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Testing Results / Bottling Help! - Strawberry

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sct1984

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So I am getting prepared to bottle my 5 GAL of strawberry wine which was started in June - it is smelling and tasting fantastic.

I tested last night, and am wondering if I should adjust anything before bottling.

Results:

S.G. = 1.030 (reading pretty high I think, used a refractometer - it did ferment dry, but looking back to my photos, after back-sweetening, I was measuring only 1.002 with
my hydrometer). I will be confirming this tonight using the hydrometer.
pH = 3.2 (digital pH meter)
T.A = 6.25 (approx, using Titration Kit)
Free SO2 = 18 (approx, using Accuvin Free SO2 kit - 18 was the
general concensus in the house :h)

The only think I would maybe mess with is the pH, but due to back sweetening, the acidity is masked initially, and still finishes a little acidic, which I like. According to Accuvin, Free SO2 goals for a pH of 3.2 is 13-21, and I believe that I am in that range.

So.. it has been sitting for 2 months since the last racking, and is fairly clear. I do really like the flavour and over all characteristics, so I was thinking to filter and bottle this week.

Opinions welcome - if everything looks good, how should I go about bottling? Presuming my Free SO2 is acceptable, I was planning to rack (very small amount of fine lees in the carboy) - then filter, and bottle, without any further additions. Does that sound right?
 
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salcoco

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if it tastes good bottle. figures or measurements are for historical comparison to your next batch. if you back sweetened potassium sorbate should be added.

as an aside the refracatometer will read high because of the alcohol biasing the reading. your hydrometer is the best measurement at this stage.
 

sct1984

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if it tastes good bottle. figures or measurements are for historical comparison to your next batch. if you back sweetened potassium sorbate should be added.

as an aside the refracatometer will read high because of the alcohol biasing the reading. your hydrometer is the best measurement at this stage.
Thanks! I did sorbate and K-meta at the time of sweetening - I don't suppose that I need to again?

I hadn't realized that the refractometer would read much higher after fermentation, but in hindsight it makes complete sense. I just remember doing the ABV calculations back in July/August and certainly didn't remember that it worked out so low!
 

Scooter68

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DON'T RUSH - Give it time to clear on it's own. Don't introduce any fining agents. The clarity will get there. You are way early, too early. Give it at least a full 6 months to clear. Filtering will only get rid of the lightest of haze. Anything more and your filter will clog quickly and may still not be truly clear. I've got an Apple that I waited 6 months on and then filtered. Out of 3 gallons one cleared nicely with filtering the other two remained slightly hazy. I bottled about 3 weeks later. Now a 14 months from start I found found sediment in one of the bottles.
The acidity is fine - no need to adjust it now, at 3.2 as long as there is no serious bite to it. The next 2-6 months will do wonders for it.

The magic word here is very simple but very hard for folks starting out. PATIENCE !

All the finest wine making equipment and expertise cannot give you what time will.
Why do you think 20 year old Whiskey, Bourbon and Rum cost so much?
 
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hounddawg

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i agree with above advice is solid,, most especially let it finish letting it bulk age another 6 months. quicker fruits an berries i bulk a year, buggers like pear and a few other i let bulk 2 year, your different tastes is lack of aging i make ok wines, but father time makes them inti very, very nice wines to say the least
Dawg
 

sct1984

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So giving into my curiosity to experiment and impatience, I racked 3 gallons and filtered the remaining 2. Wow. What a difference in brilliance and clarity of the filtered wine. Will wait a bit to bottle now, but I was very surprised in how clear the wine actually became!
 
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