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meadguy711
07-24-2008, 06:07 PM
Hey all.
Brand new to mead making. I started my first one last weekend.
So I am trying to make a very sweet mead to introduce my lady to mead, and she likes sweet things.
I used 21LBS. of orange blossom honey for five gallons. I brought the honey up to 160* and held it for 15 mins to sanitize.
I racked it into my carboy with 2.5 gallons of cold water yeast nutrient, and energizer on the bottom. I forgot to lower the temp. in the pot, and the carboy is too big to fit in my sink (I cooled it down as much as I could in the tub).
I pitched the sweet mead yeast into the must. so it must have been between lower then 160* and higher then 82* degrees. I took an Original gravity and it was higher then even my hydrometers goes.
I got scared i killed all the sweet mead yeast, that night I pitched in champagne yeast in that i had. now it is fermenting like crazy (I can even hear the C02 being released it's going that much)
Now my question is, I don't want the champagne yeast to make the mead to dry. what SG should I be looking for? How much honey should I add to the second fermenter? What would you do?
Thanks everyone!

wayneb
07-24-2008, 06:29 PM
Hi, Welcome to "Gotmead?"!!

Well, that does look like a recipe and a description of your process (which is what we ask from everyone who posts a "Now what do I do??" kind of question)... so let me see if I can be of some help. Given the amount of honey you used, if you filled the carboy exactly to 5 gallons, you have a starting gravity somewhere in the vicinity of 1.150. That's pretty high, but not outside the range of the usual 3-scale hydrometer, so your point about it being too high for you to measure is a bit confusing.

Still, with that high of a starting gravity, unless you go to great lengths to nourish and oxygenate your yeast, even a Champagne yeast will stop before this goes completely dry. My gut feel is that you'll end up with a semi-sweet to sweet mead with an alcohol concentration somewhere between 16 and 18% ABV, without any need for additional honey.

So you might get exactly what you were looking for -- call it beginner's luck! ;)

Now I'd recommend that you take the time to read the Newbee's Guide to Meadmaking posted elsewhere on the site, and then peruse all the questions that other new meadmakers like you have posted in the Newbee's section here in the forum, and you'll have a lot of your questions answered.

When you're ready to try another batch, post your proposed recipe up here before you start, and we'll tell you what we think of it, and perhaps have some suggestions that will make it better. Good luck with your current batch!

meadguy711
07-25-2008, 01:15 AM
hey wayneb.
Thanks for the reply. I'll try to clear things up a bit. Now granted the temp of the must was between 160-83 degrees so I'm sure that had something to do with the very high gravity. But the Hydrometer was almost falling out of the tube. The must line was almost at the curve where the hydrometer holds the lead/mercury (?)

sandman
07-25-2008, 01:38 AM
I'm going to concur with wayneb on this one. It sounds like you're going to end up right about where you wanted to be.
Welcome to the obsession dude. Mead making gets into your system in a very short time. You've officially come to the best site on the net for info on how to make great meads so read voraciously, ask questions based on your research, and have a blast.
:cheers:

wayneb
07-25-2008, 10:26 AM
hey wayneb.
Thanks for the reply. I'll try to clear things up a bit. Now granted the temp of the must was between 160-83 degrees so I'm sure that had something to do with the very high gravity. But the Hydrometer was almost falling out of the tube. The must line was almost at the curve where the hydrometer holds the lead/mercury (?)




Actually, the hotter your must the lower the hydrometer should sink into the test sample, since the density of the liquid that you're testing (as long as it is a solution of water, alcohol, and sugars, anyway) is lower as its temperature is raised. BUT, there is another possibility, and that is simply that you might have pulled your test sample from a part of the must that had some partially undissolved honey in it. The SG of honey is around 1.420, so obviously if you set a hydrometer on some pure honey, it would just remain there on the surface! ;D But if you had a solution that was still mostly honey, the results you saw on your hydrometer would be perfectly consistent. So, my guess is that you hadn't completely mixed and dissolved the honey at the time that you tested the gravity.