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False High SG measurements? or something going on?

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Lost Tyger

Registered Member
Jan 17, 2011
Greenville, SC
I pitched a new 5 gallon batch last night, but the SG measurements I've made have been, consistantly, higher than should be possible. I measured off the meter high for the must this morning, and after I went ahead and diluted up to the shoulders on the carboy (which I was avoiding during the first 3 days so I didn't foam over the top during aeration) I measured 1.160.

I used a quart measuring cup and put 5 in the must for the 5 gallons, which should have put me around 1.108; to account for the 1.160, I would have had to put in 7.4 quarts, which is an error I couldn't possibly have made.

I should also note that it is very dark and is progressing rather slowly, both of which I would consider to be indicative of it being a heavier must than I'm used to.

I should also note that one of my previous two batches also measured high for some reason.

My honey source is Smitty Bee Honey, and I got bulk raw orange blossom honey for christmas.

I used very low temperature water (145 F) to dissolve the honey. I took measurements after the must had cooled, and did repeated measurements after a night's sleep, all of which are showing very high gravity.

Can anyone help me figure out what is going on here? I can't believe I actually added that much too much honey, but it sure is acting like it.


Registered Member
Jan 31, 2011
the water was not low temp by any means. plenty hot enough to disolve honey. however sometimes you can get undissolved honey floating around the bottom and it will take some time to dissolve.

the other thing, was there any fermention? could have been gas build up on the hydrometer pushing it up.

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
If you are reading it correctly (have someone double check)
And if your hydrometer is calibrated properly (check it in water),
And if your sample is not full of CO2 (shake it an de-gas to make sure),
And if you are still getting a reading of 1.160,
Then you (or someone else) either added more honey or less water than you thought.

Even 15 pounds of pure sugar would not create a gravity of 1.160. Is there any chance you were "distracted" and added an extra quart?

One thing you can do if you still have some honey is to take one ounce (wgt) and dissolve it into a total of 1 cup of water and take the gravity. That is the equivalent reading that you'll get with 1 pound in 1 gallon of liquid and might help clarify things.
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