How do you add body to Apfelwine?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by crabjoe, Nov 10, 2019.

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  1. Nov 10, 2019 #1

    crabjoe

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    I made Apfelwein... from start to bottle, was about 2 months. I knew it it was light.. not enough body, so I added 2 oz of glycerin to 5 gallons before bottling.

    Well, it's still too light, but I want to try it again..

    Can someone tell me how I might be able to add body to apfelwein? Sure I could add more glycerin, but I'm not sure if I want to go that route.. especially since I can't seem to nail down at what rate I should use it where it won't affect flavor. I've heard anywhere from 2oz per 5 gallons to 4oz per gallon... That's just too much of a variance for me.

    So what can I do? Can I use bananas or white raisins to increase body without much change in flavor? If I can, how much should I use per gallon?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Nov 11, 2019 #2

    Frosty452

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    You could try adding tannin, I've added golden raisins to wine in the past for added body. I've heard of adding banana to it as well, but I don't know if that will change the taste
     
  3. Nov 11, 2019 #3

    crabjoe

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    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I had a tsp of tannin in the primary, but it wasn't enough. I read that higher alcohol will give it more boy, so I'm going to try upping that to the mid 10%. It probably won't do anything, but I'm gonna also add one over ripe banana for a 5 gallon batch.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2019 #4

    BernardSmith

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    You might try adding sugar (after stabilizing). That said, it's a little hard for me to understand how increasing the ABV can give a wine more body. The density of water is 1.000 and the density of alcohol is below 1.000 so the greater the proportion of alcohol to water(the higher the ABV) the less dense the liquid.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2019 #5

    MiBor

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    I think I know how you feel because I was in the same situation until very recently. I made different wines from kits, juice buckets and grapes for a couple of years and they all seemed "thin", lacking body and the taste I was expecting. I tried the banana soup, raisins, glycerine, gum arabic, flavor packs and many different types of tannin and they all helped, but I never really got where I wanted my wines to be for body and taste. I learned a lot from those trials and I'm not disappointed with my journey, because after all those attempts to fix thin wines I found out what I was lacking: a barrel. It was actually on this website where I found information on the micro-oxidation and the concentration effects of a barrel in wine aging. I did a lot of reading through newer and older posts until it clicked: I needed to concentrate my wine to get more body and taste. And the only way to do that is with a barrel. So I bit the bullet and ordered a couple of barrels on eBay. Little did I know that the barrels I bought were charred, not toasted, and not suitable for aging wine. I sent them back and ordered a couple of Vadai 5 gallon barrels instead, at double the price. Now I'm un-bottling two of my thin batches and getting them ready for the barrels. I have great hopes that I finally figured out how to make my wine taste great.
    I didn't have any prior experience in wine making, nor did I know anyone knowledgeable enough whom I could ask questions as I started making wine. Almost everything I've learned was here, on WMT.
    There are veteran winemakers on these forums with decades of experience in making great wine, and they want to help. If anybody has more information or ideas on how to fix a thin wine, please tell us.
     
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  6. Nov 13, 2019 #6

    crabjoe

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    You would think... but more alcohol in wine, gives more body.

    https://vinepair.com/wine-101/wine-body-guide/
     
  7. Nov 13, 2019 #7

    stickman

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    Barrels definitely play a role with body. Alcohol also plays a role, but there are many other compounds involved with how someone tastes or perceives body in a wine. Other things like tannins, polysaccharides, mannoproteins etc., are all part of the perception of body. The final balance of the wine also plays a role, which is why sometimes blending a small amount of another wine can have a larger effect than expected.

    Below is a clip from a winemaker discussing post fermentation alcohol adjustment common with many modern commercial wines. This is advanced commercial wine processing, so it isn't something a home winemaker needs to know much about, but it illustrates just how counterintuitive wine can be.

    "When we do a sweet spot trial, we reduce the original wine alcohol to somewhere below where we think we want to end up. Then we blend the original wine in, or we bump the alcohol back up by adding back high proof alcohol, either way laying out fifteen or twenty wines which are different only in their alcohol content and separated by 0.1% alcohol. For example, we might take a 15.0% chardonnay and look at the range of 12.5% to 14.5%, 21 wines lined up: 12.5, 12.6, 12.7...14.4, 14.5%. You'd think the wines would just gradually get better, then worse. That never happens. There are marked differences in "harmoniousness." You see maybe one wine in six that is focused. The rest are astringent and unbalanced. Kind of like the unfocused, defect-free wines you usually see on the market. The differences are pretty obvious.

    There doesn't seem to be any way to predict where the sweet spot will show up. It is also predictable that high alcohol wines will be hot, bitter, and low in fruity aromas, while low alcohol wines tend to be thin, salty, and possessing what we call acid-based astringency. And we usually see these same characteristics in the wines one tenth of a percent above and below the sweet spots."
     
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  8. Nov 13, 2019 #8

    sour_grapes

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    Wow. Just wow! Never would have guessed there were "cliffs."
     
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  9. Nov 14, 2019 #9

    Rice_Guy

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    As someone who has started playing around with additives (mainly in fruit wines) I am wondering how did you get gum Arabic added in, , , do you have a favorite tannin, , , were there any sweet spots on glycerin/ banana/ etc.
     
  10. Nov 14, 2019 #10

    MiBor

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    Gum Arabic comes in liquid form:
    https://morewinemaking.com/products/liquigum.html
    Favorite tannin for white and light fruit wines:
    https://morewinemaking.com/products/tannin-ft-blanc-soft.html
    I like the banana soup better than glycerine for adding some body to a wine, but I always have to be careful not to overdo it. About 2 bananas with peels per gallon of wine is my sweet spot.
    For darker fruit (I made elderberry and black currant wines from concentrate) I like to add a little Tannin Estate while aging.
    https://www.piwine.com/tannin-estate-cellaring-tannin-red-wines.html

    What I want to get good at making is full bodied red wines from grapes. To me, that's the pinnacle of wine-making and the hardest to get just right, but also the most satisfying when accomplished.
    Lately I directed all my efforts toward getting better and better at that. I'm hoping that the addition of the barrels to my wine-making tools will put me closer to that goal.
     
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  11. Nov 14, 2019 #11

    Chuck E

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  12. Nov 14, 2019 #12

    MiBor

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    The way you do it is to freeze the overripe bananas to rupture the cells, than slice them thin (with skin) and simmer them in a pan for 20 minutes. When done, strain the mixture and only add the liquid to the carboy, not the whole mush. It's better if you add the banana "soup" to primary, but I've used it in secondary with no ill effects. There are many other threads here which go into more detail. Just search for "banana soup".
     
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  13. Nov 14, 2019 #13

    crabjoe

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    I guess I'm going to pick up some over ripe bananas to try... Thanks!
     
  14. Nov 18, 2019 #14

    motherofgallons

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    This won't help with this batch, but I've made cider using kveik yeast. Only additives were nutrients and oak chips in primary. I used The Yeast Bay Sigmund Voss Kveik, underpitched (4 ml yeast in 18 liters), fermented hot (38 C), lots of nutrients. It fermented in about 3 days. The flavor from the yeast is sort of buttery caramel which I think complements the apple very nicely. I bottle conditioned for carbonation. And it really has a lot of body, especially if you mix in the yeast before you pour. It won't be clear, it's reminiscent of hefeweizen or neipa in appearance, but it's a lovely rustic flavor that makes you think of hayrides in October. If you don't mind hazy I encourage you to try it.
     
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