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Ozone – The New Industry Standard for Wine Barrel Care

Why Ozone your wine barrel?

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As a winemaker you know that sanitization is a key factor in successful winemaking. The cleaner your cellar and winemaking practices, the better the wine. Ozone can help keep your wine barrel in the cleanest state that science will allow. Winemakers battle with high energy costs due to cleaning, hot water not fully blasting away harmful microbes, and the consistent cost of purchasing new oak barrels. Using Ozone will help retain oak character within your used  barrels and extend their life in the cellar. Ozone treatments, paired with solid winemaking practices, will help create a consistent and microbe-resistant oak barrel – one that’s only infusions will be adding delicious oak characteristics and soft micro-oxidative qualities to your wines.

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Ozone Facts:

  • Ozone is a stand-alone organic sanitizer which simplifies sanitation, is safe to use, saves water and energy, and is environmentally friendly.
  • Ozone is produced as needed on site, dissipates after use and minimizes the purchase, storage, mixing and disposal of chemicals.
  • Ozone is a cold sanitizer which saves energy and extends barrel flavors
  • Ozone kills a much broader spectrum bacteria, fungus and molds, yeasts, spores and cysts Organisms Killed by Ozone from 10 to 5000 times faster than halogenated chemicals (chorine, iodine, etc.).
  • Ozone was approved by a FDA Expert Panel as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for use as a sanitizer in 1997 and was approved by FDA for use with fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, etc. in June 2001 (food additive petition).
  • Ozone was approved under USDA Organic Rule in 2000.
  • Ozone reverts to molecular oxygen, leaving no by-products or residual contaminants.
  • Ozone unlike halogenated chemicals (i.e. chlorine, iodine, etc.) ozone does not generate TCA precursors or dangerous halogenated hydrocarbon byproducts, such as THM’s.
  • Ozone destroys objectionable taste and odor causing compounds.
  • Ozone is pH neutral, (does not change the acid/alkaline balance).

Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC. uses ozone protocols to eliminate and prevent the return of microbial spoilage organisms (i.e. Brettanomyces, Acetobacter, malolactic and lactobacillus, etc.) in barrels. No rinsing after the sanitation is required which reduces sanitation times and water usage.

We use gaseous ozone to maintain barrel and wooden upright health during storage eliminating the use of sulfur and sulfur dioxide. Every used barrel that is delivered to MWG is ozoned before it reaches any perspective customers.

Ozone has become a single source organic sanitizer at Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC.. Its use allows us to produce a better product through the control of spoilage organisms, mold, and mildew in our used barrels for our customers. We hope you attend our upcoming Barrel Care Class and see how Ozone (in addition to other barrel care and maintenance techniques) can help you maintain and increase your wine’s quality. All class attendees will be able to bring in their own barrel and we will treat it with ozone after the class at no charge.

 

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The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 37 – “How do I make Rose?”

What’s the Winemaker’s Think Tank?
Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! 🙂

Many glasses of rose wine at wine tasting. Concept of rose wine and variety. White background. Top view, flat lay design. Natural light.

How do I make Rose?

There are a few different approaches to making rose wines. The most traditional way is to crush red grapes, leave the juice in contact with the skins for a limited amount of time, then press off the juice rather quickly (within a few hours) to yield a deep pink colored juice. Once this juice is fermented, it will yield a rose wine. The best grapes to use for this type of production would be any red varietal with a higher acidity. Early picked red grapes or a very fruit forward varietal tend to make the best roses. Some varietals that we have worked with successfully to make beautiful roses are Barbera, Grenache, Gamay, Chambourcin, and Pinot Noir.

Another approach would be to take a white wine and to add a small portion of red wine to it, predominantly for body and color. A very small amount of red wine will provide adequate color to change a white wine into a rose color. A small amount of prep work needs to be done before the blend is created. If the red wine was put through malolactic fermentation, the MLF must be complete before the wine is added into the white wine. If the red wine has not completed MLF, it cannot be used to blend as the bacteria will begin to metabolize the malic acid within the white wine. To prevent this, first make sure that the wine has completed MLF, then add Lysozyme to prevent the further proliferation of bacteria. It is always imperative to make sure that the wines have also been adequately sulfited prior to blending as well. It is very important to do bench trials of the blends before the addition of the red wine to ensure the desired results. A small amount (5-10%) of the red wine will add a nice touch of color and body to a white wine, creating a beautifully blended rose.

 

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com.

The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 32 – “What do I do if I have a stuck fermentation?”

What’s the Winemaker’s Think Tank?

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! 🙂

Closeup of early 30's man having some wine in the middle of the day and thinking about his relationship problem. Somewhere at the bottom of the glass there is a meaning of everything that bothers him right now.

What do I do if I have a stuck fermentation?

                  Sometimes, even though we take great care as winemakers to avoid it, we can get caught with a stuck fermentation. Yeast are incredible creatures, capable of very rapid reproduction, but they do have their limiting factors. It is very important to know the limitations of the certain yeast strain that you are using for your wine. Evaluate your must’s pH to ensure that it is above 3.2, the lower pH environmental threshold for most yeast strains. Take into consideration the alcohol tolerance of the yeast that you selected. If you take the initial Brix level and multiply it by .55, you will have a pretty close estimate of your ending alcohol by volume. Make sure that you haven’t put in a yeast that is unable to handle the rising alcohol levels of the must. Another important factor to consider is the temperature of the must. All yeast strains have a preferred temperature window in which they like to work and reproduce. Because fermentation is an exothermic reaction, check your temperatures (if making reds always take a measurement under the cap) and be sure they haven’t gotten so warm that the yeast may be dying off. The opposite is also true, ensuring that your juice or must have warmed up enough to allow the yeast to begin their processing. Lastly, another important factor to  consider in the health of your fermentation is the nutrition of your yeast. Aside from the sugar that they consume, yeast also need proteins, vitamins, and minerals to complete a healthy fermentation. Using a nutrient, such as Fermaid, will give the yeast the other elements needed to properly process the juice.

                  After the careful evaluation of these factors, you may need to add a small amount of water, nutrients, or heat or cool the must/juice. A winemaker at Musto Wine Grape is happy to help you with the amounts and timing of these additions. If all of these factors have been evaluated and adjusted for, prior to fermentation, and you still have a stuck fermentation, you will need to restart the fermentation. Please contact support@juicegrape.com and a trained winemaker can help you with a restart procedure.

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com.

The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 30 – How do I test for pH?

 

What’s the Winemaker’s Think Tank?

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! 🙂

pH scale diagram with corresponding acidic or alcaline values for common substances, food, household chemicals . Litmus paper color chart. Colorful vector illustration in flat style isolated on white background.

How do I test for pH?

Testing for pH is a reasonably simple process for your wine. Based on your budget, you can obtain a variety of pH measuring implements. There are pH test strips that will give you an approximate level of pH in your wine. They give a color reaction that when compared to a chart, indicates the pH of the wine. The next level up in sophistication as well as price is a basic pH meter. Musto wine grape offers a simple handheld pH meter that can be calibrated in a matter of minutes and gives precise and accurate pH readings. The probe must be stored properly in a storage solution to ensure that it does not dry out. The probe lasts from 12-18 months, depending on its care and must be purged after this time frame. With the most basic model, you throw out the entire unit and buy a new one. With the more sophisticated models of pH meters, the probe is replaced separately from the unit (which should last indefinitely).

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com.