Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Country Fruit Winemaking > Can I re-ferment to raise the ABV...??

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Old 07-20-2013, 04:58 AM   #1
MrJames
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Default Can I re-ferment to raise the ABV...??

I have a batch of Mixed berry wine. It has completed fermentation and has been resting, in the carboy, for the last 3 months. I'm wondering if I can add more sugar and yeast to try and raise the ABV%... I tasted it and it is very low and alcohol. we don't normally like wines that are super high in alcohol content but this one is way too low almost like black berry juice. I would like a little bit more at least.

So can I add more sugar and the yeast to try and raise the alcohol content a little bit or a lot?

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Old 07-20-2013, 05:37 AM   #2
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Yes you can or blend with a higher ABV wine. What was your starting gravity? If you have had that much airspace in the carboy for 3 months it may be oxidized.

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Old 07-20-2013, 05:49 AM   #3
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lot of head space in that..... i would add sorbate and campden if you have not all ready, then i would add some berry vodka to raise the abv.
then add a simple syrup made from the the berries you began with, that way you will raise the abv, and gain on the head room space, and could be drinking a lot sooner.

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Old 07-20-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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lot of head space in that..... i would add sorbate and campden if you have not all ready, then i would add some berry vodka to raise the abv.
then add a simple syrup made from the the berries you began with, that way you will raise the abv, and gain on the head room space, and could be drinking a lot sooner.
Not too sure if I want to add vodka, but it is an interesting idea. I may just try it with even half of the batch. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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Yes you can or blend with a higher ABV wine. What was your starting gravity? If you have had that much airspace in the carboy for 3 months it may be oxidized.
I don't measure OG ot FG....know, I know... How would I know if it is oxidized?? This is probably my third batch like this and all seemed to have turned out well. But it does remind me that I need to raise the level higher. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
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How would you know it is low alcohol? You really need to start taking some readings. Right now that wine is young.

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Old 07-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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Really need to do OG FG readings I made some blackberry taste like no alcohol in it but actually has 12.5% a couple glasses and it sneaks up on ya

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Old 07-20-2013, 07:10 AM   #8
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I have that much head space quite often with no probelems. The only one that even started to oxidize was toped up fully its whole life. It had one of those stupid silicone stoppers. It would not stay in all the way. I ended up taping the sucker in. Luckily it was only a single galleon.
Oxidation will give it a slightly off caramely flavor. Sort of. Hard to describe. I only had the one that even started to oxidise so I don't know what a fully oxidised one would taste like.

As far as restarting the ferment goes. Take out a qt or gal and get the smaller volume going first. Just adding some suger and stirring it may do the trick. Remember to add a little more yeast energizer or nutriant. If it does not start back up, then make a yeast starter and add that.
If you try to add just the shuger to the big jug and it is still willing to feement you may get a vocano. Just a fyi.

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Old 07-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #9
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Without a hydrometer you really don't know the ABV. I wouldn't trust my taste buds for detecting alcohol after aging for 3 months. If you do decide to add more yeast just realize if the ABV is already in the 12% range your yeast will not survive for very long and you may end up with a very sweet wine. I would recommend going slowly and temper the amount of sugar you add until you see how the fermentation goes.
Hydrometers are cheap and they really give you good indicators of what is going on. Good luck with it.

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Old 07-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJames View Post
I have a batch of Mixed berry wine. It has completed fermentation and has been resting, in the carboy, for the last 3 months. I'm wondering if I can add more sugar and yeast to try and raise the ABV%... I tasted it and it is very low and alcohol. we don't normally like wines that are super high in alcohol content but this one is way too low almost like black berry juice. I would like a little bit more at least.

So can I add more sugar and the yeast to try and raise the alcohol content a little bit or a lot?
I'll add my voice to the "GET A HYDROMETER and USE IT" brigade.

However, to answer your question, if you haven't added sorbate to the wine, you can probably add more sugar and fermentation will start up again. "Probably" because the answer depends on a number of factors including current alcohol content, which we don't know because you don't use a hydrometer.

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