Specific Gravity in Brewing – What is SpGr?

Specific Gravity for Wine, Cider, Mead and Beer, just what is it? What’s a good reading? How much is too much, Dry versus Sweet?
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  1. Did a Backsweeten to the SWLA WINE . Started at 1.090 , went to 0.990 , just over 13 A.B.V. , took the Brew Bag out , racked to another Contaner, sweeten to 0.996 with Honey 🍯, Bubbles started running up the sides of the Carboy, with a head of foam . Thought it might still be Ferminting , and might cook that off . Backsweeten some more to 1.012 . A little sweet,Tried to stop at 1.010 . It may cook down to where I like it . If not, hey , I'll add some Ice to my Glass 🍷 🤠

  2. I personally don't care for sweet wine (or cider) – I generally favor very dry things. It's nice because it means I don't have to care about carbonation or back sweetening. I can just ferment things all the way through to completion. 🙂

  3. "Now I have to cut all that out"…yet he doesn't. Lol. Makes it – again – imho more intriguing to watch because of the nature of the rawness of the footage. 😀 If something looks "too 'polished'" to be "real", it disinterests me. You two feel free to leave certain things in, which is only a small part of why I keep coming back to your videos. ^_^

  4. I think if I watch this ten more times about 1% of it will actually sink in. Just finished several first time brews and don't like a single one. And I have no clue what went wrong or what to do about it. Will keep trying though.

  5. I hope you haven't already answered this question before, but: If you're using a yeast that goes up to a certain percent alcohol, but you don't put in enough sugars for it to get to that point, is that a problem? Example: EC-1118 has an 18% top percentage, but if I only add enough sugars to get the brew to 11% and I don't plan on adding any extra sugar, is that bad?

  6. So I just made a double of one of your recipes. The" first mead "recipe. So I actually had good yeast, instead of bread yeast, and mixed it all up. After all was said and done I have about 2.5 gal of must but my spgv was around 1.074. I knew what i did,, I added 2 whole gallons of water instead of mixing to 2 gallons total.. But my question is,, am I right to think I should add more honey before too long. You stated 1.120 to 1.125 is a good place to be if I'm quoting you right. Yeast was a Lalvin 71B if that makes a difference. Thanks

  7. Idk if i started this brew wrong. I used 4 lbs of clover raw honey. It was an accident using 1 lbs over what you recommended on your first mead vid. My scale automatically shut off. We threw in 5oz dried cherries (thee wife thought we should add them). 1 pouch of lalvin k1-v1116. And water to about that shoulder of the 1 gallon carboy. We did hydrate the yeast and mixed all in pretty well. We did measure with the hydrometer which i thought was weird reading 60 on the SP GR AT 60f. Not sure if i need to start over with this reading. I havent checked it since yesterday when i first started. Any tips will be great. T.I.A.

  8. Hi Brian and Derica, I really enjoy your videos. Being new to brewing, I started a "clean" sugar wine brew (Sugar, water and yeast) for the fun of it { You know, lock down and all that jazzzz). I did not have a hydroppeter when I started but was able to record the FG which ended at 0.902 with only normal bread yeast after 2 weeks of primary fermentation. Is that even possible or did I read something wrong? I don't know the OG so I'm not worried about the alcohol content ATM but the end result was rather surprising. Any remarks?

  9. Hello Brian, First time making home brew with your help decided to make four test batches with store bottle juice,
    Juice and starting SG attached below
    Welch's grape – 1.095 (added white sugar)
    Cranberry Raspberry Cocktail – 1.046
    Cranberry- 1.040 (added white sugar)
    Allen's Apple juice -1.03

    Three days later did I SG test

    Welch's grape – 1.046 (Taste good) Visible fermentation
    Cranberry Raspberry Cocktail – No change Sugar precipitate in bottle (Taste sweet) No visible fermentation STUCK
    Cranberry- No change No change Sugar precipitate in bottle (Taste sweet) No visible fermentation STUCK
    Allen's Apple juice -1.02 Sugar precipitate in bottle (Does not taste good) No visible fermentation no sugar left

    End goal
    Red wine with grape juice looks like this is going well. End goal 11-12% ABV
    Other fruit juice ciders ranging 4-6% ABV

    Do you know what could be wrong with my cranberry juice? It has not fermented at all. Used EC-1118 yeast for all batches as that is yeast I have access to in the local brew stores.
    Is it my yeast?
    How to kick start fermentation process? Checked the juice and says made with no preservatives.
    Apple cider I believe I should of added more sugar. (Wanted to do a control without adding sugar).
    Planed to Backsweeten ciders after fermentation.
    Also what juice fruit juice take the least amount of aging to taste good? Limited space to store brew.

    Thanks for you help and great videos

  10. You guys are awesome… but i need to know when your book is coming because some of this info got me more confused i thought that in essence if i have one 3rd honey and two 3rd water with a proper yeast from my brew shop id be good with regards to not taking too much notice of the gravity readings (i just had a quick look to see more or less what to expect) how do i now determine the risk of my brews being not completely finished fermenting

  11. Hi Brian and Derica,

    Derica’s mention of the necessity of adding lactose to some beers made me want to ask: where do you stand on adding lactose to brews? Some people even add them to wines or meads in order to carbonate safely (measured out quantity of priming sugar + lactose for back sweetening). As you’re not fans of additives and as I’ve got absolutely no idea how that lactose is being produced/extracted it made me wonder. Aside from any issues with lactose intolerance.

    I tend to get curious about things like this.

  12. I did your "first mead" recipe, put in the 3 lbs of honey, probably put in slightly less water than I should have (slightly below the shoulder instead of slightly above), got a gravity of 1.124. It's turning out really good, ended at about 1.036 (so just under 12%), but probably a bit sweeter than you intended the recipe.

  13. Hey guys since starting my first bottle of mead based off of the beginners to mead video
    (Started on the 28th of November )
    As of today the 29th of December. It’s SG is 1.021 thoughts on this? Did I do something wrong or am I good?

  14. I have a question I'm confused now I made a grape wine I used two and a half cups of white sugar for a gallon batch in my specific gravity came out to 1.114 is that a good starting point also I made a batch Apple gallon only used one cup of sugar and its specific gravity started at a 1.070 is that okay for starting point

  15. Howdy Guys! Another great video! I'm trying to understand the thought process of all this, so, let's take what I did with your basic mead (the one where you added the tanin tea). In the video you state the honey should, approximately, bring your O.G. to 1.105 in a gallon. Mine went to 1.122 and the voice in my head told me to dilute but I didn't listen. I was like; "let's see what happens". So now comes trying to grasp the methodology. I used Lalvin 71-b, which is a 14% yeast (if they read the package), so doing the math I should expect my F.G. to be in the range 1.015. (1.122 – 1.015) x 131.25 = 14.04375. So, after all that, is this how you determine your brews O.G. and F. G.? Is it also safe to assume that you use the same method to determine your individual "taste"? So, say, you like a specific sweetness range. Would you then "cold crash" to maintain that range as opposed to allowing the yeast to fully ferment? I also did the Ginger Mead, from your videos, and my O.G. was; 1.112. So, if I'm understanding things, my F. G. should be about 1.005 (also assuming the brew goes dry). Thanks for all the hard work you and Derica put in your videos!

  16. You go sooooo fast I really haven’t got a clue what you are saying. Please take a close up picture and point to the numbers so we can see exactly what you are looking at on you hydrometer.
    Thank you

  17. Just so see if i got it right (most likely not xD) if im using EC1118 which is 18% and im aiming for a sweet mead say about 1.025 FG i want to start with an OG of around 1.160?

  18. Hi guys only just started brewing again after a long absence from brewing home-brew beer but I also enjoy mead along with kombucha my question is I have seen many videos of u pitching the yeast in mead is it also ok to pitch the yeast in beers also I brought a higher alcohol tolerant yeast considering racing abv of both beer and mead is this ok

  19. Question regarding the specific gravity of sugar and honey to plan a brew. I can follow the maths etc. to workout how much sugar is coming from the fruit and the honey (or whatever) to aim for a target gravity.
    However this is using the specific gravity's of 0.046 and 0.035 for sugar and honey respectively, which I understand to be /lb/gal.
    I believe however this would be for a US gallon (3.785 l).
    How would I go about calculating the specific gravity's of sugar and honey per lb in an imperial gallon (4.546 l)
    Or for that matter to calculate the gravity for any other weight and volume. e.g. the specific gravity of honey per gram per litre.

  20. I'm first brew is a muscadine pyment two gal. One gal muscadine cider, 5lbs clover honey store bought, about one pound picked muscadines, 8oz black tea and 1/2 gal water. Used D47 yeast starting gravity 1.130 what i wanted. Tested my hydrometer after with straight water the reading was .990 did I do something wrong?

  21. Hey guys! I have spent says watching your videos and I will be making my very first mead soon! As soon as I watch this video for the 5th time and some of your others! Thank you so much for all of these!

    One little note (and it may be my horrible technical difficulty) I watch most all of your videos on my fire stick on my TV and for some reason none of your videos play in order!! And no links below show up? So when you do these 3 part videos to track the process of a mead I can't seem to find the rest of them! I think I still can't find one of the banana videos… not sure of that's just my fault or if it's the difference of using the TV vs phone or computer but thought I would throw it out there!

    Thanks again for all of these and being so great! I have your channel on all the time and love it!

  22. I just started my first mead. Using the mead for beginners video on your channel using fleishman bread yeast. At the time I did not have a hydrometer so I reserved some must before I pitched my yeast. It seems to be actively fermenting, but I checked the sg of reserved must and it was 1.150. I am assuming I did not add quite enough water. It has been going for about 3 days. Do you think it's better to take another reading then dilute the mixture down to 1.120 range or let it sit and see what happens and dilute when it's done fermenting? I am afraid it will be too sweet. Thanks for these very instructive videos.

  23. Hey there from western Canada, LOVE YOUR CHANNEL!!! I’m very excited about starting this new hobby….I’ve watched a sh*t load of your vids….and have started on the beginner apple cider vid recipe you did. Started it on sept 1st
    My question is this
    What is the formula you use to find ABV? From starting First SG reading minus End SG reading = converted sugar. Then how do you determine ABV? Hope you reply! …..um, never mind I found your vid for formula! Thanks!

  24. Hi Brian and Derica, looking for some advice. I've got a batch of starfruit mead still in primary. Started June 7, 2020. I got busy and didn't think of racking until recently. Recipe: 1.5 gallons of fresh starfruit juice, 1.5 gallons of well water, 10 pounds of local wild flower honey (Crystal River) and one packet of Red Star Premiere Cotes de Blanc yeast. Starting sp.g. 1.066 as of today (Aug 2) sp.g. is .992. I can definitely taste starfruit and it's very dry (Think puckery). According to my calculations (1.066-.992)÷.776=.095 or 9.5%abv. According to Red Star abv could or should be 11%-14%. I'm not unhappy with the flavor or the 9.5% just wondering if I'm cyphering right. I may mix with some extra sweet peach mead I made recently. Thank you for any feedback.

  25. Awesome video!!!! Working on my first few meads right now and started with a gravity of 1.08 and it came down to 1.032 over 2 weeks and then got stuck for a bit. I’m planning on step feeding it back up to 1.07 and then bringing it down to 1.01 (fingers crossed). Used mangrove jack’s m05 yeast (tolerance of 18%) It’s a large batch of around 8.5 gallons. Hoping to get a product eventually between 12-14% abv (I’m not that picky considering it’s my first batch). Do my numbers make sense and any other advice? Trying to do this all with water, honey, & raisins FYI. Thanks!

  26. 16:41 perfect example of what you said at this time index… my concord grape / tart & black cherry mead was just racked into bottles yesterday. I was aiming for it to finish sweet. It started at 1.142, and ended at 1.050, for total of 12% ABV. Having used lalvin 71b. It tastes like something that I could sip on, and not realize I'm drunk until I stand up.

    In my mind, if you're going to make a wine using honey, the first thing I think of is "sweet."

  27. first hydrometer I ordered online turned out to be an alcohol meter, and so I couldn't get the OG SpGr of my brew… had to order another one and wait another 2 weeks 🙁

  28. Hi Gurus. Quick question on specific gravity. I made a mulberry wine with a starting gravity of 1.100,and racked it after a month with a gravity of 1.020. Sound reasonable? Seems low. But I'm a bit of a novice. Love the shows!

  29. AN OLDER FRIEND OF FAMILY GAVE ME HARD CIDER 30 YEARS AGO AND THE RECIPE , I`VE MADE IT DOZENS OF TIMES WITH success , 1 gallon of cider 1 pound raisins 1 pound brown sugar 30 days ,i`ve used raisins for this but i`ve never heard of using raisins for a yeast . please inform me about it

  30. What would cause your ABV to drop? I started out with an initial reading of 1.100 in September. In October it measured 1.050 (6.56%). In December, it measured 1.022 (10.4%). Then I just left if alone until April, when I bottled it, but the final measurement was 1.026 (9.71%). It had dropped since December. I was not expecting that. It also tasted dry, even though it had a low ABV. That was my first attempt at mead, so I'm still learning.

  31. i just made a bluberry wine and my first reading was 1.105 . Where would it need to finish at so have a semi sweet wine. Excelent videos. You guys got me hooked. Im from edmonton ab canada. thanks Bruno

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