White Wine Alcoholic Fermentation
The Role of White Wine Alcoholic Fermentation in Wine Production
Fermentation will occur between 38 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but most white wines are fermented between 50 and 68 degrees. The cooler the fermentation, the more methodical and controlled the process will be.
Warmer temperatures will produce brasher, fuller-bodied wines. While this is often the goal for red wines, white wines are typically fermented at cooler temperatures to retain their vibrant fruit flavors.
If all the sugars are converted, a dry white wine is produced. If not, an off-dry or sweet wine is produced. Most yeast strains will stop converting sugars when the alcohol level reaches about 15%. If there is any remaining sugar when this threshold is reached, the wine will have some degree of sweetness. This is how late harvest white wines are produced.
Fermentation can also be stopped by human intervention. This can be accomplished by adding sulfur dioxide, adding a distilled spirit, racking, adding carbonic gas, increasing the pressure within the tank, lowering the temperature below 38 degrees and raising the temperature above 90 degrees.
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