Category Archives: Winemaking Help

Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Oak Product for Smoke Taint

Being a member of SHW has many benefits including ordering StaVin oak additives at cost in smaller quantities. 

If you think your pride and joy has been exposed to smoke taint, StaVin has developed a new product.  Please note that SHW is not endorsing this product but advising the Club of it.  The Club’s resident Oak Coordinator, Bill Staehlin can order this in addition to any other oak products you may need.

StaVin has been working hard to research and develop products that incorporate the beneficial components of oak to mask smoke taint.  The fundamental premise is the recognition that certain smoke compounds, including guaiacols, are highly desirable qualities found in all the finest oak used in high quality winemaking.  Smoke compounds found in fire toasted staves are complexed with additional less toasted oak components to create the desired nostalgic aromas of baking spices, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, and coffee while minimizing the ashy astringent aftertaste.  Adding untoasted oak compounds to smoked grapes or wine can complex volatile phenols to mask the aroma and flavor associated with smoke taint.   StaVin has developed Express Tannin Pure to specifically add these smoke masking components to wine. 
 
Express Tannin Pure – A liquid tannin prepared from three year seasoned oak untoasted and lightly heat treated oak.  At 1-2 L per ton of grapes (8-17oz/59gallons)(.015-3oz/5gal carboy) this instantly delivers the oak components responsible for minimizing overt smokiness and delivering enhanced mouthfeel.  Benchtop trials are recommended post fermentation at a rate around 1-4 gallons per 1000 gallons of wine (0.3-1.3oz/5gal carboy). 
 
Traditional products by StaVin are also available for use.  Untoasted and barrel head chips can deliver smoke masking qualities when used at a rate of 0.3-1 pounds per ton of grapes.  Benchtop trials are recommended post fermentation at a rate around 2-10 pounds per 1000 gallons of wine (0.6- 3.2oz/5gal carboy).

Please direct your oak additive questions to Bill Staehlin at (916) 216-1753 or bill.staehlin@sbcglobal.net.

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Videos for July 15, 2020 Meeting: Scott Harvey Series

Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Wines shares a series of videos demonstrating techniques for determining and adjusting levels of components in wine.  Viewing these videos is helpful for the July 15, 2020 SHW meeting webinar “Adjusting pH in Wine” featuring Scott Harvey and the winery’s assistant winemaker Mollie Haycock.

The upcoming Scott Harvey webinar requires advanced registration.  To receive a Zoom webinar invitation, please email Gin Yang at membership@sachomewine.com by July 14.  Members only.

Video:   Volatile Acdity with Cash Still

Video:   pH and Acidity Level Adjustments

Video:  Testing for alcohol using an Ebulliometer and testing pH  

 

 

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Free Enartis Webinar

Periodically Enartis hosts webinars on different topics of interest to the winemaking community. While intended for the commercial winemaker, home winemakers such as ourselves can also benefit from this information. Their next webinar, How to Avoid and Treat Reductive Wines, will be held Tuesday, January 21st from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. PST.

To register for this event, go to https://enartiseducation.clickmeeting.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-reductive-wines/register.

SHW does not endorse Enartis but is simply publicizing their activities which might be of interest/benefit to our club members.

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Will Work in Winery for Free in Europe in 2020

SHW member David Ichikawa writes:

…”In 2020, I’m travelling for an indefinite number of months in Europe. If anyone has contacts with a winery that might be interested in free labor (say 15 hours/week for several weeks), that might be a fun way to see an area and their winemaking methods. Spain is my preference because I will be semi-conversational once I resuscitate my Spanish, but other countries would work too.”

If you have any possibilities, please contact David at deichikawa@gmail.com.

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Response: Restarting Stuck Fermentation with Wine Juice Kit

A member asked whether juice from a wine kit could be used to restart a stuck fermentation. Veteran Rex Johnston responds with a clear “no”! Read Rex’s rationale here. (Scroll to bottom of post.)

More questions and responses to your wine making inquiries can be found under Member Resources, Winemaker Q & A.

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Question for Winemakers: Restarting Stuck Fermentation with Wine Kit Juice

Winemaker Mike Skeels writes:

Stuck Pinot fermentation at 1 Brix. 120 gals! I have only 1/2 quart of refrigerated pinot juice to help with the restart. It would be better to have a gal or two for the amount of wine I need to restart. My question is can I use a wine kit to supplement my pinot juice? 

Seasoned winemaker Don Koehler responded to Mike’s question: ”

“… Just off the top of my head, I don’t see why a kit would not work. Or even go find a few grapes that are still around, and get some juice from them to help out.

One brix is not stuck very much. This might not be an easy one to get started again – of course they never are. If you rack the wine to aerate it and warm it up a bit, like 70 – 75 degrees, it might slowly lose some sugar over the winter, or next spring when things wake up again…”

Don suggested blogging this issue out to you.  What do you suggest?

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Question: pH Meter TA Method vs. Vinmetrica TA Method

A reader asks: 

Do you find that “TA pH Meter Method Using NaOH 0.1N” on your website to be reliable, or comparable to the Vinmetrica TA method? 

See SHW member Don Koehler’s response at this page on the SHW web site:  Determining Titrable Acidity with Sodium Hydroxide.

Thanks for your response, Don!

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Question: Must Temperature When Adding Tartaric Acid

A viewer has asked a question:

At what temperature should the pre-fermented MUST be prior to adding the tartaric acid?

For SHW member Don Koehler’s response to question, please reference the bottom SHW web site’s Table for Addition of Tartaric Acid page.  

 

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


Question for Winemakers: Low TA

SHW member Terry Piazza-Perham writes:

My 2018 Malbec has a ph of 3.69 and a TA of 5.30, ML is <0.05. What should I do about the low TA? It’s in carboys.

Terry’s email address is piazza-perham@att.net. 

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Have questions? We have answers! Our members include people with years of experience. Ask us! Answers will appear in the blog in the “Winemaking Help” blog category.

You can submit your questions through this handy form.


SHW Web Site Resources – Presentation, Toolbox, Mentors, Corker

So fun to see you at last Wednesday’s Club meeting! The evening’s guest speaker Scott Harvey brought 30 copies of his Austrian Wines presentation but 106 of us showed up. Scott’s generously shared his presentation and you can find it near the bottom of this page.

Right above Scott’s Austrian Wines presentation is Scott’s Toolbox.  This Excel workbook is filled with lots of formulas to help make adjustments in must, juice, and wine.

At the top of the same page are Club mentors with their contact info.  Mentors can help guide you when you’re not sure about what’s going on in the lab, cellar, or vineyard.  These experienced winemakers and vineyard owners can help answer your wine and vine concerns.

To help your bottling sessions go faster, the Club has acquired a floor model corker thanks to a donation from members Barbara Bentley and Rex Johnston. The corker, along with the Club’s destemmer-crusher and basket presses can be rented by SHW members for a nominal fee.

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