Fermentation Additives: to correct a problem or to make better wine?

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NorCal

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If you had the perfect grapes, would you add anything to the must?

I’m saying a red wine must with 25 brix, 3.5 pH, 6.5 g/l TA, native yeast like D80/D254, perfect nutrient level, fruit with no bacteria, etc.

Would you not just crush the grapes and let the wine make itself? That is what I would do.

I read about all these additives that people use and have wondered if the additives are being used to correct a grape deficiency, make a certain style of wine or just being added because someone or some marketing piece said they should?
 

CDrew

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Very good question.

I think because none of us are pros, and have a narrow window of harvest with limited amounts of grapes, we want insurance that everything goes perfectly. There is no tolerance for failure. And in the case of yeast nutrients, at least, that's why I use them.

So if I had perfect grapes, I'd still use yeast nutrients! Enzymes: maybe. KMBS before fermentation: likely not.

But here's a question: Where does one get these "perfect" grapes? I want some.
 

zadvocate

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I used to wonder this also. My current thought is I would use some things. Mainly to protect the perfection that you describe. I attended the Danial Pambianchi seminar last month and learned a lot more about the importance of SO2 levels and other things to prevent oxidation through out the winemaking process. So I would add so2 to the must and I would maybe do a barrel ferment instead of adding dust or chips. If it was a white wine I would add Optimum white because it adds to protecting the must from oxidation.
Beyond the quality of the grapes i would consider how ivery different to make whine on a small scale. I don’t have all of the technology to control fermentation or storage temps etc.....So I would factor that into it also as another reason to use more protective additives.

So yes I would but maybe not as much or for different reasons.
 

Johnd

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I’d still use the prescribed amount of Lallzyme EX-V, and inoculate with MLB, but not much more. The only other adjustment / additives I apply are for pH and nutrients, and those are in place, no need for more.
 

cmason1957

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I have often wondered how difficult the test for YAN is and if I could do it. I don't trust my chemistry skills very much. If I had perfect grapes, I think that would be the only thing I would want to know, in addition to Brix, pH, ta. And that would determine if I added nutrition or not.
 
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