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Heathenlegions
10-12-2011, 08:04 PM
I have two three gallon carboys with insufficient honey (8% alcohol reading), want to boost it up to at least 9%. Bought 4lbs of corn sugar, each package is 1lb, to add more sugar content into my mead. How do I go about adding corn sugar to my mead?

Man at the brewer shop told me to just fill up enough clean water to submerge one to two pounds of the corn sugar in a pot, then do the same for the other two pounds...kinda forgot if he said to boil it or not? Or do I simply heat the water enough to mix together the corn sugar and water?

Yes, this is my first two batches, I am a beginner, currently refining my mead terminology and measuring so take it easy on me. Thanks

wayneb
10-12-2011, 11:01 PM
Welcome to "Gotmead,"Heathenlegions! Don't concern yourself about being a new meadmaker - we're a pretty friendly and generally helpful bunch, and most of us remember what it was like to try meadmaking for the first time. We're here to help! Let me first recommend that you read our Newbee Guide to Making Mead (there is a link to it on the left side of this page). Go through the entire thing, then perhaps re-read it, and see if many of your questions are already answered there. If not, then come on back to this thread and ask some more.

Now, let me ask a couple of questions before I answer yours. First, what exactly do you mean by "How do I add corn sugar..."? Are you trying to find out how to determine how much to add to get to a target gravity (which will get you to a higher target final ABV), or are you interested in the best way to add the sugar to get it to dissolve quickly and completely without making a mess, or is it something else that you are after? If you're only looking to find out the best way to make an addition, I'd heat some water to at least the minimum pasteurization temperature (160F or hotter would be best), then dissolve the corn sugar in the hot water while it is still on the heat, turn off the heat and tightly cover the pot after all the sugar is dissolved, let the thing cool to room temp and then pour in your corn sugar solution to the main batch of must.

I wouldn't recommend adding any corn sugar to a traditional mead recipe, BTW. While it will boost the equivalent initial specific gravity, and thus result in more alcohol in the finished product, it will only contribute ethanol - not much of anything else - so your end product will be slightly diluted with respect to flavor and/or aroma. That isn't usually a satisfying result. So if you can afford it, I'd suggest adding more honey to the must, and saving that corn sugar for a beer brewing project.

Heathenlegions
10-12-2011, 11:37 PM
Thank you very much for the information, Wayne.
I'm aiming for a higher ABV, it's now at 8%, and I just want it to be one or two percentages more. My mead consists of two 3gallon carboys with 2 1/2 gallons of water and 5 1/2 pounds of wildflower honey each, one carboy of lalvin d47 yeast and the other lalvin EC-1118. I have 4lbs of corn sugar purchased from a nearby brewery company, they were out of honey. D;

Soyala_Amaya
10-13-2011, 11:07 AM
Have you checked your local grocery store? They will often have one or two kinds of raw wildflower in small quantities (the most I can buy at mine is 5 lb jugs, but that would work for you) I also recommend figuring out if you have a local apiary and give them a call. If I order 5 gallons and up at a time from mine, I can get the honey at under 2.50 a pound for bulk. Even not buying bulk they're cheaper than my grocery store (no markup), I don't pay them tax, and sometimes I can even get it delivered if they have store drop offs in my area.

Local apiary's are your friend!

Heathenlegions
10-13-2011, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the info, Soyala!
Just got 5 pounds of honey from a nearby apiary, will use that instead of the corn sugar. I'll experiment with the corn sugar some other time.. just trying to aim higher than 8% alcohol, thank you again!

wayneb
10-13-2011, 04:33 PM
Excellent! You'll be glad that you used the honey, IMO. Hope your "experiments" turn out well! Keep us posted!!

huesmann
10-14-2011, 09:44 AM
Also, how are you determining an alcohol content? Hydrometer reading? If so, how do you know the yeast is done? Plugging 5.5 lb of honey and 2.5 gal into the mead calculator gives a potential ABV of 10.6%. Has the SG stabilized?

Soyala_Amaya
10-14-2011, 09:52 AM
Heathenlegions particular honey could have had a much higher water content than is assumed by the calculator. It's another reason I like my local apiary, mmmm, straight from the bees. It's had the least amount of stuff done to it (heat, shipping, time, what have you), and sometimes I can talk to them right after they've done a run which means its fresh from the hive!

The hydrometer is much more accurate for YOUR batch, the calculator is an assumption based on averages...but it does seem pretty far off. I've usually been within .005 points of the calculator of my SG readings. And both the yeasts mentioned go far enough to consume all the sugar.