Anyone have experience/success bottle conditioning Mead for carbonation?

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Johan

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I'm new to mead but have been making sparkling hard cider for some time now. I bottle condition my cider to get a nice champagne-like carbonation. Can I use the same method for mead?
 

Lefou

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Yes, as long as you don't want a sweet mead...
I would usually agree in this case because mead is generally bottled, BUT ...

Mead can be artificially and SAFELY carbonated the same way as beer - if you are willing to use the extra effort and expense of Corney kegs and CO2. I've used PET bottles to make slightly carbed or petillant cider, but due to the unpredictability of when higher gravity meads are near finishing, it might be dangerous to bottle carb with glass.
When doing cider, I waited until my fermentation was near a gravity of 1.010 and then bottled to 750ml PET containers. This was much safer than using glass if an accident or a burst container resulted.

...but OP is considering champagne-level carbonation and I wouldn't recommend that at the homebrew level unless a reliable procedure was done with strong, reliable champagne bottles or pressurized kegs.
 
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Lefou

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There are European beers that are carbonated in the bottle.
One that comes to mind is a Belgian Trappist ale (Chimay) where an active portion of fermenting wort AT A KNOWN GRAVITY (speise) is added to the finished beer to get higher levels of carbonation. Quality control is very good and finished ABV levels are very predictable. This allows the final level of carbonation to be stable and safe.
The same process could be applied to cider and mead, but the fermentation process would have to be consistent and predictable to be safe in order to prevent accidents.
 
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Johan

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I can't say I've never had a bottle bomb while making sparkling cider, but I've accumulated about 3 cases of the bottles of carbonated French lemonade sold at Aldi. I've never burst one of them even with rather heavy back sweetening. They are rather stout.
I usually bottle cider at 1.020 SG and leave it for at least a week before chilling and imbibing.
 
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Johan

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Don't tell anyone, but I like those bottles better than the ones I bought at my friendly neighborhood HBS . Yesah the lemonade is good but some of the other flavors, pumpkin spice comes to mind, is better dumping down the drain and keeping the bottle.
 

biochemedic

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I would usually agree in this case because mead is generally bottled, BUT ...
Mead can be artificially and SAFELY carbonated the same way as beer - if you are willing to use the extra effort and expense of Corney kegs and CO2. I've used PET bottles to make slightly carbed or petillant cider, but due to the unpredictability of when higher gravity meads are near finishing, it might be dangerous to bottle carb with glass.
When doing cider, I waited until my fermentation was near a gravity of 1.010 and then bottled to 750ml PET containers. This was much safer than using glass if an accident or a burst container resulted.
My point was that if you want a sweet mead that is also carbonated, you pretty much have to use a force carb method, or perhaps start experimenting with unfermentable sugars (lactose, which I have successfully used with cider in the past, but not nearly as good as force carbed cider) or other sweeteners (stevia, etc., and there was a recent thread about Luo Han Guo, but I have no experience with it...). To do it any other way is potentially unsafe, and involves a lot of unknowns. Even in PET, if that 1.010 went to 1.000, you would be looking at something like 7-8 vol. of CO2! That is a *huge* amount of carbonation! (just search YouTube for dry ice bombs for potential results......if nothing else, it sounds like a lot of potential gushers.....)

I can't say I've never had a bottle bomb while making sparkling cider, but I've accumulated about 3 cases of the bottles of carbonated French lemonade sold at Aldi. I've never burst one of them even with rather heavy back sweetening. They are rather stout.
I usually bottle cider at 1.020 SG and leave it for at least a week before chilling and imbibing.
1.020 sounds even scarier! Even chilled, and in pretty bomber bottles...I'd be concerned that you may reach dangerous CO2 pressure levels...
 

karch

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Can you pasteurize mead to get both bottle carbed and sweet? If you can do it with cider, don't see why one can't with mead.
 
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