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White Winemaking Additives

05/09/2012

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 repackageing 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 wines of character and are definitely worth exploring.  

Opti-White (AD356)– Adds body and structure to a wine, as well as helping to avoid browning. Opti-White also serves to protect fresh aromas during ageing. Opti-White is added to the juice at the start of fermentation.  

Lysozyme (AD352) - Use Lysozyme for controlling lactic acid bacteria growth in your wine. Isolated from egg whites, this enzyme will degrade the cell wall of gram positive bacteria, but note that it will not affect yeast or gram negative bacteria such as Acetobacter. Lysozyme can be used for both delaying and prohibiting Malolactic Fermentations. Note: if you use lysozyme, you will have stability problems if you do not heat stabilize the wine before bottling (see our Guide to Checking for Heat Stability)!

Enological Tannins – Enological tannins are added to help structure the wine. They are used in both fermentation and during ageing. 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.  

  • Galalcool SP (TAN150): Can be used during fermentation to minimize reductive odors and enhance mouthfeel. It is usually used for white wines, but can be used for fruit wines and mead, 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. (For a complete explanation on the use of oak in winemaking see section 9.9)

-Dosage rate for chips/cubes is 1-4 lb per 1000 lb of fruit (or 1.6 to 6.4 ounces per 100 lb of fruit), with the low end being used for stabilizing color and structure, and the high end being used to minimize vegetal characteristics.  


*Important note regarding enzymes and tannin interaction: 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.  


Once the juice has been adjusted we are now finally ready to prepare our yeast and begin the fermentation.

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