Once the pH, TA and sugars have been taken care of, you may want to consider incorporating some of the beneficial specialty winemaking additives into your must. For quite a while these additives have been readily available to commercial wineries but not packaged in smaller quantities for home winemakers. MoreWine! changed that when we began a program of sterile repackaging under HEPA Filtered laminar flow hoods. This is why you will only now begin to see these additives appear in articles and newer home winemaking books. They are great tools for making well-rounded, beautifully structured, fully-extracted wines of character and are definitely worth exploring.
*Note: All of these additions are to be calculated based on the entire volume of the must.
Lallzyme EX (AD351)– An enzyme used to break down cell walls in the skins of grapes, freeing anthocyanins (the deep purple color compounds) and favors the release of softer well-rounded tannins. We use it on all red wines in which we want a deep, rich color with a rounded mouthfeel. Lallzyme products also eliminate the need to perform cold soaks and extended macerations – a great tool for home winemakers. Note: When using both Lallzyme-EX and fermentation tannins (VR Supra) in the must, we recommend adding the enzymes first then adding the tannins 6-8 hours after. This avoids the tannins from prematurely fining out the enzyme before it has a chance to work its magic on the grape skins.
Opti-Red (AD355)/Booster Rouge (AD552)/Noblesse (AD556)– Each of these products add body and structure to a wine, as well as helping to promote color stability. Opti-Red adds a more rounded body and mouthfeel, Booster Rouge adds more structure while emphasizing the fruit character, Noblesse does a little bit of both. If you are unsure of which to use, Opti Red is always a good, safe choice.
Enological Tannins – In addition to bonding with anthocyanins to create a stable and rich color, enological tannins are added to help structure the wine. They are used in both fermentation and during aging. In addition, tannins also have an antioxidant property that helps to protect the wine during its maturation. Enological tannins are both wood and grape derived, and are available in various formulations according to their intended use.
Note: Since all tannins can strip out enzymes if added too early into the must, add the enzymes, let them work on the skins for 6-8 hours, then add your tannins to the must!
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