Sparkling Sweet Mead?
I purchased a mead kit from Northern Brewer, and am a little confused by it. I have done everything according to the instruction. the mead has been in the secondary for 3 months now. It's about time for me to think about bottling. Problem is, since this is a sweet mead, am I right to assume that the yeast has maxed out the alcohol level? so, if i do add the priming sugar during the bottling process wouldn't the yeast already maxed out and won't do much to carb the mead? 2nd question, IF the yeast are still healthy enough to carb the bottles, so.. I would end up with a sparkling mead that is not so clear? since the yeast will throw sediments in the bottle? what would you guys do for this kit? prime or not prime?
Thank you and apologize for the long post in advance.
Here's the instructions.
Curt & Kathy's Sweet Varietal Mead
Batch Size - 5 Gallons
15lb of honey
4 sachets of Court & Kathy's Nutrient Blend
1 Vial of Go-Ferm rehydration nutrient, packed in a sterile 60ml vial.
2 packets of yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122 "Narbonne"
3.75 gallons of clean chlorine-free water
1. Carefully sanitize all the equipment that will come in contact with the mead must.
2. Fill a sink or coller with hot tap water and saok honey containers to make the honey easier to pour.
3. Fill fermenter with 3 gallons of room temperature water.
4. Add the contents of one sachet of Court & Katy's Nutrient Blend to the water and stir before honey is added.
5. Boil 0.75 gallons of remaining water.
6. While water is coming to a boil add honey to the fermenter containing 3 gallons of water.
7. Take the boiled water and carefully pour a small amount into each empty honey container.
8. Replace covers and shake to dissolve remaining honey. Be carefull, pressure will build in containers.
9. Pour the warm water and dissolved honey into the fermenter.
10. Stir until all honey is dissolved and well mixed. This may take 5 to 15min, possibly longer.
11. Fill a pint glass about one-third full of warm water. Add both yeast packets, and the vial of Go-Ferm to the water. Let them stand for 10-15min.
12. After 15 mins, stir the mixture into a slurry. Carefully pour the yeast slurry into the fermentor.
13. Insert sanitized airlock and locate carboy in an area that is 65-70 degF.
14. Fermentation should start within 24hrs.
Add nutrient vials following the schedule below. Remember to carefully sanitize all equipment used to stir the mead for each nutrient addition.
- add one sachet of Court & Kathy's Nutrient Blend 24 hours after yeast pitch and stir.
- add one sachet of Court & Kathy's Nutrient Blend 48 hours after yeast pitch and stir.
- add one sachet of Court & Kathy's Nutrient Blend 72 hours after yeast pitch and stir.
When fermentation stops and the specific gravity as measured by a hydrometer is stable, carefully siphon the mead into a santized secondary fermenter. Leave as much sediment as possible in the primary fermenter. Let the mead clarify in the secondary fermenter for three months. You may wish to add a fining agent such asa isinglass to facilitate clearing.
Bottling (this is where i am getting confused):
Sanitize siphoning and bottling equipment and bottle. Carefully siphon the mead to a bottling bucket.
Add priming solution to the mead in the bottling bucket before filling the bottles. To make a priming solution, bring 1 pint of water to a boil for 10min. add 3/4 cup of priming sugar to this boiled water and stir to dissolve. Allow the mixture to cool for 30min. Gently stirthe solution into the mead in the bottling bucket.
Your first question is yes. Your yeast are too pooped to create Pop.
about your only hope now is to keg and force carb, then bottle.
I have really come to prefer basic mead still. Some fruity versions are ok all fizzy, but I sure wouldn't ever carbonate a whole batch.
Since the kit was purchased from NB, I thought they would not make mistakes like that. I'll just start concentrating on clearing it as much as possible, then bottle.
Don't be in too big of a hurry to bottle....
just let it hang out for 6 months or so in secondary....then bottle if you choose.
It will be good, and I don't see that you've made any horrible mistakes.
What were your gravity readings? They'll tell you for sure if it's OK to bottle. :D
its possible the yeast could ferment the corn sugar, as its super simplistic structure makes it easily fermentable...moreso than honey.
its hard to say though.
Its definitely easier to force carb a sweet mead in the keg and then bottle it, IF you have the ability to do so.
hm... corn sugar easier to ferment than honey. But wouldn't the alcohol content from the 15lbs of honey have "killed" the yeasts? or does it just make them "go to sleep"??
hb99, I haven't bothered taking gravity readings yet. Since it's going to sit for at least another couple months before I am going to do the last racking and add the clarifying agent.
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