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Jasper24

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Good evening,

I am new to wine making barely 4 months into it. I got started with a recipe off the internet for watermelon wine and a prayer and now I am hooked.

After racking this weekend I came away with a SG reading of 1.008 and a ABV reading of 16%. My problem as I see it is this. I want this watermelon wine to be sparkling and I am unsure how to do it. The two ways i have found so far do not seem to me as if they are going to work.

One way calls for adding half a cup of sugar to 5 gallons of wine and bottling it and letting the yeast in the wine do the work and make it fizzy. The other way I read calls for adding sugar and yeast to each bottle as I bottle it and making it sparkle that way.

I don't see how either way will work. If I add sugar to the wine itself won't I be making a sweet wine sweeter and if I add sugar and yeast to each bottle won't the existing alcohol kill off any yeast I add?

Please help I am in dire need of assistance.

Thanks Hallie
 

NorCal

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Welcome!

16% alcohol and 2% residual sugar? That was a heavily loaded recipe, especially for watermelon. Most Sparkling wines that I know of tend to be low abv. I suspect part of that would be to allow a controlled fermentation in the bottle, creating the CO2 for your bubbly.

If the numbers you stated are correct, what you have is a stuck fermentation. Yeast will die when they run out of food (consumes the sugar) or the environment is toxic (abv 16-18% typically). If your numbers are right, I suspect the latter.

This was probably done on purpose per the recipe, so the sweetness of the wine will mask the high abv (% alcohol). So, it would be tough to get this one to sparkle, but if you do it again, shoot for 11-12% abv, then add your bottling sugar.
 

sour_grapes

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Hi, Hallie,

I will try to lend an ear, but others may have better info.

After racking this weekend I came away with a SG reading of 1.008 and a ABV reading of 16%.
We need to know where the ABV number came from. What was your starting specific gravity? Are you saying it was 1.130, and that you determined the present ABV by (1.130-1.008)*131 = 16%? Or are you inferring ABV by some other means?
 

Jasper24

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Thanks for replying to this. My starting SG was 1.130. However I also have an ABV meter to determine its true alcohol number. I was hoping to ferment this out dry so that I could just add sugar and get my wine sparkling that way. Thanks
 

Jasper24

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Thanks for the reply. I will try that with the blackberry I just started. I am sorry to hear I may be out of luck with the watermelon. I truly envisioned a bubblely sweet watermelon to tickle your nose. Oh well it is my first batch I will get it next time. Once again thanks
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks for replying to this. My starting SG was 1.130. However I also have an ABV meter to determine its true alcohol number. I was hoping to ferment this out dry so that I could just add sugar and get my wine sparkling that way. Thanks
If, by "ABV meter," you mean a vinometer, these might be described as "for amusement purposes only." :)
 

Jasper24

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I have a hydrometer that is for distilled spirits only. That is how I measured my alcohol percentage. I know it says distilled spirits but it seems to work with my wines to.

I hope i am not too screwed. I can't believed how much I enjoy wine making in so short a period of time. Well screwed or not I shall continue making wine in an unusual way.
 

Julie

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Sorry but when I looked up a hydrometer for distilled spirits it stated that this does not work for wine or beer. Another thing you could do is look at kegging the wine.
 

sour_grapes

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I have a hydrometer that is for distilled spirits only. That is how I measured my alcohol percentage. I know it says distilled spirits but it seems to work with my wines to.

I hope i am not too screwed��. I can't believed how much I enjoy wine making in so short a period of time. Well screwed or not I shall continue making wine in an unusual way.
Well, hydrometers measure density, full stop. They do not measure alcohol content. We infer ABV by monitoring the change in density during fermentation.

I am very pleased you are enjoying this process! You are not screwed in any way: enjoyment is the metric, IMHO. Carry on, and "enjoy the labor of your fruits"! :r
 

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Welcome Jasper24, I understand you want to make the wine work but that may not work at the level it's developed too. You may want to try simply making a spritzer type drink with it, it sounds like you have plenty of alcohol and sugar to stand up to blending with a little sparkling water.
Mike
 

Jasper24

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Thanks to everyone for there kind reply. Mike being new I was wondering if you could tell me more about making a spritzer type drink. Thanks to all
 

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