Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 01-09-2005, 06:35 PM
CJ
 
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Default Making an off-dry wine.

I'm going to make a couple of batches of riesling this fall and I
wanted to make one of these off-dry. I've made a lot of wine, but
always fermented to dryness.

I was wondering what is the best way to stop the fermentation once I
get to the residual sugar level that I want ?

Is it simply a matter of adding enough sulphite to stop it (or sulphite
and rack at the same time) ?

Will it be stable in this case, or could I end up just stunning the
yeast only to have it start up again in the bottle ?

What about selecting a yeast that can only survive to 10 or 11 %alc
(does this type of yeast exist commercially or can they all survive
upwards of 12%) ?

Do I need to filter it finely enough to remove all yeast (I'd prefer to
avoid filtering if possible) ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.


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Old 01-09-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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CJ wrote:
I'm going to make a couple of batches of riesling this fall and I
wanted to make one of these off-dry. I've made a lot of wine, but
always fermented to dryness.

I was wondering what is the best way to stop the fermentation once I
get to the residual sugar level that I want ?

Is it simply a matter of adding enough sulphite to stop it (or sulphite
and rack at the same time) ?

Will it be stable in this case, or could I end up just stunning the
yeast only to have it start up again in the bottle ?

What about selecting a yeast that can only survive to 10 or 11 %alc
(does this type of yeast exist commercially or can they all survive
upwards of 12%) ?

Do I need to filter it finely enough to remove all yeast (I'd prefer to
avoid filtering if possible) ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.


I think you are on the right track with the yeast idea. Different
yeasts finish differently. Whitelabs has a sweet wine and mead yeast
you might want to try for what you are after. It is a liquid yeast and
a bit tempremental.

There are a couple of good ale yeasts that might give you the finish
you want, but ale yeasts tend to have a malty flavor. You may or may
not want this in a wine. (Nottihinham is good, and I think might give
you the results you are after.)

After these two, it might depend on what your brew supply store stocks.
They might have more suggestions. You might want to have a lenghty
conversation with one of the clerks there.

hope this helps,

roland

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Old 01-09-2005, 07:15 PM
JEP62
 
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Default


CJ wrote:
I'm going to make a couple of batches of riesling this fall and I
wanted to make one of these off-dry. I've made a lot of wine, but
always fermented to dryness.


Been there, done that.


I was wondering what is the best way to stop the fermentation once I
get to the residual sugar level that I want ?


Cold.


Is it simply a matter of adding enough sulphite to stop it (or sulphite
and rack at the same time) ?


Definitely not guaranteed to work. At best, the SO2 will slow the yeast
down but you would have to add way more than you want to actually kill
the yeast.

Will it be stable in this case, or could I end up just stunning the
yeast only to have it start up again in the bottle ?


The latter is a very definite possibility.


What about selecting a yeast that can only survive to 10 or 11 %alc
(does this type of yeast exist commercially or can they all survive
upwards of 12%) ?


According to a major wine yeast company, no such thing exists. At least
not one that will reliably stop around a certain ABV. It depends on too
many other conditions whether the yeast will stop at 16% or 12% or 8%.

Do I need to filter it finely enough to remove all yeast (I'd prefer to
avoid filtering if possible) ?


Pot. Sorbate in addition to the Pot. Meta. is another option.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


I've been looking into this for a few years since German style
Rieslings are a favorite of mine.

The best procedure I've been able to come up with is to chill the wine
almost to the freezing point right before you reach your target SG. I
say right before your target because the yeast will still consume sugar
while the wine is cooling down unless you have some method of really
quickly cooling it.

The cold will slow the yeast down to the point where they will become
inactive and settle out. The cold is not a reliable way to kill the
yeast, only temporarily inactive them. One the yeast have settled out
sufficiently, either filter or use sorbate.

The sorbate will prevent the remaining yeast from reproducing. Don't
use it without Pot. Meta. Riesling tends to be high in acid (including
malic) and MLF is not really in style plus can cause some off aromas if
sorbate is present. The Pot. Meta. will prevent the MLF.

Andy

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Old 01-09-2005, 07:22 PM
Ray Calvert
 
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Default

I do not trust any yeast to turn off at a particular point. No yeast
company is going to say his yeast will stop at 11% when there is enough
sugar to go to 12%.

Two suggestions:

1) Aim for the alcohol level you want and make it dry. Let it clear, rack
and stabilize with sorbate, and then sweeten to taste. This is the method I
use. You might even consider sweetening with a mild honey rather than
sugar.

2) Ferment it to the sweetness you want and then put it in a fridge or
freezer to stop the fermentation. Keep it cold until it clears, then remove
it, rack and stabilize with sorbate so the fermentation will not restart.

The second method is used by some, I just do not have the cold storage space
to do it.

Ray

"CJ" wrote in message
ups.com...
I'm going to make a couple of batches of riesling this fall and I
wanted to make one of these off-dry. I've made a lot of wine, but
always fermented to dryness.

I was wondering what is the best way to stop the fermentation once I
get to the residual sugar level that I want ?

Is it simply a matter of adding enough sulphite to stop it (or sulphite
and rack at the same time) ?

Will it be stable in this case, or could I end up just stunning the
yeast only to have it start up again in the bottle ?

What about selecting a yeast that can only survive to 10 or 11 %alc
(does this type of yeast exist commercially or can they all survive
upwards of 12%) ?

Do I need to filter it finely enough to remove all yeast (I'd prefer to
avoid filtering if possible) ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.



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Old 01-09-2005, 07:39 PM
CJ
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for the replies so far.

Just out of curiosity, is the cold then sorbate method how it is done
in commercial wineries ?



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Old 01-09-2005, 07:42 PM
miker
 
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Default

I prefer Ray's 1st method - Ferment to dry and then re-sweeten with
sugar and add sorbate (and sulphite). I've made a couple of real nice
Rieslings this way. With a little bench testing with small samples
before sweetening the whole batch, you can get the sweetness right
where you want it.

Haven't tried the cold method, but it seems to me it might be difficult
to hit your target sweetness -you'd have to keep testing all the time
to make sure you didn't go past the level you wanted - then you'd have
to chill very quickly to make sure you kept it where you wanted it.
Easier to ferment dry and resweeten imho.

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Old 01-09-2005, 07:43 PM
miker
 
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Default

I prefer Ray's 1st method - Ferment to dry and then re-sweeten with
sugar and add sorbate (and sulphite). I've made a couple of real nice
Rieslings this way. With a little bench testing with small samples
before sweetening the whole batch, you can get the sweetness right
where you want it.

Haven't tried the cold method, but it seems to me it might be difficult
to hit your target sweetness -you'd have to keep testing all the time
to make sure you didn't go past the level you wanted - then you'd have
to chill very quickly to make sure you kept it where you wanted it.
Easier to ferment dry and resweeten imho.

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Old 01-09-2005, 07:44 PM
pcw
 
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Default

No! most typ for commercial production is sterile filtration with
"fantastically" expensive equipment and sanitation.

btw .. many here in the ng will say ferment to dryness, clear, sweeten
to taste and then sorbate/bottle. It's simpler! Good Luck!

Charlie



CJ wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far.

Just out of curiosity, is the cold then sorbate method how it is done
in commercial wineries ?


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Old 01-09-2005, 07:49 PM
JEP62
 
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Default


CJ wrote:
Thanks for the replies so far.

Just out of curiosity, is the cold then sorbate method how it is done
in commercial wineries ?


Usually the cold, then filter or in some cases cold, followed by cold.

Some wineries in Germany are reported to literally throw the doors to
the winery open when the wine is coming close to their target. Of
course in this day and age, it's probably done more with jacketed,
stainless steel fermentors.

The wine is kept cold for months until the yeast have died and/or
settled out. Some filter, some don't. It's also common to have a slight
fizz in many German Rieslings. This usually disappears after the wine
is poured.

It can be difficult for use to keep the wine that cold for so long. In
my cellar, the temp usually bottoms out around 50 F which isn't really
cold enough and keeping 5 or 10 gallons in the fridge for 6 months
really isn't an option.

Andy

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Old 01-09-2005, 08:08 PM
CJ
 
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Default

Alright. Next (related) question.

Seems like ferment to dryness is the most popular method.

Now, what if I were to say that I'm looking to make an icewine come
late December/January from juice I'd buy from Niagara, so I'm more
interest in using a method that will be practical (and practice) for
the icewine (i.e. re-sweeten is probably unfeasible here as I'd need to
hold back at least half the juice to re-sweeten to 10%+ residual
sugar).

I live in Ottawa, where freezing temps usually start to by early
november--i.e. it should hover around freezing out in the garage by
then, so space in a fridge isn't a necessity for me in order to cool it
down and leave it there for months.

Thus, if I want to use this method, I'd need my residual sugar to be
where I want it no earlier than early november.

Can someone suggest a yeast and fermentation temperature that would
result in a slow enough fermentation that this would work time-wise ?
(I'd pick the grapes up in late Sept or Early October--lets say I start
fermentation Oct. 1).


Thanks.



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Old 01-09-2005, 08:45 PM
JEP62
 
Posts: n/a
Default


CJ wrote:
Alright. Next (related) question.

Seems like ferment to dryness is the most popular method.

Now, what if I were to say that I'm looking to make an icewine come
late December/January from juice I'd buy from Niagara, so I'm more
interest in using a method that will be practical (and practice) for
the icewine (i.e. re-sweeten is probably unfeasible here as I'd need to
hold back at least half the juice to re-sweeten to 10%+ residual
sugar).

I live in Ottawa, where freezing temps usually start to by early
november--i.e. it should hover around freezing out in the garage by
then, so space in a fridge isn't a necessity for me in order to cool it
down and leave it there for months.

Thus, if I want to use this method, I'd need my residual sugar to be
where I want it no earlier than early november.

Can someone suggest a yeast and fermentation temperature that would
result in a slow enough fermentation that this would work time-wise ?
(I'd pick the grapes up in late Sept or Early October--lets say I start
fermentation Oct. 1).


Thanks.


I would go with ICV-D47 and a cool fermentation to slow it down. It
still may be difficult to make the fermentation last a month, but this
yeast is pretty sensitive to temperature. Even if it doesn't get cold
enouh in the garage when it's time to stop it, you could probably find
a way to chill it enough for a couple of weeks. Fridge, freezer or even
an ice water bath.

Keep in mind, if your eventual goal is to make a very sweet wine, you
may need to kick up the acid a bit to keep the wine in balance. IMHO, a
lot of the Niagra wineries don't balance the wine correctly and they
end up very cloying when compared to their German counterparts.

Andy

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Old 01-09-2005, 08:54 PM
CJ
 
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Default

Thanks.

For this first batch I just want to practice stopping the fermentation
with residual sugar left.

I realize I can't directly apply what I do here to my future icewine
attempt, but I'd like to get a little practice in (timing it, etc) so
that I don't totally mess it up. Don't really want to go into the
$15/litre juice blind.

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Old 02-09-2005, 02:40 AM
gene
 
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Default

CJ wrote:
Thanks.

For this first batch I just want to practice stopping the fermentation
with residual sugar left.

I realize I can't directly apply what I do here to my future icewine
attempt, but I'd like to get a little practice in (timing it, etc) so
that I don't totally mess it up. Don't really want to go into the
$15/litre juice blind.

Another option is to reserve a small amount of juice, or else pull out
some of the partially fermented juice, either of which you will
refrigerate, then add back after the other part has fermented dry. Then
sorbate.

Gene
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:13 AM
Joe Sallustio
 
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Default

I live a bit south of you in Pittsburgh and I think you need to
consider different ways of cooling. I will be freezing 1/2 gallon
plastic jugs with tap water and placing them in the fermentation pail
this year; I can let you know how it works out.

Joe

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Old 06-09-2005, 05:55 PM
Ray Calvert
 
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Ok, here are some examples that show why you should not aim at making a
sweet wine by using a yeast. I started two meads back in March. One was a
straight mead (honey only) the other a Melomel with honey and Niagara grape
juice. One was started at SG 1.094 and the other at 1.098. One finished at
1.004 and the other at 1.008. Both sweeter than I wanted. I used adequate
nutrient in each and I used Lalvin 71B-1122 in each. This is my yeast of
choice and I use it a lot. It has a tolerance of up to 14% and should have
had no trouble finishing each of the meads dry. Two meads and neither
finished. If I was really trying to finish the meads at 1.003 a semi-sweet
finish then, with this yeast I probably would have started it at well over
1.100 and I would have ended with a very sweet mead.

My point is -- don't trust the rated alcohol tolerance of a yeast. It is a
ball park number only.

Ray

"CJ" wrote in message
ups.com...
I'm going to make a couple of batches of riesling this fall and I
wanted to make one of these off-dry. I've made a lot of wine, but
always fermented to dryness.

I was wondering what is the best way to stop the fermentation once I
get to the residual sugar level that I want ?

Is it simply a matter of adding enough sulphite to stop it (or sulphite
and rack at the same time) ?

Will it be stable in this case, or could I end up just stunning the
yeast only to have it start up again in the bottle ?

What about selecting a yeast that can only survive to 10 or 11 %alc
(does this type of yeast exist commercially or can they all survive
upwards of 12%) ?

Do I need to filter it finely enough to remove all yeast (I'd prefer to
avoid filtering if possible) ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.





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