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buckhorn

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On my drive home from work today I was thinking.

I know a trick to get more body in your wine is to add raisins. But when can you add them? Does it have to be during the primary fermentation stage? Can you add them into Secondary or even during bulk storage/aging and still get the effect of added body to the wine?

It would be wonderful if you could add to bulk storage after secondary as this is when I get my best taste and could decide if I wanted to tweak a little... I am not experienced enough to tell these things earlier in the game yet...

The same question for other additives - I assume you can add oak chips during storage because this mimics the aging process in oak barrels - but what about any other additions like vanilla beans, etc...?

Thanks - just thinking and trying to learn
 

Scooter68

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The issue would be the sugar released by the raisins or for that matter anything else you add that contains any sugars. If you plan to backsweeten your wine that may be great BUT how do you know how much a set amount of raisins will add to your wine. There are of course other things that are in the raisins that will be added to the wine but the sugars are the thing that could potentially have the biggest impact.
 

Julie

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I again with DoctorCad. I know a lot use raisins but they are an oxidized grape! Get the grape skins and another thing you could do is add tannins.
 

JohnT

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No need to add vanilla if you use the right toast.

Vanilla flavor components are normally extracted from the caramelization layer just below the woods char.

Also, you do not want to age on oak too long and extract the more tannic and bitter components that exist deeper in the wood.
 

geohines

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Grape Skin Packs

Raisins make your wine taste like raisins. Get some grape skin packs.
So I understand the benefit of grape skin packs, but where and how can you purchase them?
Juices from California in the Fall make some nice wines but a lot of the color and body gets lost through secondary fermentation and subsequent rackings.

Skin Packs would sure help...
Geohines
 

DoctorCAD

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So I understand the benefit of grape skin packs, but where and how can you purchase them?
Juices from California in the Fall make some nice wines but a lot of the color and body gets lost through secondary fermentation and subsequent rackings.

Skin Packs would sure help...
Geohines
http://www.juicegrape.com

Search for grape packs. They are $19.99 each
 

dralarms

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I agree with Julie, raisins are oxidized grapes. I would not recommend them.
 

Ajmassa

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I know a trick to get more body in your wine is to add raisins. But when can you add them? Does it have to be during the primary fermentation stage? Can you add them into Secondary or even during bulk storage/aging and still get the effect of added body to the wine?

It would be wonderful if you could add to bulk storage after secondary as this is when I get my best taste and could decide if I wanted to tweak a little...

This is One of those things that a lot people know but is not usually spelled out easily and known when your starting and learning. But additions for added body and color are mostly (all?) done during the primary fermentation. Adding oak during primary and aging will give you 2 completely different results. Oak, grape skins, wine tannin powder all contain 'tannin' that, when added at primary help with the complex structure of a wine. Oak in primary = added mouthfeel and color. Oak in aging =added oak taste.
Added during bulk your just simply tinkering with the taste. No actual added "body". I didn't realize this until someone specifically pointed it out to me. Wait till bulk age and it's too late so when in doubt: load up the primary with whatever you can to get the most out of your wine.
I actually just used the all-grape pack from juicegrape.com a month ago. I am very happy with the results. It was about a 9 lb pack under the brand name Mosti Mondiale.
 
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Scooter68

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This may be met with some disdain but Glycerin is a great way to both sweeten and add body to a wine. Not having read about or gone to wine competitions I'm not sure what wine judges find offensive but for the average person Glycerine should enhance the body of your wine and gently sweeten it as well. A little goes a long way but I've been happy with the results so far on a couple of wine batches.

Article about touching up your wine including the use of Glycerine: http://www.selfsufficientish.com/main/2010/02/taking-the-fear-out-of-wine-making-part-3-cheating-and-improving/
 
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Couple of things about raisins...

1. They bloat up after adding them, which will remove some water from the must. I guess they might incidentally increase the body in doing so....?
2. If you don't macerate them they will not release a lot of flavors or body to the existing must.
3. They are typically oxidized dried grapes (as stated by several people above). Typical caution about oxidizing your wine early in the process.

I have seen higher end kits include raisins but I am not convinced of a real value as far as flavor extractions or basic interaction with the fermentation process. The recommendations to get grape skins are valid.

HOWEVER....a couple of notes of caution about grape skins!

When you add grape skins to must you have to periodically punch down the cap that will form - the skins will float to the top (this is called a 'cap'). The skins need to stay wet, otherwise they can grow things you do not want in your wine. Every couple of days simply open the fermentation vessel and mix then back down with a sterilized spoon or pump the must over the top of the cap, keeping it moist and releasing the flavor components you seek.

The second caution is this....when you add grape skins you are potentially adding a great deal more tannin and other compounds from the skins that you would not otherwise have from just fermenting the must as-is. Tannins will help preserve the wine longer and add an astringency that works well with foods such as red meats...interaction with proteins, etc. But too much of a good thing can cause you to end up with a heavy-handed wine that is unbalanced. Over time the tannins and other phenolics come together and soften, but just be careful when adding grape skins.

Third - it is not recommended to add white grape skins to your white wine fermentation.

Best left to the reds, and best left to moderation until you get a feel for the process and results. Experiment in stages, escalating the time on skins until you are satisfied with the results. Try skins in for the first week of fermentation, then remove them. Check the results after it has aged for a few months or longer. See what you think, modify as your heart guides you.

Happy brewing!
 

drainsurgeon

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This may be met with some disdain but Glycerin is a great way to both sweeten and add body to a wine. Not having read about or gone to wine competitions I'm not sure what wine judges find offensive but for the average person Glycerine should enhance the body of your wine and gently sweeten it as well. A little goes a long way but I've been happy with the results so far on a couple of wine batches.

Article about touching up your wine including the use of Glycerine: http://www.selfsufficientish.com/main/2010/02/taking-the-fear-out-of-wine-making-part-3-cheating-and-improving/
Always learning new stuff here....Glycerine. Never heard of using it until this post. Did some reading last night (until 2AM) and found that many wine makers use this to add body to their wine. I'm wondering about the shelf life of glycerine. I read posts last night that range from 1 year to 10 years. Amazon has a gallon of USP Kosher vegetable glycerine for $24.99. Buying a quart isn't much less and the 4 oz bottles at the wine store are almost a dollar an ounce! Thanks for the tip Scooter. What volume do you buy and how long have you had it around?
 

Scooter68

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Bought a quart on Amazon for $10.99. Doesn't take much but if you are doing larger batches and a lot of them it might be worthwhile for a gallon. Just saw this one there :
Glycerin Vegetable Kosher USP - 1 Quart (43 oz.) Essential Depot $12.97 with Prime shipping

(Yeah A quart that is 43 oz ????)
 
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drainsurgeon

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Bought a quart on Amazon for $10.99. Doesn't take much but if you are doing larger batches and a lot of them it might be worthwhile for a gallon. Just saw this one there :
Glycerin Vegetable Kosher USP - 1 Quart (43 oz.) Essential Depot $12.97 with Prime shipping

(Yeah A quart that is 43 oz ????)
Thanks Scooter, I just ordered the gallon, some corks and cherry base from Amazon. I hope it lasts and helps some of the fruit wines I've made that seem a little thin or flat. Hard to describe but several posts I read a couple of nights ago were from vintners that really believe in the stuff. I'll find out soon.
 

Scooter68

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My experience is definitely positive. I understand that in wine competitions some judges frown severely upon the use of Glycerin. Guess they think it's cheating or an unfair shortcut. Me, the judges - Pffffffft - I make wine for my enjoyment and sharing with friends and family. If glycerin bothers any of them, they can set the glass down. :wy

The one other sweetener that has done well for me is a little bit of Old Orchard 100% White Grape Juice. Not much because it can overpower but when I used it on a Blackberry wine (About 1.5 - 2 oz out of 4-5 ozs overall backsweetening for a gallon) - it was great.
What kind of Cherry base did you get? Tart/Sweet Brand? My Tart Cherry (Currently aging) was made with 4 x 16 oz bottles of concentrate for a 3 gallon batch. (3 Tart Cherry & 1 Black Cherry)
Dynamic Health Concentrate, Black Cherry, 16-Ounce (Pack of 2) Used One of these)
Tart Cherry Concentrate Complete Natural Products (Used 2 of these)
 
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drainsurgeon

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My experience is definitely positive. I understand that in wine competitions some judges frown severely upon the use of Glycerin. Guess they think it's cheating or an unfair shortcut. Me, the judges - Pffffffft - I make wine for my enjoyment and sharing with friends and family. If glycerin bothers any of them, they can set the glass down. :wy

The one other sweetener that has done well for me is a little bit of Old Orchard 100% White Grape Juice. Not much because it can overpower but when I used it on a Blackberry wine (About 1.5 - 2 oz out of 4-5 ozs overall backsweetening for a gallon) - it was great.
What kind of Cherry base did you get? Tart/Sweet Brand? My Tart Cherry (Currently aging) was made with 4 x 16 oz bottles of concentrate for a 3 gallon batch. (3 Tart Cherry & 1 Black Cherry)
Dynamic Health Concentrate, Black Cherry, 16-Ounce (Pack of 2) Used One of these)
Tart Cherry Concentrate Complete Natural Products (Used 2 of these)
I ordered the Vintner's Harvest Cherry Fruit Wine Base, 96 oz. After looking over the other bases at Amazon, the Cherry base had the best reviews for finished wine. I haven't decided if I'm going straight cherry or a blend with it yet. Looking for ideas.
 

wpt-me

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I did this one to three gallons , but added 2 cans of Oregon 15oz dark sweet cherries. It came
out very good imho.

Bill
 

Scooter68

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I've used Vintners Harvest Black Currant and had great luck. Also their Apricot - Turns out either I missed something or I'm just not an Apricot wine person.

What I like about VH is that their product is 100 % the labled juice. No Apple or Grape juice used unless it's an Apple or Grape juice variety.
 

drainsurgeon

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Scooter: I agree on the VH 100% juice. I started a Raspberry choc port with their Raspberry. It's only about 6 weeks old now but smells and taste's wonderful already. Can't wait to try it next spring when I return from AZ.

wpt-me: I've got about 5# of cherries in the freezer, stems and pits removed. I'm going to add and maybe some other berries, just not sure yet. Still looking for Ideas. How did your cherry wine turn out?
 

wpt-me

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I thought it was quite good, had a bottle last week. It's 2 years old now with a couple
bottles still left.

Bill
 

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