SG readings of my Blueberry Muffin Mead

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Flexmedia

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Hey folks!
On 12-27-21 I took a SG reading of my Blueberry Muffin Mead with vanilla and cinnamon.
SG 32
ABV 4
sugar 8
This was my 1st rack. I forgot to take a SG reading at the start.
A month later, 2nd rack 1-28-22 today
SG 25
ABV. 3.5
Sugar blue line 6.5

What does this mean?
Thanks,
Art
 

CKuhns

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Im not sure im following what your measurements are.

Read this (it might help clarify what your asking.)
 
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Flexmedia

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Im not sure im following what your measurements are.

Read this (it might help clarify what your asking.)

Didn’t know there was a formula so let me get back with you! Not as easy or direct as I thought it was… 🙂
 

CKuhns

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The specific Gravity (SG) readings are pretty straight forward.

Record your Starting / Original Gravity (OG) and when complete record your Ending / Final Gravity (FG).
- The 1.000 on the scale should be calibrated to distilled water at 68 Deg F and any marks beyond that must include the 1.000 example 1.100 your meniscus line would be at the 100 but below the 1.000 line so must be included.

The math is this to estimate your alcohol by volume during / after a ferment.
OG - FG X 131.25 = ABV (alcohol by Volume)
If you target say a 1.100 OG and your ferment goes to complete 1.000 (Could go a little less) Then you can predict what you might get for alcohol content.
1.100 - 1.000 = 0.100 and 0.100 X 131.25 = 13.125 ABV
This is not exact nor is it exactly linear but gets you within a few tenths.

With that said the other two readings are Brix and Potential alcohol. Brix needs a conversion to calculate the sugar content and return back to Specific Gravity alcohol potential is pretty useless at this point but again can be a proxy for SG.
 
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Flexmedia

Flexmedia

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The specific Gravity (SG) readings are pretty straight forward.

Record your Starting / Original Gravity (OG) and when complete record your Ending / Final Gravity (FG).
- The 1.000 on the scale should be calibrated to distilled water at 68 Deg F and any marks beyond that must include the 1.000 example 1.100 your meniscus line would be at the 100 but below the 1.000 line so must be included.

The math is this to estimate your alcohol by volume during / after a ferment.
OG - FG X 131.25 = ABV (alcohol by Volume)
If you target say a 1.100 OG and your ferment goes to complete 1.000 (Could go a little less) Then you can predict what you might get for alcohol content.
1.100 - 1.000 = 0.100 and 0.100 X 131.25 = 13.125 ABV
This is not exact nor is it exactly linear but gets you within a few tenths.

With that said the other two readings are Brix and Potential alcohol. Brix needs a conversion to calculate the sugar content and return back to Specific Gravity alcohol potential is pretty useless at this point but again can be a proxy for SG.

kinda getting it..
let me give a better example of my other mead that I took a reading at the start. Let me know if I’m on the right track. It is a Blackberry Orange mead with raisins and a 1/2 pack of RC 212 yeast started on January 15 th.

My hydrometer has SG @ 60deg F. (Black gauge). 22
Percent sugar by weight (Blue gauge). 30
Potential alcohol by volume (Red gauge). 16.5

Is after ferment when the yeast stops working?

I will take 22 subtract whatever the FG is when the yeast stops then multiple it by 131.25 for an estimated ABV.

I don’t know why we use the 131.25 guessing that’s just the formula.
How I’m doing? 😉
 

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The specific Gravity (SG) readings are pretty straight forward.

Record your Starting / Original Gravity (OG) and when complete record your Ending / Final Gravity (FG).
- The 1.000 on the scale should be calibrated to distilled water at 68 Deg F and any marks beyond that must include the 1.000 example 1.100 your meniscus line would be at the 100 but below the 1.000 line so must be included.

The math is this to estimate your alcohol by volume during / after a ferment.
OG - FG X 131.25 = ABV (alcohol by Volume)
If you target say a 1.100 OG and your ferment goes to complete 1.000 (Could go a little less) Then you can predict what you might get for alcohol content.
1.100 - 1.000 = 0.100 and 0.100 X 131.25 = 13.125 ABV
This is not exact nor is it exactly linear but gets you within a few tenths.

With that said the other two readings are Brix and Potential alcohol. Brix needs a conversion to calculate the sugar content and return back to Specific Gravity alcohol potential is pretty useless at this point but again can be a proxy for SG.
(OG - FG) X 131.25 = ABV
Ftfy!

The brackets really make a difference!

I know, you meant it the right way, as you have shown later in your text, but these brackets must be there, otherwise it's wrong.
 

CKuhns

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Thanks @Miraculix yes, the brackets do matter. Thanks for clarifying for me.

@Flexmedia yes the 131.25 is a constant.
The Constant of 131.25 in the equation comes from two different factors: 1.05 accounts for the number of grams of ethanol generated per gram of carbon dioxide released in fermentation. 0.80 represents the approximate density of ethanol, which is necessary to convert from alcohol by weight (ABW) to alcohol by volume (ABV).

I think your getting there. But pretty sure to get a 22 reading your looking at the Brix scale. The calculation will not work for that.

The Specific Gravity scale should look like this. (There are some hydrometers with color markings mine is just white. See attaced image.)

As well, i misspoke earlier my gauge is calibrated at 60 deg F some are at 68.
 

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Flexmedia

Flexmedia

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Thanks @Miraculix yes, the brackets do matter. Thanks for clarifying for me.

@Flexmedia yes the 131.25 is a constant.
The Constant of 131.25 in the equation comes from two different factors: 1.05 accounts for the number of grams of ethanol generated per gram of carbon dioxide released in fermentation. 0.80 represents the approximate density of ethanol, which is necessary to convert from alcohol by weight (ABW) to alcohol by volume (ABV).

I think your getting there. But pretty sure to get a 22 reading your looking at the Brix scale. The calculation will not work for that.

The Specific Gravity scale should look like this. (There are some hydrometers with color markings mine is just white. See attaced image.)

As well, i misspoke earlier my gauge is calibrated at 60 deg F some are at 68.
I have a Brewing America hydrometer. The scales look like this..
6B5CB8A9-DA91-432D-816B-74F375E02843.jpeg 35191894-52B0-48B6-8C6C-F9B8104B86B1.jpeg E0A7AD18-895B-46E1-833E-E6EA28551E73.jpeg
 

Dan O

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Hey folks!
On 12-27-21 I took a SG reading of my Blueberry Muffin Mead with vanilla and cinnamon.
SG 32
ABV 4
sugar 8
This was my 1st rack. I forgot to take a SG reading at the start.
A month later, 2nd rack 1-28-22 today
SG 25
ABV. 3.5
Sugar blue line 6.5

What does this mean?
Thanks,
Art
I found this in one of the mead groups I check out for ideas on Facebook. This may help you understand it better, it may not. Just thought I would try to offer some insight.
I hope this helps you. Happy meading 😎
img_2_1643564994511.jpg
 

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Great info here for you to get a good baseline. I have to admit that my first couple of years making beer and mead, gravity readings were not priority but that was a big mistake.
Luckily there are a ton of abv calculators where they will do the math for you and you can switch from gravity to brix.
Some mead and cider recipes will be in brix.
It’s also a good tool to play with for planning future brews.

Google “abv calculator”
 
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Flexmedia

Flexmedia

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Great info here for you to get a good baseline. I have to admit that my first couple of years making beer and mead, gravity readings were not priority but that was a big mistake.
Luckily there are a ton of abv calculators where they will do the math for you and you can switch from gravity to brix.
Some mead and cider recipes will be in brix.
It’s also a good tool to play with for planning future brews.

Google “abv calculator”
I use this refractometer to learn how much water is in my honey. I place a drop on the end and look through the other end up to a light and read the scales. Wish this was as easy!
1B6F7C8A-C88E-4F8B-B2E4-BB08815A1D67.jpeg
 
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Flexmedia

Flexmedia

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While I’m on a roll, let me ask this. Recently, I did another blueberry Orange mead in a brew bucket. I didn’t take a SG reading then but 4 days later, the recipe tells me to transfer into a carboy when I tried to take a SG reading. The hydrometer went all the way to the bottom. What does that mean? I’ll rack it again in another month.
Thanks!
Art.
 

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Sounds like “how to read a hydrometer “ YouTube search is in order. You’ll feel like a regular ole Al E. Chemist with once you master the mystical triple scale hydrometer.
 

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While I’m on a roll, let me ask this. Recently, I did another blueberry Orange mead in a brew bucket. I didn’t take a SG reading then but 4 days later, the recipe tells me to transfer into a carboy when I tried to take a SG reading. The hydrometer went all the way to the bottom. What does that mean? I’ll rack it again in another month.
Thanks!
Art.
What was the recipe that you followed? Please be specific about quantities of each ingredient as this will help us determine any possible issues.
If you racked to a carboy & put your hydrometer in & it sunk to the bottom, either it has fermented dry, (not likely in 4 days, but, if you used a lesser amount of honey, say 1 1/2 lbs, not totally impossible), or you didn't use the graduated cylinder to take your reading.?? If you took the reading in the bucket it may not have been deep enough for the hydrometer to float, therefore would sink to the bottom. I always use a graduated cylinder for this reason, unless it's in a 3 gallon or bigger carboy/bucket.
 
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Flexmedia

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What was the recipe that you followed? Please be specific about quantities of each ingredient as this will help us determine any possible issues.
If you racked to a carboy & put your hydrometer in & it sunk to the bottom, either it has fermented dry, (not likely in 4 days, but, if you used a lesser amount of honey, say 1 1/2 lbs, not totally impossible), or you didn't use the graduated cylinder to take your reading.?? If you took the reading in the bucket it may not have been deep enough for the hydrometer to float, therefore would sink to the bottom. I always use a graduated cylinder for this reason, unless it's in a 3 gallon or bigger carboy/bucket.

This was a 1 gallon recipe for a Blueberry Orange Mead in a brew bucket.

1.5 pounds blueberries
2 oranges peeled
3 pounds honey
1 gallon spring water
1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp. Acid Blend
RC 212 yeast

it tells me to use a mesh bag to mash the berries and oranges in the brew bucket and pour the Heated water and honey over it. Let it sit, cool it off with the rest of the water.
I took a SG reading with my Brewing America Pro Series Hydrometer (I pictured previously)
SG 39

Add the rest of the ingredients and pitch the yeast. I did use 1/2 pack of the RC 212 yeast. Capped the bucket, shook it everyday for 4 days.

Transferred it to a jug with a siphon. Transferred some directly into the hydrometer and tried to take a reading. That’s when it went all the way to the bottom. I tried a few times, spinning it, leaving it in the hydrometer and adding the liquid, etc. I’ll check again this morning but yesterday it wasn’t bubbling. First time I used this yeast. The guy at the store told me it bottoms out soon but I don’t think this soon! I’m still new at this so I could have made several mistakes. I made another Blackberry orange 1 gallon on the same day without the brew bucket just as a comparison and it’s still bubbling strong. SG 22 The color is nice on the both of them. I got that going for me!
Thanks,
Art
 

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I don't think this has been mentioned yet....but

To the OP-Refractometers are not accurate when there is alcohol present. So best practice is to use it before fermentation and then use your hydrometer anytime after. There are calculators available to compensate for the presence of alcohol but why bother.

I also use both. It's really convenient to use the refractometer, especially when dealing with hot wort or when you do not have or want to use a larger volume of liquid (fresh apples for ex). Once I pitch yeast I only use the hydrometer.
 

Dan O

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This was a 1 gallon recipe for a Blueberry Orange Mead in a brew bucket.

1.5 pounds blueberries
2 oranges peeled
3 pounds honey
1 gallon spring water
1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp. Acid Blend
RC 212 yeast

it tells me to use a mesh bag to mash the berries and oranges in the brew bucket and pour the Heated water and honey over it. Let it sit, cool it off with the rest of the water.
I took a SG reading with my Brewing America Pro Series Hydrometer (I pictured previously)
SG 39

Add the rest of the ingredients and pitch the yeast. I did use 1/2 pack of the RC 212 yeast. Capped the bucket, shook it everyday for 4 days.

Transferred it to a jug with a siphon. Transferred some directly into the hydrometer and tried to take a reading. That’s when it went all the way to the bottom. I tried a few times, spinning it, leaving it in the hydrometer and adding the liquid, etc. I’ll check again this morning but yesterday it wasn’t bubbling. First time I used this yeast. The guy at the store told me it bottoms out soon but I don’t think this soon! I’m still new at this so I could have made several mistakes. I made another Blackberry orange 1 gallon on the same day without the brew bucket just as a comparison and it’s still bubbling strong. SG 22 The color is nice on the both of them. I got that going for me!
Thanks,
Art
I think you're reading the wrong scale on your hydrometer. Specific gravity reading should be 1.105 for 3 lbs of honey, IF it is completely mixed & dissolved, plus a few points for the sugar you get from the blueberries & oranges.

When you say SG 39 & again @ SG 22, I think you're confusing the percent of sugar by weight scale & the specific gravity scales on the hydrometer. Make sure you're reading the right scale, otherwise you'll confuse yourself indefinitely.

In the pictures you posted, it tells you @ the bottom of your hydrometer specifically what each scale measures,
specific gravity, potential alcohol by volume (abv) & percent of sugar by weight . Your reading should read between 1.000 & 1.105. (Specific gravity scale). Use the picture I posted if you are confused about how to read it properly....or, take a picture of it in your graduated cylinder & post that. That may give us a better read on which scale you're looking at.
Also, make sure when taking a reading in the graduated cylinder, it should be
nearly full. The more sugar that gets eaten by the yeast, the more liquid it takes to take a hydrometer reading, the closer fermentation gets towards dry, the graduated cylinder will need to be closer to full.
Alternatively, I've heard of people dropping the hydrometer right into the must & leaving it there until fermentation is done. I do not do this because I have multiple meads going @ the same time @ various stages of ferment, so, I need it for measurements on the others......unless you're going to invest in multiple hydrometers to be able to do that.
 
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Flexmedia

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I think you're reading the wrong scale on your hydrometer. Specific gravity reading should be 1.105 for 3 lbs of honey, IF it is completely mixed & dissolved, plus a few points for the sugar you get from the blueberries & oranges.

When you say SG 39 & again @ SG 22, I think you're confusing the percent of sugar by weight scale & the specific gravity scales on the hydrometer. Make sure you're reading the right scale, otherwise you'll confuse yourself indefinitely.

In the pictures you posted, it tells you @ the bottom of your hydrometer specifically what each scale measures,
specific gravity, potential alcohol by volume (abv) & percent of sugar by weight . Your reading should read between 1.000 & 1.105. (Specific gravity scale). Use the picture I posted if you are confused about how to read it properly....or, take a picture of it in your graduated cylinder & post that. That may give us a better read on which scale you're looking at.
Also, make sure when taking a reading in the graduated cylinder, it should be
nearly full. The more sugar that gets eaten by the yeast, the more liquid it takes to take a hydrometer reading, the closer fermentation gets towards dry, the graduated cylinder will need to be closer to full.
Alternatively, I've heard of people dropping the hydrometer right into the must & leaving it there until fermentation is done. I do not do this because I have multiple meads going @ the same time @ various stages of ferment, so, I need it for measurements on the others......unless you're going to invest in multiple hydrometers to be able to do that.

Dan O,
I’m pretty sure I’m reading the SG scale, the Black one. BUT now I have the picture with the break down you gave me helps. So on the black SG scale, a OG reading of 39 would be around 1.002 according to the picture you sent?
Another thing I did wrong with the other batch is I didn’t fill the hydrometer close to full. I’ll attach thumb nails. Once the bubbles calmed down, I did read the middle of the meniscus…

F8B87729-3884-4436-B3A1-371DF50CBAF8.jpeg 32F06C9E-4120-451F-A8AE-226C8A71B74B.jpeg 6C7C7CFA-6C14-40E7-BD66-86962FCAC671.jpeg
 

Dan O

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Dan O,
I’m pretty sure I’m reading the SG scale, the Black one. BUT now I have the picture with the break down you gave me helps. So on the black SG scale, a OG reading of 39 would be around 1.002 according to the picture you sent?
Another thing I did wrong with the other batch is I didn’t fill the hydrometer close to full. I’ll attach thumb nails. Once the bubbles calmed down, I did read the middle of the meniscus…

View attachment 757725 View attachment 757726 View attachment 757728
Looks like 1.120...not 1.002
6C7C7CFA-6C14-40E7-BD66-86962FCAC671.jpeg
img_2_1643564994511.jpg
 
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SeanC138

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It's nice to see Dan and others helping out the new folks. Dan helped me out when I first started and answered my questions. It's nice to see a community willing to help in such a fun hobby/obsession! This receipe sounds delicious so may give it shot. Curious how the 'muffin' part will come out of this.
 

Dan O

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It's nice to see Dan and others helping out the new folks. Dan helped me out when I first started and answered my questions. It's nice to see a community willing to help in such a fun hobby/obsession! This receipe sounds delicious so may give it shot. Curious how the 'muffin' part will come out of this.
Thanks for the shout out
We were all newbies @ one point or another, ( I still consider myself to be one). Nobody starts making mead (or anything really) with 10 years experience. I help when I can. Always glad to help. People extended their experience & helped me correct things when I had questions, the least I can do is try to help, too.
I only started making meads July 1, 2000, but, I read the forums on here & @ gotmead.com for 6 months before I ever attempted to make my first. The BOMM thread took the longest🥴😂, but, it was so worth the read. I would say 85% or better of the meads I make are with BOMM yeast (Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast). That's just my preference, a lot of people don't like it so much.
Happy meading 😎
 
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It's nice to see Dan and others helping out the new folks. Dan helped me out when I first started and answered my questions. It's nice to see a community willing to help in such a fun hobby/obsession! This receipe sounds delicious so may give it shot. Curious how the 'muffin' part will come out of this.
You add a cinnamon stick and a vanilla bean! I made this one before without the muffin part because I didn’t have cinnamon or vanilla but the wife loved it!…after I back sweetened if of course!
 
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Flexmedia

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Thanks for the shout out
We were all newbies @ one point or another, ( I still consider myself to be one). Nobody starts making mead (or anything really) with 10 years experience. I help when I can. Always glad to help. People extended their experience & helped me correct things when I had questions, the least I can do is try to help, too.
I only started making meads July 1, 2000, but, I read the forums on here & @ gotmead.com for 6 months before I ever attempted to make my first. The BOMM thread took the longest🥴😂, but, it was so worth the read. I would say 85% or better of the meads I make are with BOMM yeast (Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast). That's just my preference, a lot of people don't like it so much.
Happy meading 😎

I really appreciate it Dan O! I just try things with all this honey we have and I like your tips. They help! I started off with beer and my family is kind enough to let me know I never have to do that again. 🤣

Right now I have a Blueberry Orange that looks like is done bubbling ( the one I started in the brew bucket on 1-15-22) might have messed that one up some how. The Blackberry Orange I started 1-15-22 in a jug is going strong. I’ll let ya know!

Thanks for the help
Art.
 

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I really appreciate it Dan O! I just try things with all this honey we have and I like your tips. They help! I started off with beer and my family is kind enough to let me know I never have to do that again. 🤣

Right now I have a Blueberry Orange that looks like is done bubbling ( the one I started in the brew bucket on 1-15-22) might have messed that one up some how. The Blackberry Orange I started 1-15-22 in a jug is going strong. I’ll let ya know!

Thanks for the help
Art.
Don't count on bubbles. They do nothing for telling you when fermentation is done. Always count on your hydrometer readings. 3 consecutive gravity readings over a 2 week period is a good sign it's done. (Say 1.000 x 3 readings over 2 weeks). If you take a reading & it's lower than the last one, it's still fermenting.
As far as the beer goes, mead is a little more forgiving, where beer tends to be more finicky. Too funny your family said that to you.😆 Anyways, glad I was able to help.
Happy meading 😎
 
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Don't count on bubbles. They do nothing for telling you when fermentation is done. Always count on your hydrometer readings. 3 consecutive gravity readings over a 2 week period is a good sign it's done. (Say 1.000 x 3 readings over 2 weeks). If you take a reading & it's lower than the last one, it's still fermenting.
As far as the beer goes, mead is a little more forgiving, where beer tends to be more finicky. Too funny your family said that to you.😆 Anyways, glad I was able to help.
Happy meading 😎
This is the one the hydrometer went straight to the bottom but I’ll let you know! It’s good to have honest family members, otherwise I’ll keep making it! Thing is, I’ve never tasted alcohol before so I depend on my wife and family. All I got anyway! Wife likes sweet, Sisters like strong and dry. Almost can’t go wrong, somebody will like it!
 
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Don't count on bubbles. They do nothing for telling you when fermentation is done. Always count on your hydrometer readings. 3 consecutive gravity readings over a 2 week period is a good sign it's done. (Say 1.000 x 3 readings over 2 weeks). If you take a reading & it's lower than the last one, it's still fermenting.
As far as the beer goes, mead is a little more forgiving, where beer tends to be more finicky. Too funny your family said that to you.😆 Anyways, glad I was able to help.
Happy meading 😎

Hey Dan O,
Im going to start a few more questions on another strand. Hope you follow! I like your comments but let me ask you here. I’m going to back sweeten a blueberry mead with honey. I started it 11/27/21 with Lavin Bougovin RC 212 yeast and it looks like it is done fermenting. I want to add 1/2 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate, stir it up and wait a day then add about 1/2 cup of honey diluted in a little water, sake it up and rack it one more time in 30 days then bottle. Does that sound good for this one gallon recipe?
Thank you!
Art
 

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Hey Dan O,
Im going to start a few more questions on another strand. Hope you follow! I like your comments but let me ask you here. I’m going to back sweeten a blueberry mead with honey. I started it 11/27/21 with Lavin Bougovin RC 212 yeast and it looks like it is done fermenting. I want to add 1/2 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate, stir it up and wait a day then add about 1/2 cup of honey diluted in a little water, sake it up and rack it one more time in 30 days then bottle. Does that sound good for this one gallon recipe?
Thank you!
Art
Well, even though I have the ingredients to stabilize, I still have never used them. I ferment to tolerance, meaning until the yeast quit. Even then, I have restarted a slight fermentation again.
There are many people on here that have much more knowledge about stabilizing than I do, (that I could & will also learn from), that I hope will chime in to help you with this. I have recently decided to start stabilizing, but, still haven't taken the plunge.😬
For when you backsweeten, don't shake it. Take some of your mead that is done, put it in a sanitized container & add your honey to that, stir GENTLY! The key is to NOT aerate your mead. You'll be there a while until the honey is dissolved, so, get comfortable. Then add that back to the rest of your mead...take a reading after that is gently mixed in & see where it's at.
I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 

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Hey Dan O,
Im going to start a few more questions on another strand. Hope you follow! I like your comments but let me ask you here. I’m going to back sweeten a blueberry mead with honey. I started it 11/27/21 with Lavin Bougovin RC 212 yeast and it looks like it is done fermenting. I want to add 1/2 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate, stir it up and wait a day then add about 1/2 cup of honey diluted in a little water, sake it up and rack it one more time in 30 days then bottle. Does that sound good for this one gallon recipe?
Thank you!
Art
That is generally the process! Though, one could take a little mead to thin the honey addition, and a small portion of campdon to prevent oxidation.
 
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Flexmedia

Flexmedia

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For when you backsweeten, don't shake it. Take some of your mead that is done, put it in a sanitized container & add your honey to that, stir GENTLY! The key is to NOT aerate your mead. You'll be there a while until the honey is dissolved, so, get comfortable. Then add that back to the rest of your mead...take a reading after that is gently mixed in & see where it's at.
I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎

Ok! That’s a great tip for this wine Freshman. I was just going to add some honey and shake the mess out of it! Glad you stopped me. 😬
 

bracconiere

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for my own curiosity, and the fact i know you have a refrac & hydro....what's the must say on the refrac now? i honestly thought that was the mysterious "blue sugar line" at first... :mug:

and then when i punched it in, got like 0.2%ABV and your ABV on the hydro dropped from 4 to 3.5%? made sense?
 
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Flexmedia

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Bottled my Blueberry Muffin Mead after adding more honey as a back sweetener. Came out a little cloudy and not as sweet as the wife wanted but it should be ok!

Will it become sweeter with age or more dry?
Thanks!
Art
 

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