Curious behavior in berry wine

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dderemiah

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I am making a mixed berry wine from frozen berry mixes I got from Trader Joes (I have tasted them after thawing and they are tasty). After following a recipe I measured SG of 1.08. After reading up, I know that I made a few rookie mistakes. I let the must sit for 24 hours after the campden tablet. Then added the nutrient, pectic and yeast all at the same time. I started the must in a large glass container that had a wide opening and covered it with plastic wrap. It started bubbling like crazy and smelled great. I punched down the nylon bag of mushed fruit twice in 4 days. On the 6th day I was concerned about the opening not being airtight enough and poured the must into a plastic fermenter that had an air-lock while it was still really active and removed the bag of fruit. The SG was 1.0 on the dot after it all settled. It stopped bubbling but was still visibly fizzing, so I decided to rack it to a glass carboy and topping off with some simple syrup with the hope of up-ing the AC and giving the yeast something to eat as well. Now, it has been 4 days and there are still tiny bubbles rising and the airlock bubbles every once and a while. When do I rack it again? Do I wait for the fizzy bubbles to stop? Have I ruined the batch by moving it too soon?
 

Tom

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I think it may be to late for the simple syrup to do anything since it was almost dry nad yopu racked. Good chance the yeast is dead or shocked.
Mistake.. you do not want more alcohol in any fruit wine because it will overpower the fruit.
I would suggest to degas and check the gravity for 2 days and get back here
How big a batch?
 

dderemiah

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Will do. It is a 2.5 Gallon batch. Is the fizzing just CO2 being release and not yeast activity? Do you think that moving the must too soon might have stopped the yeast?
 

Madriver Wines

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I doubt moving it hurt the yeast. Degassing will help the wine clear and should get rid of those pesky bubbles. Some berry wines are slow to completely ferment. Hard to judge what the gravity should be since adding the syrup but it should of read .990 when completely done fermenting. Check the gravity for a couple days and see if it changes even a little.
 

non-grapenut

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Stopping Fermentation

Will do. It is a 2.5 Gallon batch. Is the fizzing just CO2 being release and not yeast activity? Do you think that moving the must too soon might have stopped the yeast?
Best way to find out is to rerack with 2.5 crushed Campden tablets or whatever you are using to start stabilization. You are already at the s/g you need to be, unless you are trying to increase the alcohol content. If you are trying for a higher alcohol hooch, you want to leave it alone until you see a good amount of sediment at the bottom of your fermenting vessel (yeast is floculating/dying) and then use the Campden in racking. Berry must runs high in Malic acid, which can even encourage carbonation. Unfortunate if you bottle early (busted bottles,) but fortunate if you have a system to bottle using champagne stoppers (fizzy berry...yum.)
 

mmadmikes1

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Rack it and let it set
Degassing will help clearing. Letting it age cant hurt, bottling early will give you fizzy wine but also leave dead yeast in bottles and that will effect flavor to the negitive side. Campden tablets will not stop fermentation. Rushing wine to bottles is not a recommended practice
 

dderemiah

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I degassed last night and will take a SG reading tonight. I am not in any hurry to bottle and have no problem with letting it sit. It sounds like there isn't any problem and I should not ditch the batch. Should I rack it again in a few weeks or can I just leave it alone for bulk aging?
 

smurfe

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Welcome aboard. Just wanted to say never ditch a batch unless when you take a sip it makes you vomit. Wine go through some really funky stages on it's journey.
 

non-grapenut

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Welcome aboard. Just wanted to say never ditch a batch unless when you take a sip it makes you vomit. Wine go through some really funky stages on it's journey.
So TRUE! I had some lavendar/rose hip wine I made a year ago and I opened it this weekend and it was amazing, similar to a cognac.:r
 

dderemiah

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I racked it a week ago to pull it off the lees on the bottom of the carboy by siphoning it to a plastic bucket and cleaning the glass carboy. While I was doing that I took a taste and it was too dry. I added the recommended amount of campden to the wine and then stirred in sugar to taste. I didn't have the Pot Sorbate at the time. Is it enough to just kill the yeast with campden? What will happen if I leave out the PS? I put it back into the glass and topped off with vodka and put it under airlock. There aren't any bubbles and it looks and tastes just OK (a little light on the flavor). I think this is one that I will let age for a year and see if it gets better because it isn't very good right now, compared to the apple wine and kit merlot that I have made. They were pretty tasty at 6 weeks.
 

louise

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Hi,
My father's family lives in Berry, and I can tell you that people who live there are all strange, so it is not a surprise that berry wine arre strange too :)
 

non-grapenut

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I racked it a week ago to pull it off the lees on the bottom of the carboy by siphoning it to a plastic bucket and cleaning the glass carboy. While I was doing that I took a taste and it was too dry. I added the recommended amount of campden to the wine and then stirred in sugar to taste. I didn't have the Pot Sorbate at the time. Is it enough to just kill the yeast with campden? What will happen if I leave out the PS? I put it back into the glass and topped off with vodka and put it under airlock. There aren't any bubbles and it looks and tastes just OK (a little light on the flavor). I think this is one that I will let age for a year and see if it gets better because it isn't very good right now, compared to the apple wine and kit merlot that I have made. They were pretty tasty at 6 weeks.
If your wine is weak, now is the time to add more oomph to it! More berry juice or crushed berries tied off in a nylon knee-high. You probably have some yeast left in there. Yes. It may cloud up again, but you have time to let it sit and fine. As for adding no sorbate at the end--you will find divided feedback on this one. If you intend to drink your bottled wine in 1-2 years, text books say you are ok as sorbate is a stabilizer/preservative. My experience has been OK with using just campden at bottling. I have had some bad experiences with sorbate and the only thing you can do if too much was added is to ferment another batch and blend.
 

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