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farmhorse62

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i will check hydrometer when i get home tonight in water. i will also take new SG reading. and do a smell and taste test again and let you know the results.
5 gallon batch smells ok and taste high alcohol. SG-1.020. 3 gallon batch smells ok and taste good and sweet. SG-1.100. 3 gallon batch seems to be ok. Can I do anything to get the high alcohol taste out of the 5 gallon batch? Maybe put half of it in another vessel and add water?
 

buzi

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Definitely. Mix then between the 3 gallon jugs. They will also mellow over time. Hang in there!
 

Bossbaby

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over time it may mellow out, or blend it with another wine, water would dilute it.
 

winemaker81

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over time it may mellow out, or blend it with another wine, water would dilute it.
My exact thought -- don't add water.

Keep this one going, and make another wine with an ABV targeted around 10%-11%, and blend when both are clear.

Another thought -- use the wine for drinks, e.g., mix with fruit juice and seltzer, by the glass.
 

KCCam

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5 gallon batch smells ok and taste high alcohol. SG-1.020. 3 gallon batch smells ok and taste good and sweet. SG-1.100. 3 gallon batch seems to be ok. Can I do anything to get the high alcohol taste out of the 5 gallon batch? Maybe put half of it in another vessel and add water?
It's impossible to reduce the alcohol without severely affecting the taste. Once you have too much, you can't remove it. Just like back-sweetening, once you add too much sugar, you can't remove it. Your starting SG's seem very, very high. For an easy way to control the alcohol and the sweetness, adjust sugar at the beginning to produce the amount of alcohol you want. Ferment it completely dry to get that level of alcohol. Let it clear. Then stabilize and add sugar to make it almost as sweet as you like it. Listen to @winemaker81, he knows what he's talking about! I especially like his idea about mixing it with juice and/or seltzer by the glass, or perhaps tonic or Sprite.

I agree with @KCCam, that is a LOT of sugar. You'll get a very strong wine and it will likely have residual sugar.

@farmhorse62, it appears you did not record the original specific gravity (OG). If I understand correctly, the readings you posted are after fermentation started. Off hand, if the wine tastes ok at this time, you're probably going to get a successful batch. Jet fuel may be jealous of the potency of your wine, but as long as it tastes good!

Next time, change your procedure:
  • Crush the fruit, press out the juice (this assumes you don't want to ferment on the skins).
  • Check the SG of the juice. If it's between 1.080 and 1.100, you don't need to add sugar. If you need to add sugar, for 3 gallons of juice? Add a cup, stir well, check SG. Repeat until the SG is where you want it.
  • I wouldn't add water -- I see recipes that call for adding water, but that dilutes your juice.
  • Fermentation typically takes 5 to 8 days when the temperature is 65 F to 75 F. Once the SG gets below 1.010, you can rack and move to a carboy or other jugs. IF there is activity, leave a few inches of head space so you don't overflow the container.
If you want the wine stronger, add more sugar than I indicated {before fermentation}. If you want to back sweeten (scuppernong tastes stringent when dry, so a bit of sugar changes the taste), ferment it out dry. After the wine clears, add sorbate and sulfite (to prevent a renewed fermentation) and sweeten to taste.
And be diligent about recording SG levels. It really helps when troubleshooting and asking for help. Especially helpful are: before adding any sugar, before adding yeast, and current SG.
 
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