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Re: Backsweeting - a wine question

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  • jamesonbeam1
    Jerry, Unless you want to make champagne and put your zinfadel in champagne bottles, as Harry mentioned you must stablize the wine first and kill off the
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 11, 2010
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      Jerry,

      Unless you want to make champagne and put your zinfadel in champagne bottles, as Harry mentioned you must "stablize" the wine first and kill off the yeasts.  Stay away from the pasturization route since this method is mainly used in making kosher wines and tends to give it a "cooked" taste.

      The standard way is  to add sorbate and metabisulfite (campden tablets) to prevent renewed fermentation, then sweeten to taste with sugar or a sugar syrup.  Below is a good method for back sweetening.

      JB.

      Sweeten Home Made Wine

      Today I am going to talk about how to sweeten home made wine. Most of my fruit wine finishes very dry. When a wine is too dry, the only thing I can taste is the acid in the wine. I like to bring the fruit flavor out even in my dry wines. I am going to explain how I figure out how much sugar to add.

      First be sure your wine is finished fermenting! This is very important. If you add sugar to a wine that is not finished, it will start fermenting again. If it happens to be in bottles when it starts up, it will pop the corks.

      Second, I always stabilize my wine prior to sweetening. I do this to stop any residual yeast from starting to ferment again. I stabilize by adding Sorbate K and Campden Tablets (Potassium Metabisulfite). These two added together will stop the yeast from regrowing when the sweetener is added.

      Now for the process. I draw a 750ml bottle of wine from the carboy and divide it among 4 wine glasses. This will make the math easier. One glass will not have any sugar add. This is the control glass, so I can compare this to the sweetened wine. In each of the other glasses I will add sugar in 1/4 teaspoon increments. So in glass 1 I will add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, glass 2 will get 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and glass three will get 3/4 teaspoon of sugar.

      Then I taste each glass of wine. I taste just enough wine to get an idea of the flavor profile. After the first tasting, I will add another batch of sugar to the wine. Since I am testing 3 glasses of wine, each with sugar in 1/4 tsp increments, I will add 3/4 teaspoon of sugar to each glass. 1/4 tsp plus 3/4 tsp, give a glass with 1 ts of sugar. adding 3/4 tsp. to each of the other glasses gives 1 1/4 tsp and 1 1/2 tsp respectfully. I then perform the tasting of each of the sweetened glasses again. I make sure to clean my palate each time with water between tastings.

      If the second round does not produce the flavor I want, I will do this process a third time. After I know how much sugar is needed to bring out the flavor of the wine, I can calculate how much sugar to add to the 5 gallon carboy. Since I did this with 4 glasses of wine from 1 bottle, it is easy to do the math.

      For instance, if 1 tsp. of sugar is needed for a glass of wine, I know I need 4 tsp. for one bottle of wine.  There are 25 bottles of wine per carboy, so 4×25=100 tsp of sugar for 5 gallons. There are 48 tsp in a cup, so I add just over two cups of sugar. (Note: This conversion works with a full carboy. If your carboy is not full, then you need to add a little less sugar. Wine Making is part art, so it doesn't have to be perfect. :)   )

      That is how I determine how to sweeten a wine. I usually add just enough sugar to bring the fruit flavor out. But, if you prefer a sweeter wine, you can make that as well. That is the beauty of making you own wine!

      Enjoy!



      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "JerryM" <jkmccull@...> wrote:
      >
      > In November, 2009 I fermented 5 gals white zinfadel wine. After the fermentation had stopped, I tranferred the wine to a an air-locked glass carboy for aging. I racked it every 5 weeks until April, 2010. I had my significant other taste the wine and she thought its was too sour. So I added sugar to match to her taste. Between April, 2010 and July 2010, I racked the wine twice. I bottled the wine around the first part of August, 2010 and stored it in a wine rack I made in my den.
      >
      > Since the bottling, I have had 4 bottles blow thier corks and drain thier contents on my den carpet. I have had 7 other bottles show an indication that they were going to blow but I managed to save them.
      >
      > I thought with the racking and 9 months in the carboy, the restart of the fermentation would not occur. What did I do wrong?
      >

    • tgfoitwoods
      Jerry, I think Harry s #3 is the easiest way to go. Wine-making and home-brewing shops all stock wine conditioner , a mixture of invert sugar for sweetening,
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 11, 2010
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        Jerry,

        I think Harry's #3 is the easiest way to go. Wine-making and home-brewing shops all stock "wine conditioner", a mixture of invert sugar for sweetening, and potassium sorbate to stop the fermentation. It's both easy and effective.

        No matter how much you rack, all it takes is one surviving yeast cell with an urge to reproduce and some sugar, and you risk bottle bombs.

        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
        >
        > Fermentation...it ain't over 'till it's over Jerry.
        >
        > Seriously I know bugger all about winemaking. But there's plenty on here who do. Our mod Jim is one. There's also a heap of books in the Library you could refer to. But at a guess I'd say you need to pasteurise your wine before bottling, to kill any yeasts, particularly if you've added a sweetener (sugar is a yeast food & growth item).
        >
        > I did a quick google and found this...
        >
        >
        > How to Kill Wine Yeast
        > By Anna Roberts, eHow Contributor
        > updated: January 14, 2010
        >
        > Yeast is a necessary component in wine-making, but at a certain point, the yeast fermentation must be stopped. When fermentation is finished, some yeast still remains in the wine. If it is not killed before bottling, it can result in further fermentation, turning your hard work to vinegar, breaking bottles or blowing corks. There are four ways to kill the wine yeast to stop fermentation.
        >
        > Instructions.
        >
        > 1
        > Let the yeast starve. In this method, you simply let the yeast consume all of the sugar until there is nothing left to eat, at which point it simply starves. This will produce a dry wine. To get a sweet wine, stop fermentation sooner, before all the sugar has been converted. You may also sweeten the wine again after all the yeast is dead, without fear of restarting fermentation.
        >
        > 2
        > Heat the wine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. The yeast cannot survive this pasteurization process. Be aware that the cooking method of killing yeast can yield unpredictable changes to the taste of the wine.
        >
        > 3
        > Add sulfites or sorbates (usually Campden tablets and potassium sorbate) to the wine. This is how commercial wines are usually stabilized, but keep in mind that some people are allergic to sulfites. Use one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. Use a half teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon of wine.
        >
        > 4
        > Let the alcohol kill the yeast. Yeast can only live in an environment with a certain amount of alcohol. Wine yeasts in particular can only survive up to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol.
        > .
        >
        > Read more: How to Kill Wine Yeast | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5867337_kill-wine-yeast.html#ixzz14vfAQUxM
        >
        >
        > HTH
        >
        > Slainte!
        > regards Harry
        > http://distillers.tastylime.net
        >
      • Jerry McCullough
        It looks to me that my question got answered in a high class way. I know what to do now. Thanks.   ... From: Harry Subject:
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 12, 2010
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          It looks to me that my question got answered in a high class way. I know what to do now.
          Thanks.
           

          --- On Wed, 11/10/10, Harry <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:

          From: Harry <gnikomson2000@...>
          Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Backsweeting - a wine question
          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 6:31 PM

           
          Fermentation...it ain't over 'till it's over Jerry.

          Seriously I know bugger all about winemaking. But there's plenty on here who do. Our mod Jim is one. There's also a heap of books in the Library you could refer to. But at a guess I'd say you need to pasteurise your wine before bottling, to kill any yeasts, particularly if you've added a sweetener (sugar is a yeast food & growth item).

          I did a quick google and found this...

          How to Kill Wine Yeast
          By Anna Roberts, eHow Contributor
          updated: January 14, 2010

          Yeast is a necessary component in wine-making, but at a certain point, the yeast fermentation must be stopped. When fermentation is finished, some yeast still remains in the wine. If it is not killed before bottling, it can result in further fermentation, turning your hard work to vinegar, breaking bottles or blowing corks. There are four ways to kill the wine yeast to stop fermentation.

          Instructions.

          1
          Let the yeast starve. In this method, you simply let the yeast consume all of the sugar until there is nothing left to eat, at which point it simply starves. This will produce a dry wine. To get a sweet wine, stop fermentation sooner, before all the sugar has been converted. You may also sweeten the wine again after all the yeast is dead, without fear of restarting fermentation.

          2
          Heat the wine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. The yeast cannot survive this pasteurization process. Be aware that the cooking method of killing yeast can yield unpredictable changes to the taste of the wine.

          3
          Add sulfites or sorbates (usually Campden tablets and potassium sorbate) to the wine. This is how commercial wines are usually stabilized, but keep in mind that some people are allergic to sulfites. Use one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. Use a half teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon of wine.

          4
          Let the alcohol kill the yeast. Yeast can only live in an environment with a certain amount of alcohol. Wine yeasts in particular can only survive up to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol.
          .

          Read more: How to Kill Wine Yeast | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5867337_kill-wine-yeast.html#ixzz14vfAQUxM

          HTH

          Slainte!
          regards Harry
          http://distillers.tastylime.net


        • jamesonbeam1
          Jerry, Could ya give us a clue which way your going to fix it? Just curious. JB. BTW Harry, ZB is also a well professed wine maker and even has his own
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 13, 2010
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            Jerry,

            Could ya give us a clue which way your going to fix it? Just curious.

            JB.

            BTW Harry, ZB is also a well professed wine maker and even has his own
            little vinyard.. (and gave the same recommendation I did.)


            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Jerry McCullough <jkmccull@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > It looks to me that my question got answered in a high class way. I
            know what to do now.
            >
            > Thanks.
            > Â
            >
            > --- On Wed, 11/10/10, Harry gnikomson2000@... wrote:
            >
            >
            > From: Harry gnikomson2000@...
            > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Backsweeting - a wine question
            > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 6:31 PM
            >
            > Fermentation...it ain't over 'till it's over Jerry.
            >
            > Seriously I know bugger all about winemaking. But there's plenty on
            here who do. Our mod Jim is one. There's also a heap of books in the
            Library you could refer to. But at a guess I'd say you need to
            pasteurise your wine before bottling, to kill any yeasts, particularly
            if you've added a sweetener (sugar is a yeast food & growth item).
            >
            > I did a quick google and found this...
            >
            > How to Kill Wine Yeast
            > By Anna Roberts, eHow Contributor
            > updated: January 14, 2010
            >
            > Yeast is a necessary component in wine-making, but at a certain point,
            the yeast fermentation must be stopped. When fermentation is finished,
            some yeast still remains in the wine. If it is not killed before
            bottling, it can result in further fermentation, turning your hard work
            to vinegar, breaking bottles or blowing corks. There are four ways to
            kill the wine yeast to stop fermentation.
            >
            > Instructions.
            >
            > 1
            > Let the yeast starve. In this method, you simply let the yeast consume
            all of the sugar until there is nothing left to eat, at which point it
            simply starves. This will produce a dry wine. To get a sweet wine, stop
            fermentation sooner, before all the sugar has been converted. You may
            also sweeten the wine again after all the yeast is dead, without fear of
            restarting fermentation.
            >
            > 2
            > Heat the wine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. The yeast
            cannot survive this pasteurization process. Be aware that the cooking
            method of killing yeast can yield unpredictable changes to the taste of
            the wine.
            >
            > 3
            > Add sulfites or sorbates (usually Campden tablets and potassium
            sorbate) to the wine. This is how commercial wines are usually
            stabilized, but keep in mind that some people are allergic to sulfites.
            Use one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. Use a half teaspoon
            of potassium sorbate per gallon of wine.
            >
            > 4
            > Let the alcohol kill the yeast. Yeast can only live in an environment
            with a certain amount of alcohol. Wine yeasts in particular can only
            survive up to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol.
            > .
            >
            > Read more: How to Kill Wine Yeast | eHow.com
            http://www.ehow.com/how_5867337_kill-wine-yeast.html#ixzz14vfAQUxM
            >
            > HTH
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry
            > http://distillers.tastylime.net
            >
          • tgfoitwoods
            Kind words on the winemaking, Waldo, and it didn t even sound ornery, but I suspect you ve got me hands-down on the wine making. I m feel pretty secure making
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 13, 2010
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              Kind words on the winemaking, Waldo, and it didn't even sound ornery,
              but I suspect you've got me hands-down on the wine making. I'm feel
              pretty secure making beer and the hard stuff, but sometimes wine just
              kicks my butt. As far as the vinyard goes, it's only about 100 vines,
              and this year it producd squat. although the cab francs are still
              ripening, when they should be all rain-busted by now.

              About 2/3 of the wine we drink is kits, and the other 1/3 is from our
              vines. Last year we did great for fruit, but this year just sucked.
              We've got mostly pinot noir, aurores, and cab francs, and the pinots
              consistently make the best wines.

              I've got to jump in for Harry; not only does he have all the knowledge,
              but he shares in such an orderly fashion. When I need something I've
              learned, it's always in my other pants, it seems.

              Zymurgy Bob, a simplepotstiller

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > Jerry,
              >
              > Could ya give us a clue which way your going to fix it? Just curious.
              >
              > JB.
              >
              > BTW Harry, ZB is also a well professed wine maker and even has his
              own
              > little vinyard.. (and gave the same recommendation I did.)
              >
              >
            • Jerry McCullough
              Little to late to fix the white zinfadel. Only have 3 bottles left. It actually went over quite well with my family and friends I gave it to.   I have about 5
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 23, 2010
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                Little to late to fix the white zinfadel. Only have 3 bottles left. It actually went over quite well with my family and friends I gave it to.
                 
                I have about 5 gallons of peach wine, that I am aging . Again the wine is a little sour for the audience that will drink it. I will back sweeten the peacxh wine, let it sit on an airlock until next june, then kill the yeast with a crushed campden tablet and bottle next july. Then I will wait and see what happens.   
                 
                Hope this answered your question.
                 
                --- On Sat, 11/13/10, jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:

                From: jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...>
                Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Backsweeting - a wine question
                To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010, 12:51 PM

                 

                Jerry,

                Could ya give us a clue which way your going to fix it? Just curious.

                JB.

                BTW Harry, ZB is also a well professed wine maker and even has his own
                little vinyard.. (and gave the same recommendation I did.)

                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Jerry McCullough <jkmccull@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > It looks to me that my question got answered in a high class way. I
                know what to do now.
                >
                > Thanks.
                > Â
                >
                > --- On Wed, 11/10/10, Harry gnikomson2000@... wrote:
                >
                >
                > From: Harry gnikomson2000@...
                > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Backsweeting - a wine question
                > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 6:31 PM
                >
                > Fermentation...it ain't over 'till it's over Jerry.
                >
                > Seriously I know bugger all about winemaking. But there's plenty on
                here who do. Our mod Jim is one. There's also a heap of books in the
                Library you could refer to. But at a guess I'd say you need to
                pasteurise your wine before bottling, to kill any yeasts, particularly
                if you've added a sweetener (sugar is a yeast food & growth item).
                >
                > I did a quick google and found this...
                >
                > How to Kill Wine Yeast
                > By Anna Roberts, eHow Contributor
                > updated: January 14, 2010
                >
                > Yeast is a necessary component in wine-making, but at a certain point,
                the yeast fermentation must be stopped. When fermentation is finished,
                some yeast still remains in the wine. If it is not killed before
                bottling, it can result in further fermentation, turning your hard work
                to vinegar, breaking bottles or blowing corks. There are four ways to
                kill the wine yeast to stop fermentation.
                >
                > Instructions.
                >
                > 1
                > Let the yeast starve. In this method, you simply let the yeast consume
                all of the sugar until there is nothing left to eat, at which point it
                simply starves. This will produce a dry wine. To get a sweet wine, stop
                fermentation sooner, before all the sugar has been converted. You may
                also sweeten the wine again after all the yeast is dead, without fear of
                restarting fermentation.
                >
                > 2
                > Heat the wine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. The yeast
                cannot survive this pasteurization process. Be aware that the cooking
                method of killing yeast can yield unpredictable changes to the taste of
                the wine.
                >
                > 3
                > Add sulfites or sorbates (usually Campden tablets and potassium
                sorbate) to the wine. This is how commercial wines are usually
                stabilized, but keep in mind that some people are allergic to sulfites.
                Use one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. Use a half teaspoon
                of potassium sorbate per gallon of wine.
                >
                > 4
                > Let the alcohol kill the yeast. Yeast can only live in an environment
                with a certain amount of alcohol. Wine yeasts in particular can only
                survive up to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol.
                > .
                >
                > Read more: How to Kill Wine Yeast | eHow.com
                http://www.ehow.com/how_5867337_kill-wine-yeast.html#ixzz14vfAQUxM
                >
                > HTH
                >
                > Slainte!
                > regards Harry
                > http://distillers.tastylime.net
                >


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