View Full Version : Sugar break for JOA

01-28-2011, 10:29 AM
Can someone please help me with a Sugar break question?

Fermentation progress is best tracked using the gravity/Brix of the must/mead instead of time. Several milestones, or (sugar) breaks, occur along the way. The most commonly cited breaks are the 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3 breaks which occur when 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 of the available sugar has been depleted, respectively. For example, a must with an OG of 1.100 has a 1/3 sugar break at 1.067 and a 2/3 break at 1.033. Typically the breaks are calculated assuming a theoretical FG of 1.000; however for very high gravity musts the expected final gravity can be taken into consideratio

I made two 6 gallon batches of JOA.

One had an inital gravity

#1 - 1.20
#2 - 1.36

Should I still assume that the FG will be 1.00? I used Fleishmans (rapid rise) bread yeast, so I expect it will finish sweeter. I was thinking of adding nutrients, but I understand that is what the point of the raisins are. Should I add any nutrients.

As a shot in the dark... I'll guess these both finish around 1.05. (That is probably way off isn't it? What should I expect them to finish at?)

So my 1/3 break where I could add nutrients would be

#1 - 1.15
#2 - 1.25

Lastly... i know i didn't follow the original recipe to the T... so I voided the warranty :-)

01-28-2011, 11:58 AM
Did you mean the OG was 1.120 and 1.136 ?

01-28-2011, 12:01 PM
Here is a link for one way using Brix on the hydrometer:


01-28-2011, 01:55 PM
I think you could also use this to get pretty close to your 1/3 sugar break:

OG - ((OG - FG) / 3)

01-28-2011, 01:59 PM
Unless the final SG is going to be very high most people just calculate the 1/3 mark as if it were going to go dry to 1.000 (so whatever your starting gravity was divided by 3 multiplied by 2 is the 1/3 mark), but yes, the above stated method of minusing your expected final gravity from your starting and then using that as your number to divide into thirds is sometimes more accurate.

The bad news is that it's hard to say where your mead will finish, so guessing your FG is tricky. The good news is the yeast don't care, they're not following a tight schedule - precision is not required. The 0.6666666 mark (1/3) is an average, you could do it a little earlier or later, no big deal. Try not to add nutrients containing DAP after the 1/2 point and probably stop aerating after the 1/2 point as well and you should be fine.

01-28-2011, 04:48 PM
It's been pointed out to me that my use of 0.66666 in the above post may be confusing/misleading.

When I say 0.6666 is the 1/3 mark, I mean that 0.6666 multiplied by your starting gravity will tell you when the 1/3 mark is done (for example a mead with an OG of 1.100 would have a 1/3 mark of 1.06666666 assuming it's planned to go completely dry (which it should)).

I like to say it that way because in my mind (which can be a confusing place!) the term 1/3 sugar break is a little ambiguous - it means 1/3 f the sugar gone, but someone could easily get confused and think it's supposed to mean 1/3 of the sugar left (or I assume someone could make that mistake...).

Also I find that math easier, less steps. Rather than take your OG and divide by 3 then multiply by 2 to know when the break will be, I just multply by 0.6666 - BAM, done.

So yes, hoping this clarifies what I meant. I mean 66.6666% of sugars expected to ferment remaining = the 1/3 sugar break.