This thread is a continuation of http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/sg-g...ng-way-256260/
From such an obvious mistake as contained in that thread, I now understand more and continue to learn. So... please humor me and read this excerpt from Jack Keller's wine making page:
"...Take strawberries, for example. Strawberry wine can be quite exquisite, but it can also be a huge disappointment. Commercial strawberries at your supermarket are picked 5 to 10 days before they ripen so they can be processed (culled, sorted and packaged), stored temporarily, shipped, distributed, and displayed in your market without rotting before you buy them. They typically contain 5-7% natural sugars. Frozen strawberries were picked closer to or at ripeness and were frozen because they would not survive the trip to the supermarket any other way. They typically are 10-13% natural sugars. But if you go to a "U-pick-it" farm and pick fully ripe strawberries, they might be as high as 15-18% in natural sugars.
If the recipe calls for "fully ripe fresh strawberries" and you buy yours at the supermarket produce department, yours will contain half the natural sugar that was intended in the recipe. Yours will also contain only a fraction of the flavor the recipe assumes will be present and the wine will suffer accordingly. And even if your strawberries are picked fresh from your own garden, their sugar, acid, pectin, and flavor components could still differ greatly from the strawberries I used because of different soils, average day and nighttime temperatures, rainfall, humidity, and the variety of cultivar used. In other words, the chances are good to excellent that your strawberries and my strawberries will certainly be different. How then can the recipes be of any real value?..."
This is great information and I'm smart enough to understand that THIS is where a winemaker can take his game from just following a recipe really well, to really
creating the wine he wants.
Using my 6 gallon batch of (currently in the secondary) strawberry wine as an example, if I would have taken a gravity reading after
adding the pectic enzyme but before
adding the sugar to get an idea of how much natural sugar was present, then I would've known almost exactly
how much sugar to add to achieve my desired OG. If this statement is correct, then my next question is;
"What is my desired OG to produce what kind of wine?"
Asked more directly and simply, what effect does the OG have on the wine?
If I'm trying to make a drier wine does it follow that my target OG is lower than if I'm trying to make a sweeter wine? Is it really that simple?
LOVING this learning curve!