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-   -   proper way to back sweetened wine? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/proper-way-back-sweetened-wine-378500/)

Big_Cat 01-04-2013 11:52 AM

proper way to back sweetened wine?
 
Do you add wine to diluted sugar or diluted sugar to wine. I mean is it like in beer where you pour your diluted water into a container (carboy/bucket /etc) and rack the brew on top or do you just pour the sweetner on top of the wine and just gently stir?

TedLarsen 01-04-2013 11:57 AM

Avoiding aeration is always key. I think if you habitually rack onto something (sugar, fruit, etc),rather than pouring, you will have a better chance of avoiding introducing oxygen.

Big_Cat 01-04-2013 11:59 AM

So rack onto it and gently stir?

WVMJ 01-04-2013 01:59 PM

Usually we rack the clear wine into a bottling bucket, measure the specific gravity, give it a taste and decide how sweet we want to make it. Then add dry sugar directly to the wine and use a drill mounted stirring rod to get the sugar into solution - avoiding aerating it by keeping the stirrer on the bottom of the bucket and using a low speed. Taste and measure SG again. Once it is to the taste we want then we add Potassium Metablisulfite and Potassium Sorbate, dont add them before taste testing or you will taste the sulfite before it has had a chance to bind to things in the wine. WVMJ

Big_Cat 01-04-2013 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WVMJ (Post 4745849)
Usually we rack the clear wine into a bottling bucket, measure the specific gravity, give it a taste and decide how sweet we want to make it. Then add dry sugar directly to the wine and use a drill mounted stirring rod to get the sugar into solution - avoiding aerating it by keeping the stirrer on the bottom of the bucket and using a low speed. Taste and measure SG again. Once it is to the taste we want then we add Potassium Metablisulfite and Potassium Sorbate, dont add them before taste testing or you will taste the sulfite before it has had a chance to bind to things in the wine. WVMJ

Interesting ... I usually make a syrup with the sugar and sterile water .I take a pre reading to get an SG then add sulfite to kill my yeast and not change the must gravity. I wait 24 hours and add my syrup to get the SG i want since i know that 2oz of sugar will change my SG by .005 and bottle . I never add sorbate unless I'm making something that i want fizzy since sorbate only stops reproduction but doesn't kill the yeast in there.

WVMJ 01-04-2013 02:31 PM

The sulfites are not there to kill the yeasts at bottling time, most of the yeast should have already fallen out, a few remain and the sorbate keeps them from reproducing. The sulfite is there to preserve your wine, to protect it from oxidation by scavenging oxygen, to prevent acetabacter bacteria from metablozing your alcohol into vinegar and to help preserve the color. We have also used a 2:1 sugar dilution, I like to add acid blend to the dilution and everyclear to match the levels in the wine I am making, that way you dont dilute the acid level or alcohol while you are trying to balance the sweetness. But its easier to just use something like winecalc to give a range of how much sugar will raise the gravity and start by add that dry, stir, measure, taste. WVMJ

saramc 01-04-2013 04:19 PM

If you add sorbate to a wine with added sugar or residual sugar plus active, live yeast and do not add campden/k-meta, odds are that wine will continue to ferment until those remaining yeast die off. Sulfites only kill bacteria, and inhibit yeast.
Personally, when backsweetening, my wines are already clear and sediment free, so I measure SG and prefer to add ultrafine sugar until I reach new target SG. Any wine that is being backsweetened is dosed with sorbate/k-meta about two weeks prior to backsweetening. (Though granulated sugar dissolves easily with the help of my drill and stir stick.) The b/s and stabilized wine then rests under airlock for 10-14 days to monitor for refermentation and if any sediment has dropped due to backsweetening, it usually does, it is racked one final time and bottled.

Big_Cat 01-04-2013 05:23 PM

Wow so I've just been lucky that i always backsweeten after its below. 1.000 Because without adding sorbate I've never had a bottle bomb or cork fly off...yikes...as of today I'm adding both

choosybeggar 02-24-2013 05:48 PM

How much postassium sorbate do y'all add?

saramc 02-24-2013 06:26 PM

1/2 tsp per gallon is industry standard along with KMS per pkg directions (mine says 1/4 tsp per 5 gal).

Bigcat...you are fortunate indeed. You will have to let us know if any go boom or you have bubbly!


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