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Does back sweetening affect ABV

Hi guys,

I am new to brewing and this will be my third brew and first mead.

I am planning on making a mead, allowing it to ferment in primary and then racking it to a glass carboy with frozen blueberries to add some body before bottling till christmas.

I was wondering if the addition of fruit will affect my ABV and if so how would you plan accordingly.

I have a range of up to 17.5% with my yeast and I was hoping for an ABV of 16%. The OG I think I need is 1115 to 1120 however with the addition of fruit I am not sure if thats going to be too high.

Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks all

Backsweetening should not affect ABV, in that you are doing something to prevent the added sugars from fermenting. This could be achieved by adding a non-fermentable sugar, pasteurizing, adding k-meta/sorbate, or just going over the alcohol tolerance of your yeast strain. But if you aren’t careful, the added sugars will ferment and could carbonate and/or shatter your bottles.

In practice, it’s REALLY HARD to get a mead up to that ABV. Chances are that it will stall around 14% unless you baby the yeast with nutrient and oxygen additions, or step feed it until it slowly makes it up to the maximum alcohol tolerance. I’m too lazy for that, so I figure I’ll just let it get up to 14-15% on its own, and whatever residual sugar is there will be there to stay. Of course, you’ll need to leave it in the fermenter a long time to be confident that it is done fermenting. You really don’t want the yeast to wake back up and decide to finish up whatever is left after you’ve packaged it.

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Ahh brilliant! So I can add the fruit and it will take on the properties and just sit around 14-15%. That is fine by me I wont be babying the yeast.

As for stopping the yeast from fermenting I would be pasturising it if I was going to stop it.

So, primary fermentation for a few weeks
Secondary fermentatiom for a few weeks
Check the gravity isnt changing and if its stopped boil it and then bottle till christmas :slight_smile:

Thank you very much!

The must has been pitched, OG 1.105 had to improvise a couple of airlocks with balloons but its looking pretty good :slight_smile:

Mead should be ready in 5 months or so! Thanks again @porkchop

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I wouldn’t worry about pasteurizing it… just let it ferment and leave it for a few months. Package it about a month before you want to drink it. That should be plenty of time to know that fermentation is done. Just keep in mind that it’ll get better and better with age.

Okay doke shall do :slight_smile:

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