sweetning dry wine

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fuzzmeister

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Hi I am currently making a wine expert, vintners reserve kit, called valpolicella I would like to add wine conditioner to 2/3 of it to sweeten it. Can I sweeten it after I let it age in the carboy for 2 months or should I sweeten it and then let it age? the other 1/3, I would like to leave without adding sweetner.
 

Sacalait

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Either way will work but remember to add K-sorbate and K-meta when sweetening to prevent refermentation. I like to add these a couple days prior to sweetening just to make sure it's all been infused before hand.
 

fuzzmeister

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In the kit it has potssium metabisulphate and potassium sorbate is that simalar to what you have suggested
 

cpfan

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Fuzzmeister:

Not a problem. But what are you going to store the wine in during this period? You need to have it in a vessel that is relatively full.

You can get 11.5 litre (3 US gallon) carboys if you want to split the batch in two. I would do the stabilizing & clearing steps. Then split into the two smaller carboys for the settling to occur, age it for the two months, and then bottle.

Or you could bottle 1/3, add wine conditioner to the remainder, and bottle the rest. I have not had problems with this approach, but some people like to let the wine sit awhile to make sure there is no problem after adding the conditioner.

Remember if planning to sweeten the wine, as Sacalait said, make sure you add the K-meta and K-sorbate packages that came with the kit.

Steve
 

fuzzmeister

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cpfan should I add the k-meta, and the k-sorbate and let it sit for 2 months, and then add the conditioner, or add the conditioner the same time?
 

cpfan

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cpfan should I add the k-meta, and the k-sorbate and let it sit for 2 months, and then add the conditioner, or add the conditioner the same time?
It wouldn't matter if you were sweetening the entire batch. The real question is how will you store the two parts, approx 15 litres and approx 8 litres?

I have three 11 litre carboys. I have thought about starting a batch and taking it thru stabilizing and clearing, letting it set for 2-3 weeks for the clearing to occur, and then splitting the batch between two 11 litre carboys. In this case, I would sweeten one half at the split.

But you're talking thirds and that size is not readily available.

Steve
 

Wade E

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Do you really want to sweeten a Valpolicella? To each their own but I must advise you when choosing a it pick 1 that will most fit the way you want, this kit and kind of wine is great as is and not the typical wine you would sweeten back.
 

fuzzmeister

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Wade I am new to makeing wine, I have never tasted the valpolicella before, but when I bought the kit from the store, the lady told me it was a dry wine, I told her I did not like dry wines, so she said I could add a sweetner to it, I do not know if she had a bunch of kits that were going to expire soon, or what, but thats the story on that, and while we are on that subject, do kits have an expiry date on them? or how long can you keep them before you start fermenting them? can they go bad over time?
 

fuzzmeister

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cpfan I understand what you are trying to tell me now. I do not have any 3 gallon carboys, but I certainly am going to have to invest in one soon it will make things work a lot easier, thanks for everything.
 

cpfan

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Fuzzmeister:

You have a Valpolicella kit that will make a dry wine if the instructions are followed. You do not like dry wines. I am guessing that you have no idea how much sweetener that you want to add.

Here is my suggestion....make the kit and bottle the wine dry. Sweeten the wine with wine conditioner in your glass. This will allow you to vary the amount of sweetener and determine how you like the wine. 2-3 drops per glass, one squirt per glass. It will also allow friends and family who like dry red wine to have dry red wine, while you sweeten your glass.

Wine kits usually have a sticker attached with a manufacturing code. Here is how to translate the Winexpert code

For example, a date sticker reading 0421008 0109 translates to:

04 = 4th run of the day
210 = 210th day of the year. roughly the end of the 7th month, ie July
08 = 2008
0109 = 109th kit in this run.

Put it together as the 109th kit made in the 4th production run on a day at the end of July 2008.
I like to make a white (or blush) kit within a year of manufacture, but it is probably good for longer, and some brands seem to be good longer than others. For example, Spagnols Grand Cru Chamblaise seemed to be very good to 15-16 months anyway, but that info is from about 2005. Reds seem to keep longer without going off than whites. I believe that Winexpert warrants all their kits for 18 months.

Steve
 

fuzzmeister

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Steve Thanks for all the information, I appreciate you, and everyone else ,taking the time to answer questions for all us rookies, and I think I will take your suggestion on sweetning that wine, it as I drink it thanks again.
 

rheathc

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Hi I am currently making a wine expert, vintners reserve kit, called valpolicella I would like to add wine conditioner to 2/3 of it to sweeten it. Can I sweeten it after I let it age in the carboy for 2 months or should I sweeten it and then let it age? the other 1/3, I would like to leave without adding sweetner.
I made this kit in 2005 and continue to enjoy the wine. In my case, I prefer a dry wine and my wife likes hers sweeter so I bottled 1/2 dry and the other half sweet.

I suggest you rack 1/2 to your primary fermenter for sweetening. If you get it too sweet you have the reserved wine you can add back to bring the sweetness back to a more desirable level. Once you get the sweetend 1/2 how you like it, take another SG reading. That gives you a benchmark to sweeten the other 1/2 if that is what you want.

Here's a tip for you...keep a log of all the wine batches you make. That way when you make the wine again, you know exactly to what level you sweetened the previous batch and can save yourself some time.

To your question about when to sweeten, I usually sweeten right away and let the wine bottle age. I've satisfactorily used the LD Carlson conditioner before. It has a stabilizer in it so I never worried about adding additional stabilizer. I've also used a simple syrup and Karo syrup to sweeten but added a stabilizer with them.
 

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