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Sweet vs Dry

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Old Philosopher

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The answer is probably on the Board somewhere, but maybe somebody can jog my memory.
What happens if a wine is stabilized and "finished" before all the yeast has been exhausted? I have a 5 gal batch that's at about 7% alcohol abv and tastes great. I'd like to halt it right there. But the SG is 1.052 (down from 1.100).
Can I stop it now, without killing the quality?
Thanks for suggestions.
 

pwrose

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If I recall correctly I was told the only way to stop a fermentation is by cold stablization for a long period of time (what long defines I am not sure). But to just stop one along the way I am not sure.
I would imagine that the reason it taste as good as it does right now is because it still has sugar left in it. If that is the reason just let it ferment out and then stablize like normal and backsweeten.
But I am a greenhorn when it comes to the correct procedures for making good wine, I have only recently starting making wine the right way. LOL
 

Old Philosopher

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...
But I am a greenhorn when it comes to the correct procedures for making good wine, I have only recently starting making wine the right way. LOL
You and me both! I'll let it go until someone tells me different in this thread.
Thanks.
 

Julie

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OP,

Since you took a reading and you like the taste, let it ferment out, this way you are not taking the chance of a refermentation in the bottle. The alcohol level will be higher and that does effect taste but this is the safest way. Once it has fermented down, stabilize and backsweeten to that level.
 

Old Philosopher

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OP,

Since you took a reading and you like the taste, let it ferment out, this way you are not taking the chance of a refermentation in the bottle. The alcohol level will be higher and that does effect taste but this is the safest way. Once it has fermented down, stabilize and backsweeten to that level.
That's what I've done with the last 5 gallons. I was just curious if it was problematic to short-stop the fermentation, and I gleaning "yes" from the responses. I'll let it go dry, back sweeten and even add an f-pak if needed. Like my wife says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 

Tom

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Let it go dry and then backsweeten. If you bottle it now you may have bottle bombs later...
 

AlFulchino

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and upon back sweetening make sure you sorbate and k meta
 

BobF

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That's what I've done with the last 5 gallons. I was just curious if it was problematic to short-stop the fermentation, and I gleaning "yes" from the responses. I'll let it go dry, back sweeten and even add an f-pak if needed. Like my wife says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
You could always fortify it, bringing the alcohol level above the tolerance level of the yeast you used.

I'm sure that would alter the taste dramatically though ;-)
 

Wade E

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Cold crashing is risky without sterile filtering it afterward. fermenting to dry and stabilizing is the best way if you dont have the means to sterile filter and that requires a filter of .45 microns or less. Never try to stop a wine in progress with sulfite and or sorabte. That can really stress the yeast and ruin the taste and most likely it wont stop the fermentation anyways unless you really over sulfite the crap out of it and youd taste the sulfite big time!
 

Old Philosopher

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Cold crashing is risky without sterile filtering it afterward. fermenting to dry and stabilizing is the best way if you dont have the means to sterile filter and that requires a filter of .45 microns or less. Never try to stop a wine in progress with sulfite and or sorabte. That can really stress the yeast and ruin the taste and most likely it wont stop the fermentation anyways unless you really over sulfite the crap out of it and youd taste the sulfite big time!
Understood.
So that raises another (probably repetitive) question.
My understanding is that a "dry" wine is anywhere around .992 SG (+/- .002).
A "sweet" wine can be as high as 1.015 SG. True?
So how does one go about getting a "sweet" wine, when the batch wants to continue to ferment down to "dry"?
Obviously a person can back sweeten...but I'm talking about controlling the fermentation so no f-pak or sweetening is required.
Maybe that was my original question.
:a1
 

Tom

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That's what Back Sweetening is. 2 parts sugar 1 part water
 

Tom

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With fruits they do. Its VERY hard to stop fermentation at a certain gravity. so, All are fermented dry.. If more flavor needed then add a f-pac. If only want sweeter wine then Simple syrup will do the trick. OR
You can do both...
 

Old Philosopher

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Okay... Thanks, gang. I guess I'll quit thinking about it.
Maybe I should time my wine so it's ready to finish sometime in January, so I can just throw the bucket out in a snow bank at -20 F. THAT ought to kill them pesky yeasties!!! :)
 

SBWs

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Sweet is a relative term. That is no two relatives will agree what a sweet wine should taste like. I have found some of the fruit wines from around here in NEPA, that the wife and I like, read between 1.030 and 1.050, and one even was as high as 1.072 when I dropped the hydometer into it. However it seems if you check grape wines they are a lot lower and if you sweetened grape to this level I would think it would be to sweet to drink. Maybe one of the old timers would have a little more information on why this is.
 
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