- Thread starter BilbomelBaggins
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It was a one gallon batch of blueberry mead. The recipe and amounts I used aren’t in front of me, but it was 2lbs of frozen/thawed blueberries, 3 lbs of local honey, and Red Star Premier Rogue was the yeast pitched (half a packet). There was also 1/2 a teaspoon each of yeast energizer and acid blend. The local brew shop recommended it for my recipe. Fermentation seems to be doing fine, I just can’t read a hydrometer apparently

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I’ll also get a pic of my hydrometer when I get home.

On a triple scale hydrometer the only 90 would represent a specific gravity of 1.090.

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- #8

Thank you! That may help me understand it a little better.On a triple scale hydrometer the only 90 would represent a specific gravity of 1.090.

Thank you! That may help me understand it a little better.

Wine grapes have a Brix of about 25, so a Brix reading of 90 would be close to dry sugar. For good or bad the reading was most likely 1.09X - each line is 2 points so the X might be anything from 0 - 8 and that is what you might sorta kinda expect if you mix 3 lbs of honey WITH 1 gallon of water. If you mixed 3 lbs of honey to MAKE 1 gallon of must (note the difference: 3 lbs of honey is about 1qt so you would be adding 3 qts water) you would get closer to an SG reading of 1.105 - but these numbers are approximate as a) temperature changes volume, b) it's not always easy to get every last drop of honey out of jars; c) 1 gallon carboys hold more than 1 gallon; and of course, d)it's not easy to stir honey in water so that the honey is absolutely thoroughly mixed such that every sample you draw will have exactly the same SG reading.

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- #11

Great info, thank you! Seamonkey and Bob pretty much cleared it up. I was confused on why the SG readings on the hydrometer has increments that read 70, 80, and 90. I see now those numbers simply represent 1.070, 1.080, and 1.090, and so on. In all the guides and research on how to read a hydrometer, nobody covered this point directly. To a new guy that is already vision impaired, looking at a tool with 3 ways to read the same tool becomes a blur lol. Thank you everyone. That’s my newb lesson of the week.

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When you have added fermentable sugars a second scale gives you a measure of the Brix which is the percentage of sugar in the solution. One Brix is 1g of sugar dissolved in 100g of solution - so 25 Brix would be 25 g of sugar in 100 g of solution and 90 Brix (my earlier example) would be 90 g of sugar in 100 g of solution. Brix tells you the actual sugar content.

The third scale is potential ABV. So, if we know how much sugar is in solution or how dense the must is because of the sugar dissolved in it and we know that with wine (but not beer) every molecule of sugar is for all intents and practices fermentable (grains contain sugars that every strain of yeast cannot ferment equally - so brewers refer to attenuation of their yeast), then a specific gravity of 1.090 means that potentially your wine can finish at about 12% ABV, (alcohol by volume) and if your starting gravity was 1.060 the potential ABV would be about 8%.

The potential ABV scale is useful only when you have mixed all your sugars and liquids. After you pitch the yeast and the yeast begin to convert sugar to CO2 and ethanol, the "potential" does not in fact drop but the reading does because some of that "potential" alcohol is now present and is no longer "potential". The density (SG) also changes - the density decreases as more and more alcohol and CO2 replaces the sugar and alcohol is less dense than water but while you are no longer interested in the potential ABV you are interested (or you should be ) in the dropping density because this is absolutely bound up with the increase in alcohol and the decrease in sugar and at some stage you will want to transfer the "wine" to a vessel that you can seal with an airlock and bung to allow the wine to continue to ferment while protecting it from being oxidized now that the yeast are no longer pumping out pounds (literally) of CO2 (half the weight of the sugar is transformed into carbon dioxide gas - so if you mixed 3 lbs of honey almost 1.5 lbs of CO2 will have been produced).

At what "stage" should the airlock be put in place?.... at some stage you will want to transfer the "wine" to a vessel that you can seal with an airlock and bung to allow the wine to continue to ferment while protecting it from being oxidized now that the yeast are no longer pumping out pounds (literally) of CO2 ....