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Sweetening a wine
While there are some general rules regarding the sweetening of wine, the most important rule is to have a finished wine that you enjoy. Many wines will benefit from sweetening; however sweetness is always about personal taste, so we can only advise you on how sweet a wine should be but the final decision is yours. Stop when you think it needs a little more. Sweetness emerges over time!
Experiment and get creative!
Back Sweetening: Sweetening should be done after the wine has fermented to dry. We do not recommend trying to stop fermentation at a desired sweetness. This is very difficult for an experienced winemaker to do correctly, it is nearly impossible for the beginner.
Stabilizing: Always stabilize the wine by adding 3/4 teaspoon of Stabilizer (Potassium Sorbate) per gallon to prevent refermentation. Add the sweetener a day or more after adding the stabilizer.
There are several methods used to sweeten a wine, experiment and have fun.
Simple Sugar Syrup
Mix 2 parts sugar and 1 part water. Boil for 10-15 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Cool and add to the wine to your taste.
Syrup or Concentrate
Frozen Concentrate juices or syrups may also be used to sweeten and enhance the flavor of a wine. Check out the juice isle in your local grocery store for fruit juices and combinations.
Frozen concentrated apple juice is an excellent sweetener for apple or pear wines.
Frozen concentrated grape juice works nice to sweeten concord or other Labrusca type grape wines.
Strawberry syrup added to strawberry wine will enhance the fresh strawberry flavor.
Global Vintners Wine Conditioner
Sweetener with stabilizer; add to taste, 1-4 oz per gallon.
Other Recipe Variations
Add flavored coffee syrup as sweetener-caramel, white chocolate, or hazelnut.
Spice: Add a little mulling spice to the simple sugar syrup for a spicy variation.