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Fast fermentation and very acidic/alcoholic taste

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Winestar

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Heya! Started brewing wine for the first time. Have brewn beer last time on school, which took my interest in brewing. I'm making a raspberry wine of which I made my own recipe, after comparing lots of recipes.

I've got a 5L demijohn, so I made a recipe for 6L. I used 3,25kg frozen raspberries, 0.6g tannins, 6g of pectic enzymes, 3g yeast nutrient, and then added water and sugar to top up to 6L and a SG of 1.085. I left it all with the fruits roaming free in my primary 25L bucket with the lid loose on top. No strange odours and the process is going well. Added 0.5g k-meta, 12 hours after the pectic enzyme followed with a yeaststarter. The yeaststarter I made with 4g of yeast in 250mL pure white grapejuice 2 days before. The yeaststarter was active in a mere 3 hours! The type of yeast is different than what I see around here. All I can say is that it's a saccharomyces cerevisiae var. cerevisiae with a tolerance up to 13% and for whites.

The primary fermentation is going very fast. Dropped to 1.080 after the first day, 1.040 the second day and 1.015 the third day (today). I'm going to siphon it into the demijohn tomorrow. When I check the SG and then throw the wine back, I keep a sip behind just to taste out of curiousity and to also taste the change.

oday I noticed that it tasted very strong like alcohol and very acidic. Since raspberries have high TA themselves, I'm not sure what to think about it. I could not find a lot to it. Is it normal for the most to taste like that? Or should I invest in an acidometer and correct if needed after fermentation?
 

ceeaton

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Heya! Started brewing wine for the first time. Have brewn beer last time on school, which took my interest in brewing. I'm making a raspberry wine of which I made my own recipe, after comparing lots of recipes.

I've got a 5L demijohn, so I made a recipe for 6L. I used 3,25kg frozen raspberries, 0.6g tannins, 6g of pectic enzymes, 3g yeast nutrient, and then added water and sugar to top up to 6L and a SG of 1.085. I left it all with the fruits roaming free in my primary 25L bucket with the lid loose on top. No strange odours and the process is going well. Added 0.5g k-meta, 12 hours after the pectic enzyme followed with a yeaststarter. The yeaststarter I made with 4g of yeast in 250mL pure white grapejuice 2 days before. The yeaststarter was active in a mere 3 hours! The type of yeast is different than what I see around here. All I can say is that it's a saccharomyces cerevisiae var. cerevisiae with a tolerance up to 13% and for whites.

The primary fermentation is going very fast. Dropped to 1.080 after the first day, 1.040 the second day and 1.015 the third day (today). I'm going to siphon it into the demijohn tomorrow. When I check the SG and then throw the wine back, I keep a sip behind just to taste out of curiousity and to also taste the change.

oday I noticed that it tasted very strong like alcohol and very acidic. Since raspberries have high TA themselves, I'm not sure what to think about it. I could not find a lot to it. Is it normal for the most to taste like that? Or should I invest in an acidometer and correct if needed after fermentation?
Raspberries are pretty acidic. I've had batches that didn't taste real good for almost a year, and they definitely improve with added age.

What temperature is your wine fermenting at? It's not unusual for a batch to get done in less than a week, but with fruit wines I tend to aim for a lower ferment temperature to hopefully retain more of the fruit flavors (they can be driven off by too vigorous of a ferment).

I personally wouldn't rush to rack it to a clean demijohn until your hydrometer doesn't show a change for a day or two (ie. let it go dry before racking it off the gross lees). But otherwise it looks like your raspberry wine is progressing in a pretty normal fashion. Give it some time before expecting it to taste wonderful is the best advice I can give.
 

Winestar

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Raspberries are pretty acidic. I've had batches that didn't taste real good for almost a year, and they definitely improve with added age.

What temperature is your wine fermenting at? It's not unusual for a batch to get done in less than a week, but with fruit wines I tend to aim for a lower ferment temperature to hopefully retain more of the fruit flavors (they can be driven off by too vigorous of a ferment).

I personally wouldn't rush to rack it to a clean demijohn until your hydrometer doesn't show a change for a day or two (ie. let it go dry before racking it off the gross lees). But otherwise it looks like your raspberry wine is progressing in a pretty normal fashion. Give it some time before expecting it to taste wonderful is the best advice I can give.
Yeah it's supposed to be going on for 6 months and then at least another 6 or12 in the bottle.

Temperature is fluctuating. I live in a student house and have it all in my room. And because the heating turns on and off in cycles, so does the temperature in my room. It can be a bit above room temperature now and then.

Isn't it bad to let it stay that long open?
 

ceeaton

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Isn't it bad to let it stay that long open?
I didn't realize it was an "open" fermentation. So yes, if you can move it to a container and get it under airlock, that would be a positive step to take. I came from a beer brewing background, so the only "open" fermentations I do are with whole grapes in a brute trash can, where I punch down the cap as it is fermenting. Once the cap thins out I press the grapes and move it into a container I can put an airlock on. I have never done a beer primary fermentaiton without an airlock since beer doesn't have a high enough alcohol level to protect it from nasties that might float into an open container.
 

Winestar

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I didn't realize it was an "open" fermentation. So yes, if you can move it to a container and get it under airlock, that would be a positive step to take. I came from a beer brewing background, so the only "open" fermentations I do are with whole grapes in a brute trash can, where I punch down the cap as it is fermenting. Once the cap thins out I press the grapes and move it into a container I can put an airlock on. I have never done a beer primary fermentaiton without an airlock since beer doesn't have a high enough alcohol level to protect it from nasties that might float into an open container.
Got it under an airlock now. Just had enough to fill 5L, but with a lot of gross lees still. Should not have it roaming free in the primary, it's a mess to get it off. I had a cheesecloth, but couldn't fit 3,25kg raspberries in it. Going to make quite some loss the next time I'll have to siphon :(. At least we're learning!
 

Scooter68

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Fermentation normally takes somewhere between 5-15 days in most cases with temps in the 65-75 degree range. So your ferment is running a little fast but nothing unusual. Acidity is normally high while fermentation is on going. It should drop soon after the fermentation stops as the gassing off winds down. New wines always have a bite/seem more acidic for at least a few month. The alcohol perception is also more pronounced at first especially with a milder tasting fruit. It all comes down to time - you are looking at perhaps another 4-6 months before it really starts to have a real wine taste to it. By open I hope you mean you have a cloth covering on it? Fermentations should ALWAYS have some sort of protection from bugs and airborne debris. Airlocks aren't needed until fermentation drops off below 1.010 and that's normally when you should be looking at racking/transferring it into a glass carboy.
 

Winestar

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I had the lid loose on top, so nothing could crawl in.

I racked it today, and noticed now that it has a foul odour. I can't describe the odour, neither can my housemate. It isn't pleasant at all and the raspberry odour is barely noticeable. What can it be? It isn't vinegar or rotten eggs as far as I know, but can't place the smell. I guess they're esters? Since the temperature was at the high end and it fermented very quickly.
 

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