Adding sugar to wine kit

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by Emtjewel, Aug 31, 2013.

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  1. Aug 31, 2013 #1

    Emtjewel

    Emtjewel

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    Greetings,
    I am new to this forum and wine making. I have only made two batches of "kit" wine so far. I have read that adding 3-5 lbs of sugar can up the alcohol content, so with my 3rd batch I added 3 lbs of sugar to the primary fermentation. This kit is Mezza Luna White from Winexpert. I think I really messed this up and will need to pour it down the drain. I started it on 8/25/13 and the directions say to let it in the primary for 5-7 days. The starting SG should have been 1.080-1.098 but with the sugar it was 1.112. I looked at it today and it looks like a brown mess ! It looks like mud and it is still bubbling like crazy. Today is day 6 and I dont think its anywhere near being done fermenting. Did I make a mistake by adding the sugar? Should I leave it sit in the primary until I think its "done" fermenting? Am I making "rocket fuel"?
    The two batches I made before were Twisted Mists kits and the alcohol content in them was between 5 and 6%, so I decided to up this next batch. I think I really messed it up. :(

    Thanks
    Julie
     
  2. Aug 31, 2013 #2

    RCGoodin

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    From what I've heard, you can generally fix a problem like this. Look for threads from JoesWine and send him a private message. He's an expert at this and tweaking recipes to make mediocre wines into master pieces.

    He'd have a recommendation. I think to increase alcohol, you do add your sweetener in the primary. To mellow the wine, I think you add your sweetener during the secondary fermentation. I might have it wrong so I'm anxious to see how the other experts respond to your thread.

    However, I do not think you have lost your batch yet.
     
  3. Aug 31, 2013 #3

    cpfan

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    Emtjewel:

    You're probably going to get about 15.5% alcohol out of this. Never give up while the wine is still in primary.

    BTW, what is the current sg? Very tough to offer advice without this info.

    However, I am a bit concerned that you described this as "brown". Do you know what the date code was on the kit box?

    Steve
     
  4. Aug 31, 2013 #4

    Emtjewel

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    The SG right now is 1.020
    Attached are pics, one of the brew and one of the peel off label from the kit.

    372.jpg

    373.jpg
     
  5. Aug 31, 2013 #5

    Sammyk

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    Someone will be around for more advice. I do know that the "mist" type kits are low alcohol and many do add sugar to bring up the level myself included. Increasing the sugar raises the ABV on those type of kits and makes for longer storage.

    I don't think it is traditional to add sugar to a regular wine kit though because they are generally around 12% when directions are followed.
    I would not throw it out and would wait for someone more experienced to help you out. Mostly I wanted to offer advice about the "mist" type kits.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2013 #6

    jamesngalveston

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    i am no expert at all, but looking at the pics..
    i wonder if the addition of the sugar created more alcohol then normal which leeched out some color from the oak that is in it.
     
  7. Aug 31, 2013 #7

    ou8amaus

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    Personally I think the color looks about right, I would reserve judgement until you rack to secondary and it starts clarifying...I often add dextrose/sugar to the primary without issue, but with the amount of extra sugar added your kit may come out, at least initialy, a little hot.
     
  8. Aug 31, 2013 #8

    Emtjewel

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    Micky,
    By "hot" do you mean a high level of alcohol? If I age it for a year, will the level go up or down? And do I wait until the SG is below 1.000 to rack to the carboy?
     
  9. Aug 31, 2013 #9

    cmason1957

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    I agree that it looks about right. Maybe a touch dark. Let it go a bit more to about 1.010 and then rack. I think it will be okay. A touch high in alcohol, but I bet just a touch of sweetness will make it just fine. You will probably want to let it age longer than the directions call for.
     
  10. Aug 31, 2013 #10

    midnightsolace

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    My white WE kit looked similar to that picture (only without the oak). It's just going to be really cloudy for a while. At this point, you're going to have to do your primary fermentation by numbers alone and not by days (i.e., you don't be able to follow the directions regarding "Do this in ## days" until after the primary fermentation is over) because it's going to take longer to ferment that extra sugar. Also, I think I remember reading in my WE kit that the Mezza Luna may not go down to below 1.000 SG, so read through all the directions you have and double check, or you might end up pulling the hair out of your head over nothing. =)

    But, definitely do not dump it. Keep at it, let the yeast do its thing at this point, and you WILL get that SG down to proper levels. Just stick with it. =)
     
  11. Aug 31, 2013 #11

    TomK-B

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    I agree with everyone advising you to stick with it, Julie. My experience is that you can't really judge the color outcome during primary fermentation. Besides, I wouldn't call that color "brown." I'd call that a beautifully fermenting white wine. If it goes to dry (SG below 1.000), it'll be higher in alcohol than most whites. But I wouldn't throw it out on that account. The suggestion to consult with joeswine is excellent.

    Keep us up to date on how it goes!
     
  12. Sep 1, 2013 #12

    salcoco

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    do not throw it out!. finish fermentation. follow kit wine instructions for clearing the wine. Let it sit for about three months, follow proper addition of potassium metabisulphite. The wine may have high alcohol, when you taste it their will be a burning sensation in back of throat. Make sugar syrup, two part sugar to one part hot water. dissolve sugar thoroughly using a blender. start bench trials using equal amount samples say 100ml, use one without sugar as control, add 1/4 tsp to first sample, two times 1/4 tsp in next one etc for about four samples. taste each to level desired. add calculated sugar syrup to bigger batch, add sorbate and meta wait one week to insure fermentation does not restart, bottle.
     
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  13. Sep 1, 2013 #13

    Emtjewel

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    Thanks a lot guys ! I will hang onto it and keep going with it. See how it goes.

    Thanks !!!!
    Julie
     
  14. Sep 1, 2013 #14

    RCGoodin

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    Great suggestion. It's easy to see that Sal knows what he's doing.
     

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