I have made 5- 6 gal batches of homemade wine. I have used the recipes in the wine kit recipe book. One from can, and the rest from fresh fruit. All of my batches have had a very high alcohol content (14%-19%) and more on the dry bitter side even with sweetening and bottling. Friends of mine have used the exact same recipes, at the same times and produced a 12% sweeter wine. What am I doing differently. I would like sweet table wine and can not get mine there.
I dont know you might have to list your procedure. If you start your must at 1.090 - 1.095 it will be less than 12 % as long as you do not add anymore sugar. Once your wine is done fermenting add sorbate to it so you can add some juice concentrate to it. Also you may want to study yeast profiles. check this out http://www.eckraus.com/LalvinProfiles.htm
Check out this page to help refine your procedue
Also Jack Keller has done alot of work explaining winemaking on his site.
In my own experience, I have found that it is easier to cut the amount of sugar in the recipe. The point that Bob makes is correct - you only get high alcohol from a high initial SG reading, and that comes from a high level of sugar at the start. I think that most of the winemaking sites I have studied will tell you that in order to achieve a sweet wine, you must ferment the batch to the desired level of alcohol, then stabilize the wine with campden tablets and potassium sorbate, then backsweeten the batch to taste. I always backsweeten over a period of ten days - add a little, taste, let it sit, taste again. Work in small additions of sweetener by extracting a small amount of wine, adding the sugar to that, then stirring that back into the batch. I don't use water when I backsweeten, it waters down the taste.
ya if u use a wine that is producing an alcohol content that high, you use too much sugar. a 12-14% with good aging will be best.
watch your speed of ferment, adjust your sg. compare your yeasts.
gl and cheers
At what phase to I start sweeting? My batch of raspberry has been fermenting for 10. Days it's almost done but it tastes so dry already? Thanks Jolene
When its cleared. You have another 3 months or so.
Try a less tolerant strain of yeast, then you won't have to add sugar. I use baker's yeast and it dies off at 11% no matter how much sugar I start with.