hist-brewing: more newbie questions :-)

Kirsty Pollock kirsty.pollock at mpuk.com
Mon Oct 25 07:23:18 PDT 1999

> As to the sparkling meads, it is a preference thing, I 
> believe.  I have
> different recipes for different styles.  Just as with grape wines or
> ciders, some meads are still or sparkling.  I have no really old
> reference, but suspect that even Beowulf have some bubbling 
> stuff since
> they spoke of young mead and had no really good, long term means of
> hiding it from infection after fermentation.

OK, if you haven't got airtight containers, you may get some infection with
something, but surely that would just make it go 'off'. (NOT that that
seemed to put our ancestors off drinking stuff as much as it does us!).
Also, to retain 'sparkle' you need a pressure proof container, which implies
airtight, which prevents infection. 

Unless you drink it 'fresh' i.e. whilst it is still actually fermenting,
within a couple of weeks of start, say. That would be 'fizzy' to a certain

If mead is strong enough then it is as resistant to infection as wine.
Sparklingness comes from a secondary fermentation, which means you have both
yeast and sugar left. If mead is allowed to ferment out completely it will
not produce a secondary ferment unless a sugar source is subsequently added.
As I said above, to do this an end up with a sparlking beverage implies an
air-tight container...

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