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Thread: Why add them in primary?

  1. Default Why add them in primary?

    Ok, here is something I've been wondering for a long time and after reading alot lately, I'm even more curious.

    Just recently I've learned how together sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and alcohol work together to bring balance to the end product. I've always seen acid added in the primary and could never really understand why. Ancient Joe adds tannin in primary (now I'm understanding tannin better). And alot of wineries ferment their wine in oak rather than just aging it in oak afterwards.

    What are the benefits to adding these ingredients in primary rather than at the end?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why add them in primary?


    From what I've read tannins help protect against oxidation, and are needed in wines that are intended to age. I would imagine that this being the case that the consensus feels that it is better to add them sooner than later.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Brisbane Australia

    Default Re: Why add them in primary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norskersword
    What are the benefits to adding these ingredients in primary rather than at the end?
    Your initial must is water based, your final must has %alcohol - so different flavours are extracted as the fermentation proceeds.

    In non-technical speak: There is more "integration" when placed in the primary, because the flavours become part of all the "reactions" that happen during the fermentation, and then aging. Adding to secondary means that the flavours take time to blend together and then start to integrate.

    The choice of adding to primary & secondary is a tool you can use to get different flavour profiles in your mead.
    It's not a matter of right or wrong - just how you craft your final product. More complexity and integration with primary additions, more defined flavour with secondary additions (so maybe you want a bit of both).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    The OC

    Default Re: Why add them in primary?

    Tannin helps to add complexity by crosslinking with other tannins during fermentation, provides color stabilization, adds middle palate structure, and aids in clearing.

    I don't add acid until the end to make sure the balance is correct, in many cases I don't need to add acid.

    As far as the sulfite goes you can try it without adding sorbate which will prevent any fermentation from restarting.

    Is it tasty . . . precious?

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