Can fermenting wine be tasted?

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mico1984

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I've heard some people "cutting off" fermentation before it ends by adding sulphite to the solution in order to kill yeast and have more residual sugars in the wine. I wonder how exactly to do this. Also, can the "must/wine" be tasted while still fermenting? It sounds unhealthy but I'm really curious to see what mine tastes like!
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B-well4200

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Yes, you can taste your wine while it is still fermenting and it is good to do. The reason it is good to taste while it is still fermenting is so you know what it taste like in every stage of fermentation. This can help you down the road if you are having problems, you can taste it and tell alot about what is going on and where it is in the process. Stoping fermentation can be done by cold stablizing it. Though I have never done this, I have read that its the best method to stop fermentation.
 

cpfan

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Stopping a ferment in mid-stream can be very difficult. First sulphite (or K-meta) does NOT kill yeast. It will stun or slow a yeast colony that is not in full flight. It will probably have little effect on a vigourous happy yeast.

If you really want to do this, I would suggest following these three steps. Note I have never done this.

1. Cold. Get the wine cold for a couple of days. This will stop/slow the yeast.

2. Add K-meta. This will help to stun/stop the yeast. But it will still be alive, just slow/inactive.

3. Add potassium sorbate. This acts as birth control for the yeast. No more reproduction. But it doesn't seem to work in an active ferment.

4. (Optional) Sterile filtration. Not the easiest thing to do. The #3 pads from Buon Vino for the Mini Jet and the Super Jet are .50 micron. To get all of the yeast they should be tighter, ie .45 micron.

I believe that some wineries follow steps similar to those above.

Steve
 

arcticsid

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drinking the wine before it's time is something thats not discussed in here. i had the same question but knew better than to ask. Go to any computer forum and ask how to download music without paying! IT NO BE HAPPNIN. Be patient, it'll happen bro.
 

cpfan

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Ahhhh drinking the wine before it's time.....not a good idea.

sampling the wine as you go along .... sometimes a good idea. You learn about how a wine develops/changes/whatever during the process. Bad idea if you jump into the forums crying "my wine tastes awful, it has no alcohol, should I dump it down the drain" and then don't provide any further info.

I used to run a Ferment on Premises. That means the customer makes their wine in the store, and then returns to bottle it. There is a well-known term in the business..."trunk aging". The customer loads the freshly bottled wine into their trunk, drives home, and starts drinking it for dinner (or maybe lunch). It magically got aged in the trunk. One of my customers called it "five mile aging". Guess how far he lived from the store. Some customers consumed 30 bottles in 28 days (or less).

So feel free to talk about drinking wine before it's time. Heck, if you don't drink it early how are you going to know when you should be drinking it?? Plus it's legal to drink your wine anytime you want (except when driving, of course).

Steve
 

arcticsid

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Point well taken Steve! Your insight is always appreciated1
Troy
 

mico1984

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drinking the wine before it's time is something thats not discussed in here. i had the same question but knew better than to ask. Go to any computer forum and ask how to download music without paying! IT NO BE HAPPNIN. Be patient, it'll happen bro.
I just mean tasting (not even swallowing) in order to "gauge" the progress
 

cpfan

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I just mean tasting (not even swallowing) in order to "gauge" the progress
Go right ahead. Many winemakers recommend tasting (and swallowing) at every stage.

My only complaint is the "my wine tastes awful" questions that show up in the forums. When asked how old the wine is, they say 5 days. I just want to shoot those folk.

But tasting and learning about the taste thru the various processes is probably a good idea.

Seriously drinking 5 day old wine? The best I can say is that I don't think it will poison you.

Steve
 

Leofender

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My first try

Walmart 100℅ grape juice champagne yeast and sugar. Potential alcohol 16% almost 2 weeks in today and fermentation bubbles have slowed. After reading this post I pour enough to test it, then decide to drink my still 4% potential alcohol grape juice. Doesn't taste half bad. Actually tastes like grape juice with the worlds smoothest liquor added. I assume I'll be burping soon. I thought I'd be disgusted based on everybody's description and of tasting wine early. I am removing the airlock and placing the original grape juice lid and giving it another week. I add this because this is my first try and I'm pleasantly surprised. Perhaps as it gets dryer it will become more yeast flavored and will need to be racked or bottled... Or consumed. Let me know if I'm wrong as a newbie... But drink away.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Leofender and welcome. After two weeks I would be a little surprised if so little sugar had been converted to CO2 and alcohol. Are you certain that you are reading your hydrometer correctly? The "potential alcohol" scale is really only useful before you pitch the yeast. In fact I never use that scale and use only the scale that indicates the specific gravity (or relative density) of the liquid. When I take a gravity reading before I pitch (add) the yeast then I know how much alcohol the yeast can produce and when I take readings of the gravity as fermentation continues then I know how much sugar has been converted and how much remains. My guess is that (very approximately) if you used the potential alcohol scale and got a reading of 4% then the gravity reading would have been 1.035 and if the potential alcohol reading was 16% after you added sugar to the grape juice then the starting gravity would have been 1.120 - A somewhat high starting gravity (most folk aim for about 1.090 to 1.100: a high gravity means that it may take a very long time for the heat of the alcohol to mellow - it's a wine and not a spirit you are making.
As for the wine becoming more yeast flavored as it becomes more dry, it shouldn't. It shouldn't because the yeast will over time drop to the bottom of your fermenter and if you rack the wine (transfer it to a clean and sanitized carboy) every 60 or 90 days so that it does not sit on the lees and sediment that forms then what you are doing is removing the wine from the (dead) yeast. Wine yeasts - unlike bread yeast or even some ale yeasts tend to flocculate well (gather and drop out of suspension) and while during active fermentation seasoned wine-makers stir their wine to keep the yeast thoroughly suspended all through the wine, once active fermentation has slowed or stopped they allow the yeast cells to drop to the floor of the fermenter, so there ought to be no pronounced yeasty flavor in a wine - although, I would agree that different yeasts highlight or mask certain flavors but that does not mean the wine tastes of the yeast itself.
Last point, If I am correct and the gravity reading is 1.035 or thereabouts you do not want to screw in any lid that will not allow the CO2 to escape. A gravity of 1.035 means that the yeast will still produce about 7 ounces (by weight) of CO2 gas. That is a lot - a lot - of gas, and if you cap that gas and force it to stay trapped in that bottle it will find a way out even if that means shattering the bottle. Flying glass under so much pressure is very dangerous. I would keep the bung and airlock in place if that is what you have been doing although those seasoned wine makers I referred to earlier often will simply cover their primary fermenter - a bucket - with a clean towel
 
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JohnT

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In many countries, drinking actively fermenting wine is not only done (on masse) but is considered a real treat! I have had more than my fair share of STURM in Austria (a.k.a FEDDERWEISS in Germany). Booths that sell this tasty beverage are all over, but is only available for a short period during the fall.

You can even find it in the grocery stores! They are sold in 1 liter soda bottles with the caps very loosely placed to allow the still fermenting wine to vent.
 

mennyg19

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In many countries, drinking actively fermenting wine is not only done (on masse) but is considered a real treat! I have had more than my fair share of STURM in Austria (a.k.a FEDDERWEISS in Germany). Booths that sell this tasty beverage are all over, but is only available for a short period during the fall.

You can even find it in the grocery stores! They are sold in 1 liter soda bottles with the caps very loosely placed to allow the still fermenting wine to vent.

Can I guess that they have expiration dates earlier than milk? (When fermentation is expected to end...)
 

FTC Wines

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Micro, when I first started making wine, 1970 ish, my Dad decided he would also start making wine. Long story short after us starting a Welches wine together, about 3 weeks later I asked Dad how's your wine coming along. He said " it's gone!" I said what happened to it? He said he DRANK it! Lol, Roy. Ps it was a 5 gal batch!
 
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JohnT

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Can I guess that they have expiration dates earlier than milk? (When fermentation is expected to end...)
The keep it cold, so the fermentation is slowed and lasts a bit longer.

I was in Vienna and found sturm being sold right next to the milk. I grabbed a bottle by the middle and, since the cap was loose, had it squirt out the top and all over me. Pretty funny!

BTW, translated, Sturm is Storm (meant to describe the bubbling/boiling action when in the mug).
 

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