What Is That You're Adding....???
Disclaimer: Everyone makes wine differently and therefor this is not a complete list, just the basics. These ingredients are stocked in our shop, but if you are looking for something not listed here, just ask. We might still carry it, or if not, be able to order it in.
Yeast - The most important ingredient in my mind! Yeast eats the sugar in the must and CO2 and alcohol are produced.
Yeast Nutrient - Yeast nutrients assist the wine yeast in producing a complete and rapid fermentation. Most fruit wine lacks the needed nutrients and that can cause a sluggish ferment, and in turn, cause off-flavors.
Acid Blend - It's the blend of the 2 or 3 most commonly found fruit acids, citric, malic and tartaric. It is used to balance the PH of the wine and make it more palatable.
Tannin - Most fruits lack enough tannin to produce a quality wine. Tannin plays 3 roles: flavor, clarification and aging. Tannins give the mouthfeel of a wine. When used, it can make your wine more complex and make a simple alcoholic fruit juice into a wine. Tannins also helps neutralize proteins and helps them drop out when clarifying. A good tannin structure in a wine can help in aging as tannins tend to soften over time. Most fruit wines will peak within a year's time. Without tannin, some fruit wines may not age well and need to be consumed fairly quickly.
Grape Concentrate - Concentrated white or red grape juice that can add body and structure to your wine when added in the primary. Use if you are lacking in the correct amount of fruit needed. I personally use red concentrate in my chokecherry wines as my "secret ingredient". Concentrate can be substituted for raisins in most fruit wine recipes.
Pectic Enzyme - Helps reduce the haze in fruit wines and ensures better clarity. It has no flavor and 2-3 teaspoons in a 23L batch can improve and speed up the clearing process.
Campden Tablets or Potassium Metabisulfite - usually one in the same, kills the wild yeasts, aids in limiting oxidization and can remove chlorine.
Sorbate - A stabilizing ingredient that is added to the wines to keep the yeast from working. It doesn't kill the yeast. If you do not use sorbate in your wines, make sure you have no residual sugars left before bottling or you can have bottle explosions!
Kieselsol & Chitosan - Two ingredients that can help clear your wine in a shorter amount of time. One creates a negative charge and the other a positive charge (I never remember which is which). These charges clump the impurities together and helps pull sediment to the bottom. Make sure you read the instructions and add them in the correct order.
Wine Conditioner - Used to back sweeten wines. Stabilized sugar and will not ferment. It can also add body as it is thicker than wine.