High Gravity
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: High Gravity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Thumbs Up High Gravity

    Ok, I am new here but not new to the brewing scene. I have always preferred desert wines, meads or spirits so that is what I like and make. I have read in many places that high gravity must is hard to start or just never starts. I have found that to be nothing but a myth! I regularly have a starting gravity in excess of 1.160 with no problems getting started. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with high gravity must or would like to share info. Thanks!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: High Gravity

    I just set the alcohol potency at 14 % on the hydrometer and forget about the specific gravity. I am about 500 feet above sea level which is low compared to you and then some. I like table wines. Dry, drier and driest. To each his own. Happy Fermenting.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    I just set the alcohol potency at 14 % on the hydrometer and forget about the specific gravity. I am about 500 feet above sea level which is low compared to you and then some. I like table wines. Dry, drier and driest. To each his own. Happy Fermenting.
    Completely agree, everyone's palate is unique though many do prefer dry. I on the other hand can't stand dry wine or mead and thoroughly enjoy all those sweet yummy calories My current batch, which is still fermenting started 1.170+ it was so high it was clean off the hydrometer, it took 2 days to reach 1.170!!! .... I used 4 gallons Reisling grape juice and 1.5 gallons of wildflower honey and my 3 day Wyeast starter giving me 6 gallons of yummy goodness.... can't wait! I am mostly through my last batch which was a Muscot and Clover mix at 20% ABV ... YUMMY!!
    Last edited by ColoradoRaptor; 10-16-2016 at 11:04 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Hey Colorado Raptor, just wanted to ask a question. Most wine yeasts won't survive above 16% alcohol. Are you using a different yeast or are you able to go higher with your alcohol potential because of your altitude. Thanks, James.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    Hey Colorado Raptor, just wanted to ask a question. Most wine yeasts won't survive above 16% alcohol. Are you using a different yeast or are you able to go higher with your alcohol potential because of your altitude. Thanks, James.
    There is truth there. I don't use wine yeast, I use an Ale yeast from Wyeast#1388. I love this yeast for my mead because it ferments quickly, cleanly and produces a drinkable mead within a month with NO beer aftertaste! I have yet to get it past 20% ABV but I regularly get it between 18 and 20% easily! So your answer is no, altitude as far as I know has zero effect on my ABV, instead it is the awesome yeast I use

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: High Gravity

    I get my wine making yeast from eckraus.com and I found their section with Wyeast. I can not find #1388 though. Do you get your yeast from ECKraus or do you use another source. Thanks in advance for the help.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    I get my wine making yeast from eckraus.com and I found their section with Wyeast. I can not find #1388 though. Do you get your yeast from ECKraus or do you use another source. Thanks in advance for the help.
    I get mine at my local homebrew supply. If you choose to use this on a HG must you will need to get a starter going with GoFerm! Here is a link to some at Midwest Supply http://www.midwestsupplies.com/belgi...FcRahgod9lIHoQ
    Last edited by ColoradoRaptor; 10-16-2016 at 10:32 PM. Reason: forgot

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Thanks for the help Colorado Raptor. Enjoyed talking with you on this subject. Take care and again Happy Fermenting.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    Thanks for the help Colorado Raptor. Enjoyed talking with you on this subject. Take care and again Happy Fermenting.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    I just set the alcohol potency at 14 % on the hydrometer and forget about the specific gravity. I am about 500 feet above sea level which is low compared to you and then some. I like table wines. Dry, drier and driest. To each his own. Happy Fermenting.
    You do of course realize that Specific Gravity correlates exactly to ABV don't you?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoRaptor View Post
    Ok, I am new here but not new to the brewing scene. I have always preferred desert wines, meads or spirits so that is what I like and make. I have read in many places that high gravity must is hard to start or just never starts. I have found that to be nothing but a myth! I regularly have a starting gravity in excess of 1.160 with no problems getting started. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with high gravity must or would like to share info. Thanks!
    Although high SG musts can be hard to start they most often do. The problem comes in keeping the fermentation going. since wine yeasts only have an alcohol tolerance as high as 18% then Depending on the yeast used the fermentation dies out with a Minimum of .040 residual sugar this is Okay if you want a sweet wine. However, most desert wines rarely have more than .028 residual sugar. Another problem with this is even the same yeasts from the same batch can vary in their alcohol tolerance. making inconsistent results.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    Although high SG musts can be hard to start they most often do. The problem comes in keeping the fermentation going. since wine yeasts only have an alcohol tolerance as high as 18% then Depending on the yeast used the fermentation dies out with a Minimum of .040 residual sugar this is Okay if you want a sweet wine. However, most desert wines rarely have more than .028 residual sugar. Another problem with this is even the same yeasts from the same batch can vary in their alcohol tolerance. making inconsistent results.
    Thanks for responding! I was wondering if anyone was going to engage my topic? I have been brewing since 1986 off and on. I have always enjoyed the sweeter drinks especially alcoholic ones! It had taken many attempts to get what I enjoy. Prior to my discovery of Wyeast 1388 through Dr Denard I had to age my super sweet mead several years before it was good to drink. One reason was the higher alcohol content that I like and the other being fusels that were produced with a high gravity must. 1388 has been the magic bullet for me! It starts in a high gravity must easily with a 3 day starter. It is fast and clean!! My meads are in secondary within 2 weeks and drinkable in about a month! Who would have guessed that an Ale yeast would be the holy grail of mead yeasts! Anyway thanks again for responding, you were one of the members here I was hoping to chat with.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Roxboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    You do of course realize that Specific Gravity correlates exactly to ABV don't you?
    Yes, I do realize that Specific Gravity correlates to ABV, but alot of recipes list specific gravity starting points at around 10 or 11 percent ABV. This is why I go by ABV more than specific gravity.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoRaptor View Post
    Thanks for responding! I was wondering if anyone was going to engage my topic? I have been brewing since 1986 off and on. I have always enjoyed the sweeter drinks especially alcoholic ones! It had taken many attempts to get what I enjoy. Prior to my discovery of Wyeast 1388 through Dr Denard I had to age my super sweet mead several years before it was good to drink. One reason was the higher alcohol content that I like and the other being fusels that were produced with a high gravity must. 1388 has been the magic bullet for me! It starts in a high gravity must easily with a 3 day starter. It is fast and clean!! My meads are in secondary within 2 weeks and drinkable in about a month! Who would have guessed that an Ale yeast would be the holy grail of mead yeasts! Anyway thanks again for responding, you were one of the members here I was hoping to chat with.
    I find it most interesting that Wyeast 1388 produces a high alcohol By volume for you. It has a alcohol tolerance of only 12% and a low fluctuation level which as a rule means that the tolerance is very close to what is stated. Resulting in a more consistent mead because of the accuracy off of the yeast die out. the bad part with that is it quite often leaves significant yeast hulls within the mead mandating timely racking to reduce the possibility of decaying yeast from giving the mead off flavors. But any time someone finds a combination that makes a mead or variation they enjoy they have rung the bell. I defiantly would stick with what works for you. It seems I only get one that I really feel passionate about out of 7 variety attempt. But that all come down to personal tastes as I have made some that have won gold medals that I really did not care for. For me the test is if it is so good I chock myself trying to squeeze it across my pallet to extract every but of flavor. Don't care about the nose, Legs can be thin and thread, as long as it has that bold body. We are talking mead right?

    I like Metheglin that have a spice that pops Not a subtle hint of it. it is all about the body for me sweet, semi sweet dry does not matter as long as it is bold.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lee View Post
    Yes, I do realize that Specific Gravity correlates to ABV, but alot of recipes list specific gravity starting points at around 10 or 11 percent ABV. This is why I go by ABV more than specific gravity.
    How do you do this using ABV as a measure. One pound of honey, dissolved in water to make one gallon of must, will yield about 1.036 depending on moisture content. So let's say that you want a five-gallon, 11%, dry mead. you'll need a starting gravity of about 1.078. you can see this by rotating your 3 scale hydrometer 120 degrees. A little math: 78 "gravity points" (truncate the one-point part), times five gallons of must, means you'll need about 390 points of "total sugars" starting out. If honey gives 36 points per pound per gallon, take 390 divided by 36, and you'll need 10.75 lbs. honey (rounding for convenience is a meadmaker's friend!) plus water to make five gallons. See how that works?

    Let's try a three-gallon, 14% alcohol, semi-sweet mead. We'll choose a yeast that is alcohol tolerant to 14%, and start with enough sugars to leave (theoretically) about two percent's worth of unfermented sweetness. Several strains would be good for this; let's say we'll use Lalvin's D-47 Cotes-dú-Rhone for its aromatic and fruity notes. Again consulting the potential alcohol chart, finding 16% (minus the 14% the yeast should consume leaves 2% for us to taste, a semi-sweet level) means we'll need to start at 1.103 or so. Mazers, start your calculators! 104 (starting gravity minus the "1." part) times three gallons = 312 total gravity points. 312 divided by 36 p.p.g. for honey means we'll need eight and two-thirds pounds plus enough water to make three gallons.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Canon City Colorado
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: High Gravity

    Yeah, I found it odd myself but I followed Dr. Denard's instructions to step feed it and it worked. Then I tried a 1.160 SG and it produced an 18% ABV! I was surprised but happy! So now I regularly start high and let it go till it craps out. For me it's perfect because I enjoy a very sweet high ABV sipping mead though I often don't just sip it... And not having to use sulfites to is a bonus. I use raw unfiltered honey usually clover or wildflower which is local to me and Fermaid O instead of K. I do use GoFerm in my 3 day starter and off she goes :-) I used to exclusively use just Lalvin yeasts, mostly D47, EC-1118 and 71b-1122. Now I exclusively use Wyeast 1388! Yes, we are talking mead I have never entered any competition mostly because the average palate prefers nasty dry stuff?? I have had friends tell me I should sell it though?? My favorite meads are Pyment, Cyser and Traditional in that order. The beauty of what I do is that it is made exactly as I like it
    Last edited by ColoradoRaptor; 10-24-2016 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Typo

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •