Winemaker Launches Free Calculator

Website simplifies adjustments and conversions for professionals and garage enthusiasts

by Paul Franson
Wine Adds website
A sample page from wineadds.com shows a calculation for achieving target residual sugar.
Sonoma, Calif. -- Both professional and home winemakers often have to think and calculate a bit to determine what they need to add to must or wine to correct imbalances. A new website, wineadds.com, is designed to simplify that task. Accessed online from either a computer or iPhone/iPod (in WiFi range), it easily calculates additions for acid, sugar, sulfur dioxide, copper, nutrients and yeast, as well as adjusting the Brix of musts.

It also provides conversions, even obscure ones: Pascals to atmospheres, bars, pounds-per-square inch, torr, inches or millimeters of mercury and more.

The website was developed by Stuart Henry, a winemaker at Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma. Henry had been perfecting an Excel tool that calculates wine additions, but he wanted to make something that could be shared with other winemakers and accommodate the different units of measurement that winemakers use.

Professionals, for example, tend to use metric measurements such as grams per liter (a mixed measurement if you think about it, compared to grams per kilogram), but home winemakers might be more comfortable with pounds and gallons. Once a calculation is made, it can easily be e-mailed to colleagues.

Henry says he created this web application toward the end of harvest, when the October rains afforded a few days of free time. It's been up on the Web for testing and calculating additions since mid-November.

The site also includes some basic background information on the additions -- the "why" and "how" that should help beginning winemakers understand the importance and outcome of wine additions. For instance, if you think you might need to reduce SO2 in your wine, click on “why,” for this pithy summary:
“First, it's worth knowing that it's most likely illegal to add hydrogen peroxide to reduce the SO2 levels in your wine. Now that we've got that out of the way...

"Elevated SO2 levels will bleach the color of young red wines and cover up most of the nice aromas with the aroma of sulfur. Not only that, but most countries have an SO2 threshold above which they'll reject the wines from their market.

"Reducing the SO2 in wine can be done, but it carries the potential of severe oxidation of the wine (because you're adding a powerful oxidizing agent, peroxide.) With that in mind, you should carry out lab trials first and observe the long-term effects of the peroxide before adding it to the wine.”

Should you decide to carry out bench trials, there’s a handy tab on which you can record your results. In 2008, Wines & Vines reported on another online wine calculatioin site launched by winemaker/consultant Petar Kirilov.

Posted on 02.02.2010 - 16:08:40 PST
It's like the www.vinoenology.com web site with less calculators, but thanks again for that news!
Santa Rosa, CA USA