What is going on here?

So I made my first batch of mead…

20# of Clover Honey for a 5.7 gallon batch.

Honey = 1.7 gallons
Water = 4.0 gallons

I checked the gravity after we topped it off and I got 1.090 on both the refractometer and the hydrometer but the math seems way off. According to my math it should be 1.13’ish. Any ideas?

Secondly why is my gravity going up as it ferments?

I have brewed 100’s of gallons of beer but this is my first mead and can’t seem to wrap my head around these issues. Thank you in advance for the input.


Did you mix the honey and water thoroughly? Using hot water makes that task much easier and having done it both ways I can say with certainty that it has no negative effect on the finished product.

That said, I wouldn’t sweat it. The yeasties will eat their way through it just fine.

I put the 20# in 2 gallons of 160 degree water. Emptied that into the carboy and topped of with rest of the (50 degree) water. I then took my sample from the topped off carboy.

I just checked it and I am showing 1.103 after five days of fermentation.

Definitely sounds like it wasn’t fully mix. Your SG was probably closer to 1.126 with 20lbs of honey.