- Tannin is usually added to the must before fermentation begins, but this is not absolutely necessary. We add it to most non-grape wines before fermenting, but often adjust it upward by taste, just before bottling. This can be a delicate process.
- When the wine has cleared and is no longer forming sediments, sample it. The tannic bite is on the tip of the tongue and easily identified. If not adequate to your taste, add just a bit (1/16 of a tsp per gal) and gently stir with a glass rod or wooden dowel. Refit the airlock and let set about an hour and taste again. If still not adequate, add another 1/16 tsp per gal, stir, and let set another hour before tasting. If you think you’re almost but not quite there, add even less next time. By adding just a bit at a time, you’ll soon be able to taste the threshold you seek without a high risk of overdoing it. With most grape wines, it shouldn’t take too much to boost the tannin to your taste.
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