Diluting mead?

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Cugel

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So I went and made a highly modded JOAM with 71B-1122 and 17.5 lbs honey added to 4 gallons water.

Fermented (at 64F) down to 0.996 after 3 weeks and I now have 5.5 Gallons of a mead that has an ABV of 15.4% according to Hightest's spreadsheet (for which I am very grateful - thank you).

It tastes ok, with a strong alcohol bitterness. I want to reduce the mead to an ABV of 12-13%, sorbate etc. to prevent further fermentation and then backsweeten.

If I add 2.5 Gallons of water it will come down to an abv of 12.2%. 2 Gallons of added water will give me an abv of 13.1%.

Is this after-fermentation dilution of cooled boiled water OK? Anything I need to worry/think about?

Thanks!
 

robsauce

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Im by no means an expert but my thought is:

While adding 2-2.5 gallons of water may very well lower your ABV it will drastically water down the other flavour components of your mead.
 

hightest

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...If I add 2.5 Gallons of water it will come down to an abv of 12.2%. 2 Gallons of added water will give me an abv of 13.1%
I would never add water to a finshed (or near finished) mead. :eek:

Backsweetening will also lower the ABV by dilution. After you add the sorbate & KMETA, add 2 lbs of honey. That will raise the SG to ~1.009 and lower the ABV to ~14.9%. Let that mixture rest for a couple of weeks before sampling to see if it's nearer your taste. ;)

If not add more honey and try again...
 
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Cugel

Cugel

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Im by no means an expert but my thought is:

While adding 2-2.5 gallons of water may very well lower your ABV it will drastically water down the other flavour components of your mead.
Rob - I never thought of that aspect of things. Thanks!
 
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Cugel

Cugel

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I would never add water to a finshed (or near finished) mead. :eek:
Why not? Diluting the flavors added through the spices/oranges?

Backsweetening will also lower the ABV by dilution. After you add the sorbate & KMETA, add 2 lbs of honey. That will raise the SG to ~1.009 and lower the ABV to ~14.9%. Let that mixture rest for a couple of weeks before sampling to see if it's nearer your taste. ;)

If not add more honey and try again...
I will take your suggested approach and see what happens. ~15% ABV is still somewhat too high for me.

Lesson learned, from now on I'll only use 12-13 lbs honey fermentables in meads! :)
 

david_42

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Pour 4 ounces & add 1 ounce of water. Mix well and sample. I've been known to make a mead 'cooler' with 2-3 times as much soda water as mead.
 
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Cugel

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I don't think get it.

Why the big no-no on diluting pre-bottling? What is the logic? :confused:

With the exception of diluting the spices/orange flavor components I cannot think of a good reason not to dilute.

Now, keep in mind that I will follow your advice and will not dilute, I'm just trying to figure out why not.

:)
 

Tusch

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You are watering down every aspect of it, not just the alcohol. So proportionally you will have less flavor, less color, less alcohol, less sweetness, it will be thinner, etc.
 
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technically adding 1.000 water to .996 mead will "thicken" it. But this seems wrong. I would also suggest some bulk aging after dilution "If you do this". I wouldn't want to add all this water and then directly bottle.
 

homebrewer_99

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I don't think get it.

Why the big no-no on diluting pre-bottling? What is the logic? :confused:

With the exception of diluting the spices/orange flavor components I cannot think of a good reason not to dilute.

Now, keep in mind that I will follow your advice and will not dilute, I'm just trying to figure out why not.

:)
You don't necessarily need to follow MY advice, but I appreciate that you can be patient enough to get as many comments and recommendations BEFORE making your decision on what to do. ;)

I'm pretty certain if you add water to your mead you will oxidize it. This will turn the flavor into (something you don't want to drink...) wet cardboard...:eek:

Anyone else want to comment? If I'm wrong here please jump in and tell me.
 

jezter6

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You don't necessarily need to follow MY advice, but I appreciate that you can be patient enough to get as many comments and recommendations BEFORE making your decision on what to do. ;)

I'm pretty certain if you add water to your mead you will oxidize it. This will turn the flavor into (something you don't want to drink...) wet cardboard...:eek:

Anyone else want to comment? If I'm wrong here please jump in and tell me.
What if you boil the water? We know from brewing that boiling blows oxygen out of the water and you need to aerate again to give the yeasties something to work on - wouldn't boiled water allow you to dilute the mead with a non-oxygenated water?
 

patrick767

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Pour 4 ounces & add 1 ounce of water. Mix well and sample. I've been known to make a mead 'cooler' with 2-3 times as much soda water as mead.
I might try this with a glass of my first mead (JAOM) tonight. It's too sweet for me. I know JAOM is in fact a sweet mead, but I'm guessing that since I fermented mine in December, my temperature was 70 degrees at best and I've read here that the bread yeast likes closer to 75 degrees, it probably didn't ferment out as much. It came out very sweet.
 

Delkarnu

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While bioling out the oxygen will probably avoid oxidizing it too much, remaining yeast can also be an issue I think.

Others on the board please correct me if I'm wrong.

Bottled mead will still have sugars remaining. As the alcohol content rises, much of the yeast dies off, but some will survive, but are restricted in their activity. Reducing the alcohol content may allow the yeast to produce more CO2, possibly blowing out corks or breaking bottles, or it may just carbonize it in the bottle.

I'd leave it as is, and dilute when pouring it out. That way if it doesn't work, you ruin a glass of mead, not a batch.
 

Nodak_Brewer

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Take a neat glass of bourbon and take a sip. Then add water. You're doing the same detrimental thing if you add water to your JAOM.

I actually have a modified JAOM in secondary and it's absolutely delicious after only two months. Please don't dilute!
 

bernardsmith

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Resurrected thread? IMO the better solution is to make a second batch with a far lower ABV and mix the two. The best solution is to know what result your plan will likely produce and then modify the plan before you execute it, not after
 

chicomarx

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What about diluting with a dry but weaker mead? Also, would doing this restart fermantation if I chose not to stabilize? Considering the original mead had some sweetness in it, but the one Im diluting with is 100% dry.
 

ike8228

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What about diluting with a dry but weaker mead? Also, would doing this restart fermantation if I chose not to stabilize? Considering the original mead had some sweetness in it, but the one Im diluting with is 100% dry.

If your dry is dry because the yeast ran out of sugar, and is just laying dormant, then adding it to your sweet could activate the yeast again now that it has something to eat. It could end up just as dry though.

Best thing to do is figure out what sweetness level you like and stick to those parameters (x Oz of water, x lbs of honey, etc) and monitor your abv/gravity. You can always add sorbate at the point you like to freeze the yeast, getting what you want.
 

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