Topic: Troubleshooting

92 result(s).

Pressure in the Home Vineyard: How to measure and mitigate fungal disease

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All photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com It is not lost on the well-informed winegrower/winemaker that fungi — ancient, single-cell organisms that have been on this planet hundreds of millions of years longer than

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Softening The Wine

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Before I launch into my information about gum arabic and related products, do take a minute to think that gum arabic may not give you the result you’re looking for. Gum arabic

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When Wines Go Bad

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Whether you make wine at home, commercially, or simply enjoy drinking it, it’s likely you have encountered faulted wine; maybe it was the subtle aroma of geranium leaves, an aromatically muted glass


Properly Adding Acid to a Barrel

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A I agree with you in that acid adjustments, especially big ones, can best be made in two steps. That way you can see if you like the result as you go

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Reconfiguring the Palate & Properly Adding Acid to a Barrel

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The Wizard explores the many sensations that tasters experience as a wine goes from grapes, through fermentation, and into the early stages of aging; in order to be a better judge of a wine’s character when finished. Also, a reader has a question about properly adding acid to a barrel.

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Reconfiguring Your Tasting Palate

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I apologize in advance for the lengthy response but this is a fantastic question and I really wanted to flesh out my answer for you and readers that are following along. You

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Copper Sulfate Solutions: Wine Wizard

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Q How do I get copper sulfate in accurate diluted food grade form? I would like to treat 5 gallons (19 L) of stinky fruit wine to get rid of the rotten

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Prevent Volatile Acidity

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Volatile acidity (VA) is a flaw that can ruin the aroma of a wine. Explore what exactly VA is, why it is such a problem, and techniques to avoid VA in the future.

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Monitoring Your Wine: What to test for and when

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There are some winemakers who practice the age-old philosophy that the wine will take care of itself . . . but for those who want to produce the best wines possible, monitoring is key. Bob Peak takes readers through the what, why, and when for testing your wines.

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Acetobacter Problems

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Well, it seems like you have been paid a visit by a colony of Acetobacter, aka acetic acid bacteria. They love air, eat alcohol, and turn it into carbon dioxide and vinegar.

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Cork Variability

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You’re absolutely right, raised corks can either be a problem (if they’re too high, or too high of a percentage from bottle-to-bottle) or it could be nothing at all. The devil is

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The Sulfite Blues, Curing A Stuck Fermentation and Freezing Grapes

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Q I have a Merlot to which I added SO2 thirteen days ago and it smelled ok. but last night I pulled a sample and it had a bruised apple smell and

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Sluggish Fermentation Woes

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Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of sugar left there. I would start, however, with a quick check of your numbers to be sure. A °Brix of -1.0 (0.995

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Over-Sulfited Wine

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sounds like you have a lot of sulfur dioxide in that wine! Assuming standard FSO2 for bottled wine being around 25 ppm, am I correct in

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Stuck Fermentations

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Before you start going crazy with a fermentation restart protocol, are you sure that it is really stuck? The first thing that I would advise you to do is to taste and

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White Film In My Wine Barrel

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It sounds like you are doing the right thing. This is probably an aerophilic “flor” type yeast that is eating alcohol, and in the presence of air (if it was slightly untopped)

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Adding Sambuca to Wine

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Well I like your moxie. Sometimes it takes a little thinking outside the box to really make our beverages sing, and in your case (though it would be anathema to a commercial

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Sniffing The Cork

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You are more in the right here than your brother; when buying wine at a restaurant you really just smell and taste the wine. If the wine smells and tastes fine to


Dealing With Volatile Acidity

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Not knowing any more information than you give above, it’s tough to make specific recommendations so I’ll start with the general ones. Whenever you suspect VA (volatile acidity, or the production of

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Testing for MLF Completion

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In the old days we would use paper chromatography to monitor the completion of malolactic fermentation (MLF). We dotted little drips of the sample wine, along with liquid standards of malic and

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Detecting, Measuring, and Preventing Volatile Acidity

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You’ve worked long and hard to craft that awesome red wine but now, you go down to the cellar to taste a sample out of the carboy or oak barrel to see

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Vineyard Queries: A Year of Questions and Answers

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This past year brought challenges and rewards for home vineyardists — and also a lot of questions for our vineyard expert Wes Hagen.

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Troubleshooting Guide for Home Winemaking

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A perfect stranger wanting to strike up a conversation about winemaking once came up to me and said, “Making wine is really easy. Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise.” Making wine is

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Can Lysozyme Arrest MLF?

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In my day job in Napa, California (as Winemaker for Garnet Vineyards as well as other consulting projects) I bottle plenty of “partial ML” Chardonnay every year and love the style. In

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Understanding Oxygen and Oxidation in Winemaking

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As budding winemakers, one important principle we heed is protecting juice (must) and wine from oxygen’s baneful effects. But then we learn that yeast needs a “little” oxygen for a good fermentation,

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