Seriously! My Homemade Wine Has No Alcohol!

My Homemade Wine Has No AlcoholWhen I check the alcohol level of my wine before bottling, it is less than 1%. What am I doing wrong? Is there a reason why my homemade wine has no alcohol?…

Name: Larry J.
State: Iowa
Hello Larry,

I am assuming that you are coming up with this info by taking a reading with your wine hydrometer.

The 1% you are seeing on the wine hydrometer is not telling you how much alcohol is in the wine. It is telling you how much more alcohol can be made with the sugars that are still left in the wine. It is a potential alcohol scale, not an alcohol scale. In other words, there is still enough sugar left in your wine to ferment one more percent of alcohol.

So when you say my homemade wine has no alcohol, this is not so much an issue of no alcohol being in the wine as it is knowing how to use the wine hydrometer or following any wine hydrometer instructions that might have came with it.Shop Hydrometers

To tell how much alcohol is currently in the wine, you have to know what the potential alcohol reading was on the hydrometer at the beginning of fermentation – how much potential for alcohol was there at the beginning… 10%, 11%, 12%? By knowing how much potential alcohol could be made at the beginning of fermentation, and knowing how much alcohol can potentially be made now, currently, you can determine how much alcohol is in the wine.

Here’s an example. Let’s assume your wine started with a hydrometer reading of 13%, and you now have a reading of 1% on the potential alcohol scale. This would mean that your wine currently has an alcohol percentage of 12%. This is the 13% less the 1%.

There is no way that any wine hydrometer can tell you how much alcohol you have with a single reading. You have to know what the wine hydrometer reading was before the wine started fermenting and compare that to an ending reading.Shop Hydrometer Jars If you did not take a beginning reading with your wine hydrometer, there is no way for you to determine the alcohol level of that wine with any hydrometer.

I hope this information helps you out. You are not the first person to say, my homemade wine has no alcohol, because of misinterpretations with the hydrometer. For that reason I’m glad you brought it up so I can share some clarity with other home winemakers.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

How To Fix Homemade Wine That Is Too Sweet

Homemade Wine Is Too SweetI need some help. My homemade wine is too sweet. I made 2 batches of wine one of Blackberry/Raspberry and the other Blueberry/Raspberry/Cranberry. Although they have a great flavor they are way to sweet, can I add some more yeast to get them to ferment some more of the sugar out?

Karey C. – OR
Hello Karey,

Both of your wines sound like great fruit combinations. So sorry to hear they are causing you a little problem. Keep reading to learn how to fix homemade wine that is too sweet.


There are 2 possible reasons why a homemade wine is too sweet:

  1. Too Much Sugar Was Added To The Wine Recipe
    There is a limit to how much alcohol a yeast can tolerate. Once a fermentation produces alcohol to this level, the yeast will simply slow to a stop. If you know that your fermentation has already produced 13-14% alcohol, but the wine is still too sweet, then you’ve added too much sugar to the wine must. You can determine the wine’s alcohol level by taking beginning and current alcohol readings with a wine hydrometer and comparing the two. If this is the reason your homemade wine is too sweet, there is not a whole lot you can do to reduce the sweetness, or make it more dry, other than blend it with a dry wine. Shop HydrometersFor example, you can make blackberry/raspberry wine next year that comes out dry, and then blend this years wine with that. This year’s wine will store just fine in bulk. Just remember to add sulfite to the wine and to eliminate any head-space that may be in with the wine. Hopefully, this will help make your sweet wine taste better.
  1. The Fermentation Did Not Complete
    It very well could be that you added an appropriate amount of sugar to produce a reasonable amount of alcohol. It’s just that the fermentation did not fully ferment the sugar into alcohol as it should have. This is known as a stuck fermentation. This could happen for a number of reason. The most common one is temperature. The fermentation got to cool. Yeast are very sensitive to temperature. There are many other reasons as to why your fermentation may have stopped short of its full potential – too many to go over here. I would suggest going through the Top 10 Reasons For Fermentation Failure. This will help you to ferret out the exact cause of such a predicament. Once you know the reason, you can take corrective action to get the fermentation active, again.


Again, the key to knowing why your homemade wine is too sweet is the wine hydrometer. If you did not take a beginning hydrometer reading, you will not be able to tell whether you have 7% alcohol and a fermentation that needs fixing, or if you have 15% alcohol and have simply added too much sugar to your wine.

Shop Grape ConcentrateAs to your suggestion of adding more wine yeast, this is rarely a solution to a problem. This is because there is still yeast in the wine. It’s just that it has gone dormant. It is more likely to be an issue of getting the wine yeast in a situation to where it will start fermenting again.

Best Wishes,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Restarting A Stuck Malolactic Fermentation

Stuck Malolactic FermentationI have a Chilean Pinot Noir from fresh juice. I have a stuck malolactic fermentation. I’ve added malolactic culture when I inoculated my wine… Yesterdays MLF test read 75, pH 3.4, Free SO2 18-28, but my acid was .90%, too High?. Temp is 73 degrees. I’ve added malolactic culture twice. Should I try lowering the acid? Can I add sulfite and move on? Suggestions ? Thanks in advance

Name: John F.
State: Mass.
Hello John,

I am assuming that the yeast fermentation has completed and you have an SG in the neighborhood of .996 on your hydrometer.

Going through the numbers, the only thing that concerns me is the SO2 (sulfite) level of the wine must. I would rather see it at around 10 to 15 ppm. I’m not saying this is what’s causing the stuck malolactic fermentation, but it very well could be contributing to it. Some experimentation may need to be done with aeration to lower the SO2. This could be as simple as racking the wine in a splashing manner. This alone could be all that is required for restarting your stuck malolactic fermentation.

Dropping some acid out may be helpful, as well, but I do not believe this is the root cause, either. At a total acidity of .90% you need to drop some acid for flavors sake, anyway, so go ahead and start this process to get it down to .80% for now. More readjusting may be needed after the MLF has completely run its course. Lowering the TA could also help with restarting a stuck malolactic fermentation.Shop Malolactic Culture

The temperature and pH of the wine are fine. I would not be concerned with them at all.

Realize, that an MLF can take months in some cases to finish. It is a function of how much malic acid there is to ferment. Each situation is different. Your malic is currently at 75 ppm, but this does not reflect how much has already been converted into lactic. Is this number lowering over time. That’s what’s important.

If you have not tasted the wine, I would do so now to see if too much lactic acid is starting to form. This will be noted as a sour-tang. If it is too noticeable or forward, then I would add sulfites such as potassium metabisulfite to the wine and move on. The rest of the excess acid can be reduced with neutralizers such as potassium bicarbonate.

If the wine does not have a forward sour-tang, then wait 3 weeks and take another malic reading. If it has dropped some, then you do not have a stuck malolactic fermentation. Just be patient. The wine will need to age anyway. What’s wrong with it aging while it’s doing its MLF?

As for the malolactic culture, I would not add any more. Too much, could set of an autolysis reaction that can add a bitter-nut to metallic flavor to the wine. This is something that is irreversible.Shop Wine Barrels

Restarting a stuck malolactic fermentation is something that very rarely needs to be done. It’s just that sometimes it can progress very slowly with time and patience being the only remedy. I you do have a stuck malolactic fermentation, just remember it is usually because of the environment the fermentation and not the lack of malolactic culture.

You can find more information on our website in the article: Malolactic Fermentation.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Having Fun Using Honey In Your Wine Making

Using Honey In Wine MakingI want to start using honey instead of sugar in my wine making so I have a few questions: do i put the honey in the must to start with, or, to sweeten after the wine is done fermenting? Also one pound of sugar equals how much honey?

Tom – NC
Hello Tom,

Using honey in wine making is something you can have a lot of fun with. One of the favorite wines I made was a Raspberry Honey Zinfandel. Nobody could keep their hands off of it, and it was soon gone.

There are different ways honey can be used in wine making. You can add it to the wine must, before fermentation, and have its sugars ferment into alcohol, or you can add the honey after the fermentation and have its sugars contribute to the sweetness of the wine.


Using Honey Instead Of Sugar Before The Fermentation

When you add honey before a fermentation, what will be left when the fermentation is complete is the herbal character of the honey. No sweetness will remain. For example, if the honey was spun off of wild flowers then a wild flower character will be added to the wine during the wine making process. If the honey was spun off of strawberry blossoms then you will have a note of herbal-strawberry character in the wine, and so forth.Shop Hydrometers

What this means is you can alter any fruit wine making recipe you find by replacing some or all of the sugar called for with honey. Using honey in your wine making in this way will add a layer of depth to the wine’s over all character. You can compliment the wine’s character, such as adding raspberry-blossom honey to a raspberry wine recipe, or you can contrast the wine’s character, such as adding apple-blossom honey to a cherry wine recipe.

When using honey in wine making before the fermentation, you want to use it in-place-of or instead-of the sugar called for in the wine recipe you are using. As a general rule-of-thumb you can replace 1 pound of sugar with 1.2 to 1.3 pounds of honey. You can also use a wine hydrometer to determine how much honey to add. Keep adding the honey until you get to the appropriate reading on the wine hydrometer’s specific gravity scale – usually between 1.070 and 1.090.


Using Honey Instead Of Sugar After The Fermentation

If you add the honey at bottling time or anytime after the fermentation, you are contributing to the sweetness of the wine instead of the alcohol. Shop Potassium SorbateThe herbal characters of the honey are still being added but along with its sweetness. It is important to note that any time you add a sugar to a wine at bottling time – whether it be honey, cane sugar or grape concentrate – you must also add potassium sorbate (wine stabilizer) to eliminate any chance of re-fermentation later on in the wine bottle. The is in addition to the Campden tablets that we recommend at bottling time for any wine. Here’s more information on sweetening a wine with honey.


Should I Use Raw Or Pasteurized Honey?

I recommend using pasteurized, filtered honey – the kind you typically find on the grocery shelf. This type of honey has been cleared of wild microbes and various solids that you do not want in your wine. If you do plan on using raw honey in your wine recipe, you will need to heat it up to 170°F. for a full 30 minutes along with some water. During this time you will also want to skim off the top whatever rises.


More Information On Using Honey In Wine MakingShop Campden Tablets

You can find more information on our website in the article, Wine Making With Honey. It gives a basic run-down of how honey has been used in wine over the years along with some basic honey recipes.

Using honey instead of sugar in your wine making is a fun way to add more interest depth, not only to your wines, but your wine making. It’s one more way to be creative in the enjoyable and rewarding hobby.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Sparkolloid: When Do You Add It To Wine?

Sparkolloid Fining Powder Was Used On This WineAt what point do I add the Sparkolloid to my wine?

Jerre M. — TN
Hello Jerre,

Thank you for the great question about when to add Sparkolloid to a wine.

Technically, Sparkolloid fining can be added anytime after the wine has stopped fermenting. However, normally it is added after the wine has been treated with bentonite fining. Sparkolloid powder is kind of the left-hook to the bentonite’s right-jab. One works to take out what the other can’t. You will find all the instructions for its use on the side of the container we offer.

Bentonite takes the most particulate out of the wine, so it is typically used first. Once the fermentation stops, a winery will add a dose of bentonite to drop out the the bulk of the proteins. This is mostly made up of yeast cells and tannin. Most would drop out on its own, but the bentonite helps it drop out more quickly.

While bentonite is the best at dropping out large amounts, what it is not particularly the best at is adding a polish to the wine, or getting out that final, last bit of particles. While the wine will look somewhat clear after a bentonite treatment, there are fining agents that can add more polish to the wine. This is where Sparkolloid finings come in. Sparkolloid powder is able to take out finerShop Sparkolloid particles by neutralizing their electrical charge and allowing them to collect and drop out. This increases the luster or brilliance of the wine. For this reason, after a bentonite treatment is when to add Sparkolloid finings to a wine.

Sparkolloid powder is not good at taking out large volumes of particulate matter. For this reason, if you are only using Sparkolloid to fine your wine, then I would wait a month or two after the fermentation, to make sure that what can drop out on its own does so. Once the wine quits improving in clarity on its own, rack it off the sediment and add the Sparkolloid finings.

So, when to add Sparkolloid powder to a wine really depends on whether or not bentonite is being used beforehand. If so, wait about a week and then add it. If you are not using bentonite, then you may need to wait several weeks before the wine has cleared enough for Sparkolloid to be effective.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Oaking Wine With Oak Chips

Man Oaking Wine With Oak ChipsHow do you go about oaking wine with oak chips? What type of oak chip would you recommend using on muscadine wine? I’d like to do a little experimenting. My wine is a combination of red and white muscadine grapes yielding a blush/rose type wine. What type of oak chip, quantity per 6 gallon carboy and length of time to soak would you recommend? Thanks much!

Name: Ed P.
State: Illinois
Hello Ed,

Nothing wrong with a little experimenting. For me that’s part of what makes wine making so enormously fun.

One thing about oaking wine with oak chips, not all wines will benefit from it. Normally, the wines you would like to add oak chips to are wines with a lot of body. The tannins in the oak will help any excessive proteins in these full-bodied wines to clear out. This will give your wine a little more brilliant color.

The oak chips will also add their own smoothing affect to the wine’s character. A rounding-off of the rough corners, so to speak. Heavier wines tend to be harsher than lighter wine. Oak chips will also add some wood flavors to the wine. Some regard this as giving the wine more complexity. These heavy wines are the ones that you should be thinking about considering what wines to oak.

Looking at this from an experimental standpoint, your best option would be to take off a gallon of the wine and strongly oak it. This could be done by adding about 4 to 8 ounces of oak chips to the gallon for a two or three months. Once this is done you can blend a little/some/or all back into the other 5 gallons based on taste.Shop Toasted Oak Chips

Using this method for oaking your wine with oak chips would give you the most control over the final outcome. The downfall is that you would not want to store 5 gallons of wine in a 6 gallon carboy, so you would need to move the 5 gallons of wine to a 5 gallon carboy during this time. The same holds true for the one gallon sample you will be oaking. Also, you are risking loosing whatever portion of the gallon you do not wish to add back to the wine.

The other method for oaking a wine with oak chips would be add it to the entire 6 gallons of wine, and then taste it along the way to see how it’s doing. Usually, once every 3 or 4 weeks. While this is an easier method, you do run a better risk of ending up with a wine you might not care too much for.

How much of the oak chips you would want to add to the wine can vary. I personally like to use 2 ounces to 5 gallons and let it age out for many months. But others like adding 4 or 6 ounces and age the wine for a shorter period of time.

Without question, I would recommend using toasted oak ships. Plain oak chips are rarely used but still have their place. Whether you use Toasted French oak chips or Toasted American oak chips would not make an incredible difference. Shop Oak PowderEither can produce great results. The main difference between the two is that American oak will add sort of a coconut smoothness to the wine, whereas French oak chips will add more of a vanilla richness. One is not better than the other, it’s more of a matter of which one will work best with the wine at hand. Without tasting your wine, I would suspect you would want to use the American oak chips–just a guess.

Ed, I hope this information about oaking wine with oak chips is what you were looking for. Just realize that oaking a homemade wine with oak chips is something that does not happen overnight, so you will have time to sample the wine and make careful judgments as to when enough is enough.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

There’s Too Much Tannin In My Homemade Wine!

Wine With Too Much TanninI have 3 five-gallon carboys of zinfandel with a low pH of 3.00, and what I identify as too much tannin. The wine has been “aging” for 18 mos. now and still unacceptable by my taste. Is it too late to doctor it to lower the tannin? It has been stored cool (I’m in N. California) and I can’t heat it. Too late for treating with egg whites or bentonite?

Name: Tony S.
State: CA
Hello Tony,

I see your wine is still a beautiful, young color, even after 18 months. That is probably partially due to the fact that it has such a low pH. This can help to keep a color fresh looking as well as keep any potential spoilage in check. The bad part is as you have stated, it doesn’t taste good. That is the primary issue when you have to much tannin in any wine.

You said that you tested the pH of your wine and thought it was too low because of too much tannin being in the wine as opposed to the other typical reason, which is having too much tartaric acid in the wine. This could be easily verified by testing the wine with an acid test kit. This would tell you very precisely if there was too much tartaric acid in the wine or not.

If you do not want to do this you can go by taste and experience, but this can only tell you what direction to take in solving this problem, not necessarily how sever it is. If there is too much tannin in this wine you would expect it to taste bitter and dry-puckering. If it is a tartaric acid problem you would expect a tart and sharp flavor.Shop Bentonite

If you do have too much tannin in the wine, just as you implied, bringing the temperature up would most likely drop some of it out. I would not hesitate to use artificial means of heat on the wine to heat stabilize the wine. Bring the wine up to about 80°F. for about a 3 days. Because the wine’s pH is so low oxidation will not be an issue.

You can use something as simple as an electric blanket it to warm it up. We also have a heating belt that can warm five gallons by about 20°F. Just be sure to use a thermometer of some type to monitor just how hot the wine is getting.

Once the wine has reach 80°F. (this could take a day or two) treat is with bentonite and let the wine sit for the rest of the week.

If you are dealing with  too much tannin in your wine, you will notice a remarkable change in the wine after doing this. You may want to test the pH again. If you do not notice any change, then I doubt you are dealing with a tannin problem and urge you to test the wine again with an acid testing kit. More than likely you will need to use acid reducing crystals on the wine.Shop Acid Reducing Crystals

Beyond this, if you do see improvement in the pH, it is possible to treat the wine a second time with bentonite, if you deem it necessary, but I would not heat it a second time. Once the pH rises above 3.2, you do need to be a little more cautions about oxidation. You will typically receive marginal improvement from a second treatment in such a potentially severe case.

Hope this information helps you out.

Best Wishes,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

What’s The Difference Between A Whiskey Barrel And A Wine Barrel?

Toasting Oak BarrelsI was shopping the other day and found some oak chips, made from Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrels. They were being sold as flavor enhancers for barbecues. Could I use these to age my wine? Would they have to be toasted first, or would the fact that they had been used for whiskey aging offset that requirement?

Don — PA
Hello Don,

It is important to know that there are some differences between a whiskey barrel and a wine barrel. Whiskey barrels are process differently that wine barrels. The critical difference being that whiskey barrels are charred on the inside, whereas wine barrels are toasted. Doesn’t sound like much of a difference – I know – but the effects on the flavor are very different.

The reason a whiskey barrel is charred is so that the inside of the barrel staves turn into a charcoal. This charcoal’s purpose is to help take out the harshness of a raw whiskey. In a loose sense, the char acts in the same way a carbon filter works on water. It helps to remove the impurities. This char is also what adds the amber color to the whiskey.

Wine barrels are toasted. The reason they are toasted is so that when the wine is aged in the barrel, flavor is added, not taken out. Shop Wine BarrelsWhen the oak staves are toasted at the correct temperature for the right amount of time, various phenols, sugars and other compounds rise to the surface of the wood to interact with the wine while it ages. Flavors ranging from vanilla, to coconut, to caramel can be coaxed from the wood and into the wine by the degree of toasting the oak wood goes under.

Tannins from the wood also react with the tannins is the wine so as to precipitate them out of the wine as a sediment. This helps to mellow the wine, make it more stable and more clear.

There are some other differences between a whiskey barrel and a wine barrel that are not as critical, but we’ll save them for another time.

Don, going back to your question, you could use these whiskey barrel pieces in your wine, but the effects will be vary different from using actual toasted oak chips that are prepared specifically to be used in a wine.

One thing I would urge you to do is make a serious effort to sanitize these oak barrel pieces. There is no reason to assume they were stored in sanitary conditions if they are to be used for smoking.

shop_toasted_oak_chipsIf I where doing the sanitizing I would soak them in a very strong sulfite solution. I would find a container that could be sealed air-tight and kept full of the sulfite solution, so as to keep the floating pieces of wood submerged by the lid. I would use 2 teaspoons of sodium metabisulfite and 1/2 teaspoon of either citric acid or acid blend to every gallon of water. Let the wood soak for several days. The longer the better.

In short, I see not reason why you couldn’t play around with this wood. Just remember that there are differences between a whiskey barrel and a wine barrel that will result in a very different out come in your wine.

Happy Winemaking,
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Making A Basic Apple Cyser Recipe

Apple CyserWhich one of your wine making kits would I buy to make a basic Apple Cyser recipe? And a list of other ingredients needed. Thank you Janet

Name: Janet N.
State: CA
Hello Janet,

Out of the different wine making kits we carry, without a doubt you will want to get the “Your Fruit!” Wine Making Kit for making apple Cyser. This wine making kit has been designed for beginning winemakers that will be using their own fruit instead of a wine concentrate – in your case, the apple juice. It works great for making wines from strawberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, watermelon… the list is endless. And yes, it will work great for making an apple Cyser recipe.

This starter wine making kit includes all the essential wine making ingredients you will need to make almost any fruit wine. The wine yeast, nutrients, sanitizers, etc. It also comes with two wine making books. One of them containing 100 wine making recipes; the other contains great insights to making homemade wine. A complete list of what’s in the wine making kit is on our website.

Coming up with an basic apple Cyser recipe is easy. Sense apple Cyser is basically an apple mead, essentially what you are doing is making an apple wine recipe, but instead of adding the sugar it will call for, you will be adding honey in its place. So basically, you can take any apple wine recipe and turn it into an apple Cyser recipe.

Because honey is not all sugar – it has some moisture or water in it – you will need to add more honey by weight than the wine recipe calls for in sugar – usually about 20% more. In the case of our apple wine recipe, you would want to take out the 5 pounds of sugar called for, and replace it with 6 pounds of honey. This is all that is needed to turn it into an apple Cyser recipe. Apple blossom spun honey would be idea but is usually cost prohibitive at 6 pounds. Barring this, clover or wild flower honey will work fine.Shop Wine Making Kits


Apple Cyser Recipe
(Makes 5 Gallons)


You can follow the wine making directions on our website or the directions that come with the starter wine making kit.Shop Wine Presses

And that’s how to make apple Cyser. Get the “Your Fruit!” Wine Making Kit; convert the apple recipe into a basic apple Cyser recipe and follow the wine making directions. Also realize that you will have some left over wine making ingredients for making future batches of wine. This could be use to make another apple Cyser recipe or some other fruit.

Best wishes, and happy wine making,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.


What’s The Skins Got To Do With It?

Grape Juice Going Into Wine GlassI enjoyed reading your article on making wine from grapes. I  hope you can answer my question about wine to press the grapes. Why is it important to ferment the must with the grape skins prior to pressing? Your article says that white wine grapes can be pressed right away, whereas, red wine grapes is fermented prior to pressing. Please explain because I want to lean how to make white wine later this year.

Thank you,
Hello Gabriel,

This is a great question, and an area of wine making that causes some confusion for many beginning winemakers. When to press the grapes and when to have the grape pulp in the fermentation are fundamentals that need to be understood.

One thing that needs to be pointed out is that if you are making wine from concentrated juices or wine ingredient kits, the skins have nothing to do with your wine making at all. The juice producers have taken care of everything for you when it comes to handling the grape skin or pulp. So just relax.

If you take the darkest or reddest grapes you can find and run them through a grape crusher. Then press the grapes with a press. You will not have a red juice. What you will have is a pink or blush juice. If you ferment that juice you will have a pink or blush wine, not a red wine. There is nothing in the fermentation process that will make it turn more red than it was at pressing.

The color in a red wine comes from the grape skin not the juice. This is the reason that the skins are left in the must during the fermentation: so that the color can be extracted from the pulp into the juice. There are also body and aroma elements that are extracted as well making the wine more structured and complex.

With white wines it now starts to become clear why the grapes are pressed right away. Contact with the skin has very little value when making a white wine. You are no Buy Wine Pressnecessarily looking for color.

Some wineries do live the pulp and skins in with the juice for a very short period of time to add depth and structure to the wine, but it is usually a matter of hours not days. For example, this might be done with a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc grape where significant body is expected.

I hope this answers your question sufficiently and gives you a better idea of when to press the grapes and when to leave the pulp in with the fermentation when making your wine.

Happy Wine Making,
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.