[Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead

Martha Oser osermart at msu.edu
Sun Nov 25 15:44:19 PST 2007


> I bought a book on basic brewing, and almost all their suggestions for Mead
> is roughly; "Boil up honey and water, add yeast, leave for a week or two,
> then add a campden (sulphur dioxide) tablet to stop fermentation, bottle and
> store for 6+ months before drinking"

As to boiling, there are options.  Some folks boil, others simply heat the 
honey and water.  Boiling breaks the proteins, and heating too hard can 
cause the flavor of the honey to be reduced. 

Campden is an anti-bacterial and is optional, depending on the yeast you 
use.  Some yeasts will naturally produce small amounts of sulphur dioxide 
(such as Lalvin 1118 yeast). 

> I've never elsewhere read anything suggesting the sterilization of the brew
> before bottling - I presume this is to keep it sweet and not bubbly (or
> explosive). Is this common, and does the tablet affect the flavor at all?

This isn't sterilizing the brew.  To stop the yeast, use potassium sorbate 
to put the yeast to sleep and then 36-48 hours later you can rack and filter 
into another carboy or bottle for aging. 

Adding campden can affect some people who have an allergy to the sulphites.  
If you get a headache with sharp, stabbing pains from drinking things like 
most domestic wines, particularly reds, you may be allergic to sulphites.  
This is also a debatable topic. 

Thus speaketh Lord Gilebert le bracceur de Dijon, through the hands of his 
wife, Lady Helena Sibylla  :D 

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