Cranberry wine from pure cranberry juice, any tips?

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Dmaley

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An OG above 1.100 is more likely to cause problems. It doesn't matter what the fruit is, even with a yeast such as EC-1118.

What is the temperature?
I see, thanks for the tip. That may have been part of my problem. I started at 1.118. It's finally down to about 1.015 now but I have to restart it twice. Temp is about 75 F.
 

Dmaley

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1.118 - .992(dry) x 131 = 16.5% ABV. That's pretty hot for a fruit wine which IMHO should end at 12.5% to have a good flavor profile.
OK, thanks for the info. I'll keep this in mind next time.
 

winemaker81

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I see, thanks for the tip. That may have been part of my problem. I started at 1.118. It's finally down to about 1.015 now but I have to restart it twice. Temp is about 75 F.
Most who aim for high ABV start with a moderate OG, then step feed the must, small amounts of sugar at a time, to avoid overwhelming the yeast. I've done that -- overwhelming the yeast, and in one instance could not get the fermentation restarted -- I bottled the wine and decided it was a dessert wine. [Make the best of what you got!] It's actually a pretty good dessert wine so I accept it as a win.

In this situation my last feed was 30 points, from 1.002 to 1.032. Doing it again, I'd have used 10 point increments.

Another possibility is nutrients. The yeast eats sugar, but needs various nutrients to be healthy. This is one reason why mead can be hard to make -- honey is sugar and has no nutrients. If you haven't been adding nutrient, doing so may help.

What does the wine taste like at SG 1.015? It's green, but should have a decent taste which will improve with age. If the SG won't drop, you may need to call it done. My guess is that it's tasty and cranberry needs a fair amount of backsweetening anyway, 1.015 equates to about 3.8 brix, which is a reasonable level.

IMO this is a successful result (if the wine tastes good). You get a palatable wine while learning valuable lessons that will shape your future winemaking endeavors!
 

Dmaley

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Most who aim for high ABV start with a moderate OG, then step feed the must, small amounts of sugar at a time, to avoid overwhelming the yeast. I've done that -- overwhelming the yeast, and in one instance could not get the fermentation restarted -- I bottled the wine and decided it was a dessert wine. [Make the best of what you got!] It's actually a pretty good dessert wine so I accept it as a win.

In this situation my last feed was 30 points, from 1.002 to 1.032. Doing it again, I'd have used 10 point increments.

Another possibility is nutrients. The yeast eats sugar, but needs various nutrients to be healthy. This is one reason why mead can be hard to make -- honey is sugar and has no nutrients. If you haven't been adding nutrient, doing so may help.

What does the wine taste like at SG 1.015? It's green, but should have a decent taste which will improve with age. If the SG won't drop, you may need to call it done. My guess is that it's tasty and cranberry needs a fair amount of backsweetening anyway, 1.015 equates to about 3.8 brix, which is a reasonable level.

IMO this is a successful result (if the wine tastes good). You get a palatable wine while learning valuable lessons that will shape your future winemaking endeavors!
It's not got a bad flavor. Still very yeasty and still just a tad sweet for my liking but not too bad. I know the tartness will need some sugar to tame it down a bit anyway, if fermented till dry. My last starter I added, which was about 10 days ago, I rehydrate the yeast with go ferm then added 3 tsp nutrient (in a 6 gallon batch), 3 days later. Days 2-6 it fermented at a good rate (a light foam on it). I started with a gallon starter and added the must over a 4 day period.It slowed down after day 6 or 7 but I can still see it is churning and it's still giving off aroma. If I can get the SG down just a bit more I will call it and stop fermentation. And BTW, thanks for all of the tips! This is definetly a learning process and there is still a lot learn, I'm sure. Your help is very much appreciated. 🙂
 

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