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dougmedic
01-07-2009, 10:15 PM
I decided to try and make a honey & maple syrup "cordial"...

A friend had given me a package of a "Super Yeast" thta was supposed to ferment sucrose to 20%ABV. for Christmas, some utility-grade Maple Syrup, and some costco bulk honey, and suggested making a cordial.

Well, since all I had to provide was the suagr, I said "why not!"

I made up the batch according to the instructions, aerating daily

"Ferment between 70-80° (21-27°C) air temperature for the desired time or until the Specific Gravity drops below 0.992. For best results keep the temperature constant and aerate the alco-base daily."

Well, here I am 7 days later with TWO hydrometers both reading .985 (temp corrected)!
I've never seen any wine or mead go below .094...and this is well below the 0.992 in the instructions. My hydrometers calibrated to 1.000 @ 62F

Now here's what may be a stupid question...

Is this low SG reflective a really good/complete ferment, or is there anything to be worried about? Obviously I dont want to waste the honey & maple syrup if there is anything wrong here!

Any feedback would be appreciated :)

Doug

Medsen Fey
01-07-2009, 10:25 PM
That gravity indicates a totally-bone-dry, every-bit-of-fermentable-sugar-gone, kind of result. Was that a distiller's yeast, or Turbo yeast?

What gravity did you start with?
How does it taste? a bit hot, no?

dougmedic
01-07-2009, 10:57 PM
That gravity indicates a totally-bone-dry, every-bit-of-fermentable-sugar-gone, kind of result. Was that a distiller's yeast, or Turbo yeast?

What gravity did you start with?
How does it taste? a bit hot, no?

It was a Turbo Yeast "LIQUOR QUIK SuperYeast X-Press"
The starting SG was 1.142 on a 25L batch, from 8kg of sugar.

It does taste a bit hot...compared to wine :)
It's quite yeasty tasting, as I havent clarified it yet. It has a sweetish taste on the front of the palate, and a not unpleasant warmth on the back ;-b

So I guess it's ok to clarify, and then add the honey & maple syrup...

My friend got me some carbon filter pads, so I guess after clearing, and the first filtration w regular pads, I'll use the carbon pads before I add the sweet goodness!

Thanks,
Doug

Medsen Fey
01-07-2009, 11:08 PM
Carbon filters will strip the aroma and flavor (and color) out of a mead or wine. They may be used in extreme cases where there is a flawed mead with a bad aroma or flavor, but doing so may severely damage the flavor. If you are going to add more honey and maple syrup, the flavor you put back in may make up for what you lose with a charcoal filter, but I cannot say for sure.

You may want to try the filter on a liter or two to see what effect it has before you try it on the rest, or you may want to get a different filter that does not have carbon.

If you have not exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, you will have continued fermentation with additional harsh alcohol produced when you add more sugars unless you stabilize the mead first.

Good luck.
Medsen

Oskaar
01-07-2009, 11:53 PM
It was a Turbo Yeast "LIQUOR QUIK SuperYeast X-Press"
The starting SG was 1.142 on a 25L batch, from 8kg of sugar.

It does taste a bit hot...compared to wine :)
It's quite yeasty tasting, as I havent clarified it yet. It has a sweetish taste on the front of the palate, and a not unpleasant warmth on the back ;-b

So I guess it's ok to clarify, and then add the honey & maple syrup...

My friend got me some carbon filter pads, so I guess after clearing, and the first filtration w regular pads, I'll use the carbon pads before I add the sweet goodness!

Thanks,
Doug

OK, wait a second!

What was your exact recipe. I see that you originally mentioned honey and maple syrup, but in the post above you indicated that the batch was made from 8 KG of sugar. Is that correct?

If so this won't be mead even by adding honey to it. It's just extremely hot fermented sugar water (a simple base for basic rot-gut rum) with honey added to it.

Help me out with the specifics here.

Thanks, Oskaar

Vino
01-08-2009, 11:06 AM
Here’s some information for those who may not be familiar with it.

LIQUOR QUIK SuperYeast X-Press is a high alcohol turbo yeast that can produce 6.5 Gallons of 20 per cent alcohol base in as little as 5 days. The new X-Press is completely stackable, which means that you can ferment multiple packs at a time, as long as the sugar, water, and temperature is kept constant. It works by fermentation of a special distiller’s yeast and complex blend of nutrients and vitamins.

I have used it several times to produce a base for cordials…the alcohol base is usually dripped through a carbon purification filter (CarbonSnake) before use.

It uses 5.5 gallons of water, 18 lbs of sugar, plus the yeast pack. The yeast pack is lees than $5.00.

It’s quite fun.

Based on Doug's post, it looks like he is planning to add the honey and syrup to the finished product, which would only act as a flavoring agent since the finished ferment should be around 20%ABV (40 proof).

Medsen Fey
01-08-2009, 11:12 AM
Ahh, that makes some sense. I didn't realize the goal was to ferment sugar to create an unflavored alcohol base. Certainly the carbon filter would be essential for that. Thanks for the clarification Vino.

Vino
01-08-2009, 11:16 AM
Medsen,

Would that also explain the lower gravity reading, since the product is probably close to the 20%ABV?

wayneb
01-08-2009, 01:24 PM
Since Medsen's offline I'll jump in on this one. Yup - ethanol is significantly less dense than water, so solutions that have appreciable fractions of ethanol in them will indicate a lower specific gravity than a water-only solution with other ingredients the same.

dougmedic
01-09-2009, 10:38 PM
Since Medsen's offline I'll jump in on this one. Yup - ethanol is significantly less dense than water, so solutions that have appreciable fractions of ethanol in them will indicate a lower specific gravity than a water-only solution with other ingredients the same.

Tank you to all who answered (here and in other threads)!
I REALLY appreciate the wealth of experience here, and the willingness of folks to share and help us poor newbies!!!!