hist-brewing: Historic Liqueur -Reply

BrewInfo brewinfo at xnet.com
Mon Apr 5 11:25:11 PDT 1999

Scotti writes:
>	As for _Sparkling_, great meads (those with a ratio of two pounds of 
>honey to 
>one gallon of water) are naturally carbonated, as I learned to my sorrow when 
>my first batch shot their corks and contents across the room.  Little meads, 
>or small meads (honey/water ratio = one pound per gallon) are generally 
>carbonated too, because they are bottled at less than one month, while still 
>fermenting.  Don't know where to document those statements, but a 
>knowledgeable mead judge should already know that and accept your statement 
>of it as evidence that you know somewhat of the subject.

While I can't help the original poster, I'd like to point out that meads
need not be carbonated nor should they shoot corks around the room (unless
you're into that kind of thing).  The key is that if you want a still
(uncarbonated) mead, you simply allow it to ferment to completion before
you bottle it and at bottling time you do not prime it.  High original
gravity meads (3 or 4 pounds of honey per gallon) will typically take
many months to finish fermenting.  I rarely even think about bottling
until a year after pitching yeast.

Most of my meads are medium-sweet and I make them with about 12 pounds
of honey added to 3 gallons of water (about a gallon of honey in four
gallons of finished mead).  These finish slightly sweet and *might*
carbonate but only if you added fresh yeast at bottling time along
with the primings (just like bottle-conditioned beer carbonation).  Meads
with more honey per gallon are going to be sweet and virtually
impossible to carbonate naturally.  Small meads can easily carbonate
themselves, even without additional yeast at bottling time.

Under no circumstances would I recommend packaging the mead before it
has fully fermented-out!  The finishing gravity is difficult to predict
and you can have serious explosions.


Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL
korz at brewinfo.org

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