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akegs 08-17-2012 05:28 AM

Help with apple wine
I am currently working on some apple wine (takin a break from brewing beer) and am working with a batch that I started with 1 gallon of whole foods 365 apple juice/cider. It's been fermenting for two weeks and ha a og of around 1.09 and is at about 1.00 right now. I expect it to hit .009 or so by the time fermentation is done. The problem I have is so far what I appear to be getting is a thin wine that has very little flavor, body, acidy and astringency (think a very watery but high alcohol and un carbonated cider). Does anyone have any suggestions on the best method to add a little character to my wine? I was thinking oaking and adding some acid might help. Maybe even back sweetening with the original juice. Anything would help my next batch will be from my own homegrown apples thinks kinda a test batch just trying to figure out how to get a nice balanced flavor and body. Any help would be awesome.

akegs 08-17-2012 05:39 AM

Ps i used champaign yeast if that makes a difference (I'm definitely getting done champaign character as far as flavor but without carbing it feels like its missing something) starting to think oak is the answer? Wish I had a ph tester kit

Honda88 08-17-2012 05:46 AM

im in the same boat, im going to be sweetening mine with more apple juice and brown sugar, i have no idea how it is going to turn out, i will let you know, my gravity is a bit lower then yours, its under 1.000 but its still going....

Honda88 08-17-2012 06:02 AM

when i tasted it at 1.000 it tasted pretty good, i have no idea how its gonna be after it stops and clears out, ill probably add the sugar anyways.

Yooper 08-17-2012 11:53 AM

If you add more sugar without stabilizing, it'll just ferment out. Champagne yeast can easily go over 18%, so you'd have hot rocket fuel that will take years to ferment out!

At this point, since fermentation isn't even finished it's good to let it sit. And once it's finished (should finish at .990), then if it's still thin and boring there are a couple of things you can do.

One is to add some non-sulfited raisins- the golden kind. They are a PITA to chop, but if you add a pound of them to the carboy, they will provide some body to the wine (and also a bit more sugars, so the ABV will increase a bit). Secondly, you can add a bit of acid blend (about 1 teaspoon per gallon or so, but take out a sample and stir some in and taste it and do it more "to taste"), and a tiny bit of tannin. About 1/8 teaspoon of powered tannin per gallon should do it.

That should give the wine some "bite" and some interest, as well as some body.

I don't like the taste of fermented brown sugar, so I don't add that to my apple wines or ciders, but some do.

akegs 08-17-2012 03:58 PM

Thanks yooper I like the raisin idea I try to keep it as natural as possible. What would happen if I killed off the yeast before adding the raisins? I don't want to make it too alcoholy.

Yooper 08-17-2012 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by akegs (Post 4338838)
Thanks yooper I like the raisin idea I try to keep it as natural as possible. What would happen if I killed off the yeast before adding the raisins? I don't want to make it too alcoholy.

Well, "killing off the yeast" isn't that easy. Stopping an active fermentation is like stopping a freight train. But if you want to not have further fermentation, you can try putting the carboy in a cold place (like a fridge), and then racking it off of the sediment when it's totally clear. Then you could add some sulfites (campden) and potassium sorbate. Neither kill yeast, but sorbate inhibits yeast reproduction so if the yeast is sparse, fermentation shouldn't restart. Campden doesn't kill yeast, but sorbate works better in the presence of sulfite. So you could try that. I don't like the taste of sorbate, so I rarely use it. It usually works to stop fermentation from recurring, but not always.

Honda88 08-18-2012 02:02 AM

im going to stabalize before i add the sugar yooper...

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