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Old 09-25-2011, 03:17 AM   #1
neohistory
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Default Took my first hydrometer reading...

and it looks as if it reads 1.020? The temperature of the mead reads about 72.8 from the infrared thermometer. I didn't have the hydrometer on hand when I started (newbie here) so I just drew a sample (everything sanitized that would come in contact with the mead) and this is day 9 since the pitching of the yeast. It has taken on a different smell, it was a little stronger a few days ago (I could smell it coming out from the airlock if I put my nose up to it.) I am sick though at the moment so I'm probably not getting all the smells.

The ingredients I did for this are:
about 1/8th of a cup of powderized tea leaves
3 lbs of unboiled raw honey
1 gallon spring water
and a 7 oz packet of Red star active dry yeast which was rehydrated in the 105 degree F water with some of the must(I actually bought a packet at the grocery store and upon further reading realized it might create more of CO2 than alcohol. It will still be alcohol though right? It just might not be as strong?)
I looked at the slip of paper that came in the tube but I don't understand how I'm suppose to appropriately make up for the difference in temperature? It lists:

52.2 = -0.001
60 is neutral
66.6 = +0.001
and 72.4 +0.002

So is it every 5.8 degrees F I add 0.001?

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by neohistory View Post
and it looks as if it reads 1.020? The temperature of the mead reads about 72.8 from the infrared thermometer. I didn't have the hydrometer on hand when I started (newbie here) so I just drew a sample (everything sanitized that would come in contact with the mead) and this is day 9 since the pitching of the yeast. It has taken on a different smell, it was a little stronger a few days ago (I could smell it coming out from the airlock if I put my nose up to it.) I am sick though at the moment so I'm probably not getting all the smells.

The ingredients I did for this are:
about 1/8th of a cup of powderized tea leaves
3 lbs of unboiled raw honey
1 gallon spring water
and a 7 oz packet of Red star active dry yeast which was rehydrated in the 105 degree F water with some of the must(I actually bought a packet at the grocery store and upon further reading realized it might create more of CO2 than alcohol. It will still be alcohol though right? It just might not be as strong?)
I looked at the slip of paper that came in the tube but I don't understand how I'm suppose to appropriately make up for the difference in temperature? It lists:

52.2 = -0.001
60 is neutral
66.6 = +0.001
and 72.4 +0.002

So is it every 5.8 degrees F I add 0.001?
I haven't got a clue.......

There's no reason to be excessively accurate though. Judging from your post, 2 gravity points isn't really enough to worry about. The hydrometer numbers just confirm that the gravity is heading in the right direction and when the ferment has finished.

It will also allow you to work out the alcohol volume (as a percentage ABV). Again, there's not a lot of point in being excessively accurate as you're not having to worry about commercial stuff, like excise taxes etc......
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #3
neohistory
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Alright, well I'm glad I'm not a commercial Brewer then. When would you suggest another reading?

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Old 09-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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Alright, well I'm glad I'm not a commercial Brewer then. When would you suggest another reading?
Well, again, that's up to you. There's no quoted time line i.e. how long to drop from X gravity to the 1.020 you mentioned etc.

Me? Well I just wait till it stops bubbling, then start taking readings about every second day (to get the 3 identical readings across about 6 days), which is when I'll rack it off the gross lees, ready to start clearing (or so I know when to stabilise/sulphite, before adding honey for back sweetening - which I do before it clears, as there's no point in clearing, back sweetening, getting a protein haze and having to clear it again).

If you know the start and finish gravities, and the alcohol tolerance of your yeast, then you're in a position to know the approximate max % ABV, as well as a pretty close calculation of the actual % ABV produced by your efforts, and the likelihood as to whether it might need back sweetening or not.

I like my meads about the 1.010 area, anything more is too sweet for my taste.
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