Fr., Perhaps one of your ossified manuals would address this. Today at Mass, the priest had a cruet of wine on the altar during the consecration. I am sure he did not intend to consecrate that wine.
But, it got me to thinking. Let’s say that, somehow, the Precious Blood is thought to be ordinary wine and put back into a bottle of unconsecrated wine. (Someone did not follow the law regarding “flagons,” for example, and some of the Precious Blood was left over, in the flagon. It’s then mistaken for wine.) We say that the Lord is present as long as the accidents of the wine remain. Well, the accidents remain, right? The appearance of wine is mixed with wine, which also appears to be wine, obviously. Does the dilution of the Precious Blood, even with wine, lead to the end of the Sacramental presence? Hope this makes sense. Thanks.
Second, the priest has to have an intention to consecrate something, even a moral intention. Generally this intention is established by placing the elements to be consecrated on the corporal.
Third, and to your question. At the offertory the priest is to add a small quantity of water to the wine in the chalice. That is to be a small quantity so that there is not the least doubt that the quantity of water added was great enough so that what was in the chalice can’t any longer be called wine. In other words, it cannot be so much water that it breaks the substance of the wine by dilution.
In the manual of dogmatic theology by Tanquerey, that tonic for the soul, I found the opinion that “quinta pars aquae ad vinum corrumpendum non sufficiat … a fifth part of water isn’t enough to break [the substance of] the wine”, and thus render it invalid matter for consecration. Consider that wine is comprised of a high percentage of water to begin with, but we know what the accidents of wine are.
Given the fact that at the consecration the wine mixed with water is entirely changed, and we don’t think of what is there being Precious Blood with water, but rather just the Precious Blood alone, I suspect that we could work the other way and say that once you get past one quarter part of water added to the Precious Blood you are fairly likely to have broken the substance. Certainly one half quantity of water added would do so. You wouldn’t thereafter recognize by the accidents of the liquid that you were dealing with wine’s accidents.
So, yes, the dilution of the Precious Blood with some liquid that is not the Precious Blood will, in fact, break the substance, which can be recognized by a change in the accidents. When enough wine is added, well… it is harder to see the accidents change with our unaided senses, they change a great deal less, but the substance of the Precious Blood will have broken.
Once you get past about a fifth part, you are getting close.
This is why at the offertory careful, diligent priests will use what is nicknamed a “scruple spoon”, a tiny dipper-shaped tool with with they dip up a tiny quantity of water from the cruet to put into the wine in the chalice. The idea is that you never have to worry that, for reasons of surface tension of the water or the shape of the cruet or the unsteadiness of hand of the priest or deacon, too much water might be inadvertently added to the wine. Priests must take care to avoid the the Ketchup Bottle Technique of Chalice Preparation when the water in the cruet is being stubborn. You know the poem by Richard Armour (not Ogden Nash):
Shake and shake
the catsup bottle
first none’ll come
and then a lot’ll.
Lot’ll = bad.
When that happens the priest should start over.
I’ll tell ya’ why.
Because we are Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists and we never never never fool around with the validity of matter of sacraments.