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-   -   How to fix first wine batch (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/how-fix-first-wine-batch-341079/)

Sassy2all 07-12-2012 04:06 PM

How to fix first wine batch
So I made my very first batch of strawberry wine and I followed the instructions on the can of the strawberry fruit extract but it doesn't taste good. I sampled it at 3 months before bottling to see how it tastes but it tasted way to alcoholic. It's only a 3-gallon batch and I don't have a bigger carboy to add a ton of water so I feel stuck. I added about a half a cup of simple syrup and strawberry flavoring. I have added some water to cut but it still tastes too alcoholic. I understand it is an immature wine and the taste should mellow with age but Im skeptical. I can post the recipe if needed for reference.

Apple_Jacker 07-12-2012 06:44 PM

I'm pretty sure posting your recipe will help the senior members with your questions. From my limited experience with wine making, second-guessing yourself and attempting to fix problems (that may not exist) can do more harm than good. I kept trying to "fix" an apple-mango wine and ended up with a gallon of wine with a very strong astringent taste to it due to the tannin I was so certain I needed, then needed more of...and more of.

Also, be patient! It's something I'm still working on myself :) I'm certain 3 months is pretty young for a wine like you mentioned, so the flavors might mellow out as more time passes.

novalou 07-12-2012 07:50 PM

Yes, post your recipe along with what you added.

I've made two batches of strawberry wine and let me tell you, time is your friend. So put your carboy out of sight and come back to it in 3-4 months.

Sassy2all 07-25-2012 03:56 AM

Sorry for a late reply, life! This is the recipe from the vintners harvest strawberry wine base can: I followed the directions and recipe to a T and the wine has a strong alcoholic taste to it. When it came time to sweeten to taste I added a whole bottle of strawberry fruit flavoring, 4 oz, and simple syrup of about a little less than 1 cup of sugar and added extra water of about 4 bottles of water to try and help cut it. I wanted a sweet wine so I added sugar until the specific gravity reading was 1.025 sweet. Now we forgot to take an initial gravity reading (our bad!) At this point it still tasted very alcoholic but I thought it would mellow over time. Did I accidentally make a moon shine I didn’t mean to make? Any way to help it taste better?

3 Gallon Recipe:
One 96 oz. can Strawberry Base
3-1/2 cans warm water (2.6 gallons)
7 lbs. Sugar
3-1/2 tsp. Acid Blend
2-1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 tsp. Pectic Enzyme
1/2 tsp. Wine Tannin
5 Campden Tablets or 5/16 tsp. Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite
1 Pkg. Red Start Premie Cuvee Wine Yeast
1-1/2 tsp. Potassium Sorbate to stabilize

1. Clean all equipment and utensils with an oxygen based cleaner, then sanitize with a sulfite solution.
2. Put straining bag in fermenter, add fruit and tie off bag.
3. Stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT yeast and potassium sorbate (stabilizer).
4. Cover primary and allow to sit for 24 hours.
5. Sprinkle yeast on top of must and re-cover primary. Temperature of must should be 70-80 F for best results.
6. Next day, gently stir top half of must. Repeat daily until specific gravity (S.G.) lowers to 1.040 (4-5 days),
7. When S.G. reads 1.040, remove bag of fruit. Press and strain juice from pulp and discard pulp. Syphon wine off of the sediment into clean secondary. Top off with water and attach airlock.
8. Rack wine again in 3 to 4 weeks when S.G. reaches 1.010 to 1.000. Add 1 Campden Tablet or 1/16 tsp. of Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite, per gallon and top off.
9. After wine is clear (2 or 3 months) stabilize to prevent renewed fermentation, sweeten to taste if too dry. Enhance flavor and aroma with natural fruit flavor at this time, if desired.
10. Wine can be consumed at this point but will benefit with aging of 6 months to one year.
Note: When adding Potassium Sorbate to stabilize, always add 1 Campden Tablet or 1/16 tsp. Potassium or Sodium Metabisulfite prior to adding the sorbate; otherwise, you wine could throw an off-aroma that smells like geraniums.

Honda88 07-25-2012 04:14 AM

A lot of sweet wines do have a strong finish. I would not have added extra water to it, you do not want to age wine that has a low abv, What you should have done is add the sugar and bottle age it. The lack of an initial gravity reading is going to make it really hard to tell. I really do not know what I would do with it, probably just bottle it and see what happens.

amandabab 07-25-2012 04:15 AM

7lbs of sugar and a champagne yeast in 3 gallons.
its going to be hot.

since its already stabilized and you tried to back sweeten it there is nothing you can do except bottle it and forget it for a year.

indy 07-30-2012 04:12 AM

Both strawberry recipes I know of say to let it sit for a year before real tasting. Every batch I've down has been not good at 6 months, pretty decent after a year.

johnniesmith 07-30-2012 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by amandabab
7lbs of sugar and a champagne yeast in 3 gallons.
its going to be hot.

since its already stabilized and you tried to back sweeten it there is nothing you can do except bottle it and forget it for a year.

^^100% Agree! Once stabilized there are only 2 ways to affect the flavors; 1) Aging(Preferred option) or 2) make another batch twice that size and once it's done with the primary fermentation portion, add in the first batch, with Yeast nutrient.(maybe even some Yeast Energizer). Take an SG reading and keep checking it daily until it goes back down to 1.03. Rack it to a carboy and wait until it settles out.(2-4 weeks). Rack it again every 30 days until its done dropping sediment then place it in a Carboy and bulk age it 6 months. If THAT doesn't help... Find a local wino and I am SURE they can find a home for it! Lol

saramc 08-01-2012 12:31 AM

Worse case scenario if you still do not like it 6 months down the road you could use it to blend with other wines or a base for sangria.

Honda88 08-01-2012 04:02 AM

yea, i would just let it age a bit and if its still too hot just use it for a mixer, I did this on the fourth of july with my white wine and it seemed to work pretty good.

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