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dralarms

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Ok, we’ve always been told to top off with a “similar” wine. What would be wrong with making a batch of wine using sugar, water and yeast. Finishing it off and using it to top off any wine you want? I mean it would add no flavor and would not change the abv.
 

1d10t

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You still dilute the influence of the grapes and results might be variable depending on yeast viability. The later you add it the more you run the chance of bottle fermentation or off flavors.
 

NorCal

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I suppose it depends on the ratio of addition to the wine. Let’s face it, wine is 82% water, 15% alcohol and only 3% everything else. If you can get a clean ferment with just sugar and water and it’s not that much, no big deal. I’ll usually taste the wine and top it with what I think it needs. My Cab Franc (my go to) is usually lighter than I want, so I’ll top with Petit Verdot or Petite Sirah.
 

mainshipfred

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I have so many smaller vessels of left over wine after filling carboys and barrels and just use what I have. Most of my wines are big reds so any other big red works for me.
 

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Sure beats water!
I seem to recall a Jack Keller article recommended banana wine as a fairly neutrally tasting top off, though that would be moderately more effort than your proposal.
 

dralarms

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Sure beats water!
I seem to recall a Jack Keller article recommended banana wine as a fairly neutrally tasting top off, though that would be moderately more effort than your proposal.
I have to disagree. My banana wine is what I consider to be very flavorful. And it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to make banana wine. My wife peels and freezes them in vacuum bags to keep them from turning black, I wait until I have 50+ lbs minimum and toss in the bucket along with plenty of pectic enzyme. I did 130 lbs once and if I recall correctly I got about 12 gallons of finished wine.
 

MJD

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I have to disagree. My banana wine is what I consider to be very flavorful. And it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to make banana wine. My wife peels and freezes them in vacuum bags to keep them from turning black, I wait until I have 50+ lbs minimum and toss in the bucket along with plenty of pectic enzyme. I did 130 lbs once and if I recall correctly I got about 12 gallons of finished wine.
I haven't personally made banana wine, just relaying what I read. Although the Keller recipe used less than half the lbs/gallon that you mention above, so maybe his has a lot less impact on the final product.
 

dralarms

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I haven't personally made banana wine, just relaying what I read. Although the Keller recipe used less than half the lbs/gallon that you mention above, so maybe his has a lot less impact on the final product.
I don’t use any of jack Keller’s recipes. They all seem low on the fruit side. I also don’t use the peels. They way I see it is if I won’t eat it then I’m not using it in my wine making.
 

MJD

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I feel the same way on using the peels. If I won't eat it, its not going in the wine.
Although I suppose I break that rule with dandelion wine. I can't see chewing on a bunch of flower petals, but that is a great wine.

I agree that Keller's fruit recipes, for the most part, produce a light to moderate flavor. I bump them another pound or two per gallon when I want to go heavier on the fruit flavor.
 

Scooter68

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I don’t use any of jack Keller’s recipes. They all seem low on the fruit side. I also don’t use the peels. They way I see it is if I won’t eat it then I’m not using it in my wine making.
The only time I refer to Keller's recipes is to check on the list of ingredients. The fruit quantities are WAY low in my experience. Also he uses raisins a lot and I have a problem with the idea of using oxidized and most often heavily preservative treated raisins. Guess you can find untreated ones but still it's a dried oxidized thing.

Those recipes are kind of a check-off list if I am doing a fruit wine type I've never done before but most times I don't find much to add to my planned recipe.
 

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