Rule of thumb for volume added by honey to finished product?

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Silenoz

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Hello all,

I am currently experimenting with writing my own recipes and in these aiming at exceeding the alcohol tollerance of the yeast so as to avoid backsweetening as much as possible.
What I wondered therefore is if there is some rule of thumb for culculating in an easy way how much volume honey will add to the total volum after the sugars have fermented out.

Kind regards,

Maarten
 

dmw_chef

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It's not 1:1, but that's a reasonable place to start for rough estimation purposes, but the volume won't change a noticeable amount through fermentation. If you're talking about designing the recipe to stall out, the volume doesn't matter really.
 

Silenoz

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With stalling out you mean exceeding the alcohol tollerance?
True for merely exceeding the alcohol tollerance it is not strictly needed, but I am trying to design my recipes with some extra volume for racking so that I don't need to either dilute it and end up using ýeast stop anyway or top up with marbles or such :)
 

dmw_chef

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With stalling out you mean exceeding the alcohol tollerance?
Yes, presuming good nutrition.

True for merely exceeding the alcohol tollerance it is not strictly needed, but I am trying to design my recipes with some extra volume for racking so that I don't need to either dilute it and end up using ýeast stop anyway or top up with marbles or such
You don't need it there either. You just need to have a desired volume, and calculate the amount of honey by weight you need for your desired OG. Add half your water, dissolve honey in it, then top up to desired volume.

the only place where I can see the volume after addition is for calculating the delta in ABV caused by back sweetining is going to cause so that you can accurately determine if you're going to be over the delle limit. Even then, assuming 1:1 volume change (which it will not be) will give you a more conservative delle calculation.
 

Silenoz

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In determining the amount of yeast nutrient needed I'm going by Steve Piatz's recommendations in The Complete Guide to Making Mead where he says to use 4 gr of Fermaid K and 8 gr of DAP per typical 5 gallon batch. Do you think this is a good ratio to go by assuming that one is not using a yeast that has high DAP demands?

Delta in ABV? What do you mean by that? I'm clearly not familiar yet with all the lingo :p

Am I missing something? I mean as I didn't know that I can consider the volume added by honey more or less constant the question made sense, or?

Is the same true in regards to white sugar, is the volume added by that also more or less 1:1?

As in regards to calculating the OG by honey weight, I did this according to the graph in the above mentioned book and have found that I have need to add more honey to get up to the desired OG. This has been the case with both storebought honey and honey from the local bee-farmer, have I been doing something wrong perhaps, or can sugar content in honey fluctuate this much from batch to batch?
 

dmw_chef

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In determining the amount of yeast nutrient needed I'm going by Steve Piatz's recommendations in The Complete Guide to Making Mead where he says to use 4 gr of Fermaid K and 8 gr of DAP per typical 5 gallon batch. Do you think this is a good ratio to go by assuming that one is not using a yeast that has high DAP demands?
Oh lord, absolutely not. Perhaps for a 1.04-1.05 OG.

The amount of nutrient needed depends on your OG. Amounts of nutrients is determined by the amount of yeast available nitrogen (YAN) they add by volume. That amount of nutrient will only add like 100 YAN for a 5 gallon must, which is find for a very low gravity must. If you're pushing ABV tolerance of a yeast, you're talking like an OG of 1.12 and up, which is going to need more like 300 YAN.

Do yourself a favor and read through this wiki article 3 or four times:


Delta in ABV? What do you mean by that? I'm clearly not familiar yet with all the lingo :p
Change in ABV caused by back sweetening.

Is the same true in regards to white sugar, is the volume added by that also more or less 1:1?
much less. But like I said, the volume added by a fermentable like sugar or honey really isn't useful for the purpose of designing batches.

As in regards to calculating the OG by honey weight, I did this according to the graph in the above mentioned book and have found that I have need to add more honey to get up to the desired OG. This has been the case with both storebought honey and honey from the local bee-farmer, have I been doing something wrong perhaps, or can sugar content in honey fluctuate this much from batch to batch?
Different honeys can have different water content - they may vary from 13% water content to 18%. I would suggest reading through the meadcalc section of the process summary article I linked earlier for designing your batches. The rest of the wiki is worth reading through.

 

Ty520

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You should always be shooting for OG. As chef indicated, water content (and thus, sugar content) of honey can slightly vary.

That being said, 3 pounds of honey is approximately the equivalent of a quarter of a gallon. Some people think that when you mix a " 1 gallon" must, it is the 3 pounds of honey PLUS 1 full gallon of water,which is not the case. Some people like to fill their primary container with 1 gallon of water, then Mark it on the outside for future reference.

I would disagree with chef regarding knowing how much honey is used to design batch size, because there will inevitably be times when you want to oversize your batch to account for losses during racking, especially when you have a recipe that has lots of sediment.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Silenoz, You are not really creating any "recipe" if your goal is to exceed the yeast's tolerance for alcohol in solution. Like I always say, a strain of yeast's tolerance for alcohol is in fact the lab's nominal determination for an average batch's average limits. It's much like the load that a chain or rope can bear before snapping. If the manufacturer states that that load is 1000 lbs you can use it without any fear that it will support 900 lbs under normal conditions... but it could support 1,500 or 2,000 or even more and a lot less than 1000 lbs under abnormal conditions. AND, typically, if you used it to support 1050 and it snapped - then you and not the manufacturer would be 100 percent liable AND if for some reason what you were using it for HAD to break down if the rope reached say 1,500 lbs of strain , It wouldn't and you would have different problems. In other words, just because a lab STATES that a yeast will tolerate alcohol to 15% ABV does not guarantee it will not go over that limit nor does it mean that it won't quit well below that limit IF - IF your processes are poor and you stress the yeast in different ways. This is why seasoned wine makers do not use a yeast's published "tolerance" for ethanol as the basis for making a wine. YOU determine the ABV you want- YOU then make sure that flavor, acidity, tannin, mouthfeel, sweetness AND alcohol are all balanced and then you bottle. Letting the yeast control your wine is a lot like letting others determine how you live your life. What may be good for them may not be good for you. and certainly what may be good for the yeast is not usually what is best for the wine.
 

dmw_chef

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I would disagree with chef regarding knowing how much honey is used to design batch size, because there will inevitably be times when you want to oversize your batch to account for losses during racking, especially when you have a recipe that has lots of sediment.
Let me quote your post back to you:

Some people think that when you mix a " 1 gallon" must, it is the 3 pounds of honey PLUS 1 full gallon of water,which is not the case. Some people like to fill their primary container with 1 gallon of water, then Mark it on the outside for future reference.
We're in agreement that the volume contribution of the honey doesn't matter.
 

BernardSmith

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and if you use a bucket as your primary you begin with a larger volume than you plan to bottle and so you have more wine or mead to rack than a carboy (1 , 3, 5, or 6 gallons holds). If you use a carboy as your primary then you always need to look for a smaller secondary... or... find some way to top up the headroom created by racking. Again good protocol prevents problems before the occur
 

Ty520

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Let me quote your post back to you:



We're in agreement that the volume contribution of the honey doesn't matter.
Not at all. As I stated, dumping 1 gallon of water AND 3#of honey will yield drastically different results than 3# honey then filling up TO 1 gallon.
 

dmw_chef

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What matters is the final volume of the must and the weight and sugar contribution of any fermentables you add. That is measurable. Relying on the volume contributed by any fermentables you add is a fool's errand.
 

winemaker81

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@Silenoz, I agree with @BernardSmith regarding the alcohol tolerance of yeast. You can't count on it as it's based upon laboratory experience and your local conditions will be different. Yeast is a living organism and your yeast may be an underachiever (lower alcohol tolerance) or an overachiever (higher alcohol tolerance).

OTOH, stopping a fermentation at a given point, before fermentation completes, is difficult for home winemakers. Probably the best choice is to place your fermenter into refrigeration (32 to 40 F) when it reaches the point you want, wait a week to ensure fermentation is stopped, then stabilize before letting it warm up. Keep in mind that the fermentation will not stop instantly, and will continue until the entire must is cold enough to stunt the yeast, which depending on batch size and the initial temperature, will be at least several hours or possibly a day.

Assuming you can stop the fermentation at the point you want, regardless of means, you are also guessing the amount of residual sugar will be what you desire. Backsweetening is done to taste, so simply adding a specific amount will not produce the best results. The depth of flavor, acid, body, and personal taste all affect the amount of backsweetening.

Sure, the makers of Port and similar wines do this on a regular basis. They also have hundreds of 60 gallon barrels of wine which they blend to smooth out the differences between barrels. Home winemakers don't have the resources necessary to do this.
 

JeffA

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The way I get it is simply by starting with more volume. If I am going to make 1 gallon of wine. I will actually start create my must with about a gallon and a quart.. You can then use the extra quart after racking to top off without watering it down.
 
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