Topic: Troubleshooting

111 result(s).

Sluggish Fermentations — Cabernet Franc

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

Adding Copper

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

You say you have a Syrah that is not purple, and how do you know it’s Syrah? To address your second question first, I would say you really have to trust your

I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor.

I wish I could help you out with your off-odor issue a little bit more than I think I’ll be able to. Because you didn’t include many details about what your off

Tannin Myths and Methods

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

What is the film forming inside my bottles?

I am making wine from my own grapes in Alpine, California and have noticed that occasionally a light film forms on the inside of some bottles. I am very meticulous about keeping

I have a half ton of Merlot… that seems to be getting some volatile acidity…

Short answer (and it might work if your volatile acidity (VA) level is low enough, say, under 0.55 g/L, depending on your sensory threshold) is to bump up your free SO2 and

Testing for Dryness, Empty Airlock: Wine Wizard

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

Malolactic in Action, Lowering pH: Wine Wizard

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

Can MLF bacteria become airborne?

Spring and summer are ideal times for yeast and bacteria, who may have been mid-ferment when cold winter weather hit, to wake up after a long sleep and begin partying again! I’m

Refermentation, malo on the move: Wine Wizard

What’s with the fizz? I bottled an Amarone from juice about six months ago. I have been trying it every couple of months to see how it is coming along. I opened

Wine Wizard Revealed & Top 10 Winemaking Questions

A Word From the Publisher And the Wine Wizard is……. “When will my fermentation stop?” “Why did my fermentation stop?” One thing I can count on as publisher of WineMaker magazine is

The Perils of Volatile Acidity

It’s as much a process as it is a condition. It’s also a perfectly natural part of the fermenting process. It can happen at any time and depending on when and how

I noticed an oily film on top of my Norton before I racked it. What should I be worried about and how do I fix it?

Norton is a fun variety of red wine to make and certainly is a big favorite in the Midwest. I’ve tried some good Nortons over the years and I can share your

Is there any way to save a flat and watery wine I made?

Though making fruit-based wine is a little different from making grape-based wine, you always want to make sure you’ve got enough sugar, acid, tannin and aromatic and flavor compounds to result in

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 rotton sewer smell.

Dear Wine Wizard, 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

I added grape concentrate to boost the sweetness of a dry wine at bottling and added sorbate. The flavor is good, but there is some kind of gas in the wine. Any thoughts on what happened?

Dear Wine Wizard, I made a Muscadine wine this year that ended up very dry with harsh flavor. I wanted it to have more of a grape flavor so I added some

Negative Impacts of Oxygen

Positive effects of oxidation? How can that be? Winemakers know that oxygen negatively affects wine and they process wine with the utmost care to prevent oxidation. Two common winemaking practices that have

I’ve noticed crystals forming inside my Zinfandel bottles. Do you have an explanation?

Dear Wine Wizard, I have been making red Zinfandel wine at home with juice concentrate. I‘ve noticed crystals forming inside and they stick to the bottle. When you shake the bottle they

My wine has some kind of flies buzzing around the must. Do I need to throw this batch out?

My condolences on experiencing your first visitation by the ever present, but never welcome, Drosophila melanogaster — more commonly known as the common fruit fly. These prolific and pesky little airborne bugs

What can I do to make my wine more dry and less sweet?

More experienced winemakers than yourself have spent eons trying to ponder the conundrum of a stuck fermentation. If you wanted the wine to be dry and it ended up sweet, it means

Fixing Common Mistakes: Tips from the Pros

Winter is a good time to take a critical look at your cellar techniques. With a nod to the new year and its requisite resolutions, we asked two professional winemakers to discuss

111 result(s) found.