Topic: Troubleshooting

100 result(s).

Controlling Brettanomyces: Tips from the Pros

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Brettanomyces has been known to take hold of wines —and entire wineries — destroying countless hours of hard work that was put into creating these wines. However, there are also regions in

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Volatile Sulfur Compounds and Hydrogen Sulfide in Wine

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If you have ever encountered volatile sulfur compounds in wine, of which hydrogen sulfide is the most common, you know how repulsive the smell can be. It can shoot one’s anxiety up

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Home Winemaking Quality Control

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When the editors at WineMaker suggested quality control (QC) for a story, I was delighted to take it on. I have a long personal and professional history with QC and it infuses

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20 Home Winemaking Troubleshooting Tips

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In a notebook of fermentation hobby records, I have a lab report dated November 3, 1998. That soil pre-plant analysis from Fruit Growers Laboratory marked my start 20 years ago in becoming

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Reductive Resolutions

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Your question about how to avoid a swampy, reductive odor in your Chardonnay after bottling is an interesting one. For readers who may not be aware, “reductive” is a non-exact sensory term

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Impact of Oxygen on Winemaking

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Oxygen’s presence or absence at the various stages of winemaking can have extraordinarily important and lasting effects on what our wines taste like. Too much and you risk oxidation damage, too little

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Re-Fermentation Issues

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Let me put on my thinking cap. Indeed I think you are facing a re-fermentation and I’d bet that it is due to your 1% residual sugar, but perhaps secondarily to a

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Troubleshooting Wine Kit Aroma

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Before we finish shooting smelly troubles in wine kits we need to do a quick recap of the basics of troubleshooting: Almost all of these issues can be avoided if you carefully

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Sweetening Wine Without Refermentation

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Unfortunately, there are only so many options for preventing fermentation in sweet wines and they all involve some degree of sacrifice or difficulty. The list of “cons” is long compared with the

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Sluggish Fermentations — Cabernet Franc

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See my response here regarding general information about stuck and sluggish fermentations. Your wine is a lot closer to dryness (essentially 0 °Brix) than the previous reader’s sweetest lot, so I don’t

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Adding Copper

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As you’ve probably read in my columns and in the Winemaker’s Answer Book, though I like to “let wine be what it will be,” when it comes to potentially toxic things like

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I accidentally made my sulfite solution at 20%. Is the wine still drinkable?

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Since I don’t know what your “recommended” number was it’s impossible for me to know what a double addition is in this case. Therefore, you should definitely exercise caution before drinking and

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Should I try using carbon dioxide whenever I rack to expel oxygen. Or should I bottle sooner?

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I have to commiserate with you on the Sangiovese and oxidation dance. For some reason, this grape varietal seems to be especially prone to color (and related oxidation) issues. Much like Pinot

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I have about 30 gallons (114 L) of Cabernet Franc in 5-gallon (19-L) carboys that have a small yellow ring in the neck. Do you have any suggestions?

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The dreaded “ring around the carboy” strikes again! Quickie answer – your instincts are correct. I would rack to clean containers and, since you’ve already added SO2, and since I doubt your

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How do I really know that my juice is Syrah, and are there Syrahs that don’t have that deep purple color?

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I purchased Syrah juice this past fall from a well-established distributor of grapes and juice in California and have gone through usual fermentation and stabilization processes. The wine has now been aging

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I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor. Did I miss something, or will this go away with aging?

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I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor. I keep all my notes and regularly follow the same procedures. I buy my juice already

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Off Odors, Port-Style Wines: Wine Wizard

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I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor. I keep all my notes and regularly follow the same procedures. I buy my juice already

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Tannin Myths and Methods

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 From modern wine chemistry labs to your home winery — what is known about tannins and how can winemakers control their impact on their wine? Research is debunking many widely-held beliefs about


Tannin Myths and Methods

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From modern wine chemistry labs to your home winery — what is known about tannins and how can winemakers control their impact on their wine? Research is debunking many widely-held beliefs about

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Building Brass, Fortifying Facts: Wine Wizard

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After reading a recent article in WineMaker about using a pump to transfer wine, I put together my own pumping system. My question pertains to the possible negative effect of the wine

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Reconditioning Corks, Bottle Film: Wine Wizard

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I have a number of novelty corks I brought back from Europe in 1960. They haven’t been used since then, so they are quite dry. Can anyone tell me if there is

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Adding Acid to Sanitize, Sparkling Situation: Wine Wizard

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Acid for sanitizing In The Winemaker’s Answer Book (on page 54), you say to add 12 grams of citric or tartaric acid to your sanitizing solution. Is it OK to use an

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Volatile Acidity, Refractometers: Wine Wizard

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Oak chips, mesh bag? I am using Flextanks and oak chips for my wine and am really liking the results. However, I put the oak chips in loose and they clog up

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Testing for Dryness, Empty Airlock: Wine Wizard

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Testing troubles I’ve been frustrated with the use of Clinitest tablets for measuring the end point or final dryness in my homemade wine and have been wondering and reading about the use

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Malolactic in Action, Lowering pH: Wine Wizard

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Visual MLF? I’ve got about 5 gallons of Baco Noir that just finished fermentation. I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York and I understand that both the region and

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