View Full Version : Mead Calc Question

12-05-2014, 02:07 PM
I searched to see if something similar was posted before, but I can't seem to find anything, so if I did miss something, my apologies.

I am relatively new to Mead making. I've run a few batches and had some turn out great and some, well, quite the opposite. I've decided that it's time to document all of my batches with exact measurements etc.. so that I can turn out consistent batches, and eventually expand beyond making it a gallon at a time. In this, I am trying to use the Mead Batch Calculator to give me exact numbers and can't seem to make it match up.

What I'm looking for is 1 gallon target volume, 14% ABV and a final gravity of 1.015. I'm trying to figure out exactly how much honey I need to add use attain this goal.

When I use the potential Alcohol Conversion, it tells me that for a final gravity of 1.015, and a ABV of 14% I need a starting gravity of 1.092.

When I use the calculator, I check off Target Gravity and Target Volume. Target Volume - 1 Gallon. When I set the target Gravity SG to 1.092, it changes the %ABV to 12.22. If I change the %ABV to 14 it changes the SG to 1.107.

Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks in advance.

12-05-2014, 05:51 PM
you need 1.092 for the gravity drop, and 1.015 and the FG, the starting or SG would then be 1.107. You add the gravity drop plus the residual sugars to figure out the amount of sugars you need to start with. So 1.092 for sugars to ferment plus 1.015 for residual sugars = 1.107. But getting your yeasties to stop there is another matter entirely! They don't read so well, and never seem to listen, so they just go on and do as they will. You may end up high or low of your intended mark depending on a LOT of factors.

The easiest method to get it to the sweet spot (pun intended) is to ferment it completely dry, stabilize it with K-Meta & K-Sorbate, then add the sugars back to your desired levels. The choice of yeast will affect not only the alcohol level, but to a certain extent also the flavor and aroma compounds produced, and dozens of other factors. The temperatures, nutrients, and lots of other items can affect your final product as well.

More experienced users can guide you better through the more complex parts. Still working on those myself with a little over 20 batches and 1 year of alcoholic ferments myself. And from what I gather there are some out there still trying to figure it out after 20 or 30+ years. Too many variables, with so much open space to work your ferments any way you wish.

Sorry I could not be more helpful, more experienced users are to follow I'm sure.

12-06-2014, 04:06 AM
Without using the mead calculator.

magic number = 135
Gravity of honey = 1.400
Final volume = 4.0 litres
Final gravity = 1.015
ABV = 14%

Gravity drop = abv / magic number = 0.104
So starting gravity = final gravity + gravity drop = 1.119

Mass = volume * gravity = 4.41 kg

1 litre of honey weighs 1.4 kg
So 3 litres of water plus 1 litre of honey = 4.4 kg

So you need to start with about 3 litres and add 1.4 kg of honey.

Note, my magic number is a little different to the calculator, which I think uses 145.
Either way, it's an estimate

Your uncontrollable variables are:
Quality (thus gravity) of honey
The magic number (which changes a little as the ABV changes and is also thrown off by residual sugar)
and Yeast doing what they're told.

12-06-2014, 12:15 PM
What I have seen from the NewBee guide before the site update was that 3ozs of honey=1% ABV.

So for a 14% ABV you would need 42ozs of honey, or nearly a half gallon. At that proportion, that will be 14% and dry. You'll need the remaining honey to backsweeten after stabilizing.