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Maple syrup, a bag of sugar, and a jar of honey are pictured with a large glass bottle with deep amber coloured wine in it, as well as two small plastic bottles in front of it. These are the items needed to stabilize and back sweeten wine.
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5 from 1 vote

How to Stabilize and Back Sweeten Wine

When making wine, cider, or mead at home, you want to know how to stabilize and back sweeten wine. Here's everything you need to know!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Author: Marie Porter
Cost: 10

Equipment

Carboys
Siphon
Wine Thief

Ingredients

Stabilizing Wine Ingredients

Back Sweetening Wine Ingredients

Instructions

Stabilizing Wine:

  • Consult the packaging on your stabilizers to figure out how much to use, and how it wants you to add them.
    Use the least amount of stabilizer that you can for the quantity of wine you’re stabilizing. Don’t throw extra in “to be extra sure” or anything!
  • Sanitize a clean carboy, the same size as the one your still wine is currently sitting in. Also, sanitize your siphon, siphon tubing, etc.
  • Rack the wine over one final time.
  • Add your stabilizer - following the directions for it - swirl the carboy a little to mix it in.
  • Allow the wine to sit for at least 12 hours (ideally severally days) before doing anything else (back sweetening, bottling)

Back Sweetening Wine - Wing It:

  • First, mix a thick syrup with your choice of granulated or brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, or a mixture thereof. I like to go 2 parts of sweetener, to 1 part of water.
  • Boil your syrup for a few minutes. You want your sweetener to dissolve, and you also want to sterilize it AND the water.
  • Have the amount of wine you’re looking to sweeten in a single, sanitized vessel - usually the carboy you stabilized it in.
  • Use a sanitized wine thief, turkey baster, or siphon to get a bit of the wine in a glass.
  • Taste the wine, decide if you’re looking at needing a lot of syrup, or just a bit.
  • Eyeball it and add some syrup to the carboy. You’ll want to underestimate, if anything. You can always add more syrup, but you can’t *un* sweeten a wine you went overboard with!
  • Swirl the jug to mix it in well.
  • Get a bit more wine in a glass, test it out. Add more sugar if needed, repeat as necessary - just be sure to keep everything sanitary!

Back Sweetening Wine - Meticulous

  • First, mix a thick syrup with your choice of granulated or brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, or a mixture thereof. I like to go 2 parts of sweetener, to 1 part of water.
  • Boil your syrup for a few minutes. You want your sweetener to dissolve, and you also want to sterilize it AND the water.
  • Know how much wine you have to sweeten.
  • Using sanitized equipment, remove a measured amount - say 1 cup, for the sake of easy math - to a clean vessel.
  • Add a measured amount of syrup to your measured wine, say 1 tablespoon Taste, and add more syrup if necessary - keeping track of how much you add.
  • Multiply the final amount of syrup you added to your glass, by the amount of wine you’re sweetening.
  • Example: If you liked the glass at 2 tablespoon of syrup, and you have 16 cups of wine left to sweeten, you’ll add 32 tablespoon - or about 2 cups - to the carboy.
  • Add measured amount of syrup to the carboy, swirl well to combine.