Author Topic: To dilute or not to dilute  (Read 1192 times)

Offline karlh

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To dilute or not to dilute
« on: December 10, 2009, 12:40:15 PM »
I just re-brewed a classic american pils I made last year that is slightly high gravity for the style (OG 1.062).  Last year when I moved the beer over to a keg, I decided to take the 12 gallon batch and dilute it with 3 gallons of pre-boiled water to get a net volume of 15 gallons at a diluted effective OG of a 1.050.  This worked out fine and the beer was great, winning awards in 2 good sized contests, both as a CAP and a standard American lager. 

This year I am wondering whether I should follow the dilution procedure, or stick with 12 gallons of a higher gravity beer.  If so, in what category would I enter it if I put it into any of the contests I am seeing announcements for.  It has an OG of 1.062, approximately 39 (calculated) IBUs of NZ Saaz, with around 20% of the mash a mix of flaked corn and flaked rice adjunct. 

Or should I try diluting with slightly less water?

Is there a definition out there for classic American malt liquor?
Karl
Mundelein, IL  USA

Offline ndcube

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 01:05:44 PM »
Looks like the CAP ranges up to 1.060.  You might not have to dilute that much.

Offline euge

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 08:45:04 PM »
I say if you are confident of the results dilute away...
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline karlh

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 10:29:49 PM »
For the record, I did not dilute this batch.  It's so close to the top end of the CAP style guidelines that I decided to see how it tastes and can't say it has any major faults or seems out of style.  I will try entering it in one of the upcoming contests, and possibly dilute it as much as 50% to make an american light lager.  So far its tasting fine as-is. 
Karl
Mundelein, IL  USA

Offline Kaiser

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 12:49:21 PM »
FWIW, post fermentation dillution is the proper procedure for a light American lager.

Kai

Offline euge

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 12:21:09 PM »
I"d always suspected that about light lagers. ech.

Let us know how it turns out if you do dilute. Interested to see how that turns out.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Beertracker

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 12:40:22 PM »
Don't pollute or dilute!  Go CAP. :D
CHEERS! Jeff
"A homebrewed beer is truly a superior beer." ~ "Buffalo" Bill Owens - American Brewer

Jeffrey Swearengin
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Tulsa, OK USA

Offline The Professor

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 12:56:56 PM »
...Is there a definition out there for classic American malt liquor?

It's such a weird category, and the name 'Malt Liquor' is apparently only a result of antiquated post prohibition (often on a local level) alcohol laws, so it probably shouldn't even be recognized as it's own "style" (like a lot of other categories too...but that's for another thread   ;)).  

I guess it has come to mean high alcohol beer regardless of the fermentation method (with the ghetto beers pretty universally having a very high adjunct-to-malt ratio as well).

But really, with beers like Optimator, Oktoberfest, and other more real "styles" being labeled as 'malt liquor' in some jurisdictions, I personally feel it makes the term pretty useless in general.

I'd just call it a strong lager...that's what it is before you dilute it, and that name covers it better than anything else.

As far as "to dilute, or not to dilute" (from the lost version of Hamlet, no?)    that's a decision only you can make...and it depends entirely on what you want to drink. 
As for me, I'd leave it alone.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 12:59:28 PM by The Professor »
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 12:59:37 PM »
This is something you can ask at a tour of any of the BMC breweries. And make sure that all the participants hear you: “Is it true that you water down the beer before it is bottled?”

As an educated brewer I don’t have much problem with this since this is just how the beer is brewed but the tour guide may not want to answer this question truthfully.

Kai


Offline stout_fan

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Re: To dilute or not to dilute
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 05:06:46 PM »
This is something you can ask at a tour of any of the BMC breweries. And make sure that all the participants hear you: “Is it true that you water down the beer before it is bottled?”...
Kai

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I'd say something witty down here, but I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that department.