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Old 09-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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I am a rookie at this stuff and had a very successful blackberry wine using a balloon and bread yeast lol......mixed up a batch of peach and raisin wine ( 12 pounds peaches mashed...2 pounds raisins mashed....about ten pounds sugar added in thirds......bread yeast) I did everything the same as the blackberry except halfway through I found a brew store and bought airlocks, and gelatin finings and pectic enzyme etc. The wine would NOT clear so I added some poectic enzyme...It has been in secondary ( WAY too much head space I am afraid) for quite a while and todat I took an hydrometer reading. It is at 1.00 with an ABV of 0 so the fermentation is complete ( right?) I tasted the sample I used to float the hydrometer and it is absolutely horrid. I cannot adequetly describe it but it is NASTY and tastes like straight alcohol. Is it possible that 3 gallons of wine in a 5 gallon plastic bottle caused it to go bad or what?

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Old 09-22-2009, 09:37 PM   #2
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BTW this will NOT clear, looks like very weak chocolate milk!

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Old 09-22-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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one more very very careful with cleanliness but no sanitizer when I started this batch.

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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Hmm... where to start.

Bread yeast, I can't believe would work well for winemaking, I would start there and toss it in favor of a 79 cent pack of premier cuvee or pasteur champagne yeast next time around...

With that much sugar, if you don't use yeast nutrient it's possible you don't have enough nitrogen for the yeast, which can result in nasty off flavors (solventy, hot, fusel alcohols, kerosene smell and slick mouthfeel, etc). From your description it sounds like this is the case. Bread yeast isn't alcohol tolerant above ~7% from what I have heard, whereas champagne yeast can go to 16+% so that may have something to do with it as well. If you hadn't stepped the sugar additions I'm sure it would have stalled and not fermented to 1.000 like it did.

Stepping the sugar is always a good idea but you need to use Fermax and Fermaid-K with that much sugar to be on the safe side.

I doubt sanitation was a problem if everything was squeaky clean. People made wine for centuries without Star San. Of course I would recommend using a good sanitizer now that you are in the know to be sure... it's extra insurance.

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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Hmm... where to start.

Bread yeast, I can't believe would work well for winemaking, I would start there and toss it in favor of a 79 cent pack of premier cuvee or pasteur champagne yeast next time around...

With that much sugar, if you don't use yeast nutrient it's possible you don't have enough nitrogen for the yeast, which can result in nasty off flavors (solventy, hot, fusel alcohols, kerosene smell and slick mouthfeel, etc). From your description it sounds like this is the case. Bread yeast isn't alcohol tolerant above ~7% from what I have heard, whereas champagne yeast can go to 16+% so that may have something to do with it as well. If you hadn't stepped the sugar additions I'm sure it would have stalled and not fermented to 1.000 like it did.

Stepping the sugar is always a good idea but you need to use Fermax and Fermaid-K with that much sugar to be on the safe side.

I doubt sanitation was a problem if everything was squeaky clean. People made wine for centuries without Star San. Of course I would recommend using a good sanitizer now that you are in the know to be sure... it's extra insurance.
Thanks for the reply.....The bread yeast was all I had or had access to when I started the batch. I have since found a great brew store within an hour drive and have a few supplies ( including a few packets of wine yeast) will anything help the two gallons I saved? or is it simply a learning experience that needs dumped down the sink??
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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I would just let it sit awhile and hope that it mellows out the hot burning alcohol taste. I checked my apfelwein and it was very hot and then the next week the taste was so much closer to a nice wine, and I have high hopes that it will continue to age and taste even better by Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years eve. I do have more going.
But even knowing and reading that it would get better I could not believe how much better one week could make, let alone a couple of months.
I can only assume that other wines will be "raw" and "hot" right out of the gate.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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If you want to save it go ahead and stabilize it now with Campden and potassium sorbate, then fine it with gelatin to drop out the yeast. Rack it to a clean vessel of appropriate size and let it sit for about 4-6 months, then taste it. Right now it will taste like rocket fuel, and there is still yeast in there that won't flocc which tastes really bad too (one of the problems with bread yeast is that it doesn't flocculate well when it is done fermenting).

There are plenty of LHBS online if you don't want to drive an hour for supplies. In Ohio there is Listermann in Cinci, they do mail order through their web site and I have heard they are good, they would be next day shipping for you.

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Old 09-23-2009, 01:00 AM   #8
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If you want to save it go ahead and stabilize it now with Campden and potassium sorbate, then fine it with gelatin to drop out the yeast. Rack it to a clean vessel of appropriate size and let it sit for about 4-6 months, then taste it. Right now it will taste like rocket fuel, and there is still yeast in there that won't flocc which tastes really bad too (one of the problems with bread yeast is that it doesn't flocculate well when it is done fermenting).

There are plenty of LHBS online if you don't want to drive an hour for supplies. In Ohio there is Listermann in Cinci, they do mail order through their web site and I have heard they are good, they would be next day shipping for you.
thanks....I am gonna have to make a run to the store. I have the gelatin but have potassium metabisulphite rather than campden tabs and potassium sorbate. I thought the potassium metabisulphite actually worked to kill wild yeasts before you add the yeast you want AND to stop fermentation when you get to where you want.... I think I jumped in with both feet before studying enough. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:37 AM   #9
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OK here is what I did. Please do not take offense that I did not follow your directions exactly, I have to use what I have right now. I brought the 2 gallons back down stairs and removed the airlocks. I put in about 1/16th teaspoon of the potassium metabisulphite ( I say about due to 1/8th tsp being my smallest measuring device) I then added approximately 1/4 tsp of gelatin finings to each bottle. Shook it up and reattached the airlocks. I plan to rack into clean containers tomorrow. NOW after the racking do I store it with airlocks attached or do I seal the gallon carboys? Also I can do a couple of more rackings if that will smooth it out at all.

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:10 AM   #10
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WOW!!!!! I am amazed. This has been setting for a couple weeks with almost no sediment on teh bottom. I added the stabilizer and the gelatin finings just ( what a half hour ago?) there is a good inch and a half or more of sediment on the bottom of each jug! Now I wish I hadn't tossed the gallon or so I did.

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