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-   -   Can someone estimate this ABV? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/can-someone-estimate-abv-359677/)

rs4life 10-08-2012 05:58 PM

Can someone estimate this ABV?
Today I made a mead that was 4 pounds wild honey and like a pound of amber blue agave nectar with about 3/4 gallon of water. My thief doesnt fit into the jar so i just need an estimate, i also dont own beersmith.

sonofgrok 10-08-2012 07:12 PM

What yeast are you using (attenuation) and what was your final total volume? I was guessing 1.5 gallons?

Arpolis 10-08-2012 07:54 PM

Assuming agave has 71.43% of its volume as fermentable fructrose and glucose (this figured from my favorite nutrition data website). Also estimating 1 gallon of total volume of all ingrediants. You are looking at a starting gravity of about 1.176! That is really high. If fermented fully then you are looking at an ABV of around 21.7%.

At 1.5 gallons total volume looking at 1.117 starting gravity. So a more manageable ABV of around 15.19%.

rs4life 10-08-2012 08:00 PM

I am using Lalvin D47. I meant to only add 3 pounds of honey and one pound of agave nectar but forgot to stop at half a bottle of honey

sonofgrok 10-08-2012 08:04 PM

D47 only has an alcohol tolerance of 14% which you will probably easily hit and still have quite a bit of sweetness in your mead if Arpolis is on with those gravity estimates (Which he most likely is). I wouldn't think your ABV would go much higher than that though as the yeast will not be able to survive.

rs4life 10-08-2012 08:07 PM

Should i hit it with champagne yeast after fermentation?

rs4life 10-08-2012 08:08 PM

Also its a carlo rossi wine jug not a standard gallon carboy

sonofgrok 10-08-2012 08:11 PM

4 liter jug? Champagne yeast might help dry it out a bit more and increase the ABV a couple points. It all depends on what kind of mead you are going for I guess.

rs4life 10-08-2012 08:15 PM


Originally Posted by sonofgrok
4 liter jug? Champagne yeast might help dry it out a bit more and increase the ABV a couple points. It all depends on what kind of mead you are going for I guess.

You know i couldnt find the volume written anywhere on the damn thing, even on the label but its bigger than my glass one gallon jugs by a little bit. But i was going for a traditional semi-sweet mead with a little agave present maybe?

Arpolis 10-08-2012 10:18 PM

From what little I know of carlo rossi wine jugs yours should be 4 liters. That gives you an estimated gravity of 1.166. Without a champagne yeast this will be super sweet. Champagne yeasts like:

Red Star Pasteur Champagne
Lalvin K1V-1116
Lalvin EC-1118
Wyeast 4021-Pasteur Champagne
White Labs WLP715 Champagne Yeast

All can probably hit 18% - 19% ABV which would drop your gravity down to the 1.015 - 1.025 area. That will put you in the sweet to almost desert wine category. But if you are adding this after fermentation then you will really need to do a starter to help the yeast go. The starter may shave a few points off actually so may be able to hit your semi sweet goal. With racking off of the D47 you should have some head space to add this:

Start with 1 cup of warm water
1/4 tsp of yeast nutrients
1/4 cup of honey (Cheap clover honey works for this)
5 cut up raisins

Mix everything up well and sprinkle the yeast packet on top, do not stir in. Cover with paper towel and ruber band and wait 2 hours. Add in 1/4 cup of your fermented must and wait another two hours. Repeat the last step 3 more times. Through the 10 hour ordeal you should notice fermentation at the second hour and it should stay active looking the whole time. Pitch the yeast after the 10 hours and strain out the raisins if you want.

Making a starter like this acclimates the yeast to the high ABV environment you are about to introduce them to. If you just pitch the yeast dry or just follow the rehydration instructions then the fermentation will likely not start. Even if you buy liquid yeast you still need this starter recipe to give your new yeast the best fighting chance.

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