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Stacey

Can you re-ferment wine?

I've just tasted my nettle wine and it's not good. The hydrometer says 0% alcohol Shocked It fermented over the top of the demijohn at the start so I can't see how it's got 0% alcohol. Can I start it off again? It's had a couple of campden tablets in it at various stages.
jema

Re: Can you re-ferment wine?

stacey_guthrie wrote:
I've just tasted my nettle wine and it's not good. The hydrometer says 0% alcohol Shocked It fermented over the top of the demijohn at the start so I can't see how it's got 0% alcohol. Can I start it off again? It's had a couple of campden tablets in it at various stages.


Hydrometers do not measure alcohol, they measure gravity. If a hydroemeter says 0, it meas that most of the suger has gone to alcohol. How much there is would depend on the original gravity.

We have an article on downsizer.
Stacey

Ahh right, just read the article. So the fermantation has finished, that's what the hydrometer was telling me? Is there any way of telling how alcoholic it is? It tastes watery.
jema

stacey_guthrie wrote:
Ahh right, just read the article. So the fermantation has finished, that's what the hydrometer was telling me? Is there any way of telling how alcoholic it is? It tastes watery.


You can get a vinometer, and piddle about trying to follow the instructions and end up with no more idea than you had in the first place Very Happy
mark

tell me what your recipe was and i'll try to tell you why it isn't good and what might have gone wrong? (i got about 35 years experience making wine and beer under my belt!!)

I don't think much of nettles a winemaking ingrdient anyway... but is worth trying everything!!

...but you do need to know that you need to leave country wines a good length of tiime before the taste gets anything like - even after they have cleared and stopped fermenting.

Pleae remember alcohol isn't the only thing that affects strength of taste and body - in my book nettles will always need additional ingredients like raisins or fruit to give a decent wine.

Mark
Stacey

I can't remember Mark Embarassed It had raisins and lemons and some tea in it and it fermented like buggery. I think it was 4 pints of nettles but I'm stumped from there. I'm drinking some now and I think it's fairly potent and doesn't taste as bad as I first thought. I'll bottle some up tomorrow and leave it for a few months.
I'm waiting for the elderberries to be ready so i can have a go at some wine frome them.

ETA - blimey! I don't know how I could have thought that asn't alcoholic
mark

elderberry is nice - but takes a very long time to mature! It wil ferment quickly but wil be very harsh and astringent at first.

However if you leave it for a year or so it becomes beautifully smooth.
Blackberries or bilberries qive a quicker result!

First time i made elderberry i tasted it and it was foul - almost undrinkable. I left it in the cellar in an old polypin meant to throw it out but forgot about it - 2 years later i was about to move house and found it !

It was like nectar - smooth and beautiful and warming! - a lovely smooth and hunky red!! Glad I didn't chuck it!

Oh the secret of letting country wines mature - make loads!!! I do most wines 5 galls at a time -
I think it is worth making a 5 gall kit wine to give you some quick drinking so you aren't tempted to use your country wines too quick ! If you forget them and find them later it is like finding buried treasure

Mark
jema

Depends on how you make your elderberry of course. I have made some that are pretty good after far shorter times.

Agree with the 5 gallon principle though.
mark

yeah i think if you want it quick

1) don't use too much berries
2) don't ferment on pulp for long - you get quite a bit of colour anyaway.
3) don't make it too strong - if you light on fruit you need the body and alcohol light to to kep balance - then you get a quaffing table wine

theres a lot of tannin in those skins - so if you do make it stronger you wil get a good keeping - nicely maturing wine that needs to take its time!!

maybe you could suggest a quickie recipe??

mind you this year I'm focussing on the blackberries & damsons cos i got loads

mark
sally_in_wales

A couple of days ago I racked my 5 gal elderberry made with dried berries a few months back, I agree it tasted unpromising at racking, but I'm expecting that to soften out with time. Planning on racking again and possibly bottling in about a months time.

Will also add my agreement to the other comments about givingthe nettle wine time to do its thing in bottle. I havent made nettle wine myself, but if some of my other brews over the years are anything to go by the longer you leave that type of wine, the better.

On the topic of a quick 'n dirty wine kit for rapid drinking, we occasionally use the Solomon Grundy 7 day 5gallon kits. You need to give them more like two weeks in my opinion, but if you just want a quick, economical wine to keep you away from the home brew whilst it matures, there are far worse kits (there are also far better, but the stuff is perfectly drinkable), plus the quickness makes them fun. Wink
Stacey

I've got a red wine kit on the go for precisely that reason Smile Started it last Sunday. I think I'll try to have one of them on the go most times so that i don't dip into the nice stuff. Are the kits particularly alcoholic? Not that I'm bothered really, of course, I'm asking for a friend Embarassed
jema

stacey_guthrie wrote:
I've got a red wine kit on the go for precisely that reason Smile Started it last Sunday. I think I'll try to have one of them on the go most times so that i don't dip into the nice stuff. Are the kits particularly alcoholic? Not that I'm bothered really, of course, I'm asking for a friend Embarassed


I think most kits are about the 11-12% level, basically aimed for quick fermenting out.
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