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Curly

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So, my one gallon batch of cranberry juice wine has been sitting for a month and I want to bottle it. Do I need to add anything to it before bottling? and if I taste it before bottling and it is a little tart for my liking what should I do? thanks
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Curly, Tart is often the problem (IMO) with cranberry wine. I've made three batches and the first two were mouth puckeringly tart. Would you mind sharing your recipe? In April I made a third batch - a cranberry mead and used only about 1 pint of cranberry juice per gallon of mead (1.5 lbs of honey in each gallon). This provided enough fruitiness in the mead and not too much tartness. I also backsweetened this by adding enough honey to raise the final gravity by 10 points. Sweetening helps to counter the bitterness of those berries.

So think about back sweetening and consider blending this with a less tart version of the cranberry wine.
Anything else I would do before bottling? you might want to add some K-meta to the wine. 1 crushed Campden tablet (or equivalent without the filler) to each gallon adds enough SO2 to bind with free O2 to inhibit oxidation (there ARE more accurate methods of adding the right amount of SO2 given the wine's pH and the amount of free SO2 already in the wine but ball park, 1 Campden tablet /gallon is neither too much nor too little
 

Curly

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thanks for reply BernardSmith. I used full cranberry juice container to about 2 or 3 inches to top. I used red star premier cuvee yeast at room temp. right away. I seen different ways some with air lock right away and some with paper towel right away or some wait 24 hours with yeast. So, not sure the best way? I used air lock and it blew off like crazy and died 5 days in. I since transferred to secondary and added a slight amount of French oak chips and waiting. I was reading about k-meta and Camden tablets but wasn't sure if I added right at bottling time or like 3 days to week before. Thanks again
 

salcoco

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bench trial tasting is what I would consider. make a sugar syrup with two cups sugar to one cup hot water. mix in a blender let cool. take a 60 ml sample=1/4 cup of the wine add 1/8 tsp=.625 ml of sugar syrup taste test. continue with 60 ml sample and 1/4 tsp, do a second with 1/4+1/8 tsp continue with samples increasing sugar syrup by 1/8 tsp each time until you find the taste level you like. calculate necessary amount of sugar syrup addition to base wine, add potassium sorbate to keep wine from restarting and k-meta. wait a week to insure wine does not referment. bottle.
 

BernardSmith

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OK... You don't say anything about adding more fermentables. Does that mean this is more or less like a cider - ie has an ABV of about 5- 6% (starting gravity around 1.040)? Using about 1 gallon of cranberry juice to make a gallon of wine is a lot of sour. You might want to blend this with some perry (pear cider) or even some (hard) apple cider. Without wanting to appear to be a heretic you MIGHT just want to consider blending at least some of this wine with a beer to make a cranberry ale. But bottom line is that none of my suggestions suggest that your wine is ready for bottling just yet.. But "tart" is not always easy to solve and "very tart" is a great deal more difficult (IMO)... :b
 

Scooter68

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One fine point that may not apply now. Your picture seems to show the wine during the fermentation with volume well below the neck of the container. That's fine during fermentation but for aging the wine or even relatively short-term storage, you want to get that volume higher (About half-way up the neck of the container - to avoid oxidation.
 

Curly

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One fine point that may not apply now. Your picture seems to show the wine during the fermentation with volume well below the neck of the container. That's fine during fermentation but for aging the wine or even relatively short-term storage, you want to get that volume higher (About half-way up the neck of the container - to avoid oxidation.
So with that being said it has been sitting for a month. so it is no good now because of oxidation ) ??
 

Curly

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bench trial tasting is what I would consider. make a sugar syrup with two cups sugar to one cup hot water. mix in a blender let cool. take a 60 ml sample=1/4 cup of the wine add 1/8 tsp=.625 ml of sugar syrup taste test. continue with 60 ml sample and 1/4 tsp, do a second with 1/4+1/8 tsp continue with samples increasing sugar syrup by 1/8 tsp each time until you find the taste level you like. calculate necessary amount of sugar syrup addition to base wine, add potassium sorbate to keep wine from restarting and k-meta. wait a week to insure wine does not referment. bottle.
awesome. I read about sugar syrup somewhere but I thought it might make it tarter.
 

Scooter68

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Sweetening actually takes the edge off the tartness and rounds it out although Cranberry is going to be a challenge I suspect. Good luck with that.

As to oxidation - while it's possible, more than likely no serious harm has been done if kept under a good airlock. BUT as suggested if you can do your sweetening now that will help add volume without adding just water.
BUT, yes, as soon as possible get that volume up - about halfway up that neck at least.
 

Curly

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Sweetening actually takes the edge off the tartness and rounds it out although Cranberry is going to be a challenge I suspect. Good luck with that.

As to oxidation - while it's possible, more than likely no serious harm has been done if kept under a good airlock. BUT as suggested if you can do your sweetening now that will help add volume without adding just water.
BUT, yes, as soon as possible get that volume up - about halfway up that neck at least.
Scooter68....ok sounds good. I will do that..... Thanks for your input. much appreciated
 

1lucky

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Hi! I am fermenting my first cranberry wine, it is on day 4 of pretty aggressive fermenting. I wanted to make it this winter to use as my Christmas wine next year, it is a very bright, cherry red, and as long as it is not too tart I think it will be good for my family. Anyhow, I was planning on aging it outside this winter, I have a stairwell that is protected from some of the cold so I don't think it will freeze. Do you think this will cut down on the tartness by taking away some of the acid? Also, I was thinking of adding tannins, partly because I've never used them and partly because I'm afraid it might be a little 'flat'. I'd appreciate thoughts on any of those ideas? Also, Curly, how did yours turn out?
 

winemaker81

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1lucky -- make sure your wine doesn't freeze -- that will NOT produce a good result. Cold stabilization should reduce acidity, but don't chance freezing. Make sure you rack the wine while cold -- if it warms up, some of the crystals will dissolve, wasting your effort.

Tannin will add bitterness and astringency. That may not be what you want.

Most non-grape wines benefit from some sweetening. It doesn't have to be much. The general recommendation is to do bench testing -- add small amounts of a sample of wine and taste. When you find the ratio that tastes best, do the math to determine how much sugar goes into the full batch.

When adding sugar, err on the side of caution -- it's easier to add more than to take some out ...
 
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