View Full Version : Is the sugar content of honey the same at the top and bottom of the container

01-16-2017, 02:02 PM
I recently made two 5 gallon batches of Mead. I used the same wildflower honey container for both batches (12 lbs of honey), and the same yeast. I weighed the honey to 6 lbs per batch. When I checked original gravity, the first batch has a lower then the second. Batch 1 was 1.030 and batch 2 was 1.050. I've tried to search the forums but may have entered the wrong criteria. So, does the sugar sink to the bottom of the honey container?

Any and all help is appreciated.


01-16-2017, 03:44 PM
Hi ggordon and welcome. I almost always blend my honey with water in a ..um... blender primarily to aerate the must. I add water and then I pour in honey and the honey, being far more dense than water, sinks to the bottom of the blender carafe. I am going to assume that some of the honey may remain in suspension. I would suspect that initially almost all the honey will sink. What happens though, after a few days I am not certain as there will be lots of CO2 gas in the fermenting liquid and if I regularly stir the liquid I don't know how the honey and water interact - although again, I suspect (strongest word I am willing to use) that molecules of the water are somehow bound up with molecules of honey so there is NO layer of honey and a separate and distinct layer of water as happened in the first minutes.
Bottom line: if you simply pour the honey onto the water than you need to be careful that any sample you pull to measure the SG is a true random sample. After a few days, I think that any sample you pull (assuming we are talking about five gallons or less) WILL BE random... although what I do is stir my ferment from the bottom and then collect a sample.

01-16-2017, 03:45 PM
Well. It certainly could depending on how well it was stirred and how hard or soft the honey was when you dumped it in. I'm curious why such a low gravity for your must? That's only about 5% or so ABV. Is that what you wanted> It will have almost no body/mouthfeel and no honey flavor. What are you making?

01-16-2017, 04:57 PM
Thanks for the responses. I'm making session Meads. I get them to right around 6% ABV. I add fruit, hops, etc, and a little thickener. I keg them and they are super refreshing. A lot lighter and less filling than beer, which is what I primarily drink.

I got 2- 5 lb containers from my honey producer and this weekends batches both came out at 1.041, which should get me a 6.4 ABV. I know now that I should blend or use full containers to keep this from happening. Thanks again for the answers, a great help.

01-16-2017, 05:36 PM
If parts of the honey have started to crystallize hou might also get differences in Sg. Usually for me the topmost of the bucket is much more fluid than the bottom. The bottom also might have clumps of crystallized honey and I imagine the Sg would be different were I to split the top and bottom half of a bucket

01-16-2017, 11:17 PM
aha! I misunderstood. You meant does the density of the batch of honey get heavier as you go lower into the bucket of honey?

01-18-2017, 08:31 PM
The huge difference you have is not due to the honey density being different from top to bottom, its either a mistake in measuring or some minor difference in your fermentation that is affecting you batches. Stir those both hard and for a long time to make sure you dont have any setting on the bottom. Since everything is supposed to be the same you could also just mix them up together. WVMJ

01-19-2017, 12:13 PM
Yes. I have a kitchen scale that I started using to weight the honey so I know I'm getting the correct amount. This has happened to me twice. The first batch both times had a higher OG. I start with a large plastic spoon to make sure I get everything off the bottom of the fermenter. I have a hand blender I use after pitching and adding energizer/nutrient. I mix the heck out of it.