I was looking at buying the European Select Riesling and wanted to know if it can be made sweet.
The short answer to your question is: you can make any of the wine kits we sell as sweet or as dry as you would like. It’s just a simple matter of back sweetening the wine kit.
If you follow the directions that come with these wine kits your wine will come out dry. If you want the wine sweeter add sugar to taste before bottling. We recommend sweetening with cane sugar, but you can experiment with other sweeteners such as honey, grape concentrate, etc.
The cane sugar should be completely dissolved before sweetening the wine kit with it. The easiest way to do this is to put the cane sugar with one to two times the water in a sauce pan. Heat the mix until the liquid becomes clear. Once the mixture has completely cooled you can blend it into the wine.
If you are sweetening your wine kit you must also add potassium sorbate
to eliminate any chance of the wine re-fermenting.
Potassium sorbate is a wine stabilizer that hinders the yeast cells ability to regenerate itself. Without the potassium sorbate you can end up with bottles of wine that have an active fermentation in them. That would not be a good thing. Pressure will build up until it either pops the cork or explodes the bottle. So, be sure to add a dose of potassium sorbate at the same time. That would be 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine.
Another way to go about sweetening wine kits is to use wine conditioner. This is a wine sweetener that already has the wine stabilizer in it. They come in pint bottles. This is usually about the right amount for sweetening six gallons of wine. By using the wine conditioner you do not have to worry about your wine re-fermenting in the bottles.
When back sweetening your wine kits, how much sugar you add is completely up to you. One of the most enjoyable things about making your own wine is that you get to make it the way you want it.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.