Stabilizing Wine for Back Sweetening

Back sweetening can be a tricky process. If the yeast is not either removed or incapacitated in some way they will happily ferment any sugars you add to your wine to back sweeten it. So how do you stabilize a wine so that you can sweeten a wine without risking fermentation, or worse, exploding bottles?

Sweet Wine

“Wine legs” indicating residual sugar left in this finished wine.

That is the main topics for this episode of the Winemaker’s Academy Podcast. During the show I explore the three main ways of stabilizing a wine so you can add sugars and end up with a sweet wine instead of a fermenting wine.

Listener & Reader Questions

  1. I bottled my wine clear and now there are particles in the bottle. What happened?
  2. Do I have to let my winemaking equipment completely dry off after sanitizing it before I use it?
  3. My wine has been aging for seven months now but still has carbonation in it. Why is that?
  4. Does wine age better in bulk rather than in a 750ml bottles?

Articles, Resources, and Products Mentioned

Photograph by: meg

  • One thing I forgot to mention is how long after stabilizing the wine you have to wait to add your sweetener. After the sorbate goes in you only need to wait as long as it takes for it to dissolve. When I back sweeten I add the stablizers, stir for 5-10 minutes until dissolved, back sweeten to taste, and then bottle straight away.