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Wine is too astringent

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Zurd

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Hi,

Been making homemade wine with a regular starter kit for quite some years:
http://www.costco.ca/Argentia-Ridge...net-Sauvignon-Wine-Kit.product.100214690.html

It's an ok wine but recently I've tasted another wine from the market and it doesn't make me grin like the wine I make.

I think the wine I make is too astringent. What would I need to modify a new batch so that it taste less astringent and more fruity? I'd like it to be closer to a juice if that makes sense.

Last batch I tried with 25L of water instead of 23L, it helped reduce the astringent taste but it's also watering down the whole flavor and the alcohol content.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!
 

Mismost

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I think you need to figure out if the astringent taste is because the wine is dry or if maybe it is from the oak...if the kit came with oak. I am not too fond of super dry, mouth puckering red wines....folks tell me my pallet is simply uneducated...my pallet tells me "this sucks"!

If it's oak, try adding only half the oak and see how you like it...you can always add the other half later if you want.

If it's too dry for you, backsweeten it a bit to your liking. If you have some of your last batch, try sweetening a glass and see if that helps.

it's your kit, your wine, make it taste the way you want it to taste!
 
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Zurd

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This is something I've already tried, leaving the oak chips out of it. I've stopped putting them a few months ago. It do helps but just a bit. I'd like it to be even less astringent.

Sweetening could be interesting to try, how do you do it?
 

Jim311

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Are you giving it some time to mellow out? Some hot alcohol flavors fade with time and leave a delicious wine.
 
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Zurd

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Are you giving it some time to mellow out? Some hot alcohol flavors fade with time and leave a delicious wine.
Mellow out in the bottle with the caps? Yes, some for months, taste doesn't change much.

I was thinking that my problem was quite well known and there was an easy fix. Like a special ingredient to add during the fermentation.

I was just thinking that for my next batch, I could reduce the fermentation time. They say it's 3 weeks then 1 week with the secondary agents but maybe I can drop it to 2 weeks + 1 week. I bet it's still plenty of time for the yeast to make alcohol. I was thinking that maybe the less time it ferments, the less flavor/astringent it will produce?
 

Jim311

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Sometimes ciders and such can take 6+ months to really age nicely.
 
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Zurd

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Interesting but this is just regular red wine. There has to be an easy trick to do it faster than just waiting 6 months!
 

Mismost

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Interesting but this is just regular red wine. There has to be an easy trick to do it faster than just waiting 6 months!
More time = better wine. I bottled a plum wine last year and it was so tart and sharp going in the bottle...kinda nasty. Ten months later it is really good...the only thing added was time. Can make all the difference in the world.
 

gregbathurst

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One thing you can try is regular racking, some oxidation will help red wine age quicker but the danger is too much oxidation and your wine is ruined. Wineries use "micro ox" which is bubbling tiny amounts of air through the wine to speed up ageing. If your problem is bitter tannins then ageing and oxidation are the only things that will help. Also it may be that you are not degassing well enough, that will definitely cause bitterness in red wine.
If your problem is sourness caused by excessive acidity then there are ways to de-acidify wine.
 

Chef-Ryan

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I still go with one of the early questions of what are you considering astringent, tannins, acid or maybe actually having bitter notes? because for tannins and bitterness you can actually fine those out using something most people have at home... egg whites. if it is acid then it is more complicated.. or try sweetening it and when i mean try i mean take a glass of it and add a little bit of sugar and see if it helps. this will lead into trials for how much you wish to add
 
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Zurd

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@Mismost: ok, so one thing I can try is just to wait. This is quite easy to test, I'll just need to wait and taste my wine after overtime and see if it improves.

@gregbathurst: another thing to try is to degass it. Honestly I'm not swirling it a lot during fermentation but when I drink my wine, there's no foam. I will stir it a lot more in the future since you said it helps to age the wine quicker. And about acidity, I don't know if my wine is too acid or not, is there a quick way to know it? Maybe a titration test? I wouldn't mind buying one and testing it.

@Chef-Ryan: I say my wine is astringent because it makes me grin when taking a sip, kind of like eating in a lemon. After a few sip it goes away though but I'd like it to be a lot more smoother as a wine. I can try egg whites, I'm sure they sell those at the grocery market. How much egg whites for a wine bottle should I put? As for sweetening with white sugar, I just tried it a few minutes and it does help a lot! Not 100% what I'm trying to achieve and if I put too much then it just becomes undrinkable. This is kind of confusing to me, I heard that sugar can help reduce acidity but I doubt my wine is too acid because this batch was made with 25L and not the usual 23L and one way to de-acidify is just to dilute it with water.

Thanks all for your suggestions/comments, keep it coming :)
 

Chef-Ryan

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@Mismost: ok, so one thing I can try is just to wait. This is quite easy to test, I'll just need to wait and taste my wine after overtime and see if it improves.

@gregbathurst: another thing to try is to degass it. Honestly I'm not swirling it a lot during fermentation but when I drink my wine, there's no foam. I will stir it a lot more in the future since you said it helps to age the wine quicker. And about acidity, I don't know if my wine is too acid or not, is there a quick way to know it? Maybe a titration test? I wouldn't mind buying one and testing it.

@Chef-Ryan: I say my wine is astringent because it makes me grin when taking a sip, kind of like eating in a lemon. After a few sip it goes away though but I'd like it to be a lot more smoother as a wine. I can try egg whites, I'm sure they sell those at the grocery market. How much egg whites for a wine bottle should I put? As for sweetening with white sugar, I just tried it a few minutes and it does help a lot! Not 100% what I'm trying to achieve and if I put too much then it just becomes undrinkable. This is kind of confusing to me, I heard that sugar can help reduce acidity but I doubt my wine is too acid because this batch was made with 25L and not the usual 23L and one way to de-acidify is just to dilute it with water.

Thanks all for your suggestions/comments, keep it coming :)
ok here is what to do, it sounds like acid issues more then tannin or bitter. the best way to balance the acid it to just sweeten it a bit too get a few wine glasses you have an accurate scale then perfect if not this becomes slightly harder .. lol .. in the glasses put 100mL of wine (sorry I'm Canadian and do it in metric) and 1 glass add nothing then you add .1g , .2g , .3g etc sugar to the glasses (each .xg to a different glass) because this will relate to 1g/L sugar to add and taste through.. if you do not have an accurate scale we will have to do a bit of fancy work here... take 100ml of you wine and add 1g of sugar.. then you take 10ml of this solution, 20mL, 30mL Etc and then top each one to 100ml then last (this is slightly less accurate but will still work). if you do not have anything that can measure single a single G of sugar let me know and i will see what i can come up with
 

gregbathurst

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With red wine it is important to thoroughly degas after fermentation has finished. Any co2 left at all will act with the tannin to make the wine taste bitter. If you age in a glass carboy properly filled to the neck, even after a year there will still be some co2 left in solution. To test if this is the problem open a bottle,pour out a glass and put the cork back in and leave the bottle for a day with the headspace left by pouring out a glass. if the wine tastes better the next day and less bitter, that is because the co2 has been allowed to escape.
 
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Zurd

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Hi, just to let you know I'm still working on this problem. I made a batch recently that was quite good. I degassed it a lot and there was oak in it. Unfortunately, this batch wasn't for me so I can't enjoy it lol

For the next batch, I will buy new plastic bucket, mine are like 5-10 years old and I will try with oak chips in it see how it goes and still degass it as much as I can. Note that even tho I stir the bucket a lot for degassing, after bottling, my wine is still quite a bit carbonated. Maybe I should try to degass with an electric drill with something to swirl at the end.

I've also tested another batch, ferment it like usual but at the end, we added 3 cans of grape Welch like this:


My friend kind of likes it but not me, it's way too sugary for my taste. It do hide a lot of the bad taste but not completely.
 
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Zurd

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The problem of the bad taste of my wine has been found! It's all good now with my new plastic bucket. The old ones we're too much used and was leaving a bad taste.

Looks like >5 years for a plastic bucket is too much. I've written the date of the day I bought the new buckets with a permanent marker on the bottom, I'll switch buckets after around 3 years or so from now on!
 
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