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Intheswamp

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Buddy of mine started a 2 gallon batch of pear wine a couple of weeks ago. This is the link to the recipe article: https://delishably.com/beverages/Easy-homemade-pear-wine-recipe

The ingredients are:
  • 3/4 gallon pears
  • 2 lbs. sugar
  • 1 1/4 gallon boiling water
  • 1 packet or 1 tsp. bread yeast
He stuck pretty close to recipe but did throw in a handful of crushed blueberries, one peach, and a couple of dozen raisins. In 7-8 hours the must developed a frothing fermentation that lasted roughly 5 days. On the 7th day it was a calm, serene lake. No action at all. Nada, no bluegill breaking the surface, nothing. Anyhow, we racked it over into a gallon jug and a 1.5L wine bottle and air-locked them. It seems that it didn't make out two gallons...lots of mushy fruit left over. It definitely had the smell of wine to it but it seems too placid. He has an S-lock on the jug and a finger of a nitrile glove (with tiny hole in it) on the wine bottle. I figured with the agitation of racking that the fermentation would increase some. The "balloon" finger did inflate after a day or so and the S-lock releases a bubble very, very seldom. Watch the S-lock for a few minutes and you won't see a bubble, walk into the room again 15-20 minutes later and the vibration of your footsteps *might* cause a bubble to break free.

Looking at the recipe it seems that 2 lbs of sugar in a two gallon batch of pear wine isn't very much...about half(?) of what it should have been from what I'm ciphering from Jethro's Book of Wine Making and Gentleman Manners.

Anyhow, the fermentation seems to be stopped. I don't think the alcohol is high enough to stop the yeast but...could it need more sugar? Is it too late to add it? I don't think we've got a lot to lose by giving it a shot....

Thanks for your feedback!
 

Intheswamp

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Yes, I had thought about this. There wouldn't be enough room in the jug to add anything, anyhow. I had toyed with the idea of drawing some off and adding some sugar...but the finite area inside the jug and a small voice told me I'd need more room. Thanks for the reinforcement!!!
 

Intheswamp

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I got my idea of there being too little sugar after looking at other (simple/basic) recipes on the internet and most were showing from 1.25lb to 2lb of added sugar per gallon. No math or calculations involved. This particular recipe called for 1lb per gallon of additional sugar. Another pound of sugar would put it in the 1-1/2lb sugar per gallon range.

What about pitching some wine yeast into the must. Make a starter and see what happens? I don't think there's a whole lot to lose so trying something is better than nothing. I've got some OLD KIV-1116 we might try making a starter from...see if any of it is viable and if not then no great loss. Worth a shot?

Thanks for the feedback, Paul. I appreciate it.
 

Scooter68

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Have you got a hydrometer? That's of of the most important least expensive tools for wine makers. The amount of sugar added, by pounds, cups etc is just a guess without a hydrometer reading. It's too late for this batch, at least to determine how much more to add orABV but it will tell you when the fermentation has stopped and if the fermentation consumed all available sugar.

Suggest you read the forum thread on using a hydrometer. If you are going to make wine, even just casually or sporadically, the hydrometer makes it all much much easier,.

There are a few other important tools of course but that's the first tool you need.
 

Intheswamp

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:? Now why haven't I already done this? I'm embarrassed to say I have a couple of hydrometers...can't seem to find my test tube at the mement but definitely can check the SG and see where it's at. Boy do I feel stoopid. :oops:

When I check the SG, if I find that there is sugar left would trying to re-start the ferment with added wine yeast possibly work?

Thanks for the logic/reality check. (Man, I'm not sure where that chunk of my brain went to...:eek:)
 

Scooter68

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Well given that the current estimate of the ABV is 9% the key will be just how sweet the wine tastes. And SG will give you a good idea of where it should be in terms of sweetness. Anything over 1.010 is going to be a tad too sweet for many folks, especially if the ABV is only 9%. If the SG is below 1.000 then restarting may be possible but you might need to do something to get a good starter ready because just dumping yeast into a must with that much alcohol is going to be a tough start. Most fruit wines taste better just slightly sweet - it brings out the flavor of the fruit. So the first step is to get that SG.
 

Intheswamp

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Thanks for the additional information...and a benchmark for the "too sweet" SG level. We will definitely make a starter and not pitch the yeast straight onto the must. I figure a slow sugar-water rehydration with a little must added after the initial rehydration...maybe a gradual adjustment to the must.
 

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