Specific Gravity and Temperature

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desertwind56

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Hi - I'm a newbie :db

I'm attempting to make strawberry wine from the book, "The Joy of Home Winemaking".

I'm making 1 gal.
Last night I added 5 lbs of strawberries (recipe called for 4), 2 lbs of honey, 1 tsp. acid blend, 1/8 tsp. tannin, 1 tsp. yeast nutrient and a speck of potassium metabisulfate (1/5 of 1/8 of a tsp.).

In a little while I'll add 1/2 tsp. of pectic enzyme and tonight I plan to add the yeast - Red Star Champagne.

I just did the specific gravity and it was 1.058. I didn't check it before adding the honey (Next time). I also checked the temperature of the must and it was 75 degrees F.

Is the specific gravity reading low because of the temperature? I downloaded Winecalc, but I'm a little confused about the SG and the temperature.

In the book she explains a little bit about temperature and specific gravity. She has a chart that shows an adjustment of 3.4 if the temperature is 77 degrees F. (I'm assuming its and adjustment to the alcohol).

I'm such a confused newbie!

Thank-you!

Connie
 

Tom

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Yes temp makes a difference on the reading. But, not as much as you think.
temp / corrections
50.. -.0013
55.. -.0007
60.. ------
65.. +.0007
70.. +.0016
75.. +.0025
80.. +.0034
 

desertwind56

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Okay, I just found some info at the Jack Keller website (I couldn't post a link)

He says to add .002 at 77 degrees F. So if I add that, I end up with a reading of 1.060. So If I want about 11% alcohol and a hydrometer reading at 1.080-1.085ish, according to Winecalc I need to add half a pound of sugar.

So, I'm thinking adding half a pound of honey and I should be okay? Hopefully it won't be strawberry rocket fuel. :D

Connie
 

desertwind56

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Tom,

Thank-you! I was posting the same time you were. :)

So looks like I need to add more honey!

Thank-you :)

Connie
 

Tom

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be careful. Honey and sugar do not equal on the sweetness. Make sure after you add the honey you mix it well with your degasser. Then ck gravity again.
 

cpfan

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One thing to check is what temperature your hydrometer is calibrated at. The above discussion assumes 60F, which is common. My hydrometers, however, are calibrated at 68F. So less of a factor.

Steve
 

desertwind56

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Read the instructions for the hydrometer! There's a thought! I'm such a newb!l.:<

According to the instructions, it's calibrated at 60 degrees F. And it has a chart with temperature and corrections to the specific gravity. I should have looked there 1st. *sigh* Oh, and it says to "spin the hydrometer to eliminate any air bubbles clinging to the side, as if this is not done a false reading may be obtained." :slp

Anyway, I added sugar instead of more honey. I check the SG a little while ago - 1.072 and temperature of the must was 78 degrees F. Before I add the yeast in a couple of hours, I check the SG and "spin the hydrometer". :d

I don't have a degasser - I stirred with a spoon best I could. I dissolved the sugar in a bit of boiling water. I let that cool and poured it in. Hopefully it will be okay. In a couple of hours I'm adding yeast!

Thank-you for your help!
 

Tom

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One thing to check is what temperature your hydrometer is calibrated at. The above discussion assumes 60F, which is common. My hydrometers, however, are calibrated at 68F. So less of a factor.

Steve
Relly? How can you tell?
 

cpfan

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Relly? How can you tell?
I believe that it was indicated on the instruction sheet. But it also says it in the paper inside the hydrometer itself (20C/68F).

Steve
 

Tom

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Well I'll be!
Ya know I never looked at the label inside .. The 2 I have say 60* .. Live and learn.
 

desertwind56

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I added the yeast Thursday evening, and Friday morning it was fermenting! I've stirred a couple of times and tried to push the bag of strawberries down.

It's not foamy like it was yesterday morning, but is is sure bubbly! I checked the SG this morning and it was 1.058, and the temp was 80 degrees F. The weather turned pretty warm this week. :>

Hopefully this will go well. Already planning the next batches! :: Hubby wants chocolate cherry port. And blackberry wine. And apple cider. :d

I'm thinking of moving up to 3 gallon batches. This seems like a lot of effort for only 1 gal and maybe 4 bottles.


Thanks again!

Connie
 

desertwind56

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I transferred to secondarys a few days ago and I ended up with over a gallon and a half! I must have added too much water somewhere along the way. I'm guess that's why the SG was low. . .

Anyway, yesterday I checked the SG and it was at 1.000. Will check it later today. It tastes very strong of alcohol and not so strong of strawberries and very dry! :dg

I'm planning on adding an f-pack and back sweetening. But, at what point do I do that? Do I do it right away after racking and stabilizing? Or do I wait a month or two?

Thanks!

Connie
 

Tom

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I dissolved the sugar in a bit of boiling water. I let that cool and poured it in. Hopefully it will be okay. In a couple of hours I'm adding yeast!

Thank-you for your help!
This is why you wound up with extra. When adding sugar take the water from the must, you added more water to dissolve the sugar.
Rack now any let it finish in the secondary. Once finished add Meta and Sorbate then add f-pac and backsweeten. Then add clearing agents.
You will be racking a few times so the volume will reduce. figure in 6 months bottle.
What size carboy are / will you be using?
 

desertwind56

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It's currently in the secondary. I'm using two, 1 gallon jugs. One is 1/2 full. I just bought a half gallon jug, but haven't got the 1/2 gallon put in it yet.

When adding sugar to liquid from the must, do you heat it to dissolve the sugar, or do you just stir it?

So then I f-pack and sweeten immediately after it's done fermenting (adding sorbate and K-meta first).

Thanks for your patience!

Connie
 

possumcop912

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I recently read the same book and had the exact same question. I just started a batch of Watermelon and had a ssg of approximately 1.052 prior to adding yeast. The temp in my house normally stays between 72 and 77. I was uncertain how to account for the temp according to the chart from the book as it was not very clear, but you guys helped me there. I guess with the conversion, it's somewhere around 1.055. When I looked at the potential alcohol for that reading, it said 8%. This concerns me because I was wanting at least 10. I'm using the Red Star Champagne yeast as well. It's had yeast in it for 48 hours. Will my alcohol content be ok or do I need to add the sugar now or later or when to potentially increase it? Also, if I had to add some, how much do you reccomend? Thanks!

The PossumCop
 

desertwind56

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Hi - just a little update on this wine.

I racked it last week. I can't believe how much sediment this wine produced! My triple berry doesn't have near the sediment! Anyway, I sweetened it a little more and its actually starting to taste good! A couple of months ago, it was tasting pretty nasty! :s

But, I think it's going end up being pretty tasty!:dg

Connie
 

desertwind56

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Final update on this wine -

I bottled it today! It turned out pretty tasty. Looking forward to drinking it chilled on a hot summer day!:dg

I plan to make more next summer. But, I will be making 3 gallon batches from now on. A lot of work for 1 gallon, but 3 is about all I can handle.

Thanks everyone!
 
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