How to Sweeten Wine

Once fermentation is complete, many want to know how to sweeten wine to a taste they prefer.

When making wine, you convert the sugar to alcohol. Once all the sugars are converted to alcohol, you will usually end up with a dry wine.

This is highly recommended to be sure that you have converted all sugar to alcohol.

Prior to bottling is when you sweeten your wine to the desired sweetness.

Take a hydrometer reading and make a note of the specific gravity (SG).

The basic SG for wines are as follows:

  • SG .990-1.000 Dry
  • SG 1.000 - 1.010 Medium Sweet
  • SG 1.010 - 1.025 Sweet
  • SG 1.025 and up Very Sweet

You can sweeten your wine by using either a simple syrup solution. Before you start to add sweetener make sure you have added Potasium Sorbate or Sorbistat-K to your wine. This prevents the wine from starting to ferment again once the sugar is added.

Simple syrup is made by boiling 2 cups sugar in one cup water. Slowly stir cooled simple syrup mixture into you wine and take a hydrometer reading. Add a little at a time and test or taste. Be sure NOT to sweeten too much.

OR you can use a non-fermenting sweetener like Glycerin. Just 1-2 oz per gallon before bottling.

Remember, your wine is young and the initial tartness you are tasting will mellow with age. So you don't want to end up with wine that is too sweet later down the road.

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