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Thread: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

  1. #1
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    Default Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Hi all,

    James has put together a nifty mead calculator for us to play with. I've got it up here: NEW LINK. Go play with it, and see what you think. Please post your impressions here, so James can see too.

    Thanks James! Between you and jab (whose working on a nifty recipe database) we're going to have some *cool* toys to make our hobby more fun....

    Vicky
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  2. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    w00t! Who doesn't love toys!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    I like it! Especially where it has default values for adding fruit.

    A suggestion... I believe that honey is only 85 or 90 percent fermentables and so shouldn't the default sugar percentage number for honey reflect that?

    Otherwise, it works swell! I used it to check out my numbers for my melomel I just racked onto additional honey and fruit. It came out with close enough numbers to what I had calculated manually to make me feel comfortable with what I had done...

    Thanks for providing it!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Pewter,

    that's the sort of feedback I need.

    Also, does the Target Gravity match what you actually measure with your hydrometer, for the amount of honey used - when you modify the "Sugars Content" to 85 or 90?

    The sugar percentages for the fruit comes from info supplied by Dan McFeeley (http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,596.0.html)

    The Assumptions & formulae used are as follows:

    • 8 gravity points per pound of honey in 5 US gallons
    • BRIX = 220(SG-1) + 1.6
    • Baume = BRIX/1.8
    • %ABW (Alc by weight) = 0.8 * % ABV (Alc by Volume)
    • %ABV = 139.706 * SG - 140.219 (from linear solution of hydrometer table figures)
    • Temp correction for hydrometer (SG correction) = 1.313454 - 0.132674*T + 2.057793e-3*T**2 - 2.627634e-6*T**3
      for 59F (15C)
    • C = 5*(F-32)/9
    • F = C*9/5 + 32
    • 1 US Gal = 1.2 Imp Gal = 0.263963098 Litres
    • for honey: 1 Pound = 12 US Gal = 14.4 Imp Gal = 1.65345 Litres = 2.2046 Kg
    • The formula for calculating the SG from the Volume & Quantity of honey is:
      Gravity = 1 + (Grav_Factor*Quantity)/(1000*Vol/5 US Gal) = 1 + (Grav_Factor*Quantity)/(200*Vol)
      where Grav_Factor is the 8 gravity points per pounds honey in 5 US Gal

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    James,

    I am so new to this that I am not a good one to ask. I will go play with it some more and see whether the results match my results or not....

    But thanks again!
    Pewter

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    James,

    I looks pretty good, and a very useful tool. I plugged in some numbers, and I'll keep track of how it matches up to my batches.

    It may be a good idea to post up some additional instructions and/or examples on how to use the calculator for newbies and cover stuff like juice instead of fruit, added sugars, etc. It seems fairly straight forward to me, but I never assume that someone else will intuitively pick up on things.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    ... and cover stuff like juice instead of fruit ...
    From your experience, what is the relationship of sugar concentration of juices compared to the fruit?

    I assume equal, but .... ?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Just for a comparison, my blackberry puree was 8 grams of sugar per 125 grams of puree. I think I got 6.1% from the calculator, which is pretty close.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Really I think they're pretty much the same or at least within 10% in my experience.

    Of course I've bought frozen fruits from places like Costco and found that they have sugar added which kind of throws things off. I've also found that a lot of the fruit that is sold frozen is not fully ripe and does not have the sugar content that I would expect from fresh fruit. So it really varies. I think in fruit juices there are a lot of times when sugar is added.

    There's no way to capture that in the calculator really. Just wondering if others have found that the sugar content in juice is within 10% of the fresh like my experience tends to indicate. I think I saw a chart around here somewhere. I'll take a look and post what I find.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Another question:

    For the calculated values, should the numbers right of the dedimal point be rounded (reduced) to only 3 or 4 digits, rather than the 14 or so currently displayed?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    James,

    Was playing with the calculator again today, trying to decide what to do about my blackberry wine that is stopped at 1.08. I noticed that raisins were not in the list of fruits...

    Thanks,
    Pewter

  12. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Quote Originally Posted by Pewter_of_Deodar
    A suggestion... I believe that honey is only 85 or 90 percent fermentables and so shouldn't the default sugar percentage number for honey reflect that?
    From what I've been reading, honey can vary anywhere from 82% to 86% fermentables (sugars). I found some East Indian honeys in the 77% to 81% range.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    "An analysis of honey" (http://www.solorb.com/mead//danspaper.html) averages a value of 79.6% (is a typo in table 1 - should be 38.2% not 8.2% Levulose)

    I was going to go with that figure - but you can put whatever figure you like in the calculator if you know exactly what your honey contains, it just won't be the default value

    The problem is to find an "average" value that people can use, and finding a "baseline" for all the calculations. There are a lot of formulae that give approximations, but what are the correct or more accurate formulae to use?

  14. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Makes sense to leave it as a variable.


    Now I have a question. Will you be writing instructions on how to use/read your calculator soon? Being totally new to the process, I can understand the elements I am looking individually in relationship to everything I've been reading but I don't understand how the current gravity works with the "Target Gravity". The target gravity seems to always read higher. I thought that given a "current" gravity" that the "Target" gravity would be the fermentation completed, lower value.

    Please help me to read it?

    My newest 4 liter batch is made using 2 lb (almost brown) old clover honey along with 1 lb 'fresh' clover honey (from Albertson's) for a total of 3 lbs. And since I like the taste of the last batch with lemon and tea, I added two medium lemons' worth of RealLemon lemon juice and a STRONG brewed tea. I used D-47 yeast rehydrated in 1/2 cup warm water. I started the batch last night about this time and it is already happily bubbling away.

    My question is this: I just got my hydrometer today and decided to play with it. I got a "Current Gravity" of 1.101 and when I plug that into the calculator, I get a "Target Gravity" of 1.193.

    Thank you very much for your help.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    The target is what you should get with the "sugars" you will add.
    The "current" the value of existing must you are making additions to (default is SG=1.000 for water).

    I have done a first draft of a help file, but am checking changes made to the calculator, so haven't sent them to Vicky yet.

  16. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Got it! That's a huge help! Now that I know/better understand, it makes total sense.

    So, is there a batch caculator out there for newbies to play with? Of course, it IS understood that knowing the initial SG is important to the FG

  17. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Well, not a batch calculator but I am in the process of writing a Recipe/Batch application. One of the features I hope to add is the ability to select (probably from a drop down list) the batch size you want and it should recalculate all of the amounts.

    Unfortunately I can't give an ETA that this point. Was going along pretty well until I received to paying contract work. Now I know how Vicky feels!

    I hope to have something usable by the end of March. Won't be pretty but it should work. After that I will work on making it pretty and adding enhancements.

  18. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Just to make sure I'm talking "apples & apples" here:

    If I want to figure out the % sugar content of a fruit juice in order to plug the value into the mead calculator, would I do the following calc based on the label info:

    grams of sugar/253 x 100

    assuming
    1) the label lists grams of sugar per one 8 oz. serving
    2) 8 oz. fluid is 253 grams (or so)

    What about % sugar in honey. I don't have a commercial jar in front of me, but I believe they list grams per teaspoon. I can always assume 80 to 85%.

    I'm just trying to avoid too high a starting gravity.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    davarm,

    Let's make this a bit easier for you to calc your starting specific gravity;
    Assumptions:
    batch size is 5 gallons.
    One pound of honey in a 5 gallon batch will raise the SG 0.008.

    So, for a 3 pounds honey per batch, you'll get this SG: 1.120
    That won't be the exact SG that you'll get from your honey as it varies slightly from year to year and batch to batch, but it's a close enough average that you'll be able to get real close with your SG based on honey alone.

  20. Default Re: Mead calculator - courtesy of JamesP

    Thanks Talon:

    I want to do a calculation with fruit juice and honey. I see from the calculator I will get SG = 1.12 based on the assumption that the sugar content of the honey is 100%. In the two 1-gallon batches I've made so far, I used 3 lbs. of honey and ended up with a very dry mead after primary. At the time, I didn't have a hydrometer to measure the starting gravity, or I would have known it was going to be dry.

    I'm trying to figure how much fruit juice I can add to the primary (i.e. substitute for H20) without making the original gravity too high (> 1.14). That's where I see the calculator can come in very handy.

    I see you are in Deltona. I am in Winter Park. Are you going to the Mead Gathering this Saturday in Sanford?

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