What do Aditives do?
Wine Brew & You carries a variety of additives to help you make your wine or beer the way you like it. Here is an explanation of the common additives used by wine and beer enthusiasts.
Acid adjustment in fruit wines. Use in grape wines acceptable but not recommended due to difficulties manipulating malic acid and the possibility of malolactic activity. Consult a good winemaking textbook. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 4 g.
Extreme de-acidification of musts and finished wines. Better choice for acid reductions than regular chalk (calcium carbonate) because it reduces equal amounts of malic and tartaric acid in the must. Acidex only works within a saturated solution so in practice a fraction of the must to be deacidified is drawn off, de-acidified, clarified, and returned to the main portion. This effectively dilutes the acidic must/wine. 5 ml (1 teaspoon) = approximately 2.2 g.
It is a form of clay. It is normally used as a preliminary fining agent in wine clarification. Small doses added to the must may speed fermentation by acting as a catalysis. The best time to use Bentonite is by adding it directly to the must before adding the yeast. Stir the Bentonite well in hot water as directed, then sir it into the must.
Used to reduce acids in wine and hardening water in beer making. Use in acid reductions must be considered a last choice, as other materials produce better results with less off flavour. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 2.1 g. Consult with a winemaking textbook for possible usage.
Used to adjust acid levels in fruit wines and adjusting acid to taste in fully fermented grape wines. Also used in barrel care as an acidifier (lowers pH) when combined with sulphites in a rinsing solution. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 3.6 g.
Used in making specialty wine and as an additive to grape concentrate wines. Gives rich "plummy" flavour to wines, along with reddish brown colour. Adds tannin to bland wines. Add to wine prior to pitching yeast. Push under fermenting wine every day to keep berries moist. Leave berries behind in fermenter at first racking. Use 3.25 g per litre of wine (75 g per 23 litres). 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 2.5 g.
FRENCH OAK AGEING COMPOUND
Used to add oak flavours and aromas to finished wines. Stir into wine immediately before bottling. For reds use 1 to 3 ml per litre of wine, for whites use.25 to 1 ml per litre. Caution: Over-oaking is impossible to reverse. When in doubt, add to only half of the wine, saving the remainder for dilution in case of over-oaking.
FRENCH OAK CHIPS
Introduces desirable flavours and aromas into wine (including vanilla, smoke, and wood-like flavours) all associated with high-quality, barrel-aged wines. Add directly to finished wine* in secondary fermenter. Use approximately 50 g per 23 litres Leave two weeks and then taste the wine every two to three days. When desired oakiness is achieved, rack the wine into clean carboy. If not oaky enough add an additional 25-g per 23 litres and repeat the waiting and tasting period.
*This is for winemaking from fresh juice. If you are making a wine kit-please refer to the instructions for the time to add the oak chips.
GELATIN / KIESELSOL
This is a mixture of unflavored Gelatin and Silicon Dioxide. It works well provided you can hit the right dosages. If there is too much Gelatin, some of the flavor of the wine can be stripped out.
Contributes "fullness" or "smoothness" when added to a wine. Glycerine also gives the wine "legs", the viscous drips that run down the side of a glass in which wine is swirled. Stir in 3 to 15 ml per litre of wine immediately before bottling. Use a syringe to measure accurately.
GRAPE SKIN EXTRACT
Gives light-coloured wine a dark purple colour. Stir in 1 to 2.5 ml per litre (20 to 60 ml per 23 litre batch) of wine immediately prior to bottling. Use a syringe for accurate measurement. Caution: It is impossible to remove red wine colour from treated wine. When in doubt, add smaller amounts gradually increasing to full dose, or only treat part of the wine reserving the rest in case of overdose.
ISINGLASS / ISO-KLEER
Used in winemaking, is a fish protein extracted from the swim bladder of certain fish. It is the most gentle of the positively charged finning. It is used in 28 Day Wine Kits because of its fast clearing action.
LIQUID GRAPE TANNIN
Used to increasing astringency in grape or fruit wines. Some use as a clarifying agent in wine and beer; however, this has been superseded by the use of silicon dioxide. Consult winemaking textbook on usage.
Preparation of malolactic cultures. Potential use for acid adjustments in wine discouraged due to possible activation of malolactic activity along with strong ‘apple’ taste apparent in wines with high concentrations of malic acid. Consult a winemaking textbook for usage rates. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 4 g.
Used to introduce malolactic fermentation in wine, causing the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid. Side effects include the production of diacetyl compounds that give the wine complexity and desirable aromas, and the reduction of total acidity. Usually used on Chardonnay and highly flavoured red wines. Consult a good winemaking textbook if you are unsure about using it.
This product helps to prevent oxidation, protects your wine from spoilage and aids in clearing. The product had been used in the wine industry for over 400 years. Used in moderation, it poses no health threats. A solution made by dissolving 50 grams of metabisulphite in 4 liters of water is an excellent sterilant for equipment and containers.
Used to introduce desirable flavours and aromas into wine (including vanilla, smoke, and wood-like flavours) all associated with high-quality, barrel-aged wines. Add directly to finished wine in secondary fermenter. Use approximately 50 g per 23 litres Leave two weeks and then taste the wine every two to three days. When desired oakiness is achieved rack the wine into clean carboy. If not oaky enough add an additional 25-g per 23 litres and repeat the waiting and tasting period.
Adds oak flavour and aroma to wine. Chief advantage over regular oak chips lies in its use during primary fermentation. Oak flavours and aromas transfer very quickly and efficiently, allowing user to judge results within two to three weeks. Also improves early drinkablity of wines. Add directly to grape juice or must prior to or during fermentation. For whites and light reds use 25 g per 23 litres. For heavier reds use 50 g per 23 litres. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 1.4 g Caution: Over-oaking is impossible to reverse. When in doubt, use less oak, or only oak a portion of the wine, saving the rest to use for diluting.
Dissolves pectin (long chain protein molecules) that may leave wines cloudy. Can also be used when making fruit wines, both to increase juice yield and help the wine clear properly. Use 3.5 g per 23 litres (about 0.7 g per Imperial gallon). Dissolve in a small amount of cold water and stir into must, juice, or wine. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 2.8 g.
Minor acid reductions in wine must. Reductions of up to 20% of tartaric acid are possible. Acid reduction completes very quickly (within a few minutes) and leaves a precipitate. Dissolve package in 375 ml of cold water to make base solution. Chill wine before making addition. 4 ml of base solution will reduce acidity of 1 litre of wine by about 10%. For 23 litres 92 ml will reduce acidity by 10%. Do not use more than 9 ml per litre (207 ml/23 litres). For acid reductions greater than 20 %, use Acidex". Allow to settle for 24 hours after addition then rack or filter.
Inhibits the reproduction of yeast cells. Sorbate does not kill yeast cells but will prevent renewed fermentation when you sweeten a wine before bottling. It is important that you use no more or less than required.
Is extracted from seaweed and sold as a powder. It is an excellent general purpose fining agent. But it has to be pre-mixed with wine and boil. This one will take approximately 10 days to clear your wine.
Used to increase astringency in grape or fruit wines. Some use as a clarifying agent; however this has been superseded by the use of silicon dioxide. Consult recipe for addition amounts. Dissolve powdered tannin in a small quantity of warmed wine before adding. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 2.2 g.
Used to make acid adjustments in wine. Acid of choice for all adjustments. Consult a good winemaking textbook for addition amounts. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 4 g.
Provides essential minerals, trace nutrients and vitamins for yeast growth and metabolism during fermentation. Used to help start slow fermentation and to restart stuck ones. Add 0.4 g per litre (9 g per 23 litres) and stir gently. May cause foaming if added to an ongoing fermentation. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 3.7 g. Better choice than yeast nutrient which lacks some of the essential compounds needed to get sluggish yeast going.
Add to fermentation to increase yeast activity. Nitrogen compounds such as diammonium phosphate are vital to yeast metabolism. Should be added at beginning of fermentation, but could also be added towards the end of a slow or stuck fermentation. Ensures quick thorough fermentation. Add .75 gram per litre to wine. 5 ml (1 teaspoon) = approximately 4.5 g.