View Full Version : Strange OG readings

06-24-2017, 01:56 PM
I started a few days ago a new batch and had some unexpected OG readings which I hope you could explain to me.

I would guess the cause is more "mechanical" if you get my meaning i.e. I don't think its something in the recipe. In any case I will mention the recipe here for rules' sake:

1 oz Juniper berries boiled in...
2.5 gal of water.
Added 11lbs eucalyptus honey,
Handful of raisins,
boiled bakers yeast,
and Mangrove Jack's M05

So... I was aiming for 1.140 OG. So I added the honey in increments. And I added... And added... According to my (very) rough estimates I should have got OG of about 1.150 in the end! But my hydrometer read solid 1.130...
The question is: is my hydro faulty or am I missing something?
I tried mixing some 2 lb of honey in 0.5qt and (obviously) my hydro almost jumped out of the glass!
Could the honey sink to the bottom and so did not dissolve well enough? But I shook and stirred the hell out of the carboy!
In any case the fermentation is going nicely. The airlock smells of mango of all things! Probably the yeast: the must smelled definitely of juniper and honey before I pitched.
Thanks in advance for the help. I understand the new bees get delays.

07-13-2017, 10:59 PM
Hey I got posted finally! Hello!
So I went to LHBS (sp?) and after some discussion with the storekeeper it turned out that my calculations were indeed off: it should have been 2.5gal total (meaning with the honey added). Instead I added the honey on top of that... Well no big deal.
The stuff fermented in about two weeks. In the middle I got this faint sulfur odor, and after reading here and there added a little more DAP (about 1/2 tsp), shook the jar to get the gasses out and the smell was gone in a couple of days.
So... With FG of 1.000, the stuff tastes somewhat awful... Not spoiled, but I wouldn't drink it if someone offered me a glass. I doubt anything can spoil it at this stage. It's not averting or making me want to toss it all. It's strong, a tad sweet and there's something in the background (flavor-wise), but I guess it'll take some time before I'll taste junipers again...
So, here's the summary.
Feel free to criticize or make suggestions! In fact I demand you to!
Thanks in advance!

07-14-2017, 07:04 AM
Sounds almost like your hydrometer was touching the bottom of the carboy....................

07-14-2017, 05:19 PM
I think your hydrometer is correct.

For my meads I am always following traditional Polish volume proportions. 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 (one part of honey to 1, 2 or 3 portions of water).
1:1 should give SG ~ 1.210 - 1.230
1:2 should give SG ~ 1.140 - 1.160
1:3 should give SG ~ 1.100 - 1.120

You used 2.5 gallons of water = ~9.5 liters and 11 lb of honey = ~3.6 liters. Your resulting must is somewhere between 1:3 and 1:2 proportions which will put it between SG 1.120 and 1.140.

07-14-2017, 06:24 PM
Hi van.goh. I also don't see the problem. Can I assume that you are making 3 gallons of mead? If so, 11 lbs honey /3 = 3.67 lbs of honey per gallon. One pound of honey dissolved in water to make 1 gallon of must will raise the gravity of the water by about 35 points (1.035) so 3.67 lbs dissolved in water to make the same volume will raise the gravity (1.035 * 3.67) or, 1.128 . This by rule of thumb calculation. By measurement you got 1.130. Spot on, I would say... Of course, if your volume of mead is significantly different then ignore my calculations