F.G rather high?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

EuDvine

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
22
Reaction score
2
Location
Centerville
This is my first post, and I'm new to brewing.
I bottled my first batch of orange mead about a month ago after racking once and letting it sit in the secondary for two months. I didn't have a hydrometer at the time of bottling, so I just assumed it was okay to bottle because it was clear and I couldn't see any bubbles in it anymore. But to the question: it's very very sweet, and I decided to check it with my new hydrometer today so I opened a bottle and took a reading of 1.020. Do you think the yeast just quit while there was still sugar left, or died, or what!? It was a gallon batch and I used three pounds of honey and one pack of Lalvin D-47. Would it make a difference on how much yeast I use in the beginning? Is it possible the alcohol killed the yeast before it was done converting the sugar?
Anything, I mean anything you can tell me about yeast and yeast/sugar ratios will be edifying to me.
Thankyou!
 

jd3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Messages
439
Reaction score
10
How long was it in the fermenter? That is high... A recipe for bottle bombs.
 
OP
EuDvine

EuDvine

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
22
Reaction score
2
Location
Centerville
A month in primary I think. And then another month and a half in secondary. They've been in bottles for around a month now and nothings exploded. I have some new batches that are done fermenting after only 17 days.
 

fatbloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,696
Reaction score
189
Location
UK - South Coast.
Recipe dependant. You say "orange mead", so I presume its the Joes Ancient Orange/JAO recipe.

So, if you stuck to the recipe and used bread yeast, then while its sweet, bread yeast is likely to have reached its tolerance and shouldn't start to referment.
 

Insomniac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
683
Reaction score
7
Location
Oxford, UK
He does say he used D47.. which is more of a worry, but 4lb honey in a US gallon...

1.144 OG and 1.02 FG makes 16%, so it's possible it did give up.
 

MedsenFey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,034
Reaction score
25
Location
Florida
If you used 3 pounds of honey in a gallon batch, your starting gravity was probably around 1.105. That suggests that your fermentation stuck. As a result, there is the possibility that the yeast may start up again in your bottles if the temp warms up, or if whatever triggers yeast decides to happen. If you have fermentation in bottles your mead may get pettilant (slightly bubbly), it may push corks out, or in worst-case cause bottle bombs. I would handle these bottles carefully, and if any of them start fermenting, I'd probably empty them all back into a carboy and stabilize before re-bottling.

For future batches, if they remain sweet, I'd strongly encourage you to stabilize them before bottling.

Medsen
 
OP
EuDvine

EuDvine

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
22
Reaction score
2
Location
Centerville
Recipe dependant. You say "orange mead", so I presume its the Joes Ancient Orange/JAO recipe.

So, if you stuck to the recipe and used bread yeast, then while its sweet, bread yeast is likely to have reached its tolerance and shouldn't start to referment.
I did not use that recipe. I used one similar to this one http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm just using D-47 instead of Fleishmann's yeast.

So another question everybody: does yeast you put in your brew always finish around 1.000? Or is it random whether it finishes dry at 0.995 or sweet at 1.012 for example? Let me rephrase that: how to you control the sweetness?
 
OP
EuDvine

EuDvine

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
22
Reaction score
2
Location
Centerville
If you used 3 pounds of honey in a gallon batch, your starting gravity was probably around 1.105. That suggests that your fermentation stuck.

Medsen
Why do you suggest it's stuck? Please explain. I would like to learn as much about this as I can.
 

Insomniac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
683
Reaction score
7
Location
Oxford, UK
Those gravitys would only give an ABV of just over 11%, d47 is tollerent to at least 15 which implies it never finished.
 

huesmann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
757
Reaction score
29
Location
Kensington
I did not use that recipe. I used one similar to this one http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm just using D-47 instead of Fleishmann's yeast.

So another question everybody: does yeast you put in your brew always finish around 1.000? Or is it random whether it finishes dry at 0.995 or sweet at 1.012 for example? Let me rephrase that: how to you control the sweetness?
I guess you either use more honey in your must, so that your yeast dies off when you hit whatever ABV% they're tolerant to, or you ferment it to dry and backsweeten.
 
Top