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Could wine that turned to vinegar contain alcohol?

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PricklyPear

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I decided to check the alcohol content of the fruit wines that turned sour before I throw them away. To my surprise I got 9% alcohol with the vinometer. could it be that the vinegar bacteria turned only part of the alcohol into vinegar, or is the wine just too young and this is way it is sour? I was also surprised to find that it tastes less sour than it did about a month ago.
 

Luc

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First a vinometer is not a reliable instrument.
Try measuring the alcohol content of pure water, you might be surprised.

Next sour does not necessary mean vinegar.
Sour means high acid.

Go to the kitchen and smell at a bottle of vinegar.
Next smell the wine, I bet they do not smell the same !!!

I think what you are experiencing is a young wine that is mellowing out.
Just think why all the wines in the stores are at least 1 year old.

Patience is the key here.

Just wait, it will even be better in a few months.

Luc
 

PricklyPear

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Thanks for the answer.
I know that vinometer is not reliable but I figured that it could give me some clue about the alcohol content.

I believe you're right about the wine being young and mellowing out, but the weird thing is that I've never experienced it with wines before.
Could this difference be a result of changing the yeasts I am using? I started using DV10 yeasts which should yield a fruitier aroma. (I used Montrachet before)
 

Luc

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All fruit wines are different.
All wines are different.

I made an apple wine once and drank it as a young wine
then I saved some bottles. Next year the taste was
completely different. Much more mellowed out.

Same goes for dandelion wine. I make 30 liters last
year. When I tasted it after a few months I thought
I made cats-pee. But then a year later !!!! It is really delicious.
So I am glad I made another 30 liters this year.

I made a kiwi wine 2 years ago and thought it was awfull.
I tried tasting it after a year and it still was awfull.
I made another batch last year, and guess what ???
It was again awfull.
I think Dutch kiwi's are not meant to make wine with.
I poured it down the drain.

So it all depends on what kind of wine you are making
and all other factors involved.

Major rule however is that most wines will improve with time.

Luc
 

PricklyPear

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Thanks Luc, I guess I will have to wait and see how it goes.

I have two questions though (regardless of the state of my wine):
1. Can vinegar contain alcohol? In other words, if your wine contains alcohol does it mean it is fine (not vinegar)?
2. Vinometers are not accurate, but what does a vinometer reading tell us? Is there a known error margin? Can we use it to get a rough estimation of the alcohol content?

Thanks.
 

Luc

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Thanks Luc, I guess I will have to wait and see how it goes.

I have two questions though (regardless of the state of my wine):
1. Can vinegar contain alcohol? In other words, if your wine contains alcohol does it mean it is fine (not vinegar)?
2. Vinometers are not accurate, but what does a vinometer reading tell us? Is there a known error margin? Can we use it to get a rough estimation of the alcohol content?

Thanks.
Prickley,

Vinegar is made by bacteria.
They 'eat' alcohol and make vinegar from it.
So if there is alcohol in your wine it is not safe unless:
- if the alcohol percentage is above 9% viegar bacteria can not survive in that envirionment.
- Vinegar bacteria need oxygen
- Campden can inhibit some vinegar bacteria. (mind the words can and some).

This is why you normally need to get the alcohol up as soon
as possible.
Problem is that both vinegar and bacteria like oxygen in the first fase of fermentation. So press down the cap often and the vinegar bacteria will submerge where no air is available.

Test the vinometer with water and you now the deviation.....
Then and even then it is not reliable.

Luc
 
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