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Using vodka to increase alcohol content?

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Dirtydog420

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Read something about it either on there or on another form, cant remember.. Is this true? Making a wine from a kit for the first time and kinda disappointed with the potential alcohol content...

Thanks
 

Wade E

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You cold use that or brandy or Everclear which is a higher abv grain alc which would work the best as it would take less of it so would need as much and change the taste or viscosity of your wine much.
 

St Allie

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I made a few gallons of ginger wine and added whiskey to half the batch and brandy to the other half. The result is very worthwhile.

Allie.
 

Dirtydog420

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You cold use that or brandy or Everclear which is a higher abv grain alc which would work the best as it would take less of it so would need as much and change the taste or viscosity of your wine much.
Would love to use everclear but not legal here in maine.... Wish it were cause i could use itfor a few other things too... But figured a decent vodka would work pretty well.. Wont need much..
 
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instead of fortifying your wine with liquor, why not ferment it to a higher alcohol content. Start by using a strain of yeast that can handle the higher alcohol content and keep a close watch on the sugarcontent and every time it starts dropping below a certain point like say 5% raise it up a few percent by adding a sugar water solution until the alcohol content is up to your liking. A local winery here makes a wine that has a 20% alcohol by using this method not fortifying it.
 

St Allie

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instead of fortifying your wine with liquor, why not ferment it to a higher alcohol content. Start by using a strain of yeast that can handle the higher alcohol content and keep a close watch on the sugarcontent and every time it starts dropping below a certain point like say 5% raise it up a few percent by adding a sugar water solution until the alcohol content is up to your liking. A local winery here makes a wine that has a 20% alcohol by using this method not fortifying it.
Generally a fortified wine is halted mid ferment by adding the spirits to it.. it leaves the wine sweeter and with more flavour. If you choose a brandy or a whisky based spirit, that flavour mingles into the finished wine too. The spirits addition also increases cellaring life for the wine.

Feeding a wine with sugar til the yeast gives up and dies is a good way to up the abv as well, however you will lose flavour and mostly be tasting alcohol and little else, unless you adjust it later with an f-pac. A fortified wine is a much richer finished wine in my opinion.

Allie
 

MoWine

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I would agree with fermenting it to a higher level. I think the other options would change the taste of the wine too much.
 

BettyJ

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fortified wine

A month ago, I pulled a gallon of my natal plum/ banana wine (the taste was incredible) and fortified it with vodka (2 cups - I might need to add a litle brandy after a bit) - my experiment with fortified wine (some call this port) this has not stopped fermentation, just slowed considerably. The alcohol is supposed to aid clearing also - after 1 month it is starting to clear - the regular batch not so much.
 

St Allie

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Betty,

I added 4 cups per galllon to my wine basically a 1/5 ratio. The port stopped immediately and cleared really fast. The ginger took a bit longer to clear, maybe an extra week.. used 80 proof brandy/whiskey for ginger and vodka for the port.

Allie
 

BettyJ

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Great tip

The 1-5 ratio is a little easier than that (Pearson?) formula. I will add more - thanks Allie!
 

St Allie

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You're welcome Betty!

Forgot to mention, for those people wanting to feed the wine into a higher alcohol content..

You need to watch your acid levels in the wine.. As feeding it, will increase the acidity immensely.

Allie
 

BettyJ

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higher acid fortified wines

Do you know what causes this and what efforts you can use to prevent (for instance, using less acid blend on the front end)? I just have the little PH strips, but it is still ok (and tastes wonderful, BTW).
 

St Allie

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...as I don't feed my wines up over 12%, have never had to adjust one yet.

Assuming that anyone is feeding their wines up, having an acid testing kit would become an essential piece of equipment. You can sweeten the wine after it's been stabilised.. it'll mask the acidity. alternatively you can add glycerine for a similar result and less sweetness.

Allie
 

Wade E

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Allie, Ive never heard of the acid multiplying like you stated and have only chaptalized once and that was with a kit so didnt check the TA on that. Who did you hear this from as it really doesnt make sense as acidity usually goes down during fermentation in my experiences.
 

St Allie

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I was reading up on ports a month or so back Wade.. can't recall the link.. it was talking about high tannin and high acidity causing really astringent wines... and feeding the port up to 16%-18% before the addition of the spirits.

I always thought the acidity went down when the alcohol went up.. anyway the whole article put me off feeding a wine up to a higher abv as a result.



Allie
 

Wade E

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Another note about feeding sugar(chaptalizing) is that you should use corn sugar when doing this as its easier for the yeast to consume so as not to stress the yeast too much.
 

Wade E

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Ok, you sparked my interest so Ive been doing my reasearch to try and justify this and not finding any info backing it up. What I have read is that "the actual chemical benefit of adding sugar to must was an increase in alcohol to balance the high acidity of a must". Another article speaks of Chaptalizing using typically high acid grapes that arent quite ripe so the sugar content is lower then norm also meaning that the acid wont be so high and then chaptalizing to make up for the lower sugar content so as not to make a wine with an acid problem.
chaptalization (leads to unbalanced wines because acidity is not increased)
 

St Allie

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I have been hunting for the article unsuccessfully Wade.. sorry..

I know I read through an awful lot of websites for information before starting the lum eisenmann port recipe.. one of the reasons I stopped the port at 12 percent and upped the spirit addition was due to the negative comments in that particular article.

I'd be pleased to know that I was misinformed. Would be more inclined to give feeding a wine a chance in future then.

Allie
 

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