View Full Version : First batch - I really hope my hydrometer is wrong

08-01-2012, 08:50 PM
Greetings everyone!
So, I finally put together my very first mead this evening. I used a recipe listed in one of the other threads: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20230

Basically here is what I used:
1 gallon orange blossom honey
5 lbs of wildflower honey
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite
1 lb raisins soaked in water to rehydrate
fresh orange peel from 1/2 a medium naval orange
5.5 tbsp bee pollen
2 packets (10g) Lalvin 71B yeast (will be fermenting around 76-78 degrees F.)

I put everything together, except the yeast, and added the potassium Metabisulfite (more to sanitize the the orange peel and raisins and bee pollen -i'm sadly a bit nuts about cleanliness and sanitation). I filled the fermenter up to 5.5 gal, put the lid and airlock on and left it sit overnight. This evening I boiled 1.25 cup water, let it cool to room temp, and let the yeast soak for about 20 minutes. I stirred the heck out of the must, took and OG reading, and added the yeast.

Then I thought about the OG reading - 1.2. And that's at 76 degrees, so I'll need to add around another .02 to that (now I could be slightly off, my hydrometer sucks but it was where the line looked to be at the angle where I had it sitting). I can't find anywhere on the strain spec sheet if 71B can handle that high of a starting gravity. The mead calculator says it'll end around where I plan (around 14-15%) but my concern is if the yeast can even get a foothold with that high of an original gravity reading. I know I just need to keep an eye on it, but some thoughts in the meantime would be lovely.

I really should by a refractometer, I've got bad luck reading hydrometers, so I'm hoping I may be off a bit.

08-01-2012, 09:27 PM
Ok, I'm a bit confused. 1.2? You shouldn't be anywhere NEAR that with only 17 pounds of honey and 5.5 gallons. More like 1.111. Can you write out your OG to the full 4 digits? Are you sure it's not 1.02 or 1.120? 1.200 would be WAY down the hydrometer.


I mean, you would need a LOT more honey, over 30 POUNDS. And what do you mean by angle? You should have your hydrometer sample tube on a flat surface and your eyes level to the top of the liquid. Not at an angle. So my advice is...yes, either your hydrometer is COMPLETELY screwed up, or you misread it by a lot.

08-01-2012, 09:45 PM
Yeah, 17 lbs of honey in 5.5 gallons shouldn't give you a 1.200 SG. Not only that, but most hydrometers don't go past 1.170. You're probably reading 1.120 instead.

08-01-2012, 09:55 PM
HA! I misread the hydrometer, 1.120 sounds much more realistic! Thanks for the dummy check guys, I get stupid when I'm excited :)