How can I prevent all my wine being Dry?

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The forager

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I find myself back sweetening every wine because it’s so dry. Is there a way to stop this happening every wine?

I don’t constantly watch my hydrometer readings as I ferment my wine in the garage, so don’t attend to it very often.
 

VikeMan

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You could ferment with a yeast strain that will stop working when it reaches an ABV tolerance limit, leaving some unfermented sugars.
 

Coffee49

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1118 Lalvin is a good yeast for fruity finish taste but it helps to do a hygrometer check, usually 3 weeks and sweet wines are ready for 1st racking & add sorbate. Stopping the yeast early will help retain the flavor of the grape but will have a lower abv.
 

Raptor99

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It depends on what alcohol level you are looking for. My opinion is that fruit wines usually taste best at 11-12% ABV. Most wine yeasts would not stop at that level, so I ferment it dry, then stabilize and backsweeten.
 
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The forager

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It depends on what alcohol level you are looking for. My opinion is that fruit wines usually taste best at 11-12% ABV. Most wine yeasts would not stop at that level, so I ferment it dry, then stabilize and backsweeten.
Ok so you always stabilise. I never do this. It runs dry and I use glycerine to backsweeten. But it’s expensive where I live.

I’ll try your method. Thank you.
 

Raptor99

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I only stabilize when I plan to backsweeten. I usually bulk age my wines 6-9 months, but I want to be sure that the yeast does not restart fermentation.

Glycerin is good to add body and a hint of sweetness. I add that to some of my fruit wines as well. Yeast won't digest glycerin, so you don't need to stabilize if you do not add sugar as well. But sugar is cheaper.
 

lumpher

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I always stabilize my wine with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite, then backsweeten. If you want to just have the yeast get overloaded and stop fermenting, make a strong wine and use a clean ale yeast.
 
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The forager

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I always stabilize my wine with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite, then backsweeten. If you want to just have the yeast get overloaded and stop fermenting, make a strong wine and use a clean ale yeast.
Good tip. Would the ABV be similar to an ale though?

Why potassium metabisulfite? Won’t the sorbate halt fermentation on its own?
 

lumpher

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Potassium Sorbate prevents the yeast from replicating. Potassium Metabisulfite not only kills existing yeast, it also acts as an antioxidant, which helps in long-term wine aging.

If you use ale yeast, it will go to the limit of it's fermentation range (usually lower than wine yeast), then die out. You won't get a high-class wine out of it, but you will get a decent table wine.
 
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The forager

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Potassium Sorbate prevents the yeast from replicating. Potassium Metabisulfite not only kills existing yeast, it also acts as an antioxidant, which helps in long-term wine aging.

If you use ale yeast, it will go to the limit of it's fermentation range (usually lower than wine yeast), then die out. You won't get a high-class wine out of it, but you will get a decent table wine.
That’s good info. Thank you.
 

bernardsmith

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Wine is all about balance and balance turns on richness of flavor, acidity, tannin, mouthfeel, and ABV. In my opinion, an ABV much above 12-14% can never create a balanced wine - dessert wines (sweet) can have a higher ABV , so most seasoned wine makers aim for about 12% ABV , select the yeast designed for the wine they want to make AND the environmental conditions in which they are making their wine (temperature etc); then stabilize and back sweeten appropriately - to balance. IMO grape wines rarely need back sweetening, but country wines and meads invariably cry out for some sweetening to bring the fruit flavors forward.
 

Coffee49

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Stopping fermentation at 0.990 with sorbitol on the sweeter wines can make the finish just right, some can be fortified with brandy to bring an exceptional taste from the bottle
 

Erik the Awful

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Wine is all about balance and balance turns on richness of flavor, acidity, tannin, mouthfeel, and ABV.
I haven't become that sophisticated yet. I make sure I have plenty of sugar so that the yeast tops out before it gets dry. I use Lalvin EC-1118 because it tolerates temperature swings, but it also doesn't top out until around 17%. Hence my sweet wines are all around 17% ABV.

Not to hijack, but anybody got a good yeast that survives temperatures between 30° and 100°F and tops out around 12%? We don't have cellars around here, so I can't mitigate the temperature.
 

Coffee49

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I use Cote des blanc to bring out the fruitiness in sweeter wines that come out around 10%. Blueberry, Diamond and Isabella Blackberry are three I did in 2021, Blueberry has really matured the last month, other two need to go another 4 months
 
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I find myself back sweetening every wine because it’s so dry. Is there a way to stop this happening every wine?

I don’t constantly watch my hydrometer readings as I ferment my wine in the garage, so don’t attend to it very often.

Recently I made a kit wine. It required adding additional water, up to the 6 gallon mark on my bucket. I only added water up to the 5 gallon mark (I know, I'm a bad person).

I was surprised that the wine ended up semi-sweet. And it was good! I've made these kits before and always made them per instructions, and they come out less sweet (I would not say they are dry).

Just another data point for you.
 

SatchIce9

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Recently I made a kit wine. It required adding additional water, up to the 6 gallon mark on my bucket. I only added water up to the 5 gallon mark (I know, I'm a bad person).

I was surprised that the wine ended up semi-sweet. And it was good! I've made these kits before and always made them per instructions, and they come out less sweet (I would not say they are dry).

Just another data point for you.
Do you know what the final gravity reading of the kit wine you made was?
I sometimes wonder if some kit wines include some non-fermentable sweetener in the concentrate/juice, so that the wine still tastes sweet or medium or whatever its designed to do, even after it ferments down to 0.990, say.
 
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bushpilot

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Do you know what the final gravity reading of the kit wine you made was?
I sometimes wonder if some kit wines include some not fermentable sweetener in the concentrate/juice, so that the wine still tastes sweet or medium or whatever its designed to do, even after it ferments down to 0.990, say.
I don't know the answer to your (good) question, but I believe the mass of the unfermentable would remain in your final SG, and you would never see a number like 0.990. It would measure similar to having unfermented (fermentable) sugars still in solution, such as above 1.000.

I think, untested by me.
 

VikeMan

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I sometimes wonder if some kit wines include some not fermentable sweetener in the concentrate/juice, so that the wine still tastes sweet or medium or whatever its designed to do, even after it ferments down to 0.990, say.

Kind of a sidebar here, but if there were a sweetener added, it would boost the FG.
 
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Do you know what the final gravity reading of the kit wine you made was?
I sometimes wonder if some kit wines include some non-fermentable sweetener in the concentrate/juice, so that the wine still tastes sweet or medium or whatever its designed to do, even after it ferments down to 0.990, say.

No, sadly I don't ever take hydro readings when making a wine kit. I did for the first few, but due to consistent performance I stopped bothering.
 

SatchIce9

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I don't know the answer to your (good) question, but I believe the mass of the unfermentable would remain in your final SG, and you would never see a number like 0.990. It would measure similar to having unfermented (fermentable) sugars still in solution, such as above 1.000.

I think, untested by me.
When I was thining of non-fermentable sweetener, I was thinking of artificial sweeteners that taste very sweet even in low concentrations, so would not significantly affect the SG like granulated sugar/sucrose would.
 

Maylar

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When I was thining of non-fermentable sweetener, I was thinking of artificial sweeteners that taste very sweet even in low concentrations, so would not significantly affect the SG like granulated sugar/sucrose would.
I've used Xylitol in cider, and it raised the SG a tad more than the equivalent weight of sugar. It's the only one I can stand, as I hate the aftertaste of diet drinks.
 

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RoadRoach

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I’ve had the same problem with drying out too much. Does this site have an attached yeast reference? Not only did several of them get too dry, they also carbonated so much that one batch pushed the corks out of half the bottles. #8 corks that destroyed the cheap corker we started with. Grape, apricot, and mango, no problem. Apple and pear both went to sparkling wines and both have popped corks. We’ve decided not to backsweeten again until opening for consumption and stir with a stainless steel straw in the bottle. Might have to give the potassium a go, or do more due diligence on yeast research. I’m thinking apple or pear must might present a lower pH, which is a better condition for yeast growth, which is exactly what I want to stop at bottling so that the final product ages as a homogeneous liquid and doesn’t taste like dry wine with sugar added. The apple will lock your jaws because it’s so dry. Tasty, but super dry.
 

Coffee49

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# 9 x1.75 corks are recommended for 5 year storage. adding sorbate would prevent mlf but I find 5 month racking twice eliminates 90% of active gremlins
 
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