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Thatnewguy

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Does anyone ever have a problem with wine getting cloudy after sweetening? I had two batches that were clear as could be and done fermenting for sure but as soon as I added the white grape concentrate and stabilizer (potassium sorbate) it turns cloudy. It slowing is clearing but taking some time. Does anyone have any ideas so it wouldn’t get so cloudy on me. Also I added the juice to the first batch over a month ago and there a lot of sediment on the bottom of the carboy that wasn’t there when I started.
 

Johnd

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When you sweeten with only sugar or simple syrup, you're not adding anything else to the wine. When you add grape juice concentrate, you are also adding the solids that are in the concentrate. These solids will take time to precipitate out of solution and drop out as sediment. If you add your concentrate before the wine clears, it'll only have to clear one time, though it's harder to judge the taste and effects of sweetening that early in the process.
 

Thatnewguy

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Ok I understand that. So what would you say is best way sweeten wine? I have some older neighbors that always say to add white grape concentrate. But I’m willing to try anything to make it the best!
 

Johnd

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Ok I understand that. So what would you say is best way sweeten wine? I have some older neighbors that always say to add white grape concentrate. But I’m willing to try anything to make it the best!
Your objective will determine what the best way of sweetening is. Most folks will attest that adding sweetness to wine helps to unlock the fruit flavors in the wine, so if you feel like your wine just doesn't have that fruity flavor you are looking for, do some bench trials (tests with small quantities of wine). Pull out a glass and taste it, add sugar in small, measured quantities, tasting each successive addition along the way. If you find that you can get the wine to your liking with just sugar, note the level that you like, do the math, and adjust the whole batch. This type of sugar only sweetening can be accomplished with table sugar or simple syrup.

Adding concentrate will have the same effect as sugar sweetening (there's lots of sugar in the concentrate), and will also add flavor and body to the wine. If you have a wine that's just not up to snuff, even after sweetening trials, concentrate may be the way to go. The downside is as you have noted, you'll have to clear the wine again if it's already clear. Don't know what kind of wine you are making, but if it's fruit wine, and consistently needs more flavor / body, consider increasing the amount of fruit per gallon you are using. If you are messing around with cheap wine kits, try making them to 5 gallons instead of 6, which will increase the body and flavor.

Having said that, and noting that you said you want your wine to be the best that it can, there's not a set in stone answer to your query, "what's the best way", as it will depend upon each batch and your personal taste. The best method, in my opinion, would be as follows:

Make your wine and clear it.
Taste your wine and do sugar / simple syrup trials to see if it's getting better, determine the best level
Do some concentrate addition trials to see those results
Make adjustments to your wine according to the most favorable trials, and if it's adding concentrate, then just suffer through the additional weeks of clearing before bottling.
 

Scooter68

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Unless a wine is seriously lacking flavor, I would avoid using Fpacs or concentrates - You really don't really know what is in them unless you produce them yourself. Even with a home produced Fpac, without some serious filtering, you may be introducing solids or chemicals that can cause that cloudiness or haze.

Just my personal opinion, add your fruit on the front end and unless you have a 'HOT' ferment, the flavors should still be there at the end. You might need a little back-sweetening to bring them out but that is so much easier to do with a simple syrup.

Another option would be to blend your wine with another wine that has already aged and cleared.
 

Kiazer

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Your objective will determine what the best way of sweetening is. Most folks will attest that adding sweetness to wine helps to unlock the fruit flavors in the wine, so if you feel like your wine just doesn't have that fruity flavor you are looking for, do some bench trials (tests with small quantities of wine). Pull out a glass and taste it, add sugar in small, measured quantities, tasting each successive addition along the way. If you find that you can get the wine to your liking with just sugar, note the level that you like, do the math, and adjust the whole batch. This type of sugar only sweetening can be accomplished with table sugar or simple syrup.

Adding concentrate will have the same effect as sugar sweetening (there's lots of sugar in the concentrate), and will also add flavor and body to the wine. If you have a wine that's just not up to snuff, even after sweetening trials, concentrate may be the way to go. The downside is as you have noted, you'll have to clear the wine again if it's already clear. Don't know what kind of wine you are making, but if it's fruit wine, and consistently needs more flavor / body, consider increasing the amount of fruit per gallon you are using. If you are messing around with cheap wine kits, try making them to 5 gallons instead of 6, which will increase the body and flavor.

Having said that, and noting that you said you want your wine to be the best that it can, there's not a set in stone answer to your query, "what's the best way", as it will depend upon each batch and your personal taste. The best method, in my opinion, would be as follows:

Make your wine and clear it.
Taste your wine and do sugar / simple syrup trials to see if it's getting better, determine the best level
Do some concentrate addition trials to see those results
Make adjustments to your wine according to the most favorable trials, and if it's adding concentrate, then just suffer through the additional weeks of clearing before bottling.
I agree.....or buy a filtering machine
 

stickman

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A filter will not stop the wine from dropping sediment after concentrate has been added. Some things from the concentrate like tartrates and protein need time to precipitate, so a filter does no good until that happens.
 

Thatnewguy

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The two batches I’ve added the concentrate to so far are rhubarb and a strawberry/rhubarb. The next batch that is clearing up and about ready is a Concord grape. I think I will do some trials with that one. Thanks for all the input!
 

wildhair

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I agree with what everyone above said. I have used concentrates to backsweeten - it takes about 2 weeks for them to settle out again.

Normally, I backsweeten with simple syrup. Simple syrup is just 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup water. Heat to boiling , shut of heat when it goes clear. You can pour it into canning jars and can it to use later or let it cool before adding it to the wine.
When I backsweeten, I put 1 oz of wine into separate cups. I add 1/8 t of simple syrup to the first one & stir. Not sweet enough? Add 1/4 t to the 2nd cup & stir. If it's too sweet - I add 1 oz or 1/2 oz. of wine.

Using 1/8 t to 1oz it's easy to scale up. I did the math already -

1/8 t simple syrup : 1 oz. wine ~ equals ~ 1/3 cup : 1 gallon.
1/4 t simple syrup :1 oz wine = 2/3 cup syrup per gal.
1/8 t syrup : 2 oz. wine = 1/6 cup : 1 gal or 3 Tablespoons per gallon.

If you live in a metric world - here's a chart you might find helpful.
 

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mwestern

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We don't like real sweet wine but after racking a couple times to get good clarity I was taught to make my own Fpack by drawing 2 cups of the wine itself into a pan and adding sugar usually 1 cup at time heat just enough to dissolve the sugar. Add it back in and wait a month or so to taste and recheck the SG .
 

wildhair

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That's a good idea, too. I typically prefer my wine dry and not very sweet, but I have found the berry wines need some sugar to bring out the flavor. I had a dry black raspberry wine that tasted like dirt until I added some simple syrup.
 

robert81650

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Instead of adding white grape concentrate, buy white grape juice and make a simple syrup with it instead of water and you will not have any cloudy wine issues.
 

Kantuckid

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I used the Wine expert white grape concentrate as sold by wine suppliers (amazon has best deal) to back sweeten my chardonnay. Stole enough wine from carboy to arrive at a suitable amount to be added to 6 gallons of wine prior to bottling. Half I have stored in a freezer for next time.
 

Stressbaby

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I agree with what everyone above said. I have used concentrates to backsweeten - it takes about 2 weeks for them to settle out again.

Normally, I backsweeten with simple syrup. Simple syrup is just 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup water. Heat to boiling , shut of heat when it goes clear. You can pour it into canning jars and can it to use later or let it cool before adding it to the wine.
When I backsweeten, I put 1 oz of wine into separate cups. I add 1/8 t of simple syrup to the first one & stir. Not sweet enough? Add 1/4 t to the 2nd cup & stir. If it's too sweet - I add 1 oz or 1/2 oz. of wine.

Using 1/8 t to 1oz it's easy to scale up.
Adding syrup is not the same as granulated sugar. If you made syrup you might have partially inverted the sugar, hydrolyzing the sucrose into glucose and fructose. Glucose/fructose has a different flavor profile. Some people say that is sweeter than sucrose, and the figure I've seen is 1.3x sweeter. This is one of the reasons people have given for backsweetened wine tasting sweeter with time - the sucrose hydrolyzes in the bottle. I've read other sources which say the hydrolyzed combination of glucose and sucrose is equally sweet, but the perception of sweetness is increased because the onset of sweetness perception with fructose is very fast.

Either way, they aren't the same, and so if you are going to be picky, you should sweeten the wine with invert sugar rather than granulated.

Another issue IMHO is bench trial conditions which don't mimic the way you drink the wine. By that I mean the wine temp is too warm, the glasses are different, etc. I prefer to mix mine up by the bottle. So I'll take a batch, split off 1/2 gallon, and backsweeten 2 bottles. Then let it sit a week or two or three, chill the wine as we normally would, then open that bottle and drink it. I've found my backsweetening has been much more accurate since I started doing that.
 

Kantuckid

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I'm age 75 and given that human tastebuds do change, beginning around age 60, it could be that I'd be well advised to have a younger taste judge for the sweetness factor than myself? If the wine is to be shared.
I did mostly what is described above, trials by taste and chilled as I would drink it in normal use.
 

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