Maple Wine Issues

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junglejapes

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So I started a Maple Wine last November. My intent was to do a sparkling maple ginger "wine." I used about 1.5 gallons grade B syrup, a couple pounds of cane sugar, around 1.5 pounds of fresh ginger, and a packet of Nottingham champagne yeast (don't remember the strain, just asked for a packet of champagne yeast at my LHBS. The OG was a 1.13, a little higher than I had intended but I already had added a little water and didn't have space in the carboy to add more so I figured I'd just see what happened.

I finally had the chance to rack to the secondary last night. I took a gravity reading and right now it's 1.054, definitely higher than I'd like it to be. I siphoned off a small glass of the stuff and it's good but it's definitely sweeter than I'd like (although the rest of my family seems to like it the way it is).

I'm wondering why the sugars didn't ferment more (did the high alcohol content kill off some of the yeast or maybe maple syrup isn't that fermentable?). Is there anything I can do to bring the gravity down a little, reducing the sweetness and adding a little more alcohol - could I add a packet of champagne yeast now? Also should I add more yeast (and sugar) when I bottle if I want this to be a sparkling wine?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

emr454

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I'm wondering why the sugars didn't ferment more (did the high alcohol content kill off some of the yeast)
I'm willing to guess this is the cause. If you used Nottingham yeast, which is ale yeast, it doesn't have a high alcohol tolerance. According to your gravity numbers, it's right around 10% abv, Nottingham's alcohol limit.

If you want to bring the gravity down, some champagne yeast would be good, something like K1V-1116 or EC-1118 have a high alcohol tolerance. I'm not sure how much luck you will have making it a sparkling wine if it ferments to dryness, but I'm sure others have some suggestions for doing that. Hope this helps!

Eric
 

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