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Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Jan 19, 2022
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Central Alberta
You are finished making it!

I had a fun day the other day. I was racking and tasting a lot. I made some tweaks. I have a wine in primary and no secondary vessel available to transfer it to so I was trying to find something to bottle.

Some of these wines were started in the first 2 months I was making wine. I was still following recipes and some were just kinda meh. The Dandelion I used too much orange, it has mellowed, but still wasn't where I wanted it. The banana, generally uninteresting, the triple berry, unbalanced. I didn't have a plan for them beyond the recipe, so I just kept waiting.

I back sweetened the banana to bring out the fruit. The other day I was in my LHBS and they had glycerine. I added some here and there, and it filled out the triple berry. I also just got 8 oz of oak in the mail. You can bench test with it as well. A shot glass with a little sample sitting on an oak cube. Fuss with other stuff for ten minutes and you can get enough oak flavor to see if that is where you want to go.

For me oak was one of the big ones. I really like it, and as I don't like sweet wines, it brought the most notable change with what I had to work with. I oaked the tomato. The banana, triple berry, and the almond! For those that were on that train I liked the almond wine, but I REALLY like it with oak.

Sometimes age is enough to fill in the blanks, but our tools and ingredients are not just limited to primary, or additions going in to secondary. We can tweak at any stage, and the wine is not finished until it tastes good! I can be limited with what is available to me. I have been looking at glycerine, but it was crazy expensive on Amazon. There was only oak chips in town, so I had to order the cubes. I have been looking for months. I still have vanilla beans and other ingredients that might be fun to experiment with. There was a minute where I was thinking I need to stop making so many damn wines, but the problem was they weren't finished. I needed to finish what I started!

I needed to be a better wine maker and learn to take someone else's recipe that didn't hit the mark for me and make it into a wine that I like. So all in all I had fun, but I learned a lot and expanded my understanding. Most kits have oak, and it was all that was missing from a lot of my country wines, but I needed to make the effort to finish them instead of waiting for something to happen!
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Those are good experiments. Wine adjustments can occur up until the wine passes the gums. Folks have reported their wine is too dry, so the advice is to have sugar syrup on hand and adjust by the glass.

Regarding backsweetening, most (if not all) fruit wines need backsweetening to bring out the fruit flavor. However, it doesn't take that much sugar. I've mentioned in the past that I've backsweetened wines from 0.990 to 0.994, making it barely off-dry.