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Is stabilizing always needed?

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Eddie416

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Hello all. Just joined after reading the many very informative posts.

1. I have 2 carboys (grape and raspberry) that have been sitting for several years. They have been racked 2 times. Do you always have to stabilize before bottling? I'd think there isn't any sugars left by now.

2. I also have some raspberry flavoring that I'd like to add. Would that cause fermentation?

3. I have some "wine conditioner". Bottle says: invert sugar & potassium sorbate. Does this mean I can just add what I need and there won't be any further fermentation?
 

Minnesotamaker

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1. No
2. Maybe
3. Maybe

1. You can sometimes get by without stabilizing. IF the wine is fermented dry, or if it has reached yeast alcohol toxicity, you can bottle it dry without the fear of renewed fermentation. I would still add sulfites to protect it from oxydation and to prevent MLF in the bottle. Fruit wines often taste best when a little sugar is added back in the finished product; in that case you would need sorbate and sulfate.
2. If the raspberry has any fermentable sugars in it, then you would need to add sorbate and sulfite.
3. In a perfect world, you should be able to add the conditioner and you'd be fine. The problem with conditioner is that there is a "fixed amount of stabilizers" in the bottle. THerefore, you'll need to use the prescribed amount in order to get an effective dose of stabilizers. To get to the effective dose, you many end up adding more sweetener than you had wanted. For this reason, I don't use conditioners. I buy my sorbate and sulfite separately so that I can add the proper dosage to stabilize the wine and then add the sugar based on my tastes.
 

Wade E

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I agree with above staements. When you ferment a wine then were it stops fermenting will determine if there is any residual sugars left. If it ferments to dry then you dont need sorbate unless you are adding a sweetener back to your wine. Those conditioners do have sorbate in them but maybe just a little moer then needed to keep the product itself from fermenting and adding that to a sweetened 5 gallon batch of wine could dilute it enough for the sorbate in that product to be rendered mute. As far as the raspberry flavoring, Id be careful with that and try a small sample as that stuff can really taste fake and ruin a good batch of wine, Ive done it before myself so learn through me. Just make sure to check the ingredients to see if there is any fermentatbes in there and if so make sure you use some sorbate.
 

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