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Why are my wines turning out sweet

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Berry Juice

Berry Juice
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I have made 4 different 6 gal batches of Fontana Merlot, Cab, Shiraz types 2 months ago.
I do not backsweeten them.
I made them all about the same way with my homemade FPACK
(Box currants & 16oz blackberry or bluberries to the primary)
All starting SG was 1.110 and finished to .996, and PH is around 3.5
Is the fruit causing this or am I not taking the SG low enough.,
 

Boatboy24

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Your SG is low enough; and since you added it to the primary, any sugars in the fruit have been fermented (based on SG). I've found that sometimes young, kit wines can have a greater presence of fruit flavor, attributing to perceived sweetness.
 

CK55

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Your SG is low enough; and since you added it to the primary, any sugars in the fruit have been fermented (based on SG). I've found that sometimes young, kit wines can have a greater presence of fruit flavor, attributing to perceived sweetness.
Agreed. 100%.
 

Johnd

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What yeast are you using for fermentation? Some yeasts are higher in glycerol production than others, and that can also lead to increased perception of sweetness.............
 

Berry Juice

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I'm using EC-1118.
I thought about just making a kit and add nothing then mixing them when its complete.
Will the sweetness be less if I sit on it for 6 to 12 months?
 

CK55

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I'm using EC-1118.
I thought about just making a kit and add nothing then mixing them when its complete.
Will the sweetness be less if I sit on it for 6 to 12 months?
EC-1118 is a very very very high attenuating yeast it eats pretty much everything. So any sweetness should not be from sugar, but as the other guy said might just be perceived. Let it sit for a few months and it will likely age up and improve.
 

Johnd

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I'm using EC-1118.
I thought about just making a kit and add nothing then mixing them when its complete.
Will the sweetness be less if I sit on it for 6 to 12 months?
EC-1118 is in the Medium / High range, producing just under 8 g/L glycerol, so it may play a slight role, though my gut tells me it's more about the age of your wine and the fruits you've added, than anything else. At any rate, time usually tames and mellows these issues, though I rather enjoy wines that are very fruit forward. Over time, generally, the fruit will tend to lay back a bit as the wine begins to age, and comes back into play as the wine matures, but in a more subtle and less "in your face" manner. When it ages beyond its time, and I've tasted some wines like this, the fruit is just gone and the wine tastes like oaky tannin water, a sad day for a good wine allowed to age too long.......

The sweetness will not change over time, it's a chemical fact of the completed fermentation, but your perception of the sweetness will most likely decline as the wine ages gracefully.
 

Berry Juice

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Maybe i should ask about the amount of fruit I'm using.
Am I adding to much?
I've been reading many post about how these cheap kits doesn't have much body and to add the FPAC.
Is there such a thing as too much?
Should I just use one kind of fruit instead of multiple?
Thanks for the information
 

BernardSmith

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I guess I am having some trouble understanding the problem. If your hydrometer reading is correct and the wine finished at .996 that is 4 points lower than the density of water. That suggests that there is for all intents and purposes not any "residual" sugar left to ferment so any "sweetness" in the wine is not being caused by unfermented sugars. What you have is a perception of sweetness that may be the result of how you are tasting the flavors from the fruit or because of glycerols produced by the yeast or some other phenomenon. But technically a gravity of .996 is a dry wine. Here's a suggestion, though. You gave us the pH. That tells us only the "strength" of the acids - not the quantity. You can have a very little amount of very strong acids or a great deal of weaker acids. It's the latter - the quantity - not the strength - that is important here. Have you measured the TA? If the TA is too low then you may want to increase this. A higher TA might "neutralize" the perception of sweetness.
 

Berry Juice

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thanks for the info.
I have not checked the TA but they are all bottled up.
I don't think theres anything that can be done at this point other than give as gifts or sit on it for 6 months.
I will check the TA when I open one up this weekend.
Thanks
 

Zintrigue

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Maybe i should ask about the amount of fruit I'm using.
Am I adding to much?
I've been reading many post about how these cheap kits doesn't have much body and to add the FPAC.
Is there such a thing as too much?
Should I just use one kind of fruit instead of multiple?
Thanks for the information
Joe's "Tweeking cheap kits" thread will have lots of information on this exact thing. If you pipe up in there with your plans, sometimes he'll get back to you and offer great feedback. I've found, personally, that it's easy to go too heavy on the fruit additions. I would think 16 oz is way too much. I recently did a Merlot with 12oz dark cherries, and that was overkill by a long shot. The finished product is all bittersweet cherry (fermented dry like yours) and no merlot. Hoping that time smooths it all out. Next time try a small 8oz fpac. You just want to compliment the wine and help build body, not make Island Mist ;)

Also, sometimes you can get a good deal on dried wine grapes on amazon. I'm finishing up bulk aging my first cabernet using those, can't wait to see how it comes out. If you want to add fruit packs to your cheap kits (like me!), then maybe look up local wineries in your area, or a local "winegrape alliance" to see if they'll sell you grapes in the fall. Use small amounts and freeze the rest for use during the year.

Cheers!
 

Berry Juice

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Well thats where my problem lies.
I've been fruiting the hell out if it then. I will try my next one with 1 cup currents only and see how it goes.
Thanks for the 411
 
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