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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Topping off with water in secondary??
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:07 PM   #1
ErinRae
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Default Topping off with water in secondary??

Hi,

I'm currentlynbrewing a blueberry melomel in a 1 G right now which is in the primary. When transfer it to the secondary and discard the berries there's prob gonna be more head room then I'd like. Can I top this off with water?? If it's only a cup or so will this effect the flavor/alcohol in the long run??

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Old 07-25-2012, 01:50 AM   #2
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You could add water but it would lessen your abv and potentially water down the flavor. I'm not really convinced you need to lessen the head space... I assume you're concerned about oxidation? Your beer should create enough CO2 in the secondary to give a 'buffer' and you will be fine.

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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^
^

What he said.

Once the yeast has been added, you should leave final volumes alone. One of my first home brews was a pale ale. I listened to some "misguided" advice and added water to secondary to get final volume of 5 gal. The beer was watered down and had lost a lot of flavor.

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Agreed with the other two. Ive done this a couple times and every time it has destroyed my ABV and made the beer taste watery. Next time just compensate and increase your boil amount to make up for what you loose with the berries.

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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yeah dont water a beer down unless you over shot the OG you were looking for, IE. You OG was 1.060 and you were wanting 1.050) then yes add some water....BUT NEVER NEVER add water AFTER primary fermentation

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Old 07-25-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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If you are really worried about headspace you have three options.

1) Don't secondary. Just keep it in the primary until you are ready to bottle/keg
2) Sanitized glass marbles to raise the level of the liquid to the height you feel comfortable with.
3) Don't worry about it.

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Old 07-25-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input I think I'm just used to making wine kits. Wine kits always tell you to top off your carboy at the final racking after the yeast has been stopped.
This a mead though and much more homemade...so the rules are probably different.

How come the fruit that's at the top of my primary doesn't mold? Is it because it's in an anaerobic atmosphere?

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Old 07-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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It's a combination of alcohol which should kill any threat of mold (foreign yeast is a different animal) and the carbon dioxide atmosphere.

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