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Old 10-11-2009, 03:07 AM   #1
Aug 2009
Los Angeles, California
Posts: 508
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The distilled water thread got me thinking about a Belgian dark strong ale I have sitting in the secondary right now. I did a hydro check tonight and I've hit my attenuation (from 1.086 to 1.024), but I worry a bit about the high FG when I bottle. (This is the third consistent hydrometer reading, so I think I'm not moving much from here. 3 weeks in primary, 1 week in secondary so far.)

Is there any damage in diluting a bit with bottled water here? I overshot OG by a pretty significant amount because I didn't top off to five gallons when I brewed. My thinking is that a half gallon of more water will get me down about 4 gravity points and put me at 1.02, which makes me more comfortable that I won't get bottle bombs. I also think this will put in the intended FG range.

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Old 10-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
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Adding water at this point just to reduce the gravity will not prevent bottle bombs. It's not simply a function of a certain final gravity; bottle bombs happen when fermentation is not complete and there is excess sugar that ultimately ferments along with your priming sugar. If your fermentation is truly finished you should not have to worry about bottle bombs, even if the FG is over 1.020. Conversely, you could bottle a beer at 1.012 and if it isn't finished fermenting you'll have problems.

I'd probably leave it in the secondary for another couple of weeks at least - a beer that big will certainly benefit from the aging and it just might drop another point or two. If it doesn't it will give you some extra assurance that you're truly finished. I'm not a big fan of adding water post-fermentation anyway, but if you want to do it just understand that it won't protect you from bottle bombs.
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I wouldn't dilute it. Stable gravity readings says it's done. I've got a barley wine that stopped at 1.032 and it's been there for 4 years.
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