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crimsondrac
06-16-2010, 01:03 PM
OK, I went back to double check and the Beginner's guide makes no note of it anywhere I saw. Most the stuff I read on figuring out the ABV requires you take a S.G. reading when you start your Must and another when it is done fermenting. However, I did not read anywhere I needed to do that, so I did not. Now all I have is the S.G. of the final product. I know there is alcohol in it, but how do I figure out how much. Not even sure if I am reading the measurement right. Just below the 1.0 mark is a colored section labeled Beer with a 10 for the first increment. That is where my hydrometer is floating. is that a 1.1 or a 1.01?

Yo momma
06-16-2010, 02:53 PM
That is 1.010. It will be helpfull to know your recipe, to figure out your OG (original gravity) then we can do simple math to get you an estimate.

PitBull
06-16-2010, 03:00 PM
OK, I went back to double check and the Beginner's guide makes no note of it anywhere I saw. Most the stuff I read on figuring out the ABV requires you take a S.G. reading when you start your Must and another when it is done fermenting. However, I did not read anywhere I needed to do that, so I did not. Now all I have is the S.G. of the final product. I know there is alcohol in it, but how do I figure out how much. Not even sure if I am reading the measurement right. Just below the 1.0 mark is a colored section labeled Beer with a 10 for the first increment. That is where my hydrometer is floating. is that a 1.1 or a 1.01?

If you look in the New Bee Guide you'll find "Appendix 9: How to Read a Hydrometer". The first labeled increment is 1.01, typically with four graduations in between 1.00 and 1.01, representing 1.002, 1.004, 1.006 and 1.008. You should be able to estimate between these to the nearest 0.001 difference. The best way to estimate the ABV without an original gravity is with the "Mead Calculator" found under "Recipes & Mead Making".

Good Luck.

crimsondrac
06-16-2010, 04:40 PM
I read appendix 9, but the increments on the image are labeled differently them my Hydrometer and as this is the first time I have used a hydrometer since high school (Just leave it as it was a long time ago), it was just a bit confusing. Thanks for the clear-up.

I used the recipe from the Newbies Guide for Joe Ancient Orange. About 3.5 lbs of honey, one orange, cinnamon stick, raisins, filled one gallon jar to almost full with distilled water.

crimsondrac
06-16-2010, 04:56 PM
Also, not sure if I should post a new thread on this or what as it is a slightly different subject....never hijacked my own thread before. :)

Anyway, how do you guys measure out honey? For my batch of JAOs, I looked up a honey converter calculator. I converted 1 LB of honey into cups and added the honey to my must in cups. Probably not very accurate. Should I go invest in a good kitchen scale and just weigh out the honey in Lbs like most recipes call for? How do you guys do it?

AToE
06-16-2010, 05:02 PM
Most people go by weight - but more important than how much honey you put into a recipe exactly is the SG you get the must to. Since the water content of honey varies, it's more consistant to just get into the ballpark by weighing it, and then use a hydrometer to fine-tune the honey amount.

Jord
06-16-2010, 05:35 PM
I don't believe that the JAO recipe gives the SG for the must. Using the mead calculator set for 3.5 lbs of honey in a one gallon must you're looking at an original gravity of around 1.126.

AToE
06-16-2010, 05:45 PM
No, sorry I wasn't thinking in terms of this specific recipe, which is a bit more off the cuff than many!

PitBull
06-16-2010, 10:48 PM
Anyway, how do you guys measure out honey? For my batch of JAOs, I looked up a honey converter calculator. I converted 1 LB of honey into cups and added the honey to my must in cups. Probably not very accurate. Should I go invest in a good kitchen scale and just weigh out the honey in Lbs like most recipes call for? How do you guys do it?
Honey typically weights 11.5 to 12 pounds per gallon, or about 0.75 pounds per cup. But that's just a ballpark number and not as good as a scale.

As AToE stated, it's best to fine tune with a hydrometer.

Chevette Girl
06-16-2010, 11:55 PM
Should I go invest in a good kitchen scale and just weigh out the honey in Lbs like most recipes call for? How do you guys do it?

If you're going to go whole-hog into wine and meadmaking it would be a good idea to get a decent scale, measuring out fruit by volume is practically useless unless you've mashed it.

I always get my honey in the same kind of jars so if I don't use a whole jar I can tell the weight by difference and if I do use the whole jar, I already know what the jar weighed... Sometimes I can get my apiary to fill them at the plant instead of the bulk vat in their store and they'll give me exactly 3.5 lb (for my JAO's) in a bottle that holds 4 kg, but sometimes I can't get it like that and have to actually weigh things...

I have a 5 lb scale that can measure up to 6 lbs if you take off its bowl, etc. so I can zero it to my empty glass fermentation jar and just keep adding honey till I get to 3.5 lbs which just about tops it out. I wish it was a 10-lb scale but what the heck, the price was right (thanks Mom).

I second (or would it be third) the suggestion that you invest in a hydrometer, always a good plan if you want repeatable results and better than an educated guess at your alcohol content. Every conversion you do when you're trying to calculate something like potential alcohol from a volume of honey introduces the possiblity of errors (especially if you don't know the density of the exact honey you're using), also it's very easy to end up with more or less water than originally anticipated if you're using fruit. Not to mention the benefits of knowing if your fermentation has really stopped or if it's just not looking bubbly today! :)