Topic: Wine-Wizard

312 result(s).

Practical Advice For Oak Chips and Volatile Acidity

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Q 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 the tubing and pump when I rack. I was thinking of making some bags out of mesh to put the oak chips in, but was wondering

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Malolactic-palooza and The Importance Of pH

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Malolactic fermentation can be finicky even for professional winemakers, but there are protocols winemakers can follow to help avoid the headache (and heartache). Learn those along with best practices for a post-fermentation acid adjustment.

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Fermentation Completion, Vinegar Storage Space and Cantaloupe Wine

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A winemaker is left scratching their head when a wine that seemingly has fermented dry is still producing bubbles. The Wizard also provides suggestions for vinegar storage and the possible cause of odd-colored speckles on a cantaloupe wine.

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Matching Quality Grapes With Oak And The Complexities Of Raspberry Wine

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When a winemaker gets their hands on some highly coveted Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, he wants to make sure that the oak quality matches the grape. But he balks at the price tag of a new oak barrel. Get some tips for high-quality oak alternatives and ways to correct a raspberry wine with weird numbers.

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Uneven Ripening, Sensing Ripeness, and Killer Yeast

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It’s hard to get universal ripening of your grapes in a small vineyard with lots of variability. The Wizard provides some pointers as well as clues to determining grape ripeness when the refractometer is left home. Plus, the threat of contamination from “killer” yeast.

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Preserving Oak Barrels, Oversulfited Wine, Film on a Carboy, and Beginner Tips

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What is the best way to store oak barrels that don’t have wine in them? Get the answer from the Wine Wizard, as well as her advice for a case of oversulfited wine, removing white film from a glass carboy, and five tips for a rookie winemaker.

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Top Me Off, Rules of Fining, and Achieving Cold Stable Wines

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Get some pointers and considerations a winemaker needs to keep in mind when topping off your aging wine vessels. The Wizard also answers questions on fining agents and malolactic fermentation after cold stabilizing a wine.

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Protecting Your Wine, Cap Temperature, Copper Sulfate Additions, and Carbonation Help

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Oxidation is one of the most common faults among homemade wines. The Wiz has some tips for minimizing exposure during racking along with advice for how to read fermentation temperature, reducing reductive stink with copper, and carbonating a dessert wine.

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More Butter, Please; Caveats with Pectic Enzymes; and Wonky Grape Numbers

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Not everyone loves a buttery Chardonnay but for those that seek out this characteristic the Wine Wizard has some sage fermentation advice to achieve buttery bliss. Also, one reader wonders about adding pectic enzymes in a red wine and another is perplexed by the numbers in his recently purchased juice.

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Ozone Sanitation and Filtering Facts

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Q I’ve heard that a lot of wineries are using ozone for their sanitation programs. I make about ten barrels of wine a year — should I buy an ozonator machine? Bernice MichelFillmore, California A Though ozone is an excellent tool for winery sanitation, the short answer is that unless you’ve got over fifty barrels

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Making it Legal, Antique Grape Juice: Wine Wizard

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Q I have been making wine at home for the past five years and my friends tell me I am pretty good! They like my wine and I thought about starting to sell it at our local farmers’ market. My question is, when do I cross the line from being just a home hobbyist (which

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Oxygen Ingression, Volatile Acidity Interventions, Sorbate Question, and Malolactic Timing

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Sometimes we get several questions that revolve around a similar theme. The Wine Wizard had several questions this go-round on volatile acidity and malolactic fermentation. She provides some specifics for winemakers who have bigger picture problems on their hands.

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Egg White Fining and Overoaking

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Using egg whites Q I’m making a white wine and want to add egg white to help with the fining before my last racking. Is there any information on how to do the egg white thing? Ben GarciaColorado Springs, Colorado A For readers who don’t know, adding a solution of egg whites to wine does

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Free SO2, Bottle Drop, First SO2 Addition, and Oak Sanitation

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A winemaker asks for some pointers on when to test for sulfite on their wines using their new sulfite testing kit. Also, learn about curing wine plating, basic equipment required for a winemaker making the jump from kits to fresh grapes, and preparing oak for wine.

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Fermenting Anything & Pectic Enzymes: Wine Wizard

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Q Though most of us think “grapes” when we think wine, I live in Michigan and can’t help but notice that wineries out here make wine out of a lot of other fruits, like cherries and peaches. I’ve even heard of dandelion wine and wine made from grass clippings — can you make wine out

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Vineyard Planning, Varnish on Mini Barrels, Macerating Skin Packs, and Degassing Wine

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A proud new owner of a sulfite test kit wants to know how often to test. The Wizard also answers questions on backyard vineyard planning, urethane coating on an oak barrel, extended maceration on a kit’s skin packet, and degassing wines.

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Adding Acid to Sanitize, Sparkling Situation: Wine Wizard

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The second and perhaps the most important reason is that if you’re doing your final rinsing with an acid blend that contains malic acid, you’re potentially releasing a food source for various bacteria into your equipment and into your cellar’s environment (like drains).

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Yeast-free wine and quality control: Wine Wizard

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The good news is that most wines that you can buy off the supermarket shelf don’t contain a lot of yeast cells; if they did, the wines would look cloudy and might even re-ferment in the bottle.

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Chlorine Conundrum & Country Wines: Wine Wizard

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I never use any chlorine-containing cleaning compounds in my winemaking and don’t recommend it to anyone. There are plenty of alternatives for cleaning, one of my favorites being sodium percarbonate.

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Pressing Issues, Making Bread with Wine Yeast and Light Strike

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Dumping your pomace and finding the grapes still juice-laden after pressing is frustrating. The Wizard has some pointers for getting the most from your grapes as well as baking bread with wine yeast and the concerns of light strike on your wines.

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Acidity & Aging

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My situation is that the total acidity (TA) rises during the aging process.What could be causing this?

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Percent New Oak, Overcompensating And The New Need For Sanitation

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While the concept that is listed on some wine bottles or talked about in literature — % new oak — seems simple, there is a lot of nuance to this term. Learn about the concept as well as problems caused from overcompensating to fix a hydrogen sulfide stink with copper. Plus, the Wizard talks about the new need for sanitation in our world.

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Barrel Cleaning, Kit Wine Tannins and Proper Sulfite Levels

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It seems to me like your Carmenère is a candidate for one of the “Wine Wizard’s” cheapest, easiest and most favorite ways to improve a tannic wine; egg white fining!

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Reconditioning Corks & Bottle Film

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I’m glad you sent this question, though, because it brings up an important rule of the world of corks: corks must have a certain amount of moisture and “give” in order to work to keep the wine in and air (mostly) out.

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Suspicious Syrah & Fermentation Aids

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The first step I would take is to look at the package and/or the packing slip that came with the grapes . . . I hope they say Syrah. If you still doubt the paperwork, certainly get in touch with your juice supplier and ask to see the paper trail from the lot of juice you received.

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