Ways to Sweeten Elderberry Wine?
I am about ready to bottle my first batch of wine. This stuff is currently sitting in tertiary, and it has needed every one of its stages to settle stuff out.
Anyhow, I have not even tasted the product for several months, but suspect it will need a little sweetening up.
For simplicities sake I would like to just add sugar or corn syrup, since I already have that stuff. I suppose I could wait and buy wine conditioner but it would mean waiting for it to get here.
My question is this: For sugar or corn syrup I would need to add something to quell any more fermentation. So how much is needed for a five gallon batch?
Thanks a bunch!
To stabilize, you use campden tablets (1 crushed tablet per gallon) and potassium sorbate (1/2 tsp per gallon of wine). I'd pull out some of the wine with a wine thief or turkey baster, and then mix up the sorbate and campden in that. Stir until dissolved. Then put that in the receiving carboy and rack your wine into it. Wait about 10 days and then rack if necessary. Sometimes, there will be dusting of sediment after you stabilize. Then, it's easy to sweeten it to taste. I like to pull out a sample, and add a simple sugar syrup until I like the taste. You could use honey, if you'd rather, or a combination. Then take the sg of your sample and sweeten the whole batch to that sg. A word of caution, here, though- make it just a little less sweet than you actually like it. It seems to get sweeter and sweeter after a while. So, if you really like it at 1.010, I'd recommend sweetening to 1.008 or so.
You will need to add sulfite and sorbate to your wine to stabilize it before adding the sugar or the yeasts will eat the sugar and you will have a stronger dry wine.
sulfite is Potassium metabisulfite usually sold as Campden tablets
sorbate is potassium sorbate
If you have not added any sulfite to the wine add 1 Campden tablet per gallon to the wine (crushed and disolved) and 1/4 teaspoon sorbate per gallon. Then add your sugar to taste. I have seen several different schedules for adding the additions from adding all at the same time to adding them over several days. Since the instructions with my wine kit added everything at the same time that is what I have done on subsequent homemade batches.
<edit> looks like Yooper beat me to the draw with better instructions and more experience. :)
Excellent! Thank you YooperBrew and CBBaron! I am going to print this out and when I have the time and the bravado I'll be bottling my first batch of wine.
I really appreciate the help,
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