previous page: 55 Sweetening Wine
page up: WineMaking FAQ
next page: 57 Humidity & Storage

56 "Strengthening" A Wine


This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.

56 "Strengthening" A Wine

{I have about 240 litres of a light red which saw insufficent skin
contact coupled with a wet summer which lead to large berries. The wine
has no major fault apart from the fact that it is weak.}

A good way of "strengthening" the wine would be to do the following:

1. You don't say how 'weak' is weak, but it may not matter to the
procedure other than adjusting the sugar level. Get 70-80 lbs of dark
raisins and start fermenting in a primary with as little water as
possible (no more than 10 litres). It's better if you can crush the
raisins. Don't worry about the seeds because you haven't much tannin in
your original wine. Use a Prise de Mousse (Premier Cuvee) or Lalvin EC-
1118 yeast.

2. After a couple of days following the start of fermentation,
introduce your wine into the ferment, 10-15 litres at a time. Twice a

3. Depending on the alcohol level you want to achieve, you can feed the
yeast by adding some sugar. Probably 30 to 40 lbs in total, at regular
intervals during fermentation.

4. You can make any acidity adjustments at the end, but if you know
your original acidity, it would be preferrable to adjust prior to
fermenting the raisins.

5. When ferment reaches SG 1.000 or lower, rack into secondary, attach
airlock, and rest 4-6 weeks.

If you are referring to body, not alcohol, then you could approach the
problem by bulk ageing the wine with elderberries, raisins or other
dried fruit with strong flavours and deep red colour. These should be
dipped in a sulphite solution prior to use to avoid spoilage, and can
be added to the wine in a nylon straining bag to make removal easier.
The wine should subsequently be allowed to ferment the added sugars if
you wish a dry wine and fined to remove any cloudiness.


Continue to:

previous page: 55 Sweetening Wine
page up: WineMaking FAQ
next page: 57 Humidity & Storage