View Full Version : Diabetic. Calculating sugar content from gravity

08-27-2015, 12:48 AM
I was diagnosed as diabetic (type 1). I have probably around 20 batches of mead, all different kinds, all varrying from gravities of 0.01-0.03.
Is there a way to find out or calculate how many grams of sugar there are per serving? Or grams of sugar there are per bottle? I don't know how this works but I know I will now have to be keeping track of how much sugar I will be consuming

I've been saving all of this mead and aging it, I still want to be able to enjoy it

08-27-2015, 11:53 PM
Do you mean 1.010-1.030? Those gravities, especially 1.030, will have significant amounts of sugar although I don't know how to calculate the exact grams per serving. As a diabetic you need to discuss alcohol consumption with your doctor if you have not already done so. Alcohol, even without sugars being present, may affect your blood sugar thusly: moderate amounts may raise sugar levels but excessive amounts can drop it dangerously.

08-28-2015, 09:36 AM
I don't know if this is the correct way to do it, but you could always use the mead calculator to estimate the amount of sugar per bottle.

For example:

1) Check "Target Volume" and set your desired volume. For this I used 0.750 Liters (one standard wine bottle)
2) Check "Target Gravity" and set it to the gravity of your mead. I used 1.030.
3) Change the type of "Additional Sugars #1" to "Sugar" and change the unit to "Kilogram(s)"

That shows 61 g of sugar per 750 ml bottle at 1.030, or 12.2 g per serving (assuming 5 servings of ~5 oz pours).


08-31-2015, 12:24 PM
Valverij, that calculation would be inaccurate since it calculates a starting must with no alcohol content.
A finished mead will have leftover sugars as well as alcohol. Sugar increases FG, while alcohol decreases FG. Without knowing the EXACT alcohol content of your mead it would be difficult to calculate the exact residual sugar content.
- Simple, yet rather inaccurate method: keep a good record of your ingredients and method and try to calculate a final alcohol content which is as accurate as possible (from the gotmead batch calculator). This value could be off by up to 2% even in best case scenarios in my experience. Calculate the final sugar content by taking the FG and doing what Valverij suggested. Then increasing this sugar amount value according to alcohol content.
- A more accurate method: simmer a sample of mead (let's say a pint) for about 15mins to drive off all alcohol. This removes the alcohol from the equation. Increase the volume to its original amount with water of gravity 0. Take a hydrometer reading and the FG will only be affected by residual sugar. Input this amount into the gotmead calculator as valverij suggested for the result.

Extra: A precision scale hydrometer can be useful if you will be performing such tests as you could get a very accurate alcohol estimate by adding another step to the second method (link to such test here: http://www.drinksplanet.com/how-can-i-test-the-alcohol-level-of-my-homemade-fruit-wine-375847.html), or if you need to be very precise in predicting the sugar content.

08-31-2015, 01:08 PM
Thanks. Like I said, I wasn't sure if that was the correct way to go about it. I figured it might at least give a decent ballpark number, though.

08-31-2015, 07:57 PM
Here is what I would do if I had problems with diabetes.

I'd carefully experiment on myself. I'd try this both on a full stomach and an empty one. Drink say 4 ounces of your mead that you know you would like to replicate and then take your blood sugar at regular intervals over the next several hours to see how your body reacted to it. If it wasn't bad the next day I'd try 6 ounces and then test again.

After all the real question here is not how much sugar is there in my mead, but what is my mead going to do to my blood sugar levels.


09-02-2015, 07:54 PM
Unfortunately the body is often able to metabolise alcohol.
Thus you can convert it to sugar.
So to be safe you should assume you're drinking the unfermented sugar.
This however is not fair, as you'd never be able to drink.
"Excess" alcohol consumption can make your blood sugar level drop though, so this confounds the problem
If excess causes it to drop, and small doses causes it to increase, then I hypothesise that metabolising alcohol causes blood-sugar increase, yet unprocessed alcohol inhibits, or drops blood sugar. Thus you need to drink just enough to strike the happy medium of no change.

My advice is, drink if you want to, it's your life, but I'd be checking my blood sugar level on a drink by drink basis at least, if not more often to begin with, until you intuitively understand your body and your condition.

09-02-2015, 07:56 PM
Other than logic, intuition and some familiarity with diabetes, I used the following sources to confirm I was not giving you a 'bum steer' as we like to say.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. Listen to your doctor's advice.