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Old 02-03-2012, 05:07 AM   #1
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Default Cyser, ABV Guess?

Just racked my clementine cyser to secondary and remembered to take a gravity reading. Unfortunately, I did not get an OG reading so all I can really do here is guess.

My gravity reading today is 0.994. I plugged my ingredients into the gotmead.com calculator, it is telling me that my cyser is over 18%. This just doesn't seem right, my yeast hits it's alcohol tolerance at 15%.

Here is my recipe, if anyone has any insight-

25-30 sultana raisins
4 clementines
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 cups clover honey (I need a scale)
Unfiltered organic apple juice to 1 gallon
Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast

Mixed everything but yeast and honey, then after 24 hours added honey and yeast. Not sure why I waited on the honey, but I did. Warmed the honey in a hot water bath just enough to make it flow nicely but that is the only heat I added.

Next time, I will be sure to get the OG. Thanks guys!

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:22 AM   #2
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Without plugging anything into any software, only 3 cups of honey in a one gallon batch doesn't sound to me like it would yield an OG anywhere near high enough to be 18%. Are you sure your numbers are right?

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #3
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ABV guess ? Well.... yes. It's got some alcohol in it...

Cups are volume and weight is mass. Gravity readings are connected to the sugar content. So @ .994, there ain't much sugar, and "yes" is about as accurate as youre gonna get for alcohol content.....

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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I am not looking for accuracy, but a guess. Obviously this did not reach 18% and something is screwy. I've read other posts where those more knowledgeable than I were able to come up with decent enough approximations. I believe one such response was made somewhere in the wine section by Yooper. I suspect I am entering something incorrectly into the gotmead calculator, likely apples as they don't have an option for "apple juice" and I am uncertain of the sugar content and math behind it.

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Ok, plugging in some numbers...
1 quart of honey is usually around 3 pounds, so 3 cups (24oz) should be 2.25lbs of honey. For the sugar - looked up and found 30g sugar/8oz for organic apple juice, so take a gallon (128oz) - 24oz honey = 104oz apple juice @ 30g/8oz = 390g sugar, somewhere betweenn 13-14oz.
Plugged into some software, I'm getting 1.119og

1.119 - .994 = 16.7%abv so it doesn't seem to me like you're too far off - sorry, I missed the fact that you topped it off with apple juice not water!

Looks to me like your champagne yeast didn't hit it's alcohol tolerance and fermented this thing completely, which doesn't sound too out of the question to me, I thought champagne yeast was more like 18% tolerance anyway...

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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OG measurements, don't leave home without them!

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Old 02-04-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazroth View Post
OG measurements, don't leave home without them!
Yup, won't make that mistake again! Thanks for the insight ChessRockwell. The yeast, Red Star Pasteur Champagne is listed in the gotmead.com table and others I have seen say this strain hits it's peak at 13-15%. Perhaps it just really liked what it had to work with, it did ferment pretty vigorously. Sputtered up into the airlock at one point even, hahah.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlescales View Post
Yup, won't make that mistake again! Thanks for the insight ChessRockwell. The yeast, Red Star Pasteur Champagne is listed in the gotmead.com table and others I have seen say this strain hits it's peak at 13-15%. Perhaps it just really liked what it had to work with, it did ferment pretty vigorously. Sputtered up into the airlock at one point even, hahah.
you'd find things like the same honey/juice mix wouldn't produce so much foam etc with a different yeast, or the same yeast would produce less foam just with a different honey or juice mix/ratio.

As long as you like it, that's all that matters really.

Hazroth's wisdom is spot on and what often gets forgotten by the newer mead maker in the rush to get started.

Hell, it doesn't really matter what the strength is does it, it's not like it's a commercial product where you have to pay excise duty according to the strength.

You seem to have managed to do a good job with this brew, so what the hell, just enjoy it.......
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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I'd also point out that gravity estimates for honey are just that...the actual gravity contribution of a given honey will vary as widely as the actual sugar and water content of honey does, which is to say, it can be roughly anywhere between 35 to 45 pppg (points per pound per gallon). Try running some numbers in a brewing calculator where you can change this variable, and you will realize that it can drastically change your OG estimate!

As Hazroth said, you really need to take an OG, unless you've used the same honey (from the same batch, not necessarily even the same type of honey) before and know pretty much what it's pppg contribution is...

But truly, RDWHAHB...you've learned a lot from your batch of mead, and made some quality homebrew to boot!

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Old 02-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! Looking forward to tasting this aged.

Is it even possible though, for yeast to go above their alcohol tolerance without special effort? I am just curious about the yeast limitations now, more so than the ABV. Like fatbloke said, it's got alcohol, and that's good enough!

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