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Old 12-28-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
thetankfrank
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Default Question about Gravity readings

So, I have been told that if I want to build a mead with heavy and copious amounts of sugar to boost alcohol levels, to add it in gradually. That is all fine, and I have been doing that, but curious.

How do I set up to measure what the final gravity versus original gravity is? How can you calculate it? Should I just keep going till the mead has hit its yeast alcohol tolerance level to get the best idea of where it is around?

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Old 12-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Just keep up with the amounts you're adding and add those numbers to your original recipe to get your OG and in turn your FG. It should not matter "when" the sugar is added. The yeast should eat away up to it's attenuation potential either way.

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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As already posted.

For an example, 18% ABV equates to 133 points drop. So given that yeasts like K1-V1116 or EC-1118 can achieve that, you'd start at, say 1.100 and presuming finished at 1.000 let the batch get to something like 1.050 then add either enough honey to bring the gravity back up to 1.088 or you could make the addition as more than one but smaller amounts as long as the total drops of gravity total up to 133 points you'll have the desired 18% and you can add sugars to achieve the sweetness level you like.

Of course, the published tolerances for yeasts usually allude to results from grape musts and its been known that with properly nourished honey musts you may exceed the published tolerance by a percentage point or two.....

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Old 12-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetankfrank View Post
So, I have been told that if I want to build a mead with heavy and copious amounts of sugar to boost alcohol levels, to add it in gradually. That is all fine, and I have been doing that, but curious.

How do I set up to measure what the final gravity versus original gravity is? How can you calculate it? Should I just keep going till the mead has hit its yeast alcohol tolerance level to get the best idea of where it is around?
Before adding honey you need to check the SG. After adding honey you check the SG again. Subtract the before reading from the after reading and add this number to your starting SG. Example:
Starting SG 1.110
check SG 1.035
add honey, check SG 1.050

1.050 - 1.035 = 0.015

New starting Sg 1.125 1.110 + 0.015

Repeat the above calculations each time you add honey until fermentation has completely stopped. The final SG reading will be subtracted from your last new starting SG. This is the number you will use to calculate the ABV.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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True, but but for those of use who are inherently lazy and also hate math, BeerSmith and the like are a godsend!

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Old 12-29-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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What happens if the hydrometer completely sinks. What do you do for reading and what does it mean?

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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Check your hydrometer for cracks, chances are that you have some water inside. If you don't see anything out of whack, test it in clear water and make sure you're getting a reading around 1.000. It is possible, depending on the type of yeast used, to get a reading less than 1 but for it to completely sink it sounds like a hydrometer problem.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Doesn't sink to the bottom, but is just below the surface. In water I get 1 and in my beer 1.023. So looks like it is working.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:23 AM   #9
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Ahh... What FG are you shooting for with your recipe? A lot of meads finish very dry and may just be beyond the range of your hydrometer. I've not run into this, but then I've done a grand total of one batch of mead to date and it finished out at 1.002. You can't be the only person thats run into this because I just looked at several recipe's that finish in the .960 range. I own three different hydrometers (all three types my LHBS carries) and none of them would be able to go that low........

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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I did this recipe.

16 lbs of Honey
5 gallons of spring water
7 teaspoons of yeast nutrient
7 teaspoons of yeast energizer
2 packets of Lalvin 71b-1122 yeast
1 LB White Sugar
1/2 LB Brown Sugar
30 Raisins

Just to let you know, it is getting to start to taste like liquor lol.

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