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Old 04-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default Sweetening before Bottling

Hey guys,
I am about to bottle me Pinot Grigio (Viva del Vida wine kit) and wanted to sweeten it up a little. The FG came out lower then expected make it pretty strong! It has a sweetness of a Pinot to it but taste like someone added moonshine in it! It's prolly not that intense, but a lot stronger than I was expecting. I heard you can add a simple syrup to the bottling bucket before bottling. I have already added all the clarifiers and stuff to stop yeast production, so it wont continue fermenting. Can anyone share how much sugar I'll need for a 6g batch?

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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Hey guys,
I am about to bottle me Pinot Grigio (Viva del Vida wine kit) and wanted to sweeten it up a little. The FG came out lower then expected make it pretty strong! It has a sweetness of a Pinot to it but taste like someone added moonshine in it! It's prolly not that intense, but a lot stronger than I was expecting. I heard you can add a simple syrup to the bottling bucket before bottling. I have already added all the clarifiers and stuff to stop yeast production, so it wont continue fermenting. Can anyone share how much sugar I'll need for a 6g batch?
When you added the stuff to stop yeast production, did that include potassium sorbate? That's the one thing you need to halt the yeast reproduction- the other stuff is clarifiers and things like that.

No one can tell you how much sugar you need for a 6 gallon batch, because we don't know how sweet you like it! What I do when I want to sweeten a batch is to mix up some simple syrup (1 parts water to 2 parts sugar).

Pull out several small samples and put it in different glasses. Add differing amounts of simple syrup to the wine. When you find one you like, take the SG of that sample. Then sweeten the whole batch (by doing a little math- we can help with that) to just UNDER the SG you liked. Wine tends to taste a bit sweeter in the bottle, I have no idea why, but if you like the wine best at 1.008, then sweeten it to 1.006. I hope that makes sense.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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It really depends on how sweet you like it, more off dry or semi-sweet. I normally calculate based on Residual Sugar for me 1-2% is off dry and 3-3.5% is semi-sweet ,but it really depends on what you like and the acid balance of the wine. It's at least a base to start with for tweeking. To get your RS basically 1% RS is 10g/L of sugar to wine, 6gal is about 23 liters so, 23 x (lets say 2%) (or 20g/L) is 460grams of sugar. That's a little over a pound. Again though it depends on how acidic it is and how much body you want. As long as you've put in sorbate and sulfites it should be fine.
Also, something to think about the alcohol will mellow over time unless the numbers came out really far off maybe just let it sit for another month before bottling.

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Yooper, will the harsh alcohol taste calm or disappear with time In the bottle as opposed to sweetening?

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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Yooper, will the harsh alcohol taste calm or disappear with time In the bottle as opposed to sweetening?
Yes. "hot" alcohol flavors fade and blend better with the wine with a bit of time.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Hmmm... I made it 2/21, it fermented for 14 days then I added all the stuff (including the postasium sorbate), and it says its ready to bottle on day 28 (which would have been 3/20/12). So it's been 48 days today. The alcohol flavor is definitely "hot" as Yooper said. I want to give it one last degassing, but I don't want to stir up the sediment on the bottom of the carboy. Would you all recommend pulling it off the cake and into the bottling bucket where I could degass and mix the sugar all in at once?

Also, a rubber stopper fell through the neck of the glass carboy. Anyone have tricks to getting this out? I heard shoving a towel in there and trying to get the stopper caught on that and yank it through.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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Straighten out a wire coat hanger and put a small hook in the end, just big enough to fit thru the hole in your bung. Sanitize it, and use it to fish your stopper out.

Alternately, just rack the wine to a new carboy and just turn the old one upside down and grab the bung.

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