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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > proper way to back sweetened wine?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:42 AM   #11
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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.
Why do you add the k-meta and sorbate 2 weeks prior to sweetening?
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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I was taught that it allows time to incorporate, drops any more sediment, and the SO2 addition adds nucleation points for any remaining CO2. And I swear I pick up the SO2 aroma during tasting trials, so I prefer this way.

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Old 02-25-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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I was taught that it allows time to incorporate, drops any more sediment, and the SO2 addition adds nucleation points for any remaining CO2. And I swear I pick up the SO2 aroma during tasting trials, so I prefer this way.
Any thoughts on sorbate vs benzoate?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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Any thoughts on sorbate vs benzoate?
I have only used sorbate, benzoate is not commonly available for home use, have never seen it at LHBS and do not recall seeing it at the online shops I use.. Benzoate is more hard core from what I recall, but I think benzoate has a link to carcinogens.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:05 PM   #15
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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.
Sarah, one more question. Do you hold the wine in the fridge after b/s? Would you ever expect to see signs of fermentation at refrigerator temps?
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #16
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Sarah, one more question. Do you hold the wine in the fridge after b/s? Would you ever expect to see signs of fermentation at refrigerator temps?
I do not cold shock things, but if you need to cold stabilize you can refrigerate for two weeks, though you may have tartaric acid crystals drop if present. Fermentation can occur even when cold, though the yeast tend to go dormant and as the wine warms the yeast wake up. The key when b/s is make sure your gravity is as low as it is going to go, then stabilize with KMS/sorbate so any remaining live yeast really have nothing.to do. Always use hydrometer to confirm no new fermentation going on, because you do not always see visible signs. Hope that helps.
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