Stabilising and back Sweetening

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Senior Member
Aug 31, 2009
Reaction score
Hi all,
I'm very excited to be ready to stabilise and bottle my kiwifruit wine. I feel it needs sweetening and I'm unsure how to begin.
Do I stabilise first? and how many campden tabs (23litres), how much potasium sorbate? do I need both?
It has clarified and stopped fizzing naturally but will sweetening change this?
How much is a good amount of sugar to start with? 1 kg?, 5kg?, dissolved in water?
How long after this do I bottle?
Please help a rookie........
1 campden tablet per gallon so you need 6.
1/2 tsp of sorbate per gallon so you need 3 tsps for your batch. If there i sediment on the bottom of the carboy then rack off the sediment first so you dont disturb all this again. The simple syrup is a 1- 2 ratio consisting of 1 cup of boiling water to 2 cups of sugar and how much you will need is a personal preference. I would make more as you can store the extra for quite some time. I would give check sg before sweetening after sweetening and then check again in a week to make sure its staying where you left it. After that you can bottle. Dissolve the campden and sorbate in a small amount of water or even better wine extracted, make sure you crush the campden really good.
Wade, have you had any issues with storing unrefrigerated simple syrup? I have stored this in one gallon milk containers that had been sulfited and ended up discarding it after ~2 months because black flecks started to appear in it. I'm going to refrigerate the next batch in hopes of eliminating the problem.
Yes - I have also had my simple syrup "without sulfites" go bad with the black flecks (but it was there for months).

Another question: I am running low on sorbate. Is there anything I can substitute for it? Citric acid?
I dont think there is a replacement for sorbate and wouldnt want to find out the hard way either!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I havent had any poblems but I do store mine in my wine cellar which stays around 58*

I did a little research and cannot find any chemical substitute for sorbate. There is a sterile filtration method, but this requires you have filtration equipment and the filters necessary to do it.

Citric acid will not work and also will impart a bitter taste.

Thanks guys - I have some sorbate on order, so should be fine (just curious).

Wow! Wonder how filtering substitutes for sorbate? Guess I need to do more research on this. I do have a little filter manual system (it's a little hand pump with different size filters). While I have used it a couple of times, I am hesitate to use it because I understand that it could cause the wine to lose flavor or thin it down.

Looking back, I don't think I have always used sorbate when bottling (only if I wanted to back-sweeten), but sounds like I always need to use it. :)
Sterile filtering requires a very very fine filter which is so tight it will remove all yeast from the wine. First it is subjected to very cold temps to put the yeast to rest and this will also help the wine clear quickly and then its filtered to remove the yeast and this is done while it was still fermenting and at a desireable residual sugar so that the wine is still sweet.

Latest posts