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Old 02-08-2008, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default 10 lbs Honey = how many gal. of Mead?

I just was given 10 pounds of bulk honey, for free, and since I have an extra packet of Montrachet lying around, I thought I'd make up a batch of mead.

The problem is that in looking at the various recipes here and on some of the mead sites, I can't seem to fugure out how many gallons of it I can make with my 10 pounds. I thought I'd just be able to find a 1 gal mead recipe that used "x" pounds of honey/ gallon, and be able to calculate from there... but no luck, different people's recipes have different amounts.

So is there no rule of thumb as to how much honey, how much water, yadda yadda yadda?

I have an empty 6 gal better bottle right now, and after I bottle this weekend I'll also have a 5 gallon one empty, as well as my old mr beer fermenter gathering dust.

So I have some options as to batch size...limited only by the amnt of honey I have.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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The average mead is made with roughly 3lbs. of honey per gallon of water. A 5 gallon batch of mead would then have 4 gallons of water and 1 gallon of honey (or roughly 12 lbs.) Of course this can be modified depending on what sweetness level you want in the finished mead.

I would be wary of using that Montrachet yeast though. This stuff will devour every last ounce of sugar in the must and leave you with a very dry mead and if you wanted to backsweeten with more honey you'd have to add some sorbate otherwise that would get fermented as well.

I used Montrachet on a whim in a one gallon cyser and it's currently sitting at 17% and is going to take quite some time to condition.

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Old 02-08-2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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10# will make 3-5 gallons of mead.

You can figure on around 35 gravity points per pound pr gallon. So...

(lbs of honey * 0.035) / gallons of water = approx. gravity

You can figure that the mead will ferment out to at least 1.000 gravity (the FG).... so...

(OG / FG)*131 = percent alcohol

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Old 02-08-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Different recipes call for different amounts of honey based on the yeast being used and the amount of residual sugar desired.

With Montrachet, anything up to an OG of about 1.100 should ferment to dryness. Assuming our honey is fairly average in its sugar content, if we shoot for exactly 1.100 we should have a volume of around 3.6 gallons. If we aim to end up with 3 gallons the OG will be around 1.122, which with Montrachet should end up a fairly sweet mead. However, as the sugar content of honey can vary somewhat this is only a rough guideline.

Or, of course. there's the option of making a cyser or similar rather than a straight mead. In the case of a cyser, the added sugar from the apple juice should easily allow you to hit your desired OG in a 5 to 6 gallon batch.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shunoshi
I used Montrachet on a whim in a one gallon cyser and it's currently sitting at 17% and is going to take quite some time to condition.
Oh, hmm. My calculations were based on an alcohol tolerance of 13%, as that's what I had seen quoted for Montrachet.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for your help gang.

Uh, I have a half pound of lactose lying around that I could use for an unfermentable sugar with the montrachet. Anyone use it to back sweeten?

Also are there any calclulator programs that can be used to figure this stuff out like I do with my beers? That would include fruit sugars and such if I ever wanted to do pyment or something?

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:35 PM   #7
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I wouldnt use it. I would let the mead finish dry, add potassium sorbate and campden, then use more honey to back sweeten.

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
I wouldnt use it. I would let the mead finish dry, add potassium sorbate and campden, then use more honey to back sweeten.
How do you figure out how much honey to back sweeten, let's say for a 4 gallon batch, after you've killed the fermentation off?
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:27 PM   #9
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Take a small sample, do it by taste, multiply it out to your entire batch size.

For example... take a 1/4 cup of mead, add 1/4tsp of honey/sugar/dextrose, mix well, taste... change the a amount... when you have the desired sweetness you know the ratio. If this is your first time doing it I suggest going one step dryer than you initially decide on.

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Old 02-08-2008, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerysong
Oh, hmm. My calculations were based on an alcohol tolerance of 13%, as that's what I had seen quoted for Montrachet.
I did a cyser with honey and apple cider with no water added. This gave me an OG of 1.137. It's finished out to roughly 1.006 as it stands right now. According to my calculations that should bring me in over 17%. Its taste is extremely hot and I'll probably end up conditioning this for a couple years. So, I'd definitely keep an eye on that Montrachet if you decide to use it.
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