Writer: Alison Crowe

Soapy Taste, Wine Pumps, and Testing Sulfite

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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 . . .

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Perfecting Pyment, Vinifera Vines, and Over-Yeasting

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. . . 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.

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Over-yeasting?

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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

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Bottle Selection For Sparkling Wine

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Ah, the Wiz has visions of broken bottles in your future and it’s a prognostication I wouldn’t like to see become reality. Let’s just say my Fermentation Magic 8 Ball says, “See

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Vinifera in Florida?

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I would be very cautious (or at least very realistic) about buying Vitis vinifera vines for your Florida vineyard. Most states in the country have their own burgeoning vineyard and winery region

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Post-Fermentation Acid Adjustments

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I would only adjust with tartaric acid, and not an “acid blend” that contains either malic or citric acids. Both of the latter can be fermented by organisms in the bottle. On

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Finding Ideal SO2 Levels

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You do an excellent job of outlining one of the major conundrums we all experience in the winemaking world. How much SO2 do we need to add to our wines to keep

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What Kind Of Water To Use In My Wine Kit

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To address your first question: A chemistry teacher in high school once mentioned that since distilled water was free of minerals and many dissolved gasses, it behaved differently in osmotic equilibrium situations

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Making Muscat, Battling VA, Finding Ideal SO2 Levels

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

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Color Problems In My Pinot Noir

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I had this exact problem happen to me this year with one of my lots of Russian River Pinot. Thankfully, the original brick-red color disappeared and was replaced by bright red once

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Transporting Wine

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When moving wine, the main thing to be concerned about is temperature change and since you’ve got carboys, spillage! For the first factor, any kind of moving truck where the back payload

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Harvesting Decision Making

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That is indeed a situation I face every year and is part of the delicate dance of being a winemaker. As many of my readers know, I believe that picking is the

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Fun With Filtration, When To Harvest, and Transporting Wine

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

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Growing Grapes In Albuquerque

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I’m thrilled for your new move because Albuquerque is just about as far north in New Mexico as you want to be planting traditional wine grapes of Vitis vinifera. Many grape types

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Sluggish Fermentation Woes

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Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of sugar left there. I would start, however, with a quick check of your numbers to be sure. A °Brix of -1.0 (0.995

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Hangover Myths Revealed

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I just read the article you refer to, which seems to claim that “natural wine” (an ill-defined term, which in the article seems to mean “minimal sulfites added except at bottling” or

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

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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.

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Cooking With Wine

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Making a red wine reduction is a great way to create a concentrated, flavorful sauce! I do it frequently myself when I’m cooking and it works great with red, white or sweet

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Using Tartaric Acid

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I absolutely recommend that you bring your TA up and your pH down after MLF is complete. This is best accomplished by tartaric acid, because wine bacteria will not consume tartaric acid;

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Stuck Fermentations, Using Tartaric Acid, and Cooking With Wine

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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).

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Hybrid Grapes Winemaking

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Good for you for planting a nice selection of grapes! You’re absolutely right, that with Utah’s higher latitude, often-high altitude, and warmer summers, you get a bit more extreme growing season than

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Over-Sulfited Wine

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sounds like you have a lot of sulfur dioxide in that wine! Assuming standard FSO2 for bottled wine being around 25 ppm, am I correct in

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Free SO2 Levels

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It seems that you and Craig are going through many of the same issues (see this question and answer). Like I mentioned to Craig, it’s really impossible to add enough sulfur dioxide

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“Fruit Floaties”, Sweetening Wine, Free SO2 levels

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

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Stuck Fermentations

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Before you start going crazy with a fermentation restart protocol, are you sure that it is really stuck? The first thing that I would advise you to do is to taste and

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