Quantcast

Hi all

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

DaveyG

Junior
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Newb here from the Pacific Northwest America. I recently got the crazy idea to try my hand at (very) small batch wine creation. My parents have a small Concord grape vine, and my sister made juice from them and gave me a handful of quart jars. I purchased some 71b-1122 yeast on eBay, as well as a couple cheap airlocks, and a hydrometer. My first attempt (with the homemade Concord grape juice) was quite a failure. I added some water and sugar, per a online suggestion I found, and the abv seemed ok once finished, and aged about 2 months, but the taste was awful (I taste tested a tiny amount each week for those 2 months, it was bad from the start and never got better) But I had the itch, so I went and purchased some unfiltered apple juice in a glass bottle at the grocer, poured a few small glasses for my kids, added 2 cups of standard granulated bleached cane sugar, and my yeast, and fermented. Aged one month now, and it’s made a lightly carbonated ‘cider’ that has a dry start, quite sweet aftertaste, and will definitely get ya drunk. But I’ve had difficulty testing it with my hydrometer. I didn’t have the hydrometer when I started it, so had no base test point, and now the hydrometer reads what I would call ‘negative 20%’ I assume it’s the carbonation that is making the hydrometer testing innefective? Is there any other method of testing for abv? Or should I just buy more juice and make a larger batch using the same proportions and just hope for the same end results? I suppose I could guess my recipe had over 40% sugar content before pitching, and the abv reached a level high enough to kill the yeast (approximately 15% I believe with 71b-1122) yet still had ample sugar to retain the sweet aftertaste? Anyone else have a similar experience? Could the lightly carbonated effect be similar to champagne where the yeast doesn’t completely die off, just becomes somewhat dormant beyond a certain abv and then continues releasing carbon dioxide? Sorry for the book, I just greatly enjoy this new hobby!
 
Last edited:

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,421
Reaction score
9,567
Location
near Milwaukee
Firstly, we do not discuss distillation in this forum. At all.

For a standard wine, at the end of fermentation, the hydrometer will indeed read a specific gravity that is less than 1.000, i.e., "negative." This is because alcohol has a density less than that of water. However, I do not know what you mean when you say "negative 20%." Many hydrometers have 3 scales on them: specific gravity, Brix, and Potential Alcohol. These, respectively, have ranges of (approximately, don't quote me here), 0.980 to 1.160; -2 to 32; -1% to 22%. Which scale were you reading?
 

DaveyG

Junior
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I mean the hydrometer floats with the 0% line visible about 1.5cm above the height of the fluid. I can push it down, but it buoys back up to 1.5cm above the fluid. If I place the hydrometer in other liquids, say 80 proof liquor, it reads (close to) 40% on the hydrometer, with 0% below the surface of the fluid. What would cause these results? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks! I will edit my previous comment momentarily.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,421
Reaction score
9,567
Location
near Milwaukee
Sounds like you have a hydrometer that is only meant to be used for distilled liquors. What happens if you try to use in in tap water?
 

DaveyG

Junior
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I’m in SE Idaho. Yeah I did some more reading elsewhere and it seems I need a wine/beer hydrometer I think.
 

Latest posts

Top