Quantcast

What might my ABV be and other first-timer questions

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

littlebirdblue

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hello, I have just started my first must going and have been reading all sorts of helpful information, but have a few questions about this adventure. I started my must on Sunday, 04/08/18, and it has been bubbling up nicely. Had to clean up and re-sanitize my airlock after a couple foam-overs, but now it seems to be much less expansive.

Currently, in my 1 gallon carboy with an airlock, I have created the following:

-4 lbs clover honey (commercial, I know, I know)
-matcha (green tea powder) as the yeast nutrient
-2/3 gallon (appx) of spring water
-1/3 gallon cold-brewed jasmine green tea

I used 71B-1122 yeast.
I know that I cannot ever have a fully accurate ABV, as I pitched almost a week ago and have no OG, but I have seen some very talented folks here able to help guesstimate possible ABVs.

The other questions I have refer to the way I would like to flavor the must/mead. I have already gone a bit rouge in my use of tea, I imagine, but I am a tea-drinking gal, and wanted to make something reflective of that love (that would hopefully taste good as well). I currently have an "extract" brewing made with some Jameson and jasmine green tea (loose leaf) with a touch of peach schnapps. (I know, I am probably insane, and I plan to do tiny taste tests before I add ANYTHING). I want to create a floral jasmine flavor accented with a peachy flavor, since I figured the jasmine and honey would taste splendid together. Any thoughts?
 

BruceH

Mostly Retired
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
3,150
Reaction score
2,089
Location
30 miles north of Seattle
A guesstimate would be 1.035 per pound of honey per gallon of must x 4 = 1.140 for starting gravity, that equals 18% abv at 1.000 final gravity. However, 71B is supposed to max out around 14% alcohol so it probably won't get down to 1.000 gravity.

If I was to guess I'd say your mead will be fairly sweet with a final gravity of around 1.03x. It might taste like sweetened tea with a serious kick.

Do you have a hydrometer? Without measurements it's just a guess.
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,204
Reaction score
1,687
Location
Saratoga Springs
Hi littlebirdblue - and welcome. I agree with BruceH's estimate. If your total volume is 1 US gallon and that included the 4 lbs of honey then the stating gravity will be 1.140. If the total volume of liquid was 1 gallon and to that gallon you had added 4 lbs of honey then the gravity would be a little smaller because the total volume would be about 1/3 larger so the starting gravity would be closer to 1.110 To calculate the possible ABV you simply take your starting gravity (1.140) and subtract the finished gravity (assume 1.000) and multiply the result by 131 (about 18%).And if we are dealing with the larger volume the potential ABV would be about 14% and so, all other things being equal, could finish quite dry.

That said, it's not obvious that you have added any nutrients. Yeast need nitrogen and a whole host of metals and other compounds to build their cell membranes. Honey for all intents and purposes has essentially no nutrients that the yeast can use. Perhaps the tea powder does but is that something you know for certain? Poor nutrition can result in very stressed yeast and stressed yeast will produce all kinds of compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (smells like sewer gas) , mercaptans (smells like burnt matches) and can end in stalled fermentations.
 
Last edited:
OP
L

littlebirdblue

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I did some research on the nutrients and saw from a few sources that tea leaves could be used, and that they were powdered first. I used matcha, which it literally the powdered tea leaves themselves, not just tea that was brewed. I know that from at least the listed nutrition facts that there are compounds like iron, and it is super nutrient dense for us, which was echoed in my research. I think the main possible downside is tannins, but since it was never heated, they shouldn't get *too* crazy. It has been bubbling like mad, so I am thinking the yeastys are fairly happy. I figure that making anything is always an experiment until you can successfully replicate it, so while I'll be a bit sad if it doesn't work, I'll be really excited if it does!

It is sort of funny how green the must was, though. Doubt that is a usual thing! :)

As far as sweetened tea with a kick, I would be DELIGHTED with that result!!
 

bernardsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
5,204
Reaction score
1,687
Location
Saratoga Springs
"Tea wine" can be quite delicious. I recently made a session lapsang souchon mead (about 6.5% ABV) and that is quite fine, although mine is dry.
 
Top