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Very first batch of wine. Questions...

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milesaway1980

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Hi everyone,
This is my first post here and I am having some questions about my first batch of wine. I didn't use a kit wine and made it completely from scratch. Everything seemed to go pretty well, it has a great color, is currently sitting at around 16% alcohol (potent), and everything for the most part seems to be coming along fine. I made it from a mixed berry recipe using raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

However, during racking today (about 14 days since I actually made the wine), I gave it a taste. It isn't bad, but the lingering after flavor could be compared more to a berry cough syrup. I'm really trying to figure out if it's too sweet, too tart, too bland, etc... and am thinking it might be too acidic. So I'm wondering, does anyone know what this taste means? I'm sure it's a common one. Or....since it is only 14 days old, should I really even worry about it? It obviously hasn't had any time to age or mature at all.

Also, if this is something that I can fix, is it too late? Are there ways to balance it out after it's already finished it's primary fermentation? I know it's my first and I shouldn't expect it to be the best, but I would like it drinkable. :)

The beginning gravity was 1.090 and when I did an acidity test (before it fermented), it was around 65%.

Thanks for your help!
 

scubaman2151

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Hi milesaway and welcome to the boards.

Can you post what recipe you used, im looking to start my own batch like this within a week or so.

Your alchoal content seems high for the starting SG you had. If you started with 1.090 SG and lets say it ferments down to 1.000 you would have a alchoal content of about 12%. To get 16% you would need to have a starting SG of at least 1.120. Im not sure about the acid answer though.

Scuba
 

milesaway1980

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Hi milesaway and welcome to the boards.

Can you post what recipe you used, im looking to start my own batch like this within a week or so.

Your alchoal content seems high for the starting SG you had. If you started with 1.090 SG and lets say it ferments down to 1.000 you would have a alchoal content of about 12%. To get 16% you would need to have a starting SG of at least 1.120. Im not sure about the acid answer though.

Scuba

I'm figuring that the AC is 16% because currently, the gravity is less than 1.000 at about 0.990 or so, which puts it at 16% (12 - (-4)). It's possible my hydrometer is off, but the range changed enough to get the AC%.
As for the recipe, I'll have to give it to you when I get home as I'm at work right now but I had to put a couple different recipes together to make what I had on hand.
 

cpfan

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(1.090 - .990) * 133 = .100 * 133 = 13.3 %

Steve
 

Kywinedoc

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Hey Milesaway,
I'm new to forums as well, but have been making wine for a few years. Still don't know enough yet. You're gutsy to start from scratch with berries as your first try. Sounds like you did well. If we had the receipe it would be easier to tell if there even is a problem. Steve is right, you have a potential alcohol of 13.3, and you have a dry wine. Berries tend to be more acid and there are multiple variables that can affect the flavor. Let it sit for a while. Have someone else that makes wine give it a taste. There are several things you can do later as long as you have topped it up and no oxidation is occuring. Don't give up on it and don't do anything immediately.
Andy H
 

milesaway1980

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Hey Milesaway,
I'm new to forums as well, but have been making wine for a few years. Still don't know enough yet. You're gutsy to start from scratch with berries as your first try. Sounds like you did well. If we had the receipe it would be easier to tell if there even is a problem. Steve is right, you have a potential alcohol of 13.3, and you have a dry wine. Berries tend to be more acid and there are multiple variables that can affect the flavor. Let it sit for a while. Have someone else that makes wine give it a taste. There are several things you can do later as long as you have topped it up and no oxidation is occuring. Don't give up on it and don't do anything immediately.
Andy H
I guess I do like to dive into things head first. That and it was much cheaper than a premade wine kit, or tracking down wine grapes or something. :) I guess I also didn't know that berries were more difficult. They just sounded like fun and if my first batch wasn't the best I wasn't out much but time (already have a second one going, it's pineapple). I've never seen that alcohol formula in any of the wine making books I've perused, I'll have to write it down. 13.3% sounds more like a normal alcohol content.
Also, as stated above, I'll toss out the recipe when I get home. But in the mean time, yeah, it's been topped off, but how do I know if oxidation is occurring? I accidentally splashed it in a little bit the last time I topped off, will that hurt it? (Hope not.)
Lastly, I don't know a single person who makes wine, I wish I did! Although, I certainly know plenty of people who like to drink it.
 
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scubaman2151

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You really only have to worry about oxidation once fermentation is over. But a little spashing wont hurt it right now. If you dont know any body who makes wine you could look at joining a local wine club. Try calling local vineyards and asking them if they know any clubs, more often then not a vineyard usually sponors a club and the club uses that vineyard as thier home base I guess you could say.

Scuba
 

cpfan

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Now I know that you are 'MilesAway' from anyone else, but where exactly is that? Maybe you're just doen the road from somebody here.

Fill in the location field accessible from 'User CP', 'Edit Profile', and we won't have to ask again!!! :p

Steve
 
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