First Batch Noob, Asking the Obvious (Wild Fruit)

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by E Riehle, Jan 6, 2019.

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  1. Jan 18, 2019 #21

    sour_grapes

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    I do not understand what you are saying here. Did you mean to say that you think there is still sugar?
     
  2. Jan 18, 2019 #22

    E Riehle

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    Oh, no no no no....sorry for that. What I meant to say (and did a lousy job of) was that I'm sure ferment had ceased, being as the hydrometer read at .998 for a week. No, this is perhaps the dryest wine I've ever tasted.
     
  3. Jan 19, 2019 #23

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

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    So what's the verdict?
     
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  4. Jan 19, 2019 #24

    E Riehle

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    Definitely wine, the fruit and sweet are there, but an astringent overpowers very quickly, I have no doubt the acid I was warned against, hence the need for a test kit. Definitely going to be good once the acid is adjusted. The smell is still odd, but not offensive.

    Cheers!

    20190118_202022.jpg
     
  5. Jan 19, 2019 #25

    ThreeSheetsToTheWind

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    The taste will get better as it clears for sure. The smell might be the CO2 still escaping in good quantity. You can definitely smell it before it stops degassing, especially if it's been sitting for a bit and you remove the airlock and take a sniff (Hey! Stop taking the airlock off and messing with it lol.)

    When I first started making fruit wine about 15 years ago, I was instructed by the guy who ran the LHBS to never under any circumstance ever backsweeten a wine. That advice held me back terribly. A touch of sweetness can really help balance things out and if i were you I would experiment when the time is right.
     
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  6. Jan 27, 2019 #26

    E Riehle

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    OK, maybe someone can help me with the chemistry here: I finally received an acid test kit and a bottle of pH test strips. The test strip was an easy read, pH is at the dark side of 4.0.

    The acid test spooks me a bit. I followed their instructions to the letter, 15 cc wine, 3 drops phenolphthalein, started with approx. 1 cc of neutralizer at a time, agitating the wine with each cc.

    There was NO color change at all until I reached about 12 cc of neutralizer, but my wine sample was jet black by 14. By that process my wine should be around 6-7% acidity...uh, am I wrong? or did I just make chokecherry vinegar? Yes, there's an astringent taste component, but it sure doesn't have a vinegar flavor.

    Any suggestions? The kit included an acid blend, but I'm not sure what to "deacidify" my must with.

    Yes, I'd read that testing for acid was best BEFORE ferment, my bad....
     
  7. Jan 27, 2019 #27

    Johnd

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    If you did the TA test / calcs properly, and your must is .6% - .7% (or 6 - 7 g/liter), you’re not in a bad spot at all. The pH reading of 4.0 + is suspect at that level of acidity, but strips aren’t all that accurate anyway. A good digital pH meter will help your confidence in both your pH and TA readings. I wouldn’t monkey with the acidity until I was totally confident in the numbers.

    I assume you intend to sweeten the wine. Let the wine clear and get a little age on it, then do some bench trials with sugar, it’s amazing how a little sweetness will overcome and mellow the things you detect as being slightly off.
     
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  8. Jan 27, 2019 #28

    Stressbaby

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    What strength is your sodium hydroxide?
    If 0.1N your numbers sound right and most likely any "astringency" is something else.
    If 0.2N, your acid is more like 1.2-1.4g/L. Deacidifying can be tricky, don't make any hasty moves.
     
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  9. Jan 27, 2019 #29

    E Riehle

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    Yes, 0.2N.

    I'm pretty much here for the education, not really making too many moves without input from you veteran winemakers.

    I am going to give it a few days and test again, also order a meter for pH. No sweetening or de-acidifying is in my immediate future...

    Thanks
     
  10. Jan 28, 2019 #30

    Rice_Guy

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    You have me laughing, partly because I have washed the foam off the side of a fermenter too.
    One story off the wine club last fall. Choke cherry has astringent flavor notes (like alum) and will taste less astringent/ really smooth at 10 years. It is one of the country wines to plan to age. Flavors change & SO2 blows off the air lock, so I wouldn’t worry about off odors yet.
    Have never tried this one, good luck.
     
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  11. Jan 28, 2019 #31

    Rice_Guy

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    I ignore TA in fruit wines. The typical acid is citric and will not crystallize out, and will not respond to a malolactic fermentation. You could lower it with CalciumCarbonate. TA is useful in grape products, especially northern grapes where the goal is to make a smoother shorter lasting flavor. Think if a developer put potassium citrate in a dry drink mix they are building depth of flavor (ie TA).
    I run fruits against the pH meter with a goal of 3.2 to 3.4. To me pH is a preservative which prevents most micro problems, makes meta work better (they age better), gives a fresh flavor.
     
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  12. Jan 28, 2019 #32

    E Riehle

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    Happy I could entertain a bit, in another life I was a professional rock and roll star, at least until I found out that I was the only one who knew my name...

    I'm getting some real top shelf input here, and appreciate it. That astringent component was a concern, but I'm willing to let this age for as long as it would like to be a little smoother. The odor is moderating, but gassing-off is really gotten slow, down to a blurble or two per hour, if that much.

    This is all over a gallon+ of wine, what--5 bottles max? My first 6 gallon ferment is going to be rhubarb, in about 4 & a half months.

    I'd love to know what's with that bubblegum flavor that weaves through this stuff. I make a LOT of chokecherry jellies, with and without hawt tropical peppers, and the Bazooka Joe has never presented itself before...the yeast perhaps? I need to try someone else's chokecherry wine once to note the differences. I'd found that one of the moderators here is local to me and his winery produces a chokecherry. I just have to find a bottle of it...
     
  13. Feb 2, 2019 #33

    Stressbaby

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    Bubblegum in wine is known to come from carbonic maceration.

    If you plan to age the wine 5 years or more you might consider bottling with SO2 on the higher end of the range.
     
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  14. Feb 2, 2019 #34

    MJD

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    Unless you’re dealing with a bacterial growth or nasty sulfur aroma, there usually isn’t a reason to make any hasty moves with wine, especially where adjustments are concerned. Broad statement, not meant for every situation....but it’s usually true.

    In this case, I would let it sit for a few months and see how the taste develops. That astringency will likely dissipate with some time. See how that goes, and you can consider adjustments once it runs a few months.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2019 #35

    E Riehle

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    I was thinking that I'd just let it age that "few months" in the carboy it's already in. It's now in a dark 59-to-63 degree (F) room in the cellar, bubbler still attached. The wine I've been testing and tasting is from the half-gallon "topper" jug, mixed with the carboy during the last rack. I intend to test for acid and pH later today, if FedEx will just deliver the new pH meter...

    ...and yeah, the consensus seems to fall into a multi-year aging process, so that is also part of the plan....
     
  16. Feb 6, 2019 #36

    E Riehle

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    The electronical pH meter was finally delivered last night. The reading is 3.89.

    Acid test #2 will comence after the driveway is cleared of our latest 5 inches....

    *edit*
    Ok, a kinder, gentler acid result: color change began at 6cc of hydroxide 0.2N, jet black at 9cc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  17. Feb 6, 2019 #37

    Scooter68

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    As someone already suggested, if you plan to make more wine, you will never regret investing in a good digital pH meter.

    You can take very accurate readings of both pH and TA with it. Plus you only need to.biy one chemical for TA testing and you don't have to watch for a color change.
     

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