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Old 01-17-2012, 05:24 AM   #1
Jim-wy
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Default Premature Wine, Yikes - is there hope?

I know better, it's too early to tell - but I tasted it anyway... I've got at batch of Nanking Cherry wine that is way too high in alcohol content. I followed a recipe that used way too much sugar (I suspect). It took a week for the yeast to kick off (thanks to Yooper for encouraging me to wait) and kick off it did! I racked it off of about 2" of lees tonight, took a hydrometer reading and 'cough' tasted the sample.

OG: 1.118 11/20/11
SG: 0.992 1/16/12 - 17% alcohol, not my goal.

My goal is a good tasting wine without that cheap alcohol taste (which it has right now). Is there a chance that over the course of a year (or two, or several) this may mellow and become a good wine, or should I try to cut it somehow at this stage of the process? I suppose patience it the ticket - I'm just concerned that with this alcohol content it may be hopeless. Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

Cheers - Jim

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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I've never made a wine like that before but I have a prickly pear mead that topped out around 16%. I tasted it at racking like you did and it was super "hot" and smelled strongly of alcohol. It has been sitting for about 3.5 months now and I can already tell a difference just from the smell. I'm not sure if this helps you at all but IMO i would just wait it out and see what you get.

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Old 01-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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Yes! In two years, it may be a very nice wine. The hot alcohol flavor fades, the cough syrup taste mellows into a hint of cherry, and it becomes drinkable.

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Old 01-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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Ya my second wine I every made came out at 23% and made your hair stand when you took a sip. But after a year its very nice tasting .... You still can't stand up strait after a bottle but the taste is nice.

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the great comments!

MrOrange - I'm very intrigued, my original thought was to try this as a wine and maybe do a mead in a year or two, I've never tried mead before. This year the entire batch of Nanking Cherries that I didn't share with the birds came to about 18# which was about perfect for a 5 gallon batch.

Yooper - thank you, I'm very encouraged. I will try a bottle next Christmas and plan on letting the remainder rest another year or so. After reading the 'Aging My Wine' post I'm even more encouraged about letting some of this rest for a couple or more years. This wine looks beautiful in the carboy after first racking - it will be fun watching it clear over the months. It already has another 1/4"+ of lees in the bottom after racking it last night, Should I give it another 30 days before racking again?

nwaite - LOL.. 23%?!? I don't feel so bad now. Strong or not - if the taste is enjoyable I'll be happy.

I appreciate all your input - Cheers!
Jim

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Jim

Bottle Swap? I've never had any sort of cherry wine

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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could be one to blend with other finished wines you make in the future.

Store/bottle as you normally would, then when you have another batch that is not so strong, say ... other cherry or apple (or cider) or banana or lemon (?) ... carefully blend the two wines to "produce" a third; and re-bottle.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #8
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MrOrange - Sure, I'll leave it to you to remember in 6-8 months after it's bottled. Prickly Pear Mead - sounds Wonderful! I've updated my wife that this is going to be a slow one, we'll try a bottle next Christmas but not to expect it to finish for another year or two. She put an order in for another batch of Kahlua in the meanwhile.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:20 AM   #9
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Jacob - good thought, I have high confidence that Yooper is right on track with this having potential to turn fine after a year or two. If I need a topper though (or if this doesn't mellow in due time) - I'll follow your suggestion. Thanks!

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