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-   -   Is there a way to guesstimate a starting specific gravity? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/there-way-guesstimate-starting-specific-gravity-349318/)

rakoepke1 08-22-2012 08:03 PM

Is there a way to guesstimate a starting specific gravity?
Im very new to the whole brewing/fermenting hobby as a matter of fact this is only my second time attempting to make something drinkable and my first time attempting a mead. Anyway i got anxious and decided to start a simple mead before my hydrometer arrived and i was just wondering if there's a way to get a guesstimate of my starting specific gravity? Thanks!

3.75 lbs of wildflower honey
1 gal of tap water
1 pack of champagne yeast

I did pasteurize the must at 190 degrees for 20 mins and then cooled so im sure something was lost in steam as well

Double_D 08-22-2012 08:11 PM

If I'm doing my math from memory right it should be about 1.127

Illuveatar 08-23-2012 02:29 AM

There's a cool calculator at GotMead.com but I've heard it can be a little off. Still I ran your numbers and it returns 1.135 which is probably a good ballpark figure.

Most people feel that the pasteurizing honey must is unnecessary, honey is usually quite sterile and heating it will cause you to loose some aromatic qualities. Don't let it get you down though, you'll probably still end up with something really great. Though the Champagne yeast will probably make it quite dry, you may want to stabilize and backsweeten before you bottle. Have fun !

GinKings 08-23-2012 02:29 PM

I think the previous estimates might be a bit high. There is a significant difference between 3.75 lbs honey in a gallon batch and 3.75 lbs honey added to a gallon of water because of the increased volume.

The recipe is written 3.75 lbs honey and 1 gallon water. There are approx 12 lbs honey in a gallon. So, 3.75 lbs is approx 0.3 gallons (3.75/12=0.3). That gives a batch size of 1.3 gallons (water+honey).

The sugar content of honey can vary, but 36 points per lb is a good average. In 3.75 lbs of honey, there are 135 points of gravity (3.75x36=135). In a one gallon batch you'd have 135 points or an SG of 1.135, which is what Illuveatar calculated. This is 1.3 gallon batch, so the gravity is diluted a bit. You have to divide by the batch size. 135 points divided by 1.3 gallons works out to approx 104 points per gallon (135/1.3=103.8), which translates to a specific gravity of 1.104.

I hope that makes sense.

Double_D 08-23-2012 03:56 PM

Much better! And now I know (approximately) the weight/gallon of honey which is something I've been wondering about.:)

Illuveatar 08-24-2012 01:12 PM

I assumed the total volume is 1 gallon since most folks say 1 gallon of water when they mean topped off to 1 gallon. But if you take the OPs post literally then you're right and it's lower, I probably should have noted the 1gal assumption in my post.

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