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Winemaking Terms - Sodium Benzoate to Stablization

Tuesday, May 16, 2006



Sodium Benzoate:

Sold as "Stabilizing Tablets," sodium benzoate is used, one crushed tablet per gallon of wine, to stop future fermentation. It is used when active fermentation has ceased and the wine racked the final time after clearing. It is generally used with sweet wines and sparkling wines, but may be added to table wines which exhibit difficulty in maintaining clarity after fining. For sweet wines, the final sugar syrup and crushed tablet may be added at the same time. When using it to stabilize a wine, it must be used in conjunction with an aseptic dose of postassium metabisulfite (1/4 teaspoon per 5 gallons or 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet per gallon).

Sodium Metabisulfite:

One of two compounds commonly used to sanitize winemaking equipment and utensiles, the other being potassium metabisulfite. Its action, in water, inhibits harmful bacteria through the release of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a powerful antiseptic. It can be used for sanitizing equipment, but the U.S. government prohibits its inclusion in commercial wine and thus should not be used to sanitize the must from which wine is to be made. It is about 17.5% stronger than potassium metabisulfite and should be mixed accordingly.

Solera:

The Spainish system of maintain quality and style consistency in some fortified wines. One-quarter to one-third of the oldest wine is drawn off for bottling and replaced with the next oldest wine, which in turn is replaced with the next-yet oldest wine, and so on until the youngest wine is being used to replace the next youngest wine.

Sourness:

A tart taste in wines, most often associated with acids and ethyl acetate. The degree of sourness in acid is a function of the pH of the wine and its titratable acidity. In technical terms, it is the hydrogen ion (actually, the hydronium ion) that stimulates the sour taste on the taste buds. The order of decreasing sourness og the primary prganic acids in wine are tartaric, malic, citric, lactic, and succinic. Wines with a pH less than 3.1 or a titratable acidity more than 0.9% will taste sour.
Soyeux:

French for silky. An incredibly smooth, lush, and finely textured wine. See Soyeux.)
 
Sparkling Wine:
 
Any wine that has been allowed to complete the final phase of its fermentation in the bottle so that the carbon dioxide produced is trapped within. A carbonated wine, on the other hand, is a still wine that has been artifically carbonated by infusing carbon dioxide into the wine before or during the bottling process.
 
Specific Gravity:
 
A measure of the density or mass of a solution, such as must or wine, as a ratio to an equal volume of a standardized substance, such as distilled water. Before fermentation, the density of the must or juice is high because sugar is dissolved in it, making it thicker than plain water. As the sugar is converted by the yeast into alcohol and carbon dioxide, the density (specific gravity) drops. A hydrometer measures specific gravity (s.g. for short), with an s.g. of 1.000 being the calibrated density of distilled water at a specific temperature (usually 59 or 60 degrees F.). Because alcohol is actually less dense than water, the finial s.g. of a wine can be less than 1.000, or lighter than water.

Spirits:

Beverages with high alcohol content obtained through distillation. Examples are brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey.
 
Stable:

A state attained by wine when all fermentation has ceased at 60 degrees fahrenheit
Stabilization:

The process of rendering a wine stable, either naturally or through intervention.





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Source: Jack Keller

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