Wine and Specific Gravity

28 Feb

Specific gravity is a measure of how dense a liquid is.  In winemaking, specific gravity is used to help determine the alcohol content of a wine (starting specific gravity minus finished specific gravity).  It is also used to determine whether or not a wine has finished fermenting.  Below, is the hydrometer in a small sample of rhubarb wine.

This particular wine has a beginning specific gravity of 1.070.  If you turn the hydrometer, it will give you a potential alcohol content.  For the 1.070, the maximum alcohol content is 9%.  Of course, this can be changed if more sugar is added throughout the process.

We started three more wines that I told you about last week.  We began with a reading of 1.090 for the grape and the apple-raspberry wines.  That means the potential alcohol content is 12%.  As the wines fermented throughout the week, the specific gravity continued to drop.  Finally, when they got to 1.030, it was time to transfer them from the primary to the secondary vessels.  When the specific gravity falls below 1.000, it will indicate that the fermentation is complete.

This is the concord grape.  It is pretty, but the grapes are made for juice and jelly, not wine.  Even when finished, it will taste a lot like grape juice.

I’ve never done this combination of apple and red raspberries before, but I am excited to see how it turns out.

Finally, we did the strawberry rhubarb.  Because it was a specific recipe with exact amounts, I didn’t bother checking the specific gravity on it.

I will have to use the vinometer to determine the alcohol content of this one since I didn’t use the hydrometer.

14 Responses to “Wine and Specific Gravity”

  1. texwisgirl February 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I’m guessing flavors like Apple Raspberry might be very easy to drink and might have a surprise kick in the head later on. 🙂

    • Teresa February 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      My heavenly “Chapel” (cherry-apple) can really sneak up on you!

  2. Sharon February 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Hmm, I like(d) wine that tasted like grape juice….🙂

    • Teresa February 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      I’d rather just have the grape juice. Honestly, I don’t like the grape wines. I like the apple/fruity ones.

  3. Sandy February 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Just showed this to honeyman. I am excited to try wine making. I have a lot of fruits planted here! Soon I will be trying wine making!

    • Teresa February 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

      Sounds great! I’ll keep posting tidbits, and can recommend some books. Jack Keller’s winemaking pages are pretty much the Bible of winemaking. You will have so much fun!

  4. Maura February 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    OMGoodness…look at all that future YUMMY wine! Oh how I’d love to be at a wine tasting at your house😉 Hope your weekend was a good one. Enjoy your Tuesday!

    • Teresa February 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you so much for stopping by. It will quite a while yet before we can taste these wines, but it really has become a fun thing for the whole family now that the kids are all grown up.

  5. JoyceAnn March 1, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Hi Teresa ~ Can’t wait to see how the apple -raspberry does , bet it will be delish , looking forward to the results.

    ~ Farm Blessings ~

    • Teresa March 1, 2011 at 6:17 am #

      That’s the one I’m excited to try out!

  6. Mimi Foxmorton March 1, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Personally, I use my *internal* vinometer when determining alcohol content. Sooo……anytime you need me…………….😉

    (The apple/raspberry sounds sooo yummy!)

    • Teresa March 1, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      Well, when you bring Darla for her horn lessons from Millie, you’ll have to test the wine!

  7. Jim March 25, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Sounds good! I have made a few batches of strawberry wine and they all were delish.

    • Teresa March 25, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      It is good, but I think it is half sediment when we use fresh strawberries.

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