Originally Posted by f0xtr0t
I bought 24 lbs of orange blossom honey that I intend to make a mead with. It's made in Monterrey, Mexico, but I met the apiarist and he told me about his all natural process. Plus the honey tastes and smells awesome. Now I didn't want to potentially screw up my expensive orange blossom. So i am trying to make a 1 gallon desert mead with clover honey from Sam's Club.
I used 5 lbs of clover honey
Spring water to fill up to 1 gallon.
Ld Carlson yeast nutrient and energizer
I've am guessing I was some where around 45 brix or 1.175 OG. my hydrometers and refractometer can't read that high.
I just ended my 3rd day of fermentation. I've been degassing and adding nutrients, energizer every 12 hours.
Problems I have encountered so far are:
Can't measure actual OG.
I'm guessing on yeast nutrients and energizer. Can't measure that small amount. Degassing and oxygenating make a mess. Also SWMBO is going to kill me. I made a mess everywhere.
Welcome to the forums f0xtr0t.
Part of the problem is you're applying beer making techniques i.e. getting all the fermentable sugars in up front..
That's quite a high SG to kick off with. A total drop of 133 points equates to 18% ABV. Now presuming finished at 1.000, a drop of 175 points would equate to about 23.7% ABV and 71B certainly isn't gonna do that (actually pretty much no yeast will do that irrespective of how "robust" it is).
71B will go to 14% from memory. So I'd suggest that you just split that batch down to 2 gallons but maybe with an extra 1lb of honey, which would give you a normal-ish honey to water ratio.
As it stands, you're gonna end up with a mega, mega sweet batch, with the likelihood that it won't actually get to 14% as the osmotic pressure on the yeast is gonna be vvv high.
See, with your aim of making dessert meads, you'd be better placed in just making a traditional (which seems to be what you're making) to an alcohol level that won't cause you any issues during the ferment and then back sweeten it to your desired level (not a big fan of dessert level sweetness meads, I like mine in the 1.010 to 1.020 sort of range. plenty sweet enough for my tastes).
S'up to you of course, but it would make the ferment infinitely easier.
Oh, and don't forget, 71B makes some good meads, but it carries a caveat. It isn't a good one for ageing batches in the lees/sediment. A rough guesstimate is that the meads need to be racked off the sediment within about 2 months of the ferment finishing, any longer would be risking autolysis related off flavours.