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Nysrock
08-14-2010, 11:28 PM
I was recently on another site were it talked about saving a bottle of wine you have opened in the freezer as it will last a couple of months there and still be good to drink.

That got me thinking. Has anyone ever tried freezing a mead and pouring off what didn't freeze? I'm assuming that SOMETHING would stay fluid. I would think that the resulting product would be good. Strong but good.

So any thoughts on this? Has anyone ever tried this?

AToE
08-15-2010, 12:15 AM
Search freeze distillation (spelling check might be in order) there have been at least a few threads about this in the last year or so. I think it's actually legal in the US too.

Nysrock
08-15-2010, 01:23 AM
Thanks for the info. I had initially tried a search using "freezing mead" and did not get the distillation part.

From the looks of it this is illegal and could result in some serious hangovers anyways. Ah well. If we don't ask or try something new we'll never learn.

akueck
08-15-2010, 01:38 AM
I thought the conclusion we came up with is that it is not illegal (as it is not distilling, it is concentrating).

Nysrock
08-15-2010, 01:43 AM
Well from what I saw it was enough of a gray area that I didn't think I wanted to mess with it. Plus I was completely forgetting about how the concentrated alcohol would make a concentrated hangover!

Though it might be a good way to up the alcohol of an existing mead by freezing one then adding that to another.

Bah, who am I kidding! I will probably try it out at some point to see what happens. If I never wanted to try anything different I would have never started making mead.

mmclean
08-15-2010, 07:08 AM
Before I came over to the mead forum, I hung out at David Blume’s, “Alcohol Can Be A Gas!” forum. David is devoted to using alcohol as fuel. From this and many other sites, my understanding is that distilling in not illegal, but you do need a permit from the Federal Government. Distilling or in any way concentrating alcohol beyond the natural fermentation levels, for the purpose of consumption, is illegal. :mad:

Chevette Girl
08-15-2010, 12:07 PM
According to Wikipedia "this process is illegal in many countries because a number of by-products of fermentation (fusel alcohols), which are mostly removed by heat distillation, tend to accumulate to an unhealthy level in freeze-distilled beverages."

I can definitely see how it could result in a concentrated hangover if you drank it glass-for-glass as wine.

That said, I still have no idea if it's illegal in Ontario or not, I hate the internet and all search engines some days.

Figuring it's only illegal when they catch you (I know someone who has a still and makes absynthe and sells it, all unlicensed and they haven't caught him yet) and considering that I tend to fly under the radar, I've done it with a blah kiwi wine in an attempt to see how it would affect the flavour (it became slightly less blah and much more potent, would be good for blending), but it's now a booze rather than a wine so I treat it accordingly. I may add some of the kiwi concentrate to my freezer-port when it's done to see how it tastes, but I think for the most part I will just be satisfied with seeing how far I can push my yeasties with step-feeding :)

Medsen Fey
08-15-2010, 02:25 PM
Distillation without an appropriate license (and taxes paid) is illegal in the U.S.

Freeze concentration (or otherwise removing water) does not appear to be illegal from a Federal standpoint (up to a point). You may see the answers I got from the TTB in a Patron's thread entitled Freeze Concentration - I'm Eating Crow (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14491&highlight=crow). I will add two caveats. I am not an attorney, and state laws vary so you may want to consult a professional.

Nysrock
08-15-2010, 11:09 PM
Thanks for all the info. Still seems to be a grayer area though. Well since I have no real need to do it at the moment I'll just keep all this info filed away until I actually decide to do it. Or not.