Topic: Wine-Wizard

Grape requirements, bentonite and yellow ring: Wine Wizard

QHow many pounds of grapes will make five gallons (19 L) of wine? Are there guidelines for reds and whites and varieties within each of those groups? How much does vintage affect

Sugar Conversion Tables, Making Wine from Sugar Cane: Wine Wizard

Sugar solution I am fairly new to home winemaking having only made a few kits and three batches of Muscadine wine. I have been using Daniel Pambianchi’s book Techniques in Home Winemaking

Softening The Wine, Using Gum Arabic, and Avoiding a Persistent Sediment

QI am planning to try a new product on some older cabernet wine (2015 vintage) that has not yet been bottled. It has a harshness that might be related to tannins. It

Reconfiguring the Palate & Properly Adding Acid to a Barrel

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.

Copper Sulfate Solutions: Wine Wizard

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

Gum Arabic, Chilled Reds, and Pinot Noir Advice

A reader wonders about the usefulness of gum arabic in their winemaking process. The Wiz also talks about chilled red wines, the ups and downs of Pinot Noir, and increasing mouthfeel in your wines.

Cork Variability, MLF Question, pH Testing, and Aceto Problems

A concerned reader asks the Wizard why commercially-purchased wines might have their corks raised. She also answers questions on metabisulfite use before malolactic fermentation, when to re-test for pH, and dealing with Acetobacter issues.

The Sulfite Blues, Curing A Stuck Fermentation and Freezing Grapes

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

Preventing Oxidation, Excess Sulfite

I need help to prevent oxidation. I make about 40 gallons (151 L) from California grapes each year, usually finishing quite nice, but last year’s Sangiovese suffers from oxidation. After fermentation and

Sparkling Wine & Blackberry Wine: Wine Wizard

Dear Wine Wizard, I am in the process of vinting a Champagne, and after having read of a couple of different ways to create the “sparkling” effect, I am now thoroughly confused.

Evaporation Clarification, “Big” Reds, and Mold Malady

Remember, every time you open your barrel, you introduce air and potentially some undesirable spoilage organisms.

Broken Barrels, pH Adjustments, and “Chocolate” Wine

Oak barrels (and barrels made of other woods, sometimes acacia wood or even cherry wood) are really structurally amazing.

Avoiding Sulfites, Adding Copper

Pasteurization operates on a sliding scale and its effectiveness depends on a coefficient between time and temperature.

Lysozyme, Adding Sugar, and Oak Alternatives

Excluding bacteria that can eat malic acid and turn it into lactic acid is the only way to make sure you don’t get refermentation in the bottle.

Late Malolactic, Wine Kit Ingredients, and Color Questions

Your Zinfandel probably had a good reason (in the wine’s opinion, anyway) why it didn’t go through ML fermentation.

Overspiced Situation, Fining Reds, Brown Whites

Spices and other added flavorings in home winemaking are one of the trickiest things to get right.

Fining Fruit Wines, Sourcing Grapes, and Cleaning Agents

Wine clarifiers, or ‘fining agents’ as they (and a whole host of other wine-finishing additives) are called, are creatures of degrees.

Soapy Taste, Wine Pumps, and Testing Sulfite

I suspect you’ve got a fatty acid issue caused by your stuck/sluggish fermentation. S. cerevisiae can emit fatty acids when under fermentive stress . . .

Perfecting Pyment, Vinifera Vines, and Over-Yeasting

. . . you could also buy some powdered grape tannin, use oak chips, or even use a cup of strong black tea to add some tannin backbone to the wine if it’d be tough for you to obtain grape skins.

Making Muscat, Battling VA, Finding Ideal SO2 Levels

No matter which strain you use, be sure that you read up on all the specifications from the manufacturer around ideal performance conditions.

Fun With Filtration, When To Harvest, and Transporting Wine

. . . a lot of sediment we find in wines actually forms after the wine is bottled, and is nothing that filtration can control.

Brett in the Winery, Hangover Myths, and Grapes In Albuquerque

Brettanomyces is often an ambient microbe in the air we breathe, but that’s no reason to go inviting concentrated and healthy stocks of it into your cellar.

Stuck Fermentations, Using Tartaric Acid, and Cooking With Wine

I find that when sugar is that low, the process of re-starting actually lowers the overall quality and you’re better off bottling slightly sweet (sterile filtered).

“Fruit Floaties”, Sweetening Wine, Free SO2 levels

Because sulfur dioxide is so easily-oxidizable, hydrogen peroxide naturally ‘finds’ the easily-oxidized SO2 and the two hopefully cancel each other out.

Alternative Sweeteners, Pomace Compost, and Stuck Fermentations

If you add some kind of sweetener that is fermentable (table sugar, grape concentrate, maple syrup, honey, etc.) you risk an uncontrolled re-fermentation in the bottle, which is never fun.

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