ABV too high - technique for "watering down" before kegging? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 12-09-2012, 02:35 AM   #1
DaveMcPhee
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I brewed an IPA recently and, of course noted the OG without much thinking. Today, during a routine gravity check, I noticed that my OG was 1.066 and my FG 1.012 (these are temp corrected values.)

It dawned on me that 7% ABV is way higher than what I intended for this recipe (I know, first world problems).

I'm looking for techniques / gotchas of watering down this beer before kegging, and for the maths I need to know to figure out how much water I need to add. Before I dump a bunch of boiled cooled water in, I wanted to make sure I wasn't about to ruin this batch.

I feel like a tool even asking about watering down beer, but this was brewed for (and paid for by) someone else and this is a mistake that needs fixin'

OG: 1.066
FG: 1.013
5.0 gallons in the bucket
target ABV: ~5.0%
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #2
Chadamus
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What were you expecting your final gravity to be? I've brewed several IPAs that have had an ABV similar to that. I don't know if watering down your ABV would be smart though, I feel as you lowered the alcohol... You would also be lowering the flavor.. Essentially hurting what sounds like a well made beer?

 
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:27 AM   #3
beerbeer95648
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Diluting post fermentation is not necessarily a bad thing. However, in general a beer brewed at an intended gravity versus one that is diluted post fermentation to the same gravity will be slightly different. Namely, the ester profile will be slightly higher and the head retention slightly reduced with a diluted beer versus a beer brewed to the initial target gravity. But, breweries do it all the time from Budweiser down to many small breweries trying to stretch fermentation space. Seems you would need just about 2 gallons of dilution water. But I would add less and check your final gravity. 2 gallon would bring your theoretical OG down to 1.047 and your true final gravity to 1.009. (Initial ABV X Fermented volume) / Desired ABV = total diluted volume.

If it makes you nervous, take a measured sample and dilute it with carbed water from the store to the intended gravity and taste it. Keep in mind some carbonated waters on the shelf may have a lower ph because of the carbonic acid.

 
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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keg it and gass it up first and see if you like it ,if now you can still water it down, but you cant unwater it so... give it a shot thats really not that strong
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
mooshimanx
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I personally would carb the beer and celebrate my awesome efficiency by drinking it at its brewed strength.

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:33 AM   #6
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You don't want to throw your bittering off too much either; I agree with keg it, carb it, taste it, then decide.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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That sounds like a perfectly delicious IPA. I would drink it as is.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
DaveMcPhee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerbeer95648 View Post
If it makes you nervous, take a measured sample and dilute it with carbed water from the store to the intended gravity and taste it. Keep in mind some carbonated waters on the shelf may have a lower ph because of the carbonic acid.
Genius.

Thanks for all the other responses too. I wanted to test the waters for this procedure, and it seems like to cons outweigh the pros. I'll have to report my failure to my financial backers and deal with the fall out.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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You said you wanted to fix this because you brewed it for someone else. Will that person be upset about getting something stronger? Seems your friend really won out on this one. If you still insist on watering it down, try pulling off and bottling a six pack. Send the six pack to me and I'll send you a six pack of BMC that you can pour in. That should get it about right. Glad to help in the only way I can.

 
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:34 PM   #10
GarageDweller
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its only 5 gal. tell them to eat $hit, as you're giving them more bang for their buck. if not, keep it and give them their money back. what'd it cost $30?!
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