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  1. #1

    Default 5 gallon carboy... 4 gallons of water?

    Hi All,

    If i have a 5 gallon carboy, but remove 1 gallon of water for honey displacement, should I add enough honey for 5 gallons or 4? What I want is 3 lbs. of honey per 1 gallon of water. How much honey should I add?

    TIA,
    "But now in vain is the torture,Fire shall never avail: Here dies in my bosom, The secret of Heather Ale."

  2. #2

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    If you fill a 5 gallon carboy to the top and then ferment it you might have a gallon squirt out the top. If you mix up your 5 gall in a 8 gal brewing bucket you wont have to worry about that, or start your ferment in a bigger carboy. Doing it that way you make like 5.5 gallons so when you transfer over from primary to secondary you leave behind the junk on the bottom and have a full carboy to start to clear. WVMJ

  3. #3

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    And you need to figure honey for 5 gallons. Use a hydrometer and start your ferment around 1120
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Versipelis View Post
    Hi All,

    If i have a 5 gallon carboy, but remove 1 gallon of water for honey displacement, should I add enough honey for 5 gallons or 4? What I want is 3 lbs. of honey per 1 gallon of water. How much honey should I add?

    TIA,
    A one gallon container of honey weighs approximately 12 pounds. So if you wanted to start with exactly a 5 gallon batch at 3 lbs of honey per gallon you would use 4 gallons of water and one gallon of honey.

    As Jack said, you will lose some volume in racking. It is better to start with 5.5 - 6 gallons in a bucket and rack to the carboy when the primary fermentation is complete. If it were me, I would add another 3 lbs of honey (a gallon plus a quart) and start with a total volume around 6 gallons shooting for an Original Gravity around 1.10. My 5 gallon carboys seem to hold more than 5 gallons for some reason and you can always keep any extra in a smaller container for future topping off.

  5. #5

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    danr, I have measured all of my carboys by water weight and etched them at .5 gallon increments (slightly OC, I know). The smallest 5 gallon holds 5.25 gallons to the base of the neck. The largest about 5.7 to the base of the neck. My 6 gallon carboys hold 6.75 gallons and my 3 gallon 3.25 gallons. They are all scrounged or craigslist. The Italians seem to be the most accurate, but the 3 of them still vary by almost a quart. Just an FYI for everyone.

    Ed
    You may see the stars but still not see the light!

    Storm1969 "when you know the rules, you are a tradesman, when you follow the rules you are a craftsman, when you know when to break the rules you are an artisan"!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Versipelis View Post
    Hi All,

    What I want is 3 lbs. of honey per 1 gallon of water. How much honey should I add?

    TIA,
    3 lbs honey for every gallon of water (approx 12# per 5 gallon batch, 1 gallon honey plus 4 gallons water) ... or 3 lbs honey per gallon of final must (approx 15# per 5 gallon , 1.25 gallons honey to 3.75 gallons water)....the second way is how most folks figure in a recipe .... X lbs honey to make X gallon(s) of total must, at least in my experience....but, yeah, if you want to use 4 gallons of water, you'll need one gallon (approx 12#) of honey....nevermind, it's late, must.....sleep....

  7. #7
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    I have done plenty of ferments in 5 gallon carboys. Don't worry. You won't lose anything to blowoff, except maybe a little foam. Marking your carboy levels is not OCD, it's smart. I do the same.

    I recommend though that you shoot for a starting OG using a hydrometer, rather than using pounds of honey and gallons of water. Honey contains varying amounts of sugar and water depending on a variety of factors and so will require varying amounts to achieve repeatable results.

    Pick a starting OG, say 1.120, start with about 3 or 3.5 gallons of water in the carboy, and add honey gradually, mixing thoroughly, and testing gravity until you get to your target OG. I find this is most easily done in a bottling bucket with a spigot, then you can simply gravity transfer to the carboy which aerates at the same time!

    Hitting a repeatable OG, but missing your exact 5 gallon target volume is much better than having exactly 5 gallons of something you can't repeat if it turns out awesome.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given, waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood, a numerous band. It burned in his spirit to urge his folk to found a great building, a mead-hall grander than men of the era ever had heard of, and in it to share with young and old all of the blessings the Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers." - Beowulf

  8. #8
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    From my experience, three pounds of honey per gallon of water will get you a dry mead. If you want a sweet mead, plan for 3 pounds of honey per carboy gallon. (A very rough volume estimate is one quart of honey to three quarts of water for one gallon of must.) A five gallon batch of sweet mead will then use about 15-18 pounds of honey, depending on how sweet you want the final mead.

    I say "plan for" so that you can acquire enough honey. The best method is to use a hydrometer to get the exact ratio that you want for the mead that you want. I just checked my brew logs; in my 12 pound honey batch (in 5 gallon carboy) the SG was around 1.08 and fermented dry. (Pleasant, but dry.) My sweet meads clock in somewhere over 1.15+.

    If you don't/can't get access to a hydrometer, I think the mead calculator will help on that front.
    Mead Magic
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    Depends on yeast selection. With EC-1118 definitely will go dry. With D47 or 71B-1122 or many others your 1.120 will probably go down to around 1.010, which in my mind has plenty of residual sweetness. And those last two yeasts cooperate well with quitting when you ask them to by racking and cold crashing. If you do that around 1.020-1.025, it'll usually finish about 10 points lower.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given, waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood, a numerous band. It burned in his spirit to urge his folk to found a great building, a mead-hall grander than men of the era ever had heard of, and in it to share with young and old all of the blessings the Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers." - Beowulf

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazer828 View Post
    Depends on yeast selection. With EC-1118 definitely will go dry. With D47 or 71B-1122 or many others your 1.120 will probably go down to around 1.010, which in my mind has plenty of residual sweetness. And those last two yeasts cooperate well with quitting when you ask them to by racking and cold crashing. If you do that around 1.020-1.025, it'll usually finish about 10 points lower.
    Good point. I've settled on Cotes de Blanc, so I tend to forget about that variable.
    Mead Magic
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    With our complete one-gallon kit!

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