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I may asking to much for a homegamer but is it possible to make semi-sweet/sweet mead carbonated?

I'm trying go for around 1.05 FG and 7%~10% ABV. This can be done easily fermenting dry then adding honey afterwards. But if I want to make it sparking I need to ferment it further, which will either leave me with a dry sparkling mead or a a semi-sweet flat mead... Or a bottle bomb.

I was thinking about it and I came up with three ideas.

  1. Fermented it dry, add extra honey for priming, add a non-fermenting sweetener (Stevia? Lactose? Xylitol?)
  2. Fermented it dry, kill the yeast via pasteurization/chemicals, add extra honey to desired FG, add dry ice for carbonation.
  3. Fermented it dry, add extra honey to desired FG, add a bit more honey for the priming, pastureize after a couple of day. (But how to be sure that is in the desired FG/Carbonation?)

What do you think? Any other ideas? Or is it impossible to do this?

  • Unless you have CO2 tanks available, your first idea is the most promising IMO. – Philippe Mar 17 '17 at 19:03
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I would go for 1 add sugar the yeast you are using can't metabolize. My local brew store has got lactose they sell for this purpose. In beer making it is usually used in making milk stouts. Be careful that you do not get any lactobacillus in the batch tho. This may be of interest:

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2005-11/1132509463.Cb.r.html

Probably other better sources for this to. You could possibly also use darker DME as it contains sugar the yeast cant metabolize.

Have not heard of using method 2 not certain how easy it would be to get an even distribution of CO2 from one bottle to the next. If you tried to disolve it in the fermentor bukket I wuld not think you get enough presure in it to keep the CO2 in the batch. and It may end up gushing all over the place. you may be able to get this to work in a keg but again I would be afraid of it starting to fome up immediately after hitting the beer. Probably best to use a proper keging system with CO2 bottle. Plus freezer burns.

the third method you will have difficulty with both how much CO2 you get plus the yeast usually produces compounds that it later eats up that can be detrimental to taste. Usually it will produce these other things till the consecration of ferment able sugars is low.

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  • Sinc writing this I have seen somewhere that one or more of the artificial sweeteners can turn into poison when being "processed" by yeast but I have no reference for this and do not remember wich sweetener this was. – ElvishPriestley Apr 21 '17 at 14:11
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From what I've read:

What if you're wanting a backsweetened and carbonated mead?

The simplest method is to use a homebrew kegging system. Keg systems use tanks of CO2 to force carbonated liquid to a desired level, which does not require the yeast's services in any way. This is good since the first step of the backsweetening process effectively eliminates the fermentation capabilities of the yeast.

Kegging systems (w/o the kegs) appear to run anywhere from $70-$250 (and I'm sure you can spend more) depending on what you buy: http://www.homebrewing.org/Kegging-Kits-no-kegs_c_447.html

I'm not endorsing homebrewing.org, just providing a sample for how much the kegging systems cost.

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  • Would be nice to add the backsweetening process to your answer. – Philippe Mar 17 '17 at 19:04
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There are a couple options for this that I have used in the past.

My personal favourite is to use a beer yeast like S-04, and carry out a forced fermentation to find out your real FG. Then when the Must gets to 2 points above the forced fermentation FG then rack and bottle.

Or Ferment out to FG with a low attenuating yeast, again like s-04, then prime your bottles.

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Yes, you can. But it might be a bit tricky.

First, get a hold of Champagne bottles, with correct stoppers. They can take the pressure.

Second, figure out how much alcohol your yeast can take. Than mix water and honey in amounts that will make the yeast consume all the sugars, but just.

When that process is done, dilute the mead with about 3~5% water. So now you just gave the yeast more room to eat sugars. Put a thee spoon of honey in the Champagne bottles each, fill with mead. That should give you a bit of spark when you open them.

And wait, 6+ months, mead gets better with age...

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