Alcohol Reduction Experiment

Discussion in 'Forum Comments, Suggestions & Help' started by mainshipfred, Mar 8, 2018.

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  1. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    I have a wine that I feel is too high in alcohol and want to experiment with a half gallon to remove the alcohol with heat. I'm not trying to collect it so it's not distilling. What I want to do is pre set a kettle of water to 180 degrees with a plate heater, once the water cools down place a gallon jug with a half gallon of wine in the kettle and let it heat back up to 180 degrees. I could always back sweeten the wine to balance the alcohol but wanted to try this. Do you think heating the wine would have any negitive affects. It will only be a half gallon so nothing ventured nothing gained.
     
  2. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    I would think that if the problem is that you made a wine with too high an ABV the simplest solution is to blend it with a similar wine (or a different but compatible wine) with a much lower ABV. One gallon of a wine at 15% ABV blended with another gallon of a wine at 7% will give you 2 gallons of wine at 11.5%. And if you use a pearson square you can calculate the blended ABV using two different volumes (say 1/2 gallon of the high ABV and 2 gallons of a lower ABV wine)...
     
  3. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    That would be a great way but unfortunately I don't have anything low enough. Plus I had an inkling to do an experiment. Nothing to do now until the spring grapes arrive.
     
  4. NorCal

    NorCal Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    If you heat the wine to that temperature for any period of time it will smell and taste “cooked”. Kind of like stewed prunes.
     
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  5. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks that's the kind of negative affects I was questioning. Probably going to try it though, it's only a half gallon, or maybe less then that. I need something to do.
     
  6. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    Let us know how it comes out. Arne.
     
  7. GaDawg

    GaDawg Senior Member

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    I would think you could boil some off with a vacuum.
     
  8. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking. I'm going to do it with straight alcohol first to see what temp I need. The AIO is 22-25 HG.
     
  9. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Step one: Using 91% isopropyl and using the AIO I was able to get a moderate rolling boil at 130 F. At 120 F I had bubbles but not rolling. Calibrated my hot plate to 130 F. So this weekend I'll take about 800ml of wine put it in a gallon jug in a pot of water and see what happens. No idea of the time frame but was thinking 2 - 30 minute sessions to let the AIO cool down in between.
     
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  10. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Are you gonna be able to check your results? With no sugar in the wine and only removing ethanol I imagine hydrometer isn’t an option.
    Going By ‘Taste’ only might be out the window too if it’s cooked. Maybe another trial but with acidulated water 2nd run style instead.
    But then again, the other major point is that I have no idea what I’m talking about.
    IMG_0831.jpg
     
  11. Johny99

    Johny99 Junior Member Supporting Member

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    This is a great experiment, although I think NorCal is right about the cooked tasted. I’d suggest a before and after hydrometer reading. Numbers won’t matter but if it is sensitive enough and alcohol is removed, it should read higher, me thinks.
     
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  12. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    It will have to be by taste only. I think the acid may be a little high as well since I only made 5 gal of a 6 gal kit. I'm also going to fill a bottle and add the appropriate amount of water that was required for the 6 gal recipe. Then one placed in the freeezer to drop the tartrates. Hopefully my taste buds will be kind enough to let me know which one to go with.
     
  13. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    I agree and not knowing I can't see 130 F for and hour and a half will really affect it much. The hydrometer is a good idea. Plus it's only one bottles worth.
     
  14. stickman

    stickman Veteran Winemaker

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    The vapor coming off the liquid will be somewhere around 40% ethanol and 60% water. I wont add any more detail as we will get off topic quickly and I don't want to violate any rules.
     
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  15. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    No rules with me, interesting, would you mind sharing more.
     
  16. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    If you had a whole setup to catch all those vapors released and saved it for fortifying your wine or something
    —***without a distillery license***— it would be illegal. And also a topic that WMT doesn’t allow to be discussed.
    Getting a license and all the legwork needed makes it essentially impossible for anyone aside from legitimate large scale operations able to do it. Therefore anyone distilling at home it can be assumed that it is being done illegally-hence the rule to not discuss techniques and whatnot.
    Laws differ state to state- but I think that’s the gist of it.
     
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  17. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    But if you are not collecting it is it still forbidden?
     
  18. balatonwine

    balatonwine The Verecund Vigneron

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    Depends on where one lives. In Hungary, where I live, it is legal to distill spirits. As long as you report it when it is more than a trivial amount, and pay the appropriate taxes (that tax was forced by the EU, via a complaint from Germany, before that no tax or reporting was required for "personal use"). Just saying that the Internet is world wide, and laws differ depending on jurisdiction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  19. balatonwine

    balatonwine The Verecund Vigneron

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    Side note: I fully understand this is a science experiment. To try to reduce alcohol in a wine via some thermal method.

    But.....

    Just saying.... Consider doing what is done in Europe to reduce alcohol content: add water. A wine diluted with mineral water is often what my wife orders at a restaurant when we eat out. It is rather "normal" here. Again, just saying..... ;)
     
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  20. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    That is another trial I am using. The bench trial will be the base, experimental reduction, adding water ( only made 5 gal from a 6 gal kit), cold stabilization to drop the tartrates because I think it is high in acid as well and back sweeting the base to try to balance.
     

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