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Old 12-23-2008, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default Sooo you know how too much of a good thing is bad? Well its true with vodka too!

Long story short, the GF didnt think I added the vodka to take up space in the carboy, so she added some whe racking.

So yea, our batch of concord is a little hairy to say the least. maybe 700mils. When I was done taking a SG reading I went and cut a cup full with some regualr grape juice and it tasted great. I was wondering what the adverse effects of cutting a batch of wine with some grape juice before bottling after adding capden tablets to the batch.

Would I have to worry about mold or anything?

Thanks guys and gals!

Please excuse my GF and I. We are extremely new at wine making.

-Aaron

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:33 AM   #2
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So your intent was to make Mad Dog 20/20 or were you looking for more of a Night Train Express type of wine ?

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Old 12-23-2008, 03:09 AM   #3
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Why would you add vodka to wine? That sounds vile. If you add more grape juice to wine it will start fermenting again and pop the corks/bottle grenades.

Your signature sounds quite appropriate.

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Old 12-23-2008, 11:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dr Vorlauf View Post
So your intent was to make Mad Dog 20/20 or were you looking for more of a Night Train Express type of wine ?
Hey, Im in Allentown! Nice to see a local on here.

Well I had read on here that after racking some volume is lost and that the space between the air lock and the wine level in the carboy was a risk for oxidation and that I should add the cheapest vodka I could find just to bring the level up to the air lock.

Was that wrong?
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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Many people use cheap vodka in their airlocks:



When topping up a carboy or any container, you should fill with a similar wine so the flavor will not be altered.

Don't feel bad, we all start somewhere. I will note that your signature touting your skill at making prison wine will not help you around here. Unless it is a joke, then that's kind of funny.

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Old 12-23-2008, 11:58 PM   #6
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lol yes, it is a joke. I made it my sig because I fully expect it to taste extremely nasty. Partly because of the vodka taste and partly because we used bread yeast not knowing any better. Let me tweak it a little.

The taste isnt that horrible. It sort of tastes like Wood Chuck but slightly more carbonated. I would feel much better if we were beer bottling the batch rather than corking it.

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Old 12-24-2008, 10:40 PM   #7
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You can, you know. You can bottle it in beer bottles, and cap it, and then you won't have to worry so much about corks popping.

If you want to add some sweetening to this batch, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of sorbate per gallon and one campden tablet per gallon (dissolved well in some boiling water) and then rack the wine into it. Wait a few days, then sweeten as desired. Wait a few more days (to ensure no re-fermentation) and bottle in wine bottles (or whatever you're bottling in- even plastic soda bottles work fine).

I've never heard anyone mentioning using vodka to top up a wine before. That's a totally new tip to me. Water is common, as is a like-wine. I guess you'll increase the ABV quite a bit.

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Old 12-25-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
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Jack Kellers website or the EC Kraus website say its ok to top off wine with vodka mixed with water to dilute it if it is under a certain amount of ounces, I believe its the jack keller site. I'd just top it off with a store bought wine similar in flavor, there are concord wines out there if you look, Ken

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Old 12-25-2008, 10:34 PM   #9
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I think it is safer to top up with a commercial wine of similar characteristics to the one you are fermenting.

I am about to rack my first kit from fermenter to six gallon bulk aging carboy later this evening. It is the Winexpert World Vinttner's Reserve Chilean Merlot kit (the 10 liter version, 28 day kit). If I need to top off, I'll add from a bottle of Kim Crawford 2005 Merlot since I don't have a commercial Chilean Merlot handy. I expect I'll need about 1/2 bottle at the most.

As I understand it (and I could be wrong as I'm a wine noob and I claim no expertise in this arena), the reason for topping off for bulk aging is to reduce the surface area of wine that is exposed to oxygen. I would not use diluted vodka, even if Jack Keller says it's ok since I don't want anything in my wine but the products of grape fermentation plus traditional adjuncts (e.g., oak chips, k-meta, sorbate).

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Old 12-26-2008, 12:37 AM   #10
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I've read (and re-read!) most of Jack Keller's site, and the top up with vodka is a new one to me. I've never heard of that at all, and wouldn't recommend it at all. The point of bulk aging most wines is to let them mellow and let the flavors meld- why would you add vodka to it? You'd boost the ABV, change the balance of the wine, require more aging, etc. Either water (which IS what you use in kits!- the recipe is designed to be topped up with water) or a like wine is fine for topping up. Even sanitized marbles (to raise the level of the wine and reduce headspace) is acceptable.

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