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Wine Wizard

Yeast choice for a fruit wine

You want to know what my standard, go-to, never-fail, keeps-most-wines-happy yeast is? It’s called Prise de Mousse, EC1118, Davis 796 or Premier Cuvee. Why all the names? I guess so a lot


Cane Juice Wine

That’s coming is a long answer but I hope it will speak to the many possible country wine situations in which you may find yourself. A good number of our readers choose


Sugar Conversion Tables

For the WineMaker’s Answer Book I referenced the Table 1-2, Appendix 1, from Wine Analysis and Production, Zoecklein et al, 1995 for the Specific Gravity to Brix tables. Note that this conversion


Dealing With Persistent Sediment

Goodness, you’ve got a persistent sediment source in your wines that’s for sure. You’ve removed the gross particles by racking and filtration.You’ve cleared out proteins by using bentonite. You’ve taken out excess


Softening The Wine

Before I launch into my information about gum arabic and related products, do take a minute to think that gum arabic may not give you the result you’re looking for. Gum arabic


Properly Adding Acid to a Barrel

I agree with you in that acid adjustments, especially big ones, can best be made in two steps. That way you can see if you like the result as you go along.


Reconfiguring Your Tasting Palate

I apologize in advance for the lengthy response but this is a fantastic question and I really wanted to flesh out my answer for you and readers that are following along. You


Increasing A Wine’s Mouthfeel

I feel ya! (Yes, pun intended.) Since I don’t have much space left in this column, let me break it down for you in bite-sized pieces. Much more food for thought and


Discussing Pros v. Cons of Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir has quite a reputation. Often known as the “Heartbreak Grape” and lovingly discussed, dissected, and degustated (is that even a word?) by rabid Pinot-philes the world over, Pinot Noir was


Chilled Red Wines

Though especially welcome in summertime, and especially tasty with regards to Pinot Noir, I break the “room temperature reds rule” year round and with many varietals to boot. In the depths of


Gum Arabic

Here goes some gum arabic info . . . I was first introduced to it at Bonny Doon when Randall Grahm brought it back from one of his jaunts to France, around


Acetobacter Problems

Well, it seems like you have been paid a visit by a colony of Acetobacter, aka acetic acid bacteria. They love air, eat alcohol, and turn it into carbon dioxide and vinegar.


pH Reanalysis

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


Sulfite Timing Question

That’s a great question with a very simple answer. You should not add postassium metabisulfite (SO2, or sulfur dioxide) to your wine between primary and secondary fermentation. Because the SO2 will inhibit


Cork Variability

You’re absolutely right, raised corks can either be a problem (if they’re too high, or too high of a percentage from bottle-to-bottle) or it could be nothing at all. The devil is


The Sulfite Blues

Your nose (bruised apple/sweet smell) and your chemical analysis (loss of Free SO2) are telling me that you have an oxygen ingress problem and aldehydes and perhaps an increase in VA (volatile


Passion Fruit Wine

Well, I will admit I have never made a passion fruit wine (living in Napa, those pesky grapes just seem to be the most convenient sugar source at hand) but I will


Brown Colored White Wine

Sorry to say, but it sounds like you’ve got a no-bueno situation. White grapes should always be pressed as soon as possible after picking in order to reduce juice (and subsequent wine)


Fining Red Wines

Red wines are typically not fined as often as white wines, to which we often add bentonite in order to remove potentially haze-causing proteins. The tannin from the skins of red wines


Use Of Bleach In A Winery

My rule is no chlorine bleach in my wineries, never, nohow. Anything containing chlorine might contribute to the dreaded “corked wine aroma,” 2-4-6 trichloroanisole (TCA), in your finished wines. It can be


Questionable ‘Premium’ Grapes

That’s an interesting data set you present there. What I’m about to tell you, please take with many grains of salt because I am not privy to the growing locations of your


Ripper Test On Red Wine

The short answer to your question: yes, if you dilute your wine sample before running a Ripper analysis for SO2, you then need to multiply your result by the dilution factor you


Wine Pump Options

Wow, can I fly to the Philippines for a little research and equipment-scouting trip? We can sample some of your wine, do a little research into tropical fruit winemaking, go see what


How To Date A Country Wine

Well well, what do you know? That’s a question I’ve never been asked before in all my years of writing this column! The spirit of the vintage laws for commercial wine is


Over-yeasting?

There are a few effects on a wine if you add more yeast. Number one, the fermentation might start a little faster and go to completion faster because there are simply more