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Sweetening large wine batches

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havlikn

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I have sweetened smaller batches of wine, under 10 gallons. I have a 72 gallon batch of wine that I want to sweeten from .992 to 1.05. It calls for 90 lbs of sugar. What recommendations do you have. I’m thinking of racking wine into a carbon. Mixing in sugar. Transferring back. And keep repeating. Better ideas that may little oxygen exposure?
 

Johnd

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I have sweetened smaller batches of wine, under 10 gallons. I have a 72 gallon batch of wine that I want to sweeten from .992 to 1.05. It calls for 90 lbs of sugar. What recommendations do you have. I’m thinking of racking wine into a carbon. Mixing in sugar. Transferring back. And keep repeating. Better ideas that may little oxygen exposure?
Why transfer to mix it in instead of just adding / mixing sugar to the vessel that the wine is currently in? I’m guessing that there must be a reason.....
 

havlikn

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I fear there is no way to ensure that I get all the sugar mixed in and the residual sugar will just sit in the bottom of the tank
 

salcoco

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agree make a simple syrup by making two cups of sugar to one cup of of water and mix in a blender. do a bench trial with this syrup to determine the taste level you desire then mix into larger batch. 90 lbs of sugar seems excessive to me. is this based on bench trial and taste or just a computation. computation results may make wine to sweet. I would rely on taste trials. I used to do 50 gallon batches and never used that much sugar.
 

cmason1957

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90 lbs seems like a lot of sugar, but you are trying to move the sg a fair amount. I would go either the make a simple sugar route, but make it with your wine, not with water. or pull off a gallon into a pound of sugar, mix well, return, repeat. You might also try to put the sugar into a blender and make it a very fine powder.
 

GreginND

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I routinely sweeten large batches in the winery. I just add sugar and stir it with a long stainless steel paddle. I've done batches up to 250 gallons this way. It's not that difficult. I usually couple sweetening with racking, so I am pumping the wine into the tank with the sugar.
 

havlikn

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Fermcalc calculator tells me 98 lbs of sugar. The sample was 55 mL of wine. My intent was starting small regardless and tasting along the way.
 

GreginND

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Fermcalc calculates that 98 pounds of sugar are needed to raise the SG to 1.05. However, I don't think you want a wine at 1.050. That is over 12% sugar! That would be syrup. Are you sure you didn't want 1.005? That would only be about 20 pounds of sugar.
 

havlikn

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Good call, thanks for pointing it out. No I’m not trying to make spiked juice.
 

Rice_Guy

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I routinely sweeten large batches in the winery. I just add sugar and stir it with a long stainless steel paddle. . .
The pilot plant way would be to have the liquid in a tank and run a mixer for half an hour. Using home based tools i would hang a variable speed drill with either a degassing whip or something like a paint mixer.
 

jgmillr1

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I routinely sweeten large batches in the winery. I just add sugar and stir it with a long stainless steel paddle. I've done batches up to 250 gallons this way. It's not that difficult. I usually couple sweetening with racking, so I am pumping the wine into the tank with the sugar.
@GreginND - This is the way I usually do it too and it works really well. But for larger batches in 500gal tanks, the paddle doesn't reach the bottom of the tank. So I been mixing up a dense sugar/water bucket and pumping it into the racking valve while the wine I'm filtering enters the bottom valve. This gets 90% of the sugar mixed into the wine but still leaves some residual undissolved sugar on the bottom of the tank that I have to dissolve via a hose. A little more amelioration doesn't hurt much but it is time consuming.

My question to @GreginND is about another option I've considered where I use a tee and pump the sugar solution into the stream of wine coming out of the filter. This would give it 10ft of hose to mix as it travels to the tank. Is this something you've tried? Can you think of any reason this wouldn't work?

Cheers
 

Fzee2

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Sugar water ( 2 sugar 1 water) works best for me! I boil my water then add sugar, allow to cool. Comes out nice and clear and easily mixes with your batch!
 

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