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High Alcohol? Your Choice

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Yes I know there are several ways to look at High Alcohol wines. Some folks, I'm sure see it as an abomination while others, myself included have an interest in it.
If you were to choose a wine kit to turn into a high octane batch, what would you choose? I have a strawberry/white zin that I was thinking about trying to boost. Anyone have any comments?
 

cpfan

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IMHO opinion high alcohol and fruit wine do not go well together. The bite of the alcohol interferes with the taste of the fruit.

How high do you want to go? There are a number of Big Reds commercially in the 14.0-14.5% range.

Steve
 

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Well, I'd like to get in the 15% range. Of course when the alcohol content supercedes taste does it really matter about fruit wines? I guess really the thing is that I don't know how much strawberry flavor to expect out of the zin kit anyway. So you think a hardy red would be the best way to go? I've got merlot in the primary now. It figured up to be about 13% P.A.
 

maditonto

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I recently made a 6 gallon batch of peach at about 18%

I recently made a 6 gallon batch of peach at about 18%, at about 14 weeks it was very dry and tastes like Jet A. I added 5 oz. of peach flavoring and 6
pounds of cane sugar.... Now it tastes great, but boy can you smell the alcohol !!!:D
 

cpfan

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A few years ago I had someone's 18% fruit wine (from organic fruits). I could barely taste the fruit. Someone with much more experience making fruit wines than me, recommended about 10% for a fruit wine.

I know someone who kicks the mist wines to about 10% and is very happy with the result. A customer made the Blackberry Merlot at about 12% a few times, but has decided that it is too sweet.

Another customer adds 6 cups of table sugar with the mist kit in the primary, and loves it. He doesn't measure sg, so not sure what % that is.

Steve
 

smurfe

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I totally agree with Steve, high alcohol levels will over power a fruit wine and erode the fruit taste. His evaluation of a fruit wine are on the money. You could make a Port kit and fortify it to the 18-20% level if you are wanting a wine with a kick. I am getting ready to start a couple of them. A Wine Expert Port and a Mosti Monidale Port. I will fortify one and leave the other as is.

Smurfe :)
 

English

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Smurfe,
Yeah, sounds like a good idea, Port that is.. I love good port.
So are you going to be adding sugar throughout the fermentation then? And are you going to have to use a different kind of yeast to help convert the sugar?
 

smurfe

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Smurfe,
Yeah, sounds like a good idea, Port that is.. I love good port.
So are you going to be adding sugar throughout the fermentation then? And are you going to have to use a different kind of yeast to help convert the sugar?
The Mosti kit doesn't add any additional sugar. The Wine Expert kit adds additional sugar to boost alcohol content. The Mosti says it will ferment to 16% and you can add brandy to fortify to 20%. I haven't paid attention to what the WE kit will ferment to. I haven't started either of them yet.

Smurfe :)
 

daveb50

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I made some banana wine that came out at 14.5% alc. a year ago. It was like rocket fuel after it fermented out, now it's down to high test. Maybe it will be better next year.
Dave
 

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The kit I'm using is from Niagra Mist and has a strawberry flavor pack. So I was thinking that if I boosted the alcohol content before adding the flavor pack, the strawberry flavor should still come through. Or am I thinking about this all wrong? Right now I'm in the third day of fermentation and it looks like it's going well.
 

cpfan

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The kit I'm using is from Niagra Mist and has a strawberry flavor pack. So I was thinking that if I boosted the alcohol content before adding the flavor pack, the strawberry flavor should still come through. Or am I thinking about this all wrong? Right now I'm in the third day of fermentation and it looks like it's going well.
I have some customers who always add 6 cups of sugar to the Mist kits before adding the yeast. I'm not sure how far this boosts the alcohol or what happens to the fruit flavour, but they like it much better.

Steve
 

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I had read that it's better to let the primary fermentation take off then feed the additional sugar in over a few days. That was what I was thinking about doing. That way I can keep an eye on the SG and not add anything that won't be converted. Does that make sense?
 

cpfan

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I had read that it's better to let the primary fermentation take off then feed the additional sugar in over a few days. That was what I was thinking about doing. That way I can keep an eye on the SG and not add anything that won't be converted. Does that make sense?
Might make sense with some wines, but Mists usually make about 7% alcohol, and come with EC-1118. Unless you're targetting 18%, I wouldn't worry about t.

Stevei
 

Sirs

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well guess I'm one of those that like to have the higher abv in mine I got one thats fortified to 40% but it is a dessert wine you can have higher abv's and have a good tasting wine only thnig is normally it needs to be abit sweeter than normal for the fruit flavor to come out good. I've found once you let them age abit the alcohol bite as some call it goes very quickly,I guess it's what fruit or grapes your using. I know most of my wines are 18% and above with age most will taste like a good brandy if given a chance.
 

Flem

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I had read that it's better to let the primary fermentation take off then feed the additional sugar in over a few days. That was what I was thinking about doing. That way I can keep an eye on the SG and not add anything that won't be converted. Does that make sense?
If you start fermentation first and then add the sugar, it would distort your initial SG and you wouldn't know what the real initial SG was (or is). :?
 

Sirs

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yeah but you can get your starting sg and figure what you'd need to add to get a certain end abv or at least close to it that way you can add it in increments instead of all at once
 

Flem

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I agree with the incremental additions. But I'd do it before fermentation starts. IMHO
 

cpfan

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Way to resurrect a FOUR YEAR OLD thread.
 

Flem

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That's really funny. I didn't even notice the original date of the thread. Those wines are probably long gone by now---:d
 

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