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Newbie question about evaporation

Argaen

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 12, 2017
3
2
3
I started a mead batch with 2 gallons of water, 8 pounds of honey and two satchets of yeast. Primary fermentation started on May 16th. I racked to secondary today, June 6th.

I only got a gallon and a half, and I see that the mead is a lot darker than my previous batch (see attached picture).

Is it possible that so much has evaporated? It has been hot lately, but not enough to turn the A/C on yet. Or did I simply measured the wrong amount of water at the beginning of the process?

Should I add more water to fill the carboy that is only half filled?

mead.png
 
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Argaen

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 12, 2017
3
2
3
No idea, I brew without hydrometer.
I'm almost convinced that I only used 1 gallon of water instead of 2 by mistake.
 

Dan O

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Oct 12, 2020
107
48
28
New Hampshire, USA
No idea, I brew without hydrometer.
I'm almost convinced that I only used 1 gallon of water instead of 2 by mistake.
There is no way you lost that much to evaporation. When racking, you will always lose some, but, not to the tune of 1/2 a gallon.

How do you measure your gravity? How do you know when it's done without gravity readings? 1 pound of honey will give you .035 points of gravity/ gallon.
4 pounds of honey/ 1gallon will give you a very sweet dessert style mead, with a starting gravity of approximately 1.400.
I personally would rack both of them to a larger container, making sure to get as much of the lees as possible, then add water to make 2 full gallons, rack it back into the one gallon carboys & let it sit.
You want the lees because it still has a lot of yeast that will help finish the ferment & clean up after itself. Once you add water, your ferment will likely kick up again.
Without a starting gravity reading, & having so much honey in there, it may need a while, especially if temperature control is an issue.
I would also suggest getting a hydrometer for future use, though. Without a gravity reading, you have no ability to accurately tell where you are in the ferment.



I hope this helps.
Happy meading 😎
 
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Argaen

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 12, 2017
3
2
3
I don't measure gravity at all. For my previous batches I let it ferment for a few weeks in a large container with a loose cover, waited a few weeks for fermentation to slow a lot, rack into carboys with airlock, wait a few months, rack into bottles and drink.
My plan for this last batch was to use 8 pounds of honey + 2 gallons of water (that works out almost exactly as using 3 pounds of honey and fill with water up to 1 gallon). It fermented strongly the first week, then slowly the next two weeks. I'm still surprised that I got so little after racking, I was expecting to fill those two 1 gallon carboys and have at least a couple pints left over.
I believe now that I made a mistake when measuring the initial water (I was using a 1 pint measuring cup and probably miscounted somewhere) and now I have an extra sweet mead.
 
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Dan O

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Oct 12, 2020
107
48
28
New Hampshire, USA
I don't measure gravity at all. For my previous batches I let it ferment for a few weeks in a large container with a loose cover, waited a few weeks for fermentation to slow a lot, rack into carboys with airlock, wait a few months, rack into bottles and drink.
My plan for this last batch was to use 8 pounds of honey + 2 gallons of water (that works out almost exactly as using 3 pounds of honey and fill with water up to 1 gallon). It fermented strongly the first week, then slowly the next two weeks. I'm still surprised that I got so little after racking, I was expecting to fill those two 1 gallon carboys and have at least a couple pints left over.
I believe now that I made a mistake when measuring the initial water (I was using a 1 pint measuring cup and probably miscounted somewhere) and now I have an extra sweet mead.
Gotcha. Best of luck. Keep us posted
 

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