View Full Version : A quick lesson on Starting Gravities

11-19-2004, 10:23 AM
I have noticed quite of few new mead makers on this forum starting out with recipes that have a very high OG or starting gravity. As Ken points out in his book and as experience will dictate, it is wise to keep starting gravities no greater than 1.140.
Why? Because many yeast strains may have difficulty beginning the fermentation process in these higher gravity musts. When pitched, as Ken points out "they will simply revert back to a dormant state". If you have a recipe that uses a lot of fermentable sugars, it would be much wiser to hold back some of the honey and feed it later after fermentaion has started and much of the existing sugar has been converted already. There are tricks for getting around starting with a higher gravity but it is good for beginners to keep gravities well below that point until they have mastered yeast starters and some tricks of the trade so to speak.
Hoping this advice will help you in future batch planning.

11-22-2004, 02:55 AM
I'm probably one of those newbies you're talking about with the super high OGs. I appreciate the heads up and will definitely keep it in mind as I continue in this wonderful endeavor. I do have a question along these lines. Should you attempt to keep the sg below 1.4, or is it only critical at the beginning to keep it low? Basically, If I were to start a batch at around 1.2, could i then bump it up to 1.6 after it got down to 1.0, or should I just bump it back to 1.2 a few times (for the same final fermentable quantity). IT may not be an issue since I probably wouldn't be doing many that were that sweet, I was just curious. Also, is there any specific SG where it would be an especially good idea to add the extra fermentable, or just any time before it slows down (for instance, anywhere between 1.04 and 1.1)?

11-22-2004, 05:53 AM
Thats a much better solution Aggie. Its called feeding the must. And yes I would just bump it back no higher than your starting gravity. That would be hard to do to get it up that high again anyway as it will be diluted by its existing SG of a greater volume so just add a pound or so at a time as conditions dictate.

11-26-2004, 12:59 AM
That's a great tip, it seems that it would allow you to control the final sweetness instead of hoping that the yeast will stop at a specfic point. Beeboy