Using Wine Conditioner To Sweeten Your Wines

I like sweet tasting wine. I always add a pint of your wine conditioner before bottling to my wines. Is that all I need to add before bottling or do I need to still add the potassium sorbate?

Fred (Occidental, CA)
Hello Fred,

Glad to hear that the Wine Conditioner is doing the job for you.  It provides a very simple way to sweeten your wine. Just pour it into the wine, to taste. You don’t need to worry about your wine re-fermenting in the wine bottles, popping corks or anything like that.

To answer question about the Wine Conditioner and adding potassium sorbate, it’s a matter of how much of the Wine Conditioner you use. If you’re using a whole container of Wine Conditioner to a 5 or 6 gallon batch of wine, then no, you won’t need to add any potassium sorbate. But, if you are only using some of the bottle, you need to pay a little attention.

Here’s the specifics: as long as you use at least 1/3 of the container of Wine Conditioner in a 5 or 6 gallon batch of wine, you will be fine. There will be enough potassium sorbate in the wine to prevent it from fermenting the new sugars. But, if you use less than 1/3 of the bottle to the wine, you will need to add a dose of potassium sorbate along with the Wine Conditioner to prevent a re-fermentation from occurring.

“Use more than 1/3 bottle, no potassium sorbate.
Use less than 1/3 bottle, add potassium sorbate”.

It should also be noted that you should always add sulfites to the wine before bottle, regardless if you use any Wine Conditioner or not. Sulfites are sold in three forms: Campden Tablets, sodium metabisulfite and potassium metabisulfite. Adding a single dose of any of these three at bottling time will help to keep your wines fresh and free form spoilage.

Fred, I hope this answers your question about using Wine Conditioner in your wines. Basically, if you are using the whole bottle to a 5 or 6 gallon batch of wine, then the only other thing that needs to be added is the sulfites.

Best Wishes,
Ed Kraus
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.

43 thoughts on “Using Wine Conditioner To Sweeten Your Wines

  1. I have a batch of yellow muscadine wine that I have just racked out of the secondary fermenter. I need to stabilize it but don’t know exactly how to do this or when. My SG is less than .998. What do you recommend and how should I stabilize if I am planning to use some of this wine conditioner?

    Thank you .

  2. Erika, you do not want to to anything to the wine until you are ready to bottle. Make sure you have given it plenty of time to clear. Once you are ready to bottle, you can then add the Wine Conditioner to taste. As long as you use 2 ounces of Wine Conditioner per gallon you do not need to add potassium sorbate, but if you add less than 2 ounces per gallon, you will want to add 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon. In addition, you will always want to add either Campden tablets or potassium metabisulfite to the wine, regardless of the situation. Use one Campden tablet per gallon or 1/16 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite per gallon. Do all of this, then bottle right away.

  3. I’v got a batch of apple wine I plan on bottleing today. I’m glad I came across this. It was helpful because I have had the same question.

    Now I have another. Can wine bottle corks be reused? I have some that I saved from a previous batch and they look "like new." It would seem that a good sterilizing would be all they need.

  4. Jimmy, I’m glad this post helped you out. To answer your question, you should not try to reused wine bottle corks. Because if the insulating nature of cork and the fact that wine soaks deep into a wine cork when it is used makes trying to sanitize it a futile task.

  5. Virginia, I don’t want to put a price here in case it changes, but it you click on the words, "Wine Conditioner" in the first line of the above article it will take you to a product page with the correct price.

  6. I wish I had seen this post prior to adding the conditioner, as I may have messed up my latest batch of wine. I used the whole bottle of conditioner in 6 gallons of wine and then added more potassium sorbate. In all, I added the packet of sorbate that came with the wine kit and an additional 1.5 TSP of it. Is this going to cause any problems with my wine not turning out right? Thanks in advance!

  7. My already-bottled wine (about 3 weeks) is sort of sharp, perhaps too dry … can I add wine conditioner to it to sweeten each bottle as I open the bottle? I’m hoping in time it gets better and better, but till then, can I sweeten (& how much to add if so) individual bottles at time of opening. Advice please and many thanks!

  8. Holly, you can always add sugar/honey/corn syrup as you drink a bottle of wine. Some individuals will add a sugar cube to their glass of wine if they are so inclined.

  9. Chris, your wine should still be fine. The only potential problem might be a geranium flower type of odor coming from the wine, but it usually takes more Potassium Sorbate than you added for this wine fault to be detectable.

  10. I just need to say thank you all for your comments,they sure did help this Farm boy.

  11. Why you need to add potassium sorbate when you use less conditioner?
    Thank you,


    • Joaquin, the wine conditioner contains potassium sorbate to stabilize the wine from re-fermenting the newly added sugar. If you do not use at least 2 ounces per gallon of wine there will not be enough potassium sorbate in the wine to prevent re-fermentation unless you add additional potassium sorbate.

  12. How much conditioner would be recommended to just take the harshness away from a 54L demijohn of Sauvignon Blanc? Not looking for too mush sweetness.

    • Joe, unfortunately, there is no way for us to tell exactly how much you need to add. One reason is that everyone’s sweetness perception is different. I can tell you that one bottle will treat anywhere from 6-12 gallons of wine. What we normally advise is to take out a measured amount of the wine, say a quart, then slowly add the conditioner keeping track of how much it took to get to your desired taste level and then multiply that amount by the rest of the batch. Doing it this way will keep you from over-sweetening the wine.

  13. My kit says to sweeten with conditioner at step 4. Will that affect the clearing of my wine?

    • Shari, if the wine kit directions are telling you to add it at that time, it will not interfere with the clarification of the wine. I would recommend following the directions for the kit.

  14. I am getting ready to treat 60 gallons of white zin, how much should I add to make this a sweet wine and not have it re-start and get the bitter carbon taste

    • Larry, when using our Wine Conditioner, you need to add at least 2 ounces for each gallon of wine in order for there to be enough stabilizer in the wine to prevent re-fermentation. If you do not add at least 2 ounces per gallon you will also need to add Potassium Sorbate to stabilize the wine.

  15. I’ve done about 100 wine kits. Every kit came with potassium metabisulfite that is added at the stabilization stage.

    Are you saying you should add more at the bottling stage?

    • Jim, the directions for the wine kits that we carry all say if you plan to store the wine more than 6 months you need to add 1/4 teaspoon of sulfites at bottling. The sulfites prevent spoilage of the wine.

  16. I had made some cherry wine which I definitely need to back-sweeten. I was thinking about mixing this with some cherry juice to give it an extra cherry kick. My question is, is it ok to blend the too over high heat first or should I just mix together without heat and slowly add to my wine?

    • Brian, I would not recommend nor is it necessary to heat the juice or the wine. Just simply stir it into the wine.

    • Lisa, the brix of wine conditioner is 76 so by our calculations, so 76 brix times 2 ounces equals 1.52 ounces of sugar.

  17. I tried your cherry recipe and after final fermentation I started adding your wine conditioner. After reading many of your articles I understand it is normal for the wine to be dry with a hint of your fruit flavor and I’ve seen that only a little sweetness is needed to bring out the flavor. I found my self adding more and more conditioner until I added the entire bottle and it was just a little bit sweeter. I’m not sure if my expectation on how sweet the wine should be is off, but I was hoping to get the wine very sweet and bold, a few notches down from maybe what a cherry juice may taste like except you can also taste the alcohol. Is there a method I can perform to achieve such an effect? Thank you!

    • Brian, unfortunately since everyone’s sweetness perception is different, we cannot tell you how much additional sweetener you need to add. Something to keep in mind is that as the wine ages and the harsh flavors smooth out, the sweetness you taste will increase. You might want to bulk age the wine in a carboy before adding any additional sweetener. I would take a look at the article posted below.

      Sweetening A Wine Before Or After Aging

  18. The last two batches of wine we did we sweetened with this conditioner. I used a cup and a half to 6 gallons. My friends are telling me that the bottles are popping like crazy. The third batch we just did, I added the same, but then added 2 tsp of Potassium Sorbate. So far so good. But, I see above that if you use more than 2 oz per gallon, you do not need P S. It appears the opposite for us. the less we use the fewer problems we have. Any thoughts?

    • Nelson, before adding the wine conditioner did you verify that the fermentation was complete? Potassium sorbate will not stop a fermentation that did not complete. If it was complete, did you make sure the wine was degassed before bottling? Before any wine is bottled it should be degassed. If the wine is bottled before the gas leaves the wine, the wine will be fizzy/sparkling and could cause the corks to pop out or worse. You do not want gas trapped int the wine when it is bottled.

  19. I have been making fruit wine from the recipe’s on this website for around 4 years. I, have Blueberry, strawberry, peach, Banana berry, plum, muscadine, and blackberry. Stick with the recipe and all wine is good. unless you get some peaches with no flavor as i did. I always add 2 ea. of the wine conditioners for a semi sweet, this takes the harshness out but it is not overly sweet. All my friends like this. This year a batch of Strawberry and the banana berry, I used 3 bags of the condition and this did make a sweet wine that everyone loves. I have never had a problem with loosing corks until this year. The muscadine that I used 2 bags in started popping corks, I did rush the wine a little bit and do not think i got enough of the co2 off of it. I was fully fermented before i added the conditioner and bottled. I usually like to leave my wine in the carboy for 6 to 8 months but this it did bottled with in 3 month period.

  20. Ed,
    what about using glycerine ? Do you need to add sorbate to the wine when using it? Will it sweeten wine also and can you use both glycerine and wine conditioner?
    Thanks Mike

    • Mike, while glycerine can cause a slight sweet taste in the wine the purpose of adding this to your wine is to add body. . It is not a sweetener and does not require the addition of potassium sorbate. Yes, you can add both glycerine and wine conditioner to the wine.

  21. when making concord wine from PA grapes, sometimes there is an odd smell, and taste. Other times it turns out fine following the same recipe. What can I do about the odor?

  22. Which is best or preferred sodium or potassium metabisulfite ? I was asked why would you want to add sodium or salt to your wine because campden tablets are sodium. Does this matter in 5 gallons either way? The tablets are easy for measurement 1/16 per gallon is that a smidge or pinch?

    • Charles, If the normal recommended dose of sodium metabisulfite is used—1/16 teaspoon per gallon—the residual sodium being added is equivalent to one slice of pickle per case of wine. Not enough to affect the flavor and certainly not enough to affect your diet. For more information regarding the different types of sulfites, please take a look at the article posted below. Because most measuring spoon sets do not include a 1/16 teaspoon, we actually carry a wooden spoon for that purpose.

      A Simple Guide to Metabisulfites

  23. I ran some bench tests using the Wine Conditioner. It seems a bit syrupy. Is there a way to make sure it disperses uniformly in the carboy.

  24. I have had a white Brianna wine aging in carboy for over a year now. Decided I finally will bottle it. I filtered using a Bueno Vino mini jet and then added the wine conditioner. I added probably half the 500ml to a 3 gallon batch to obtain stability and sweetness. Am I crazy or do I perceive a weird aftertaste now? Almost like one you get when using a sugar substitute like Splenda? My other question is that I feel like I would like it sweeter but am afraid to add more conditioner. Will regular sugar work at this point?

    • Brent, I actually have not personally heard from anyone that their wine has an aftertaste after adding wine conditioner. The ingredients of the wine conditioner are liquid invert sugars (fructose and glucose), potassium sorbate. As long as the potassium sorbate is in the wine, you can sweeten the wine with anything you want to.

  25. made 6gal cabernet from juice. after it had aged for 2 years i started to bottle it and it foamed out of the bottle. it smelled good and it tasted good, but i could look at the wine in the carboy and see it was active. i had added potassium metabisulfide, so took the wine and put it in a refridgerator at 32 degrees for 24 hours . now have good tasting, good smelling cabernet but seemingly no alcohol content. it is bottled in 750ml bottles i have 16 bottles left. i bought two 750ml bottles of brandy 80 proof, 40% alcohol by volume. my question is: how much brandy do i add to each bottle of wine to make each bottle have 10% alcohol?

  26. I saw on one post that someone use 2 bags(34 fl oz.) of wine conditioner on 5 gallon. It is safe to use more than 1 bag (fl oz.) Or, should you use 1 bag – then back sweet — to taste. I use 1 bag on a Muscadine 5 gallon — and the taste was excellent — then after 6 weeks the taste changed — Can I now add another bag or should I use sugar?

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