Fermentation Question ?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by cheng, Mar 13, 2018.

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating using the link above.
Tags:
  1. cheng

    cheng Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi.
    I'm wondering if it would be alright to not ferment a Fruit Wine totally dry to S.G. 1.000 instead stop the fermentation at S.G. 1.020 to save myself the back-sweeten process.
    For example start with S.G. 1.120 and stop at S.G. 1.020 or even a little less depending on the sweetness.
    This would give me about a wine of 13% ABV.
    Any feedback would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,759
    Likes Received:
    797
    Common thought is NOT to do this. Stopping a fermentation with fermentable sugars present is: 1) Tough to do and not always a lasting 'stop' - meaning during the aging process fermentation could restart. Even adding Sorbate is not a guarantee. Better allow fermentation to finish. Back-sweetening isn't that hard to do. 2) And if you succeed in stopping that fermentation, who's to say that 1.020 may be too sweet for you. So much easier to start with a dry wine and sweeten until you really have what you want instead of guessing with the outcome.

    Also - Watch the video on this thread to learn about making your back-sweetening sugar an "Invert Sugar" how and why & It's not hard to do at all.

    https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/mixing-the-sugar-for-backsweetening.64739/
     
    BigH likes this.
  3. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,551
    Likes Received:
    894
    If you somehow had the ability to cool the wine to just above freezing you would halt the yeasts activity and it will fall to the bottom. You may also notice some clearing. I think the recommended timeframe is 3-5 days. After that you would rack it to another carboy but you want to be careful not to disturb the sediment on the bottom. I'm not a big fan of sorbates so I sterile filter mine. But since you will be getting rid of the majority of the yeast hulls a small amount of sorbate and the proper amount of sulfites should do the trick.
     
  4. NorCal

    NorCal Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    1,801
    Location:
    Placer County, CA
    Unless you sterile filter, you have to assume yeast are always in the wine, until there is no food (sugar) or the environment is hostile. Stopping fermentation would mean making the environment making it hot, cold, alcoholic and then preventing it from ever seeing normal conditions in the bottle. In the end, it’s hard to stop a freight train. Let it finish, then sorbate and back sweeten.
     
  5. cheng

    cheng Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    ....... thanks to all your replies.
    Was just an idea and like you guys said, probably better to back-sweeten afer fermented dry .......
     
  6. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,617
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs
    But you could try cold crashing (a la brewer's technique) to get the yeast to drop out of suspension and then rack into a sanitized carboy and repeat this process two or three times. If this were me, I would refrigerate all the bottles AND would fill one plastic bottle with this wine. This bottle I would not refrigerate. If it becomes brick hard I would know that there is yeast still in solution AND the yeast are gobbling up the residual sugars. If the plastic bottle remains "squishable" after two or three months I would assume that you have removed all the viable yeast cells and it looks safe to store the wine under normal conditions.
     
    mainshipfred likes this.
  7. BigH

    BigH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    61
    What I don't like about halting a fermentation is that before you can kill the yeast or get it to settle out, you are going to be stressing it, which could create off flavors. Plus, it is hard to get the timing right.

    My preferred approach is to chaptalize to a lower starting gravity that achieves the ABV I want when fermentation is allowed to complete to dryness. I go through most of the wine making process, then add sorbate and backsweeten with an invert sugar syrup (as mentioned earlier). There is just a lot less that can wrong with this approach, IMO.

    btw, 13% ABV is a touch hot for fruit wine. Many people keep their fruit wines below 11 %.

    H
     
  8. cheng

    cheng Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    ....... what's wrong with a higher ABV in fruit wines ?

    Mine are usually around 15% .......
     
  9. Donatelo

    Donatelo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Ada, Oklahoma
    Nothing wrong about that, Cheng. Like the man said, "I can drink fruit juice any time."
    But back on topic : It seems to me that the proper way to hit the right ABV is to start at the right SG and end up dry at the end with the desired ABV, then back sweeten carefully. Easy does it with the back sweetening. Once it is in there , you can't take it out.
     
  10. BigH

    BigH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    61
    There is nothing wrong with it. Make and drink what you like. The articles and posts I have read claim that the alcohol can overpower the taste of the fruit if your ABV is too high.
     
  11. cheng

    cheng Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    ....... alright, thanks again.
    Just fermented a batch dry to about 13% ABV which will loose a bit of that after back-sweeten.
    Racked it of the yeast yesterday, added sorbate and metabisulfite together with sparkolloid and waiting for it to clear now.
    Let's see if it will taste more fruity with a lower alcohol level compared to 15% .......
     

Share This Page