What should finished Apple Wine smell like

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Plato

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So I have finished up a 5 gallon batch of apple wine. I have degassed but have not back sweetened it yet. It appears to be CO2 free at this moment but Im concerned about the smell and taste of the wine. I realize it must be aged at least six months to a year. It has a harsh bite to it and not an apple smell what so ever. It does not smell like sulfur or eggs. I really cant describe the smell. The best I can come up with its a sour smell and taste but not like vinegar. Is this common with apple wine?
 

joeswine

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Fruit wines

IT IS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT WHEN MAKING FRUIT WINES . THE RESULT SHOULD BE THAT IT HAS THE AROMA OF THE FRUIT YOU STARTED WITH . IF IT DOES NOT THEN YOU EITHER LACK ENOUGH FRUIT INITIALLY OR SOMETHING ELSE HHAS WENT WRONG.IMO:h . WHAT WAS THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY YOU STARTED WITH,? HOW MUCH FRUIT. DID YOU USE? WHAT TYPE OF YEAST DID YOU USE? THE HARSHNESS CAN BECOME FROM ACIDITY, A FEW MORE DETAILS WILL BE APPRECIATED LIKE TO HELP.
 
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Morgan

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I'm a newbie but don't be too discouraged. I bottled an apple wine pretty much right away when it had cleared and though now I'm marginally wiser and would have bulk aged it MUCH longer, I found that after a few weeks in the bottle a lot of that harshness had mellowed out. If I were you I'd be patient, make sure it was sulfited and airlocked, and just wait it out. Bottled after at least six months and enjoy. Even after just a couple weeks mine tasted like a white wine with an apple 'bite' to it. From what I read, the longer you let it age (protected) the more the flavors will smooth and you will get some of your fruit flavor back. Cheers!
 

Plato

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Joe

I started with Five gallons of Apple Juice bottled. This is just juice with no sugar added nor any chems. This came from a local orchard. My Starting SG was 1.090 after the first week in the Primary the SG dropped to 1.010 and I Racked to the secondary. I added 2 lbs of sugar to the secondary and thats where it remained until the Gross Lees built up and I then racked and continued to do so for about 2.5 months. Thats when the air lock leveled out. I then waited on it to clear out and added the Campden Tablets and Potassium Meta. I waited another week and a half then racked it once more and actually ran it through a filter to remove any sediment. I plan on aging it then back sweetening it. Should I sweeten it before aging?

Morgan

Ive read that same thing to just bulk age it and wait it out. Ill definately do that myself. I have a ton of one gallon carboys that I was gonna age it in. Should I not do this and leave it in the 5 gallon carboy for aging?
 

Morgan

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No doubt Joe can weigh in, but I think that when in doubt keep it in 5 gallon and bulk age a long as possible so long as you are protected from unwanted oxygen and microorganisms. You will end up with a more consistent product. I wish I had done the same with mine ( but it still ended up totally drinkable..! Saving a case for next fall at which time it will hopefully be awesome).
 

Morgan

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Just re-read... You said you added both Canpden and Potassium Metabisulfate? Those are actually the same thing. "Kmeta" protects the wine from unwanted microorganisms, but if you are going to back sweeten you need potassium sorbate, too. That's a hot mix, follow the instructions on the bag or bottle. It puts the yeast into dormancy so they won't eat up and ferment all the sugar you're gonna add. If you don't use it you'll risk making either "bottle bombs" or an apple port with a higher than desired ABV.
 

Pumpkinman

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Plato, I've made a few fruit wines and a hard cider, once they are fermented to dry, they are bitter until we back sweeten, all of the sugar that we had tasted prior to fermentation has fermented and has been converted to alcohol.

An SG of 1.010 fermented down from 1.090 would give you an Alcohol by Volume of 10.48%, not too bad, but still near the alcohol of a wine, but.....you added sugar to the secondary, and the wine was most likely not fermented to dry, therefore, it is possible that the yeast was able to ferment the added sugar as well.

The 2 pounds of sugar you added to this 5 gallon batch of apple wine, increased the potential alcohol of the wine by roughly 2 percent, if the yeast was able to ferment it, this would have raised your ABV to nearly 12-13%. You've entered the realm of hard cider at that ABV%
In a light fruit wine such as an apple wine, this can taste "hot" or bitter until it ages and mellows out.

We usually add the sugar to the fermenting bucket to raise up the SG to increase the final alcohol content, this way we can monitor the SG with our hydrometer and know when fermentation is finished and stabilize the wine, add sorbate to stop any further fermentations and back sweeten, then bulk age.

You said that:
I then waited on it to clear out and added the Campden Tablets and Potassium Meta.
As Morgan stated, these are one in the same, although it isn't a great thing to do, depending on how much sulfite was added between the two, you could reduce the Sulfites by stirring in oxygen (stirring in oxygen isn't normally a good thing for wines).

I would add Potassium sorbate, and back sweeten to your taste and let sit for a week or so and see if that helps the taste at all.
If it is very acidic, we can help with that as well.

I hope that this helps,
Tom
 

Plato

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Sorry guys I typed that up wrong I added the Campden and Potasium Sorbate.... I dont know why I wrote it up that way.
 

Plato

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Thanks for all the suggestions. This forum has been extremely helpful in my new hobby.
 

Juggernaut

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My last batch of apple wine had a harsh and alcoholic taste for months, I thought it was a bad batch, but after about 10 months it tasted great. So I think you need to let it age, and it will mellow and improve the taste.
 
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