Fruit wine came out watery

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BeerGrills

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Hi,

I'm making my first fruit wine and followed a recipe I found on line. The wine came out rather watery like I didn't use enough fruit. It is 1 month old at this time.
Is there anything I can do to add some mouth feel/body or remove some water from this batch?

Gene
 

bernardsmith

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Hi BeerGrills, You are not divulging the recipe. How much fruit did the author of the recipe suggest you use and what kind of fruit did you ferment? What is the ABV (What was the starting gravity)? And what yeast did you use. One way to increase mouthfeel is to add glycerine but another way is to add sugar to back-sweeten (and that means that you need first to stabilize the wine to prevent the yeast from fermenting any additional sugars. If the recipe , in fact suggested that you flavor the wine with fruit rather than ferment the fruit - if you get my drift - you might consider adding more fruit now, but that may work best if you have not yet stabilized the wine and your yeast can still ferment the fruit.
You might want to discuss the method you used to express the juice from the fruit: too short a time macerating the fruit could produce a very thin wine. Bottom line, to offer any useful advice I would say we need to know a little more about the recipe and your process.
 
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BeerGrills

BeerGrills

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Hi,

The recipe called for 8-10 lbs of black raspberries(which I picked in the wild). After crushing i left the berries in the bucket and topped off to 5 gal according to the recipe. I broke the cap each day until fermentation was complete. I did not take a hydrometer reading. I racked to a carboy for another week to let it clear. this when I tasted it and it was watery and that is where I am at today. The recipe did not call for added sugar which I thought odd but I have never done this before. I hope that helps with your questions
 

bernardsmith

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The recipe does sound a little odd. Fruit other than wine grapes tends to have at most - at most about 1 lb of sugar per gallon of juice (no water added to dilute the juice) Sounds like (but as Maylar hints I may be wrong) if the recipe called for 10 lbs of fruit for the 5 gallons and so you are using about 2 lbs of fruit per gallon that will give you a very flavor thin raspberry drink. With no sugar added, I would guess that 2 lbs of raspberries might - might - produce a pint of juice so 1 pint (1/8 of a gallon) would provide you with about 5 points of sugar ie, a gravity of about 1.005 which is probably around 0.6% ABV (ie just over one half of 1 percent alcohol by volume (ie 5 ml of ethanol in every 1000 ml) . I think you could serve that to a child and not be charged with endangering a minor. That may be less than the alcohol content of kombucha. If the recipe was for 10 lbs of fruit /gallon then you may have extracted about 1 gallon of juice and so I would suggest an SG of about 1.045 which is still on the thin side over 5 gallons but the starting gravity would have had a potential to make a wine of a scant 6% ABV. That's not chopped liver but it's not much more than a strong beer. You typically would dismiss any recipe for a wine that does not lead you to expect to bottle the end product at about 12% ABV and so have a starting gravity of about 1.090.

Here's a trick: if you can get hold of a refractometer then you can squeeze out a drop of juice and use that instrument to measure the sugar content of the fruit. It's likely to be in brix which is a percentage of the liquid which is sugar (and so you want to look for fruit that is in the region of 20 -25 brix (wine grapes) and/or it may use specific gravity and either would suggest that despite the recipe whether you need to increase the sugar content to make a wine closer to 12% ABV. A brix of 22 will have a gravity of 1.090 or as near as damn it.
 
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BeerGrills

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So for the this batch can I add Juice and sugar to get the gravity to 1.090 and do another fermentation? I forgot to mention I used Lalvin D47 for this batch.
 

bernardsmith

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Assuming that the yeast are still viable: that is to say, you did not stabilize the wine with sorbates or sulfur then you could add more juice and sugar BUT if my calculations are correct and you used 2 lbs of fruit per gallon and not 10 lbs, then your starting gravity would have been 1.005, so I would perhaps up the amount of fruit by another 3 lbs PER GALLON and then add perhaps 1 lbs 12 oz of sugar PER GALLON to reach the specific gravity of 1.090 (+/-) that it would have reached if all this was in solution BEFORE you added (pitched) the yeast. If you don't have access to another 15 lbs of fruit you might start with a target of one gallon.
 

Ty520

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Just for future reference, typically anything less than 4 pounds of fruit per gallon for country wine is insufficient. For berries, I go up to 6 to get good body
 
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