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View Full Version : First Batch; Hydrometer floating too high to read.



Bones6966
01-02-2016, 10:51 PM
Hello all

First i want to say thank you all for such a wealth of information on this site.
I have my first batch of meed going and it has pretty well stopped bubbling so i decided it might be time to rack it.
I went and got a second 1 gal carboy, auto siphon, hydrometer and test tube for said hydrometer.
After watching all videos and reading everything i can to learn how to use the hydrometer i decided to take a reading and taste.
When i drop the hydrometer in it floated so high it is off the scale. i spun it and made sure it is the density of the must and not bubbles holding the hydrometer up.
I tasted my work and it is amazing, as well as what seems to be very high alcohol content. Tasted so good I'm tempted to just drink it tonight and move on to a 5 gal batch (This batch is a proof of concept and im not going to age it for a long time save one bottle i will keep for some time)
I did not have a hydrometer when i stared the must so I'm going off the calculator and it should be about 1.109 SG to start.

The deets are as follows.
3# billy bee honey
25 dried raisins
1 mandarin orange sliced up
1 pkg LALVIN EC-1118 yeast.
water to bring to 1 gal.
kept at about 21 degree Celsius
fermented for about 3 weeks.

I have no clue what it means that my hydrometer floats to high (it was bought at a wine making store)
i racked my meed because of about half an inch of lees on the bottom but brought the fruit with it.

pwizard
01-02-2016, 11:09 PM
I never heard of that before, unless the gravity is insanely high. However, since it is fermenting it doesn't sound like you have that problem.

Maybe you have a faulty hydrometer that isn't weighted correctly.

Bones6966
01-02-2016, 11:21 PM
I never heard of that before, unless the gravity is insanely high. However, since it is fermenting it doesn't sound like you have that problem.

Maybe you have a faulty hydrometer that isn't weighted correctly.

I dropped it in water and it sinks to an acceptable level.

Squatchy
01-02-2016, 11:32 PM
There are different hydrometers. Some are for very fine/acurate readings across a very small amount of points. My bet is you have the wrong hydrometer. How high is it in water compared to your mead?

Squatchy
01-02-2016, 11:39 PM
If you only had 3 pounds in a gallon of must that yeast would have eaten that bone dry. Can you take some pics of the hydrometer in your tester ? Without feeding it nuts I wouldn't think it is even drinkable let alone "amazing" one pound of honey would get you 14 or 15 %. I can't remember and I'm not at home but I think you would be around 1030 or so. I give up :)

Farmboyc
01-02-2016, 11:58 PM
If it it a 1 gal batch could it possibly be hitting the bottom of the container? Are you posibly using a cylinder that is too short for the testing?

Bones6966
01-02-2016, 11:58 PM
I would have to pull it out and grab another sample, I'm only working with one gallon, is it safe to "throw" it back in after if i have everything clean? and it was actually on the sweet side. I'm not too familiar with mead so maybe it is bad lol i have only had it once or twice from the store and wanted to make my own.

Edit: in the water is sinks over half way down.

Bones6966
01-03-2016, 12:00 AM
If it it a 1 gal batch could it possibly be hitting the bottom of the container? Are you posibly using a cylinder that is too short for the testing?

No the test tube is more than big enough. it is a few inches taller than my hydrometers

Farmboyc
01-03-2016, 12:02 AM
If you have ever thing clean it should be safe to put the mead back in the carbouy.

Farmboyc
01-03-2016, 12:03 AM
What is the highest gravity reading that your hydrometer us capable of taking?

Bones6966
01-03-2016, 12:21 AM
What is the highest gravity reading that your hydrometer us capable of taking?

:o Well then..... it turns out I truly am new to this and the woman at the wine store dose not no what she is doing...
i have apparently bought a hydrometer use for distilled alcohol not beer/wine.... i shall have to return this in the am and post a better reading haha

Farmboyc
01-03-2016, 12:26 AM
Ahhh it happens.

I would think that with your recipe that you would see a gravity less than 1.000 when the yeast is done and there will be little to no residual sweetness. EC 1118 is a beast.

Bones6966
01-03-2016, 12:38 AM
maybe my fermentation will continue albeit slowly by the looks of it. i will be patient and wait. and return my hydrometer tomorrow for the one i need lol

Bones6966
01-04-2016, 05:41 PM
Got at hydrometer and it is reading at about 1.048. and fermentation has apparently stopped at this point. if I'm correct i should be around 10% alc. How dose that sound? am i good to rack and let it sit for now or should i worry?

beecarp
01-04-2016, 07:59 PM
When did you start your batch? Even with raisins as nutrients, EC- 1118 is about as vigorous a yeast as you can find. It should keep on going to close to 1.00. Have you been stirring/degassing daily? I have no experience using raisins as sole nutrient source, but still that yeast is infamous for going to dry.

Squatchy
01-04-2016, 09:18 PM
Got at hydrometer and it is reading at about 1.048. and fermentation has apparently stopped at this point. if I'm correct i should be around 10% alc. How dose that sound? am i good to rack and let it sit for now or should i worry?

You need to check your pH and feed your little ones some hulls

Bones6966
01-04-2016, 09:58 PM
No i haven't, should i be degassing?

Bones6966
01-05-2016, 01:46 AM
Will yeast nutrient work? and what am i doing for in regards to the pH?

Mazer828
01-05-2016, 05:34 AM
You should be about due for a nutrient addition at this point. Since you're around the half sugar break don't add DAP or Fermaid-K. Use an organic nutrient like Fermaid-O. I typically use about 1 tsp per gallon of must. But others may have a more scientific approach.

And don't assume your fermentation has stopped based on what you can see with your eyes. Take gravity measurements for a couple of weeks, and be sure to correct your readings for temperature. When the reading doesn't change for a couple of weeks straight, the yeast are done. In your case I doubt it though. EC-1118 is a hearty warrior and usually won't quit until you're around 1.000 or lower.