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Author Topic: Is there any reason why most wines only contain about 12 to 13% alcohol?  (Read 627 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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I've heard somewhere that the Scots (bless them!) have brewed a 65% beer. If that's possible, then why aren't wines stronger?

Is it possible to make wine much stronger than 12 or 13%?  If it is, what's stopping the vineyards making a 20 or 30% wine?  Or is there some law governing the strength of wine?
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Offline siasl

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Historically, brewing yeast dies at around 10-15% alcohol content, and so that's probably why wine is that strength. The Brew Dog folks who have made the super strength beer are distilling vats of beer down to a spirit, and so are not relying on yeast to obtain this percentage.

In terms of the maximum strength supported by yeasts now, I believe there are "spirit yeasts" around that will tolerate up to 20% by volume and can be used to brew half-strength spirits (or there were a dozen years ago).

A long time ago, I went to the Bordeaux region where a local vineyard made a drink called Floc, which is a mix of Armagnac and wine or grape juice, at around 17%, and I think this is how most fortified wines are made (but this one is a lot better than sherry!).