Mead newbie question: S.G. really high
Started my first batch of mead this evening, but once it cooled to a perfect room temperature (blood temp) and I took the specific gravity, it was pretty well off the charts. Let's say the hydrometer almost bounced right out of the container.
After researching many different recipes, I had settled on something I came up with myself and used 2 lbs unpasteurized amber honey to 5 cups water, brought (not too quickly) to a boil and gently boiled for 30 minutes. Spices, 2 slices of orange, cup of strong tea and lemon juice were added for metheglin results. Not much foam was produced, but I did skim some off.
Any hints, productive criticism, reassurances?
Welcome to mead making!
Okay, presuming that by 5 cups you mean 5 measuring cups, you are only starting with 40 oz of water (8 oz to 1 cup). Plugging that into Beersmith I am coming up with an og in the range of 1.19. So yeah, your hydrometer won't really be of use at this point. I would not expect any activity from the yeast either as the og is to high. If you double the water (add 5 more cups) you will be in the ballpark you need to be (around 1.105). You also need to make sure you are converting the gravity reading based on the tempurature of the must, hydrometers are calibrated for 60* or 68* distilled water. So if your must was "blood tempurature" say 98*, you need to recalculate that (and cool down the must, anything over 80 is a no-no from what I have read) I have been pitching at 72* no problems yet.
You might want to consider brewing a larger batch, racking to secondary and tertiary will cause you to lose some volume. Tasting and testing even more volume will be lost.
You mentioned boiling unpasturised honey must. At this point I have 6 gallons of mead going. All of the honey I use is directly from the beekeeper, complete with bee parts and other matter. I did not boil my honey, I only added it to water that was warm enough to ease disolving of the honey. Boiling honey will cause you to lose some of the more delcate flavors inherant to the honey. I did pitch a starter to give the yeasties a head start against unwanted organisms. Doing that and with strict sanitaion of equipment, I have no infections, and doubt I will at this point (all in secondary).
As far as the spices and additions, others might want to chime in on that. I really am only focusing on simple meads, though I wonder what the effects of the tannins in the tea will have on you finished product...
Good lick and welcome to the obsession:D
I appreciate your input. I would like to try natural honey, but for the sake of convenience, I got store bought.
After posting that last night, I did actually add about 6 more cups of water, which brought the s.g. down to a more favorable range. (I kept adding and measuring, which brought me to 6 cups)
Thats the least time I brew mead before bed- I dreamt of it most of the night! :mad:
After checking first thing this morning, the yeast is bubbling happily so things must be well on their way.
Good move, 1.190 is past the limits of most yeasts.
But that is what dreams are for. Hopefully it comes out fantastic! Best of luck.
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