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Old 11-12-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Wine too sweet

Hey guys, can anyone please help

I had started three batches of fresh California grape juice wine. I was unable to check the S.G. when I started, as I had not in the past when I made it and it turned out fine. However, this time I decided to add Campden tablets when transferring to carboy and I guess I did so too early.
The other thing I did different this time was I fermented the juice in the primary with a lid and air lock on. Fermentation started, did its thing and slowed down after 8 days. I then transferred it into a carboy with 5 campden tablets.
I had just racked my wine today and gave it a taste and its too sweet. I went out and got an Hydrometer and its at 1.004. Don't know if that will help now.

Do you think there is anything I can do? Can I put it back in the primary and add some yeast. Would I need to add nutrient or anything else. Do I need to add something to lower the SO2?

Any help will be great.

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I didn't use any yeast. It was straight fresh juice from fresh grapes. I comes refrigerated from California, and as soon as its room temp it ferments. It has small amounts of sulfites that are added when the grapes are juiced. On the bucket it says <50 p.p.m . I did not add any sugar.

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Old 11-13-2009, 02:11 AM   #4
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Ok, well, I'm guessing that the OG was around 1.100-1.090 or so, then. That sound be a good guestimate of grape juice freshly pressed.

Check the SG again in a couple of days- if it's dropping, then no worries. If it's not, then you'll need to repitch some yeast. Champagne yeast should work great to finish it up. The problem is that you've probably got about 10-11% ABV right now, and just pitching fresh yeast will kill it (alcohol toxicity). So, you'd need to make a yeast starter, and add a little bit of your wine to it, gradually, so it doesn't shut down immediately because of the alcohol.

Probably, though, it'll just keep fermenting slowly so you may be just fine in a couple of weeks.

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #5
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with 5 campden tablets.
Most likely you'll have to re-pitch and make a starter, as the campden probably stopped the fermentation. Commercial wine yeasts are more resistant to SO2 than wild yeasts.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Absolutely! The Campden tablet are stopping the yeast from reproducing and if you racked to a secondary, there's not a ton of yeast left if you compare that with how much was in the primary. As Yoop said, try making a yeast starter with Champagne yeast. This yeast is very alcohol tolerant and should be able to bring your batch down a few more points, as long as you take care of the yeast by making a starter first.

Wild yeast also have a tendancy to not be as alcohol tolerant as other wine yeast strains. It took hundreds, if not thousands of years, for wine yeast to become what it is today (flavor/alcohol tolerance). Most wild yeasts are unpredictable and may not stand up to this high of an ABV%

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Old 11-13-2009, 07:38 PM   #7
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Thanks guys

I just made a starter. How long should I let the starter ferment? Also, how do you recommend me getting the starter into the wine. How much wine should I add to the starter, and how often?
Also, should I use an airlock since the wine is at this stage? .1004

Thanks alot

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