View Full Version : New batch started today

09-19-2014, 08:08 AM
Hello, today I've started a new batch of mead and the gravity reading is far from the simulation I've done on the mead making calculator.
Ingredients used:

5kg honey
13.5 L of water
200 grams of raisins
500g candy sugar
juice of 5 oranges
juice of 3 lemons
5g yeast nutrients(plus 5g later)
9g safale S-04 yeast

My initial gravity should be around 1.094but my measurements took me to the 1.070 range.

Is this common?

09-19-2014, 02:35 PM
I am pretty sure values may vary widely in fruit depending on what type of fruit, i.e. there are oranges that are naturally sweeter than others, and ripeness plays a large part. Also, the calculator doesn't vary the sugar content depending on whether or not you use weight or juice volume. Perhaps yeast are able to eat more sugars if you left in the flesh, which if you did *maybe* you'd have a technically higher SG. The raisins haven't seeped their sugars yet, although that value would be extremely small. Honey varies in sugar % also.. There are a lot of minor factors which probably add up to this discrepancy
I use the calculator as a guide but to be sure of the actual value I might want to take hydrometer readings. My experience taught me that it seems the calculator assumes the best conditions as my values are also very often slightly lower

09-19-2014, 05:18 PM
Ey Stasis, thank you. Yeah, I don't want to freak out now that I own a hydrometer and I know a calculator exists. Before this I would just throw things in and wait for the results. I guess I shouldn't worry and take new readings soon. I don't want my mead to go dry dry, some sweetness is appreciated around here; any thoughts on what the target would be!? Somewhere around 1.010 perhaps?

09-19-2014, 06:32 PM
IF Safale S-04's alcohol tolerance maxes at 11% like I've read, then you shouldn't have to worry about this batch finishing dry. It may be really sweet however. Out of curiousity, what's the Candi for?

09-19-2014, 09:26 PM
It's just to compensate for sugars. Also I thought that maybe was a good idea to try something different. It's the kind of sugar that's used for Belgian beer.

09-19-2014, 09:55 PM
Something else you will need to watch is the pH level. That is a good bit of citrus. If it gets too acidic, the yeast can stall and the ferment stick.

Yay mead!

09-20-2014, 08:07 AM
How could I measure and control that? I don't even know what good or bad levels of pH are.

Medsen Fey
09-20-2014, 11:52 AM
The calculator gives rough estimates. That is why you need to measure to see where you are. Also, the sugars in dried fruit aren't dissolved in solution yet which can cause error in some recipes.

To measure pH you need test strips for wine or a meter and some calibration solution. In this case the OJ may be enough to maintain the pH above 3.2, where you want it.

09-20-2014, 05:21 PM
pH can be measured by pH strips or a pH meter.

As for your target pH, keep it above 3.

Have you read the NewBee guide on this site? It explains all this in detail.

Yay mead!

09-21-2014, 08:36 AM
I took a look when I signed up on the forum. I did however make a research and found that calcium carbonate or potassium carbonate could be used. Any of those two is a better option?

Medsen Fey
09-21-2014, 08:37 AM
The potassium forms (bicarbonate or carbonate) are better.

09-21-2014, 09:13 AM
Also, as Medsen once pointed out, coca cola is pH 2.5, which you can use to calibrate the El Cheapo pH meter (do a search on the forums for more on that).

09-22-2014, 05:06 AM
The only product I can find in Portugal that comes close it's an mix of potassium carbonate and neutralized potassium tartrate. Apparently it's used to correct the acidity on the wine.making industry. Would it be ok to go with it?

Medsen Fey
09-22-2014, 06:10 AM
That's not what you need. Get calcium carbonate if the potassium forms aren't available.