Adding Sugar

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Berry Juice

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Can I add sugar to increase the SG in the beginning and also can I add sugar in the end to back sweeten it a little bit?
I like a little hint of sweet in the syrahs and cabs. Just enough to change the taste profile.
Or is that a big no-no.
 

bkisel

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Yes you can! Many of us will sometimes do that. The back sweetening can be done right after stabilization or at bottling.
 

sour_grapes

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Fleshing out what Bill said, after fermentation you must add a stabilizer (usually potassium sorbate) before adding sugar. Otherwise, the remnant yeast will ferment what sugar you add.
 

willie

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How much potassium sorbate should I use per 6 gal.
I believe 3 teaspoons in about a half cup of room temp. water should do the trick. And you might want to add one quarter teaspoon of k meta also.

Will
 

pillswoj

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Assuming you are doing a kit, there will be a packet of sorbate included.
 

GaDawg

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When adding sugar in the beginning it works best if you make a simple syrup.
 

cmason1957

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When adding sugar in the beginning it works best if you make a simple syrup.
Not sure I would agree with this. Sugar is sugar it all raises the sg. I mostly just add straight sugar.
 

GaDawg

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Not sure I would agree with this. Sugar is sugar it all raises the sg. I mostly just add straight sugar.
Just my personal experience, but in kit making I have found it easier to dissolve 4 pounds of sugar in hot water than dissolving 4 pounds of sugar in 6 gallons of 70F must.
 

bkisel

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Not sure I would agree with this. Sugar is sugar it all raises the sg. I mostly just add straight sugar.
I agree with you...

I used to make the simple syrup, for bumping initial SG, but for years now have just added straight sugar and stirred well. And now my thinking is why would you want to add water when back sweetening? If back sweetening at bottling just add sugar and stir more gently than you might at stabilization back sweetening.

I do agree with @GaDawg about the sugar dissolving more easily in hot water but to me a little extra stirring is no big deal and I believe takes less time and amounts to less waste than going with simple sugar.
 
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cmason1957

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What I generally do is decide how much sugar needs to be added, add part of that to my must, stir the heck out of it, then not even bother to measure and wait a day. Check the SG, then add the rest or part of the rest or whatever makes sense. simple sugar is easier to dissolve, no doubt, but I find sugar by itself easier to control where I end up.
 

BMarNJ

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I just finished the first stage of primary fermentation of a RJS En Primeur Super Tuscan.. At this point (day 7) I have removed the grape skins that were in the mesh bag. Even though I squeezed it out, and set it in a colander to drain, it seemed to absorb a lot of the juice instead of the other way around, for that reason alone I would put them in loose next time. It took a lot of wine to top off the carboy. Maybe I should have left them in longer, but I am trying to follow the directions.
And it would be nice if the kits included enough juice to get you a full carboy after the first racking...
 
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