Topic: Winemaking Science

45 result(s).

pH Reanaylysis

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The answer to your question depends on the size of your batch. The bigger your batch, especially if it’s must all mixed together with juice and skins, you need to mix quite

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Understanding YAN

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If you want to make good homemade wine, you should learn to manage your wines’ YAN — yeast assimilable nitrogen.

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Calculating ABV

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This is a great question. Luckily the answer is simple. You still only calculate potential alcohol based on the original Brix reading. “Negative Brixes,” or when the density of your fermented solution

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The Facts About Wine Headaches

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I’ve seen a few of these kinds of articles (ahem, I mean advertisements) floating around on the internet and it always results in an epic Wine Wizard “facepalm” upon reading. For starters,


Dealing With A Copper Problem

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That’s too bad that you added more copper sulfate than you intended to. Copper is an effective, legal, and ancient (the Romans knew about its curative powers in winemaking) tool for reducing

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Calculating Residual Sugar

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That’s certainly an interesting question and one for which the short answer is “no such equation exists.” The longer answer attempts to help explain why, even though you think you should have

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Wine Science 101

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A Brief Glossary of Some Key Terms Brix: A scale of measuring sugar concentration in grapes, juice, must and wine. Instruments such as refractometers and hydrometers are used to measure degrees Brix


Detecting, Measuring, and Preventing Volatile Acidity

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You’ve worked long and hard to craft that awesome red wine but now, you go down to the cellar to taste a sample out of the carboy or oak barrel to see

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Yeast Nutrient Strategies

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Grape juice is a pretty tough environment if you’re a yeast cell. The pH is low, there’s high osmotic stress (stress from the environmental conditions being such that the flow of water

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Simple Sulfite Wine Chemistry

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There is no denying: sulfur dioxide (SO2) can be a source of headaches for winemakers — even without drinking any wine. Why does SO2 continue to be such a perplexing and confusing

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Techniques to Reduce Sulfite Additions

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In spite of their long history as wine preservatives dating to the days of the Romans, sulfites can receive a bad rap. Many suspect that sulfites cause headaches or believe that any

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Tannin Chemistry in Wine

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It all starts with phenol. The tannins in wine make up one of the subgroups in a larger chemical family known as polyphenols. Those, in turn, are made up of phenol-derived molecules

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Using Winemaking Enzymes

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Many winemakers shun the use of additives, including enzymes, to respect the wine’s “naturalness.” But juice is laden with natural enzymes, and once inoculated with yeast, fermenting wine is under the control

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Understanding Oxygen and Oxidation in Winemaking

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As budding winemakers, one important principle we heed is protecting juice (must) and wine from oxygen’s baneful effects. But then we learn that yeast needs a “little” oxygen for a good fermentation,

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The Science of Food and Wine Pairing

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“Carignane and goat cheese,” said Tony Ross, wine educator at Passalacqua Winery near Healdsburg, California. During a judging session for a local home wine competition, Tony and I were on the same

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Higher Alcohol Off-Odors in Wine

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Did you ever create a wine that seemed more viscous than your typical wine, or which may have exhibited heavier fruity odors, or perhaps a solvent-like smell? The culprits may well be

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Managing Minerals in Winemaking

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Mineral deficiencies or excesses can become sources of frustration for amateur winemakers because minerals, metals and other ionic substances cannot be easily measured and their role in biochemical and chemical reactions can

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Yeast Impact on Wine Aroma and Flavor

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If you are of the opinion that yeast selection does not matter and that the only role of yeast is to convert sugar into ethyl alcohol (ethanol), you may have been missing

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Top 10 Winemaking Myths

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As in many fields — health promoting and weight-loss diets come to mind — that have grown from unfounded beliefs and around traditions, with newfound scientific knowledge proving or disproving long-held theories,

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Impact of Barrel Kinetics and Dynamics on Wine

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Oak barrels have long been used primarily for aging red wines but also to shape the style of certain white varietals, such as Chardonnay, into fuller-bodied wines. Oak wood imparts what is

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Gum Arabic: Winemaking’s Secret Weapon

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Gum arabic can do so many great things for your wines, from improving mouthfeel, making a thin wine taste fuller bodied, rounding out rough edges of grape tannins, increasing persistence of bubbles

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The Relationship of pH and Acid in Winemaking

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Home winemakers know pH and acid are related when they make wine. Beyond that, the details sometimes get a little fuzzy. Shedding some light on how these important parameters are — and

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Using Outside Labs to Run Analysis Tests on your Wine

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There is lots of information out there about how to run various juice and wine analytical procedures at home if you want to do that. If you do not want to run

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Co-Inoculation with Wine Yeasts and Bacteria

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Ask 5 winemakers and you may get 6 opinions about co-inocculation. But what does the science say?

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Oxygen Reduction in Winemaking

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Oxidation gets a lot of attention in winemaking — and it should! WineMaker magazine has covered oxidation issues from several different angles over the past few years. While some presence of oxygen

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