hist-brewing: Sweetening meads and hydrometer questions

WyteRayven at aol.com WyteRayven at aol.com
Tue Jul 11 10:41:40 PDT 2000

Hi all,

I have a few questions about sweetening my meads.

If I am trying to keep the fermentation going until the alcohol content gets too strong for the yeast, how often do I need to sweeten it? My thought is to rack every two weeks, or when fermentation slows down, and top off with a mixture of honey and water. This usually ends up being (I'm guessing) 3-4 cups for one gallon. I make one gallon batches due to space constraints.

Also, after fermentation has stopped and I want to sweeten the mead ( I hate dry, I like fairly sweet drinks)how do I go about this. If I pour the mead into a pot and add honey-water, won't I risk oxidation? How much honey-water should I add to a 12 oz bottle to make a semi sweet mead? How much should I add to make a sweet mead?

I also asked a question on the SCA-Brew list about how to read hydrometers, and someone was kind enough to post a table for me, but the table doesnt show how to break it down for specific temperatures. It lists a number of temperatures but the must temperatures never seem to fall within the temperatures listed. Am I just supposed to round up to the nearest temperature?

If I start a mead, and take a hydrometer reading, and then at the first racking I sweeten the mead, do I take a second reading before or after I sweeten? If I then sweeten a third time, do I use the original hydrometer reading for comparison, or the second reading? 

Is there a book or a web page that explains hydrometer use more in depth? The instructions that mine came with are woefully inadequate.



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