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Old 02-05-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default First timer and my wine seems a little watered down...

Hello,
I have been following this forum for about a month (and I must say, it is awesome) and I just started my first batch of wine about two weeks ago. I made a strawberry and kiwi wine using fresh fruit and would like to know what I am doing right and wrong. When I racked my wine off of the fruit today, I tasted it and seemed to be a little watered down.

Here are the details of my wine:

Ingredients (per gallon)
2 lbs. - Strawberries
8 - Kiwis
4 1/2 cups - Sugar (obviously too much)
1 tsp. - Acid Blend
1/4 tsp. - Tannin
5 drops - Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp. - Yeast Nutrient
1 - Campden Tablet (crushed)
1 pkg. - Red Star Montrachet Yeast
Water to 1 gallon

Calendar of Events

  • Day 0 (25 Jan.)
    Mixed up 3 gallon batch without adding yeast
    SG was extremely high at 1.141, so I waited a day
  • Day 1 (26 Jan.)
    Added an UNK amount of water (thinking it would bring the SG down and I'm a dumbass for not recording how much)(guessing I added about 3/4 of a gallon)
    Moved to 3 gallon glass carboy
    Added yeast
    SG was at 1.092 (seemed much better)
  • Day 10 (05 Feb.)
    Racked my wine into another 3 gallon carboy to get it off of the fruit (seemed like the right thing to do, but what do I know, I'm new)
    SG was at 0.994
    This is where I tasted the wine and it seemed to be watered down...

Now I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or if I royally screwed up my first batch of wine. I'm guessing that the "unknown" amount of water added is what caused this, but is it fixable? Maybe back-sweetening? It also seems to have dried out fairly quickly (10 days?). It was still a little active in the primary (maybe 1 bubble every minute), but I am not sure yet if it is active in the secondary (I have an airlock on it, so we will see). Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also don't know what is up with the app, but I can't see more than a paragraph of what I type because it wont let me scroll down. I have some pics on my phone I will try to add when I'm done typing this on computer.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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Here are some pics...

image-1964491575.jpg
Day 0 - fruit in bucket

image-3112991481.jpg
Day 10 - after I racked off of the fruit

image-4002554098.jpg
My chart to keep track of everything.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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I also just took a look at it in the secondary and it does have airlock activity. It's about the same as it was in the primary, before I racked it.

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quick question Red, was this for a one gallon batch, or a three gallon batch?

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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I would add about another pound strawberries, another 4 or 5 Kiwi and 2 cups of sugar. if it does come off too strong it's always easier to dilute, but I think you are correct when you say adding the extra water was your mistake

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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The recipe (which I modified a little from a Strawberry one I found online) is written per gallon. I made 3 gallon (before adding the "unknown" amount of water) so I tripled everything (minus the yeast of course).

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBearded View Post
The recipe (which I modified a little from a Strawberry one I found online) is written per gallon. I made 3 gallon (before adding the "unknown" amount of water) so I tripled everything (minus the yeast of course).
Ok, I would say then that the water is probally the culprit. Adding more fruit will rebalance things, but give you a bigger batch than you may have wanted. You will also need to wait for that fruit to dissolve/ferment, but this is not a lost cause! :-)
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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2 pounds of strawberries per gallon is very light on flavor and body. That's probably the biggest issue, but I don't know how many pounds of kiwis you used to make up the difference.

Way too much sugar, and not enough fruit, will cause a very thin bodied and dry wine with a "boozy" note.

You could try adding some mashed bananas or golden raisins for body but that will also increase the ABV and could stall out the yeast.

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
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I made some strawberry wine this summer gone. I must definitely say it was lovely and do intend this summer to spend more on fruit and make more of it :-) I used 4lb of fruit in my recipe and crushed the strawberries with a potato masher to a pulp to get all the flavour out. There will not be a problem with multiplying the recipe as long as the recipe is good to start with. Just double the strawberry quantity next time :-) it's most definitely worth retrying it again!

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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Yes, my first strawberry wine is fermenting now. I chose to use four lbs of strawberrys as well, but the added Kiwis I would Think make up the difference? Maybe 8 kiwi per gallon is less 'poundage' than I think it is...

Was there a pound ammount to the kiwis from the OP?

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