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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
My situation is that the total acidity (TA) rises during the aging process.What could be causing this?
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.
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!
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.
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.
QOne of my favorite batches is a 2002 Merlot, which was naturally fermented (no added sugars or yeast), aged in an oak barrel for 10 months or so, stored in stainless kegs
The level of caffeine, of course, will depend on how much coffee you used in the recipe — just as your average cup of joe will be stronger with the more ground coffee, so will your wine.
Pad filters are stacks of cellulose sheets that get mounted in a stainless steel or metal frame. Wine or juice is forced by a pump or by air pressure through the cellulose pads and depending upon the “tightness” of the cellulose matrix and the back pressure on the system, a varying degree of particles will pass through.
QI 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
A winemaker experiences a large and unexpected pH shift from a feral fermentation. Learn about the potential reasons as well as what to do with an untoasted oak barrel, pre-fermentation sulfite levels, and acid adjustments in wine kits.
QWhere can an amateur buy a cork for a 3-liter bottle? The one I have measures 2 1/8“ by 13/16” (54 mm by 30 mm). I have several of these bottles and
Just like many aspects of winemaking, decisions need to be made about how much you’re willing to invest and oak barrels are one
of the biggest ticket items. The Wizard has some advice for oak
alternatives, as well as feedback on “wine numbers” and when your MLF stalls.
QRecently I had an inquiry from a diabetic in regards to the amounts of carbs, sugars and calories in dry white and red wines made from concentrated kits. In calling the manufacturers,
QI recently made my first batch of white Zinfandel from a kit. I followed the directions and it’s coming along fine. I bottled and used synthetic corks in the bottles. I let