Post fermentation Tannins

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Wade E

Jul 3, 2006
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For those of you making grape wines from grapes or juice here is some info for you, Ive been meaning to post this info for awhile but was prompted by Tom with a pm a little while ago. I have not had the need to do this yet as I havent made a grape juice wine except for 1 white which came out terrible so went into a vessel that we will not speak of on this forum. I went to a LHBS a few weeks ago where they were having classes on Tannin additions and I was amazed out how easy it is to change a wine from shabby to extraordinaire! We tested 3 types of tannin on a red wine and 1 on a white. The three types of tannin for reds were Tan'core, Tan'core grand Cru, and Quertanin. We tested these on a Zinfandel that was made from italian grapes and was lacking in both taste and body. I must say the results from these tests were phenomenal by all means. First we pulled 4 samples from the wine, 1 we left alone, the others we gradually increased the tannin additions to. The first addition made a dramatic difference compared to the stock wine the second addition made a noticeable increase again and was right at the point where it started to actually taste smokey to me, the third was just over the edge for this tannin. Then we did the same thing with the Grand Cru and the additions were the same but the tastes were totally different with a little more oak profile. The firts addition with this one really didnt seem to make much of a taste difference but sure gave the wine more body, the second added a nice flavor to it and a bit more body, the third made this wine taste like a $40 bottle of wine and i wanted to take home what was left in the caraffe. For the last test we used the Quertanin. The first addition with this was like oaking your wine in an oak barrel for 4 months and was just the best tasting Zin I have ever had, the second just took the wine way beyond were anyone wanted to drink it.
Post fermentation tannins are mostly made up of proanthocyanidins which are metabolites extracted from plants and have great anti-oxidant properties and is a main reason why red wines stand the test of time in a bottle. These first 2 Tannins are mainly made up of these flavonoids derived from grape skins, the last tannin is actually tannin extracted primarily from oak trees. There is another big benefit from tannin additions and that is the bio integration of cell structure. This tannin will actually help all the molecules of the wine bond together to help the wine become more stable which in turn preserves the wine and helps it to stay structurally complete.
We also tested a white wine using Galacool SP on a Chardonnay. It really made the wine smooth out and almost made it taste sweeter on the first addition. I did not get to test out the other 2 as I had to leave to pick up my daughter but left impressed by these 4 products from Scott laboratories. there are a few other tannin products also and hopefully we will evaluate these soon.
I've used enological tannin on a couple of red wines made from juice (hot pressed juice therefore no skins in the fermenter) and have found similar results to Wade... they can have a huge impact on both the flavour and body of the wine. Since wines from juice and concentrate can often be lacking in tannin in comparison to commercial wines, I think they are under utilized in home winemaking... definitely worth a try. I always run bench tests first and allow a good month before adding to the entire batch, and then if I decide to use them in the entire amount, I give it a good month or so before racking into a clean carboy... tannins can cause further precipitation from the wine, even if you think it has finished clarifying.
Thanks wade for the info.
Has anyone tried this? :b
I use tannins quite a bit on non-kit wines. I can't remember off the top of my head which ones I have though. Will have to check and see and report back.
I have used the pre fermentation tannins but will swith to post for when i start doing wines from juice as you can control much better.
Post fermentation? Was this done while still in the carboy or had it been bottled? How much was added?

What volume of wine are you doing this on?

is it something not really worth doing on say a 23 litre batch of wine?

I note they are selling the product in 1kg and 5kg amounts.

It absolutely is worth doing on any sixe batch! We were doing so on 2 bottles worth.
Wade ... sorry to bring up a five month old thread ... but I'm curious ... are you now adding these to your wine kits? Would it be something I'd add to a WE VR Cab Sav that needs a little something? It's currently aging in a carboy.

It sounds like you liked the last two tannin additives ... any update?
I dont add these to kits as I have never needed this with a big grape skin kits and thats all Ill buy. I will use this for wines from buckets and wines from grapes depending on if I feel they need it.

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