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RightOff
01-18-2011, 04:51 PM
Hey yall, I'm a big fan of Gotmead forums. Longtime lurker, first time poster.
I've recently taken and interest in mead making, and mixed up my first batch 8 days ago today! Fermentation is vigorous. However, like a noob, I didnt realize that you needed this magical tool called a "hydrometer" to measure OG and all that good stuff, to determine %ABV.

Also, I was following a recepie, but since I only have a 3 gallon carboy, i've scaled it back in order to make two gallons of mead. The honey:water ratio I used was 1:3. Half a gallon of honey, to be exact, in 1.5 gallons of water.
I used a montrachet wine yeast, and some enegizer to aid in fermentation...

So I guess what Im wondering is, at this point, is there any way I can determine ABV correctly?
Based on this ratio, is my mead likely to turn out any good? I've thought of adding more honey or some other form of sugar (fruit), perhaps, but if this ratio will make a decently strong mead, then I'd really rather not. It's my first batch, so Im nervous enough as it is, without any extra tampering haha.

Inputs appreciated!

YogiBearMead726
01-18-2011, 05:02 PM
Hey yall, I'm a big fan of Gotmead forums. Longtime lurker, first time poster.
I've recently taken and interest in mead making, and mixed up my first batch 8 days ago today! Fermentation is vigorous. However, like a noob, I didnt realize that you needed this magical tool called a "hydrometer" to measure OG and all that good stuff, to determine %ABV.

Also, I was following a recepie, but since I only have a 3 gallon carboy, i've scaled it back in order to make two gallons of mead. The honey:water ratio I used was 1:3. Half a gallon of honey, to be exact, in 1.5 gallons of water.
I used a montrachet wine yeast, and some enegizer to aid in fermentation...

So I guess what Im wondering is, at this point, is there any way I can determine ABV correctly?
Based on this ratio, is my mead likely to turn out any good? I've thought of adding more honey or some other form of sugar (fruit), perhaps, but if this ratio will make a decently strong mead, then I'd really rather not. It's my first batch, so Im nervous enough as it is, without any extra tampering haha.

Inputs appreciated!

Welcome to "GotMead?"! Or rather, happy first posting/first mead! ;D

Well, if you take a look over to the left of the page, there is a nifty tool linked there called "Mead Calculator". Punching in the numbers you gave (6 lbs of honey or 1/2 gallon, and 1.5 gallons of water) gives an approximate SG of 1.108, potentially 14.13% ABV. For your first mead, I think this will turn out plenty strong, but that's all relative. A lot of people want to make 18% mead their first try, but it's typically more of a challenge to make something super strong than to make something you know will probably ferment to dryness (which seems to be the case for your mead)

Also, if you haven't already, take a look (again) at those links on the left side of the page, and read through the one titled "NewBee Guide". It's got a lot of info, plus some foolproof recipes to get started with/give you something to drink to get a feel for mead.

I'd say, as a final tip, if you didn't this time, make sure to aerate really well and feed your yeast properly (do some searches for nitrogen content, and you should find some helpful info about nutrient dosages) over the first 1/3 of the fermentation. This will also help keep things from getting "stuck".

All in all, sounds like you're on the right track to a fun hobby. Good luck!

RightOff
01-18-2011, 09:22 PM
Alright, thanks for the quick response!
I did some reviewing of my notes however, and realized that I used a little less than half a gallon of honey. 56 ounces of honey (3.5 lbs) is the amount I used, in probably a little less than 1.5 gallons of water. I wasnt too exact about pouring the half gallon, tried to stay on the shy side.

I've been playing with the calculator on this website, and although Im dissapointed that I probably wont achieve the 14 percent abv your calculations produced, at my most conservitave estimate, using the mead calc., my mead will likely be around 8.5 - 9 percent abv. As a craft beer drinker, I say good enough! Next time, more honey, less water.

Any further input greatly appreciated!

RightOff
01-18-2011, 09:38 PM
Also, out of curiosity, should I bet inputting the honey weight as FLUID ounces?? or Regular?? I mean I used 3.5 lbs of honey, with is 56 ounces... but is that fluid ounces? or regular?

Im thinking fluid? If so, this means good things for my %ABV!

Any input appreciated!

AToE
01-18-2011, 10:07 PM
Also, out of curiosity, should I bet inputting the honey weight as FLUID ounces?? or Regular?? I mean I used 3.5 lbs of honey, with is 56 ounces... but is that fluid ounces? or regular?

Im thinking fluid? If so, this means good things for my %ABV!

Any input appreciated!

Nope, it'll be regular ounces (which are a measurement of weight), not fluid ounces (which are a measurement of volume).

I generally don't even use oz in the mead calculator, I just use pounds. As someone from the metric system it just makes more sense to me to think of divisions of a pound in a base 10 system, rather than dividing by 16ths, which is kinda hard on my brain (not too terrible though, because it's a division that comes up a lot in music, so I already have all the multiples and divisions of 16 memorized, but still, it isn't fun for anything other than counting beats!). ;D