Quantcast

Too sweet

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Dandelion

Junior
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Hi there,
This is my third year as a winemaker. I made one batch of elderflower wine two years ago with great success. Encouraged, I made two batches (ie demijohns) of elderflower wine, one batch of dandelion wine and one batch of rhubarb wine last year. They all came out well, except for one of the batches of elderflower, which is horribly (truly horribly) sweet. I can't imagine what went wrong, as it fermented well and all. It was cloudy for a little while (unlike the others) but cleared totally. What went wrong?? More to the point, what can I do to make it drinkable? I have been mixing it with ordinary white wine to achieve a semi-decent taste but hate having to buy wine from the shop (expensive too). Any other ideas?
 

ashappar

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
73
Reaction score
1
you say it fermented well, care to expound on that? did you ferment to dryness and backsweeten or is the sweetness the result after fermentation; it stopped sweet?

either way just save it and make a batch of dry wine specifically for blending into your cloyingly sweet elderflower wine.
 

Dandelion

Junior
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Okay, thanks for that reply. All my wines so far have come out vaguely sweet and quite strong, i.e. quick to make you feel tipsy. When I say, vaguely sweet, I mean entirely drinkable, but not as dry as a regular white wine, but never as sweet as a dessert wine. I have not backsweetened any. My recipe was: elderflorets, 1.36kg sugar, 30g yeast (packet for winemakers), 4.546 l water, 1 lemon, 25g root ginger. I started in May last year. I fermented in a bucket (few days), then continued that in a demi-john with fermentation lock until no activity at all remained (about 6-8 weeks). I don't measure with a hygrometer. Racked off into a clean-demi-john, corked and left to stand until clear (months later). Racked off again into clean bottles. The only thing this time was, that I did not top up after racking with water, but topped up with wine (also homemade elderflower).
 

djrockinsteve

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
4,911
Reaction score
136
You really need a hydrometer. This one little item can tell and answer alot for your wine. Without the before and after readings it's very hard to diagnose accurately.

To salvage I would say make or get a dry wine and blend as said above. I know when I made my 1st batch I had to top off a carboy and I really hated to go buy a ten dollar box of wine. No I'm not cheap just hated the thought.:m
 

non-grapenut

Fruit Fears Me
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
400
Reaction score
4
1. you could bulk store it (syphon into large glass jugs) and keep it around to blend with a catastrophic, super-nonsweet future mess, 2. you can try refermentation (you will find many threads on this by searching the forum with that key word,) 3. you can do what djrockinsteve suggested by topping off with cheap wine, but how fun is that?
 

Dandelion

Junior
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Okay all of you. Thanks very much for all the advice. I'm off to bed now - working tomorrow. Wine can wait, it seems. Oh to be retired!
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
272
I agree, to truly know what you aare doing you need to get a hydrometer. It will tell you how much alc you are about to make and if you want it dry you dont add as much sugar.
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
37
Let's do some simple math.
You were making 5 liter wine.

In this 5 liter you added 1.36 kilo sugar.
Meaning 1360 gram sugar for 5 liter wine is 272 gram sugar
per liter.

Now if the yeast uses 18 gram sugar for 1% alcohol you were making a wine with 272/18 = 15,11 % alcohol.

My guess is that the yeast gave up after 12% or so and left you with a lot of sugar which made the wine overly sweet.

In the future do the simple math:
18 gram sugar for 1% alcohol in 1 liter.

So for 5 liter with 11% alcohol (just right for this kind of wine) you
would use:

5 liter x 11% x 18 gram = 990 gram sugar.

Luc
 

Dandelion

Junior
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Hey, I love that! Simple calculative approach. Works well for people like me (teacher, ahem...). I will certainly keep that formula in mind for this year's wine making. Thank you and all others again for their advice.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
272
Never heard or seen of that trick there Luc, thanks for sharing! So Dandelion, what yeast did you us as each one has a different abv tolerance.
 

Dandelion

Junior
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
I used something called "Wine Yeast super compound" by "young's brew". Sorry, doesn't sound very technical, does it? Bog standard, wine maker's yeast?
 

Mud

Unfunny
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
501
Reaction score
4
Let's do some simple math.
You were making 5 liter wine.

In this 5 liter you added 1.36 kilo sugar.
Meaning 1360 gram sugar for 5 liter wine is 272 gram sugar
per liter.

Now if the yeast uses 18 gram sugar for 1% alcohol you were making a wine with 272/18 = 15,11 % alcohol.

My guess is that the yeast gave up after 12% or so and left you with a lot of sugar which made the wine overly sweet.

In the future do the simple math:
18 gram sugar for 1% alcohol in 1 liter.

So for 5 liter with 11% alcohol (just right for this kind of wine) you
would use:

5 liter x 11% x 18 gram = 990 gram sugar.

Luc
Why don't the states go metric? :slp
 
Top