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Old 11-21-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
brenthagood
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Default clearing wine

I have a 5 gallon batch of white muscadine wine that has been sitting for about 3 months now and is still very cloudy. Isn't there something I could put in it to clear it up? Also what should I do to sweeten it up a bit. Just add sugar?

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brenthagood View Post
I have a 5 gallon batch of white muscadine wine that has been sitting for about 3 months now and is still very cloudy. Isn't there something I could put in it to clear it up? Also what should I do to sweeten it up a bit. Just add sugar?
To clear it up isn't really hard, but it helps if you know what is causing the haze. I really like this write up on finings, from Jack Keller's website (about 1/3 of the way down the page, it's too long to copy here): Winemaking: Finishing Your Wine

Also, from Jack Keller, a "how to" on sweetening a wine:

Potassium sorbate, sold as a chemical or behind a product name such as Sorbistat K, is a commercial wine stabilizer that should be used in conjunction with Campden or its active ingredient, potassium metabisulfite. In other words, it works better with sulfites present than without, and it works better than sulfites alone. Potassium sorbate disrupts the reproductive cycle of yeast. Yeasts present are unable to reproduce and their population slowly diminishes through attrition.

Potassium sorbate is added in the amount of 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of wine. Sorbic acid results and stabilizes the wine. Usually the crushed Campden and potassium sorbate are dissolved in a cup or two of the wine to be stabilized and stirred thoroughly. Allow the stirred wine to sit a few moments and look for small white lumps of undissolved powder. If present, continue stirring until the wine is clear without any undissolved lumps. This is then added to the larger batch and stirred in well with a sanitized glass rod or wooden dowel.

Once a wine is stabilized it can be sweetened if desired. Sweetening a wine that hasn't been stabilized is asking for trouble. Sweeten the wine any way you desire, but the most assured way of doing it is to make a simple syrup from two parts sugar to one part water and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. It helps to use boiling water for making the syrup. Then add the syrup to the wine and stir well to integrate it. I add in stages, stir well, and taste -- 1/2 cup, then 1/4 cup, then however more is needed to achieve the taste I desire. Do not add sugar directly to a finished wine. More than likely it contains a great deal of absorbed carbon dioxide, as explained in the paragraphs immediately following, and adding sugar crystals will cause it to erupt like a volcano with foam. After sweetening, reattach the airlock and let the wine sit another 3-4 weeks to be sure it doesn't start refermenting.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information

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