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Old 09-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #1
Taco29wps
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Default Making an 8% ABV into 4%???

I was listening to BN today (an older episode) and they were talking about one of the guys taking a higher gravity all grain beer and diluting it with water to double the batch-- after fermentation, just before bottling/kegging. He claimed to take 10 gallons of 8% brew and dilute it to 20 gallons of 4% brew.They also stated that many pro brewers, ie Budweiser, Coors... also do it. I suppose it's not much different than an extract batch that you boil 3 gallons and top off to 5 gallons with water except the "after fermentation" gets me. I am curious if anyone does this or what your opinions are. It would be nice to do for special occasions and "house beer" for parties and such when a quantity of beer would sometimes outweigh the quality (i'm sorry for saying that...I know what your thinking!!!)...if you do use a technique similar to this, due to my pot size of 8 gallons, I would find it useful information.

Thanks!

Taco

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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Lite beer.

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:08 AM   #3
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This. Is a bad idea. I read about thus technique in byo. The pros who do this use water that is de-oxygenated with expensive equipment, and just boiling will still leave enough oxygen in the beer to oxidize it.

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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I'd dilute prior to fermentation and just split the batch into two fermenters.

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco29wps View Post
I was listening to BN today (an older episode) and they were talking about one of the guys taking a higher gravity all grain beer and diluting it with water to double the batch-- after fermentation, just before bottling/kegging. He claimed to take 10 gallons of 8% brew and dilute it to 20 gallons of 4% brew.They also stated that many pro brewers, ie Budweiser, Coors... also do it. I suppose it's not much different than an extract batch that you boil 3 gallons and top off to 5 gallons with water except the "after fermentation" gets me. I am curious if anyone does this or what your opinions are. It would be nice to do for special occasions and "house beer" for parties and such when a quantity of beer would sometimes outweigh the quality (i'm sorry for saying that...I know what your thinking!!!)...if you do use a technique similar to this, due to my pot size of 8 gallons, I would find it useful information.

Thanks!

Taco
I don't recall which magazine I read it in, but there are some brewers who make concentrated worts and dilute with water or lighter/different wort to make different beers. This is because of fermenter/boil space, or some such.

Now, if you're diluting with water, so long you dilute prior to fermentation or have fancy deoxygenation equipment, you're fine.

Blending two different strength beers is no problem. People do it with lambics all the time. Just take all the standard precautions against oxygenation.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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This. Is a bad idea. I read about thus technique in byo. The pros who do this use water that is de-oxygenated with expensive equipment, and just boiling will still leave enough oxygen in the beer to oxidize it.
It's not a bad idea. The guy on the Brewing Network (Tasty?) brewed a batch of strong beer and he carbed it up in the keg. He also had a keg of preboiled, carbonated water in his kegerator. He mixed the beer with the water and bottled them and drank them in short order. It's not a solution for long term aging, but for drinking that day or within a few, there is nothing wrong with it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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You are not just halving the alcohol, you are halving the flavor.

What you would want to do is have a MASSIVE flavor profile.

Even then, it would likely suck.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
It's not a bad idea. The guy on the Brewing Network (Tasty?) brewed a batch of strong beer and he carbed it up in the keg. He also had a keg of preboiled, carbonated water in his kegerator. He mixed the beer with the water and bottled them and drank them in short order. It's not a solution for long term aging, but for drinking that day or within a few, there is nothing wrong with it.
The technique was featured in BYO and is just a way to brew more beer than your fermenter is designed to make. The article also recommended that homebrewers do not attempt to dilute more than 20% due to a number of issues like stability, flavor, and oxidation.

Basically you brew a 1.040ish beer @ 1.056 instead and add an extra gallon of sanitized water when bottling/kegging. You essentially get an extra gallon of beer at the end but it's shelf-life is basically dead.

It would be a great tool to use for events like weddings where your beer will be drank quickly and will not need to be aged. But that is about it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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You could mix it with a very weak beer to eliminate any chances of oxidation, assuming the beers aren't already oxidized.

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
The technique was featured in BYO and is just a way to brew more beer than your fermenter is designed to make. The article also recommended that homebrewers do not attempt to dilute more than 20% due to a number of issues like stability, flavor, and oxidation.
I am unfamiliar with the BYO technique, but I agree that it is a bad idea. However it is a completely different than the method discussed on the Brewing Network. I think the discussion took place in this episode. http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/667. In the Brewing Network method a beer was designed to be diluted, I believe the example he gave was an imperial pilsner for drinking when you are around the house and diluting it down to make something appropriate for the golf course.
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