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 03-07-2006, 07:50 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

I have some blueberry wine that ended up with a lot of alcohol and a
lot of acid, so I added some sugar (6%) to a sample and it tastes nice
as a sweet wine. I've never used potassium sorbate before. What are its
disadvantages? Does it give the wine any foul odor or taste? Does it
ever not work (you add the correct amount but the yeast starts kicking
anyway)? Is there any compelling reason not to use sorbate and instead
add sugar to the bottle after opening it?

Also, what's the difference between a sweet wine and a dessert wine? My
test with 6% sugar (TA is 0.9%) yielded a wine that tasted quite sweet,
but I see that some wines can have a lot more sugar than that. Are
sweet wines and dessert wines meant to be consumed in different
circumstances, at different times during a meal, etc?

Thanks in advance for any comments.


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Old 04-07-2006, 04:33 AM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

Franco -
There really aren't any significant disadvantages about using
sorbate. I've read that perhaps one person in 10,000 or more can
detect the levels of sorbate needed to protect a wine from renewed
fermentation. For the rest of us, it does not affect the odor or taste
of the wine. If you have a reasonably fresh package of sorbate, there
is no reason it should not work. Sorbate does lose its effectiveness
over time, so an opened package of sorbate that is several years old
might not work properly. Use fresh stuff.

There are some people who feel strongly about not putting anything
"unnatural" into their wine. For them, adding sugar after opening the
bottle is a good solution. This is not always very convenient, though.
If you add sugar crystals to wine that has been chilled before
serving, it may be hard to get the sugar to dissolve. You can avoid
this problem by adding sugar syrup instead, but then you need to keep a
supply of sugar syrup on hand, making sure it does not spoil, etc. And
this approach really doesn't work well if you want to give a bottle to
friends or relatives. Personally, I also prefer to avoid adding things
to my wine, unless there is a good reason for it. In this case, I
think preventing renewed fermentation is a good enough reason.

I don't know that there is any very clear distinction between sweet
wines and dessert wines. I would expect that a "dessert" wine would be
at the far end of the sweetness scale. As the name implies, this is a
wine you would expect to serve with a sweet dessert course, or by
itself. Sweet wines would include a broader range of wines (most often
white), some of which might make sense to serve with food other than
dessert. But that is really a matter of taste. Pairing wines with
foods is all about what works for you.


Doug

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Old 04-07-2006, 09:02 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

I would agree with everything Doug mentioned. I make some very fruity
higher acid wines from North Eastern fruit such as Catawba, Cayuga etc
along with other hybrids. If you don't sweeten them they are just too
unbalanced as to acid to be pleasant. They are just better with some
sweetness. Those are good anytime. Desert wines are often used at the
end of the meal although anyone who tells you there are hard and fast
rules about wines and pairings just does not realize the breadth of the
subject.

Personal preferences often change with time. I do remember liking
Lambrusco when I was much younger. I'm not sure anyone will ever
convince me I need to make it for myself now though. There is a
natural progression with wines where new wine drinkers prefer sweet to
begin with then progress to simple whites, then more complex dry whites
and then the same gamut with reds, from lighter to more full bodied.

I would say dessert wines don't actually fit into that progression;
most people like at least one type or another and always do. I like
cream sherry but not port. Go figure.

Some dessert wines have had alcohol added to them to prevent
fermentation, a high proof alcohol is used to stop the fermentation.
They are very stable at that point. The idea is to get the alcohol
above the point the yeast tolerate.

Joe

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Old 05-07-2006, 02:43 AM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

Sorbate have no disadvantage if use properly. You should note that to
avoid any off-flavors you need to know that the sorbate is dependant of
the alcohol of the wine ( the amount of sorbate decreases as the
alcohol level increases ). So depending on your alc. % you have a
threshold level to respect in order to keep it under the "detectable"
level. Too much sorbate could give a bubble gum taste that is not very
interesting. If added at a good rate, the yeast cells will not be able
to renewed activity under the correct conditions ( alcohol, pH and So2
). As far as I know there is no other way to control a sweet wine from
re-fermentation. Sterile filtration is certainly not available to most
of us.

Dessert wine are normally low in alcoholo ( 7-11% ) but very sweet with
good acidity ( always needed to balance the high sweetness ). A good
example of this is Icewine which is very sweet ( 200gr/L of sugar in
average with 9% acl. ). Botrytis grapes are also good example of this.
They are soo good that they most be drink alone as the dessert with
nothing else ! On the other hand sweet wine can have different level
of alcohol like Sherry ( 15-17 ) or Port ( 20 ) or social wine that can
have only 5-6%. These are normally best drink before the meal of as an
after dinner ( like Port ).

Séb

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Old 05-07-2006, 06:34 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

I realize I talk about sterile filtering alot here.... please forgive
me-

If I were to sterile filter my wine with full recycle (sterile filter
and recirc back to the initial container to assist in removing
impurities/building up cake) then what should I be afraid of?

What methods of failure are lurking that I'm not aware of?

And should I move to 0.2 micron filtration or is 0.4 micron filtration
sufficient for that high-sugar wine?

Jason
Joe Sallustio wrote:
I would agree with everything Doug mentioned. I make some very fruity
higher acid wines from North Eastern fruit such as Catawba, Cayuga etc
along with other hybrids. If you don't sweeten them they are just too
unbalanced as to acid to be pleasant. They are just better with some
sweetness. Those are good anytime. Desert wines are often used at the
end of the meal although anyone who tells you there are hard and fast
rules about wines and pairings just does not realize the breadth of the
subject.

Personal preferences often change with time. I do remember liking
Lambrusco when I was much younger. I'm not sure anyone will ever
convince me I need to make it for myself now though. There is a
natural progression with wines where new wine drinkers prefer sweet to
begin with then progress to simple whites, then more complex dry whites
and then the same gamut with reds, from lighter to more full bodied.

I would say dessert wines don't actually fit into that progression;
most people like at least one type or another and always do. I like
cream sherry but not port. Go figure.

Some dessert wines have had alcohol added to them to prevent
fermentation, a high proof alcohol is used to stop the fermentation.
They are very stable at that point. The idea is to get the alcohol
above the point the yeast tolerate.

Joe




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Old 05-07-2006, 08:24 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

0,45 micron is sterile as long as the media is "absolute". and not
"nominal" rating. There is no need to recircule the wine back to the
initial container, filtering twice the wine with the same media is a
waste of time and could affect the quality of the wine + you could need
higher level of free So2 to compensate for this second filtering. The
problem with sterile filtering is that even if you sterile filter the
wine your bottles, bottling device, corking device and environement are
not sterile. So, a small quantity of yeast cell could still end up in
your bottled wines and cause later problems. That's why I said that
sorbate is the best method for at least for amateurs winemakers. I can
understand large winery being equiped differently ( sterile equipment
and environement ) to do it properly but you are certainly not. This
is a risk that I would not take. With my Icewine production, I use
sorbate at 0,182gr/L ratio and I keep the free So2 in line with my pH
at a molecular level of 1ppm and I fine filter at 0,5 micron. I never
had a problem doing it this way since more than 10 years.

Séb

wrote:
I realize I talk about sterile filtering alot here.... please forgive
me-

If I were to sterile filter my wine with full recycle (sterile filter
and recirc back to the initial container to assist in removing
impurities/building up cake) then what should I be afraid of?

What methods of failure are lurking that I'm not aware of?

And should I move to 0.2 micron filtration or is 0.4 micron filtration
sufficient for that high-sugar wine?

Jason
Joe Sallustio wrote:
I would agree with everything Doug mentioned. I make some very fruity
higher acid wines from North Eastern fruit such as Catawba, Cayuga etc
along with other hybrids. If you don't sweeten them they are just too
unbalanced as to acid to be pleasant. They are just better with some
sweetness. Those are good anytime. Desert wines are often used at the
end of the meal although anyone who tells you there are hard and fast
rules about wines and pairings just does not realize the breadth of the
subject.

Personal preferences often change with time. I do remember liking
Lambrusco when I was much younger. I'm not sure anyone will ever
convince me I need to make it for myself now though. There is a
natural progression with wines where new wine drinkers prefer sweet to
begin with then progress to simple whites, then more complex dry whites
and then the same gamut with reds, from lighter to more full bodied.

I would say dessert wines don't actually fit into that progression;
most people like at least one type or another and always do. I like
cream sherry but not port. Go figure.

Some dessert wines have had alcohol added to them to prevent
fermentation, a high proof alcohol is used to stop the fermentation.
They are very stable at that point. The idea is to get the alcohol
above the point the yeast tolerate.

Joe


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Old 05-07-2006, 10:16 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
pp pp is offline
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

I would say this is one area where we tend to go over the top - yes,
the wine is not guaranteed to be stable in 100% of cases if the filter
is not absolute. But in practice, if the wine is fined and clear and
filtered on top of that with a fine filter, the chances of
refermentation are pretty remote. You can't afford refermentation if
you sell the wine but us amateurs, it's not such a big deal. If you
don't mind sorbate and can't notice it in wine, then it doesn't really
matter, but if you do, then I'd say go ahead and at least do some test
runs side by side, sorbated wine against just filtered and compare.

If you decide to use sorbate, then go with the recommended minimal
levels as Seb said. I've posted a reference here last week I think on
this subject but here it is again - the original source of the info is
Peynaud:

http://www.bcawa.ca/winemaking/sorbate.htm

Pp

Séb wrote:
0,45 micron is sterile as long as the media is "absolute". and not
"nominal" rating. There is no need to recircule the wine back to the
initial container, filtering twice the wine with the same media is a
waste of time and could affect the quality of the wine + you could need
higher level of free So2 to compensate for this second filtering. The
problem with sterile filtering is that even if you sterile filter the
wine your bottles, bottling device, corking device and environement are
not sterile. So, a small quantity of yeast cell could still end up in
your bottled wines and cause later problems. That's why I said that
sorbate is the best method for at least for amateurs winemakers. I can
understand large winery being equiped differently ( sterile equipment
and environement ) to do it properly but you are certainly not. This
is a risk that I would not take. With my Icewine production, I use
sorbate at 0,182gr/L ratio and I keep the free So2 in line with my pH
at a molecular level of 1ppm and I fine filter at 0,5 micron. I never
had a problem doing it this way since more than 10 years.

Séb

wrote:
I realize I talk about sterile filtering alot here.... please forgive
me-

If I were to sterile filter my wine with full recycle (sterile filter
and recirc back to the initial container to assist in removing
impurities/building up cake) then what should I be afraid of?

What methods of failure are lurking that I'm not aware of?

And should I move to 0.2 micron filtration or is 0.4 micron filtration
sufficient for that high-sugar wine?

Jason
Joe Sallustio wrote:
I would agree with everything Doug mentioned. I make some very fruity
higher acid wines from North Eastern fruit such as Catawba, Cayuga etc
along with other hybrids. If you don't sweeten them they are just too
unbalanced as to acid to be pleasant. They are just better with some
sweetness. Those are good anytime. Desert wines are often used at the
end of the meal although anyone who tells you there are hard and fast
rules about wines and pairings just does not realize the breadth of the
subject.

Personal preferences often change with time. I do remember liking
Lambrusco when I was much younger. I'm not sure anyone will ever
convince me I need to make it for myself now though. There is a
natural progression with wines where new wine drinkers prefer sweet to
begin with then progress to simple whites, then more complex dry whites
and then the same gamut with reds, from lighter to more full bodied.

I would say dessert wines don't actually fit into that progression;
most people like at least one type or another and always do. I like
cream sherry but not port. Go figure.

Some dessert wines have had alcohol added to them to prevent
fermentation, a high proof alcohol is used to stop the fermentation.
They are very stable at that point. The idea is to get the alcohol
above the point the yeast tolerate.

Joe


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Old 05-07-2006, 11:28 PM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

if the wine is fined and clear and
filtered on top of that with a fine filter, the chances of
refermentation are pretty remote. You can't afford refermentation if
you sell the wine but us amateurs, it's not such a big deal.


Hi Pp,

Sorry but I don't really agree with these two sentences. Finning a
sweet wine and filtering it will not assure a stable wine in regard to
re-fermentation as long as you don't go below 0,45 micron filtration.
The way you write it mean if I have a clear finned sweet wine that
where filtered ( you did not mention anything about the tightness of
the filter media ) it won't have a lot of chance for re-fermentation.
This is I think false, you have certainly more than 50% chance of
re-fermentation if you do not filter with 0,45 micron. Filtering with
0,50 micron with no sorbate is maybe around 10% chance of
re-fermentation but I will never do it again ( I did in the past and
had one re-ferment ).

For the second part you say this is no big deal for amateur if it
referment. Again, it's like saying if you have a fault in your wine
it's no big deal as we only are amateur ? I think we should all try
to make the best wine possible whatever we are amateur or pro. A sweet
wine that is stable in regard to re-fermentation is a well made wine.
A sweet wine that where not correctly stabilize and re-ferment will be
hazy and will have an innapropriate fizzy + could have off-flavors.
Don't forget that if we talk about icewine for example the real juice
is quite expensive and one should take "extra" care

Séb

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Old 06-07-2006, 12:49 AM posted to rec.crafts.winemaking
pp pp is offline
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Default Potassium sorbate, sweet wines, dessert wines, etc

Hi Seb:

Okay, I will take it back a bit even though the gist remains - I think
we do tend to overthink things in some areas and this is one of them. I
didn't specify the microns on the filter but I did say "fine", so from
what's readily available, something like the 0.5 micron Minijet pads
should be enough - you can run it through twice if you're really
concerned.

By no means I don't want to disparage amateur wines! The difference in
this context is that commercial enterprises absolutely cannot afford
problems like those so even if the chance is small, they have to take
all precautions. We have the liberty to play around a bit and I see
this as an advantage - yes, we can get occasional problems, but that's
the price one should be willing to pay in search for better results. I
don't want to produce faulty wines, but I am interested in finding the
sweet spot for the tradeoff between safety and quality, so that's where
I am coming from. I might be particularly sensitive to sorbate but I do
find it objectionable both in taste and smell in the regular
recommended doses.

I do agree that you might want to play it safe with expensive juice,
like icewine or late harvest.

Pp


Séb wrote:
if the wine is fined and clear and
filtered on top of that with a fine filter, the chances of
refermentation are pretty remote. You can't afford refermentation if
you sell the wine but us amateurs, it's not such a big deal.


Hi Pp,

Sorry but I don't really agree with these two sentences. Finning a
sweet wine and filtering it will not assure a stable wine in regard to
re-fermentation as long as you don't go below 0,45 micron filtration.
The way you write it mean if I have a clear finned sweet wine that
where filtered ( you did not mention anything about the tightness of
the filter media ) it won't have a lot of chance for re-fermentation.
This is I think false, you have certainly more than 50% chance of
re-fermentation if you do not filter with 0,45 micron. Filtering with
0,50 micron with no sorbate is maybe around 10% chance of
re-fermentation but I will never do it again ( I did in the past and
had one re-ferment ).

For the second part you say this is no big deal for amateur if it
referment. Again, it's like saying if you have a fault in your wine
it's no big deal as we only are amateur ? I think we should all try
to make the best wine possible whatever we are amateur or pro. A sweet
wine that is stable in regard to re-fermentation is a well made wine.
A sweet wine that where not correctly stabilize and re-ferment will be
hazy and will have an innapropriate fizzy + could have off-flavors.
Don't forget that if we talk about icewine for example the real juice
is quite expensive and one should take "extra" care

Séb




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