Potassium Sorbate - Stabilizer for Backsweetening
Mead or wine made with our DIY kits will often finish semi-dry (meaning there's not a ton of residual sweetness in the finished product). Try back sweetening, a technique that uses Potassium Sorbate for brewing mead that's sweeter.
After fermentation is complete, Potassium Sorbate (a yeast growth inhibitor) is added to the carboy. This stabilizes the beverage so you can then add sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or fruit concentrates to the carboy. Potassium Sorbate prevents the yeast from re-fermenting in the presence of added sugars - so the sweetness remains in the finished product instead of being converted into alcohol!
Potassium Sorbate is often used in combination with a Campden Tablet (sterilant).
Potassium Sorbate doesn't kill yeast, but it does prevent yeast cells from multiplying and continuing to ferment. It can't stop an active fermentation that's already in progress, but it can prevent fermentation from re-starting when sugars are added.
Also useful even when not back sweetening, Potassium Sorbate helps stabilize wines and meads stored at room temperature over long periods of time. If the conditions are just right, trace amounts of yeast in bottles may begin to re-ferment. Adding a little Potassium Sorbate before bottling can eliminate this risk.
0.5 tsp (1.7 g) Potassium Sorbate - treats 1 gallon mead, wine or fruit wine.
2.5 tsp (9.1 g) Potassium Sorbate - treats 5 gallons
2. Stir 0.5 tsp Potassium Sorbate per gallon & let it stabilize the mead for 24 hrs with the airlock installed.
3. After 24 hrs, prepare the honey (or chosen sweetener) to be added to the fermenter. First, choose how much you'd like to use per gallon: 4 oz for light sweetness, 8 oz for medium sweetness or 12 oz for the most sweetness.
4. Dissolve the honey in 6 oz of hot water (per gallon of mead), then pour the dissolved honey/water mixture into the fermenter. Swirl to combine.
5. Bottle as usual!
2. Stir 0.25 tsp Potassium Sorbate per gallon & let it stabilize the mead for 24 hrs with the airlock installed.
3. After 24 hrs, bottle as usual!