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Old 11-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default making dessert/sweet wine

I am making a gallon of dessert/sweet raspberry wine. I know the basic tecnique is to add sugar until you kill the yeast.
At which point in time do you stop adding sugar?

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Why would you add sugar to kill the yeast ? You need the yeast to make the alcohol. I don't think you have it right. Or either you asked your question wrong and I am not understanding. Just to clarify though, you never kill the yeast when making wine for no reason.

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sashurlow
I am making a gallon of dessert/sweet raspberry wine. I know the basic tecnique is to add sugar until you kill the yeast.
At which point in time do you stop adding sugar?
By continuing to add sugar until the yeast dies, you'll end up with a high alcohol wine. It may work well with a sweet dessert wine.

If this is your goal, keep adding sugar until you see no more fermentation activity.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
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Once the fermentation activity stops do you add more sugar to make it sweet or will it be sweet enough at that point in time?
After adding another cup of sugar recently its bubbling but just barely, so I'm pretty sure I'm at that point now.

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Old 11-03-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sashurlow View Post
Once the fermentation activity stops do you add more sugar to make it sweet or will it be sweet enough at that point in time?
After adding another cup of sugar recently its bubbling but just barely, so I'm pretty sure I'm at that point now.

That is something you will have to taste to determine. As pointed out previously you are gonna add enough sugar to get the alcohol high enough that the alcohol will kill the remaining yeast at which point there will be some residual sugar remaining. Is that sweet enough? Only your taste buds will know for sure.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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Adding sugar is fine if you're using a sweet/medium yeast (they have lower alcohol tolerance so you don't end up with ridiculously alcoholic wine). If you use a champagne-yeast or anything similar, this method is a bad idea.

The more reliable method is to let it ferment-out, then add stabiliser (meta and sorbate) to kill-off the yeast. Then you're free to add sugar without it being fermented.

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Old 11-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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I'm using a combination of Montrachet and Cote des Blancs. I have two gallons of "real" raspberry wine, this is the yeasty stuff left over from primary fermentation, so its an experiment wine. I've also read that raspberry wine is better done dry, so that makes this even more of an experiement.

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Old 11-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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I have yet to enjoy a dry raspberry wine as I find residual sugar brings the fruit forward. But I am sure there are those who enjoy dry raspberry wine. As far as knowing whether or not your method will result in dry, semi-sweet..you must rely upon your hydrometer. You should take measurements after you add your incremental sugar and monitor. Bubbles really are a poor indicator of end point of fermentation.

When you say you have two yeasty gallons of 'real' wine leftover from primary I do not really know what you mean.

What was the startingSG of this wine and how much sugar has been added since the start of fermentation? The technique of stepfeeding with sugar to reach alcohol toxicity and not typically done with the everyday batch.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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I have three (and a half) gallons. Two gallons are off the top of the primary. I also tried to reuse the fruit for another gallon (per directions) but it is definetaly less concentrated. The yeasty gallon came from the bottom of the primary and topped off with the dilute second batch. This gallon is my dessert experiment. It would have normally been thrown out, so why not try something with it.
I didn't use a hydrometer this year. I may be nuts but I'm not going to be overly scientific this year. I'm following directions and/or just going with it.
Next year I am expecting an over abundance of raspberries and blackberries, so I will try new things next year.

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Old 11-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sashurlow View Post
I have three (and a half) gallons. Two gallons are off the top of the primary. I also tried to reuse the fruit for another gallon (per directions) but it is definetaly less concentrated. The yeasty gallon came from the bottom of the primary and topped off with the dilute second batch. This gallon is my dessert experiment. It would have normally been thrown out, so why not try something with it.
I didn't use a hydrometer this year. I may be nuts but I'm not going to be overly scientific this year. I'm following directions and/or just going with it.
Next year I am expecting an over abundance of raspberries and blackberries, so I will try new things next year.
Wine lees don't taste good, and yeast that have been in the wine already have experienced some alcohol poisoning. I never reuse wine yeast due to that, except for rare stuff like if I was making "skeeter pee".
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