Originally Posted by shanek17
I just made my first batch of mead and I used expensive clover honey so iv been trying to take as good of care of it as I can! But im trying to figure out what percent alcohol it will be in the end. When I give it out to family and freinds it will be nice to tell them how much alcohol percent it is.
Maybe someone can help me out with this, as so far my only sources of info are random websites and random calculators. I tried this calculator and it says it will be 9.5% but then another source told me like 8%. Is there a standard formula for figuring out alcohol percent based on the amount of sugar added. Im wondering how much sugar equals 1% alcohol. If i knew that I could figure make any recipe I wanted.
I used 4929g of honey but the actual amount of sugar was 3946.4g. I then added it water to equal a volume of 24.5Liters. So 3946.4 divided by 24.5 equals 161grams per liter. So how much alcohol will be in this mead?
Unless you know the exact sugar content of the honey, such calculators can only ever be, well basically, an educated guess.
The drinks industry has some very, very expensive kit to work it out (which they have to do, as it often depends on the strength as to how much excise duty taxation they have to pay out) like densiometers, gas chromatographs etc
Your easiest method of calculation is to use gravity readings i.e. take a starting gravity (normally easy, but some guessing has to be presumed if you've used fruit in the batch), then you know that fully dry is likely to be 0.980/0.990 (though I usually just take the "water gravit" number of 1.000) as the likely finish I can work out what strength the yeast might achieve, but also with the data, you can let a batch finish, then once you've got 3 consecutive, identical readings (each one taken 2 or 3 days apart) to confirm the ferment has finished, the difference in SG and FG will give you the total drop - which can be then used to correlate to a table of percentages that X amount of gravity drip represents as the % ABV.
To my mind, it's more accurate because it tells you what "it is", rather than what it might be e.g. start gravity of 1.100, finished/final gravity of 1.000 then it will be 13.58 %ABV.
Then if you bring the FG up a bit with back sweetening, the alcohol strength will drop a little because of the dilution effect of the sugar but not very much i.e. the change/increase of gravity from the sugar addition would still give you about 13% or so, which is normally accurate enough for home brewing purposes..........