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Old 04-27-2012, 02:29 AM   #1
aurelius
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Default OG 1130 ok?

new to the place, and to brewing honestly - have spent hours reading great info from everyone, but still learning.

I just put together a sour cherry melomel; EC-1118 and nutrient to go in soon.

the gravity measured out at 1130, which is a little high compared to my experiments up until now - surprised me I guess, did not think the tart cherry concentrate I used would have that much sugar. generally speaking, could this turn out overly sweet, or is the capability of this particular yeast going to make this overly, well, strong?

thanks for any replies and can't wait to learn more



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Old 04-27-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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EC-1118 could theoretically take 1.130 dry. However, if your gravity is higher than expected, make sure you are well mixed, and consider rechecking gravity...occasionally you get a crazy reading...make sure to spin the hydrometer a bit to knock off any bubbles, and don't forget to compensate for temperature.

Regardless, assuming your reading is OK...having a cherry melomel end somewhere in the semi-sweet range (~1.010-1.020) and ~15% ABV is probably about right for my tastes. Between now and the end of your fermentation, consider picking up some tannin powder and acid blend, and try some samples with proportional amounts of these additions...melomels often 'pop' a little more with some acidity added before bottling; same with tannins. I often add the tannins up front, but always add the acid to taste before bottling...



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Old 04-27-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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cheers, thanks

pitched yeast and partial nutrient (considering doing every-other-day thing?) and it looks good so far, yay me.

I do wonder about pilot error (as always ha) but checked gravity a couple times and it seemed to be well mixed and hydrometer not sticking, house temp. here pretty consistent. picking up some re-supplies so may top off a bit anyway as this ended up being only ~2.25gal in a 11L carboy (did I mention about the pilot error lol)

from my notes:
- 32oz honey, Ambrosia Colorado brand, raw+unfiltered
- 23oz honey, White Gold brand, untreated, opaque!
- 32oz sour cherry concentrate, Tart is Smart brand
- + water to ~9qt
- 1/2t+ EC-1118
- 1/2t Fermax (- add 1/2t more every other day, up to 2t?)

ok so I have some time to look into tannins, acids - it seems a bit advanced for me but again always willing to learn, thank you. also if the above is out of proportion in anyway, any advice much appreciated.

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Old 04-27-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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(also also, mention of tannins amuses me mainly because lately I have to consider resurfacing iron-tannate aka rust-converters for my car (seen here: http://www.hemmings.com/hsx/stories/2006/09/01/hmn_feature4.html ) - ok, not my photos or words, but it is now my car, so now who's laughing?! (probably not me given repair costs))

anyway, I am also concurrently brewing a 100% gur/jaggery (aka gul/gud) concoction more or less the same gravity as the above melomel. this one really scares me.

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Old 04-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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So it was actually a concentrate rather than a fruit puree...I didn't catch that from the orig. post. That being the case, not surprised it had a significant quantity of sugar...got to figure you're supposed to just mix that with water to make a drinkable beverage. Actually, I've heard of people priming their cider for bottle carbonation using a measured quantity of apple juice concentrate -- you can calculate how much you need based on the listed amount of sugar in the nutritional box... I would also wonder whether or not you will really need the acid addition or tannin, since this was a concentrate presumably able to create a ready-to-drink beverage, rather than just fruit puree (which is what I had assumed in the beginning)...

At any rate, the honey amounts for an ~ 2 gal batch look OK. Definitely keep up on the nutrient additions. Regarding your yeast...did you add less than a packet? Not sure what exactly '1/2t+' comes to, but if you didn't pitch the whole pack, you probably have under pitched, especially if you didn't rehydrate the yeast. No big worries...you'll still make mead, but next go-around, look into pitch rates and such...

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
Regarding your yeast...did you add less than a packet? Not sure what exactly '1/2t+' comes to...
I think that might mean the partial nutrient addition along with the yeast but I could be completely wrong.

Your process looks good, so far, keep up with the nutrient additions, degas/aerate for first few days (or 1/3 fermentation) and you're on your way to a decent mead, probably close to dry using the beast 1118.

The only thing I really forsee you maybe running into adding your cherry concentrate to the primary and using 1118 is that it is notorious for blowing off flavors and aromas of fruits during primary so you will still have the nice color and probably the tartness which will be real nice but the actual cherry flavor may get a lost. Thats easily resolved aswell by adding some fresh dark cherries just split in half and depitted or some more cherry concentrate to the secondary, just have a light hand with concentrates in the secondary so you don't go too high with more sugar/acid, you'll most likely get a little secondary fermentation that way, raise your abv% a couple points but not astronomical. But it will help bring more intensity to the cherry flavor which in turn will help mask the harsher aspects of 1118 and help get you to a pleasant drink sooner...I made a cherry vanilla melomel for my first mel and it tastes great but the cherry is very very hard to detect, like if I didn't know to look for it I wouldn't know, I only used fruit in primary as I didn't know any better at the time lol
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
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I believe your cherry concentrate is around 68 Brix, which means that 68% of the weight is sugar. Without doing the math, I'd guess that's equal to a little more than two pounds of honey.

With 32 oz concentrate and 3 1/2 lbs honey in a 9 quart batch, I'd expect your OG to be around 1.090. The 1.130 might have been off because it wasn't mixed well.

A 32 oz jar of cherry concentrate is equal to something like 15-20 lbs of cherries. That's a lot of cherries in a 9 quart batch. I've used the same amount in 5 gallon batches. I'm gonna guess that you will have plenty of cherry flavor.

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Old 04-27-2012, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinKings View Post
I believe your cherry concentrate is around 68 Brix, which means that 68% of the weight is sugar. Without doing the math, I'd guess that's equal to a little more than two pounds of honey.
Quote:
With 32 oz concentrate and 3 1/2 lbs honey in a 9 quart batch, I'd expect your OG to be around 1.090. The 1.130 might have been off because it wasn't mixed well.
He remixed and checked his OG a couple times so not sure he is really off by that much....

Quote:
A 32 oz jar of cherry concentrate is equal to something like 15-20 lbs of cherries. That's a lot of cherries in a 9 quart batch. I've used the same amount in 5 gallon batches. I'm gonna guess that you will have plenty of cherry flavor
It does seem like more than enough for the size batch but using the 1118 I don't think he has any concerns of overwhelming cherry flavor, and very likely may want more.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewingMedic View Post
He remixed and checked his OG a couple times so not sure he is really off by that much....
Maybe I missed something, but I don't believe 1.130 is possible given the recipe.

The recipe lists about 6.25 lbs of fermentables. 6.25 lbs of pure sugar in a 2.25 gallon batch would not even be 1.130. Honey is usually about 80% sugar, so the OG would be lower than that.

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Originally Posted by aurelius View Post
the gravity measured out at 1130,
Reading a hydrometer can be confusing. Could it have been 1.113?
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
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be easier to figure out if we had the nutritional guide for that particular brand of concentrate, see what the actually sugar content is instead of guessing based on similar products



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