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Additives When Making Wine

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who says you can't teach a dog new tricks. I was researching some ideas on the web and found out about a couple of different additives that can be used in wine. I honestly never knew about using asorbic acid or lysozyme. I'll have to try the asorbic acid next time I bottle wine. Note: Most of this information came from the Grapestompers website.

Acid Blend
This compound is used to raise the acidity of wine, thus increasing tartness. It is comprised of equal amounts of malic, tartaric, and citric acids.Use: Acid blend is most widely used by winemakers who start their wine recipes from scratch; you will not need this chemical if you are making wine from one of our wine concentrate kits. Its usage varies depending on the acidity of the wine or must. An acid test kit should be used to determine the acidity and usage.

Ascorbic Acid
This reduces oxidation in bottled wine when added just prior to bottling (not effective for bulk storage).Use: 1 teaspoon per 6 US gallons of wine.

Campden
Campden Tablets are available in tablet form, is used to kill all the naturally occurring wild yeasts and undesirable bacteria in must, and thus prepare it for a "clean" fermentation. It contains potassium metabisulfite, which is a fancy term for sulfites.Use: Use one Campden tablet per gallon of must. Crush tablets well, then mix in with the must. Be sure to add it to must 24 hours before pitching your wine yeast; if you are impatient and pitch the yeast too soon, the campden will kill it too! Campden can also be used to make a sanitizing solution for winemaking equipment; see Grapestompers winemaking sanitation page for details. Each tablet contains 0.50 - 0.55 grams of potassium metabisulfite; chemically speaking, each tablet contains 57% sulphur content; therefore, 1 tablet per gallon = 75 ppm SO2. Helpful hint on using campden tablets at Winemakermag.Com.

Wine Kit Enhancer
Add this stable California grape juice to enhance the taste, aroma, and bouquet of your wine kit.Use: Add to your wine kit at any point during the winemaking process: - Prior to fermentation (just before pitching yeast) for flavor, aroma, and alcohol boost - During fermentation for topping off - After fermentation (just prior to bottling), for fruit flavors, aromatics, and as a sweetener.

Grape Tannin
Found in skins and stems of grapes, tannin adds astringency or zest to wine. Also aids in the clearing process. Tannin occurs naturally in red wines which are fermented in the skins, but must be added to white wines.Use: Usage varies according to the grape or fruit, but generally, you would add no more than 1/4 teaspoon per gallon to fruit wines. Not needed if making wine from a kit.

Lysozyme
This solution is used in wine to hinder or prevent a malolactic fermentation. It controls lactic acid bacteria and is made from an enzyme which naturally occurs in egg whites. A web page from Scott Lab explains what lysozyme is, how it works, and recommended dosage.Use: Add 1 oz per 5 gallons of wine, which provides about 250 ppm.

Pectic Enzyme
Pectic enzyme increases juice yields from fruits by breaking down cellular structure. Also acts as a clarifier, and is used to clear hazes caused by residual pectins.Use: Add 1/4 teaspoon per 6 US gallons of wine. If making wine from scratch, this is a good item to have in your arsenal.

Potassium Metabisulfite
Potassium metabisulfite is added to wine to inhibit bacteria and yeast growth, as well as slow down oxidation. It may leave an unpleasant aftertaste in wine if the dose is too high. This chemical is also used in a water solution as an antiseptic rinse to sanitize equipment. It is identical to, but better than, Sodium Metabisulfite, because it does not add sodium to one's diet. CAUTION: Some people, particularly asthmatics, can have a severe allergic reaction to this substance.Use: For wine: 1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) of powder per gallon of wine provides 150 ppm free SO2. A little bit goes a long way, so be careful! Always test the free S02 content of your wine (using Titrets and Titret holder) to determine the proper amount to add. Generally speaking, the target free SO2 for red wines is 20-30 ppm and 25-40 ppm for white wines. The exact target depends upon the pH of the wine.For sanitizing solution: Dissolve 1 to 2 oz. (2 to 4 tablespoons) Potassium Metabisulfite powder in one gallon of water. Sulfite calculator at Winemakermag.com

Yeast Nutrient(Fermax)
Acts as a food for the yeast and promotes rapid starting and complete fermentation. Use: 1 teaspoon per gallon of wine, or if using tablets, 1 tablet per gallon of wine.

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