Jeff Branco
San Francisco, CA

Winery Equipment Testimonial

Ryan and I worked together at Justin Winery for five years and have known each other for ten. While at Justin, Ryan was passionately interested in the wine making process, could fix about anything and was totally dedicated to making the winery a success. He has taken that dedication to Vintner Vault and became a major player in the winery supply business in just a few years. Jeff Branco, former VP and Winemaker Justin Winery

Adding Sugar to Increase your Brix

Sugar Adjustment Formula

Adding sugar to the juice will cause the finished wine to have a higher alcohol content if fermented dry. By measuring the initial juice sugar level, the winemaker can calculate how much sugar to add to ultimately end up at a given alcohol level. These calculations are subject to some error, given that not all solids in the juice are fermentable sugars, but they provide the ability to control alcohol level within a reasonable amount.

The formula to use is:

Where S = the amount of sugar in pounds to add

0.125 = the amount of sugar in pounds needed to raise 1 gallon of juice 1 Brix degree

v = the volume of juice in gallons

B=desired final Brix value in degrees (usually 22)

A=current measured Brix value in degrees

For example: Your juice measures 17.5 ° Brix, and you have 10 gallons of juice.

You want a final Brix of 22 °. So,
S=0.125(10)(22-17.5) or S=5.625 lbs.
This means you need to add just less than 6 pounds of sugar to your juice prior to fermentation to get the desired Brix level.

Sugar can also be added to a finished dry wine immediately prior to serving. This will allow you to enjoy a sweeter style of wine without some of the problems of storing a wine containing sugar. Approximately 7.5 grams (about 2 level teaspoons) of sugar needs to be added to a 750 ml bottle to yield the equivalent of 1% residual sugar. Higher residual sugar levels can be achieved simply by adding more sugar. Make sure not to overfill the bottle as you add the sugar, or you may have to pour the wine into a larger carafe for serving. Sweet wines commonly have residual sugars in the 1-4% range, but certain wines may have levels much higher.

Care should be taken to keep unpreserved sweet wines refrigerated to avoid re-fermentation and the possible buildup of gas and explosion of the wine bottle. This is especially dangerous with a partially full bottle secured with a screw cap. These wines should be consumed within hours of being sweetened.


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