Quantcast

ABV process.

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone,

The elderberry wine saga continues...

I now have three carboys full of elderberry wine. Yesterday I racked the first and second batches. I had some left over once I'd finished with the first batch so gave it a taste... quite a big taste in fact.

I started this batch around the 9th. March. Since then it has been racked a couple of times and stopped. The wine tasted quite good for such a young one and although there was an alcoholic content it didn't seem anywhere near as high as I had expected.

When I made the original must it had an SG of 1098
The following day, at the point of adding the yeast, it had risen to 1104

The batch fermented out at 992. So I would have expected an ABV of just over 14%

So, what I wish to know is if all the sugar is converted to alcohol at the point the wine ferments out or if fermenting out is only part of the process which eventually gives rise to alcohol.

If my batch's alcohol strengthens over the next couple of months then that is fine - no problem. However, if the production of alcohol has finally finished why does it appear to be so low?

I guess I can fortify the wine latter to get a better alcohol content if need be but I would like to know where I went wrong (if at all) so I can correct the problem with my next batch.

I know someone out there will be kind enough to explain what's going on to me.

Thanks for all your help and support in the past and good luck with your own personal projects.

Cheer!

Becks.
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
11
Maybe that wine is a lot smoother than you think it is. If you have calculated you ABV by you SG and FG (providing the hydrometer reading were proper) you should have the alcohol level appropriate for that wine. Sugar converts to alcohol. If you went to 0.0992 your yeast ate up all of the sugar. I'll give the proverbial winemakers saying to let it set and age and report back after a time to see if anything has changed.
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Ok, thanks smurfe,

I'm pretty confident the readings are correct. I assume the yeast directly converts the sugar to alcohol without any intermediate chemical process taking place. I guess I'm so used to drinking cheap plonk that I expected a harsher taste and effect.

If my readings were correct (I added 1.25 Kg of pulped raisins and 7 Kg of sugar to 1.5 Kg of elderberries along with 25 liters of water) then I can expect the alcohol present to be around 14% ABV.

Thanks. I think the batch should turn out ok in the end...

Cheers.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
Ok let me do some quick calculations.
As the figures are metric that should be easy :h

You have 25 liter water.
7 kilo sugar added to it and 1.25 kilo raisins.
Raisins contain about 50% sugar so total sugar (not counting any in elderberries) would be 7,6 kilo.
That is 7600 gram.

Rule is that 1 kilo sugar takes up .6 liter alcohol.
In volume that is 7600 x .6 = 4.5 liter.

So the total volume would add up to 25 + 4.5=29.5 liter
7600 gram divided by 29.5 liter would give 257 gram sugar per liter.

The initial SG measured 1104 which equals about 253 gram sugar per liter. So the figures are pretty accurate.........
The extra grams would come from the elderberries.

Presuming 18 gram sugar make 1% alcohol that would give:
257 /18 = 14.2 % alcohol.

Metrics are soooooooo easy :D

Luc
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
268
That is a great Sg for that type of wine, I would leave it as is. If this were not an elderberry wine then the abv would show a lot more if say it were a strawberry wine and you would be trying to lower it.
 

smurfe

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Messages
3,625
Reaction score
11
I do realize where you were coming from though. Most Elderberry wines I have tried real young were indeed a bit harsh. Did you oak this wine? If not, maybe thats why it is smoother than normal.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
33
Elderberries contain a lot of tannin.
I make lots of it each year and I use about 3 kilo dilluted with water to 10 liter. So the ratio is about 1-3.

Last year again I made several batches. One batch was harsh and really has to age a few yeasr. The others were immediately drinkable.
I have many bushes in the environment and all from different varieties. That explains the difference in harshness.

As elderberries have lots of flavor I do not oak them. I have however oaked batches in the past. Now I like it more 'natural'.

So oaking in my particular case did not make the difference. I think the varieties do.

Luc
 

Becks the Elder

Country Wines.
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
I didn't oak this wine and having read around a bit I'd have to agree with what Luc is saying about the actual subspecies of bush the berries come from. All my dried elderberries were supplied by 'Youngs', a UK brewing suppliers. I don't know if they grow the crop themselves or have them farmed but they may well be grown specifically for brewing. On the other hand the berry has such a good reputation here in the UK for brewing it may just be that the predominant English variety lacks many of the problems associated with it elsewhere. I may try and contact the supplier to find out more. If I do I let you know what I find out.
 

Latest posts

Top