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View Full Version : Is it safe to add water to primary or secondary to increase volume?



BlueBomber
02-23-2015, 01:39 PM
I've got a batch of JAOMs going in a 6.5 big mouth bubbler and will bottle in a few weeks, but there's some room to add more water for volume. Is this ok to do, and if so what's the safest way?

McJeff
02-23-2015, 01:44 PM
Safe yes. Adding water will increase the volume but also dilute everything else. Not sure how much volume you are missing but I doubt you will notice the dilution in a jao

Stasis
02-23-2015, 03:20 PM
Like Jeff said, it depends how much volume of water you add. You also mention primary and secondary and that you will be bottling in a few weeks so I'm not too sure at what stage the jaom is. If you add water during primary the final alcohol content will go down and the taste will be weaker. However, most of the time a mead can afford to be lower on alcohol. It might actually be better to have a 10% alcohol mead rather than 12% if the mead is a bit hot (fusels). As long as you don't go too low and risk contamination this is safe.
During secondary everything will happen as if you added during primary but in my opinion the mead will also taste watered down. The notice-ability depends on how much you add. This may be less of a problem in jaoms since there usually is more residual sugars or stronger taste than subtler meads.

Why are you adding water anyway?

BlueBomber
02-23-2015, 06:02 PM
I won't do it if it's going to affect the flavos that much. Honestly, I just wanted to increase the volume so I would have more to drink :)

mannye
02-23-2015, 07:55 PM
I try to keep a gallon of plain OB BOMM around with no additives just for that purpose. I also seem to remember reading that it's OK to top of with white wine, as long as it's not a large percent of your mead.

Medsen Fey
02-23-2015, 10:16 PM
I don't like to use OB as a top-up in most cases; too perfumey. Unless of course you were using OB in your batch. I like palmetto or even plain sue bee for top-up duty.

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mannye
02-28-2015, 12:22 PM
I don't like to use OB as a top-up in most cases; too perfumey. Unless of course you were using OB in your batch. I like palmetto or even plain sue bee for top-up duty.

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Yes! I should have noted that I use OB almost exclusively.

I just got a line on a big bucket of palmetto. I hope it pans out. I will PM you of its true this guy is selling a 5 gallon bucket for like 120 bucks. I'll believe it when I see it however.

One question for you. Since topping up mead should be neutral, what would you say is the best honey/yeast combination for making a batch of mead that's as close as we am get to a "universal" top up mead?

Also, what about using something like chardonnay or Pinot Grigio? Or brewing up sugar wine for a truly neutral topper?


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Medsen Fey
02-28-2015, 02:32 PM
You can use just about anything to top.

And yes, please do let me know if you can get 5-gal of palmetto for $120. I've got a couple of things I'm planning that I could use it with.

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mcclano
04-05-2015, 06:37 PM
Another similar question. Is it safe to top up a few litres (2-3) and also add more honey to reduce dilution? This would be when racking to secondary. I'm guessing it should ferment fine but slightly slower than during primary.

I'm buying two demijohns and will have a bit of space left in one.

mannye
04-05-2015, 11:13 PM
As long as you're aware of the new ferment and plan accordingly, you'll be fine. Only problem is now you have an extra racking later, but it's not that big a deal really.

Chevette Girl
04-06-2015, 03:03 PM
When I have an unanticipated racking loss, I usually try to top up with a honey-water mixture that matches the must's original gravity. If it's not ben sitting around for years, the active yeast will eventually ferment it back out to your finishing gravity before you'd topped off.

I just find it makes the math easier when I go to figure out how much alcohol's in the batch. I'm all about avoiding my calculator whenever I can, we saw way too much of each other in university.

mannye
04-07-2015, 10:17 AM
When I have an unanticipated racking loss, I usually try to top up with a honey-water mixture that matches the must's original gravity. If it's not ben sitting around for years, the active yeast will eventually ferment it back out to your finishing gravity before you'd topped off.

I just find it makes the math easier when I go to figure out how much alcohol's in the batch. I'm all about avoiding my calculator whenever I can, we saw way too much of each other in university.

That sounds like an easy solution. But what about the additional lees created? Is that small amount nothing that will adversely affect the flavor?


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