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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > SG going the wrong way
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default SG going the wrong way

I'm sure this has been addressed but I must be searching for the wrong keywords.
I made a 6 gal batch of strawberry wine last Wednesday.
Here's the ingredients:
17.5 lbs fresh hood strawberries
12.5 lbs table sugar
5 gals water
5 tsp acid blend
5 tsp pectin enzyme
1.25 tsp grape tannin
Yeast: CR51 with nutrient

The OG was 1.070 (which I thought was low). I've stirred it every day for 5 days now and took another gravity reading this morning and it's at 1.084 now.
This is my first fresh fruit wine so I'm still a rookie and gaining experience. Here's my thinking of why the SG is going the opposite direction from what I expected. The sugars in the berries are dissolving into the wine. Is this correct?
I put the berries in a giant nylon bag and mashed the hell outta them with a potato masher, and I also made sure the 12.5 lbs of sugar were fully dissolved.***(EDIT: We now know that this was untrue, I did not fully dissolve the sugar)
I have noticed the berry must in the bag getting lighter and reduced in volume every day when I stir it.

Any feed back from the experienced ones? I'm not really worried about the wine but now I'm not sure about calculating ABV when it's done.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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The only thing I can think of is that it wasn't mixed up properly when you took your original reading of 1.070 (even though you said it was), and all of the sugars weren't dissolved. Since you've been stirring since then, they'd likely be dissolved now. You didn't take either of these readings at any sort of extreme temperature, did you? Both relatively the same temperature?

The strawberries wouldn't account for that kind of a difference. I would imagine that there would actually be a slight lowering of the gravity with strawberries, since the berries aren't putting in just sugar, but juice. I haven't checked but I wouldn't imagine the juice would have a gravity lower than 1.070. The net loss of gravity would be practically negligible, though.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Maybe the pectic enzyme is still breaking down everything?

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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Temperature was at about 70F both times.
If what you say about the amount of juice vs. sugar that the berries add then you must be right about the table sugar not being fully dissolved. If this is the case then I'm still ok aren't I?
The recipe said to add the mashed up berries (in the nylon bag) to the primary bucket, then add the sugar, then add the boiling water to it all and mix it up. On hindsight, I should've dissolved the sugar in the boiling water THEN added it all to the berry mash correct?
Damn school of hard knocks.

Thank you for the feedback!!

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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I always try to dissolve the sugar in hot water before putting it in the fermenter. I always use less to do that so I can make sure I can add enough cold water to hit pitching time quicker.

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Old 07-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
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you turned wine into water???

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Old 07-11-2011, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasontheBeaver View Post
Temperature was at about 70F both times.
If what you say about the amount of juice vs. sugar that the berries add then you must be right about the table sugar not being fully dissolved. If this is the case then I'm still ok aren't I?
The recipe said to add the mashed up berries (in the nylon bag) to the primary bucket, then add the sugar, then add the boiling water to it all and mix it up. On hindsight, I should've dissolved the sugar in the boiling water THEN added it all to the berry mash correct?
Damn school of hard knocks.

Thank you for the feedback!!
Dissolving it first probably would have been a good idea. It's certainly still fine, though. If it's fermenting then no worries!
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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I think the same as "BryanThompson" .

This is the mistake many beginners do :

"Neglecting the function of Pectic Enzyme"

How long did you wait after adding the Enzyme to measure the gravity ?

Hector

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Old 07-11-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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With that amount of sugar you should have an OG around 1.096
The berries should make it a bit more (6 gal is total with berries right?)

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hector View Post
I think the same as "BryanThompson" .

This is the mistake many beginners do :

"Neglecting the function of Pectic Enzyme"

How long did you wait after adding the Enzyme to measure the gravity ?

Hector
I measured the OG immediately after adding the enzyme.

So while we're on the topic maybe you could help me understand what exactly the pectin enzyme does? The guy at the LHBS had no idea either.
Thanks in advance!
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