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campbeas
01-21-2008, 07:48 PM
So this is my first batch of mead.
I'm making just plain mead. Honey, water, yeast, with raisins for nutrients

I'm using a 3 gallon carboy.
From what i've read if I want a semi-sweet mead with a yeast that handles 18% alcohol I need to add 12 lbs of honey.

So, I added warm water (boiled, cooled, and rewarmed) about 1/3 of the carboy.
Then I'm adding all the honey.'
Adding the chopped raisins
Then topping up with water and pitching the yeast starter

Honey makes up roughly 1/3 of the volume of the 3gal carboy
Does this sound right?

akueck
01-21-2008, 10:30 PM
Congrats on getting your first batch started. The process sounds fine, but could you give us some more information?

How much water did you use and/or what was the final volume?
What strain of yeast did you use?
If you have a hydrometer, did you take a reading?
Did you mix the honey into the water thoroughly? (I only ask because you mention it occupying 1/3 the volume.)

campbeas
01-22-2008, 01:27 AM
SG = 1.116 or there abouts (first time trying to read it)
1 gallon (12lb) Honey
2 gallons water (boiled, cooler, reheated)

Angus
01-22-2008, 11:26 AM
Hi Campbeas,

The calculator (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=745&Itemid=16) shows that a 3 gallon batch with a SG of 1.116 has a potential ABV of 15.7%. If you are using a yeast with an ABV tolerance of 18%, then you are going to have a dry mead.

But.....

1 gallon of honey in a 3 gallon batch should have resulted in an SG of around 1.147, which gives a potential ABV of 20%. Using a yeast with a potential ABV of 18% will result in a semi-sweet to sweet result.

It may be a bit too late to check, but I think your SG reading was off. Perhaps the honey was not mixed properly and you were getting a reading below the true potential. This is not a bad thing at all, but don't be surprised if you have some stalling problems due to high initial gravity. Keep an eye on things and feed the yeast to keep them healthy. If you do have a problem, check out the Patrons area (it is worth joining, trust me) to see how others get things going again (see the ABC group brew).

Good luck with the batch.

Angus

campbeas
01-22-2008, 02:37 PM
It was my first time taking a hydrometer measurement. So something was probably off like you said.
But my measurements for the volumes of honey and water that I posted were accurate so I'd trust those over the hydrometer measurement.

I think I'm going to assume I mucked up the hydrometer measurement and call the SG 1.147 based on the volumes calculations.

Thanks for the input.