Raisins for Mouth feel?

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Plato

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So im doing allot more research these days on making my country wines heartier if that is the best way to describe . I like a heavier mouth feel with my wines. I have ran across many articles and recipes calling for the addition of raisins in the Primary to increase the heartiness. I then ran across another article saying to just use grapes over the raisins. see below. My question is, is the article correct in saying just use grapes or should I go with the raisins anyway? Also should the white raisins be the better between the two? I read the darker raisins create an oxidized flavor. If the Grapes are a better choice then what would you reccomend for say a Strawberry wine project I have coming up?

http://www.westchesterwinemakers.com/2013/05/31/x-18/
 

salcoco

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I would not use raisins in a strawberry wine . as noted oxidized taste may result and overcome any strawberry flavor. also if used in county wines dark fruit is recommended. a technique a wine club member of mine uses is make a banana wine and then blend this wine with any fruit wine to get more body. less risk and more control using this method.
 

gaboy

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So im doing allot more research these days on making my country wines heartier if that is the best way to describe . I like a heavier mouth feel with my wines. I have ran across many articles and recipes calling for the addition of raisins in the Primary to increase the heartiness. I then ran across another article saying to just use grapes over the raisins. see below. My question is, is the article correct in saying just use grapes or should I go with the raisins anyway? Also should the white raisins be the better between the two? I read the darker raisins create an oxidized flavor. If the Grapes are a better choice then what would you reccomend for say a Strawberry wine project I have coming up?

http://www.westchesterwinemakers.com/2013/05/31/x-18/
On other posts in this forum, some have used 1 can of Welchs White Grape Concentrate per gallon, to give more body and taste, without altering the original fruit taste. I plan to try it that way instead of banana or raisins.
 

Julie

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Like salcoco I wouldn't use raisins. Have you thought about using tannins?
 

DoctorCAD

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Raisins in a wine make the wine taste like raisins. Not my favorite flavor...unless they are baked in cookies!
 

Plato

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Ill give the banana idea a shot, thanks for that idea. Julie, I use a wine tannin added to the primary. It calls for 1 teaspoon for a 5 gallon batch. Would you recommend anything additionally to this or perhaps something different? I'm going to try the banana wine blend to help as stated above. Im trying to get into better wine making now that I have a grasp on the basics.
 

Stressbaby

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Body

As above, I've used bananas and grape concentrate for body. Not raisins. Another additive that adds an interesting element is hibiscus flowers. Crazy, right?

I've made a number of wines with hibiscus flowers (hibiscus rosa-sinensis, dried). They all are "thick," weighty, high viscosity wines. If you aren't careful, you can overdo it and end up with a syrupy wine. When you remove the flowers you understand why, there is this stringy substances called "mucilage" which is actually at least partially fermentable. I believe this is what results in a long protracted fermentation in the secondary lasting for weeks.

Something to think about if you have the flowers available.
 

Julie

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Ill give the banana idea a shot, thanks for that idea. Julie, I use a wine tannin added to the primary. It calls for 1 teaspoon for a 5 gallon batch. Would you recommend anything additionally to this or perhaps something different? I'm going to try the banana wine blend to help as stated above. Im trying to get into better wine making now that I have a grasp on the basics.

Adding prior to fermentation is called sacifrical tannins, they are eaten up during fermentation, which is a good thing, it leaves the nature tannins alone. I, also add aging tannins. These really help with mouthfeel.
 

Runningwolf

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I agree with Julie on the tannins. I have not made strawberry wine except from juice I bought at Walkers. I did not add anything to that. It is possible they added some white grape juice to it but I don't know. What I can tell you is I just judged a wine competition with many certified judges and every time they tasted raisins in wine that shouldn't have that taste, the wines did not place any medals at all. I have used them years ago but would never use them now. I fight to keep oxidation away from my wine not to add it. Are you using 100% strawberry juice or are you adding water to it?
 

Plato

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@ Stressbaby, Great idea, I'll look into that hibiscus suggestion. Do you use the flower right from the tree/shrub. I have two of them in my house or perhaps look for dried?

@ Julie, Are aging tannins a different type of tannin? should I go to my local brew store and ask for that by name or are we talking about something on the lines of dried grape leaves?

@ Runningwolfe, I will be using 20lbs of fresh/frozen then thawed Strawberrys. Well as fresh as my local Ingles claims them to be. Then adding water back. However I do have access to a strawberry cider thats just heat pasteurized but no added chemicals from my local super market. would you suggest a half water half juice or should the 20# of strawberries be sufficient?


thank you all for the excellent suggestions
 

Runningwolf

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Plato, I honestly have never made strawberry wine starting with fruit, I got juice from Walkers. If I was going to make it though I am thinking I would use a white grape that is not strong in flavor as an addition if you needed to add something to the strawberry for balance or additional volume. I am not familiar with strawberry cider. Hopefully someone with strawberry wine experience will chime in here.
 

Plato

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Well I call it cider. If I can get to my local farmers market I'll try to get a picture of the juice. For all I know it could be kool-ade and syrup
 

Plato

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Is there a specific kind of white grape or could I use a white grape frozen concentrate?
 

Norton

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I tried raisins a few times for mouth feel. My opinion is that it didn't work but it did raise the alcohol level a bit
 

Turock

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Strawberry wine is so good. Why do you want to ruin it with raisins? Do an all fruit ferment with no water added and you'll be amazed how good it is.
 

Plato

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@Turock

Im doing 4lbs of strawberries per gallon but my carboys are only 5 gallons. Should I get the white grapes everyone suggests in place of the water? If so is there a particular type or any white grape will do?
 

Turock

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I don't make strawberry wine that way. We use nothing but strawberries--no water. To figure out how much wine we'll get, we usually figure that about 10# of strawberries will make one gallon. Then we tweak that back to something less than one gallon. This is to figure out our addition of chemistries. So 100# will make about 9 gallons of wine. Only 4 pounds of fruit per gallon and dilution with concentrate will not make the strawberry wine you may be expecting. Our strawberry has very big flavor--nearly as good as eating the fruit.

So it all depends on how good a strawberry you want to make. There aren't any white grapes you can get this time of year unless you have a source for Chilean grapes. If you use eating grapes, well,at least they have very little flavor after being fermented and it wouldn't interfere with or over-power the flavor of the strawberry. Be aware however that the resulting wine may only have a hint of strawberry flavor.
 
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