A Sparkling wine is a wonderful variation of your typical wines and, in particular, is a great treat for the holidays. Mead, being a wine, can also be made in the sparkling variety with very little extra effort. Here is a tutorial on how to make sparkling mead the easy way.
Sparkling mead is identical to any other type of sparkling wine in that it is a wine that has continued its fermentation process right inside the bottle. This extra fermentation causes a large amount of gases to be built up right inside the liquid. And it is this extra gas that causes a champagne bottle to pop when opened and causes the wonderful flow of tiny bubbles.
There are many different ways to make sparkling mead just as there are many different ways to make a sparkling wine. And some of these ways can get quite complicated with specific guidelines and restraints as far as yeasts used, times of ferment, temperature of storage and rotation of bottles as they mature. The way I outline here in this article is just about the easiest no fuss way to make up a five-gallon batch. You will be able to bottle up your mead and set it aside until ready to drink.
Make your five-gallon batch of mead the way you normally would and at the bottling step instead of putting it right into the bottles mix two-thirds of a cup of honey into the five gallon carboy. Stir it up gently and once homogeneous you then bottle it. That is the whole extra process when it comes to making it sparkle. This extra honey will cause a secondary ferment in the bottles and when you open one it will pop and bubble just like your typical champagne.
This addition of a small amount of honey is the only process change you need to make for your mead but there are a couple of definite changes you really need to make when it comes to safety considerations. The secondary ferment inside the bottles will cause quite a large amount of pressure buildup so you absolutely should not use regular bottles and corks for the brew. You need to get champagne bottles, champagne corks, and wire hoods. The bottles are thicker and stronger, the corks are more reliable, and the wire hoods are an added safety feature. If you use normal wine equipment for bottling you run the very real risk of having the corks pop or even the bottles explode. This is dangerous and at the least can cause quite a mess. So I recommend very highly you spend the extra few dollars. The end product will be well worth it.