No Yeast

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Oct 7, 2009
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I have to make this question because it is bothering me.

There is this old man near who's been doing grape wine for 10 or 20 years.

And since I am completely an amator I try to talk and ask him about a lot of things. And when I told him about using yeast and sugar for grape wine, he totally dismissed this idea. Grape itself, he told me, got yeast so you don't have to add other yeast. Am I missing something here or what?
Because in every receipt I read on line, yeast is always present.

Thank you
That's how they used to do it waaay back when...

Crushed grapes will ferment into wine on there own, but using a cultured wine yeast will give you a more consistent result then just relying on the natural yeast present on the grape skins.

He is right of course.
People have been doing it like that for eons.

This guy has experience which you might lack.
So if you are able to follow him and stay with him in every step. you actually might learn something good.......
There are commercial winemakers (even in France) that still use the old practices.

When you however are not capable in having him lead you by every step or you are not willing to take a risk then.......

There is a chance that not-so-good yeast take
over fermentation. Then you will be stuck with a low alcohol-high-sugar wine. Or even a spoiled batch.

I tried to do this with my plums and fruit-flies got to them first
and my wine turned into vinegar.

I had a complete batch of dandelion must (30 liter) spoiling because
I thought I would try to make a batch without adding sulphite.
The smell through my whole house was awfull.....

However this is just a hobby. You're income is not dependend
on it. So trying, testing and learning is a great part of the fun.
Things MAY go wrong for me. I learn all the time.

Try some of his wines and if you like them follow his advise.
I'll bet some of his wines turn out very good !!!!
I for myself would love to have such an old 'pro' around and
do some batches together with him.

I wouldnt do the natural yeast as its very susceptible to not finishing a fermentation or getting off flavors. Most wineries that use natural yeasts have been using this land for 100's of years and have been dumping their pomace on the land when they were done with it and after many many many years of doing this you actually make the land predominant to a particular yeast strain which is acclimated to higher abv tolerances. As far as sugar goes hes right with most grapes as they are naturally perfectly balanced with sugar, acid, and ph. Others like Muscadine, Scuppernong, and Concord are very high in acids and require diluting with water which can lower the sugar also so requires adding sugar to get the abv back up.
well, thank you all very much.
Now I see.

That old man I was talking say something very funny about wine making:
"The most important part in winemakig processe
is the choosing of grapes. The rest is routine."
I don't think I will ever become a professionist
but anyway I enjoy very much making wine.

Thanks again

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