Final gravity question

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Huba Huba

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I am certainly new to fermenting but have completed a few (8-10) meads with modest results. I have a question about the final gravity, none of my meads have ever gone below 1.000 and they usually stop short of that.
I currently am fermenting a traditional, started 3/23, OG was 1.092, I used RC212 and standard TOSNA protocol (to the tenth of a gram). Degasing and Oxygen thru a stainless steel "stone" for 30-60 seconds every 12 hours for the first 3 days. By 4/3 the SG was 1.006, today, 4/15, it is still 1.004 and has been for 4 days. There has been no activity noted and thou it's still in a plastic bucket it"s definitely is losing the turbidity/clearing. This seems to be consistent with my technique. Am I doing something wrong? They all seem to nearly finish in 10-12 days or less then stop before getting to 1.000 or below.
I'm not concerned about them stopping, the alcohol level is fine and I will probably back sweeten anyway, it's just that I read about sg going below 1.000 but mine never do and I don't understand why. (my OG's do not exceed the yeast alcohol tolerance except for a couple of intentional ones.)
Second question, I read differing opinions as to when to rack to secondary, some say near the end of fermentation and most say after the sg hasn't changed in 3+ days, the later is what I usually do but maybe I should leave them in the primary longer.
 

Rice_Guy

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* meads have non-fermentable sugar! ,,,, you will not have the same end point as if you were fermenting table sugar. The real end point with a fermentation is where the gravity stops changing, ie the yeast are not fermenting any farther. ,,,, while at it some crops have different levels of “sugar free extract” the ideal dry fermentation target of 0.990 only applies to grape wine.
* my target is to get a cyser or wine under air lock when it is actively producing CO2, roughly 1.010 or 1.020. I am not sparging oxygen running carboy volumes. But will rack at 1/3 gravity to put some oxygen in.
* yeast need oxygen to build cell walls as part of the budding process, ,, not for alcohol production. Cell population doesn’t increase once you get to 2/3 sugar fermented out.

as @G259 notes wine is forgiving
 

Huba Huba

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Thank you both for responding.
G259 as I stated, wasn't real worried just curious, I'm learning that you are right, most of my problems have been due to impatience.

Rice_guy That makes sense. I keep bees therefore have all the honey I need and until three days ago have not fermented with sugar. I have a skeeter pee going now and as much as I wanted to substitute honey, I didn't. I'll see if it goes below 1.000.
I usually add an airlock at 1/3 sugar break, since I don't add nutrients, degas or add oxygen past that point. Should I wait a little longer? Impatience again?
 

barryjo

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I also use this method for checking yeast activity. Pull a sample with a thief and tip it 45 degrees or so. Are there little bubbles crawling up the tube? Yeast isn't quite done. FYI, 1.000 or less is not a hard rule. You have discovered the one item essential that is not sold at LHBS. PATIENCE!!
 
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Bulk age the mead for 6 months. In most circumstances, the SG at the end of that time is as low as it's going to go. SG is the relative density with respect to water, and if the wine (mead in this case) has solids other than sugar, the SG may not drop below 1.000. Since you're going to backsweeten and stabilize anyway, it doesn't matter.
 

G259

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* yeast need oxygen to build cell walls as part of the budding process, ,, not for alcohol production. Cell population doesn’t increase once you get to 2/3 sugar fermented out.

... to be clear, does alcohol production start after the budding process (or restart)?
. . . if sugar is added?

(obviously not after yeast are spent)
 
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Jonboy6692.ja

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I am certainly new to fermenting but have completed a few (8-10) meads with modest results. I have a question about the final gravity, none of my meads have ever gone below 1.000 and they usually stop short of that.
I currently am fermenting a traditional, started 3/23, OG was 1.092, I used RC212 and standard TOSNA protocol (to the tenth of a gram). Degasing and Oxygen thru a stainless steel "stone" for 30-60 seconds every 12 hours for the first 3 days. By 4/3 the SG was 1.006, today, 4/15, it is still 1.004 and has been for 4 days. There has been no activity noted and thou it's still in a plastic bucket it"s definitely is losing the turbidity/clearing. This seems to be consistent with my technique. Am I doing something wrong? They all seem to nearly finish in 10-12 days or less then stop before getting to 1.000 or below.
I'm not concerned about them stopping, the alcohol level is fine and I will probably back sweeten anyway, it's just that I read about sg going below 1.000 but mine never do and I don't understand why. (my OG's do not exceed the yeast alcohol tolerance except for a couple of intentional ones.)
Second question, I read differing opinions as to when to rack to secondary, some say near the end of fermentation and most say after the sg hasn't changed in 3+ days, the later is what I usually do but maybe I should leave them in the primary longer.
Follow a recipe, have fun, don't worry.
 

mikewatkins727

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Part of my routine during fermentation is to "calibrate" my hydrometer before each use. I keep a jug of water with the fermenting must, test the water before testing the must ( be it wine or mead). I note the reading, be it above or below 1.000. The number needed to reset to zero is my offset which will adjust for temperature and any error of the hydrometer. Next I take the reading for the must and apply the offset. The resulting number will be the corrected value.
 

Raptor99

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Part of my routine during fermentation is to "calibrate" my hydrometer before each use. I keep a jug of water with the fermenting must, test the water before testing the must ( be it wine or mead). I note the reading, be it above or below 1.000. The number needed to reset to zero is my offset which will adjust for temperature and any error of the hydrometer. Next I take the reading for the must and apply the offset. The resulting number will be the corrected value.
You raise a point that is rarely mentioned. Hydrometers are calibrated for a certain temperature, which is usually marked on the hydrometer. If you measure at a different temperature, there are tables you can use to look up the correction factor.
 
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