Checking gravity in country wines

Checking gravity in country wines

Post by MADwa » Thu, 25 Dec 1997 04:00:00



I am confused about checking gravity in country wines.  It is said
that you add all your fruit and water to the fermenter and then sugar
to a certain SG.  What I don't understand is, if you are doing it this
way, are you not taking into account the sugar in the fruit?  There is
NO WAY you will get any gravity from some apples that have been
chopped and thrown in water unless you puree them. You will get the
gravity of the water you just added.   So do you just assume the sugar
in the fruit is negligible and go entirely with SG from adding sugar?

The fruit does not break down and release sugars for several days
after the yeast has been attacking it.

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MADwand at earthling dot net
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Checking gravity in country wines

Post by Giovan » Fri, 26 Dec 1997 04:00:00




Quote:

>I am confused about checking gravity in country wines.  It is said
>that you add all your fruit and water to the fermenter and then sugar
>to a certain SG.  What I don't understand is, if you are doing it this
>way, are you not taking into account the sugar in the fruit?  There is
>NO WAY you will get any gravity from some apples that have been
>chopped and thrown in water unless you puree them. You will get the
>gravity of the water you just added.  

You are correct. However, the task is to find out how much sugar you
have in that must, not accurately (unless you have lab equipment) but
reliably!

Setting apart any guessing or accepting the 'fate', this is what I
would do:

1. Get a sample by using a fine strainer to hold back 'the thick
   stuff'. If this fails to give a readable sample, I would..

2. Measure this 'thick sample' and add to it an equal amount of water.
   In effect, you are diluting the sugar content by 100%. Then read the
   SG and simply double the result. Actually, I would still subtract
   from this result 0.007 (divided by 2, to account for 100%
   dilution)to allow for supended solids.

   For example: the diluted sample reads 1.037
                double it to 1.074
                and adjust it to 1.071

Now you make your adjustments according to plan.

Quote:
>So do you just assume the sugar
>in the fruit is negligible and go entirely with SG from adding sugar?

No, but in the case of apples or other fruit it may be more difficult.
I usually try to break up whater fruit the best way possible, then let
the whole thing (including any added water) cold macerate for 2-3 days
before taking any measurements. This, in my opinion, allows for some
kind of 'balance' to be established in the must, which should give you
best readings.

Quote:
>The fruit does not break down and release sugars for several days
>after the yeast has been attacking it.

Remember that you are trying to find out 'how much' sugar you have in
there. You are not trying to break down anything. Let the yeast, or
other, do that.       :-)

Quote:
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>MADwand at earthling dot net
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Good luck and Season's Greetings.

Giovanni.

 
 
 

Checking gravity in country wines

Post by Don Buch » Fri, 26 Dec 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>I am confused about checking gravity in country wines.  It is said
>that you add all your fruit and water to the fermenter and then sugar
>to a certain SG.  What I don't understand is, if you are doing it this
>way, are you not taking into account the sugar in the fruit?  There is
>NO WAY you will get any gravity from some apples that have been
>chopped and thrown in water unless you puree them. You will get the
>gravity of the water you just added.   So do you just assume the sugar
>in the fruit is negligible and go entirely with SG from adding sugar?

>The fruit does not break down and release sugars for several days
>after the yeast has been attacking it.

That brings into question the whole "art" part of winemaking.  By taking the
SG, we wish to

A) have an IDEA about how much *** we'll end up with. The mileage tests
they do for your car don't take into account that you'll be loading it up
with the kids, toys and be driving during conditions (road, weather, etc)
that make your gas mileage plummet; but when you fill up you have a rough
idea how far you'll be going on that tank of gas and roughly how long it will
be before you'll have to fill up again;
B) use it to follow the fermentation. This way we know roughly how far along
it is; of course what you see will be a resulting SG from the decrease in
sugar content due to fermentation as well as whatever sugars have been
released into the solution from the fruit.

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