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How much sugar?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 20:29
by Rolfster
Hi all

I am planning on making a strong cherry wine (think port) I have a few ice cream tubs full of sour cherries and want to make some booze with them that doesn't take too much work.... so beer is out of the running.

I wanna get it to about 15%. So my question is if I was just fermenting sugar water in a 4.5 liter dj how much sugar would I need to reach 15%. I will figure out how much sugar is on the cherries (and other stuff) at a later date and take this off the amount I add.

I'm going to add the sugar in stages to try and keep the ferment going.

Anyone help me out?
Cheers Tim

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 21:05
by Rolfster
I've also ordered some Youngs Dessert / High Alcohol Wine Yeast.... Anyone used this and have feedback on how it performed?

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 19:11
by Rolfster
Think I'm going to go with something along the lines of this
About 2kg fruit

1.5kg sugar

4.5L water

Packet of yeast (normally 5g)

Pectic enzyme

Lemon juice

Strong tea (alternatively, use raisins or tannin extract)
Taken from The science and magic of wine-making in the guardian. I'll put raisins in and probably tannin and yeast nutrient.... and maybe a bit more sugar...and a ripe banana.
When it comes to bottling I will taste and think about fortification with something.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 22:00
by oldbloke
Most red wine yeasts will get to 15%, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Your recipe looks fine.
If you do add the banana, consider some amylase as well.
You have enough sugar in there to reach 15%, it may go past or if you want it medium or eve sweet you could stop it.
I generally use Gervin GV4 when I want to get past 15%, it'll go to 20 and still taste good.
Is that fruit all cherry? With my berry wines I like to do a mix and always include some blackcurrant because it always makes it more like wine, but I've not done cherry - I suspect it's fine on its own

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 08:35
by Rolfster
Cheers oldbloke.
I may beef up the sugar a bit then.
I'm just going to put cherry in and see how it ends up.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 07:45
by Rolfster
I put this on yesterday.
Looks like I have just shy of 5kg of cherries.
So far I've put in cherries, tannin, nutrient, 3L of water, yeast and 1kg of sugar.
No banana.
I'm gonna put the raisins and more sugar in later once it's fermenting well.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 16:33
by Rolfster
I got my sums wrong.... looks like 2.4 kg of cherries after all.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 08:57
by Rolfster
I've put in some brandy soaked mixed dried fruit that was left over from the Christmas cake and some more sugar (400g).
It still seems to be fermenting well.
It's currently in a large pot, so I'm going to put it into a dj and get it off the fruit in the next few days.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 21:46
by Rolfster
Strained the fruit out today and put it in a dj.... and a 1 liter bottle... there was more than I thought!

Tasted nice but it's still at 1.010ish so it's going to be whoke different kettle of fish once it dries out!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 14:08
by Rolfster
So I added more sugar to this. In total I've put 2kgs in. (I wasn't going to add that much, but tipped the whole bag in with out thinking) It's didn't seem to do anything when I added the last lot of sugar!
The air lock maintained pressure. Now this is not the case so I'm guessing it's stalled.
I took a reading and it's at 1.021.
It tastes ok but I would like it to drop a few more points as it's currently very sweet.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 20:02
by oldbloke
Gervin do a re-start yeast. I guess you've tried a bit of agitation and making sure it's at a nice temperature

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 22:20
by Rolfster
Agitation yes. Temp not so much. It's not beer so it's not home in my water bath. I'll try to sort that out. In b the meantime I'll order some gv4.
Cheers oldbloke!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 13:14
by Rolfster
Sorry to bother you oldbloke.... do you rehydrate your GV4? if so what temperature do you do it at?
I want to give it the best chance of kicking off due to it going into a strong sugary alcoholic solution!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 13:15
by Rolfster
I am going to draw some out of the dj and water it down a bit to lessen the %, but will probably add a bit more sugar to it so it's got something it get its teeth stuck into!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 14:01
by oldbloke
No, I don't. But although it's a high alcohol yeast, it doesn't like too much sugar in one go, I add the sugar in stages, a week or so apart.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 07:50
by Rolfster
So I added 200ml of water and 200ml of the cherry 'port' and 40g of sugar to a bottle with the gv4. It seemed to get a good ferment going in there!

While that was happening the main dj also started with some more airlock activity!
Once fermentation had died down in the bottle I gave it a good swirl and added to the dj.

Now......nothing!
I think it's still fermenting. ..... just on a geological time scale!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:37
by Crastney
What temp is it at? the lower end of 17 ish it might be a bit slow.

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 22:12
by Rolfster
Not been taking much notice of the temperature :oops:

Thinking I will take a reading tomorrow evening and have a taste!

Re: How much sugar?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 18:39
by Rolfster
I took a reading again today.... looks like it's at 1.022.... it's going backwards!