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Old 10-16-2010, 05:45 AM   #1
solusveritas
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Default Sparkling Mead Questions

This will be my first attempt at making a mead sparkling. Is there a certain technique or process I need to follow? I have about a gallon and a half of cyser I'm going to try this on. How much honey should I use for this amount of mead? Or should I use corn sugar? Do I add the honey (or sugar) into the carboy and mix it in, or rack the mead onto the honey and then bottle it? Thanks for any input.

PS I'm using old Corona bottles for this, hope those will be ok for this.

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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It's quite normal, when making a sparkling wine, to make it as a dry, still product and then use "methode Champenoise" to make it sparkling.

As you won't have the kind of kit that "they" use to do this in a commercial way, then you're gonna have to probably just make it as still mead, then when bottling, prime the bottles with either honey or corn sugar.

I have no idea about what sort of pressure the Corona bottles can handle, so I'd suggest making it dry and still, and then just racking it (or even using finings) to clear it (no sulphite or sorbate). Then priming with a 1/4 teaspoon of either (the honey could cause a little bit of a haze, but that should drop out).

You're probably gonna have to age it both in bulk and then in bottles.

As for how much honey etc, well I'd suspect you're gonna have to measure the gravity of the apple juice, then add honey a bit at a time, checking the gravity in between. A starting gravity of about 1.090 will give you 12% ABV if fermented dry, it depends on the yeast but something like Lalvin 71B would be good as it will metabolise some of the malic acid found in apple juice.

Dunno if any of that's helpful ????

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fatbloke

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Old 10-18-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, it sounds pretty helpful to me.

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Old 10-18-2010, 01:05 AM   #4
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I'm assuming that most sparking wines(champagne), as well as sparkling mead are dry, as having a sweet wine it would be impossible to bottle condition without exploding the bottle. By letting the yeast ferment out all the sugar you could prime and bottle and let it condition without causing the bottles to explode.

Is it possible to get a sparking sweet mead by force carbing in a keg, and then using a beer gun to bottle?

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:18 AM   #5
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Is if you plan to carb in a keg what PSI do you think would be good and for how many days?

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dummkauf View Post
I'm assuming that most sparking wines(champagne), as well as sparkling mead are dry, as having a sweet wine it would be impossible to bottle condition without exploding the bottle. By letting the yeast ferment out all the sugar you could prime and bottle and let it condition without causing the bottles to explode.

Is it possible to get a sparking sweet mead by force carbing in a keg, and then using a beer gun to bottle?
I'm planning to do some sparkling mead champagne-style in the future, just for the sake of doing it.

Now the champagne houses do a complicated process after secondary fermentation in bottle to get all the yeast into the neck of the bottle, then freeze the neck, open the bottle and the pressure shoots out the yeast cake. After this they stop the wine flow as quick as possible but they do lose some 50-100ml of volume in this step.

The missing wine is replaced with some sort of syrup (exact ingredients is a secret) which among other things, sweetens the champagne. Now the champagne is ready to drink but is often aged still more.

Now what I don't understand about this step is why this step doesn't start a tertiary fermentation, but apparently it doesn't. Does anyone know for sure? The only things I can think of are that either the added syrup includes stabilizers or the wait between bottling and de-gorging is so long (typically 15-18 months) that the old yeast has no life in it to restart fermentation.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:55 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that I have never made or even tasted mead in my life. However I would suggest that you get the mead to where you want it dryness wise then sweeten it with wine conditioner ( non fermentable mixture) OR sweeten it with splenda or some other sugar substitute. THEN boil some corn sugar ( use the calculator below to determine how much) in water and pour that into a bottling bucket... then rack your mead onto the priming sugar and bottle it in your corona bottles. IF you follow the calculator recommendations the corona bottles will be fine.. If you try to get the mead like a champagne then no, they will blow I would think.


http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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I've never had any problems with Corona bottles.

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