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Wine Additives

 
 
Acid Blend:  A mix of citric, tartaric and malic acids. Primarily used in fruit wines to adjust acid levels. It is often used in recipes, but substitution of equal weights of tartaric or citric will give close to the same result and will produce a lower pH.
 
Acti-Mil:  Use as a nutrient supplement for malolactic cultures. Recommended usage is 5 grams for 5.5 gallons of wine.
 
Ascorbic Acid:  An anti-oxidant which has been used as a partial substitute for sulfur dioxide. Results have been inconsistent and we can’t recommend it for this purpose. It is often even less effective if used in combination with SO2. Its best use is in the treatment of wine that has had some H2S progress to disulfides. Using 0.25 grams per gallon will cause disulfides to revert back to mercaptans, albeit slowly, which can then be dealt with using copper or böcksin.
 
Calcium Carbonate (precipitated chalk) (treatment):    Used to reduce the acidity of wine or must. Because it reacts preferentially with tartaric acid over malic acid, separate out a small portion of the batch, treat it and then recombine the portions. Since pH increases concurrently a drop in acidity of more than 0.3 to 0.4% is seldom practical. Use calcium carbonate as early as possible to allow sufficient time for tartrate stability and the reduction in taste from calcium ions. 2.5 grams/gallon will reduce acidity by about 0.1%.
 
Campden Tablets (sanitizer):  Typically, 0.55 gram each. One tablet per gallon yields about 75 ppm. We recommend 1/2 tablet per gallon at each racking or 1 tablet every other racking. Crush the tablets and dissolve in water or wine before adding. For larger batches (5 gallons) most people prefer the powdered form of the chemical. Campden tablets may be either potassium metabisulfite or sodium bisulfite.
 
Carbon (activated, S51 deodorizing) (treatment):  Used to remove odors and some color in wine. It is an acid washed, lignite based, steam activated carbon. It is non-selective, so both desirable and undesirable odors are removed. Stripping of flavor is a serious issue with wine, but much less so with juice. Typical usage is 0.2 to 4.5 grams per gallon. Certified Food & Chemical Codex. Doesn’t involve hazardous shipping issues which is a problem with decolorizing carbons.
 
Citric Acid:  It is found in small amounts in grapes and in larger quantities in many other fruits. It is metabolized during fermentation, so usually little remains at the end of fermentation. Addition of about 1 gram per 10 gallons will help prevent iron hazes, a malady which is no longer very common. Like tartaric acid it buffers to a nice low pH. It may be used as a substitute in place of tartaric acid to acidify a wine. 3.5 grams per gallon will increase the acidity by about 0.1%. It has the advantage of not upsetting tartrate stability.
 
Copper Sulfate (liquid, 1% solution) (treatment):  This material is used to remove hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans, the source of the ‘rotten egg’ smell. For best results use as soon as possible after fermentation, if racking the wine once or twice during fermentation didn’t eliminate the problem. Avoid adding excess copper. Use bench tests to determine the minimum effective dose. If in doubt about excess copper, contact us or consult a wine testing laboratory.
 
Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) (yeast nutrient):  A source of nitrogen for yeast. It can be used to supplement prepared nutrients or can be used by itself. Use 1/2 to 3/4 grams per gallon (1/2 tsp per 5 gallons) of must to aid yeast and help reduce later problems with 
 
Fermaid K: (yeast nutrient)  A compounded formula that provides DAP, yeast hulls, vitamins and minerals. Best when used at the 8-10 Brix drop (1/3 sugar depletion). Fermaid K will help to prevent stuck fermentation and off-flavors. You do not need to add any additional fertilizers or DAP if you are using Fermaid K. Use approximately 1 gram per gallon.
 
Fermaid O (autolyzed yeast nutrient):  This is pure autolyzed, spray dried yeast providing alpha amino nitrogen, B vitamins and the benefits of yeast hulls to help sluggish or stuck fermentations. Fermaid 2133 will help supplement the alpha amino nitrogen component of YANC. Unlike Fermaid K, Fermaid 2133 does not contain added ammonia salts (DAP) or micronutrients. Dosage is 1 gram 
 
Glycerine (Glycerol) (treatment):  An additive used to increase the sense of body and/or sweetness in a wine. It is advisable to run bench tests to determine whether it will actually improve your wine. Experiences have been mixed.
 
Glycerol (Glycerine) (treatment):  An additive used to increase the sense of body and/or sweetness in a wine. It is advisable to run bench tests to determine whether it will actually improve your wine. Experiences have been mixed.
 
Go-Ferm (yeast nutrient):  Used during wine yeast rehydration to provide yeast with the proper micronutrients and vitamins before the yeast is added to the must. The higher concentration allows it to be more easily absorbed by the cells. The rate of useage is 1.25 grams per 1 gram of yeast, which should then be mixed with 17 mls of water per gallon of must.
 
Malic Acid:  This is the predominant acid in apples and most other temperate fruits, and together with tartaric, accounts for nearly all of the acidity in grapes. Both malic and citric acids are used for deficiencies in other fruits. Its main disadvantage when acidifying is that it buffers to a fairly high pH, so it won’t help much with high pH musts.
 
Opti-Red (yeast nutrient):  An inactive yeast product which improves body, color stability, and mouthfeel in red wines. Using Opti-Red in the must makes polysaccharides available to complex with polyphenols as soon as they are released. This early complexing results in red wines with more intense color, rounder mouthfeel and better tannin integration. Use at the rate of 1 gram per gallon of red wine. Dilute Opti-Red in 4 times it weight of water or must and add at beginning of fermentation.
 
Opti-White (yeast nutrient):  A natural yeast product for white wines to increase mouthfeel, avoid browning, increases the wines protein stability and volatile thiols, and protect fresh aromas during aging. Opti-White is rich in polysaccharides and has high anti-oxidative properties. Add Opti-White to the juice at the onset of fermentation. Use at the rate of 1.9 grams per gallon. Dilute Opti-White in 4 times it weight of water or must and add at beginning of fermentation.
 
Phosphoric Acid:  Typically sold in 30% solution. This is used to lower pH with a minimum increase in acidity with wines which are cursed with high acidity and high pH at the same time. It gives a bigger drop in pH for a given increase in acidity than any of the organic acids. It is strongly recommended that you use a pH meter when using this material. Typical usage is 2 to 8 mL per gallon.
 
Potassium Bicarbonate (treatment):  Used to reduce the acidity of musts and wines. Avoid using if the pH is above 3.5 or if you need to drop the acidity more than a maximum of about 0.3%. Only about 70% of the acid reduction potential is realized unless you cold stabilize after treating the wine. It causes a higher rise in pH for a given drop in acidity in comparison with calcium carbonate, but it can be used much closer to bottling time. 3.4 grams per gallon will give a potential 0.1% drop in acidity.
 
Potassium Bitartrate (Cream of Tartar) (precipitant): Used as a seeding agent to promote cold stabilization. Add to wine at the rate of 2 to 5 grams per gallon, followed by vigorous stirring. Stir the batch daily. It is not a substitute for chilling the wine, but will aid in getting tartrate crystals to drop out faster at any given temperature.
 
Potassium Carbonate (treatment):  Used to lower acidity levels in wine. 3.8 grams per gallon will reduce acidity by about .1%. Requires that the fermenter be stored cold for several weeks after application. During the period of cold stabilization the tartaric acid drops out as potassium bitartrate. Doing a trial run with a small amount is strongly suggested to determine exactly what the drop in acidity will be. Calcium carbonate can be used in a similar manner and does not require cold stabilization. However it adversely affects flavor, takes month to precipitate out of solution, and preferenially reduces tartaric acid first before affecting malic or citric acid.
 
Potassium Metabisulfite (sanitizer):  Theoretically it is 57% SO2. 1/4 teaspoon per 5 gallons yields about 40 to 45 ppm. One gram per gallon equals roughly 150 ppm SO2. Replace at least every 18 months and keep in a dry place. Sodium bisulfite acts in the same way, but may not be used in wine produced by US commercial wineries.
 
Potassium Sorbate (stabilizer):  A yeast inhibitor to use with wines containing residual sugar. It does not inhibit malolactic bacteria and should they grow in the wine after sorbate is added a distinct off odor of geranium leaves may be produced in the wine. To be sure that doesn’t happen it is imperative that you have at least 40 ppm of free SO2 in the wine when you add sorbate. Normal usage is 1 to 1-1/4 grams per gallon or 200 to 250 ppm. Store potassium sorbate in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Even with proper care, shelf life is only 6 to 8 months. There is never any reason to add potassium sorbate to a dry wine.
 
Tannin (natural) (treatment):  This form of tannin is derived from plant rather than animal sources. The addition of about one gram (1/2 teaspoon) per five gallons of wine will help in clarification of most fruit, vegetable and honey wines. Before fining a white wine with gelatin you should add either Silica Gel (Kieselsol) or tannin. It may be difficult to get tannin into solution immediately (put tannin in glass and add water or wine, then whip or stir vigorously until in solution). Usually not needed with red wines which contain more tannins.
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Tartaric Acid:  The characteristic acid of grapes which is found in no other common fruit. Low acid grapes from warmer climates will benefit from its addition; the wine will clear more readily and will keep and taste better. This material buffers to a nice low pH. Wine lower than about 0.5% titratable acidity will benefit from its addition. About 3.7 grams per gallon will increase acidity by 0.1%.
 
Yeast Energizer (yeast nutrient):  An extraordinary nutrient, energizer is useful when making wines of high alcoholic content (over 14%) and to restart fermentation when the secondary fermentation seems "stuck." Yeast energizer contains many ingredients not found in normal nutrient, such as Riboflavin and Thiamine. The energizer is best used by dissolving 1/2 tsp. in 1/2 to 1 cup of the must or wine before adding. If the fermentation is truly "stuck" and not simply run out, the energizer may be dissolved in 1/4 cup must or wine and 1/2 cup warm (75 degrees F.) water and a pinch of fresh wine yeast added and allowed to bloom under cover over a 12-hour period. An additional 1/4 cup of wine or yeast is then added and the yeast given another 12 hours to multiply before the enriched solution is added to the fermentation bottle.
 
Yeast Fertilizer (yeast nutrient):  A yeast fertilizer/energizer composed of dead yeast cells that contains many essential nutrients for yeast growth. Use 1/2 gram per gallon (1/2 tsp per 5 gallons).
 
Yeast Ghosts (yeast nutrient):  This material consists of the insoluble fraction of whole yeast cells, supplying lipids and sterols to the fermenting yeast and will adsorb fatty acids which may contribute to sluggish fermentations. Normal usage is 0.45 to 0.9 gram per gallon. At rates above 3 grams per gallon, off flavors and odors may occur.
 
Yeast Hulls (yeast nutrient):  Consists of the insoluble fraction of yeast cells. Supplies lipids and sterols to the fermenting yeast and adsorbs some of the fatty acids which tend to be toxic to yeast. While not truly a nutrient, it helps the yeast remain in better condition, allowing them to complete the fermentation quicker. Normal usage is 1.8 to 3.6 grams per gallon.

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