Mead question

John Pursglove

South Jersey FC Member
I made a semi-sweet mead FG 1.0.15 @ 10.5% with Hawaiian Lehua honey and Sundew yeast. I really like it. I have it cold crashing now. I tried a little sample tonight when it was cold and still. I really enjoyed it. I am wondering if a mead at 10.5% would be good carbonated and kegged or should it be bottled. So far I seem to like carbonated meads a lot but, I've made mostly hydromel type meads that are lower in alcohol. What do the mead people here think?
 

natesymer

New Member
You're on the cusp between carbing and not carbing. Is your mead's acid-to-sugar ratio where you want it? If not, the carbonic acid from carbonating might help. If in doubt, you could always do a light carbonation...

As an addendum, I've made still hydromels that turned out great (~6.5% abv). I've also carbonated heavy (15%) meads, and those were great too (if not dangerous lol, carbonation helps mask booze, at least in my experience). Mead really has no rules!
 

Frank Hiller Jr.

Event Coordinator - 2018 Brewer of the Year
I was always told to keep meads still if I wanted to put it in competition. That being said, I say do you! Force carb and sample it. If you don’t like it then you can always pull the pressure and flatten it.

I see I’m about a month late to responding to this so I’m sure you’ve already made your choice.
 

Brian Pylant

South Jersey FC Member
I was always told to keep meads still if I wanted to put it in competition. That being said, I say do you! Force carb and sample it. If you don’t like it then you can always pull the pressure and flatten it.

I see I’m about a month late to responding to this so I’m sure you’ve already made your choice

No need for that at all, we routinely judge petillant and sparkling meads. And I would subjectively argue that certain styles -- dry traditional, for example -- often present better to the judges if carbonated.

I will say that there is a great misunderstanding, amongst judges and entrants alike, as to what constitutes petillant. Some guys think anything that is the slightest bit shy of full-on champagne-level carbonation, or anything with one single solitary bubble, constitutes petillant. Which is not at all true.

The official guidelines on this:
  • Carbonation. A mead may be still, petillant, or sparkling. Still meads do not have to be totally flat; they can have some very light bubbles. Petillant meads are lightly sparkling and can have a moderate, noticeable amount of carbonation. Sparkling meads are not gushing, but may have a character ranging from mouth filling to an impression akin to Champagne or carbonated water. Minor differences from stated carbonation level should not be heavily-penalized or considered a disqualifying fault.
 

Brian Pylant

South Jersey FC Member
John, I assume this is the mead you let me try at the anniversary party? If so, I think it would be a great candidate for carbonation; it was already bright and refreshing; IMO carbonation would only enhance that further.

Let us know how it turned out!
 
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