[Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead

Nick Sasso grizly at mindspring.com
Sun Nov 25 20:02:57 PST 2007

-----Original Message-----
> I've never elsewhere read anything suggesting the sterilization of the
> before bottling - I presume this is to keep it sweet and not bubbly (or
> explosive). Is this common, and does the tablet affect the flavor at all?

This isn't sterilizing the brew.  To stop the yeast, use potassium sorbate
to put the yeast to sleep and then 36-48 hours later you can rack and filter
into another carboy or bottle for aging.

Adding campden can affect some people who have an allergy to the sulphites.
If you get a headache with sharp, stabbing pains from drinking things like
most domestic wines, particularly reds, you may be allergic to sulphites.
This is also a debatable topic   > > > > >

I have in long past used campden tablet to "sanitize" the finished mead of
any living yeasts.  You have to leave it to dissipate for a couple days,
though.  Did it once, and was not excited at all by it.  Stopping
fermentation entirely is a big bonus in establishing a consistent product
(see sulfites in commercial wine production), as it allows you to be sure
the specific gravity today will be the same in 2 months or 12 months.  A
sufficiently long bulk secondary and tertiary fermentation will allow a
great quantity more yeast to settle out of the mead.  Rack it off the lees
two, three or four times over a few months, and you can be more confident of
the final gravity being stable.  You will certainly have a relatively drier
finish than dead-stopping the yeast with a chemical, though, at a specified
final gravity, sugar/alcohol level.

Aging mead in bulk or in bottle will not kill yeast.  If more flocculate
out, you will get some autolysis (breakdown of the yeast bodies) that will
affect the taste very definitely.  Another reason to kill and drop out any
left-over yeasties.  Aging will also allow the breakdown of higher order
feusel alcohols an dtake the edge off the taste . . . smoothing it out and
allowing it to develop complex profiles.  Heavier the wine and higher
alcohol, the more value in aging.

niccolo difrancesco
once and always Knave of Grain

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