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Starting SG to high? And other newbie questions

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Hi all, I am new here and new to winemaking. I have started my 3rd batch of wine (first 2 are only 2 and 3 weeks along) and have some questions. I am making chokecherry wine, following a recipe I found online. I have had to modify it from a 15-gallon size to a smaller size to fit my goals. My goal is to make 3 gallons of wine. I have a 3-gallon carboy plus some 1 gallon and smaller vessels.

The recipe:
9lbs chokecherries frozen then mashed
7.5 pounds sugar, Dissolved in 1-gallon water and brought to a boil
3 pounds golden raisins chopped and added to a bag with mashed chokecherries
3 tsp acid blend
1.5 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp tannin
4 crushed Campden tablets
2.5 gallons of filtered water.
1 pkg yeast EC- 1118 ? or Red Star Premier yeast

Day one: put mixed mashed chokecherries into a bucket, poured boiling sugar water over top, then added additional water to 5 gallons. SG 1.100
Covered and let rest overnight

Day 2: Added, yeast nutrient, acid blend, Campden Tablets and tannin, Squeezed fruit bag, and stirred all in.
SG now is 1.112

I will wait 12 hours then add pectic enzyme
Wait another 12 hours then add yeast

My questions are:
1. Will this end up overly sweet? I like sweeter wines, but not too sweet, I think something similar to a Riesling is my goal.
2. And if that is the case, is there something I can do at this point to change that?

3. I have 2 types of yeast available and am unsure which one to use, I don't know what the differences are. EC- 1118 ? or Red Star Premier yeast

4. I most likely should have asked before I started, but what would be the purpose of adding the raisins to this recipe versus using more of the chokecherries.

Thank you
 

Johnd

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1. You have enough sugar to yield a 16% ABV wine, EC 1118 is good to 18%, so if you use it, your wine will be dry and taste very boozy. Don’t recall the tolerance of Montrachet. The starting place for a must should be the SG / BRIX required to yield the final ABV that you want, planning for all sugar to be consumed. The wine is sweetened AFTER it is dry.

2. Dilute the must to a reasonable SG, and add more fruit to compensate for the additional water.

3. Consider K1V-1116 yeast, it’s well suited for fruit wines, though the others will work just fine.

4. I have no idea, I wouldn’t put dried, oxidized grapes in any wine I was making, except maybe an Amarone (which is made from partially dried and oxidized grapes). More fruit is always better IMHO, gets you closer to fruit wine instead of fruit-flavored wine.
 
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1. You have enough sugar to yield a 16% ABV wine, EC 1118 is good to 18%, so if you use it, your wine will be dry and taste very boozy. Don’t recall the tolerance of Montrachet. The starting place for a must should be the SG / BRIX required to yield the final ABV that you want, planning for all sugar to be consumed. The wine is sweetened AFTER it is dry.

2. Dilute the must to a reasonable SG, and add more fruit to compensate for the additional water.

3. Consider K1V-1116 yeast, it’s well suited for fruit wines, though the others will work just fine.

4. I have no idea, I wouldn’t put dried, oxidized grapes in any wine I was making, except maybe an Amarone (which is made from partially dried and oxidized grapes). More fruit is always better IMHO, gets you closer to fruit wine instead of fruit-flavored wine.
Thank you......ugh my bucket is almost full so diluting and adding more fruit is going to be tricky. I will see what I can do!
 
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1. You have enough sugar to yield a 16% ABV wine, EC 1118 is good to 18%, so if you use it, your wine will be dry and taste very boozy. Don’t recall the tolerance of Montrachet. The starting place for a must should be the SG / BRIX required to yield the final ABV that you want, planning for all sugar to be consumed. The wine is sweetened AFTER it is dry.

2. Dilute the must to a reasonable SG, and add more fruit to compensate for the additional water.

3. Consider K1V-1116 yeast, it’s well suited for fruit wines, though the others will work just fine.

4. I have no idea, I wouldn’t put dried, oxidized grapes in any wine I was making, except maybe an Amarone (which is made from partially dried and oxidized grapes). More fruit is always better IMHO, gets you closer to fruit wine instead of fruit-flavored wine.
OH I forgot to ask in my previous reply, what would a reasonable starting SB be?
 

Scooter68

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1. You have enough sugar to yield a 16% ABV wine, EC 1118 is good to 18%, so if you use it, your wine will be dry and taste very boozy. Don’t recall the tolerance of Montrachet. The starting place for a must should be the SG / BRIX required to yield the final ABV that you want, planning for all sugar to be consumed. The wine is sweetened AFTER it is dry.

2. Dilute the must to a reasonable SG, and add more fruit to compensate for the additional water.

3. Consider K1V-1116 yeast, it’s well suited for fruit wines, though the others will work just fine.

4. I have no idea, I wouldn’t put dried, oxidized grapes in any wine I was making, except maybe an Amarone (which is made from partially dried and oxidized grapes). More fruit is always better IMHO, gets you closer to fruit wine instead of fruit-flavored wine.
Believe montrachcet is good to 13% so that would leave with a VERY sweet wine.
Not sure about the flavor potency of chokecherries but they would have to be very very strong to do a 5 gallon batch -at present you have about 1.8 lbs fruit per gallon.

And as Johnd says I personally won't use dried raisins in my wine. For me there are two reasons. 1) they often have some preservative that could slow or prevent fermentation and 2) they are oxidized and oxidation is normally considered undesirable for most wine.
 
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Believe montrachcet is good to 13% so that would leave with a VERY sweet wine.
Not sure about the flavor potency of chokecherries but they would have to be very very strong to do a 5 gallon batch -at present you have about 1.8 lbs fruit per gallon.

And as Johnd says I personally won't use dried raisins in my wine. For me there are two reasons. 1) they often have some preservative that could slow or prevent fermentation and 2) they are oxidized and oxidation is normally considered undesirable for most wine.
Thank you, I was able to add 1.5 gallons of water, and 2 pounds of Chokecherry's, my SG is now 1.090, there is no more space in my primary! I think I will use the EC 1118 yeast with this.

I am going to need to get more vessels for secondary fermenting......is there such a thing as a 2-gallon carboy or jug? I know I could do 2 one gallon jugs, but a 2 gallon something would be better.

I still have 30+ pounds of chokecherries in the freezer, so I could try a second batch of wine at a later date, without the raisins.

I have a LOT to learn!!!
 

Scooter68

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Never seen one....yet. if you have a recycling center nearby they are great sources for 1 gal/ 4 liter glass carboys as well as empty wine bottles.
A little labor to clean up but free is the operative word.
 

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