Wine must and Yeast Starter

So this morning the must was at 85 degrees, allowing me to add the additional ingredients.   To sterilize and kill any wild yeast naturally occurring in fruit, a sulfite agent called campden was added.  Next acid blend, tannin, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer were mixed together in filtered water, then also added to the must.  Because campden kills wild yeast the final two ingredients must be added after the SO has dissipated.  Pectic enzyme naturally breaks down the structures of plants – so for fruit, it allows the fruit to breakdown and release more of its natural juices.  It is added 12 hours after the campden.  Finally, the wine yeast will be added 24 hours later.  If introduced too early the campden will prevent fermentation.

It is very helpful to make a yeast starter, when making wine, because the yeast can begin to work and multiply.  The allows them to be very healthy and active when pitched into the must.  Often people will sprinkle the yeast on top of their must, if the yeast is an old culture or the must balance not quite right, this can also spoil all that hard work put into preparing the entire batch of wine.  Better to have it fail outside of the must than in your must!

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