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Diluting a mead with water

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buzzardwhiskey

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:03 pm

Diluting a mead with water

I had two sweet melomels bulk aging for more than a year.
They were super sweet and I decided to cut them with some water.
Immediately afterward they both grew a white scummy top
and began light fermenation. Eww.

So I have another mead that I also wanted to cut, and this time
I added 1/8 tsp of bisufite. We'll see if this keeps the funky
stuff away.

Do others cut their meads? For me, a wine at 18-22% is just
too much to drink with anything other than a shot glass!
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finburger

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:53 pm

Better to make a dry mead and blend the two meads.

If you want a lower abv mead, use a different yeast. D-47 seems to top out around 12-13%.

18% abv doesn't make it a sweet mead and a sweet mead doesn't mean its 18% abv. There are dry meads at 18% and sweet meads at 10%. I have a sweet orange-cinnamon mead that is only about 10% abv.
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buzzardwhiskey

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:31 pm

12-13% for D-47? Wow. The three meads in which I used
D-47 have topped out considerably above that.

Even my 71B is higher than 12-13%.

finburger wrote:Better to make a dry mead and blend the two meads.

If you want a lower abv mead, use a different yeast. D-47 seems to top out around 12-13%.

18% abv doesn't make it a sweet mead and a sweet mead doesn't mean its 18% abv. There are dry meads at 18% and sweet meads at 10%. I have a sweet orange-cinnamon mead that is only about 10% abv.
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nicneufeld

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Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:21 pm

I've got a very sweet, very strongly flavoured cherry melomel...its still just 13 or 14 percent ABV but its mostly the sweetness and flavour that are too concentrated, so I cut it with water (sometimes sparkling water) in the glass. I bottled it straight...that way I can cut it as needed.

You could simply ferment a few gallons of cider to blend with the mead, as well. Just get 5 gallons of apple juice, toss in preferably the same yeast strain (to avoid weird restarts of the fermentation after blending) and ferment it out, then blend. If you've got 5 gallons of 18% mead, that will dilute it to around 12%, much more reasonable and drinkable.
"For evil to flourish all that is required is for good men to spout clichés." - Hugh Laurie
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finburger

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 6:41 pm

buzzardwhiskey wrote:12-13% for D-47? Wow. The three meads in which I used
D-47 have topped out considerably above that.

Even my 71B is higher than 12-13%.

finburger wrote:Better to make a dry mead and blend the two meads.

If you want a lower abv mead, use a different yeast. D-47 seems to top out around 12-13%.

18% abv doesn't make it a sweet mead and a sweet mead doesn't mean its 18% abv. There are dry meads at 18% and sweet meads at 10%. I have a sweet orange-cinnamon mead that is only about 10% abv.


Double wow. Lalvin gives the alcohol range of D-47 as 12-14%.
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buzzardwhiskey

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:07 pm

Yeah, it'd be super if the advertised alcohol values
were closer. I like sweet meads and I feed them
over time until they stop and then keep going for
sweetness. All the Lalvins keep going right past
what I'd hoped for.
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kace069

Post Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:21 pm

I have used D47 many times in the past and am thinking about going back to it for a while. I have always had a pretty reliable and predictable attenuation with it, usually about 12%.
I didn't think you could get D47 to hit 18% bravo! Although I have never pushed any of my yeast to that level before.

I would blend this mead with another one if it was me. I wouldn't add water at all.
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TylerDurdinUMD

Post Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:11 am

I had a problem with meads restarting to ferment after each racking. I traced it to the dilution of the alcohol caused from the small volume of water in the racking hose.

If you are using ABV levels as your yeast stopper, when you add water you end up diluting that alcohol and giving some of the tougher yeast a chance to go a little further, fighting the good fight. I'm sure this is what happened to you, "cutting" your meads with water.

This would be why is would be good to use a strong dry mead as your mixer to help prevent further fermenting, and why many wine how-to's say to use some wine to top up your carboys and such, instead of just water.

I think using a preservative such as potassium sorbate should work to prevent the yeast from restarting. A sulfite would work for sure.

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