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Topic: Wine-Wizard

Empty Airlocks, Calculating ABV, and Transplanting Vines

Most top-scoring red wines made in the U.S. are bottled after 18–24 months in barrel.


Softened Water, High Alcohol Wine, and Tiny Bubbles

Water softeners add another wrinkle, namely because they tend to add a lot of sodium.


Japanese Beetles, Freezing Grapes, and Adjusting Aged Wine

A really innovative and completely natural way to control Japanese beetles is to implement a longer-term biological control program utilizing one of the insect’s natural enemies, the ‘milky spore’ bacteria.


Fermentation Troubles, Natural Fining, and Get Your Swirl On

Some home winemakers cool down must ferments by freezing gallon water jugs and tossing them (closed tightly) into fermenting totes, bins or trash cans of must during a punchdown.


White Film In My Wine Barrel

It sounds like you are doing the right thing. This is probably an aerophilic “flor” type yeast that is eating alcohol, and in the presence of air (if it was slightly untopped)


Understanding “Degree Days”, White Film on Wine, and Glass vs. Wood

Q Is there any wine grape that can be successfully grown in an area with a heat summation of 1,200? I am near the Pacific Coast and summers are not very warm,


Sediment In A Fruit Wine

I definitely would re-think your pre-bottling aging and fining procedures. Many wines, especially those made with fruit other than grapes, are susceptible to flocculation (a fancy term for sediment) and visible fallout.


Importing Juice vs. Fresh Grapes, Wild Fermentations, Sediment In The Bottle

I prefer to have as much information as I can about where my raw material is coming from, and being able to handle the actual grapes is one way to help you get there.


Adding Campden Tablets to Wine

The great thing about Campden tablets (a convenient form of dosing in sulfur dioxide for home winemakers) is that they will inhibit the yeast and bacteria you do not want (which are


Adding Sambuca to Wine

Well I like your moxie. Sometimes it takes a little thinking outside the box to really make our beverages sing, and in your case (though it would be anathema to a commercial


Putting A Value On A Vineyard

I’m very sorry about your vine loss. I do agree with Dr. Lockwood that you will probably lose the vines that were knocked down. You might want to really work closely with


When Life Gives You Limes Make Wine, Re-Fermentation, and The Value Of A Vineyard

You could also try to take your lime wine and see what other kind of fun beverages you could make with it as a mixer . . .


Making Maple Wine

Maple sap is a great source of natural sugar and certainly qualifies as home winemaking material. What is less certain, as you have found out, is how much of those subtle maple


Color Loss in Candy Cane Wine, 23-year-old Concord, Deprived Vines, and Maple Wine

Because of their chemical composition under wine pH (acidity) and fermentation conditions it’s quite possible these color compounds won’t stay red, or in solution, very long.


Deprived Vines

It sounds to me like you possibly have a heat and/or overexposure problem there with your vines. I’ll share a little personal anecdote with you about a similar situation that I have


Moldy Odor In My Wines, Calculating Molecular SO2, Brown (Red) Wine

TCA, or the “corked” off-aroma, is caused by ambient molds interacting with a chlorine molecule of some kind, usually from domestic water supply.


Exploring The Corking Options and Making Acidity Adjustments

Most closures are packaged pre-sanitized, usually with sulfur dioxide in the sealed bags that come from the manufacturer.


Bottle Sediments

It can be wrenching for a winemaker to look at his or her bottles developing a sediment over time. Many fruits, especially those high in pectin, proteins, or phenols are especially prone


Adding Sparkle To Your Wines, Bottle Sediments, and Reducing Acidity

To maximize your chances of a successful in-the-bottle fermentation you need to prepare a starter culture.


Measuring Brix in Fermentation, Drinking From Brass, and Yeast Options

I would argue that the rapidity with which the sugar is consumed (and the density is lowered) is almost as important as the level of sugar itself . . .


Yeast Options

Good for you for thinking “outside the box” and going with a different yeast choice. I love both D80 and D254 for Syrah. D80 was isolated by the ICV in 1992 from


Red Wine Sediment and What To Consider When Selecting A Yeast

What you’re experiencing is the precipitation over time of all sorts of complex tannins and colored compounds.


White Crystals After Crushing

I’ve had a similar experience — both with having to pick gapes at sub-optimal times (curse you, weather!) as well as having that rough white residue on my crush equipment. The residue,


Malolactic Fermentation Timing

I’m a little old school when it comes to malolactic fermentation, but it’s always served me well. There are some winemakers who try to get a jump on malolactic (ML) completion and


Tartrate Crystals, Blending Stuck Wine, Malolactic Timing

In my experience, doing a traditional cold stability where you chill the wine down and then filter off any precipitation won’t shift the acidity enough to notice it in the taste.


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