View Full Version : What happened

02-07-2011, 05:17 PM
Ok so I just encountered a bizare circumstance.

Ive got 4 batches that are about ready to bottle. Origonally when I brewed each of these batches, I had a Specific Gravity of 1.025+ on each batch. I just pulled a sample from each and tested them.

I got a specific gravity ranging anywhere from 1.04 to 1.07 after 12 months fermentation.

The yeast has been active those whole 12 months. and all gravities were obtained using a certified and calibrated lab quality densitometer.

Anyone have any ideas?

02-07-2011, 05:24 PM
That doesn't seem like you got the numbers right, or something is very unclear here.

You say they started at 1.025? That's super-low, almost no honey, would make basically totally dry lightly flavoured low-ABV water in the end.

Did you mean they were actually FINISHED at 1.025? Not started? Or did you mean started at 1.125? That would make more sense.

Same with the last 2 numbers, can you please confirm that if you write them out to 3 decimal places like 1.000 - did you put the 7 and the 4 in the right place?

If yes, and you did mean they finished at 1.025 before, then that means your earlier reading was wrong, as your gravity cannot increase like that with time.

Sorry, want to help but need more data!

02-07-2011, 05:27 PM
My mistake, Typo. I appologize. I started with 1.25

02-07-2011, 05:27 PM

never mind

02-07-2011, 05:31 PM
My mistake, Typo. I appologize. I started with 1.25

1.250??? (it's conventional to always write out specific gravity readings to 3 decimal places to help ensure it's easy to read and helps prevents typos).

What was your recipe? 1.250 is very VERY high starting gravity. Normally that would be more than high enough to kill your yeast outright.

Something still seems wrong here, if the yeast did manage to ferment that and made it to 1.070 in some batches and 1.040 in others that is nearly miraculous (actually almost impossible, 1.070 from 1.250 is 22% ABV and 1.040 from 1.250 is over 25% ABV - it's not necessarily totally impossible, but I would consider it more likely for me to be hit by lightning in 10 minutes and then a meteor 10 minutes after that!).

02-07-2011, 05:32 PM
Problem is/was bad note taking during brewing... Good note for later, not 100% wise to indulge in the mead, while brewing the next batch.

02-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Are you totally sure it wasn't 1.125?

In this case could you please post your whole recipe including the yeast used? (and batch size)

This is necessary for us to help figure out whether those are OK to bottle or if they could start fermenting again and blow up with some glass schrapnel in your face. Very important!

02-07-2011, 05:39 PM
Did you test gravities as you went to verify that the yeast was still active during the whole time or are you judging by airlock activity? Was the temperature stable during the 12 months? Changes in temperature or barometric pressure can force CO2 out of the airlock after fermentation is done, but I don't think that's generally enough activity to make it seem as if fermentation is still going.

Chevette Girl
02-07-2011, 10:45 PM
Specific gravity readings can be affected by temperature too, I HAVE had enough fluctuation that one wine appeared to increase in SG instead of drop by .005... although it's also possible that I too was imbibing at the time... ;D

And as Gray asked, were you taking SG readings throughout the whole time? If the yeast is actually active, it will still be decreasing so your mead might not be ready to bottle after all.

If your question is actually, "why are the SG's of all 4 batches so different?", we'll need your recipes and initial SG's to make precise suggestions, but different fruit and spice additions can affect the yeast for better or worse, also fruit additions can decrease the actual SG because of water coming out of the fruit, which makes it easier for the yeast to deal with...