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Old 08-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Back sweetening wine

I have made 75 gal of Blackberry wine from approx 200 lbs of berries that a Farmer gave me. He gets half of the product and likes his very sweet.

I have read how to back sweeten but my question is this? Say I have a FSG reading of .994 and want to sweeten to .999 the cal. tells me to add 9 oz of sugar to a 5 gal batch. Do I rack off a quart of wine and warm it up on the stove and mix in the sugar and let it cool and then add it back into the 5 gallons or do I do this with water??? Was thinking of doing it with wine, but do not want to cloud whole five gal batch..

Thanks...

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Old 08-08-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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I am not an expert, butwhatever you do, make sure you add a bit of meta and sorbate otherwise the yeasticles will start to devour the fresh sugar. I made that mistake the other week with a ginger wine (D'oh). That being said the net result is a stronger wine...
I add my sweetener after the meta and sorbate (usually leave a day after nuking the yeast) and do it by racking off the sediment into a fresh container.

I would suggest taking a small sample of the wine ( a cup or so) and adding some sugar solution to it, and taste it. Just to make sure that 0.999 is sweet enough and not too sweet or dry.

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Old 08-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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Warming a sample of your wine doesn't sound like a good idea and could give you a off flavor in the batch but I'm not sure about that. Hopefully one of the wine experts will pop in soon to give some suggestions.

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Old 08-08-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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If he likes sweet wine, .999 isn't sweet. It's, at best, off-dry. Sweet wines are generally 1.020 or so, I think. I like dry wines, but I've made some that I sweetened to 1.000 or so so they wouldn't be bone dry. Dandelion wine, for example, is great at 1.000. It's not sweet, but not puckering dry either at that SG.

As the other poster said, make sure you use potassium metabisulfite (campden or k-meta are other names) and potassium sorbate to stabilize the wine before adding any sweetening. It's easiest to mix it up with the sulfite (1 campden tablet per gallon, or make a sulfite solution and measure it by the teaspoon if you have powdered k-meta) and sorbate (measure by the teaspoon- check the dosage on the package) in water, and add that to the receiving carboy. Rack the wine into it. Let sit a couple of days to ensure that no refermentation will occur. Then, you can sweeten the wine to taste.

The easiest way to sweeten the wine by the batch is to pull out many samples. Then, add your simple sugar syrup to each sample, and rate them as to "not sweet enough, too sweet, just right", etc. When you find the one that's just right, take the SG of that sample. You then want to sweeten to just UNDER that SG. That is, if you like it at 1.012, sweeten the batch to 1.010. It gets sweeter tasting in the bottle.

You'll have to calculate the amount of sugar, but free programs like winecalc help and can tell you how much sugar to add.

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Yopper:

I will just use water and sugar as my sweetner and once get it to where the farmer wants it to taste, make his 30 gal to that SG reading.

Was just curious about the wine vs. water in the sweetner issue.

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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I make a "simple syrup" with water and sugar- mostly sugar. That is the easiest way to get it to dissolve. You can boil the water and sugar mix so it's dissolved, cool it and add. You don't need that much water, so you're not diluting the wine.

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Yooper:

Ok that is the question I needed answering. Will do that in Oct. as the wine is still in early stages.

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