After a fun few weeks reading about all the things people like to ferment beyond my comfort zone of malt, I thought I'd have a go at a sparkling mead, nothing like starting simple!
750g honey - about 700g was Tesco finest orange blossom and topped up with regular. Dissolved in one litre of boiling water and cooled fairly quickly up to 4.5 litres. Pitched a Wilko ale yeast as I had a starting gravity of 1.050 I hoped this would cope (and they were sold out of wine yeast!) and also as it doesn't flocculate as much as wine yeast would retain just enough to carbonate.
I started it in my bucket rather than DJ and staggered my yeast nutrient, one quarter each at pitch, 24 hours and 48 hours then after a week I racked into a DJ and added the last nutrient.
Let it sit out in the shed for a couple of weeks and obviously it's been pretty cold. It was down to 1.002 and had a surprising amount of sparkle already. I primed at half my usual beer rate (I would prefer to use honey but I wanted to be sure what was going in) to hopefully be safe from bombs. Did one plastic bottle and it has carbed quite strongly in three days so I am wary. The bottles are safely in an outbuilding now with nothing else in there in case they do go pop. If not I'm looking forward to drinking the first quite soon but will let them condition a bit more if I can be patient. The tests I sampled are delicious, spritzy and dry but with a delicate flavour and a hint of the honey sweetness in the aroma. Safe to say I will not be giving up on these experiments!
Here is a picture of the DJ before bottling, really impressed with the clarity.