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Did I add too much water

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Zigfish

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I am new to wine making - so perhaps i am in wrong forum, but here is my question. It relates to a 6.5 gallon carboy i have been using.

I am in process of making a batch of elderberry wine from dried berries. initial SG in fermentor 1.101, left it in 5 days went to 1.00, then transferred to 6.5 gallon carboy. I added more water in the fermentor to compensate i thought, but forgot about loss of fruit volume. anyway way short from full, so i added 1.5 liter of wine (commercial bought red)and 5 qts of water to top off. now i am wondering if my wine will be to low in alcohol to keep.

If i did my math right i figure i had 13.5% alchohol before diluting to 10% with the water. Its been in the carboy for 3 days. about an inch of what looks like pulp in the bottom. I am wondering if i should rerack and add sugar to get alchohol content up?
 

jburtner

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What was your initial recipe? You might be abke to add sugar to raise ABV and you might be bale to add fruit or other ingredients to enhance flavor / etc.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Zigfish

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SG was 1.101 after setting overnight before fermenting. had 2.5 lbs of dried elderberries, 13 lbs of sugar

Just checked SG again and it was down to .992. Does that mean alcohol level is OK? Can you determine alcohol level if all you know is final SG?

did an on line calculator, and had 1.00 sg after adding water when transferred, if i use that and plug in as initial and .992 as final it gives me 1%. i assume that means if my calcs are correct alcohol is now 11%?
 

jburtner

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You can use fermcalc to compute your sugar and water additions and initial / final SG readings.

http://web2.airmail.net/sgross/fermcalc/FermCalcJS.html

I get almost 11% ABV potential alcohol with 13lbs of sugar and 6.5gal water - The elderberries would add some potential as well but not too much...

How does it taste regarding flavor? My gut instinct tells me that you would want more fruit than 2.5lbs dried elderberry.

I would probably consider this batch a good learning experience and ~11% should be a good ABV but racking off the sediment will help prevent spoilage.

You should add about 1/4tsp KMETA to also prevent spoilage and maybe even add fruit of some sort to secondary to add some flavor and body if you feel that it's lacking. Maybe dried fruit maybe fresh but also expect it to restart fermentation with any added sweetness - at least up until the higher ABV kills the yeast.

One rule of thumb that I have seen is to estimate about 10lbs of fresh fruit per gallon of finished fruit wine. Elderberries being pretty thick and strong flavored - "less than 10lbs" but for highest quality fruit wine water is not really "adding anything" except volume and watering down the flavor...

Cheers!
-johann
 

Zigfish

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Thanks for the advise, flavor seams strong enough, and the recommended dried elderberries from several sources was per gallon was 1/4lb. yes good learning experience.

Basic recipe was from Sicilian Prince web site - except for my mistakes.
 
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