Step 12: Adjusting to Taste
Once the wine has finished and begun to clear on it's own, you can modify it to your taste. Sanitize your turkey baster by submerging it in a jar of sanitized liquid and sucking some into the baster. Discard the sucked up liquid and and pull a sample from the container. Don't let the airlock get too far.
You'll want to get about a glassful of wine before judging. Feel free to seal the container back up and come back to it if you want to judge later.
If it's fine, proceed to the next step.
If it needs to be sweetened, follow the below.
1, Sanitize the mixing handle from earlier.
2, Get two cups of sample.
3. Boil about 4 pounds of sugar to 4 cups of water. Let it cool.
4. Pour into sample about a 1/2 oz at a time. Mix it thoroughly and taste. Do not drink. Once it is good, read on. Go ahead and pour that sample into a glass and enjoy! Don't return it to the container.
For every 1/2 ounce you added to the sample, pour 4 fl. oz. of sugar solution per gallon into your container.
For instance, if the sample needed .75 fl. oz to taste good and I had 3 gallons, I would add 18 fl. oz. to it.
5. Add potassium sorbate into the container. Use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine OR follow the directions on your package.
6(sorta optional). Add 1/4 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite if you've made a 5-6 gallon batch. Look at the earlier step on how to scale the solution if you need to make it smaller or bigger.
This is optional if you went ahead with sulfites from the start. If not, then you will need to add it.
Again, omit if you are allergic to sulfites, though Sorbate works better in the presence of sulfite. This will also help long term stability.
You are looking for 70 or so ppm in the final beverage. You can use less if you are worried about sulfur tastes or don't plan on keeping much wine on hand. It is needed though, if you plan on aging for an extended time.
7. Mix the container. Get a nice vortex and do so for a 4-5 minutes. You will knock yeast back up into the solution. Don't worry. It will settle back down in time.
8. Replace the airlock.
9. Go ahead and leave it alone for about a few days or so. Once yeast and other stuff settle back down at the bottom of the container and it is has cleared again, go to the next step.
Don't be afraid to wait up to a week or two. If it isn't getting clearer after that time, don't worry and just proceed to the next step. The wine is not ruined. It will just be a little cloudy.