Mead Using Champagne Yeast???

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brewsbrothers

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Dose anyone know of any problems with brewing Mead using Champagne Yeast I have some left over and was thinking of trying my hand at some basic mead. I think it will end up dryer then most but any other problems??
 

chode720

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I have a mead that is 3 months old and still aging in my carboy that I made with Champagne Yeast. Yes, it ended up dry, but its starting to taste nice. Went from 1.103 down to about .998.

Just make sure you give it plenty of time to age, with the ABV so high, it will prob taste like paint thinner take longer than a 9-10% mead does to mellow
 

philrose

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Dry mead yeast is anywhere from $.75 to $3.

I don't know if cost is your reasoning here but if it is, honey is pretty expensive stuff. the yeast is an afterthought for cost.

There's a lot of oohs and aahs about champagne yeast with new brewers for some reason, but most of the experts agree that with proper yeast handling and fermentation temperatures, most yeasts will perform just fine even in somewhat high level alcohol environments.

Try going through the sticky, its got some great info for you
 

MrJinchao

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Actually, "The Complete Meadmaker" is a book that talks about using this yeast for meads. Just make sure you use enough honey to accomidate the yeast with a tolerence of 13%. If you like it dry, then keep it as such however, if you want to have a sweeter mead then you can use more honey than the yeast can turn into alcohol. Or you can back sweeten the mead. I have also heard of using campden after you ferment to where you want it and it should stop the fermentation. Others talk about pasturization when you hit your target sweetness and alcohol level. I hope this helps.
 

TipsyDragon

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Large enough doses of Camped will kill the yeast and stop fermentation. but i believe its more common practice to use Potassium Sobate to stop a fermentation.

anyway. no problems using Champagne Yeast. it will just end up dry.
 

Mossman

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I'm new to this and have been making meads for a little while now. (4-5 years). I recently made a Brut champagne style mead and it came out superb (in my opinion-and I'm really picky about champagne). However, I am also a beekeeper and put the mead up for local judging. Well, the judges (who are great honey judges) did not know how to properly open a bottle of champagne or know that it needs to be chilled slightly before opening or it will explode. Which it did in a fantastic sort of New Year's Eve bang that hit the ceiling light and proceeded to spew foam over their shoes. I must say I was really proud. It acted like a champagne. And after the brew-hahah was over, I chilled the remainder. It was light, bubbly, dry, and full of honey. The nose was exquisite. Which they unfortunately missed. So yes to champagne yeast. And I want to see a new category with champagne style, just like beer...
 

SimPilot

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Care to share your technique? I find it a huge pain in the ass to do champagne mead....it takes so much effort.
 

Steveruch

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Actually, "The Complete Meadmaker" is a book that talks about using this yeast for meads. Just make sure you use enough honey to accomidate the yeast with a tolerence of 13%. If you like it dry, then keep it as such however, if you want to have a sweeter mead then you can use more honey than the yeast can turn into alcohol. Or you can back sweeten the mead. I have also heard of using campden after you ferment to where you want it and it should stop the fermentation. Others talk about pasturization when you hit your target sweetness and alcohol level. I hope this helps.
I've made 18% mead with champagne yeast (EC-1118).
 

Mossman

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Care to share your technique? I find it a huge pain in the ass to do champagne mead....it takes so much effort.
To be honest...it is a pain in the ass to do a traditional champagne style mead. That includes disgorgement: inverting the bottle, letting the "lees" accumulate into the neck, freezing the neck, and releasing the plug like blowing a cork. You don't have to do that. But it does make a very nice champagne sparkling clear and crisp. I start my meads typically after honey harvest in August. My first fermentation is with the washings from my honey cappings. I rinse the cappings of as much honey as I can. Then I add a little more honey (depends on how sweet the rinse is). I then let that ferment for 24-48 hrs. Then I kill the wild yeasts native in the honeycomb. From there I use a fairly standard process. For champagne, I will start with a cuvee type yeast and add nutrients. I will ferment that until I get the taste and body I like. Then I will cold crash it. Rack it again. I often do another fermentation, add a little more honey and then a Brut yeast. Once I get the mead's flavor where I want it, then you go about doing the "methode champagnoise". It is a little tricky to pop out the plug of lees and sit it upright. Then top off with a little of the mead you set aside for the purpose. But if a little bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle doesn't bother you...I find it adds to the flavor. And like most meads...the longer it sits and ages, the better it tastes. That's the basics.
 
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