The amount of added sugar depends on the initial sugar content of the juice, the desired strength and the type of wine (dry, semi-dry, sweet, semi-sweet, dessert). When calculating, they are guided by the following facts:
- 1% fermented sugar (completely processed by yeast) is converted to 0.6% alcohol;
- homemade wine with wild yeast usually has a maximum alcoholic strength – 10-12%, with cultivated wine wine – 12-14%, with a higher strength, yeast stops working (processing sugar) and fermentation stops;
- for normal yeast operation, the sugar content of the wort at each separate time point should not exceed 20% (optimally 14-18%), therefore, it is advisable to add sugar in equal parts during active fermentation every 3-5 days.
- Determine the initial sugar content of the juice. This can be done by a wine tester or approximately according to the tables.
- Calculate the amount of sugar to achieve the target strength. For example, to obtain wine with an alcohol content of 12 degrees, 200 grams of sugar (including natural sugar) is required per 1 liter of juice.
- Bring the sugar content of the wort to 14-18% and start fermentation.
- Control the sweetness and strength of the wort every 3-5 days, adding a new portion of sugar as needed.
- After reaching the specified strength, stop fermentation (it can stop by itself), remove the wine from the sediment (pour into another clean container).
- Add a new portion of sugar, based on the desired sweetness of the resulting wine. The added sugar will no longer be processed into alcohol, so the drink will remain sweet. For example, to obtain a semisweet wine with a sugar content of 3%, you need to add 30 grams of sugar per liter of wine to a young dry wine (the wine meter shows 0% or near zero).
- Mix. Pour into containers for aging, transfer to maturation in a cellar (basement) or refrigerator. Periodically remove from the sediment (if it appears).
You can add sugar to wine later – at the stage of maturation, but to get a normal taste it is better to do this immediately after active fermentation.