Even the most skilled wine makers can fall victim to a common mistake now and again!
#1 Mistake - Starting a New Batch Before Testing
The Result: If you are using adjuncts or fining agents without first testing, you could produce an entire batch that doesn't deliver the taste profile you desire.
The Fix: Avoid a costly mistake with an entire batch by first using smaller tanks like the Flextank Eco 30 or a similar-sized trial vessels to test your compounds for a few days to a week to make sure you are satisfied with the results. This way you can try a couple ratios to get your desired results without sacrificing an entire batch. Of course, be sure to calculate the aspect ratios of juice, oak additives, and fining agent to keep consistency when you translate to your final batch.
#2 Mistake - Leaving Too Much Headspace
The Result: While a small amount of oxidation is helpful in creating fruit flavors and aromas, a large headspace- whether due to incomplete filling or evaporation- can cause severe oxidation in the wine.
The Fix: Fill your vessel completely to minimize any air space. With Flextank technology, our maturation weight vessels are designed to have a similar oxygen permeation rate to that of a typical second-use wine barrel and our heavyweight vessels are designed to act like neutral wine barrels with oxygen permeation rates about half that of the maturation vessels and comparable to “neutral” barrels. Flextanks are scientifically designed to prevent loss to 'angel's share' or evaporation, but if using a barrel, you'll want to monitor and top-off your wine.
#3 Mistake - Set It and Forget It
The Result: If left to age without proper sulfites, your wine can oxidize and grow microbes. Also after fermenting, any 'fault' in your wine will also most often amplify if left to age without being addressed.
The Fix: Address any problems early, research or solicit advice if need be, and then maintain, rack and add sulfites (Potassium Metabisulfite) to your wine before beginning the aging process.
#4 Mistake - Not Keeping Meticulous Records
The Result: Inconsistent batches and the inability to make improvements as needed.
The Fix: Take thorough notes on your process- from each step implemented and the timing, to your observations. Each detail counts. You'll want to either perfectly reproduce or slightly tweak your results for the upcoming season, and the slightest variation in yeast strain, acidity, and sugar content can have a major effect on your finished product.
#5 Mistake - Improper Sanitation
The Result: When tanks, barrels and equipment are not properly sanitized before and after use they can develop mircrobes that will spoil the wine.
The Fix: Flextanks were designed to be easily cleaned and last as long as 20 years with proper sanitation. Start by rinsing the tank with hot water then use recommended cleaning agents for your vessel. Soak and rinse again.