Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sugar and Dry Wine

Our first efforts with store yeast may have succeeded as well as they did because of our desire to produce dry wine. I put in a quite low amount of sugar -- at least as compared to the average wine recipe. I used 1-1/2 pounds for the gallon-size fermenter. The yeast was adequate to the job; the results were tasty, clear, refreshing. They were quite citrusy, because I used more chopped lemons than I currently do, per gallon -- and because those wines stayed in the primary fermenter longer than my current ideal of perhaps seven to ten days. (In those first wines, in fact, the primary fermenter was the sole fermenter. This was part of the experiment in primitive wine-making techniques.)

As I understand it, dryness in a wine is not merely a measure of low sugar content. Those first wines we made were low in alcohol ... so while they were "dry" I suspect they were not dry.

Ideally, too, wine should have more body, or "mouth feel," than did those first dandelion wines we made.

Sugar levels have an obvious relation to the ending levels of alcohol -- and I suspect they play a part in that mouth feel, as well.

So the current direction I am taking in winemaking is to see to what degree I can increase the sugar while still keeping to the dry end of the spectrum. Last year's efforts, in which I was using around two pounds of sugar per gallon, seem closer to the ideal. They are dry without seeming too dry; they have a cleanness of taste; and they seem adequately stimulating, in the daemon-alcohol department. I remain curious about how far I can push the recipe -- although I plan to stay well away from the old-fashioned sweetnesss of three pounds to the gallon.

I should reiterate that our "gallon" is approximate -- given the nature of the vessels we use, given the absorbing of some liquid into the flowers ... and so forth.

Cheers ...

No comments:

Post a Comment