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  1. #1
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    Default Cannot understand the maths!

    I have not made my first batch of mead yet, but I am very excited about making a batch. I have order a hydrometer, but I just cannot wrap my head around the calculations involved in ABV and SG.

    I want to make 5 liters of mead to start with as a practice, so I don't waste too much if it goes wrong. I would like it to be 12% and be medium rather than sweet. I will add fresh orange slices to see what that tastes like. Does anyone have any idea how I make that calculation as to how much honey to make?

    I know there is a section in the NewBees guide on the calculator and the statistics, but no matter how often I read it, I just can't understand.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    I have not made my first batch of mead yet, but I am very excited about making a batch. I have order a hydrometer, but I just cannot wrap my head around the calculations involved in ABV and SG.

    I want to make 5 liters of mead to start with as a practice, so I don't waste too much if it goes wrong. I would like it to be 12% and be medium rather than sweet. I will add fresh orange slices to see what that tastes like. Does anyone have any idea how I make that calculation as to how much honey to make?

    I know there is a section in the NewBees guide on the calculator and the statistics, but no matter how often I read it, I just can't understand.
    Welcome to the addiction!

    There is a fairly easy way to figure out a mix... use the handy-dandy mead calculator in the yellow box on the left. Here's the direct link.

    Its a little intimidating at first, but don't worry. It is easy to learn, and makes the math much easier.

    I will send you a draft of the tutorial I wrote up for myself for using the calculator later on.

    Basically, since you want 5 liters, 12% ABV and medium sweetness, your best bet is to ferment your batch absolutely dry, stabilize (using potassium metabisulphate and potassium sorbate), then add more honey a little bit at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness. This is the most controllable way of doing it. I call it the FB method, since member fatbloke drummed this procedure into me. I have found it to be the best way (for me) to achieve both the ABV% and sweetness I want.

    Using the calculator, I come up with 1.52 kg of honey to give you 12.09% ABV, with an Original Specific Gravity of 1.091.

    I would add nutrient and energizer if you have it. If not, I would use 30 or 40 raisins and a teaspoon of bread yeast (rehydrated and boiled in half a cup of water for 2-minutes to kill it) in the must. Honey is deficient in most of the things that yeast need to be happy and healthy, so this will give them their needs.

    Aerate for the first several days (to the 1/3 sugar break... once you get your hydrometer... 1.061 or so), and degass daily.

    Once fermentation is complete, stabilize it and add small amounts of honey (perhaps 200g), mix well and taste to see if it is where you want it. In a 5L batch, 200g should raise your SG by about .010.

    I hope this has helped instead of caused more confusion.


    Good luck,

    Joe
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  3. #3
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    This has pointed me in the right direction, but has opened more questions for me! I look forward to the tutorial on the calculations, maybe that will help me. I am normally quite good at maths, I don't know why I find this so tricky to understand.

    Regarding potassium metabisulphate and potassium sorbate, are they totally necessary? I try to be as natural as possible, so I am hesitant to introduce chemicals into my mead making if I can avoid it. I thought that after a certain point, the yeast gets "poisoned" by the alcohol content and the reaction stops.

    I have ordered some lalvin d45 yeast as well as my hydrometer. It seems like there is so much to be learned, I will never be able to make a decent batch.

  4. #4

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    Do you mean D-47 yeast?

    If so, and you only want 12% ABV, you absolutely have to stabilize. D-47 has an ABV tolerance of 18%. So it will convert all the sugars to alcohol, and be bone dry. If you try to back sweeten before that ABV is reached and it is not stabilized it will just kick the fermentation on again and you will get bottle bombs. I would suggest using another yeast with a lower ABV tolerance, like Wyeast Sweet Mead strain. That has a tolerance of 11%.

    Theoretically, you can let it do its thing until its ABV% is above the tolerance and the yeast go dormant/ die and then adjust the sweetness. But, I would not guarantee that a yeast will know that its tolerance is, and they might keep going.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    This has pointed me in the right direction, but has opened more questions for me! I look forward to the tutorial on the calculations, maybe that will help me. I am normally quite good at maths, I don't know why I find this so tricky to understand.
    I am terrible at math. I count on the calculator to do the hard part for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    Regarding potassium metabisulphate and potassium sorbate, are they totally necessary? I try to be as natural as possible, so I am hesitant to introduce chemicals into my mead making if I can avoid it. I thought that after a certain point, the yeast gets "poisoned" by the alcohol content and the reaction stops.
    You are correct. Yeast will die from alcohol poisoning at a certain point. For most common wine yeast, it is approximately 14%. Unfortunately, yeast do not read the specifications, so they do not always know this. Sometimes a "14% yeast" will die off before 14%. Sometimes it will not die off until 1 or 2 percent more.

    This is why I recommended stabilizing with these two chemicals. I do understand the desire for as natural a product as possible, and I want the same thing if possible.

    You could ferment as we have already discussed, cold crash it (put it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or more) then carefully rack it, then let it sit for a long, long time before adding more honey, add more honey and hope that there is no live yeast left.

    Yeast are very hard to kill off naturally. Some of them will "go to sleep" if there is not enough sugar and wait. And if there is even one yeast cell alive when you add more honey...

    Well, you get the idea.

    A year ago, I made a batch that fermented almost dry (SG - 1.000). It sat in its carboy for 3 months with no activity and no drop in SG. So did not stabilize it; I bottled and corked it. All was fine for another 3 months. Then one day I noticed sediment in the bottom of one of the bottles. I uncorked it to find that it had begun fermenting again. If I had not noticed this, the pressure might have turned it/them into bottle bombs. So since then, I have always stabilized. I mean, there was NO indication that this could possibly happen. It had been inactive for six months!

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    I have ordered some lalvin d45 yeast as well as my hydrometer.
    Do you mean D47? This is a very good yeast. But you have to keep the temperature < 68F/20C. If it is warmer than this, it can give your mead a bad taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    It seems like there is so much to be learned, I will never be able to make a decent batch.
    Hahahahaha! Yes, there is much to be learned. But much can be gained from knowing and understanding the basics. With experience, you will have a good foundation on which you will build quickly. Mark Twain once said "Experience is something you only get AFTER you needed it". And the most important ingredient is patience. Most problems will get smaller with age.

    There are many many many people here with much more experience and intelligence than I. They have helped me, they will help you.


    Good luck,

    Joe
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  6. #6
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    Where are you from Cosmogirl? Australia or England? You're certainly not from North America.
    If you are from Aus, you'll not want to be using that D47, it's starting to warm up here and D47 dislikes being uncomfortable.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

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    What gave me away as not being American?
    I live in Northern Ireland.

    I will look into buying what is necessary to stabilise things in a home brewing shop. That's good advice.

    Is there another yeast I could try that is less temperamental? I did mean to type d 47, sorry about that!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    What gave me away as not being American?
    I live in Northern Ireland.

    I will look into buying what is necessary to stabilise things in a home brewing shop. That's good advice.
    The chemicals are not very expensive, and it is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

    The amounts of the chemicals used are fairly small, and unless you have an allergy or are sensitive to sulfites, you are better off using them, in my opinion.

    Is there another yeast I could try that is less temperamental?
    There are many. My favorite is 71B. I have not used it yet but I have heard good things about 1116. These are both Lalvin yeasts. If you can get Red Star brand yeasts, Cote Des Blancs ferments very nicely, but slowly.

    Yeasts I have not tried but have heard good reports of are:

    Lalvin 1116 (which I have already mentioned)
    Red Star Pasteur Red (which I will be trying next)
    Red Star Montrachet (which I have heard can be a bit 'stinky')

    There are also yeasts that are used for beer and ale that will make a good mead, but I have no experience with these. Others here do, and will probably add their knowledge, but I would recommend starting off slowly and learning as you go. One adage that I wish the government(s) would learn when trying to 'fix' the economy: You cannot build a house from the roof down.

    I did not, by the way, ignore your mention of adding orange slices. I did not add them into the calculation because the sugar they add will likely be only a small addition.

    I will send you the 'tutorial' when I find it.

    Good luck,

    Joe
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  9. #9

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    I'd suggest using b71

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemirando View Post
    You are correct. Yeast will die from alcohol poisoning at a certain point. For most common wine yeast, it is approximately 14%. Unfortunately, yeast do not read the specifications, so they do not always know this. Sometimes a "14% yeast" will die off before 14%. Sometimes it will not die off until 1 or 2 percent more.

    Lots of good info Joe, but the yeast won't nececssarily DIE. They'll just become dormant. Which means under the right conditions, they can wake up again, and if there's any sugar for them to eat if they do, THAT is why you need to stabilize.

    If you're OK with a dry mead, you don't really need to stabilize it as long as the yeast have eaten all the available sugars. I understand not wanting to add chemicals and crap to your brews, but you have to make some choices... you can accept that your mead will be dry, you can accept that you may have to backsweeten multiple times until the yeast finally poops out and stops eating your backsweetening sugar (which might take a lot of honey depending on how happy your yeast are, and thereby cost you more money which you already decided you want to save), you can accept that you should leave this in the carboy for at least a year before declaring it safe to bottle... or you can accept that stabilization chemicals save you time and money and also save you from the possibility of bottle bombs... it's all about the choices, and there is no one answer, just what's right for you for a given batch.

    As for yeasts that are less tempramental, 71B is fine as long as you don't leave it on the lees too long (rack it before six weeks and then again any time you notice an accumulation of sediment on the bottom of the carboy). EC-1118 is a workhorse and will ferment almost anything and can hit 18% but some members report that it blows all the delicate flavours right out the airlock with its vigorous fermentation... K1V-1116 is becoming my go-to yeast, not only does it have a kill factor to get rid of any native yeast but it's pretty good at most temperatures unlike D-47 and isn't fussy about nutrients the way RC-212 is and it's not fussy about sitting on the lees like 71B. As you work with the various yeasts you have available to you, you'll eventually figure out which one should work best for which application.

    Oh, and about so much to learn and never being able to make a decent batch? I'll tell you a secret... the yeast don't know whether you know what you're doing or not... as long as you fake it well enough, they'll do their job anyway!
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post

    Lots of good info Joe, but the yeast won't nececssarily DIE. They'll just become dormant. Which means under the right conditions, they can wake up again, and if there's any sugar for them to eat if they do, THAT is why you need to stabilize.
    It was my understanding that excessive alcohol DOES cause them to die, but I am probably wrong there.

    And the 'right' conditions seem to be the absolute worst time possible for us poor multi-celled creatures.

    Joe
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
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  12. #12
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    Ok confession!

    I got too excited to wait on my hydrometer and special yeast. I went to tesco, bought a five litre of water, an orange, some raisins, four tubs of honey and quick rise yeast. I couldn't find regular yeast anywhere and I figure that the only additive to it is vitamin c. I know it's not as good but thought it was worth a try.

    I dumped it all in together, shaking the five litre bottle half to death in process. I pricked a balloon and covered the top of bottle with that.

    It's bubbling away and I feel quite proud of myself. I am under no illusion. This batch will taste horrible I imagine! But goodness, it just feels so satisfying watching those bubbles!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    Ok confession!

    I got too excited to wait on my hydrometer and special yeast. I went to tesco, bought a five litre of water, an orange, some raisins, four tubs of honey and quick rise yeast. I couldn't find regular yeast anywhere and I figure that the only additive to it is vitamin c. I know it's not as good but thought it was worth a try.

    I dumped it all in together, shaking the five litre bottle half to death in process. I pricked a balloon and covered the top of bottle with that.

    It's bubbling away and I feel quite proud of myself. I am under no illusion. This batch will taste horrible I imagine! But goodness, it just feels so satisfying watching those bubbles!
    Hahahahaha! You're hooked now!

    It sounds like a fairly basic Joe's Ancient Orange (I am NOT that Joe). How much honey did you add to make a 5L batch?

    For fun and practice, have you entered the numbers into the Mead Calculator?

    You're on your way now. The only recommendation I will make is to make sure you have enough honey to finish semi-sweet to sweet. For a 5L batch, I would say that 2 kg would be just about perfect.

    Your mead won't be terrible. It will taste rough at first, but like a fine wine, age will mellow and mature it.

    Congratulations! You're a Mazer!


    Joe
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemirando View Post
    It was my understanding that excessive alcohol DOES cause them to die, but I am probably wrong there.

    And the 'right' conditions seem to be the absolute worst time possible for us poor multi-celled creatures.
    I think when you fortify with spirits, it's more likely, but I don't know if they themselves can produce enough alcohol fast enough to actually kill themselves off before they go dormant to protect themselves from the harsh environment.

    Well, of course, it's yeast! If you want it to go dry, it'll cut out early and leave you with something sweet, if you wanted it to stop while it's still sweet, it'll eat like a teenager until there's nothing left...




    And Cosmogirl, the quick rise yeast should do the job just as well, the only reason we insist for Joe's Ancient Orange that it be Fleischmann's regular baking yeast is because we KNOW how that one behaves. Most substitutions people have made have worked out fine. If you can get your hands on a cinnamon stick and a clove or two, you won't be sorry for adding them to what you've made (unless of course you loathe cinnamon or cloves).
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  15. #15

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    The problem isn't so much the mead-making addiction; I now find myself trying to ferment everything I can get my hands on while I wait out the aging of my batch. That last raspberry-brown sugar concoction was horrid.. Just sayin'.

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    Haha I imagine that the raspberry and brown sugar wouldn't taste great!

    Joe I haven't ran things through the calculator. I will do so tomorrow. Right now it's four am and I have had far too much rum to do maths!

    On a side note... If vikings can made mead with no concept of sanitation or standard gravity or anaerobic respiration, I figure I can make some sort of beverage in my lovely clean kitchen!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    Haha I imagine that the raspberry and brown sugar wouldn't taste great!

    Joe I haven't ran things through the calculator. I will do so tomorrow. Right now it's four am and I have had far too much rum to do maths!

    On a side note... If vikings can made mead with no concept of sanitation or standard gravity or anaerobic respiration, I figure I can make some sort of beverage in my lovely clean kitchen!
    A lot of it isn't about getting too hung up on the numbers, it's about learning stuff as you go.

    Spotting "non-US" isn't so hard. Sussing the AUS/NZ from us is different, a little harder, but doable

    So...... your excitement of getting something started is fine. The "ad hoc" method using tesco's water, etc is also fine. The only thing you need to watch for, is that in the early stages of anything, especially with fruit in it, is that even slight movement can trigger foaming, where it bubbles up and goes everywhere.

    Which is why it's often suggested, to make the liquid part up to the target amount, then remove a litre or so and put it in a pop bottle in the fridge. So if you're using the water bottle/can, there's some room for expansion. Not always enough to prevent it foaming completely but enough so that if you prepare a bit, you can stop or reduce it's chances from coming out the top or through an airlock (or even through the holes in a balloon), by just grabbing whatever you have for stirring (plastic brewing spoons and stirrers are handy as you can spray or dip them in sanitiser first, then start whatever you're doing, then if it foams grab it and stir faster or slower whichever seems to be slowing the rise of the foam, until it stops rising).

    If your batch is actually like a Joes Ancient Orange, but without the spices, it's actually good to add them even if you don't generally use them as they all help toward the balance of the end result.

    You should be OK for using D47 most of the time in NI, as you can more likely find somewhere to put a fermenting batch, where it will stay below 70F/21C. Many in the US, parts of Canada and certainly South Africa and Aus/NZ have to think about that as their summers can get damned hot can't they.

    As far as worrying with the maths, have a look at Winesathome, as Bob who runs it, has put some nice easily followed tutorials and other good info in the new winemaker section (all in his finest "geordie", with the generally used numbers and terminology here ). Obviously meads are a bit different to wines, but not by that much, so when it comes to working out stuff like possible/probably ABV, there's a nice table that explains that a certain drop in gravity points equates to a certain level ABV - like this......

    say 3lb of honey made up to a gallon, gives you a starting gravity of 1.090, then you do all the usual stuff with the yeast, nutrients and so on, and when it's stopped bubbling completely, you've done the checks to confirm it's finished it's fermenting and your hydrometer tells you it's finished at 0.990 ?

    Ok, so that's a drop of 100 points yes ?, then just look that up on the table (I've got a copy of it downloaded to my desktop) and you find that it's 13.58% ABV. Easy eh ! no number crunching etc.....

    Of course, when it's finished the ferment, it doesn't mean it's finished does it. You still have to get it clear, then taste it and if it's a bit dry, check out a few things before you proceed.

    Extending the example above.....so your batch is 13.5%, yet the published tolerance for D47 is 14%, so there's a little space for further fermenting if you added more fermentable sweetness i.e. honey.

    Now even when it's cleared, unless you ran it through a filter that's fine enough to remove all the yeast cells, there will still be some in the batch, so as it costs 's for a filter that fine, it's cheaper and easier to "stabilise" it, using sulphites (usually in the form of 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon) and sorbate (potassium sorbate, also sometimes sold as "wine stabiliser") with the dose as per the pack - usually.

    After that, you can add a small amount of honey to sweeten it back up to how you like it.

    Possibly, it still won't be perfect, hell it might even still taste bloody horrible. Meads are a bit weird, because they mellow and change with age, which is why you'll see so much mention of ageing in threads hereabouts.

    Even the well known recipes like JAOM, which Joe himself says is drinkable once it's cleared and the fruit has dropped, I find less so and age it for a minimum of 6 months and even that relatively short time, it improves dramatically.

    The NewBee guide covers most angles for the new mead maker, the rest is making some, experiments, learning curve, asking questions and patience.

    The patience is the hardest part to learn........

    Good luck with your efforts.....

    p.s. rum rhymes with yum.......
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  18. #18
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    Ok my first lesson has been learned - always use the mead calculator no matter how excited and impatient I am to get cracking!

    I still don't have a great feel for the maths. I had bought 4x 340g of honey giving a total of 1.36kg. This was added to 5 litres of water.

    I would like someone to double check this, but according to the calculator I should end up with something about 11% abv and an SG of 1.081.

    I know that the SG refers to the amount of sugar but I have no idea what individual values mean. However I did think this batch would be closer to 14% abv.

    Should I leave it well enough alone and let it do its thing or add more honey? If so, how should I add the honey? I don't want to cause the yeast to stop. What exactly does that value of SG mean?

    Thanks for getting back to me FB. I will definitely check out that link. I wish there was a way to avoid adding chemicals to the mead, but I understand now how important stabilising is so I will get some soon.
    Last edited by cosmogirl; 09-07-2013 at 05:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmogirl View Post
    Ok my first lesson has been learned - always use the mead calculator no matter how excited and impatient I am to get cracking!

    I still don't have a great feel for the maths. I had bought 4x 340g of honey giving a total of 1.36kg. This was added to 5 litres of water.
    What, so that it was the 5 litres plus the 1.36 kg or the 1.36kg was made up to a total of 5 litres ?

    I would like someone to double check this, but according to the calculator I should end up with something about 11% abv and an SG of 1.081.
    See I don't like using the mead calculator, because it presumes too much for my liking. It presumes that all honey is 80% sugar, whereas in practice it varies. I seem to recall the 80% sugars things is to do with some legal requirement in the US.

    Is the gravity of your brew 1.081 or is that what the calculator is telling you ?
    I know that the SG refers to the amount of sugar but I have no idea what individual values mean. However I did think this batch would be closer to 14% abv.
    The gravity reading actually equates to the density of the liquid when compared to distilled water (at a certain temperature). So that distilled water, at say, 20C, the hydrometer will measure 1.000 and that the presumption would be that a measure of 1.081 tells you how much denser the liquid is than water. So, while there are many materials/substances that don't add to the actual measurable density of water, sugar does, so it's measurable and that the 1.081 is tell you how much the density has increased and it's possible to work out how much alcohol that will make.

    Don't forget, that if the yeast can manage it, it's possible to make a ferment that will measure at 0.980 when it's finished. That's because the alcohol that's been made is less dense than water. In practice, you're unlikely to see it that low, 0.990 is about as low as mead batches might achieve.

    Using your example numbers, if the batch fermented to 1.000 a drop of 81 points would make it almost exactly 11% ABV. if it fermented to 0.990 then that's a 91 point drop and that's equal to 12.36 %ABV.

    For 14% of so, if you've used the D47 you mention ? well that's capable of 14%, but you need a drop of 103/104 points gravity to get that.
    Should I leave it well enough alone and let it do its thing or add more honey? If so, how should I add the honey? I don't want to cause the yeast to stop. What exactly does that value of SG mean?
    Now is this the batch with bread yeast (and orange etc) or another one with the D47 you mention ?

    You can normally just add it in and then stir it to incorporate it, but you wouldn't want to do that if it's a reasonably new batch. Stirring will mix up any sediment, which in turn create "nucleation points", which is what the dissolved CO2 (carbonic acid) will attach too and come out as gaseous CO2 a.k.a. bubbles, or more likely foam. When it happens it's quite a quick reaction which is why I mentioned having some expansion space before and something to stir it quickly/slowly (whichever reduces the bubbles/foaming if it happens - ah, yes, and it's handy to put the fermenter into a sink/bowl/something, because if it does foam/erupt, it makes a mess......)

    There's another one that's worth remembering too, one that I missed completely when I started out. Take the JAO recipe as an example. It says to take the honey and oranges and spices and yeast etc, and then explains about making it up to a gallon, but uses the example of a 1 gallon jar/jug/demi-john container. Making it up so that there's some expansion space and that once it's settled down to a steady ferment, to top it up to the 1 gallon point. But Joe is in the US so 1 gallon is a US gallon and that's 3.78 litres, whereas here, a 1 gallon DJ will be 1 imperial gallon or 4.55 litres - there's even a few of the more recently made DJ's that are 5 litres in size.

    So a batch made here is likely gonna be less sweet than one made in the US, especially if you don't spot the differences and measure it out accordingly (that's without learning that fleischmanns yeast is a US brand we can't get).

    Hence it's not difficult, but all about "getting all the ducks in a row".
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  20. #20
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    What, so that it was the 5 litres plus the 1.36 kg or the 1.36kg was made up to a total of 5 litres ?
    I am not sure what this question is asking. I poured out some water from the five liter bottle, added everything... oranges raisins and honey... then poured enough water back in to leave about two inches at the top.

    Is the gravity of your brew 1.081 or is that what the calculator is telling you ?
    I don't actually own a hydrometer yet... bad I know. It's hopefully coming in the post soon.

    Using your example numbers, if the batch fermented to 1.000 a drop of 81 points would make it almost exactly 11% ABV. if it fermented to 0.990 then that's a 91 point drop and that's equal to 12.36 %ABV.

    For 14% of so, if you've used the D47 you mention ? well that's capable of 14%, but you need a drop of 103/104 points gravity to get that.

    Now is this the batch with bread yeast (and orange etc) or another one with the D47 you mention ?
    My fancy yeast hasn't arrived yet either! I couldn't find regular bread yeast so it is Allison brand quick rise. I am pretty sure that there is a rule against quick rise but it was all I could find.

    You can normally just add it in and then stir it to incorporate it, but you wouldn't want to do that if it's a reasonably new batch. Stirring will mix up any sediment, which in turn create "nucleation points", which is what the dissolved CO2 (carbonic acid) will attach too and come out as gaseous CO2 a.k.a. bubbles, or more likely foam. When it happens it's quite a quick reaction which is why I mentioned having some expansion space before and something to stir it quickly/slowly (whichever reduces the bubbles/foaming if it happens - ah, yes, and it's handy to put the fermenter into a sink/bowl/something, because if it does foam/erupt, it makes a mess......
    So you think that I should leave well enough alone and not add any extra honey? I was maybe going to buy a cinnamon stick as well to add today. I really don't want this to be too dry and weak.

    There's another one that's worth remembering too, one that I missed completely when I started out. Take the JAO recipe as an example. It says to take the honey and oranges and spices and yeast etc, and then explains about making it up to a gallon, but uses the example of a 1 gallon jar/jug/demi-john container. Making it up so that there's some expansion space and that once it's settled down to a steady ferment, to top it up to the 1 gallon point. But Joe is in the US so 1 gallon is a US gallon and that's 3.78 litres, whereas here, a 1 gallon DJ will be 1 imperial gallon or 4.55 litres - there's even a few of the more recently made DJ's that are 5 litres in size.

    So a batch made here is likely gonna be less sweet than one made in the US, especially if you don't spot the differences and measure it out accordingly (that's without learning that fleischmanns yeast is a US brand we can't get).

    Hence it's not difficult, but all about "getting all the ducks in a row".
    Haha American values just confuse me. I convert everything to metric!

    Sorry about strange quote with my own answers in between. I am replying from my phone and it isn't ideal
    Last edited by cosmogirl; 09-07-2013 at 06:13 AM.

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