Raspberry concentrate

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silverbullet07

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Two things to think about one you probably can resolve immediately. How long after you added the calcium carbonate did you check the pH? That stuff works slow so if you checked say 30 - 90 mins after adding, the pH may have changed even more up into like 3.8 or higher. If you have to add calcium carbonate I'd wait at least 8-12 hours before pitching yeast so that I can be certain I didn't over shoot the addition. (Raise the numbers too high.) 11 tsp is a LOT of that stuff to add at one time. Personally I'd be tempted to go ahead and start a batch if the pH was anywhere between 3.15 and 3.6. I've had a blueberry do fine starting at 3.18 so if other conditions are good I would make a run at a batch that was a below 3.4 but never above 3.6.
Number two - I'd try to get that room temp up. I don't seem to recall many issues when the room temp is in the mid to upper 70s.
Of course the step feeding could help but if a must starts at 1.090 and still stalls....

Hope it doesn't turn out be the fruit source because there are fewer and fewer good reliable sources of fruit concentrates these days.
i had added 9 tsp and waited 24 hours and then retested and added 3 more and waited another 12 hours, tested and pitched yeast. It was originally around 2.8. 5.5 gals Of must.
 

Rice_Guy

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i had added 9 tsp and waited 24 hours and then retested and added 3 more and waited another 12 hours, tested and pitched yeast. It was originally around 2.8. 5.5 gals Of must.
Calcium carbonate has low solubility/ it is basically ground up limestone/ it tends to settle before fully reacting. Potassium is soluble and reacts quickly. Too bad you can’t have reagent grade sodium hydroxide.
My way to use Calcium carbonate is to mix some in to part of the juice, stirring twice a day to resuspend it. Refrigerate the bulk of the juice till the pH correction is stable mix and run.
 

Scooter68

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Sounds like it is possible that as time went on more of the calcium carbonate might have entered the mix and altered the pH more - IF you added it and kept the must in the same container to start the ferment. Long shot but and it's still 20/20 hindsight.
Biggest thing I could suggest would be warmer temps for starting ferment and then still keep it at or a little above 70 as you did.

One of the mysteries of wine making.
 

Rice_Guy

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a gut feel (answer) without having all the info :slp
* the problem wine is being made with a high solids concentrate, loosely translated a naturally produced wine may have 0.5% dry solids once all the water and alcohol is evaporated in a moisture oven. This wine from Coloma concentrate may be five or so times normal ie 2% or 2.5% moisture oven “stuff.”
* the hydrometer is measuring stuff in the water. In the lab I would calibrate a new hydrometer by mixing a series of salt solutions, ie a series of more “stuff“ in the water. More “stuff” also known as dry solids gives a higher hydrometer reading in a food as wine.
* at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the fermentable sugars are actually zero and what the hydrometer is actually measuring is called “sugar free dry extract” ,,,,,, ie the reading is an artifact.

? If you had a moisture set up to test dry solids it would answer a few guesses. ,,, I have not used Coloma so I don’t know what their specification sheet says about dry solids.

an interesting problem
 
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stickman

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@Rice_Guy may have a good point. Coloma indicates that their raspberry concentrate would be 9 brix if diluted to 100% juice equivalent, so for example, if water addition is limited to achieve 18 brix the dry solids would be 2x. When using 100% fresh fruit you don't have that option.
 

Raptor99

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a gut feel (answer) without having all the info :slp
* the problem wine is being made with a high solids concentrate, loosely translated a naturally produced wine may have 0.5% dry solids once all the water and alcohol is evaporated in a moisture oven. This wine from Coloma concentrate may be five or so times normal ie 2% or 2.5% moisture oven “stuff.”
* the hydrometer is measuring stuff in the water. In the lab I would calibrate a new hydrometer by mixing a series of salt solutions, ie a series of more “stuff“ in the water. More “stuff” also known as dry solids gives a higher hydrometer reading in a food as wine.
* at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the fermentable sugars are actually zero and what the hydrometer is actually measuring is called “sugar free dry extract” ,,,,,, ie the reading is an artifact.

? If you had a moisture set up to test dry solids it would answer a few guesses. ,,, I have not used Coloma so I don’t know what their specification sheet says about dry solids.

an interesting problem
That is a good point. The hydrometer does not directly measure sugar content. We may assume that the amount of other dissolved solids is negligible, but if that is not the case the readings would all be too high.

Does it taste a little bit sweet? If not, fermentation might be finished. If so and you like the level of sweetness, you can stabilize and bottle.
 

silverbullet07

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That is a good point. The hydrometer does not directly measure sugar content. We may assume that the amount of other dissolved solids is negligible, but if that is not the case the readings would all be too high.

Does it taste a little bit sweet? If not, fermentation might be finished. If so and you like the level of sweetness, you can stabilize and bottle.
I think it taste dry to me. I would have to sweeten it after it clears and ages some.
 

silverbullet07

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Sounds like it is possible that as time went on more of the calcium carbonate might have entered the mix and altered the pH more - IF you added it and kept the must in the same container to start the ferment. Long shot but and it's still 20/20 hindsight.
Biggest thing I could suggest would be warmer temps for starting ferment and then still keep it at or a little above 70 as you did.

One of the mysteries of wine making.
I will do another ph test and see how much it changed.
 

Scooter68

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The only tough call here is IF Rice_Guy is correct, and the SG ready was not a true measure of the sugar content, then there is no way to ever know where your actual ABV ended up. If that is in fact the situation, then that supplier's juice would not be a good choice unless you have some easy and reliable way of determining the actual sugar content of the juice before starting a ferment.
 

Raptor99

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If you believe that the fermentation is finished, then you can compute ABV by the change in SG. But if it is not finished, you do not know for sure. In my case, if my ABV calculation is a little bit off I don't really care. If it is in the right ball park that is good enough.
 

winemaker81

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I keep thinking about this situation -- if fermentation is stopping at 1.010 because of non-sugar solids in the wine ... what is it??

Contact the vendor and ask questions, see what they have to say.
 

Scooter68

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Let me put my ignorance on full display here. When we speak of solids impacting the SG - that means those solids are 1) Heavier than water and 2) In suspension. Otherwise the solids would fall out quickly or in a few hours/days.

Am I missing something?

Solids like that would consist of what?
 
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winemaker81

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Let me put my ignorance on full display here.
Your thinking matches mine, so we're both ignorant on this topic, as is (it appears) everyone else.

Other than stuck fermentations and commercial drinking juices, I've never had a wine with a FG above 0.996. I have no clue what can be suspended in the wine to keep the SG at 1.010.

If we are talking beer? No problem. I can't recall more than 1 or 2 batches where the FG was below 1.010, as beer has a lot of particles in it.

It appears we have eliminated all other factors, so it appears to be something in the juice. IIRC, @silverbullet07 said he got the same result from 2 different brands. I'm wondering if those 2 brands are produced at the same factory or using the same process.

In my case, if my ABV calculation is a little bit off I don't really care. If it is in the right ball park that is good enough.
Agreed. Besides, there is no accurate formula for calculating ABV. There are at least 3 formulas I have identified. Each is for a different ABV range, e.g., if the ABV is between 14% and 18%, use formula 1, between 9% and 14%, use formula 2, etc. [the ranges are for illustration, I don't recall the actual ranges off the top of my head.]

Any figure we calculate is an approximation. But for home winemakers? Close enough.
 

Rice_Guy

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stabilize? my standard method has been if it is nine months it probably won’t refermenting after back sweetening, and if it is a year it has been safe.
In that case I would not be concerned about the SG at all. If you let it clear for a few months you can be confident that fermentation has stopped. Then stabilize and backsweeten
I keep thinking about this situation -- if fermentation is stopping at 1.010 because of non-sugar solids in the wine ... what is it??
I didn’t find numbers for juice and didn’t call a juice vendor for their specification sheet,
Food (nutritional) analysis on fresh raspberries:
moisture . . .86% , , , , ,(84% moisture per nutrition text)
sugar . . . . . 6.5% , , , , (total carbohydrate 13.8% per 1970 nutrition text)
fiber . . . . . . 4.3%. , , , ,(this will largely be removed making a processed juice product)
protein . . . . 1.1%
fat . . . . . . . . 0.8%
ash . . . . . . . 0.5% , , , ,(minerals/ salts which will be concentrated)
as a guess moisture on Coloma concentrate is 20%, fiber half a percent, and everything else becomes concentrated. The sugar goes away in fermentation and is replaced with alcohol and CO2
 

stickman

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The other materials that can affect the gravity are dissolved not suspended, most likely acids and salts associated with neutralizing the acid. These materials are at higher than usual levels due to using multiple times the concentrate to increase the starting gravity of the must.
 

winemaker81

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@silverbullet07, some of the details presented on WMT surpass my decades old Chem 101 and 102 from freshman year in college. You are not alone if some of it is overwhelming. Personally, I like the detail provided, even when it's over my head, as I figure someone is getting value from it, and it often spurs me to do a bit of research. Folks like @Rice_Guy have reactivated a lot of the chem and bio I thought I had long forgotten!

At this point you need a summary:

1) The wines are not fermenting below 1.010 and we collectively have no answer why.

2) The wines taste fairly dry and need backsweetening.

3) Overall, the wines taste fine.

IMO, bulk age as long as you want, stabilize, backsweeten, bottle, and don't sweat the details.

For future batches, don't start with an SG above 1.100, use a high potency yeast like EC-1118, and step feed if the ABV appears lower than 10%, or if you simply want to. Use small increments, e.g., 1.010 fed to 1.020, and if the yeast gives up, you don't have a wine sweeter than you want.

One option is to start with a lower potency yeast, and when it appears to hit its limit, add a yeast such as EC-1118. You have a lot of choices.

The important lesson learned is that not every batch is going to turn out as well as we want. Make the best of every situation.

E.g., my 2019 Malbec has an off-taste I really dislike. Backsweetening it slightly with 100% cherry juice reduced the off-taste, but it's never going to be my buddy. My younger son likes it so I gave him a case, and next time he visits he'll get another case. It makes good cooking wine, and when you have 7 cases, it's really easy to dump a bottle into a pot of spaghetti sauce or use half a bottle in a marinade. I taste a bit every time I cook with it, and it's not getting better IMO. This is not a problem as I have ways of using it up!
 

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