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Lgadke
01-09-2009, 01:11 PM
Hi there all, how's the new year treating you?

I'm going to start making some mead soon, my second batch of my life (the first was an experiment with cheap honey to see it I could do it). But as my carboy is currently occupied by some cider I am trying to gather information.

I've been drinking a lot of wheat beers lately (also beers like unibroue in Canada) and I am interested in the concept of bottle fermenting. Is it ridiculously complicated? I know you add some yeast into the bottle, but how much? is it one whole package or just a pinch (the latter seems to make more sense, but I don't know!)

Also, are there any precautions I have to take in bottling it (to prevent explosions)?

Any help would be appreciated.

wildaho
01-09-2009, 02:16 PM
I've been drinking a lot of wheat beers lately (also beers like unibroue in Canada) and I am interested in the concept of bottle fermenting. Is it ridiculously complicated? I know you add some yeast into the bottle, but how much? is it one whole package or just a pinch (the latter seems to make more sense, but I don't know!)

Also, are there any precautions I have to take in bottling it (to prevent explosions)?


Hi Lgadke and welcome to the GotMead? World!

Actually, bottle fermenting is ridiculously easy:


Make sure that your fermentation is complete.
Add precisely enough sugar to achieve the amount of carbonation you want.
Bottle.
Wait a month.
Enjoy!

Depending on how long your mead has aged, its ABV, and other factors, you may or may not need to add more yeast.

Another caveat: it is almost impossible to carbonate a sweet mead without making bottle bombs unless you stop the fermentation and force carbonate.

Kee
01-09-2009, 02:29 PM
Lgadke,

Welcome to GotMead.

Wildaho,

Do you need to worry about additional bottle sediment with the additional yeast? Is there anything you can do to avoid this or is it a given that if it is carbonated it will have some?

Thanks,
Kee

wildaho
01-09-2009, 02:55 PM
Do you need to worry about additional bottle sediment with the additional yeast? Is there anything you can do to avoid this or is it a given that if it is carbonated it will have some?


Kee,
Chances are that you will have a very slight residue regardless. The yeast can only eat the sugars you have added and then they die and fall to the bottom. It's usually a very minimal amount. Check out any of the bottle conditioned beers for an example of how much to expect. Bridgeport comes to mind and almost any of the big Belgian beers.

The only way to truly have a sediment free carbonation is to sterile filter and then force carbonate.

:cheers:
Wade

Kee
01-09-2009, 02:58 PM
Cool. Thanks!

osluder
01-09-2009, 04:13 PM
The only way to truly have a sediment free carbonation is to sterile filter and then force carbonate.

What about méthode Champenoise? I guess even that technique leaves a little bit of sediment behind and I'm not sure how practical it is for most home meadmakers. -- Olen

Vino
01-09-2009, 04:15 PM
Lgadke,

Welcome to Gotmead

As for the beers your are describing generally some wheat beers (hefeweizen) are bottled unfiltered and before conditioning to carry over proteins (cloudy) and yeast which adds a distinct flavor component, especially since wheat adds very little in the way of flavor to the beer, the sedimentary yeast is decanted into the glass as part of the drinking experience…In the case of big Belgian Ales, these are bottle conditioned with additional fermentables (plus additional yeast) to produce their signature ester profile they are known for, this results in sediment that is gererally not decanted into the glass.

Adding sugar to produce CO2 is a little different, in that it doesn’t contribute that much to the flavor profile...YMMV

I don’t believe fermenting a mead in the bottle would do much more than produce CO2 for a sparkling wine.

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

wildaho
01-09-2009, 04:54 PM
What about méthode Champenoise? I guess even that technique leaves a little bit of sediment behind and I'm not sure how practical it is for most home meadmakers. -- Olen

With méthode champenoise, the bottle is tipped to put the sediment in the neck of the bottle. When the ice plug is removed, the majority of the lees go with it. I've read articles and seen pictorials on how to do it on a homebrew scale but it looks like a lot of work and mess.

Personally, I don't mind a little sediment. But then again I only carbonate beers, and those at a very low level. I prefer my meads still. That carbonic acid "bite" from carbonation just gets in the way of the "real" flavors of the mead, imnho.8)

wildaho
01-09-2009, 05:02 PM
In the case of big Belgian Ales, these are bottle conditioned with additional fermentables (plus additional yeast) to produce their signature ester profile they are known for, this results in sediment that is gererally not decanted into the glass.

...

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Yes and no. Some of the Belgian brewers add a different neutral strain of yeast at bottling to get their carbonation. The esters come from the primary strain though, not the bottling strain. Orval is a great example. Big beautiful Brett-ness in the beer but a simple neutral yeast added for carbonation.

And I generally DO swirl the bottle to get the yeast in the last pour. Lot's of B vitamins in that yeast!

Vino
01-09-2009, 05:43 PM
Yes and no. Some of the Belgian brewers add a different neutral strain of yeast at bottling to get their carbonation.

I would agree with that also, I was trying to point out the additional yeast addition in many if not most big Belgians.

I was able to visit three breweries on a trip several years ago to Belgium (Rodenbach, Westmalle, and Westvleteren)...Westmalle used two primary strains of yeast and actually allowed the wort to warm up the high 70s near the end of primary fermentation, which they said added to the complexity. Although some of what they said was probably lost in translation. Westvleteren added the same yeast at bottling that they used for primary fermentation. Rodenbach was less forth coming with information.

Westmalle Dubbel along with Westvleteren Abt (I can't find a local source for) are my favorites, I also like the Chimay Red.

Lgadke
01-09-2009, 06:02 PM
Thanks so much for all your help! That clarifies things a lot...

Is that a pun, I don't know...

osluder
01-09-2009, 06:34 PM
Is that a pun, I don't know...

Yes, clearly it is, but watch out or you will set off the numerous punsters on this forum! ;D -- Olen

Vino
01-09-2009, 06:45 PM
Yes, clearly it is, but watch out or you will set off the numerous punsters on this forum! ;D -- Olen

What a sparkling idea, but are they that transparent, that you would suggest filtering them out so as not to cloud the intent of this thread.

Kee
01-09-2009, 07:17 PM
What a sparkling idea, but are they that transparent, that you would suggest filtering them out so as not to cloud the intent of this thread.

Your puns are falling flat. You must mellow out.

wildaho
01-09-2009, 08:20 PM
Oooooh, the gauntlet has been thrown...;D

Carbonation was founded with the principle that all musts are created equal. One of the great founding fathers, C. O'Toole, put that clause in the Constitution. Regardless of the volume or how rarified the atmosphere, the pressure is on.

I don't mean to force the issue here but I feel kind of bottled in. It's a pretty narrow topic but I'll try to adapt to the condition. It's going to be a strain but I'll try to remain neutral. Ester way, it's all finings with me! 8)

:cheers:
Wade

Medsen Fey
01-09-2009, 08:21 PM
What about méthode Champenoise? I guess even that technique leaves a little bit of sediment behind and I'm not sure how practical it is for most home meadmakers. -- Olen

Méthode champenoise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkling_wine_production) also allows a bottle to be sweetened with the Dosage after the disgorgement that eliminates the yeast. It looks difficult (and potentially dangerous). Alternatively, the Charmat method may be potentially more practical as a way to let the yeast clear while naturally carbonating.

Warning - Amateur at Work - proceed with caution

Whatever method you settle upon, you'll have to spend time re-fining your process . Money too, because it may cost a few Bocks-in order to master the technique. It can be difficult to filter all this information, but hopefully this will generate some interest in sparkll(oid)ing meads. No matter where you've been-tonite, at lees(t) GotMead? provides a centrifugal point where the discussion of such processes can gel(atin). I don't need anyone to egg me on here, and I've meant what I said, and what I've sed-I-ment.

Medsen, apprentice punster

Kee
01-09-2009, 08:32 PM
Oh. I think all this punning is giving us all big heads.

Lgadke
01-11-2009, 01:40 AM
Oh God! What Have I done!?!?!?!?!?! I've created a monster!

osluder
01-11-2009, 02:11 AM
I've created a monster!

I tried to warn you, but you let the cork out of the bottle. ;D -- Olen