Tips for Making Wine with Grapes

grapesAs you contemplate the prospect of making your next batch of wine you will need to decide whether you want to use fruit, such as grapes, or packaged fruit juices.

Packaged juices are known as concentrates and can be easily purchased online as well as in home brewing stores. There are many advantages to using concentrates, including the fact that they come with easy to follow directions and usually all of the extra ingredients you may need. Many novice winemakers feel that concentrates are a great introduction to the process of winemaking. There are also advantages to using fruit rather than concentrates however. The main advantage to using fruit is that you have more control over the process, and thus the results, when you use fruits.

For the most part, the process of making wine from fruit is similar to making it using concentrates. There are a few differences however, and those differences are critical.

Before you begin, you will need to make sure that you have plenty of fruit. It is not uncommon for many novice winemakers to think they have a sufficient amount of fruit when in fact they do not. You will need at least 70 pounds of grapes in order to produce six gallons of wine. This is the equivalent of about two bushels. The one exception to this is if you are using wild grapes such as Muscadine. In that case you will only need about 25 pounds of grapes due to the fact that wild grapes tend to have a stronger flavor as well as more acid.

Since you will be dealing with a large amount of grapes, you will need to make sure that you have sufficient facilities to deal with them properly. Before you are able to use them to make wine, you will need to remove the stems as well as crush the grapes. Later, the grapes will then need to be pressed after they have had a few days to ferment.

You can easily remove the stems as well as crush the grapes by hand. For small batches of grapes, you can use something as simple as a potato masher to crush the grapes just make sure it has been cleaned and sanitized first. If you are dealing with larger amounts of grapes it may be worth it to go ahead and invest in a grape crusher as this will speed the process along.

As previously mentioned, after the grapes have fermented for a few days, you will need to press the pulp in order to extract as much juice as possible.

In the event you are making white whine, the grapes will need to be pressed directly after they have been crushed but before the first fermentation.

When working with fruit rather than concentrate you will also need to have a hydrometer on hand in order to assist you in controlling the sugar level. As you may recall, this essential in determining the alcohol level in the final wine so it is a step that must not be overlooked.

An acid test kit may also be helpful in controlling and monitoring the levels of acid that are present in your wine when you are using fruit rather than concentrate. When the acid level in the wine is too high, the resulting wine will typically have a taste that is too sour or sharp. If there is not enough acid however, the wine may taste somewhat flat. An acid test kit will provide you with accurate readings and help you to determine whether you need to add water or acid blend for balance.

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Tips for Making Wine with Fruits other than Grapes

fruitMost people commonly associate wines with grapes however, it is entirely possible to make wines from fruit s other than grapes.

The production of wine using fruits other than grapes has become quite commonplace as the hobby of home winemaking has become more pronounced in just the last few years.

The process of making wines from various types of fruit is no more complicated than making wine from grapes. The only difference between making wine using grapes and other fruits is the fact that you may need to make some adjustments when using other fruits including sugar content and acid levels. This will mean a couple of extra steps that may not usually be necessary when making grape wine however, winemakers who have made the decision to use different fruits report that the extra effort is well worth it as you can often produce a stellar wine.

Any number of different fruits may be used for making wine including peaches, watermelons, plums, strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, pears, grapefruits, persimmons, pineapples and much more.

The first step in making wine using other types of fruit is the same as making wine using grapes. You will need to evaluate the fruit. Keep in mind that the resulting wine cannot be any better than the fruit that was used to produce it. This means that you will need to pay careful attention to the quality of the fruit that you use to make your wine.

Avoid fruit that contain excessive bruises and molds. Try to use only fruit that is completely ripe. Fruit that is not fully ripe tend to produce wine that is somewhat lacking in character. Make sure that you rinse off the fruit before the crushing.

In some cases, you may need to dilute the fruit with water in order to get a good wine. This is because certain types of fruit are too strong on their own without dilution. Other fruits have a level of acid that is too high without dilution and will result in a wine that is sharp tasting. Blueberry and gooseberries are both examples of fruit that require some dilution because of their natural acid levels. Take note that this is not the case with all fruits. Apples, for example, do not require any dilution. You may use pure apple juice with no worries.

The exact amount of fruit that you use to make your wine is dependent on a few factors.

Really, there is not a single right formula when it comes to fruit amounts. If you want a dessert wine then you may wish to use more fruit in order to create a heavier, sweeter wine. On the other hand, if you want a wine that is lighter and crisper then you may wish to use less fruit.

In order to monitor and adjust the sugar levels as necessary when using fruits for your winemaking, it is necessary to use a hydrometer. The hydrometer will help you to easily determine the amount of sugar that is present in the juice and how much alcohol will be produce from the level of sugar that is present. This will aide you in understanding whether more sugar needs to be added to produce a higher alcohol content. A hydrometer is a tube of glass with a floating weight on one end. You will be able to gauge the sugar level by looking at how low or high the hydrometer floats once placed in the juice. Generally, there will be a meter on the hydrometer that indicates the alcohol potential.

You will also need to test and adjust the acidity as necessary when using fruits. This is imperative because acid levels can vary greatly among different types of fruits. There are two ways in which acid can be checked. One way is to use pH testing strips or litmus papers. This is generally a very fast and cheap way to check acid levels however, it is not the most accurate way to check acid levels. The most accurate way to check acid levels is to use a process known as titration. A titration kit can be used to measure the acid level and how it will actually taste. If it is necessary to adjust the level of acid, you can do so using three different fruit acids. They are malic, citric and tartaric and they can be purchased either separately or in a blend known as Acid Blend. You can find these items in a home brewing store.

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Guide to the Basics of Winemaking

winemakingBefore you begin your first batch of wine, it is a good idea to understand something of the background of wine and the basics of winemaking.

Today there are certainly many kits which can be purchased which will walk you step by step through the process of winemaking. Even so, you may find that you enjoy and appreciate the results all the more for understanding the background of each step.

Wine is produced by fermenting grapes that have been freshly harvested.

While many people today have taken up an interest in winemaking, the actual process of making wine has remained relatively unchanged over the years.

As we all know, yeast is essential to the fermentation process as part of making wine. Yeast actually grows on grape skins and then begins to automatically ferment the grape juice as the grapes are crushed. This begins the process of turning the grapes into wine. The combination of grape skins and grape juice is known as the must. When the mixture is in this phase of immersion it is known as maceration. This is one of the most important stages of winemaking, especially when making red wines. The actual color of red wine is obtained not from the juice inside the grapes but from the color of the grape skins. The juice inside all grapes, regardless of the skin color of the grape, is actually clear. In order for red wines to obtain their dark color they must extract the color from the skin of the grape. This is why black grapes are commonly used for the production of red wines. Conversely, light colored grapes are used for the production of white wines.

During the actual fermentation process, the natural fruit sugar that is contained within the grapes undergoes a conversion process into equal parts of carbon dioxide and alcohol. As this process continues, heat is released. It is for this reason that stainless steel fermenters that can be temperature controlled are commonly used for the production of rather delicate white wines. This prevents the wine from cooking.

The ripeness of the grapes and the sugar content contributes to the level of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process. The time at which the fermentation process is stopped can also contribute to the alcohol level as well.

The dusty look of grapes, frequently referred to as their bloom, is produced by yeasts. The skins of grapes contain what is known as vinegar bacteria. Once exposed to air, vinegar bacteria can spoil new wine quite quickly. As a result, it is necessary to eliminate wild yeasts in order to avoid ruining the taste and the aroma of the wine. Winemakers use a centuries old process of utilizing sulfur dioxide to kill the vinegar bacteria as well as slow the growth of other bacteria and molds in the wine. Sulfites can also help to cease the browning or oxidation of wine as well as preserve its flavor.

Generally, the amount of sulfur dioxide that is used in the winemaking process is quite small. Typically, only between 60 and 125 parts per million are used. It is important to understand that even if no sulfur dioxide is added to the wine, there will still be some sulfites present in the wine due to the fact that they will be produced from fermenting yeasts. This is why all wines that are purchased in the United States contain the label Contains Sulfites on the bottle.

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The Most Common Problems in Winemaking

problemWhether you are a beginning winemaker or you have been making wine for some time and have experienced some problem s, it is important to understand the most common mistakes made in winemaking so you can learn how to avoid them.

By far, the most common problem in most winemaking failures can be attributed to equipment that is inadequate. Many people make the mistake of using common household items for their winemaking because they seem to be familiar to the carboys, spoons and air locks that are required for the process. It is important to note however, that specific winemaking equipment is constructed of special materials. Using products made from other materials can have an impact on your finished wine.

In general, it is a mistake to attempt to reuse products that have previously held other items, especially foods. While you may believe that the container is clean, too frequently food odors will have become immersed into the plastic and as a result your wine may become tainted. In addition, it is not a good idea to use even brand new plastic pails due to the fact that the UV protectants that are used in the plastic could leak into the wine. It is far better to go ahead and invest the money necessary to purchase proper winemaking equipment so that you can be certain of the success of your wine and avoid these problem s.

Failing to follow instructions is another common problem.

The process for making wine may seem to some beginning winemakers to be complicated. As a result, there usually exists a strong urge to simplify the process. This is generally a problem. If you are an experienced cook, you probably understand the necessity to follow the directions of a recipe. Veering from the recipe usually results in disaster. The same is true in winemaking.

The quality of your water can also impact the quality of your wine. Hard water or water that has a high mineral content can result in wine that has flavors that are somewhat off or even have somewhat of a haze. It is also important to know that water from a salt-exchange water softener should not be used for winemaking. To be certain of the best quality wine, it is usually best to use bottled water for your winemaking. The difference in the results will certainly be appreciable.

Proper yeast handling is also essential. Have you ever made homemade bread? Yeast must be moistened at the proper temperature in order to become activated. If the temperature is too cold, the yeast will fail to activate. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. This is because yeast is a living organism and it must be handled properly for success. As a result it is imperative to make sure that you maintain proper temperature control during the fermentation process. Ideally, it is best to try to maintain a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Be certain the temperature remains consistent. If the temperature in your fermentation area is too cool, the formation process will take too long, which can lead to excess fizz in your wine.

Another common problem is eliminating the sulfite in the wine. The most common reason for this is sulfite allergies. It is true that some people are allergic to sulfites however, it is important to point out that even if you eliminate the sulfite from the wine the wine will still not be completely sulfite free due to the fact that the yeast always creates additional sulfites anyway. The purpose of the sulfites is to prevent spoiling and oxidation. In less than a month the wine will begin to taste somewhat off and in less than three months it will be rendered practically undrinkable.

Finally, make sure that you give your wine the proper amount of patience and time that it requires. Successful winemaking truly is an art form. In order to appreciate the results of your labor it really is best to wait the amount of time necessary for the wine to improve before you attempt to drink it. In far too many cases, beginner winemakers have believed they had a bad batch of wine when the problem was that they were trying to drink it too soon. Be patient and wait and you will appreciate the effort.

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Guide to Making your Own Wine Recipe

recipeAfter you have had an opportunity to experiment with making your own wine you may naturally decide that it is time to begin creating your own wine recipe s.

This is quite common. There are a number of advantages to creating your own recipes. For example, you can avoid the hassle of having to look around for a recipe every time you want to make a batch of wine with the fruit that you have available. In addition, you gain the ability to experiment and possible produce a really original, great batch of wine.

Like any recipe however, wine recipe s must have a specific format and certain ingredients in order to be successful.

Let us examine it from the point of view of baking a cake. There are certainly hundreds, if not thousands, of different cake recipe s. Line them all up and they are decidedly different. In order for a cake to be a cake however, the recipe must have several basic ingredients. For example, you are usually going to need some type of flour, sweetener and something to help the cake rise. This is a basic formula that forms the basis of cake recipes. While you may not think of it, it is really a matter of science.

A wine recipe is no different. There are certain ingredients that must be included in any wine recipe in order for the end result to work. These ingredients are: produce, sugars, water, nutrients, acid and yeast.

First, you will need to start with something to make the wine. Most wines are made from grapes but you can use practically any fruit or vegetable matter even herbs if you wish. You can also use concentrated juices as well. In addition, you will need sugars in order to start and support fermentation. If you do not add sugar to your wine recipe, fermentation will not take place and without that, your wine will not have any alcohol. In most cases, the fruit that you select for your wine will produce the necessary amount of sugar but that is not the case with all produce. For example, if you are making dandelion wine then you will need to provide sugar because the produce will not be able to produce any of its own. You may also find that you need to occasionally add some sugar to support the sugar that is provided.

Water is essential in order to dilute flavors that may be too strong. Common examples of wines which may need to be diluted with water include blackberries, elderberries and gooseberries.

Nutrients are also essential. Keep in mind when creating your wine recipe that the yeast which you will add to your wine is a living organism. As a result, it needs nutrients to thrive and support a healthy fermentation process. Usually, you will need to add some nutrients to your wine. Common examples of nutrients include Yeast Energizer and Yeast Nutrient.

Do not overlook the importance of acid in your wine. While you certainly do not want to have too much acid in your wine, it does play an important role in the fermentation process. If the acid level in your wine is too low then the fermentation will not be as successful as it should be. Acid also assists in the stability of your wine. Also, without sufficient acid, your wine may very well develop bacteria and molds that could ruin your wine. Tannic acid and Acid Blend can be used to help add necessary acid to any wine recipe.

Of course, no wine recipe can be complete without yeast. Yeast is what basically does all of the work of converting the produce you have chosen into wine. Without yeast, there can be no wine. You will need to make sure that you have yeast that is specifically designed for winemaking. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can use the yeast you have in the kitchen for bread making. Even yeast designed for brewing beer will not work for making wine.

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A Look at the Steps of Making Wine at Home

wine at homeIf you are a true wine connoisseur, the next step in appreciating a fine wine may be to make your own wine at home.

While the process may seem to be complicated, wine can be made rather easily at home. Before beginning the process of making your own wine at home it is important to understand the basic steps of winemaking.

In order to make wine at home you will need either grape concentrate or grapes.

If you have a sufficient growing area, you may choose to grow your own grapes and make wine from that. If you choose to use grape concentrate, keep in mind that you will need to use high quality grape concentrate. This can be purchased online as well as in wine and home brewing stores. In addition, you will need yeast and brewing equipment. If this is your first batch of wine you may wish to consider purchasing a wine kit rather than buying all of your equipment separately. After you have had a chance to experiment with making wine at home and decided whether it is an endeavor you wish to continue you might then begin accumulating various pieces of equipment for brewing larger batches of wine.

There are five to eight basic steps involved in the process of making wine at home , depending on whether you are using grapes or concentrate. If you are using grapes then the fruit will obviously need to be harvested first. After the grapes have been harvested, you will then need to remove the stems from the grapes. This is an absolutely essential step as very bitter tannins are contained in the stems that can have a heavy influence on the wine.

After the stems have been removed, the skins of the grapes will then need to be broken in order to release the juice from the fruit. There are certainly many different ways in which to do this. Crushing is the preferred method for most winemakers. The degree to which the fruit is crushed will have an impact on the resulting wine. If your goal is to create a wine that has a fruity aroma then you may wish to leave the berries almost completely intact.

The next step is known as the primary fermentation. During this step the yeast cells contained in the wine will feed on the sugars. Alcohol and carbon dioxide is produced as a result. In some cases, you may wish to add additional yeast. This helps to ensure a stable and consistent conversion which may not be the case if you rely solely on the yeast that is found on the fruit itself.

After the primary fermentation, more juice will need to be extracted from the fruit. It should be noted that the juice that is extracted in this step is typically not as high of a quality as the juice that is extracted during the crushing phase. This is because the juice that is obtained during crushing, known as free run juice, has had less contact with the stems and skins. This does not mean that press juice is useless however. Even large wineries may choose to use press juice in order to increase their yield.

A secondary fermentation occurs after the pressing, at the same time as the wine is aging. As the winemaker, it will be up to you to determine how long the wine should ferment.

Blending is an optional part of the process however, one which can assist you in creating a highly customized wine. Blending is most commonly used in order to improve two or more batches which may be slightly lacking.

The last step of the process is bottling. The wine is poured into bottles and at times you may wish to add sulfites in order to help end fermentation as well as to preserve the wine. Finally, the bottle of wine is sealed with a cork.

Making wine at home can be a very enjoyable experience. As you learn more about the process of making wine, you will likely gain a more thorough appreciation of wine.

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Tips for Making Wine with Concentrates

concentratesOne of the decisions you will need to make before you start your next batch of wine is whether you are going to use fruit or concentrates.

Concentrates are often preferred by many beginners because they provide a rather easy way to produce very good wines quite consistently. This can be important if you are concerned about starting your first batch of wine and whether or not you will get good results.

You will notice when you purchase concentrates that easy to follow directions and recipes are contained right on the package. This means that even if this is your first batch, you will be able to follow the directions very easily and be assured that the final result will produce good wine.

Another advantage of using concentrates is that in most cases they will also include the other ingredients that you will need for your wine. These ingredients are typically already pre-measured and ready for you to use right away. This avoids the need to go out and purchase any other items as well as worrying over weather you have the measurements rights. If you are a novice winemaker, this can be a great advantage. Due to the fact that all of the guesswork has been taken out of the equation, a lot of the mistakes that first time winemakers tend to make are eliminated.

Many winemakers also prefer using concentrates because they offer far more variety that most winemakers would be able to achieve on their own if they were relying on either growing their own grapes or purchasing them. With concentrates you can purchase grape concentrates that hail from all over the world including such countries as France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Australia as well as many more. These options give you the opportunity to create an extensive variety of wines. In addition, you have the security of knowing that you can purchase concentrates and make wine at any time of the year even during times when grapes are not normally in season.

The process of getting started using concentrates to make wine is quite easy.

The first step is to simply pour the concentrate into whatever container you are using for fermentation and then add the appropriate amount of water. Next, add the yeast and any other ingredients that may be included and called for in the directions that accompanied the concentrate. In most cases, you will need to add about six gallons of water to the concentrate however, this could vary from one specific concentrate to another so always be sure to refer to the directions carefully.

Next, you will need to siphon the wine from the sediment. This will usually need to occur from time to time however, the directions will instruct you as to when this should be done. After this process is complete, the wine is ready to be bottled. From start to finish, the entire process usually takes from around 30 days to 45 days. The exact amount of time that may be required usually depends on the exact concentrate you are using.

You do not need a large amount of space to make wine from concentrates another great advantage for many home winemakers. As long as you have a small space to dedicate to your winemaking it can be quite easy to get started making your own wine using concentrates.

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The Importance of Racking

rackingThe process of racking involves siphoning the wine away from the sediment.

Sediment is primarily comprised of inactive or dead yeast cells. While yeast is beneficial to the must in the beginning, over time it becomes multiplied many times over. As each new generation of yeast is produced, older generations die off. Most of what you will see at the bottom of your fermentation container is dead yeast cells.

As the fermentation nears the end of the cycle, there should be a significant amount of active yeast cells which are beginning to wind down because they are running out of fuel or sugar. After the sugars have become consumed the active yeast will begin to starve and feed on itself. An enzyme will be produced that will break down the inactive yeast cells. The purpose of this is to release the nutrients in the dead yeast cells that can be used by the yeast cells that are still active. This process is called autolysis. Over a period of time, an otherwise perfectly good batch of wine may be ruined as a result of this process.

Racking is also important because it can assist in the clarification of the wine.

If wine is not racked, the end result will be wine that may be clear on top however, the bottom will be somewhat thick and hazy.

The racking process is not terribly difficult. In fact, it is quite simple. A siphon is necessary for racking. The key however, is to make sure that you siphon off the wine without stirring up any of the sediment. It should be noted that while food grade hosing can be used many winemakers do prefer to use what is known as a racking tube in order to rack their wine. This is because, if you are not careful using a hose to rack the wine can cause the sediment to become stirred up and it may also move around. A racking tube fits on the end of the hose and serves as a type of wand that gives you control over where in the container you draw the wine.

In the old days, wine was racked by manually sucking on the end of the hose however, today there have been numerous advancements made in winemaking equipment. One of those advancements is an automatic siphon that works with a pump in order to start the siphoning action.

Keep in mind that during the first two to three rackings, it is not essential to remove all of the sediment. You should try to siphon as much of the wine liquid as possible however, even if you do bring up a small amount of the sediment this will be fine. It is during the final racking that it becomes imperative that you make sure that all of the sediment is left behind with none following through into the wine.

After the fermentation process has been completed, it you still need to rack the wine (such as when storing wine long-term in bulk) it may be necessary to add Campden Tablets to the wine. The purpose of this is to ensure that any air that may have entered the wine during the racking process is driven out. Campden Tablets will also help to minimize oxidation. Keep in mind that this is not a problem when racking wine while the fermentation process is ongoing as the CO2 that is produced during fermentation will naturally eliminate any air that may have been introduced.

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How to Get Started Making Wine at Home

wine at homeIf you have given some thought to the idea of making wine at home but just havent quite gotten around to it yet, there is no reason to delay any longer.

Thousands of people around the world happily enjoy the benefits and rewards of making their own wine at home. While certain equipment is required, you do not need to make a prohibitive investment or even have a large space in order to enjoy a hobby that can be quite rewarding.

In reality, making wine at home is much easier than you might at first think. The entire process really only involves combining concentrate or fruit with a few simple other ingredients, placing it into the container and then letting it go to work. The resulting process is actually quite natural and will not require a lot of interaction from you. In fact, it could be said that all you really need to do is make sure that the proper proportions of ingredients are combined and then provided with an environment that is suitable and stable.

Before you begin making wine at home you will need to decide on a recipe.

This part might actually be one of the hardest steps because there are so many home winemaking recipes from which you can choose. If you purchase a winemaking kit, the kit will probably contain at least one recipe you can use to get started. Even without a kit there are numerous winemaking recipes available online as well as in winemaking books.

You will also need to give some thought to the type of fruit that you want to use in your wine. Most wine varieties are made with grapes however, there are also many wine recipes that call for the use of a wide array of fruits including strawberries, blackberries, apples and much more.

Beyond making wine at home from fruit, another option would be to make wine from concentrated juice. Wine juice concentrated can be easily purchased in a home brewing store as well as online. In fact, you will generally find that most concentrates contain directions and recipes on the package, so it is easy to get started even if it is your first batch. Many beginner winemakers prefer to use concentrated wine juices for their first batches because they are so easy to use. They are also available throughout the year, unlike fruit which may only be available during certain times of the year.

In addition, you will need to give some thought to whether you want to use a wine making starter kit. Many beginner winemakers do prefer these kits, at least in the beginning because they contain all of the ingredients and equipment that you need in order to make your first batch of wine. In addition, these kits will walk you step by step through the process. If you have delayed getting started making your own wine because you were intimidated by the process, these kits can help to demystify the process and guide you through the entire process with very little problems.

For your first batch of wine at home you will need a few basic ingredients. These ingredients are necessary whether you are making wine from fruit or concentrate.

Yeast nutrient is not yeast per se instead it is a type of energy that is used to make sure the yeast starts the fermentation process. Pectic enzyme may be added to assist in the breakdown of the fruit during the fermentation process. Acid blend is used in controlling the amount of sharpness that is present in the wine. You may find in some cases that your wine seems somewhat flat. Acid blend can help to correct this problem. Wine tannin is the zest of fruit and is available in powder form. You may wish to add it to your wine in order to improve the wines character. Wine yeast is what actually starts the fermentation process by converting the sugar into alcohol. Campden tablets are typically added right before the fermentation and also before bottling. These tablets are used to make sure that the wine does not become spoiled.

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Should you Stop the Fermentation Process?

the fermentationIn some cases you may find it desirable to stop the fermentation process before it comes to a stop on its own.

The most common reason for wishing to stop the fermentation process is that you have found the wine already has the exact amount of sweetness that you prefer and you do not want it to progress any further.

By stopping the fermentation at that point, many winemakers believe that they can preserve the amount of sweetness that the wine has already produced. If you want a really sweet wine, such as a dessert wine, this is certainly understandable. The idea behind stopping the fermentation process is that if you allowed the wine to continue fermenting it would become less sweet as time went on. When the wine became completely dry, the fermentation process would eventually stop on its own without any intervention from you.

As a result, there are several different methods that home winemakers tend to use when attempting to stop the fermentation process in order to preserve the sweetness.

None of these methods work very well however. Let us examine each.

One of those methods is using either Campden Tablets or Sodium Bisulfite. It should be noted that fermentation will not completely stop using these methods. You should also be aware that the chance does exist for some live yeast to be left in the wine, providing the opportunity for the fermentation process to begin again. In fact, it is not unknown for the process to begin again even after you have bottled your wine and stored it. Obviously, that would not be a good situation and would result in some really poor wine.

Another common option used by some winemakers is Potassium Sorbate. Generally, Potassium Sorbate is used for the purpose of sweetening wine. When it is used for the purpose it is commonly after the fermentation process has already been completed and you are ready to bottle your wine. The Potassium Sorbate is then added with sugar. The purpose of the Potassium Sorbate in this instance is to prevent the yeast from fermenting sugar that has just been added. When added prior to the end of the fermentation cycle however, Potassium Sorbate will not kill the yeast it only makes it sterile. This means that it stops producing but it doesnt stop the fermentation. In other words, it does not prevent the yeast from fermenting the sugar and turning it into alcohol.

If your goal is to preserve the amount of sweetness that is already in the wine, the best way to do this is to actually go ahead and let the fermentation continue on its own until it is completely finished. After the yeast has had an opportunity to settle over a couple of weeks, you will then be able to siphon the wine off and then add some Potassium Sorbate with some sugar.

Keep in mind that it is really imperative to allow the fermentation process to finish before you add anything like Potassium Sorbate or more sugar. If you are not sure whether the fermentation process has finished, you can check it using a hydrometer. Remember that this is the tool that you use to check the alcohol content of the wine. If the process has completed, there should be a reading of no more than 1.000 on the hydrometer.

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