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Old 05-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
devaspawn
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Default Took a Much Lower Gravity Reading than expected

On 4/27/08 I made a mead with 15 lbs of Clover honey, enough water to top up to 5.25 gallons, and White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast which was supposed to have approx. 75% attenuation. My OG was 1.116. I used a 2 day starter for the yeast with a few oz of wildflower honey and 2 cups of water. Last night , 5/22/08, I took a gravity reading and it came up 1.011. That is a 90.5% attenuation if I have my math right.

My question is does this seem right. I figured I should have come in around 1.030. Should I have slightly stirred my must/mead before collecting for a hydro test to make sure everything was mixed evenly. I've never had to do that with my beer but maybe mead is different?

It's still very sweet so I guess I don't have that to worry about but I just didn't expect that low a gravity given the yeast I had and the fact that I was looking for a sweet mead.

Any insight would be appreciated.

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Last edited by devaspawn; 05-23-2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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It is possible that you didn't completely mix the honey when you first started the mead. It takes quite a bit of stirring to completely incorporate honey or malt extract in the top off water.
I would also say that at 90 plus percent attenuation and with over 14% ABV that you might have taken an accurate reading to start with. Sounds like a very good fermentation to me.
Bottom line, it is sweet like you wanted. I wouldn't judge it now anyway. Give it a year or probably more and I bet you will have a killer mead.

EDIT: Did you use 15 pounds of honey or 15 gallons??? 15 gallons in 5 1/4 gallons of water would be a LOT! Also, what was your total volume?

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Old 05-23-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
devaspawn
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I am pretty confidant that I got the honey completely mixed in. I used a lee's stirrer for about 15 minutes total when I made the must. I also pastuerized 2 gallons of water and all the honey at ~150 for 7 minutes.

I misspoke when I said 15 gallons. I have edited my post to reflect 15 lbs. Also, my total volume was 5.25 after water was added.

on day 2 and 3 I used the lee's stirrer on a low setting for a few minutes. Yooper recommended that I do that until my gravity was a third less that my OG.

I fully intend to wait a minumum of 9 months before I start drinking but I didn't want to waste my hydro sample. I was surprised and happy that it was that sweet. Actually it might be a tad too sweet. Will it get less sweet over time? I know that Edworts Apfelwein seems a tad sweeter once it's had time to age a little.

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Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Prim 1: Ogre's Inverted Extra Red Ale
Prim 2: Ogre's Hair of the Dog Imperial Amber Ale
Prim 3: Ogre's Relaxed APA
Sec 1: Honey Blonde Ale with Hefe Yeast
Sec 2: Scotch Wee Heavy
Sec 3: Ogre's Simple Mead
Keg 1: Ogre's Brown Ale
Keg 2: Ogre's Extra Red Ale

Last edited by devaspawn; 05-23-2008 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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I can believe those numbers are accurate as it puts you right at 14% ABV, which is all you can hope for with Wyeast's sweet mead strain.

Your stirring and helping it along is what helped you reach max attenuation.

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