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Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:54 am
by geordie
Hi all, for some reason I decided one of my youngs kits had brewed out (done hundreds of these without a problem) so I added stabiliser then finings as per instructions.

When I bottled it I discovered it is way too sweet, is there anything I can do with this to restart the ferment?

I might serve it at Christmas as a desert wine, of I could run it through a still (assuming I had one!).

Re: Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:23 pm
by Green Aura
I don't think you can start it again if you've stopped it with Campden tablets. If it's really good tasting wine you could fortify it with some cheap brandy and a bit more sugar - homemade port style. It'll need to rest again for a little while for everything to meld and dissolve but could conceivably be ready for Christmas presents.

Re: Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:32 pm
by Brewtrog
No, the stabiliser will kill any yeast. Invest in a hydrometer for next time.
With this wine you have a few options, as GA says you could fortify it. You could make a liqueur from it (think fruit that go with the wine, lots of autumn fruit if it's a red). You could mull it and just use a tad less sugar in the mix. As you say, if it's drinkable as is, enjoy it as a dessert wine.
I won't comment on your last idea, other than to remind you that it is illegal in the UK (and most other places outside New Zealand) to concentrate alcohol by any means. But they always say the only crime is getting caught...

Re: Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:36 pm
by geordie
Brewtrog wrote:No, the stabiliser will kill any yeast. Invest in a hydrometer for next time.

I have a hydrometer but not used it for years, normally just do a taste test to ensure it is dry, but I was doing 2 lots at once and got mixed up, my fault, probably sober at the time!

Brewtrog wrote:I won't comment on your last idea, other than to remind you that it is illegal in the UK (and most other places outside New Zealand) to concentrate alcohol by any means. But they always say the only crime is getting caught...


Not that I have ever operated a still, but I would imagine it to be a lot of faffing about so I eventually got rid of it, the still I never owned that is.

Green Aura wrote:If it's really good tasting wine you could fortify it with some cheap brandy and a bit more sugar - homemade port style.


Thanks for that advice, think I might go down that path and print up a few jokey labels, cheers!

Re: Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:13 pm
by BernardSmith
Do you have another batch of wine that you could add this to? You don't say what the current gravity is but if it is say, 1.020 and you blend this with another similar volume where the gravity is 1.000 then you will have brought the gravity of this wine down to 1.010.. and if you have yet another batch which is also dry then you could bring this down to about 1.007 (but sweeten the other two batches )

Re: Finished wine too early, too sweet, advice please?

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:39 pm
by ina
Green Aura wrote: If it's really good tasting wine you could fortify it with some cheap brandy and a bit more sugar - homemade port style.


It might also work well for a kind of aperitif, the recipe for which I got in France many years ago... Leave with a Seville orange or two, sliced (normally you would add sugar at this stage!), for a few weeks, and then add brandy. I stopped making that stuff because it was so nice I drank too much of it... :oops: Also supposed to work well with green walnuts. Probably with anything bitter, to counteract the sweetness.