The Ideal Way to Showcase Varietal Honeys is with Champagne Style Sparkling Mead
If you are a beekeeper wishing to make a mead that reflects the character of your local flowers and pollen, or if you are a meadmaker who wishes to make a pure honey product that remains true to the varietal honey you are working with, sparkling mead is a wonderful way to celebrate the honey harvest and create a product that tastes and smells like the flora it came from.
Heat the Water until warm, turn off the stove and stir in the Honey until dissolved.
Heat this mixture to boiling. Add the Irish Moss/Whirlfloc and boil for 10-15 minutes, skimming the surface with a large spoon. Add the Nutrient, and Tartaric Acid.
Cool to room temperature.
Pour the mixture into sanitized carboys, or other narrow-neck carboys or other sealed fermentors, filling them no more than 75% full.
When the temperature of this "must" is down near room temperature, test the sugar and acid levels. If these are below the levels indicated above, make the necessary corrections. Slightly higher is okay.
Add one 10 gram package of Prise de Mousse Yeast to the surface. In 10 or 12 hours, stir it in.
Once fermentation begins, allow it to continue for two or three weeks until visible signs of fermentation have ceased.
When bubbles can no longer be seen rising through the mead, rack (siphon) away from the settlings into an open container. Fine with Sparkolloid (optional, for increased clarity), add 40-65 ppm of stock Metabisulfite solution or crushed and dissolved Campden Tablets , and siphon into a sanitized narrowneck 5 gallon storage container, top up, and let it set for four weeks. Top up with still white wine if needed to fill the container into the neck, and let it stand for four weeks.
Rack away from the settlings, top up again, and let it stand for three to six months.
Bottling procedure: Carefully rack into an open container. Prepare your priming sugar by boiling 10 oz. of corn sugar in 1.5 cup of water. Cool the Priming Sugar, and add to the racked mead. Then add a new package of Prise de Mousse Wine Yeast. Stir well.
Bottle in strong, cappable champagne (preferred) or beer bottles. The bottles and cap should all be sanitized before filling. Leave the cases in an area that is warmer than 60˚ F. for at least two weeks or longer to ensure that the carbonating process will take hold and sparkle the mead. Aging for several months may improve the balance of the mead flavor.
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