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View Full Version : So newb I laugh at myself... Please help!!



polehammer
11-22-2012, 04:33 AM
G'day, I'm making a honey mead. It's my second attempt (first went well) and I've done as follows... 10kg of honey, white wine yeast (in a pre mixed sachet) 10L water, 2 packs of semi dried no preservative figs, a dozen cinnamon sticks, a half kg of powdered castor sugar a packet of pre mixed beer yeast(when I thought it wasn't working) and a cup and a half of coffee flavored brown sugar (Weird mix I know).
So far it's been fermenting for about 6 weeks. The first mead I made took about 4 months before I racked it then another 2 till I bottled. It seemed to bubble along a lot faster than this current one, so I added a bit of yeast nutrient and the castor sugar thinking that may speed things up (it hasn't seemed to). It's on a heater mat 24/7 and sits at a general temp of 26'c. Now I have only just scored a hydrometer so didn't get a start reading but thought I'd use it anyways last week and it sat at about 80 which I took meant it has heaps of sugar yet to burn up. The weird thing is I tried it again 5 min ago and it now reads 90 right on the "start wine" line. I can't understand how it can have more sugar than what it did a week ago? The airlock is bubbling but only once every 4 or 5 min. I've tasted it and it tastes good (but very sweet) and put a sample into a vinometer an it says its about 15" alcohol. I realize mead can take up to a year to ferment but this brew has me stumped? Should I just leave it and forget about it for another 6 months? Rack it? Or bottle it now? Obviously I'm a newb at this but if you could give me any useful info it would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

Polehammer

kudapucat
11-22-2012, 05:26 AM
I estimate 10kg + 10litres = 20kg/17 litres = SG of 1.170
That's pretty high, then you added sugar?
Wow. Um. Let me re-read your post.

kudapucat
11-22-2012, 05:31 AM
There will be sugar being released by the dried figs.
Some of the honey or sugar may not have been dissolved.
What do you mean by 80 and 90? Is this a brix score or something?
Give me the reading that looks like 1.xxx or 0.xxx
We'll try to work it out.
I think perhaps you'll need to water it down, but get me a gravity reading I understand first.
Also: G'Day, are you from here down under in the colonies? Or are you just messing with me?

bigdan110
11-22-2012, 07:29 AM
either uv got super yeast of something seems wrong with your recipe

just put the basis of this in the calculater gravity from recipe stated should be just under 1.300 33% abv thats before the suger and fruit :confused: typo maybe ? did u mean 10G water ?would put it at 1.079, 10.5ish abv ? im still a newb bit this seems to stick out a tad

polehammer
11-22-2012, 07:47 AM
Okay, the hydrometer I have has different markings on it. Starting from the bit closest to the bulbous bit at the bottom its white and reads, 120, 110,1.100, then it's blue and reads 90,80,70,60,50, then there's a red stripe with "start beer" written on it, then it goes 30,20 in white, 10 in black, yellow with "bottle" written on it, then1.000, and finally 990.
Okay so I spin it around and going off the 90 that I read from originally it says app sugar grams per L is 240g. Spin it a bit more and it says potential vol of alcohol is 15%.

I hope you guys can make better sense of this than I do? Lol
Oh and yes it was 10 liters and I'm an Aussie :)

polehammer
11-22-2012, 07:58 AM
Um... *gulps*... i should have completely dissolved the honey?... please guys keep it as basic (read idiot proof) as possible (terminology wise) I really am that green.

Vance G
11-22-2012, 11:23 AM
If the honey wasn't mixed in thoroughly, no harm is done. I would bet one could google or go to You Tube and a video will jump out and show you better than I can tell, how to read your hydrometer. It does sound like you may need to add some water to thin things down to dilute your mixture.

Chevette Girl
11-22-2012, 01:44 PM
Actually the first thing that got my attention was the dozen cinnamon sticks!! But then I saw 10 kg honey and 10 litres of water? I'm thinking 1) hey, someone else using metric, and 2) it's amazing your yeast did anything at all. On your hydrometer there is an unspoken 1.*** and there are three digits behind the decimal, if it says 110, the reading we're looking for is 1.110, if it says 90, the reading we're looking for is 1.090. This is your specific gravity (SG) reading, it tells you how much denser (mass per volume) your must is than water (water is 1.000), which tells you how much sugar you have in solution. Your personal hydrometer is also telling you that you still have enough sugar in your must to make a 15% alcohol wine, although I never go off that reading on mine, I always take my SG reading over to the Mead Calculator (yellow bar to your left) to figure out the potential alcohol.

So yes, if you're at 1.080, there's still a lot of sugar in there but if you came from 1.170, I don't know if your yeast can be expected to do much more than they've already done unless you dilute this batch out. My gut reaction would be to add 5 litres of water, which should thin it out enough that your yeast can get back to work and get closer to finished.

The most accurate measurement with your hydrometer will be when all honey has been dissolved in the must, otherwise it's an artificially low reading.

If you didn't mix it thoroughly, it's certainly not the end of the world but it is possible that it's just been dissolving at a rate where the yeast are eating it and this is why they were able to get this far, there's actually an acronym used around here for not stirring in your honey and letting it dissolve slowly like this but I've gone and forgotten it, the theory is that the remaining honey will dissolve as the yeast eat what they have access to, it prevents the shock to yeast that dumping them into a really high-gravity solution can have.

Hope I haven't confused you too much! :)

kudapucat
11-22-2012, 04:37 PM
PH, you had the right scale on the hydrometer, like CG says.
It was reading 1,080 now it's reading 1.090 because more honey has dissolved. Don't worry about that, it's fine.
1.170 is high, but not stupidly high. Alas, the extra sugar would have boosted this, and won't have helped.
I'd add few more litres. Like CG says.
Where a outs in Aus are you from? If you're in Melbourne, I could give you some hands on help if you're desperate.



either uv got super yeast of something seems wrong with your recipe

just put the basis of this in the calculater gravity from recipe stated should be just under 1.300 33% abv thats before the suger and fruit :confused: typo maybe ? did u mean 10G water ?would put it at 1.079, 10.5ish abv ? im still a newb bit this seems to stick out a tad

You didn't add the 7 litres of honey. His total volume would be 17

polehammer
11-22-2012, 05:23 PM
That's awesome guys, thanks a million!! I'm loving the fact that all I have to do is add 5L and just end up with more Mead :D
I'm from Leongatha in Sth Gippsland, down in the sticks too.

kudapucat
11-22-2012, 07:12 PM
Leongatha's not that far away. I know some south Gippi Meadmakers. I'll see if I can put you in touch.

polehammer
11-23-2012, 01:13 AM
Leongatha's not that far away. I know some south Gippi Meadmakers. I'll see if I can put you in touch.

Yeah that'd be great!! The only person I know from out your way it Matty Baulch.

polehammer
11-23-2012, 07:33 PM
Okay, so I added another 5L of water yesterday and just took a hydrometer reading a moment ago and it now reads at 1.070. Tastes a LOT better too! Temp is still only at 22"c so not too much happening as yet but it is still bubbling albeit slowly. So just leave it be now you think?

kudapucat
11-23-2012, 07:36 PM
Yeah, leave it be. 22c is hot!
I would be looking into ways to keep it cool if I were you.