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Floating Eggs & specific gravity

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dougmedic

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 22, 2008
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Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Has anyone ever done tests to see what SG equates to the various descriptions of floating eggs?

For example:
"...bear an egg as big as a 2 shilling over the water"

..."that an Egge may swim in it with the end upwards...to be on the top as broad as sixpence"

"...bear an Egge very high, that the breadth of a groat be out of the water"

"bear an Egge, the breadth of threepence to a Groat"
 

liff

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 10, 2006
293
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Phoenix
I have read some of those recipies and they sound very interesting. The problem as I see it is that the size of an egg and the density of an egg would probably vary too much to get a repeatable reading.

After that, where an egg comes from would probably contribute spoilage bacteria. You couldn't hardboil the egg because that would change the egg. then you would have to boil/pasterize(sp) the must, which is not good.

So maybe with some sugar to find the gravity reading and a dozen eggs floating, you would get a pretty good average.

To answer your original question, I know of no SG to egg conversion.

Liff
 

kaferwerks

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 8, 2005
13
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0
Just a little bit of useless information here that could be worth considering...The fresher the egg the heavier it is in water. A simple test in your kitchen will prove it for you if you are ever in doubt about your eggs in the fridge. Just put them in a bowl of water and if they sink they should be pretty fresh....floaters on the other hand are getting old.

One may may have to consider how old the egg was that was used to float in the mead...lack of refridgeration would likely increase the decay of the egg and make it float a little higher than it should if it was fresh....I know it is useless information but hey you may get a trivial pursuit question about it someday
 

GntlKnigt1

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Mar 17, 2004
2,484
6
38
Chicago area formerly Netherlands
There was a good article on this subject in the SCA publication SCUM titled "To Bear an Egge." Go here:

http://www.buffnet.net/~caleb/scumlist.htm

and you'll see it listed in number 16. Unfortunately it's not available as a PDF download.

If you look here:

http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/bvc-ansteorra.org/1999-October/000961.html

You'll find information taken from the article.
Pity....first web link is no longer valid... Some good info in the second one though.
 
Last edited:

ambloplites

NewBee
Registered Member
May 3, 2012
38
0
0
Boise, ID
"...bear an Egge very high, that the breadth of a groat be out of the water"

Why yes, I just recently did this exact thing. I was also curious.

First, don't overthink it ... just use an egg ... don't futz too much about how big it is, or how fresh it is. Back in the "olden timey" days they really didn't get too caught up about whether the egg was an "extra large" or "jumbo", or whatever else ... I suspect they just used an egg from a chicken, that was laid in a coop nearby.

Second ... what happens when you put an egg in water at room temperature ... ho-ho ... it sinks right to the bottom!

Third ... I had to find out what a "groat" was ... apparently it's a coin that was roughly a 1-inch diameter ... but that's an average size ... some were a bit larger, some a bit smaller. Anyway, I went with the 1-inch diameter.

Fourth, I started a new must, and once it was ready, but before pitching the yeast (so ... just the honey - 3.5 lbs, and water portion - enough to make a final volume of one gallon), I floated an egg (cleaned well and sanitized of course!) to see how it floated. Lo and behold ... about an inch of egg was poking out of the must ... a "groat's worth"!

Fifth, I then measured the specific gravity ... came to 1.114 ... right about where I had expected it to be.

I started this monster on 24 July 2013, and the yeast I used was the "barm" from an ale I had started a few days earlier ... another test of the "olden recipes". The "barm" is just the foamy stuff on the top of the ale ... full of all kinds of active yeast.

Fermentation took off like gang-busters. The date of my posting is 17 September 2013 ... and the mead is clear as can be ... and there appears to be no more fermentation. It looks mighty fine! The ale yeast I used really shouldn't have been able to take the must past about 9% abv ... so I suspect it's going to be fairly sweet. But that's also OK ... all part of the experiment!

Now I know ... and so do you!! Give it a shot!

Phil
 

ambloplites

NewBee
Registered Member
May 3, 2012
38
0
0
Boise, ID
A quick update:

The test mead has cleared, and all signs of ferment are quiet.

Tonight (19 Sept. 2013) I racked the clear must into a secondary, to get it off the lees and to let it "rest" before bottling.

Took a gravity reading, and it was at 1.042 ... recall that the floating egg OG was measured at 1.114 ... final abv appears to be 9.45% ... right about where I expected it to be since I used ale barm as my "yeast".

The taste is definitely sweet ... but that's what I like, and so does my girlfriend, and many other fine folks that I am acquainted with in the SCA.

I neglected to mention that this is kind of a JAOM variant ... it included a sliced orange, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, but no raisins. As I said, the taste is sweet, and smooth, with a great orangey-spicy flavor! The color is beautiful golden.

I'll be bottling in a couple of weeks, and then presenting a bottle for a competition in our barony in late October. I don't expect to win, but I do hope to get some good feedback from the tasters!

The rest of the bottles I'll just let sit in the dark, quietly brooding, and waiting for a much later date for further "testing"!

Phil
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
You might want to let it sit in a warm place for a week or two before you bottle. When yeast haven't been nourished they sometimes go dormant earlier than their ABV tolerance only to wake up later when some of their bretheren have autolyzed and released some usable nitrogen, or when things warm up. It might be just a bit premature to say these yeast are done.



sent from my THINGAMABOB with WHATCHAMACALLIT
 

ambloplites

NewBee
Registered Member
May 3, 2012
38
0
0
Boise, ID
Yep - they're sitting quietly in the closet right now ... brooding.

The ale yeast that I used has a listed tolerance of around 9% (but I know there's some give and take). So I'm not expecting a "flare-up" ... but it will not be bottled for at least 2, maybe 3 weeks ... just in case.

And there's only 1 gallon of the stuff ... so I expect it to be sipped until completion rather quickly!
 
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