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Using Additives in the must

02/22/2012

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.  
 

  • VR Supra NF (TAN120): A blend of grape and wood* tannins primarily used for red wine during fermentation. Added to the must, VR Supra NF helps to stabilize color and enhance a wine‟s structure. (* VR Supra NF contains only oak-derived wood tannins and is well-suited to producing bold Cabernet Sauvignon as well as delicate reds like Pinot Noir.)  
  • Tan'Cor (TAN130): Primarily added to red wine immediately post-fermentation. A blend of wood and grape tannins that has been formulated to help improve structure, reduce vegetal and musty aromas, reduce astringency, and help protect the wine from oxidation during aging.  
  • Tannin Plus (TAN140): Primarily used for red and white wine post-fermentation to add structure and a vanillin character. Tannin Plus contributes wood nuances that are not smoky or toasty, but a clear vanilla oak character that helps create a smooth finish. Tanin Plus can be used at low dosages along with other tannins just to add a vanilla character to a finished wine.  
  • Galalcool SP (TAN140): Can be used during fermentation to minimize reductive odors and enhance mouthfeel. It is usually used for white wines, but can be used for a subtle change in red wine fermentations, as well. 
  • Toasted Oak (chips/cubes): Economic source of wood (also called ellagic) tannin that will help stabilize color and add body during fermentation. Toasted oak will also give some finished flavor complexity to the wine. Can be used with enological tannins as a spice/flavor component. 
  • -Dosage rate is 1-4 lb per 1000 lb of fruit (or 1.6 to 6.4 ounces per 100 lb or fruit), with the low end being used for stabilizing color and structure, and the high end being used to minimize vegetal characteristics.  

 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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