. So 18,900 / 50 = 378
    378 x 3 = 1134 (drops to treat the total batch)
    1134(drops) / 20(drops in a ml)= 56.7 ml or 11 and 1/3 tsp’s of the 10% solution to treat 18.9 litres
    Now that we have the first part down. We need to add it to another set metric now so we can eventually do our hillbilly math to figure how much we need in whatever size batch we are adjusting. So you can choose whatever parameter you want to work in, but it's easiest to use the metric system if you can because it works so much better than our stupid American units.
    So. Take several glasses of the exact shape and size. (this is extremely important). Otherwise, all bets are off. The reason is because of the need for consistency, for the sake of the math. But also, for the purpose of how you perceive the mead on the nose and on your pallet. So if you don't have a good set or two of the same glass that will give you the best experience during the presentation. You need to kitty up and buy some. I think something very similar to this works best for what we are wanting to accomplish. Some shape similar to these
    https://www.istockphoto.com/…/whiske...asses-g…
    https://www.replacements.com/p/libbe...8230;/67806961
    Now that we have the same shape and size of several pieces of glass we can move forward with the testing.
    Place in front of your at least 5 or 6 glasses. And for acid testing, I would fill each of the glasses with 1 oz. Two oz if more than one of you are doing the tasting portion of the test.
    Fill each glass with the same amount of mead. Now you will always need to have access to the control. So use one of the "test" glasses. Or just have some in a wine glass on snifter or what you drink form usually. We will want to come back to this as our reference the entire time.
    So now, after you have lined up the test glasses in a line from left to right with the exact same portion of mead in each glass. Add 1 drop in number one (the first of the testers and not the control batch). And 2 drops in number two. 3 drops in number three and so forth. After you get used to your specific size of pours you will soon learn how many test glasses you usually need to get across the entire spectrum.
    This is very important and many people. Even ones who employ this method fail to take advantage of. I teach people not just to stop adding acid when you have found your sweet spot. But to go one or two glasses beyond the sweet spot. Why is this important you ask? If all you ever taste is up to where you decide is best. You never get a chance to develop a solid place that is beyond the sweet spot. This is important because you will develop a hard line on both sides of the sweet spot. This will help you if you ever become a judge, and is just as crucial for you to recognize in your own concoctions. In fact. I think this is a good thing to do in every add you make in your meads if you can somehow save a little sample for a little while that has too much of the add you are shooting for balance with. This will do wonders for educating your palette. I think it's imperative to taste everything you put in your mead. Including Starsan, K2CO3, sulfites, sorbate, etc. How can you possibly think it's ok not to know what something in your mead tastes like. I'm talking even taste your PBW or other caustic cleansers and such. If you don't know what something tastes like. And if you don't know what too much of something taste like. You're missing out, potentially on half of what might be found in any mead on any table in your entire mead experience.
    Ok. So now we have x amounts of glasses in front of us with exponentially more acid in it. Start at number one and taste it. Move to number two and so forth until you get to, what seems initially at first, the correct balance point. Remember to revisit your control taste as often as you need to continue to be aware of where you first started out at. So now. We have a base flavor that we started with. A place that feels pretty close or exact on point as to where we think is "best", and we also have a taste of what too much is to help us establish the barrier on the other side of good. So in theory. You can now be able to figure how much based on the proportions that worked on your trial.
    But hold on here cowboy. Do you know that your tongue works different day in and day out? And one thing might have tasted great yesterday, and you come back to it today and don't remember it tasting like it does today. That's very common for all of us. So here's a hint you might want to consider. I would say, depending on how anal you are about your mead. You may want to revisit this again tomorrow or even the day after as well. Just in case the first day was an off day. Or it presented differently that day because you ate pizza, or chili for dinner and that affected how the test presented on that one day.
    So with this in mind, I would suggest stopping on day one where you think it is good. But then verify this on another later day to make sure you still feel the same about your first choice. Before you commit to the addition in earnest. This redundancy will protect you to an extent.
    So here is another safe gap tip. Let's say you have done what I just said and had spent enough time that you feel very good about your math and the size of your add. I would still suggest that when it comes time to do you big add to adjust whatever size batch you are making. To again sneak up on it and use a couple days to get there. Let's say you want to use ten units of acid in your batch for the TOTAL add. So how about the first day we add 8 of the ten units. And taste it tomorrow or the next day to make sure we still feel the need to add the other two units to hit the mark. Before we end up committing to a choice you might regret next weekend. You may not feel the need to be so cautious. But it might be a good idea to learn to walk before taking to the high hurdles in the 440m in the Olympics.
    So lastly. You might need to play with your powder add to make your acid solution a bit to get the correct amount to start out with. Let me explain. I said in the above to add one drop, then two and so forth. If you are finding you need to add several drops just to start to move the dial. Or have to add several drops between on add and the next because the add is coming up short in its concentration so much that you have to add many drops between each add to taste the difference. Then if this is the case. You might want to double up the amount of powder you make your acid slurry in, to begin with.
    I think if you can find eye droppers, burets or any other way to measure you adds in an exact amount this will help you much to do the math correctly.
    So now onto a bit different topic but still very similar. Peter Bakulic refined my process on this.
    When blending two meads together, we do very similarly. Take the same glasses. Or maybe you might need a bigger set of glasses. But remember to keep a control of each mead on the very end of the lineup. Now we have mead A and mead B. Control A in the first glass. Second glass has 20% A and 80% B. Glass number 3 has 40% A and 60% B. Glass 4 has a 60-40% blend in it. Glass 5 has an 80-20% blend in it and finally the 100 % B sample.
    Now you can taste these to find the sweet spot. If you're really anal. *cough* You can find the sweet spot. And once you get there, you can restart the trial over but use 10% increments instead of 20 % increments to be more precise. And you don't have to totally start over because you already know where to start based on the 20% test you've already completed. The same thing holds true. Sneak up to it throughout a few days. And then when you think you have the finals stay. Get real close first and gradually sneak up the very final adjust using redundancy as a safeguard once more.
    I hope this helps.
    I'm not a math teacher and don't intend to get into that here. But if you have other types of questions or comments. Fire away
    BRSQUARED.ORG
    Sugar, Acid & Tannin Levels of Fruits @ Improved Winemaking
    Improved Winemak
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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