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Dilution and Chapitalization of Musts

08/12/5

-Use filtered water, not straight from the tap if you can avoid it. Chemicals found in tap water (ex: chlorine) could possibly contaminate the final flavor of your wine or even be a precursor to TCA formation (cork taint)! A good source of clean water in a winery can be simply and conveniently achieved by attaching our filtration kit (FIL32) to a garden hose.  
 
-Whether you are raising your starting sugars or diluting them, the process requires you to add water to the must. Dilution only requires water, chapitalization is achieved by dissolving sugar with a small amount of water. Water additions will also dilute your TA, and will need to be taken into consideration. Unless you have a very high acid/low pH must to begin with, you will want to compensate for this potential loss of acidity. For every liter of water used for either dilution or chapitalization, you need to add 6 grams of tartaric acid. This gives the water you are using a TA of 6 g/L (0.6%TA) to prevent it from adversely affecting the acidity of your must. However, if you have a very high acid/low pH must to begin with, it is possible that lowering acidity by not adding acid to the water used for the correction will work in your favor.  
 
To acidulate the adjustment water:   6 grams of tartaric acid per liter of H2O, 
                                                    23 grams of tartaric acid per gallon of H2O.  

Equation to calculate dilution quantities:  
Once you decide that you need to add water to lower the ºBrix, how do you know how much water will be needed? The equation and example below will show you how to do this.  
 
Like any other addition to the juice or must, add a portion of the amount you think you need, mix it in, and retest the must to make sure you don’t overdo it. It is much easier to add the rest of your addition right after than it is to compensate back after over-doing it.  
 
Equation for diluting your must:  
 
OB = the Original ºBrix of the must or juice  
L1 = volume (in Liters) of the juice* in the undiluted must that will become wine  
DB = The Desired ºBrix you want the must/juice to be diluted to  
L2 = volume (in Liters) of the juice* in the diluted must that will become wine  
Y = volume (in liters) of acidulated water needed to dilute the must or juice to the desired ºBrix level, DB.  
 
*Remember there are only 3 (Bordeaux grapes) to 3.5 (Rhône grapes & Zin) gallons of liquid per 5 gallons of must, or 60-70% of the must volume
 

Equation 1: (L1 x OB) / DB = L2  
Equation 2: L2 – L1 = Y  

So, putting it together in an example: Let‟s say we have 8 gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon must at 27ºBrix. How much acidulated water do you need to add to dilute this to 24.5ºBrix?  
 
OB = 27 (original starting ºBrix)  
L1 = 18.2 liters (8 gallons of must x 60% (Bordeaux grapes) = 4.8 gal of juice, or 18.2 liters.  (1 gal = 3.785 liters)  
DB = 24.5 (desired ºBrix level)  
L2 = complete equation 1 to find L2  
 
Equation 1: (18.2 liters x 27 ºBrix) / 24.5 ºBrix = L2,  
L2 = 20.1 liters  
 
Equation 2: 20.1 L – 18.2 L = Y  
Y = 1.9 liters  
 
We need to add 1.9 liters of acidulated water to our must to lower it to 24.5ºBrix. In keeping with our practice of adding tartaric acid to the water used in the dilution, we can say that 1.9L of water x 6 g/L = 11.4g of tartaric acid should be added to the water prior to using it to dilute the must.

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