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Sparkling Mead Question

I made my first batch of mead back in March. It had an OG of 1.087. It finished at 1.002 for an 11.2% abv. I racked multiple times to keep it off the yeast. I finally bottled it this past weekend and bottled half of it still and then then the other half “hopefully” carbonated.

This was a five gallon batch so to 2.5 gallons, I added 2.6oz of sugar. I wasn’t shooting for a champagne level carbonation; just something to add some fizz so I can see which I prefer. I re-yeasted with 1/4t of rehydrated US05. I’ve used US05 to re-yeast a 12% beer before so I hoped this would work. Any feedback on my process? Should I end up with carbonated mead in a month or so? I’m assuming it will go slowly because of the abv.

Any thoughts?

Only comment I would make would be to next time use a different yeast for the carbonation. K1, EC-1118, Premier Cuvee or even plain old “champagne” yeast would be more reliable for this.

Because you are starting it at a high alcohol level, it would also be advisable to condition the yeast to the alcohol before you pitch it in. You’d do this by hydrating it in a small volume of tepid tap water, then add an equal amount of wine after 20-30 minutes and shake vigorously to aerate. After 4-6 hours, add some more wine, enough sugar to raise the SG by about 10 points, and a pinch of yeast nutrient. Repeat the last step one or two more times, each time doubling the volume. Make sure the yeast is active, then at the end pitch it all into the mead.

Sounds good. I probably won’t open a bottle until next year. If it didn’t carb, I’ll follow your instructions and then use an eyedropper or straw to add yeast to each bottle and re-cap. I’ve done that to beers before with good success. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that!

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