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I have some mead fermenting. It is the first time doing it and I have no idea how would it be bottled. I have one sweet and one dry version

  • Should I use beer bottles that can resist pressure?
  • Is carbonation using sugar needed/recommended/possible?
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can carbonate or not, depending on your preference. You do so by adding priming sugar to the bottling bucket, just like with beer. If you choose to carbonate, you will need a bottle that can handle the pressure:

  • Capped Beer bottles
  • Belgian/Champagne bottles with a cork and a wire cage
  • Flip top bottles

If bottling still (uncarbonated), you can use any of the above, or ordinary wine bottles with corks. You will not be able to carbonate if you have:

  • Exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast (unless you add another yeast with higher tolerance)
  • Added stabilizers (potassium sorbate)
  • Pasteurized the mead

Notes: If you exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, adding a new yeast may overcarbonate and cause the bottles to explode. It is possible to refrigerate or pasteurize once the desired level of carbonation is reaches. Here's some more information: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/ (I've never done this; please be careful)

Other options for sweet mead are to pasteurize or stabilize first, then add additional sugars, which won't ferment. It is then no longer possible to prime the bottles, but you could force-carbonate in a keg.

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For sweet mead, adding yest with higher tolerance, is there a risk bottles will explode? Since in my understanding sweet mead is such because yeast is killed by alchool. –  Paolo Jan 25 '13 at 13:31
    
Yes. If you made sweet mead by exceeding the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, adding new yeast risks exploding bottles. People who do this refrigerate or pasteurize once it reaches the desired level of carbonation. –  jcs Jan 25 '13 at 13:37
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