Wine making...it's a funny old game.

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Capt Zero

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Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« on: September 02, 2013, 10:36 »
Tis a funny old game this wine making malarkey  :nowink:, a couple of months back I did 25 lts of rhubarb wine . This was followed a week later by another 25lts, now the first brew as been slow fermenting, checked it this morning and it's down to 1.020 and still going. The 2nd brew (exactly the same recipe) was finished within a week due to the hot spell we had back then. I know from brewing beer that high temps affects yeast,  alas my fermentation fridge had a FV in it. This 2nd wine came down to a FG 0.998 and as been in the brew house where it's a little cooler for the last two weeks.
I must say a sample of both shows a better wine from the 1st one, still sweet but the yeast have a way to go yet. This one is like the wine I made last year, that took weeks & weeks to finish but what a wine  ;). as I said...Tis a funny old game...
"From mans sweat and Gods love, beer came into the world."
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Lardman

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 12:19 »
Assuming your raw materials were exactly the same  :)

It's down to the additional 'things' produced by the fermentation. Although the yeast are more active at a higher temperature they also produce more of the negative aspects of fermentation.

Unfortunately I've consumed many a gallon since studying it and It's been far too long for me to remember what exactly the "things" were. I sure a quick Google will give the answer. The key is to keep the temperature constant where there is balanced fermentation. It's were science meets dark art  ;)
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BobE

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 13:17 »
This is even true for professionals.  You can hear it said, "The 1993 Merlot was the best we've ever made" or " the 2011 was very thin this year".  Its an art as well as a science, with some magic added.

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Daamoot

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 13:27 »
That sounds promising capt zero as my gal of rhubarb is taking ages to complete fermentation.  I had a sample last week and it was delicious apart from being overly sweet so I have high expectations for once its ready, more so for once its matured (if I can hold back many bottles).
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Capt Zero

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 15:25 »
That sounds promising capt zero as my gal of rhubarb is taking ages to complete fermentation.  I had a sample last week and it was delicious apart from being overly sweet so I have high expectations for once its ready, more so for once its matured (if I can hold back many bottles).

Have you used an hydrometer on it Daamoot to see how it's going on?? it's a great bit of kit. We both like our wines a tad sweet, a bit like a Rose'....so I can't make up my mind to stop the fermentation say at 1.005, or let it go all the way then back sweeten. One train of thought is this is safer, and I don't like sulfites.
To try and stop a fermentation is ok,  but unfortunately there is really no practical way to successfully stop a fermentation dead in its tracks. You can slow yeast down to almost dead by putting the FV in a fridge, then maybe bottle and keep them cool??  don't know if I want to chance it tho.

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BobE

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 17:37 »

Have you used an hydrometer on it Daamoot to see how it's going on?? it's a great bit of kit. We both like our wines a tad sweet, a bit like a Rose'....so I can't make up my mind to stop the fermentation say at 1.005, or let it go all the way then back sweeten. One train of thought is this is safer, and I don't like sulfites.
To try and stop a fermentation is ok,  but unfortunately there is really no practical way to successfully stop a fermentation dead in its tracks. You can slow yeast down to almost dead by putting the FV in a fridge, then maybe bottle and keep them cool??  don't know if I want to chance it tho.

I thought that the best way was to let it go all the way.  Bottle it up.  Then sweeten it before you serve it.  Then there is no risks.

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Capt Zero

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 02:12 »
Hi BobE...your dead right it's probably the safest way to go about it, but I'm always ready to try something different when making my wines/beer. Now what I understand about fermentation is there are two reasons for yeast to die. One....the sugar they are feasting on as all been used up (dry wine) and two...the yeast hits a point at which the alcohol they produce kills them (a sweeter wine). A few years back I had a gall of apple wine and I did a little experiment, I added small amounts of sugar over time with the aid of my hydrometer to keep an eye on things. It got to a point were the yeast must have died as the FG stayed the same over a month. I finished up with a very nice dessert wine, now this does take time but it's our hobby after all and if we end up with an exceptional wine.
I hate sulfites in wine so I wont use them, I've a wine (in a FV) in the fridge in the brew house that I'm having a go at cold stabilization, I'm looking forward to how it turns out, time will tell... ;)

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Daamoot

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 13:13 »
Cheers Capt, I've not used the hydrometer recently as last time I checked it was around the 7% potential ABV so figure it has a couple more weeks to go.  I miss calculated the sugar so its starting sg was around 17% potential, over a month ago now but its bubbling away albeit really slowly now.  I'll test it once feremtation seems complete but I'd far rather it were dry than sweet, time will tell.

How much heat could yeast surive through?  I've also tried killing the yeast by chilling it in the fridge but with having a regular sized fridge, I only tried it with 70cl bottles and little air locks.  That was a while ago now and I remember it didn't stop fermentation enough for me to be happy to bottle it.  So going hot is another consideration but there would be a fine line between killing the yeast and damaging the wine (could harm esters/enzymes?).  I'm not a fan of sulphites either so never use chemicals to kill the yeast, just leave the fermentation to complete and drink my wine/cider dry but my other half would enjoy a sweeter bottle or two.  I'll try bobE's suggestion of sweetening the wines for her, would any sweetner work?  I'd prefer to use a natural one like stevia.

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Capt Zero

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Re: Wine making...it's a funny old game.
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 14:58 »
I've found a site that quotes the following about....

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS:
Artificial Sweeteners need to be mentioned here as a precaution. Sweeteners such as Equal and Sweet 'N Low do not bond well on their own with liquids. Pop manufacturers use binders to keep these artificial sweeteners suspended. If added to a wine that has been stored these types of sweeteners will need to be stirred up off the bottom before serving.

I tend to mix my sugar with a small amount of water, bring to the boil leave to cool then add to the wine to back sweeten.



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