Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Post by Esteb » Mon, 16 Jun 2003 22:10:57



I've been making wines for about 1.5 yrs. now, exploring both grape
based (kits and some frozen juice) and fruit (apple, raspberry,
strawberry, blackberry and cranberry) wines. so far I've gotten lots
of cheers for the grape wines but mostly jeers for the fruit (country
wines). I ferment both to full dryness and let them age for more than
9 months. Some of my fruit wines are over a year old (after bottling)
and they are still pretty harsh. My questions to the country wine
fans: 1) When does (if ever) this harshness disappear?  2) Should I
have added some sugar (and stabilizer) before bottling? 3) why are
grape wines always more mellow than fruit wines?
 
 
 

Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Post by zinm » Tue, 17 Jun 2003 05:55:12


Quote:

> I've been making wines for about 1.5 yrs. now, exploring both grape
> based (kits and some frozen juice) and fruit (apple, raspberry,
> strawberry, blackberry and cranberry) wines. so far I've gotten lots
> of cheers for the grape wines but mostly jeers for the fruit (country
> wines). I ferment both to full dryness and let them age for more than
> 9 months. Some of my fruit wines are over a year old (after bottling)
> and they are still pretty harsh. My questions to the country wine
> fans: 1) When does (if ever) this harshness disappear?  2) Should I
> have added some sugar (and stabilizer) before bottling? 3) why are
> grape wines always more mellow than fruit wines?

 Nine times out of ten, the grape is the perfect fruit to ferment, be
it fresh or frozen grapes. With kits and juice the supplier, during
processing has adjusted the chemistry (SG,ph,acid,sulfite etc)so it is
in balance. It is a common misconception that other fruit wines also
lend themselves to the same procedures as grapes. My experience with
non-grape or country wines is to adjust prior to fermentation the S.G.
to no more than 1.090 (11.5% alc./vol.), acid to .65-.70%. I find it
far more difficult to produce a country wine than a grape wine. It
really helps to keep the *** level below 12% to reduce the harsh
or hot sensation and a gentle cool fermentation temperature to
preserve the delicate fruit aromas if that is you intention. Many
fruit wines lend themselves to sweetening and the methods and amount
vary by the fruit used. All in all get yourself a ph meter and
test/adjust the must and you'll be pleased with the results.
                                                Cheers Zinman

 
 
 

Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Post by jmreite » Tue, 17 Jun 2003 07:22:09


Zinman is right on one major aspect of making country wines; pH! Get
yourself a pH meter NOW. pH meters are a necessity when making fruit wines
because they don't have the same balance (pH, acid, sugar) as grapes. I
ferment my fruit wines to dryness. They are all fine tasting and very
palatable and fruity. But I have had to adjust the pH on all of them. Next
time you open a bottle of one of your fruit wines, pour a few glasses and do
some "bench" testing with varying amounts of potassium carbonate. You won't
need much, just that barest of pinches. See if this improves the
palatability of the wine. If not, then go the other direction and bench test
with tartaric. Good luck. But above all, get yourself a pH meter.
Joanne



Quote:
> > I've been making wines for about 1.5 yrs. now, exploring both grape
> > based (kits and some frozen juice) and fruit (apple, raspberry,
> > strawberry, blackberry and cranberry) wines. so far I've gotten lots
> > of cheers for the grape wines but mostly jeers for the fruit (country
> > wines). I ferment both to full dryness and let them age for more than
> > 9 months. Some of my fruit wines are over a year old (after bottling)
> > and they are still pretty harsh. My questions to the country wine
> > fans: 1) When does (if ever) this harshness disappear?  2) Should I
> > have added some sugar (and stabilizer) before bottling? 3) why are
> > grape wines always more mellow than fruit wines?

>  Nine times out of ten, the grape is the perfect fruit to ferment, be
> it fresh or frozen grapes. With kits and juice the supplier, during
> processing has adjusted the chemistry (SG,ph,acid,sulfite etc)so it is
> in balance. It is a common misconception that other fruit wines also
> lend themselves to the same procedures as grapes. My experience with
> non-grape or country wines is to adjust prior to fermentation the S.G.
> to no more than 1.090 (11.5% alc./vol.), acid to .65-.70%. I find it
> far more difficult to produce a country wine than a grape wine. It
> really helps to keep the *** level below 12% to reduce the harsh
> or hot sensation and a gentle cool fermentation temperature to
> preserve the delicate fruit aromas if that is you intention. Many
> fruit wines lend themselves to sweetening and the methods and amount
> vary by the fruit used. All in all get yourself a ph meter and
> test/adjust the must and you'll be pleased with the results.
>                                                 Cheers Zinman

 
 
 

Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Post by Jack Kell » Thu, 19 Jun 2003 04:17:41


Esteban, they aren't harsh if balanced.  Balance your acidity,
***, tannin, and sweetness and your three questions will be moot.

Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

 
 
 

Grape Vs. Country Wines (Harshness)

Post by Ray » Thu, 19 Jun 2003 06:52:21


Jack,  *** is what I make.  Acidity I can measure.  Sweetness I can
adjust by taste.  Tannin is something I have never managed to get a handle
on.  Do you just adjust it by taste as well are what are you looking for?
Do you need to add the tannin and wait for a few days or month for it to be
incorporated or can you just stir it in and taste it immediately?

Ray


Quote:
> Esteban, they aren't harsh if balanced.  Balance your acidity,
> ***, tannin, and sweetness and your three questions will be moot.

> Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
> http://www.FoundCollection.com/