Topic: Wine-Wizard

Can Lysozyme Arrest MLF?

In my day job in Napa, California (as Winemaker for Garnet Vineyards as well as other consulting projects) I bottle plenty of “partial ML” Chardonnay every year and love the style. In

Overspiced Wine Situation

There’s nothing like a wine with what I call “the elbows sticking out” to ruin one’s mood. Especially frustrating is when one has followed a recipe or kit instructions to the letter

Soapy Taste In Wine

Though tough to define as it can smell different to everyone, there is unfortunately no wine lab analysis panel you can run that says, “Yessir, you’ve got an over-abundance of Ivory Soap

Fining Fruit Wines

The short answer is that yes, I would absolutely cut down on the amount of clarifying agent you use if you don’t have enough wine volume for the recommended 5 gallon (19

Perfecting Pyment

Congrats for breaking out of the mold and taking it upon yourself to adapt a recipe to your own preferences! I always love it when readers, and my own winemaking buddies, take

Making Dry Muscat

Sounds tasty to me! I love a dry (or even off-dry, maybe with residual sugar of around 5 g/L), crisp Muscat wine. Historically, Muscats have been used in many wine types, from

Fun With Wine Filtration

The fun of filtration! I’ll deliver the bad news to you and my readers first by telling you that really no matter how tight of a pore size you use to filter

Kombucha In My Winery?

Just like I would not let a buddy of mine do any Brettanomyces beer-brewing experiments in my winery, so should you not do Kombucha and wine together in your kitchen (or garage)

Stuck Fermentations

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of possible causes of stuck and sluggish fermentations, and sometimes, even after careful investigation, we still can never understand what the cause may have been. With Mother Nature

“Fruit Floaties” — Strawberry Wine

I just saw your picture and wow, that does indeed look like a floating brain — or two! Luckily, that is a great shot of what I would call typical “fruit floaties”

Alternative Sweeteners

I hear you on the high pH/high TA unbalanced wine issue. I myself have dealt with some vineyards and some wine lots where I have had to add so much tartaric to

Empty Airlocks

It sounds to me like some “bad bugs” (ambient bacteria or yeast cells) got into your wine. After four years of aging, having a batch infected due to a bad airlock must

Softened Water In Wine?

That is a wonderful question! It’s estimated that it takes anywhere from 2–10 gallons (8–38 L) of water to make a gallon (4 L) of wine. Most of that estimate is for

Fermentation Troubles

Hi Lauren, great question. There are so many steps along the way where a fermentation can get into trouble, or “go pear shaped” as my interns from New Zealand used to say.

Importing Juice vs. Fresh Grapes

Well, it seems to me that Chile to New Jersey is an awfully long haul. I often, in my blog and in this column, advocate that the distance from vineyard to crushpad

When Life Gives You Limes Make Wine

Very, very interesting. I have to say that the zest of 21 limes for three gallons (11 L) of liquid seems like a lot of lime-y-ness to me! I can only imagine

Color Loss in Candy Cane Wine

Well, well, well. Candy cane wine is one I have never heard of! However, as one of my winemaking professors always said, you can ferment just about anything as long as you

Moldy Odor In My Wines

Would you be surprised to know that you may be doing absolutely nothing wrong? Even though you tried to sanitize your corks (assuming you are using natural corks and not artificial corks)

Calculating Molecular SO2

Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, has many benefits in winemaking and has been added to wine for centuries to act as a preservative. When you add SO2 to your wine, part of it

Exploring The Corking Options

The choice of bottle closure is a topic that winemakers the world over debate with regularity. Every time a new bottle closure or packaging method comes out (twist off? Glass? Stainless steel

Adding Some Sparkle To Your Wines

Fermentation by itself is tricky but secondary fermentations for sparkling wines are especially so because your new yeast must fight against existing alcohol (which is toxic to yeast), depleted nutrition, and potentially

Red Wine Sediment

I applaud you for your patience in aging your bottled wines that long! Would you be surprised to know that in the US most bottles of wine are consumed within 72 hours

Tartrate Crystals

I always think that trying to precipitate out some of the worst crystals that could form is a good idea, especially for any wine that may be sold commercially or entered into

Malolactic Problems

The bad news in all of the above is that malolactic bacteria are extremely sensitive to sulfur dioxide. For that reason, it’s critical to not add any SO2 to wine, in any

Understanding Bentonite

Wine, as I’ve often written, is a complex chimerical soup. Wine naturally contains lots of different amino acids and some of those amino acids are in long-chain form and actually are proteins.

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