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Old 11-05-2011, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default First wine attempt

I crushed grapes,then put in fermentation and then I pressed them out at end of fermentation.So my question is I am on the first racking the wine is just aging or fermenting a little? Why do you rack agian in 3 to 4 weeks? Is it just to clear the wine?

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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And to take the wine off the lees. Too long on the lees can cause off flavors. Racking monthly or every couple months is best. Keller says you should leave wine on the lees for more than 3 months. Depending on the wine you may want to use campden tablets every other racking.

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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I making cabernet sauvignon, the vineyard owner let me pick them for a couple bottles of the wine I make.Anyways I used Camden tablets crushed when I racked it.I also put oak chips in it to give it oak flavor.On the next racking can I add sugar and ferment again to increase alcohol or is this not a good idea?

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Old 11-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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Do you know what your starting gravity and current gravity are? This will help you determine what the alcohol content is. If it is within the guidelines for your wine, I would leave it alone. If the alcohol content is low you might put some in, but I'm not sure what sugar would be best. I would suspect corn sugar, but perhaps a more knowledgeable wine maker will chime in here.

The other consideration is whether or not your yeast will be tolerant of the higher alcohol. Yeast tend to have a threshold when is comes to making alcohol. You could do a search for the high end on your yeast, and compare it to your current alcohol content.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:01 PM   #5
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Don't add sugar, unless you know that your grapes were low in sugar. Sugar will increase the ABV, but it will also cause a much thinner wine. I wouldn't use sugar, unless the grapes were incredibly low in sugar- like under 1.060 or something like that.

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Old 11-06-2011, 03:05 AM   #6
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The grapes had abouT 1.600 in the beginning

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Old 11-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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I'm guessing that is 1.060. It won't have a really high alcohol content. How did the grapes taste?

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Old 11-06-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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Tasted like a grape, what should I be tasting in a grape? How high will the alcohol be and should I try and add something?

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Old 11-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #9
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The reason I asked about the taste is I don't know the growing season in CA. The sugar content goes up the longer the grape is on the vine. Many times grapes are bitter before they are ripe. This indicates there is not enough sugar yet. Some grower go by taste, others test for sugar before picking.
Assuming a 1.060 OG and a 1 FG your alcohol content will be right around 8%. I don't know what is typical for a Cab. You could let it go as it is and then add sugar later. I guess it depends if you are looking to have a good tasting wine, or something to get you drunk. I don't think increasing the ABV just to have higher alcohol is the way to go. Yooper was right about thinning the wine. I don't get much into the reds, but I think you are aiming for something full bodied.

You may want to speak with the vineyard owner about what he does with these grapes.

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Old 11-07-2011, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoose View Post
The reason I asked about the taste is I don't know the growing season in CA. The sugar content goes up the longer the grape is on the vine. Many times grapes are bitter before they are ripe. This indicates there is not enough sugar yet. Some grower go by taste, others test for sugar before picking.
Assuming a 1.060 OG and a 1 FG your alcohol content will be right around 8%. I don't know what is typical for a Cab. You could let it go as it is and then add sugar later. I guess it depends if you are looking to have a good tasting wine, or something to get you drunk. I don't think increasing the ABV just to have higher alcohol is the way to go. Yooper was right about thinning the wine. I don't get much into the reds, but I think you are aiming for something full bodied.

You may want to speak with the vineyard owner about what he does with these grapes.
The cab will easily go to .990. So, an OG of 1.060 and a FG of .990 would be over 9% ABV. It's a little low as usually it's about 12% but it might taste really good. I'd wait and see!
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