WHAT IS A GRADUATED CYLINDER?
The graduated cylinder is a cylindrical container used to measure the volume of liquids. The cylinder is marked with lines that correspond to specific volume measurements, such as milliliters or fluid ounces.
In making mead, you would use a graduated cylinder along with a hydrometer to test the original gravity (OG) of the honey and water mixture (must). After fermentation you would again use the measuring cylinder and hydrometer to test the final gravity (FG) of the mead. Using the two measurements you can calculate the alcohol percentage of your mead.
HOW TO CALCULATE ALCOHOL PERCENTAGE OF MEAD (ABV)?
Once you have both the OG and FG measurements, you can calculate the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the finished mead using a formula:
ABV = (OG – FG) x 131.25
EXAMPLE OF HOW A GRADUATED CYLINDER IS USED IN THE MEAD MAKING PROCESS:
Here are step-by-step instructions for using a hydrometer and a graduated cylinder in the mead making process:
- 250ml Graduated cylinder
- Measuring spoon
- Large Baster
- Honey (local is best)
- Fermenting vessel (e.g. carboy or bucket)
- Sanitizer (ex: Star San)
- Sanitize all equipment, including the hydrometer and graduated cylinder, using a sanitizer solution or by boiling them in water for 10 minutes.
- Measure out the appropriate amount of honey and water according to your recipe. A common ratio is 1 part honey to 3 parts water, but this can be adjusted based on your desired sweetness and strength.
- Mix the honey and water together in your fermenting vessel until the honey is fully dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. This is important because temperature can affect the density of the liquid, which will affect your hydrometer readings.
- Use a baster to take out a small sample of the honey/water mixture and transfer it to the graduated cylinder.
- Place the hydrometer into the graduated cylinder, making sure it is fully submerged and not touching the sides or bottom of the cylinder.
- Take a reading of the specific gravity by looking at the scale on the side of the hydrometer at the level of the liquid surface. Record this reading as the OG of your mead.
- Pitch your yeast into the fermenting vessel and seal it with an airlock.
- Allow the mead to ferment for 2-4 weeks, or until fermentation has slowed significantly.
- Take another sample of the mead with a large baster and repeat steps 6-8 to measure the final gravity of the mead.
- Use the formula ABV = (OG – FG) x 131.25 to calculate the alcohol by volume of your mead.
As always, be sure to sanitize all equipment and follow proper fermentation practices to ensure the safety and quality of your mead.
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