OG is WAY too high

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Cheesy_Goodness

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Just what the title says.

I put together some watermelon wine yesterday and followed the sugar recommendation from keller's recipe (3 gallon batch uses 7.5 lbs of sugar, scaled to 5 gallons = 12.5 pounds). I thought that seemed like much but hey, it's Keller, he knows what he's talking about, I'll go with it.
I added a 10 pound bag first to see if the rest was necessary.
It wasn't.
OG reading of 1.200. Yep. One point two.

At this point I had already pitched my yeast, the carboy was full, and it was after midnight. Woke up this morning to the thing bubbling away happily, but I'm really not sure how it'll go as that OG is just ridiculous.

So what should I do? Ideally I would split it into two batches and top them both off with water to get them down a bit more, but everything I've read about watermelon says that it shouldn't be diluted or the already weak flavor will be diminished.

I used Montrachet (rehydrated then in a starter), but have Champagne, and a Pasteur red on hand.
 

gratus fermentatio

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You could dilute with more watermelon juice. Granted, you're adding more sugar with the juice, but you're still diluting it & not reducing fruit flavour. Might give you a LOT of wine must by the time you reach you target SG though. Other than that, I think your best bet would be just diluting with water, even though you'd lose flavour.
Regards, GF.
 
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Cheesy_Goodness

Cheesy_Goodness

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I did measure the gravity of the watermelon juice (from one watermelon so it's not representative of the whole) and if I remember what I wrote down it was about 1.040. Is that low for pure fruit juice?
 

lukebuz

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I vote to ferment until yeast tuckers out, measure FG, and calculate your ABV. Then bottle it as a "sweet watermelon wine".
I bet it'll taste good!
 

cernst151

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I'd agree with Gratus. Dilute with watermellon juice. Water would water it down too much. If you want the flavor you'll want to add the juice. 1.04 is low for most juices but watermellon isn't all that sweet so it sounds about right to me. Maybe as an experiment you could siphon off some of the 1.2 and let it go as is, then dilute the rest down to where you want it. I'd be interested in hearing how they compare.
 
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Cheesy_Goodness

Cheesy_Goodness

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Well there's a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is RDWHAHB.

I called the old man to see what he thought about it and he called bullsh!t. Turns out my hydrometer only goes to 1.117, so there's no way 1.2 is correct. More likely my reading was 1.120.

Guess that's what you get for doing it at 1am after a good many homebrews :eek:.
Thanks for the advice everyone. 1.12 seems manageable so I'll just let it ride.
 

poptarts

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was going to say... sugar is only 46 points a pound so at 10lbs in 5 gallons you "only" got 92 points meaning 10lbs of sugar in 5 gallons of water is 1.092
 

WVMJ

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I was going to ask you where you got your hydrometer from so we could get one :) WVMJ
 
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