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Old 07-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
JasonC77
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Default Back sweaten question

New to wine making. My strawberry is ready to bottle. Any advice on the best sweetener and how much for a 3gl batch?

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Old 07-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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I found this from "James's Web Log". I haven't tried it, so can't confirm or deny his procedure.

Quote:
Add enough sugar to raise the gravity to the chosen sweetness for the wine:

Dry – 0.997 to 0.999
Medium dry – 1.000 to 1.001
Medium sweet – 1.002 to 1.003
Sweet – 1.004 to 1.006
Desert wine (sweet) 1.007 to 1.010
A safe bet for table wine is 0.999 or 1000

Per gallon, 11 grams of sugar are needed to raise the gravity by 0.001.
To be safe, add 10 grams instead- better to undershoot than overshoot.

To add the sugar, decant around half a pint of wine into a jug, warm it in the microwave and dissolve
the required volume of icing sugar into it. Return the sweetened wine to the demijohn, agitate and leave
for half an hour prior to tasting.

Leave wine under an airlock for 2 weeks to ensure it doesn’t start fermenting before you bottle it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Make sure it's stabilized first.

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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To sweaten wine, simply dip a sanitized armpit into it after a hard workout :-P

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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If wine is at 1.000 s.g., 8 TBSP (half cup) sugar per gallon should taste sweet (to many)
You really need to do a bench trial:
Prepare 3 four ounce samples CHILLED and 3 four ounce samples ROOM TEMP, and to each sample add
1/8 tsp - ¼ tsp- ½ tsp sugar. If you prefer ½ teaspoon sample then backsweeten according to the ¼ teaspoon equivalent; prefer ¼ tsp sample then backsweeten using the 1/8th tsp equivalent.
1/8th tsp to 4 oz wine= ¾ cup sugar to 5 gallons wine (roughly 1/2 cup to 3 gallons)
¼ tsp to 4 oz. wine = 1.5 cups sugar to 5 gallons wine (roughly 1 cup to 3 gallons)
½ tsp to 4 oz. wine=3 cups sugar to 5 gallons wine (roughly 2 cups to 3 gallons)

But most of all, make sure you stabilize your wine with k-meta + sorbate prior to backsweetening the entire batch. Then once backsweetened return to airlock and monitor with your hydrometer for refermentation. After 7-10 days if there is no change in the S.G. after you stabilized and backsweetened rack the wine one final time and bulk age, etc. The reason you should rack that one final time after backsweetening is because the wine will usually drop some additional sediment. It is what works for me.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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Thank you for the help fellas

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppers16 View Post
To sweaten wine, simply dip a sanitized armpit into it after a hard workout :-P
not exactly. that's a pit-sweaten. he was really asking about back-sweatening... might taste different if it's off the back or if it drips off the back-hair...
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #8
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And yes I saw the typo. I can always count on fellow smartass winemakers for jokes.

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Old 08-01-2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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before i add sugar to back-sweeten, i neutralize it. if you add 1 campden tablet and 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate per gallon, and let it sit for a few (3 or so) days, it'll stabilize. in your case, with 3 gallons, crush 3 campden tablets, and add that along with 1.5 tsp potassium sorbate. let it sit for 3-4 days, then sweeten. otherwise, the yeast will just eat the sugar you just added.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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Default Stabilization question

I just made my first batch of wine, a Gewurztraminer Vintner's Reserve kit. I figured it'd be a nice idea to serve it to guests at my brother's wedding, which is in one week (5 weeks from the time I started the wine). My family won't drink my homebrew, but they'll drink sweet white wines! I know a Gewurz isn't supposed to be sweet, but we'll get to that...

It fermented quickly down to 0.996 (after a week in primary, it was already there). Saw no bubbling in the airlock the entire time in secondary, but I didn't take an FG. Anyway, I tasted it and thought it should probably be a little sweeter to suit the family's palates. So, I crushed up 5 campden tablets and a little under a tablespoon (3tsp) of potassium sorbate. I forgot to add wine to the crushed up chemicals to mix it. Instead, I just dumped it into the wine after I racked it from secondary into the bottling bucket. I boiled some corn sugar in water and added it to taste. I didn't measure the amount of sugar I added, just stirred it up, and proceeded to bottle. I'm up against a deadline, so I wanted to get it ready asap.

Then, of course, I started envisioning yeast re-activating fermentation. Visions of guests taking home bottles of wine that are basically ticking time bombs come to mind. Now, I'm reading about other people's stances on back-sweetening wine and how you should wait 3 days after adding stabilizer to ensure fermentation doesn't restart, etc. How concerned should I be, given what I've done? I don't think I added more than a 1-1.5c of corn sugar for the 5.5gallon batch. And the wine was pretty darn clear. Has anybody else just dumped in the campden and potassium sorbate and sugar right before bottling? It's been 2 days and (knock on wood) no explosions...yet. But the bottles have been at 70F. Worried about somebody taking one of these home and leaving it in more extreme temperatures.

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