What reading is considered sweet?

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Senior Member
Dec 4, 2009
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Ok, I have found conflicting answers on this. What would be the hydrometer reading be for a wine that is, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and sweet? If I had a wine that the hydrometer reading would be 1.01 at bottling would this wine be considered sweet or semi-sweet? And if I wanted a semi-dry wine, what would the hydrometer reading be at bottling for that?

In my opinion, semi-sweet and semi-dry are the same thing. Kind of like a glass of water is half full or half empty. Whats the difference? :h 1.010 would show some sweetness.
Taste taste taste and add a little simple syrup at a time till you get what you want. Then take a reading and record what you like.
This is what I saved from another post a while back:

Dry <1000
medium dry - 1000-1010
medium sweet 1010-1020
sweet 1020-1030
dessert 1030-1040
My notes indicate the following. I don't remember where these tables came from.

Mead Residual Sugar Content
Dry Mead: 0.990 - 1.006
Medium Mead: 1.006 - 1.015
Sweet Mead: 1.012 - 1.020
Dessert Mead: 1.020+

Wine Residual Sugar Content
Dry Wine: 0.990 - 1.007
Semisweet Wine: 1.008 - 1.015
Sweet Wine: 1.016 - 1.025
Dessert Wine: 1.025+
Either of those scales are close enough fo me! Go by what you lke though, not some scale on the net!
I recently started to sweeten some of my wine for my step-daughter and others who do not care for dry wine. Hey it's a free bottle of wine, if you don't like it, don't take it. Anyway I wanted to know so that in future wine making I can replicate roughly the sweetness.

I'm doing my plum wine this afternoon, some I'll bottle as is while 3 gallons I sweeten to 1.015

The Tropical mist Julie's posted I'll make and maybe sweeten in 3 different incriments just for the heck of it. Maybe some where it ends up @1.000, some 1.008 and 1.015

That's what's so much fun about this. Whether it winds up where you want it or not it's still right 'cause you made it.
I believe Julie told me that 8 ounces of sugar would raise the s.g. .018 (per gallon). I used that and sweetened my Plum wine to 1.018 It was slightly higher than I was shooting for but Thanks that was a big help and saved me from adding, checking, repeat etc.

Now I'll let it age another month then bottle. Hopefully the sorbate I added will keep it from fermenting.

Wouldn't have learned that if I hadn't joined.
So what if I stopped and stablized & cleared a wine before it went to low would it make it sweeter or just ruin my wine ? Say the directions said .996 & iwent at 1.000 .
Oh , Ok that makes sense to me .So as long as the kit was at that SG for a couple of days it would ok ?
You know once fermentation starts it is difficult to stop it at a certain point. It is not impossible just very difficult, I would worry that it would start back up again. If you are looking for a wine with a reading of 1.000 you would be better off letting it ferment completely and then backsweeten.
Its nearly impossible to stop a fermentation in progress without resorting to cold crashing or sterile filtering it. Just using sulfite and sorbate is very unpredictable and usually wont do anything but create problems. these ingredients dont kill yeast, sulfite stuns the yeast and sorbate prevents yeast from multplying and adding them to an fermenting wine can just stress out the yeast and cause off flavors and aromas. the combination of these 2 ingredients used when a fermentation is done works 99.9% of the time.
Thanks for the replys, I got a lot of good information here. While I agree with everyone that you need to sweeten to your taste, which I do. I know what level of sweetness I want my wines are and I do hydrometer readings to get me there.

I give a handful of my wine aways to friends and family and I always get asked is this a sweet wine or a dry wine and I feel like I am talking like an idiot when I say, well it is sweet but not that sweet or it is kinda like a dry wine but not entirely dry. Trust me when I say "when you are talking to someone who is not knowledge in wine, they look at you as an idiot for not knowing what level of sweetness your wines are."

You guys gave me a guideline to go by.


Ok when I have time I will find that post about backsweeten that made no sense to when I read it the first ,it will probably make more sense to me now .