In reading up on the subject online I found there exist various ways of making sweet wine. However, each source seems to claims different dangers / disadvantages of doing things the 'wrong way'. I thought that maybe the community of StackExchange could consolidate this information and provide some clarity.
So far I am aware of three different ways of ending up with sweet wine:
- backsweeten -> seems to be the most commonly recommended technique, but with lots of warnings over continued fermentation, popping corks etc. A lot of places on the internet seem to claim there is really no way to stabilise yeast for good and that one can't count on the fermentation not restarting once sugar is added. I'm kinda confused on who to believe.
- stop fermentation while some sugars are still left in the wine -> same problems as above
- make a massively sweet must and force the yeast to stop fermenting because of reaching its alcohol tolerance level -> the disadvantages I am aware of are: (a) little control over final alcohol level, (b) stressed yeast towards the end of fermentation (not sure how bad that one is really), (c) possible continued fermentation (unclear whether that one is an actual danger or not)
- Use a non-fermentable sugar like lactose - I imagine it would introduce weird flavours, especially that being much less sweet than sucrose you need to put quite a lot of it in.
What other information does StackExchange's collective experience of making sweet wine yield?