Sweet mead help please

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Smoey

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Hi,
This is only my 3rd or 4th attempt at a mead but my first in a long time plus my first attempt at a sweet mead, so i was hoping for some guidance.
I'm looking to make a sweet mead with as little fuss as possible. The yeast I'm going to use apparently goes to 14% so i was wondering whether to aim for an OG 20-odd points over 14% in the hope that some of the sugars will be left over once the yeast surrenders. However, I'm worried that amount of sugar may stress the yeast and cause it to get stuck so as an alternative I was toying with the idea of aiming for an OG of around 1.060 to get me to around 8% and then once it's fully fermented, adding the same amount of honey and going again in the hope of hitting the 14% mark and leaving 15/20 points behind for sweetness.
Firstly, does that theoretically make sense or am I way off, and secondly what do you guys do/recommend?
Cheers,
Smoey
 

Hagrid

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I use between 2.5lbs & 3lbs of honey per DJ. I can't remember what my OG tends to be but I ferment somewhere around 1.000 or less and then add Potassium sorbate (youngs fermentation stopper) to stop any further fermentation before back-sweetening when I come to bottle. If you don't stop the fermentation then adding a fermentable sugar (such as honey) will kick off the fermentation again, which (if it's in the a bottle) you might not be aware of until it goes pop. The other option is to back sweeten with artificial sweeteners, but I have a passionate hatred towards them.

Enjoy and let us know how to get on.
 

GerritT

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Hi,
This is only my 3rd or 4th attempt at a mead but my first in a long time plus my first attempt at a sweet mead, so i was hoping for some guidance.
I'm looking to make a sweet mead with as little fuss as possible. The yeast I'm going to use apparently goes to 14% so i was wondering whether to aim for an OG 20-odd points over 14% in the hope that some of the sugars will be left over once the yeast surrenders. However, I'm worried that amount of sugar may stress the yeast and cause it to get stuck so as an alternative I was toying with the idea of aiming for an OG of around 1.060 to get me to around 8% and then once it's fully fermented, adding the same amount of honey and going again in the hope of hitting the 14% mark and leaving 15/20 points behind for sweetness.
Firstly, does that theoretically make sense or am I way off, and secondly what do you guys do/recommend?
Cheers,
Smoey

And Ken Schramm has written the book about making meads.
 

An Ankoù

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I make one 4-5 gallon batche of mead every couple of years or so. I start with three pounds to the gallon, plus the bit of citrus and yeast nutrient and let it nearly ferment out. Then I top up the fermenter with another jar of honey and a bit more nutrient and continue doing this until there's no more airlock activity. At this point I add another jar, leave for a while and bottle. I suppose if I added a couple of jars, I'd end up with even sweeter mead.
the advantage of this, is that the main bulk is brought to the boil and skimmed and allowed to cool, but the additions are not boiled and keeps the honey freshness. Is there bacteria in honey? Probably, but I've never had any go off and I never drink it until it's a year old.
 

dwhite60

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Ferment to dry. Then stabilize with campden and sorbate. Then backsweeten. This is as easy as it gets.
 

Ajhutch

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I like the method @An Ankoù said better than backsweetening. Having done both I think the method of maxing out the yeast gives a smoother flavour. Having said that, I actually like my mead dry as the residual honey flavour gives me the impression of sweetness anyway. I use a 2L growler with one jar of honey to make 2 750ml bottles. Two or three of those a year keeps me going, I’m the only one in the house drinking it.
 

An Ankoù

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I like the method @An Ankoù said better than backsweetening. Having done both I think the method of maxing out the yeast gives a smoother flavour. Having said that, I actually like my mead dry as the residual honey flavour gives me the impression of sweetness anyway. I use a 2L growler with one jar of honey to make 2 750ml bottles. Two or three of those a year keeps me going, I’m the only one in the house drinking it.
Try mixing it with a bit of crème de mûres or crème de cassis and some vodka; ratio 2:1:1. I'm sure you can get stuff like that in Waitrose. It's good for all sorts of ailments including chilblains. athumb..
You won't be the only one drinking it then!
 

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