Harvest 2022 is upon us. The heat wave caused a lot of problems in the vineyards. There are reports of juice reaching 40 Brix or more, with VA’s over 1 g/l! The following are answers to some typically asked questions related to these challenging conditions.
- How do I treat high VA juice?
You unfortunately can’t. The operating pressure required to generate permeate through our process is too high for the machinery to handle. You do have options though!
- What are my options if I can’t reduce the VA in the juice?
You water back to an acceptable sugar level.
Typically, high VA numbers are associated with dehydrated juice. Any juice with a brix level of more than 26 is effectively dehydrated juice. The best solution for reducing the VA prior to fermentation is to rehydrate (add water). You need to add water to the juice until you reach a comfortable brix level. This will typically dilute your VA to an acceptable level to allow you to start the fermentation.
- What if my VA is still high in the juice after water addition?
If the VA is below 1 g/l, the ferment should start. It might get stuck at some point, but typically this is when at least 80% or more of the glucose/fructose has been converted to ethanol, water, and CO2. At that point, call us and we will be able to drop the VA and guide you through the restart process.
- How do I remove added water after fermentation?
Once the fermentation has completed, VA Filtration USA has options to legally concentrate the wine. We can remove a portion of the added water or all of it. Your choice. Trials are available to determine the ideal water removal.
- What happens if my fermentation gets stuck?
Typically, ferments stick when VA numbers or alcohol levels climb too high. We have over 20 years of experience dealing with VA reduction on stuck ferments. Our recommended protocol works extremely well. Call us!
- What about high TA and high pH?
High pH can cause fermentation issues as well as microbial issues during storage or ageing of the wine. VA Filtration can reduce the pH of the wine or juice without affecting the existing acidity. TA levels may change once the pH has been reduced due to equilibrium chemistry but there is no removal of any acid related compounds during the pH reduction process. If reducing pH of the juice, filtration of a portion of the juice is required prior to the pH reduction process.