Step Feeding Protocol

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

drainsurgeon

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
420
Reaction score
143
I've finally got my chocolate raspberry port started and the goal is to run the ABV up as high as possible, until the yeast croaks. There is not that much clear information out there about step feeding that I can find. One poster here stated that he waits until the SG gets down to 1.0 and then adds 1/2 lb of sugar per gallon of must and keeps doing that until the yeast dies of alcohol poisoning.

Questions are: At what SG do you feed at and how much?
: Is there a SG # that you shoot for when driving it back up?
: Is there an easy way to keep track of how much the ABV is?

Just looking for ideas. Fire away!
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,958
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Kansas
it is important to follow good yeast nutrient practices wine setup feeding. start step feeding at sg=1010 and increase to 1020. monitor the wine asit reduces to 1010 again then add sugar syrup to 1020. continue to do so until sg does not change.
for abv calculation use formula %abv=(begining sg-final sg) 131 do so at each step and then add the abv's together. for example
first ferment step with beging sg=1090 and first step addition at sg=1010 the first calculation is (1090-1010)131=10.48%
next step feed
(1020-1010)131=1.31%
next step feed
(1.020-1.010)131=1.31% if stopped her then tonal abv would be 10.48+ 1.31 + 1.31 =13.1

I did this with EC1118 and got 20% abv. I used sugar syrup witch is two cup sugar to one cup water.

good luck
 
Last edited:

drainsurgeon

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
420
Reaction score
143
it is important to follow good yeast nutrient practices wine setup feeding. start step feeding at sg=1010 and increase to 1020. monitor the wine asit reduces to 1010 again then add sugar syrup to 1020. continue to do so until sg does not change.
for abv calculation use formula %abv=(begining sg-final sg) 131 do so at each step and then add the abv's together. for example
first ferment step with beging sg=1090 and first step addition at sg=1010 the first calculation is (1090-1010)131=10.48%
next step feed
(1020-1010)131=1.31%
next step feed
(1.020-1.010)131=1.31% if stopped her then tonal abv would be 10.48+ 1.31 + 1.31 =13.1

I did this with EC1118 and got 20% abv. I used sugar syrup witch is two cup sugar to one cup water.

good luck
Thanks, I'll keep the yoyo going between 1.01 and 1.02. I originally thought that adding up each step was the way to figure out total ABV also. When I suggested this on a post last fall, I was corrected and told that you also have to account for additional volume created by adding more sugar. Another poster gave a pretty complicated formula to figure this out and was hoping there might be something simpler. Like adding up like you suggested, minus 12% of additional alcohol made, or something like that. I'll see if I can find the post.
 

Arne

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
5,034
Reaction score
1,148
Location
central Nebraska
Thanks, I'll keep the yoyo going between 1.01 and 1.02. I originally thought that adding up each step was the way to figure out total ABV also. When I suggested this on a post last fall, I was corrected and told that you also have to account for additional volume created by adding more sugar. Another poster gave a pretty complicated formula to figure this out and was hoping there might be something simpler. Like adding up like you suggested, minus 12% of additional alcohol made, or something like that. I'll see if I can find the post.
Just figure it with what you put into it. The small volume you add won't make much difference in the end results. If it bothers you having to know the exact abv, you might have to do all the calculations, most folks I know are just going to say "That stuff has a big kick." Just sayin it sounds like a bunch of work for very little results. Drink hearty, stay safe. Arne. Btw, what I tell most folks "My wines are 11 to 13% abv. I added enough sugar to get them up there and that is about what they are." Not very scientific, but that is the way I am. Arne.
 
Last edited:

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
12,260
Reaction score
11,506
Location
near Milwaukee
Also, if you can lay your hands on dextrose (AKA glucose), that is better for step feeding. (The yeast have an easier time fermenting it, so you can push the ABV a bit higher that way). Should be available at your LHBS.
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,958
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Kansas
your suggestion with regard to considering volume is correct. however the amount of volume difference compared to overall volume is insignificant for the calculation as far as I am concerned. who cares if the abv is 18% or 19% the objective is to get it to the yeast limit. Even the government allows a deviation of 1.5% on abv for wine labeling.
 

drainsurgeon

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
420
Reaction score
143
All good ideas guys, thanks very much. I'm at 1.078 tonight so I'm ok for a couple of days anyway. It's got the biggest foam cap I've ever seen! I had to pull a gallon out tonight after stirring as it was foaming over the top of my 7 1/2 gallon primary. I've never seen ec 1118 do that before. I think it likes the Dutch Cocoa powder that's in there.
 

ljewels4u

Junior
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
3
Also, if you can lay your hands on dextrose (AKA glucose), that is better for step feeding. (The yeast have an easier time fermenting it, so you can push the ABV a bit higher that way). Should be available at your LHBS.
so to get the glucose - couldn't you make "invert sugar"? (2c:1c:2t - sugar:water:lemonjuice)?
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
12,260
Reaction score
11,506
Location
near Milwaukee
so to get the glucose - couldn't you make "invert sugar"? (2c:1c:2t - sugar:water:lemonjuice)?
Well, that would leave you with half glucose, and half of the other part of the sucrose disaccharide, namely, fructose. It is that sugar that the yeasties find a little harder to ferment, and that is why I was suggesting pure glucose/dextrose.
 

drainsurgeon

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
420
Reaction score
143
Well I'm not sure about the glucose part, but the port turned out fantastic! The wine ended up at almost 19% after step feeding and with the addition of brandy I fortified it up to 22%. It was good 3 years ago but aging has really smoothed it out and the bottle I opened this winter was really something. I still have a case at home and will enjoy this batch for another year or three....I have to pace myself. Thanks again to all of you here and Jack Keller for the recipe.
 

Al Hatfield

Junior
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Should I add yeast nutrients when step feeding? I mean after the initial. Should I add more nutrient when I add more sugar?
 

salcoco

Veteran Wine Maker
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
2,958
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Kansas
one dosage of yeast nutrient should be sufficient
 

dmw_chef

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
107
Reaction score
90
Just make sure you calculate the YAN target based on your expected theoretical OG.

also, be aware that most ABV calcuators can be off by 1-2 points at really high ABVs. The calculator here is reliable up to at least 20% (lab verified): http://meadcalc.freevar.com/
 

Al Hatfield

Junior
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
New question about the same topic so I figure better to keep it in this thread for others to find easier. If you step feed until the yeast dies do you always end with a FG between 1.010 and 1.020? Is that the proper sweetness for a port? Or should I tap out early if fermentation slows so it goes down to 1.000 or below? It’s my first port attempt.
 

Latest posts

Top