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kirknotes

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I have had my wine racked into 3 one gallon carboys now since november 2017 so - for about 6 months. I just re-racked a third time and siphoned it off the junk at the bottom. The wine is very clear and has little aroma and not a whole lot of flavor.....what would you do?
 

Ajmassa

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Depends on what kind of wine it is- and what kind of wine you like.
You could sweeten it up some with sugar. A very small amount can bring out a large amount of flavor- not just sugar sweetness but bring out the natural fruitiness too.
Also you can oak it. Adding some oak cubes in the jugs and let me sit a few months. This can also accentuate other characteristics in the wine. And there’s a whole world of ‘finishing tannin’ you can buy online. They are used to round out a finished wine- or add something it may be lacking.
Those are the few options that come to mind. Only you can know for sure what direction would make a better product tho.
morewine.com sells mostly anything you’d need.
 

Stressbaby

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Need to know:
  • type of wine
  • recipe
  • what you have done so far - details matter - yeast, fermentation conditions, etc
Without that, we're just guessing. That said, because you said the wine is "very clear", we might guess it is a white wine. My short list of white wine tweaks:
  • citrus - specifically grapefruit zest - adds a nonspecific citrus element
  • backsweetening with sugar - can bring out fruit elements
  • glycerin - adds body, element of sweetness, non-fermentable
  • fruit secondary infusion - passion fruit, lychee come to mind
  • flower secondary infusion - it's almost elderflower season, but I've also done plumeria and others; don't overdo it, easy to ruin a wine this way
  • backsweeten with fruit syrup - grape concentrate, but also any heavy syrup from a can of "white" fruit - lychee, pear, etc.
  • oak - maybe only for Chardonnay style
  • sometimes the absence of flavor is "flat" or "flabby" wine which really just needs acid - generally tartaric or citric or a mix.
 

wildhair

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Yep, all of what he said. There are also commercial flavor concentrates that are inexpensive and could help. But first - what kind of wine were you making?
 

Arne

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Make sure you have it stabilized before you sweeten with sugar. Otherwise it will most likely referment. Stabilize by adding k-meta and sorbate.You can add sugar to a glass and try it, it will not do the referment thing in a short amount of time. Just have to stabilize when adding to the batch and it is going to sit for a time. Arne.
 

kirknotes

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Need to know:
  • type of wine
  • recipe
  • what you have done so far - details matter - yeast, fermentation conditions, etc
Without that, we're just guessing. That said, because you said the wine is "very clear", we might guess it is a white wine. My short list of white wine tweaks:
  • citrus - specifically grapefruit zest - adds a nonspecific citrus element
  • backsweetening with sugar - can bring out fruit elements
  • glycerin - adds body, element of sweetness, non-fermentable
  • fruit secondary infusion - passion fruit, lychee come to mind
  • flower secondary infusion - it's almost elderflower season, but I've also done plumeria and others; don't overdo it, easy to ruin a wine this way
  • backsweeten with fruit syrup - grape concentrate, but also any heavy syrup from a can of "white" fruit - lychee, pear, etc.
  • oak - maybe only for Chardonnay style
  • sometimes the absence of flavor is "flat" or "flabby" wine which really just needs acid - generally tartaric or citric or a mix.
Type of wine: unknown red grape - each grape had seeds....thats all I know - it was the first year my vines bore fruit...started with about 50 lbs of fruit.
recipe and process: - I blanched the grapes in a quick dip of boiling hot water right before crushing them. then I added red star yeast to kick the batches off....fermented on major lees for about 30 days, I daily punched the tops down and stirred to keep the fermenting process going gangsters, then have racked off major lees, and let settle, SG dropped below 1.0 long ago. I have not added anything except Merlot to top off the excess air at the top of one of the carboys after racking.

I was wanting to prepare to commence to get ready to start possibly getting ready to bottle, but there is little aroma and I want to add honey to sweeten up some.

questions:
for a red without much aroma, what would be best to add to gain more nose?, and...
If I add honey for flavor what is the process ...do i add it and then wait before bottling? or do you add, make sure it doesn't rekick off fermenting again and then bottle or what?
 

Stressbaby

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Remember to use sorbate/KMS before backsweetening (assuming no MLF).
With a red you have some other tweaks to consider. Oak is the obvious one. Tannin Riche perhaps.

My experience is that you can't "get back" aroma. You can tweak the wine and add something else, but the aroma doesn't really come back.
 

Scooter68

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Were those wine grapes or table grapes?
Starting SG and pH

As Stressbaby mentions, all these details matter when trying to assist in finding causes and solutions.
 

meadmaker1

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Read through joes thread tweeking cheap kits.
And as stated already add k meta and potassium sorbet per instructions before back sweetening. If you use honey I add a bit of warm water to tin it so it mixes better, honey will cloud it a bit adding clearing time. Sugar doesn't cloud finished wine, at least not near as much. Juice concentrates work for flavor boost and sweeting.
 

kirknotes

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Remember to use sorbate/KMS before backsweetening (assuming no MLF).
With a red you have some other tweaks to consider. Oak is the obvious one. Tannin Riche perhaps.

My experience is that you can't "get back" aroma. You can tweak the wine and add something else, but the aroma doesn't really come back.
Ok - makes sense
 

kirknotes

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Read through joes thread tweeking cheap kits.
And as stated already add k meta and potassium sorbet per instructions before back sweetening. If you use honey I add a bit of warm water to tin it so it mixes better, honey will cloud it a bit adding clearing time. Sugar doesn't cloud finished wine, at least not near as much. Juice concentrates work for flavor boost and sweeting.
any favorite juice concentrates to your preference?
 

meadmaker1

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Apple.
I do country fruits so im inclined to use anything that i believe will compliment my batch. White grape is popular with others. I've considered lemonade but haven't used it yet.
 

NorCal

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what does 1.5 - 2.5 grams per liter mean? How do I measure that?
1 gallon = 3.8 liters

3.8 liters X 1.5 grams / liter = 5.7 grams of sugar / 1 gallon

I would do bench trials to see if adding sugar improves the taste profile. I’d start with a gram or so per liter and work your way up. Also, remember to add sorbate to prevent refermentation.
 

kirknotes

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so if I add sugar - and sorbate to prevent refermentation - can I bottle at the time of adding sugar - or should I wait longer to bottle after adding sugar and sorbate?
 

Johnd

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so if I add sugar - and sorbate to prevent refermentation - can I bottle at the time of adding sugar - or should I wait longer to bottle after adding sugar and sorbate?
Technically you can, consider waiting a bit though, just to make sure AF doesn’t kick back in. Few days well spent.
 

kirknotes

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Okay - so I back sweetened with some honey. The aroma actually turned out very nice - really fruity. I ended up with 15 - 750ml bottles. It is a very light red wine, very fruity grape tasting.

I gave some to my wine connoisseur friends. One said it was nice but still "young" the other said "yuck" (he is used to fuller bodied Pinots, Cabs and Merlot.) Others said it tasted great and we enjoyed sharing a first bottle.

This has the appearance of a Zinfandel or a Rose - very pink and bright.

The honey did cloud it up a bit....I am not going to worry about that.

I appreciate all the help I received here.

Last question for now. Its all bottled now - how should I age it ( I put it in the refridge for now) and how long before it will hit a "real good" age? I am in no hurry to drink it.
 

winemaker81

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I gave some to my wine connoisseur friends. One said it was nice but still "young" the other said "yuck" (he is used to fuller bodied Pinots, Cabs and Merlot.) Others said it tasted great and we enjoyed sharing a first bottle.
Don't give any more wine to the friend that said "yuck". :)

This experiment sounds like a successful one!

Agreed, don't worry about the cloudiness. That will probably settle. One thing that may help in the future is a drill-mounted stirring rod, which runs about $10-$15 USD. Of all the wine and beer making toys I have, that one is without a doubt the best buy. It mixes things far better than hand stirring, and far quicker.

Do not refrigerate the wine until you're ready to drink it. Store it any place that has a consistent temperature (well, as consistent as possible) between 60 and 75 F. Folks without a cellar or a wine fridge have to make do as best they can. I have a cellar ... but the temperature isn't as stable I wish it was.

Given your description, my recommendation is to let the wine age 6 months before trying another bottle. Most home wines benefit greatly from 6 months aging, although some reds need more. Do yourself a favor and record tasting notes each time you open the first few bottles. This will help you understand how the wine changes as it ages.
 

meadmaker1

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I disagree about the friend that said yuck. Too often friends will not give an honest opinion.
I would try to get descriptive accounts of what they don't like about it. Try them again in a year. Tell them its another attempt.
 
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