Back sweetening with juice?

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Paul Gardner

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I racked my Niagara wine on 2-5-21. S.G. 1.02. It's clear, with no visible co2 coming off. I tested S.G. and it's still at 1.02. I like the taste and the aftertaste is great. It's dryer than I would want it so I thought of sweetening it and bottling it. Can I use white grape juice to sweeten it and if so, is there a formula? I have 2 one gallon jugs and a third 3 liter jug. Do I need to add camden tablets before I do?
 

Rice_Guy

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? When did you start the batch? September 2020?
my rule of thumb is under nine months it always needs potassium sorbate! It still may referment at nine months age,, and at a year it usually is safe. A wine which is being bottled always needs meta since the process incorporates oxygen.

How much juice? The normal way to figure where you want to put it is to do a bench trial. As a home process I would mix up a one juice to ten parts wine dilution which allows some accuracy with volumes. If you have a balance weighing also gives accuracy.
Adding a sugar is a linear function, adding a juice will also be linear, if you have an idea how sweet you want a few dilutions can let you predict a dilution.
11375020-A8DC-4CE9-B2EF-02949A0722CB.jpeg
Normally w wine is “balanced“ against Titratable acidity (all the measurable acid ions)
 

Rice_Guy

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? When did you start the batch? September 2020?
my rule of thumb is under nine months it always needs potassium sorbate! It still may referment at nine months age,, and at a year it usually is safe. A wine which is being bottled always needs meta since the process incorporates oxygen.

How much juice? The normal way to figure where you want to put it is to do a bench trial. As a home process I would mix up a one juice to ten parts wine dilution which allows some accuracy with volumes. If you have a balance weighing also gives accuracy.
Adding a sugar is a linear function,
3) Niagara
View attachment 72206
I only have one commercial Niagra sample, apparently they were targeting a sweeter audience. By the numbers TA 0.80%, pH 2.95, gravity 0.998. ,,, YUP a bit acid but a lot of other vinters balance their wine where you are.
Opinion; crystal clear, well made, excellent foxy aroma, no off flavors (VA), at state fair I would rank it a blue, I tend to sweeten my whites a closer to 1.005 to get more fruity flavor.
My zone is marginal for Niagra so I have yet to get any juice numbers.
 

Paul Gardner

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? When did you start the batch? September 2020?
my rule of thumb is under nine months it always needs potassium sorbate! It still may referment at nine months age,, and at a year it usually is safe. A wine which is being bottled always needs meta since the process incorporates oxygen.

How much juice? The normal way to figure where you want to put it is to do a bench trial. As a home process I would mix up a one juice to ten parts wine dilution which allows some accuracy with volumes. If you have a balance weighing also gives accuracy.
Adding a sugar is a linear function, adding a juice will also be linear, if you have an idea how sweet you want a few dilutions can let you predict a dilution.
View attachment 73575
Normally w wine is “balanced“ against Titratable acidity (all the measurable acid ions)
Batch was started 12-27-20, racked to gallon jugs on 1-1-21. Started at 1.08 SG. Racked 2-5-21 at sg 1.02.
 

winemaker81

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To be clear, the OG was 1.080 and the current SG is 1.020? Assuming that is correct and the current SG is not 1.002, the fermentation is far from complete and the ABV is very low. Don't expect good shelf life from the wine, although that's often not a problem. 😋

I agree with @Rice_Guy, use sorbate or you will most likely produce your very own volcanos!

An alternate to his method of sweetening is to rack all the wines into a bucket and add sugar in small quantities, stirring well after each addition, then taste. When you think the wine needs just a bit more, stop. Taking the sugar out is quite difficult.

I prefer this method of sweetening, and I accept the risk that I may oversweeten a wine.
 

sour_grapes

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I believe it is 1.o2. Here's my readingView attachment 73703
I would call that 1.022. I respond for two reasons:
-Always a good idea to report to 3 decimal places, i.e., 1.020 vs. 1.02.
-You should read at the bottom of the meniscus, which, in this particular case, appears to be more like 1.022 than 1.020. TBH, it does not matter a great deal.
 

Paul Gardner

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Since it's not changed in the last 10 weeks, should I add a few grains of yeast to kick it, or add a couple tablespoons of juice....or, just let it ride as is and check it in a month?
 

Rice_Guy

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You are suggesting something which has risk!
* you like the sweet taste but wanted more sweetness so plan to add a sugar source, ,,, by the way, for most commercial wine a gravity of 1.022 is dessert quality sweetness
* at ten weeks it would look like you have a stuck fermentation, the standard treatment to get it dry would be to add a stronger yeast as a Champaign (18% capable)
* starting at 1.080 would give 10.9% Alcohol, ,, ending at 1.022 means the current is about 8.2% ABV which is low for long term storage, (OK for beers though) however if you want a sweeter finished wine by adding juice (not concentrate) you significantly increase the risk of refermentation when you sweeten the wine after adding a strong yeast!

For me the answer would be to let good enough alone and stabilize then bottle.
Since it's not changed in the last 10 weeks, should I add a few grains of yeast to kick it, or add a couple tablespoons of juice....or, just let it ride as is and check it in a month?
 

winemaker81

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For me the answer would be to let good enough alone and stabilize then bottle.
If the wine is for short-term consumption (e.g., next 1 to 1.5 years), I agree. After a month or so in the bottle, it's probably drinkable.

If the wine is expected to have a shelf life longer than 1.5 years, I'd add a yeast such as EC-1118 and put the wine someplace warm (75 to 80 F).

The above timeframes are educated guesses, so it's possible the wine, as-is, will last longer. However, I'd use the wine sooner than later, while it's good. Keep in mind that Niagara is not one for a long shelf life anyway, so if you ferment to completion, I'd use it within 3 years.
 

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