When is Fermentation finished? (MoreWine!)

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In about two weeks most of the sugar will have been consumed by the yeast and fermentation will slow, making it easier to keep track of the falling sugar level of your wine.

You want to be aware of your sugar levels because they will give you an overview of how the ferment has been progressing.  You may wish to stop the fermentation early and leave a bit of residual sugar in your wine.

Note: This time frame is dependent on yeast strain selection, the starting ºBrix, and fermentation temperatures. Just like people, yeast are more active when they are warm. So, if you are fermenting at 65º F the sugars will drop much sooner than if you are fermenting at 55º F. Each wine’s rate of fermentation will be different so you will need to check it throughout the fermentation to monitor the progress.

When is Fermentation Over?

The fermentation is considered done when you either reach your desired sugar level or go “dry” at 0° Brix. A wine with 0.2% residual sugar contains two grams of sugar in a liter of wine. Dry wines are typically in the 0.2%-0.3% range, off-dry wines in the 1.0%-5.0% range, and sweet dessert  wines are normally 5.0%-10%. However this can be a little subjective on taste and a wine with .5% or 5 g/L may taste completely dry depending on the wine. In the end, there is no “correct” sugar level for your wine, it just comes down to your personal preference.

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