I think I just made rocket fuel.

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skyfire322

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So my latest batch was the RJS Double Down white blend, that came with a f-pack (put the whole thing in per the instructions.) I'm about to bottle, and out of curiosity, I decided to check the abv..... 20.64%. It's a honey color, too. The OG was 1.165 and the FG (checked today) is 1.010. I did calibrate the hydrometer so unless the Brewer's Friend calculator is wrong, I think I just may have made a Soyuz wine.
 

Khristyjeff

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The calculation is correct. Did you make this into a full 6 gallon kit or did you maybe short the water some? The OG is the number that looks high.
 

Gilmango

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Since the O.G. looks so high, but you cannot go back and re-measure that, I wonder if checking the yeast's alcohol tolerance might provide a bit of a "ceiling" for just how rockety this rocket fuel is? I am guessing this came with EC-1118 yeast, which is a beast, but is generally said to top out at 18% ABV.
 

Raptor99

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If you have a refractometer you can use that to measure the Brix and use a hydrometer to measure SG. Then you can calculate ABV from those two numbers: Calculating %ABV Without the Initial Specific Gravity Here is a helpful calculator to make it easier: Homebrew Refractometer Calculator

This works because the refractometer and hydrometer measure two different things (dissolved solids measured by refraction vs. specific gravity). Both can be used to measure OG, but after fermentation the refractometer Brix reading is changed the the presence of alcohol. The calculator above uses that fact to calculate the OG and ABV from those two post-ferment readings.
 

skyfire322

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I used the BA-11 strain, which has a tolerance of 16%. I did make the entire kit (6 gallons) and the room temperature during fermentation was about 75 degrees. Storage temp fluctuated between 70-80 during aging (thanks summer, lol.) No refractometer at time of bottling, so I can check when I crack open the "leftover" bottle on Friday.
 
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Khristyjeff

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My experience with the RJS kits is that they're very consistent. I'm guessing that your OG was closer to what the directions said it should be, and that your wine will be wonderful and within the 11-14ish % ABV. Let us know how it tastes.
 

skyfire322

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My experience with the RJS kits is that they're very consistent. I'm guessing that your OG was closer to what the directions said it should be, and that your wine will be wonderful and within the 11-14ish % ABV. Let us know how it tastes.
It has a beautiful honey taste but has a dollar store vodka burn that creeps up on you like a hot pepper, lol. I did contact RJS about the SG when I first started because their instructions said it should be between 1.080 and 1.100 but I never got a response. Perhaps I should have diluted a bit more after I put the f-pack in.

I've had great results with RJS kits in the past, so this was a bit of a shock to say the least!
 

Khristyjeff

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Try contacting the place where you bought the kit. They are usually very helpful when I call. Burn 🔥 is not good 🥵. Unless you want to throw a 🥳 (just seeing how many emojis I can use in one post!).
 

Khristyjeff

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"It has a beautiful honey taste but has a dollar store vodka burn that creeps up on you like a hot pepper, lol."
I got a good laugh out of this line, btw.
 

winemaker81

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Getting 20% ABV from a yeast with a stated tolerance of 16% doesn't appear likely. AFAIK, while the yeast tolerance of a given batch can be above the vendor's stated tolerance, 20% is above the tolerance of any yeast I'm familiar with.

How well was the must stirred prior to fermentation? It's possible to get different readings if the must has not been stirred well. I can recall one kit where the first SG reading was 1.060, which was way low. I stirred again and the next check was 1.080.

This doesn't mean the wine isn't hot -- I have a wine with ~15.7% ABV and it tastes hot. A wine in the 16-17% range can taste like jet fuel.
 

hounddawg

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A lot of the burn that is in a young wine will disappear with aging. Give it a few months and try it. Bet it will be much smoother. Arne.
yup my peach 14 months ago tasted like rock gut, yesterday i tried some, very Peachey, but the finish just mildly hot, 6 or 8 more months and it will be smooth as silk,
,,,,Time,,,,
Dawg
 

Noontime

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As others said, that OG looks WAY high for a kit. Your posts and responses seems like you know what you're doing though, so it is weird, but getting 20% + seems unlikely (even with EC1118 it is possible but it takes some effort, step feeding, nutrients, etc). If it were mine, I'd assume somehow I made a mistake with the OG. Young wines can be all over the place, so again as others said, I have confidence after a few months to a year it will smooth out.
 

skyfire322

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Getting 20% ABV from a yeast with a stated tolerance of 16% doesn't appear likely. AFAIK, while the yeast tolerance of a given batch can be above the vendor's stated tolerance, 20% is above the tolerance of any yeast I'm familiar with.

How well was the must stirred prior to fermentation? It's possible to get different readings if the must has not been stirred well. I can recall one kit where the first SG reading was 1.060, which was way low. I stirred again and the next check was 1.080.

This doesn't mean the wine isn't hot -- I have a wine with ~15.7% ABV and it tastes hot. A wine in the 16-17% range can taste like jet fuel.
I stirred for about 2-3 minutes before fermentation. Still scratching my head, I checked my notes again to make sure I wasn't going crazy. It looks like I was reading the wrong page, as the initial SG was actually 1.085 before adding the yeasties. Whoops!

Anywhoozles, here's the SG readings during fermentation. I stirred for approx. 2-3 minutes after each check. The average temp of the must throughout the whole time, the must was at an average of 65 degrees.

Day 1: 1.085
Day 3: 1.040
Day 4: 1.035
Day 6: 1.034
Day 8: 1.030
Day 9: 1.012
Day 10, 11: 1.006
Day 12, 13, 14: 1.002
Day 15, 16, 17: 1.000 ----- Racked

A lot of the burn that is in a young wine will disappear with aging. Give it a few months and try it. Bet it will be much smoother. Arne.
This definitely keeps my mind at ease! So long as it doesn't taste like Barefoot Chardonnay spiked with Everclear, that's all that matters ;)
 

BABRU

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Was F-pack used pre or post ferment? Pre would definitely up the OG from kit instructions I think. Even so, I agree with prior comments and with a little time it should be good. If still a bit “hot” try serving poured over ice. 🤗
 

cmason1957

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So my latest batch was the RJS Double Down white blend, that came with a f-pack (put the whole thing in per the instructions.)
I haven't ever seen a kit that had you add an F-Pack pre-ferment, like that. Are you certain that is what it said to do??

I tried to find this kit to take a look at the instructions, but I was unable to find it. Ah now I see why, it was a 2019 Limited Release. But still no instructions. I'm not sue my hydrometer can read as high as 1.165.
 

skyfire322

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I haven't ever seen a kit that had you add an F-Pack pre-ferment, like that. Are you certain that is what it said to do??
Well, that will probably do it! I'm pretty sure I added it pre-ferment.

Ya know, I write knowledge base articles for the company I work for, so it's ironic that I didn't RTFM. 🤣
 

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