View Full Version : Process review

06-20-2015, 09:08 AM
Hi. First off I am a home brewer from scotland trying to turn my hand to mead making. I will describe my process as best as possible so I can basically get feedback on improvements or any hints of tips you may have.

Batch 1 Apple mead.

1gallon batch
800g of honey
1l of Apple juice
Topped up with water and mixed with yeast nutrient and energiser (1tsp tronozymol)
Gravity is 1.068
Ph is 4.5
Added champagne yeast.

Next day I added 1/2 tsp of year nutrient and glently shook the fermenter to add oxygen.

Racked to another 1gal carboy
Gravity 0.996

I intend to bottle after 1 more rack around 3 weeks from now.

I intend to back sweeten with dextrose to basically over prime the bottles of mead and then flash pasturize in the bottles to create a carbonated semi sweet mead.

Please can I have any suggestions of how this process can be improved aswell as the bottling carbing. It's an unusual technique I have never tried in home brewing as the residual sugars can usuallybe supplied by speciality grains

Cheers Euan

06-20-2015, 11:52 AM
so are you thinking that the flash will kill the yest in order to stop the fermenting? I haven't ever done anything like this before but here's what i'm wondering. Wont you have a ton of yeast still suspended insolution? Then when you kill them you will have dust in your bottles, and latter down the road you''ll have off flavors from the decomposing yeast.

Like I said I'm not certain, but here is what I would do. I think :)

I would step feed the batch until it is super close to thier tolerance, ( champagne yeast can eat way more points than you have given them) and the cold crash real hard until it clears pretty good. Then prime and flash. That way you won't have such a yeasty taste. Are you looking for that yeasty taste by chance?

06-20-2015, 01:07 PM
As I understand Flash Pasteurization, you can't do that in bottles. It is used by breweries before the beer goes into the keg. Breweries use Tunnel Pasteurization for cans and bottles.

1st if you try to heat the bottles that fast any glass bottles will probably break.
2nd for Flash Pasteurization the idea is to have a very small film of your mead in contact with the heat source so that it heats up quickly and then cools down quickly, can't be done in bulk even if that bulk is just a 12 oz bottle.
3rd you can't flash pasteurize something that has CO2 in it as it it will all try to come out of suspension. Do you really want highly over pressurized bottles being suddenly heated to 160-165 degrees and then let stand there for long enough for all of the mead to hit that temperature for 20 seconds and then rapidly cooled?
4th If you plan on bottle conditioning you mead after you have pasteurized it, the you are just reintroducing live yeast and it will still eat through all of you sugar and possible cause bottle bombs.

Here is what I did with my attempt. It seemed to work, but then I generally don't have any problems anyway. I used a pair of plate chillers,

I cleaned the wort chillers really well, put a bucket of water over my burner, pumped hot water through the wort chiller while I pumped the mead through it also and carefully monitored the temperature coming out of the wort chiller and then it went through a second wort chiller to cool it back down and then directly into the bottles. However I was creating a still mead, not a carbonated mead.

All the bottles did survive sitting in a set of black panniers on the back of my motorcycle for 3 weeks and 5000 miles until I got to our family reunion without any problem where the bottle that hadn't been pasteurized didn't, so I assumed it worked.


06-20-2015, 05:05 PM
Thanks. I also have not tried flash pasteurisation but I have seen home brewers on you tube doing it in bottles. I guess the only realistic option is to do a 5 gallon batch and carb it via bottles gas in a keg. Can I stress the point in the whole exersize is to create a backsweetened carbonated mead at a low abv. As the yeast tolerance is far higher than my abv. The pasteurisation was to halt the yeast half way through the bottle carbing process creating a balance between the carbonation and sweetness. Without this I would have a dry low strength mead as opposed to a semi sweet low strength mead. Thanks for advise I do not own a plate chiller as of yet but I appreciate you sharing techniques.

06-21-2015, 12:23 PM
I suspect you are thinking of just standard pasteurization put the bottles in a hot water bath wait 10 minutes or so and then remove. You can always put one bottle in with just water at the same temperature as the mead, insert a thermometer and track you temperatures that way.


06-23-2015, 10:34 AM
If your goal is sweet and carbonated, you could look into methode champenoise or the slightly easier version that ChevetteGirl does (search the forums, they're both on here somewhere).

06-25-2015, 10:33 AM
Carbonated mead can be bottle conditioned just like beer. Pretty easy if you want dry bottle conditioned mead. Let the initial batch, say. 5 gallon batch, go dry then bulk age/rack and all that good stuff until you're ready to bottle, then add about a cup of honey or corn sugar to give the remaining yeast a little food and bottle as you would homebrew beer.

The complicated part is the sweet. The only way I can see it happen in a reliable manner is to use sorbitol or stevia. Something that won't be eaten by the yeast.

Or, and this is the best way, make a sweet still mead and force carb in a keg. You can use a bottling gun to bottle it or just tap the keg. More cost and equipment but by far a better and more reliable result.

Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.