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Old 09-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default Sparkling Wine Experiment - Questions

Hello all!

Long time forum lurker here. My wife and I have been making wine for going on 5 years now and we have just moved on from using juices and kits to whole fruits. Our first attempt (6 gallons of Blueberry) is coming along good so far. We have a total of 4 wines going right now and the wife asked me if we could make sparkling wine.

So I make a trip to the LHBS and buy 12 Grolsch-type 1 litre bottles that the owner states he actually carbs in himself. The wife is interested in trying to carb a bottle or two of each of the wines we have going right now (Apple, Concord, Reisling, Blueberry). So my questions would be as follows:

1. Should I hit the entire batch with priming sugar, bottle what I need and let the whole batch ferment back to dry, then bottle when it's still again?

2. Or, if I prime the whole batch, can I add K-Meta and K-Sorb to the wine I want still so I can back-sweeten it some?

I'm just looking for guidance as this is my first time trying this and I hate wasting wine on experiments! Any tips, pointers, or smacks upside the head to ensure I get this right are welcome.

Thanks to the community here on the boards! 90% of what I know about wine-making I have learned here!

-cheers

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Old 09-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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I'd add the priming sugar just to the bottles that are being carbed- it's easier, and then you don't risk bottle bombs with the others.

You can sweeten the other wine- but you have to stabilize with campden and sorbate first, or it won't work. Sorbate inhibits yeast reproduction, and that's why it keeps fermentation from starting up again- it doesn't kill yeast. That's why it's important to do that first, before sweetening the wine.

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Old 09-17-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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I used a calculator on another site and came up with .45 to .5 oz per bottle to obatain 4 to 5 volumes of CO2. Does that sound about right? Sorry for all of the questions!

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Old 09-18-2013, 01:51 AM   #4
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I guess it depends on how much you're bottling. For a 5gal batch, I'd prob rack into a 3gal carboy to stabilize/sweeten. Then carb the rest in bulk/bottle. When doing the SparklingWhiteGrapePeach recipe here, I use 5'ish oz per 5gal and have SWMBO gently stir while I'm racking into bottles.

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Old 09-18-2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powerman View Post
I used a calculator on another site and came up with .45 to .5 oz per bottle to obatain 4 to 5 volumes of CO2. Does that sound about right? Sorry for all of the questions!
I don't know if grolsch bottles can hold 4-5 volumes- that's champagne level.

To be honest, that amount in a bottle scares me. Badly.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powerman View Post
I used a calculator on another site and came up with .45 to .5 oz per bottle to obatain 4 to 5 volumes of CO2. Does that sound about right? Sorry for all of the questions!
Agree with Yooper. You'll be lucky if the bottles hold up at that much CO2 pressure. My advice, do an interwebs search for a CO2 volume chart. A good one will list the style of beverage next to a range of CO2 volumes they typically have. Pick the beverage with the amount of bubbles you think you'd like in your wine and shoot for that. You'll most likely land somewhere between 2 & 3 volumes.

Hope this helps.
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