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Deye Busyu

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I am making my first batch of wine right now. I decided on a raspberry wine recipe that looked good and started it from scratch. When the S.G reached 1.030, I racked it into my secondary carboy. It's been there for about 10 days. I checked the S.G. and it reads at 1.000. Now, from my first measurements, if I read the hydrometer correctly, this wine should be about 10% - 12%. There is still a fair amount of bubbles and C02 being released. Is that normal? I tasted it and it tastes very much like alcohol and not as much like raspberries. In a glass, it is very thin and the wine has no legs. Will this change with time or will it pretty much stay like this? Is there any way to make this wine a little more bold with flavor and a little less boozy?

Help! I don't want to end up bottling this and giving it to the homeless guys in my back alley!
 

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Rocco
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I work off the brix scale rather than the SG so I am not sure what the equivalent is. I recently made a raspberry and blackberry wine and let it ferment in the primary bucket until the brix reached 0. That told me the primary fermentation was just about complete. I the transferred the wine to one gal jugs (I made 2 gals) with airlocks to let the wine settle out. I had a few bubbles over the next couple of days. My wine is a deep red color but that may be because of the blackberries. I'm curious to know your process, did you add water and sugar to the juice before starting the fermentation. for the 2 1/2 gals of juice I ended up with after pressing the berries I only added a 1/2 gal of water with enough sugar to bring the alcohol up to 12%. So maybe my wine is darker because I used so little water. Most recipies I saw called for substantially more water.

Sounds like your wine is still fermenting and hasn't reached complete dryness yet. That is normal. If your wine is lite in color it won't get any darker. Legs are not an indicator of quality but rather the alcohol present in the wine. If you don't have a lot of legs or they evaporate too quickly the alcohol content is probably low.

I don't know why your wine is lacking the raspberry flavor. One explanation is that you used too much water and diluted it too much. This is why I opted to use as little water as possible. However, my wine came out very tart. Too tart to be enjoyable. So now I need to figure out how to reduce the acid. I tried potassium bicarbonate (an acid reducer) but didn't get the wine to where I need it. Any suggestions??? I thought about, and this may help you get a deeper color, about macerating some more berries, perhaps to get another gallon of juice (without putting it through fermentation) and adding it to the wine. Does anyone know if this will work? or have other ideas?
 

Deye Busyu

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I'm making a whopping five gallons. Don't ask why I made so much for my first try. Anyway, according to my measurements, my alcohol content should only be about 12% and that's probably what it is, is just tastes really strong. The color is a really rich, deep red which I like. I did add sugar and water before fermenting and you may be right, maybe I used too much water. The wine seems really thinned out and I wasn't sure if it's a trait of raspberry wine or if it's because of the previously mentioned possible problem. I was thinking of adding more juice but I would not want to start or continue the fermentation more then it should. I don't think raspberries have enough natural sugar to do so but...

Anyone else know for sure?

As for the tartness of your wine? I'm not sure-- wine conditioner? I'm taking a shot in the dark with the little knowledge I have acquired.
 

Sacalait

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Wine maker,
Potassium bicarbonate will only bring the acid (tartaric) down marginally. Did you refrigerate while the K-bicarb was in the wine? This is generally a 2-3 week process. If you've taken these steps then blending may be your only option other than adding enough sweetener to balance out the acid.
 
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Sacalait

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I'm making a whopping five gallons. Don't ask why I made so much for my first try. Anyway, according to my measurements, my alcohol content should only be about 12% and that's probably what it is, is just tastes really strong. The color is a really rich, deep red which I like. I did add sugar and water before fermenting and you may be right, maybe I used too much water. The wine seems really thinned out and I wasn't sure if it's a trait of raspberry wine or if it's because of the previously mentioned possible problem. I was thinking of adding more juice but I would not want to start or continue the fermentation more then it should. I don't think raspberries have enough natural sugar to do so but...

Anyone else know for sure?

As for the tartness of your wine? I'm not sure-- wine conditioner? I'm taking a shot in the dark with the little knowledge I have acquired.
You stated that you can still see bubbles in the carboy. This could and is likely entrained CO2 since you stated that the SG was 1.00 or lower. Should this be the case, degassing is the way to go. You can get a wine whip for degassing from most brew shops. This is nothing but a rod that fits on a hand drill, the instructions come with it.
 

Deye Busyu

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so if I degas it, rack it again (there is still sediment) and top it up with raspberry juice, is it possible to add more taste without loosing the alcohol aspect and just making it juice? Or should I make a gallon of raspberry juice into wine and mix it in with my current wine?
 

Sacalait

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You can add additional juice but be sure to add K-sorbate first. If it were me I'd degas first (do this outside, you could have a volcano there) give it 4-5 days or until clear then rack and add the sorbate. Again wait 2-3 days and add the juice. When the juice is added you will dilute the alcohol but there is a trade off there because of the additional flavor, just depends on what you want. Remember, wine making takes a little patience.
 

Deye Busyu

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I figure I will make an additional gallon of raspberry from straight juice, with no water and top off with that, hopefully adding a more bold flavor, without affecting the alcohol.
 

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Rocco
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Thanks Muscadine. I did cold stabilize after I added the P. Bicarbonate and it's been only a week so I'll wait 2 more weeks and see where it's at. I only added 8 grams to the gallon I am treating. The other gallon I left untreated until I know what I'm doing. The instructions say to add no more than 15 g per gallon so if after 2 more weeks it's not down enough I'll try one more dose of 4 g. After that I'll have to start blending. What do you think of the idea of adding fresh juice to reduce the acid further? I know that I'll need to add Potassium Sorbate to prevent refermentation.
 

Sacalait

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Wine maker,
Adding more juice may solve some of the acid problems but be aware that you may have to deal with a pectic haze problem if you do. Just my thoughts...good luck.
 

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Rocco
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Thanks again Muscadine. I didn't consider the pectic haze that may occur. I am going to try adding the juice. I'll sulfite the juice and add some pectic enzyme before adding it to the wine and see what happens.
 

Skie_M

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Keep in mind that if you add additional sugars (in the form of juice or otherwise) at this stage, you may just kick off another fermentation cycle ...


If you want to reduce your alcohol percentage, dilution by adding a fruit juice or water (if the fruit taste is already quite strong) can work, but I would suggest adding a sodium metabisulfite (campden tablets) to the wine to kill off the yeast and stop any further fermentation.


Another possibility would be to use the campden tablets to halt fermentation early, so that you don't use up all the juices and sugars that are present in the must. This would lower the alcohol content without having to dilute your wine with other agents.
 

cintipam

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Please forgive me speaking up here, but it sounds like what you really need is to give your wine some time, then when it is more mature to do bench tests to determine how much inverted sugar to add for the sweetness to balance out the acid. Raspberry is a very delicate flavor, easy to overcome. It would have been good to use the correct yeast to help cut down the acid (71B) but now that you are here just try balancing with invert sugar. Most fruit wines need more sugar than grape wines do in order to help the fruit flavor come thru.

Please let the wine age and drop the dead yeast before you rack, sorbate and add Kmeta. Kmeta and sorbate will NOT kill yeast or stop an active ferment. It requires time and using those tools correctly or else you create wine bottle bombs. Only backsweeten when you are sure the wine is clear and stable.

Pam in cinti
 

Arne

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Welcome to the forum, Skie. I believe you are doing a bunch of research. You found a thread that is 7 years old or so. Anyway, you have given some good advise, only I would not rely on the campden (k-meta) to stop a fermentation. It mite stun it, but it is likely to take off again. Good having you here, Arne.
 
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