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Thread: Didnít get my OG

  1. Default Didnít get my OG

    I started my first batch and, via poor planning, was unable to get my starting gravity. I figured maybe someone here has started with the same honey:water:yeast ratio I have and I could just assume for the sake of myself mine would have started at the same?
    4lbs clover honey
    1 gallon spring water
    1 sachet EC-1118

  2. Default

    Question: Did you add the honey to the whole gallon of water, or did you remove water to make room for the honey and ended up with a gallon in total liquid?

    If its the former, you might have an O.G. around 1.100. If it's the latter, you might have an O.G. around 1.140. These are rough estimates though, as they assume an average sugar content in the honey. The only way to know for sure your starting gravity is to take a reading before you pitch the yeast. You can still make good mead without knowing specific gravity but you won't know what ABV its reached. A good hydrometer will also be able to tell you when the fermentation has finished. Helps remove a lot of guesswork.
    Last edited by The Ghost of Thom Jones; 08-02-2018 at 11:14 AM.

  3. #3


    Welcome Berryfunny. There are also resources online to help you figure it out. The one here is linked at the top of the page, or click here: http://gotmead.com/blog/the-mead-calculator/

    But the best thing to do is get a hydrometer so you know for sure. Also you'll need it to know when fermentation is finished, because bubbles are not an accurate indicator. There are a lot of other resources on the site here, so look around. And don't get frustrated if your next couple of posts take a while to show on the forums, that can be common with new members.
    Raisins are NOT nutrients for yeast... but french fries ARE!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saratoga Springs , NY


    Hi Berryfunny - and welcome. A good rule of thumb is that 1 lb of honey mixed in water to make 1 gallon will increase the gravity of the water by .035 . Two lbs will increase the gravity by .070 and as The Ghost of Thom Jones suggested 4 lbs mixed in water to make the same 1 gallon will increase the gravity of water to 1.140. If , however, you added 1 gallon of water - so that now the TOTAL volume is 1 gallon PLUS the volume of the 4 lbs of honey your SG will be more like 1.100 . If you multiply the SG by 131 you will get the potential ABV of this must

  5. Default

    Thank you all! For clarification, I have 4lbs added to one whole gallon of water in a 2 gallon vessel. I have a hydrometer, but somehow did not remember to also get a cylinder and alas also had nothing tall enough to substitute. Lesson learned!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Klukwan, Alaska

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berryfunny View Post
    Thank you all! For clarification, I have 4lbs added to one whole gallon of water in a 2 gallon vessel. I have a hydrometer, but somehow did not remember to also get a cylinder and alas also had nothing tall enough to substitute. Lesson learned!
    You could just float the hydrometer in the must still.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Inland Empire

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    Couple of thoughts, just to add seasoning to this already well-prepared response...lol.

    All honey is not the same. And even from the same source, honey you pick up this month may vary greatly from the honey you pick up next month. This is even more probable from natural, raw, straight from the producer sources, but less so from commercially sold honey. My experience has been that honey adds about 36-38 gravity points per pound. The variability comes from differences in sugar and water content. Like I said, this can change easily. So my point is you can't go with a recipe such as the one you have and expect to get the exact same results simply by adding the same quantity every time. Doesn't work that way.

    When I'm shooting for a certain starting specific gravity, or original gravity, I like to add water until I get to about 75% of my total final volume. Adjust for honey content, because you may be able to add more water to begin with for lower gravity meads (i.e., because less room will be needed for the honey). And vice versa. Then I do a rough calculation, using 40 gravity points per pound of honey, divided by the final volume I'm shooting for. Why 40? Because if I use a higher number than the honey will contribute, it's less likely I'll overshoot my OG. ;-)

    For example, if I'm shooting for 1.100 OG, and a five gallon batch, I'll put about 3.5 gallons of water in first, and add enough honey to get me close to my target, but just shy. At 40 points per gallon, the math looks like this: 40p/5=100 (40 points times the pounds of honey added, divided by 5 gallons equals 100 gravity points). Solve for p, and you get 8p=100, or 12.5 pounds of honey. Easy.

    So that's where I start. Then I toss a hydrometer in, make any corrections for temperature (usually no more than a point or two), and start slowly adding honey while stirring with my handy paint stirrer attachment on a cordless drill. If you're careful you can leave the hydrometer right there in the mixing bucket while you slowly add small quantities of honey, and periodically check in with the hydrometer until you confirm your target OG. Boom.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Mazer828; 08-04-2018 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
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