SGI:09 – Drawing Off the Wine

THE HYDROMETER
Drawing Off the Wine
Basic facts: Wine is comprised of residue, alcohol, water and residual sugar. Alcohol is formed from the fermentation of sugar.
The first drawing off is done when the fermentation has subsided or ceased. One cannot be sure if this is from the lack of bubbling in the fermentation lock, as closures and the lock often leak. One takes a reading with the hydrometer to check that the wine is not too sweet. If the wine is not ready it should be allowed to ferment out. If the wine ferments out too dry it can be chaptilised, (see chaptilisation link). A wine that is too dry has a poor balance, poor body and a shorter shelf life.Hydrometer readings where the tastes best:

Red wine: dry
light dry
full bodied
990 - 999  
1000      
1001 - 1004  
Rosé wine: light dry
light sweet
998 - 1000  
1000 - 1003  
White wine: very dry
light dry
light sweet
996 - 1002  
998 - 1001  
1002 - 1005  
Cherry: fresh, not sweet
sweet, full bodied
1020 - 1030  
1035 - 1040  
Port/Madeira: light sweet
full bodied
1020 - 1030  
1030 - 1040  
Sherry: dry
medium dry
sweet
1008 - 1015  
1015 - 1020  
1025 - 1030  
Kir: light dry
sweet, full bodied
1010 - 1020  
1020 - 1025  
White Vermouth: dry
medium dry
1005 - 1015  
1015 - 1025  
Red Vermouth: dry
sweet
1015 - 1020  
1020 - 1030  
Capri bitters: medium sweet
1035 - 1040  

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Blacck currant: according to taste
1030 - 1040

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