How Can I Make My Wine Sweeter?

Sweet WineI have used 3 fruit base kits and keep getting a very dry high alcohol content wine. How can I make my wine sweeter.

Name: Jerrie C.
State: AR

Hello Jerrie,

If you are getting more alcohol than you like in your wines, then you might want to use a wine hydrometer to start controlling your alcohol level. By using the wine hydrometer  you can determine how much sugar you need to add to a wine must to get the final alcohol level you want. This assumes that all of the sugar will go towards the alcohol during the fermentation leaving you with a dry wine.

Once the fermentation has completed and the wine has had plenty of time to clear, that is the time to adjust the wines sweetness if desired. Add sugar to taste. It is important to understand that the wine needs plenty of time to clear before sweetening.

We recommend making a sugar syrup comprised of 1 part sugar and 1-2 parts water. Heat on the stove until it the syrup turns clear, and then allow to cool.

Once you have the wine to the sweetness you like it is important that you also add Potassium Sorbate. This is a wine stabilizer that will help to keep your wine from starting a re-fermentation with the new sugars.

To sum up, the sugar you are adding at the beginning of fermentation with the aid of a hydrometer is all contributing to the wine’s alcohol level. The sugar you add after fermentation is contributing to the wine’s sweetness. By handling it in this way, you have complete control of both aspects of your wine.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

4 thoughts on “How Can I Make My Wine Sweeter?

  1. I have wine that is in the second or third racking stage and each time I strain it it has mold on top. This third time the mold is heavy and bubble. Once I get all the mold out is the wine drinkable? What is Potassium Mostrate used for, is it for sterilizing bottles or something else.

    I have several kinds of fruit flavors with no directions on how to use them. Do I add it at the beginning , middle or end and how much to a gallon? Do the flavors change the alcohol content?

    I am vending my books sale can I sell a couple bottle of homemade wine like people sell jam at craft events?

  2. Ann, the reason you are getting mold is because you are not using sulfites such as Campden tablets, sodium metabisufite or potassium metabisulfite. I would urge you to take a look at the post listed below for further information about this. As to selling your wine, that is a BIG NO NO. On a Federal level you are only allowed to consume and share.

    "When Do I Add Campden Tablets To My Homemade Wine?"
    http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/add-campden-tablets-to-wine

  3. I know trade secrets are ‘holy’ not readily available/discussed. Is there any knowledge as to how the wine makers produce the same flavour annually . It ain’t just the grapes !

  4. Tibor, the thing is your average size winery does not have the same tasting wine year after year. Because of the fact that they employ the same methods each year, the wine is similar but only the same by accident. Only the largest wineries are able to display any kind of consistency. This is partially because the largest wineries can afford to bring more science to the process and partially because of the batch size themselves. Both help to bring all the variables of wine making under tight control.

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