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Jan 24, 2014 07:23 AM

Is Yeast the Answer to Lower-Alcohol Wines?

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  1. Yes, as is picking at the proper time.

    1. <But by starting a fermentation with a non-Sacchromyces yeast and then adding Sacchromyces partway through the ferment, this “sequential inoculation” technique appears to have worked.>
      Many fermentations (perhaps most) in California start on their own. With a rigidly controlled fernmentation like they are talking about, seems like you would have to load up the grapes with lots of SO2 as they move from the vineyard to the tank. And, that doesn't seem like a good idea. I think there are natural ways to make wine with acceptable alcohol levels, as Kaleokahu points out.

            1. re: zin1953

              i never have quite grasped let your grapes get so ripe that you have to add water........oh well, guess that's why others make wine, and I drink wine.

              1. re: pinotho

                Short, simplified answer: ripeness is not about sugar; it's about flavor development. But flavors and sugars develop (relatively) at the same time, and so to obtain the fully ripen flavors within the grape -- and hence, the wine -- one is often faces with a grape that is higher in sugar than desirable.

                Drawback to Jesus units: the overall level sugar is lessened, but the flavors are also somewhat diluted. IT's *different* than not having the flavor develop in the first place, by picking earlier; the flavors are there, but less intense.

                1. re: zin1953

                  an excellent explanation...and thanks for posting it.