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Old 12-20-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Bumping ABV in Orchard Breezin' Kit

Ladies and Gents,

I am about to make my first wine kit for the little woman and she wants the Orchard Breezin' Strawberry Riesling. I was reading some info on the web and I see that several people recommend using sugar to bump the ABV. In fact, there are 3 things that Id be interested in messing with:

1) Using sugar to bump ABV. (Should I just use cane sugar, say 3 lbs?)
2) Using 1/2 or 3/4 of the Flavor Pack to cut back on huge sweetness a bit.
3) Using a Wyeast liquid strain rather than the dry yeast that comes with it.

-Are these advisable changes?


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Old 12-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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1) Cane sugar won't ferment. It's too complex for yeast to process. Try Corn sugar. It's a single chain sugar that's easy to digest by the yeast and leaves little to no residual sweetness.

2) Not sure about this.

3) Go for it. I've never had problems with dry yeast, but some people look down on it.


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Old 12-21-2011, 12:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregpio85 View Post
1) Cane sugar won't ferment. It's too complex for yeast to process. Try Corn sugar. It's a single chain sugar that's easy to digest by the yeast and leaves little to no residual sweetness.

2) Not sure about this.

3) Go for it. I've never had problems with dry yeast, but some people look down on it.
I beg to differ on #1. Many recipes call for cane sugar. It is just sucrose, and ferments quite well.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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So you'd just add (corn OR cane sugar) straight to the primary when mixing it up? No boiling or anything?
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:04 AM   #5
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1. What is the target ABV? 3 lb of cane sugar (works just fine) would add 3% to five gallons.

2. Boosting the ABV will also cut the sweetness. I'd hold off and add the flavor packet after the fermentation is done.

3. Bad idea. Most ale and lager yeast will not do a good job on a wine and they will die before the all of the sugars are fermented. Stick with what they gave you.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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There are two ways I've added sugar to the must. I was just following the directions on the recipes I was following when I did these. Neither of these is a kit, but to answer your question of how you could do it:

1. Just like Edwort's Apfelwein (which I saw demonstrated on youtube), add the sugar directly to the juice, and shake it like crazy to dissolve it. This has worked beautifully for me with the Apfelwein.

2. In the blackberry wine recipe I followed, it called for heating water and dissolving the sugar in the heated water. When the water cooled, it was added to the juice in no particular order. This worked beautifully in that recipe.

But something I learned to NOT do again is to add dry sugar to the must that is already in a vigorous fermentation. That will cause a lot of CO2 to suddenly be released. I was smart enough to do it only with a very small quantity of sugar so my mess wasn't really very bad ... making mistakes and messes are part of the fun . Don't let me take away all your fun here .

So what I would probably do is look at your recipe. If it calls for adding water, I would probably heat the water enough to make the sugar dissolve easily in it, then dissolve the sugar in that water. When it has cooled, then I would probably add that to the rest of the juice and proceed. If it doesn't call for adding any water, then I'd use a method like with Ed's apfelwein and shake it vigorously in the juice to dissolve it. That's just what I'd do, though - don't let me take away your fun .
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
3. Bad idea. Most ale and lager yeast will not do a good job on a wine and they will die before the all of the sugars are fermented. Stick with what they gave you.
I wouldnt use beer yeast. Id use liquid wine yeast. Being a Riesling, I was looking at their Rudesheimer strain.

YEAST STRAIN: 4783 | Rudesheimer™
Back to Yeast Strain List

Produces distinct Riesling character. Rich flavor, creamy, fruity profile with nice dry finish and a hint of Riesling sweetness in the aftertaste.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: NA
Temperature Range: 55-75F, 13-24C
Alcohol Tolerance: 14% ABV


Why? Well, in my brewing I vastly prefer liquid yeast to dry yeast. Of course, maybe there isnt as much of a difference in wine yeast. I guess its the beauty of learning. Im sure I can find "liquid only" winemakers as well as plenty of "dry only" winemakers.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:32 AM   #8
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Most of the winemakers I know use dry yeast- it's cheaper and does the job beautifully. I don't see any advantage here to using a more expensive liquid yeast, especially if you're considering bumping up the ABV with simple sugar anyway.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Also, using a liquid yeast won't necessarily increase your ABV.

1) If you add sugar, you might bump your ABV, but it depends on the amount of sugar already present in your must, and the alcohol tolerance of your yeast.
2) Reducing the F-pack will only bump your ABV in that you'll have the same amount of alcohol but slightly less overall volume. Like if your pre-F volume is 3 gal @ 12% ABV, adding a 1-quart F-pack will make the ABV 11.1%, but adding only 1/2 qt of the F-pack will make it 11.5%.
3) See 1, above on tolerance of yeast.


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