FAQ

BSG WINE

How do I set up a BSG account?

In order to become a customer, you must fill out our customer application. This can be found HERE

How do I order from BSG?

You can begin to order from BSG once you have filled out our customer application and it has been approved. You can see more details here.

How long will it take to ship?

Wine products routinely ship within 24 hours of receipt of order unless stock shortages or customer request for delayed shipment dates. Tracking information is sent out with shipping confirmation.

Do you offer technical support?

Yes! Don’t hesitate to contact your sales representative or dial wine number. Click here for more information on our sales team. 

YEAST

Which yeast should I use?

We encourage you to trial and find a favorite yeast suited to your wine program. Yeast selection should be made while considering the fruit conditions, especially Brix, as well as winemaking goals. Our chart will provide valuable information regarding each strain we carry. If you have any further questions, please contact your sales manager.

Yeast chart PDF

How much yeast do I need?

Typical dosing rates range from 10-20g/hL for fermentation, 20-30 g/hL for refermentation and 50-100 g/hL for restarting stuck fermentations. Proper yeast rehydration will ensure you are getting the most out of your yeast potential.

Why and how should I rehydrate yeast?

Proper hydration of yeast is a very important step in encouraging a healthy fermentation. Dry yeast cell walls are very fragile and can easily be damaged, limiting the potential effectiveness of the yeast.

We recommend the following protocol:

Add the necessary quantity of yeast in 10 parts of 38-40 C water. We recommend this but follow manufacturer’s recommendations.

After 20 minutes, stir and gradually add must to the water. It is best to add must sequentially where the temperature of the starter does not drop more than 5 C in 10 minutes. Add the starter once the starter temp is within 5 C of the must to be inoculated.

What temperature should I ferment at?

Yeast strains vary in optimum temperature ranges. Some yeasts perform well at cooler temperatures (down to 14 C and below in some cases) especially for aromatic whites, while others perform well up to 35 C. Yeasts can get very stressed working outside of their optimum temperature range, potentially leading to off aromas and flavors and even stuck fermentations.

Yeast chart PDF

How should I store yeast?

Store unopened yeast in cool and dry conditions. If you end up with an open, partially used pack, close it tightly, eliminating as much air as possible and seal. Alternatively, store it in an air-tight container with as little head space as possible. Store in a cool, dry place and use as soon as possible. We’d recommend using it within a week or two at most.

Do not store in freezer as this will kill the yeast cells. Yeast is dried, not freeze dried.

What if the restart fails?

Call us! Dial 800.585.5562 and we’ll help you with your questions or contact your sales representative.

Which yeast should I use if I have high fructose versus glucose?

Vason Premium Fructo is a fructophilic yeast strain. Vason Nouveaux Ferments is another yeast strain that works well in these situations. This could be an opportunity for co-inoculation or sequential inoculation with multiple strains.

NUTRIENTS

Where do I start? What is YAN and why does it matter?

YAN is short for ‘Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen’ or more commonly ‘Yeast Available Nitrogen’. It is a measure of how much usable Nitrogen yeast have as a nutrient source. Having enough usable Nitrogen is an important part of a healthy fermentation.

The best way to calculate how much nitrogen to add to a juice is to test alpha-amino nitrogen (NOPA) by spectrophotometer (usually the NOPA method by Dukes & Butzke, 1996) and ammonia nitrogen (enzymatic or specific ion electrode; if the lab reports “ammonia”, multiply by 0.823 to get ammonia nitrogen). The sum of NOPA and ammonia nitrogen is called “Yeast-Available Nitrogen” (YAN). Subtract juice YAN from the recommended levels on the next pages to obtain the amount of nitrogen to add. Note: Nitrogen tests MUST be run before ANY yeast growth at all occurs; yeasts strip juice nitrogen very quickly. It is very important to measure juice nitrogen, not just guess, because grape nitrogen levels vary so much. Adding the same amount of nutrients to all musts is a recipe for disaster, because some musts will receive the right amount, but some will be underfed, while others will have too much.

YAN? AMINO ACIDS? TOTAL NITROGEN? WHAT IS IMPORTANT? Products made from yeasts are high in nitrogen, but the form of the nitrogen is VERY important. Nitrogen in amino acids contained in proteins (including mannoproteins in yeast hulls) is unavailable to yeasts. However, these proteins are all digested during most testing procedures, so the results of total nitrogen in yeast nutrients, or even of total amino nitrogen, are not at all relevant to winemakers. Also, Saccharomyces yeasts cannot use proline, so any test (such as total amino nitrogen) that measures proline gives a very inflated number for available nitrogen. No matter how high the product’s total nitrogen, yeasts can ‘starve’ if it is not in a usable form. Tests of YAN by enzymatic and NOPA procedures much more accurately reflect the actual YAN, but digestion methods give higher results, so some suppliers/manufacturers use them. Ask your supplier what methods were used. Even the richest of yeast products, while providing many benefits to yeasts, do not contain as much YAN as DAP, so if a complex blend is much higher in YAN than another, either the testing methods were inappropriate, or the one with the higher YAN is likely to contain more DAP. Ask your supplier!

Risk factors: What are they and what do they mean?

There is a large range in grape nitrogen levels, and in yeast needs for nitrogen. This is not surprising, because the purpose of fruit is not to feed yeasts, but to attract birds at the right time for seed dispersal. In general, dry soil and/or water stress significantly reduce berry nitrogen (not the same as petiole nitrogen). Vine diseases or deficiencies, and low vigor, also reduce berry nitrogen.

In the winery, some factors increase yeasts’ nitrogen needs. High Brix and hot fermentations are very important. Also, some yeast strains use up to twice as much as other strains. And if molds or non-Saccharomyces yeasts grow, all the natural nitrogen and vitamins may be depleted before Saccharomyces has a chance to dominate the fermentation.

Risk factors for low grape nitrogen • Varietal (Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay, etc) • Rootstocks other than AXR-1 or St. George • Poor or infertile soil • Water stress, hot, dry summer or drought year (drier vineyards have lower YAN than wetter ones) • Low-vigor, struggling vines • Signs of nutrient or mineral deficiency in vine • Vine diseases such as phylloxera, Petri disease, Red Blotch etc. • Long hang-time grapes or grapes starting to dehydrate

Reasons for higher nitrogen needs by yeast • Grape diseases (mold, rot) • HIGH-SUGAR GRAPES (over 25 Brix) • History of stuck ferments or H2S • Clarified juice (fined/filtered) • Sparging with CO2, N2, or argon • Yeast strain with high N requirements, or no yeast added • Hot fermentations! • ML inoculation before dryness • ANY OTHER REASON to anticipate a sluggish ferment

How do I use the charts on your nutrient additions?

The charts are intended as general guidelines ONLY! Doses depend on MANY factors, some listed above. Grapes > 25 Brix (even when rehydrated with water to lower Brix) need more nitrogen.

These charts are updated annually in response to research.

The charts are based on juice YAN, and show typical doses for our complex blends.

1. Find the chart for your initial juice YAN (e.g., Chart A and Chart ST-A are for juice with 50 ppm YAN.)
2. Select the nutrient blend you will use.
3. The total ppm of the complex blend to add, PLUS extra DAP, are listed, along with the YAN provided.
4. Look on the right at the three fermentation stages, to determine how much to add and when.

ADJUST ADDITIONS IF FERMENT GOES TOO FAST.

We can recommend specific nutrient regimens for your wines.

Nutrient Addition Chart
When should I make additions? Why not all at once?

Yeasts need nitrogen during growth phase and throughout fermentation, but the cells cannot take up ni¬trogen late in fermentation, so timing of supplementation is crucial!

Raising juice nitrogen: In grapes, alpha-amino nitrogen is naturally 2 to 3 times the ammonia nitrogen, but in yeast nutrients ammonia from DAP provides most or all of the usable nitrogen. DAP has been called ‘yeast candy’ because yeasts use ammonia so easily. They deplete the supply during growth phase and very early fermentation. The more ammonia that is present early, when yeasts are growing, the more cells are produced (“biomass”), all of which continue to need nitrogen throughout fermentation. A large biomass may run out of nitrogen early.

Balancing DAP and complex supplements: Adding complex nitrogen sources derived from yeasts helps balance added ammonia. Alas, legal amino acid sources – yeast products and protein digests – have nega¬tive flavor impact at high doses, so supplements cannot completely restore the balance of amino acids and ammonia, though they certainly do help to do so.

Yeasts need amino acids:
Ammonia represses uptake of amino acids. Too much DAP, especially at the beginning, can prevent use of some amino acids: arginine, in particular. Leftover arginine is an ethyl carba¬mate precursor, and can feed spoilage microbes like Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. Amino acids are also aroma and flavor precursors necessary for the wine’s sensory profile. Adjust nutrient supplement tim-ing so that the yeasts “eat their amino acids” instead of “spoiling their dinner” by gorging on ammonia first.

AT YEAST INOCULATION
If grape YAN is 150 ppm or below, add some supplements when you add yeast (or when encouraging a spontaneous ferment). Over 150 ppm grape YAN, delay the first addition until fermentation has begun. For any fermentation, add Supervit at yeast inoculation (or when encouraging yeasts to grow in uninoculated fermentations).

DURING FERMENTATION
Add the rest of the supplements IN PORTIONS during the first half of fermentation. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS GRADUALLY INSTEAD OF ALL AT ONCE! Make the last addition of DAP, or of any supplements containing DAP, at or just after mid-fermentation, to give yeasts extra nitrogen after they have stopped growing, but while they can still take up nitrogen (test with spectrophotometer; ask for procedure).

Despite the inconvenience, we recommend making multiple additions of products in which the nutrients are immediately available and do not have to leak out of partly autolyzed cells or dissolve slowly. Immedi¬ate availability gives much better control, allowing the winemaker to respond to fermentation kinetics by adjusting amounts and timing of the additions.

A large influx of nitrogen as DAP throws the cell’s metabolism off balance, potentially leading to overgrowth of yeasts, runaway fermentation, flavor problems, nitrogen wasting, and leftover amino acids.

Later in fermentation, yeasts lose the ability to intake nitrogen because of inhibitory effects of alcohol. When is that point? It varies... in some cold-fermented musts the yeasts stop taking up nitrogen by 10º B, but in others they can take up nitrogen later.

Leftover DAP - not used by yeasts because it was added too late - tastes terrible, raises pH and is a nutri¬ent source for spoilage yeasts. Never add nitrogen-containing nutrients directly to a stuck or sluggish wine (add to reinoculation starter). Yeast Hulls are good to add to stuck wines, they adsorb toxins and contain very little usable nitrogen.

Nutrient PDF

Is it possible to add too much supplemental nutrient?

YES. Additions of DAP, or nutrients containing DAP, should be based on juice YAN level. Test YAN and use the charts on pages 24-25.

What’s wrong with adding too much nitrogen, or adding all the inorganic nitrogen (DAP) at once? A large influx of nitrogen as DAP throws the cell’s metabolism off balance, potentially leading to overgrowth of yeasts, runaway fermentation, flavor problems, nitrogen wasting, and leftover amino acids.

1) Yeast cell growth (biomass) depends on nitrogen content before fermentation, when yeasts are grow­ing. Too much nitrogen available at that time leads to a lot of cells which then become ”hungry” later when nitrogen runs out.

2) Fermentation rate also depends on nitrogen. With too much DAP, yeasts may ferment too fast and too hot (they can even kill themselves with the heat, causing stuck fermentations). Also, fast or hot fermenta­tions often have less complexity and less fruity aromas.

Summary of the effects of too much nitrogen:

• Yeasts produce too many cells, which get “hungry” when they have depleted the nitrogen.

• Yeasts may ferment too fast and too hot, and may even kill themselves with the heat.

• Some yeast strains waste nitrogen if there is too much DAP available at the start of fermentation.

• Fast or hot fermentations often have less complexity and less fruity aromas.

• Too much DAP can result in incomplete use of grape amino acids, stimulating spoilage microbes. 

Will someone help?

YES! Doug Manning, Ryu Yamamoto and Sadhana Brent have considerable experience trouble-shooting fermen­tation issues and are available 24/7 during the hectic harvest months. They can be reached at 800.585.5562 where after-hour messages are forwarded 

What are yeast hulls?

Yeast Hulls (also called cell membranes, yeast cell walls, yeast ghosts, or envelopes cellulaires) are the insoluble cell membranes left over after yeast autolysis and centrifugation to separate them from yeast extract.

They are very beneficial to fermentations, adsorb­ing pesticide residues, toxic short-chain fatty acids (C8-10) and other inhibitory by-products. Yeast hulls also provide sterols and long-chain fatty acids to build healthy cell membranes that help delay alcohol toxicity.

Yeast hulls are a key element in many nutrient blends, and are also added separately late in fer­mentation to stimulate stuck or sluggish ferments. The famed French enologist Dr Pascal Ribereau- Gayon considered yeast hulls to be the most helpful product for preventing or treating stuck ferments.

Nutrex 370 yeast hulls come from the same procedure as T154, made from fully autolyzed yeast, so it has VERY neutral sensory qualities, without cheesy odors or aggressive flavors that mar some other brands.

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Do I need to add malolactic culture?

Many winemakers choose to inoculate for malolactic fermentation to ensure a healthy and complete fermentation with good sensory characteristics. While many winemakers also choose to use native populations to complete malolactic fermentation, the risks of uncontrolled, delayed or incomplete conversion are higher. We recommend the cultures we carry to ensure the best possible results.

Should I add malolactic nutrients?

Once wines have finished primary fermentation, they may be very nutrient deficient. These deficiencies can inhibit malolactic (ML) fermentation. Nutrient depletion is frequently the cause of an incomplete ML fermentation. Adding nutrients can improve the ability of the bacteria to complete ML. The bacteria responsible for ML cannot store nutrients, nor can they synthesize all the amino acids they need. Leucofood is an ideal nutrient source, as it has no inorganic nitrogen (ML bacteria cannot use inorganic nitrogen) and contains all the necessary nutrients for a healthy ML fermentation.

Will your Leucofood work with all ML cultures?

Yes! Leucofood works well with any ML bacterial strain and any situation.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Do you have certified organic wine yeast?

We carry the Mastervin Bio IST yeast. This is a good, all around yeast that works well for reds, whites, and roses. It is a fast starter with a clean character.

Do you have a nutrient for organic wine production?

We produce OWN Organic Wine Nutrient in partnership with a major US yeast company and consultation from Lisa Van de Water and multiple testing labs. It is compliant with USDA/NOP regulations for organic winemaking.

Are there any options for organic fining agents?

We carry Mastervin Bio Araban gum Arabic and the Mastervin Bio Gel food grade gelatin. Both are certified organic and approved for use in organic winemaking.

ENZYMES

Why would I use enzymes?

Enzymes have a wide range of applications in winemaking. Whether you are trying to reduce the amount of pectins, enhance color extraction or liberate aromatic precursors, enzymes can be a valuable tool in the winemaker’s toolbox. Enzymes can help you get the most out of your fruit’s potential.

When should I add enzymes?

Enzymes vary in their intended uses and therefore vary in the timing of addition. Some are best suited to addition at the crush pad or press while some are meant to be added at the tail end of fermentation. It depends on which you are using. We recommend following the directions on each enzyme. Maximizing exposure during the most active and appropriate temperature and time range will allow you to get the most out of your enzymes.

What affect does temperature have on the speed of enzyme activity?

The typical rule of thumb is that enzymatic activity doubles for every 10 C increase until you reach the upper end of the activity range.

Will SO2 interfere with enzyme activity?

Normal levels of SO2 in must or young wine will not inhibit enological enzyme activity. Deactivation occurs around 200 ppm of SO2.

What is the shelf life of enzymes?

Enzymes vary in shelf life. Please contact us for specific lot Certificates of Analysis for your enzyme and any questions you might have.

How does bentonite affect enzymatic activity?

Bentonite will deactivate enzymes if it is present. It can be used to stop an enzymatic reactions. If you want to use enzymes after adding bentonite, be sure you have racked the wine or juice off the bentonite completely.

What Bactozyme addition levels do I need if used as a preventative? What if I have a large population of Lactobacili?

10-25 g/hL (100-250 ppm) of Bactozyme is recommended to delay or control the intensity of malolactic fermentation and avoid lactic acid production.

25-50 g/hL (250-500 ppm) of Bactozyme is recommended for inhibition of lactic acid bacteria for 3-6 months. As bactozyme is a protein with reactivity to polyphenols, it is advisable to increase dosage by 50% in red wines.

The maximum legal quantity is 500 mg/L (500 ppm).

STABILIZATION

How much SO2 is delivered by EasyTab? By Essoedue Barrique? Flavour Save?

10 g/hL of Flavour Save contributes 40 mg/L (40 ppm) of SO2 and 7 mg/L (7 ppm) ascorbic acid.

Essoedue Barrique adds approximately 10 mg/L (10 ppm) SO2 to a 225 L barrel.

With EasyTab, 5 tablets in 100 L of crushed grapes will gradually release 15 mg/L (15 ppm) SO2 and 15 mg/L (15 ppm) L-ascorbic acid. If it is added to the free run juice, the dosage will gradually increase to 30 mg/L (30 ppm) of both ingredients.

FININGS

What is the difference between a calcium bentonite and a sodium bentonite? Why should I care?

Sodium bentonite swells more, has a higher exchange capacity, and can result in slightly fluffier, less settled lees. It can also contribute more sodium to the wine that calcium bentonite (however in typical dosage range this is negligible). Calcium bentonite swells less and results in more compact lees. It has a lower exchange capacity and will have a lower impact on aroma compounds. Calcium bentonite does need to be very thoroughly mixed to ensure complete dispersion. Calcium bentonite can contribute enough calcium to increase calcium tartrate instability if added at high levels. It also does not contribute as much sodium to wine as sodium bentonite.

I can smell potassium sorbate (bubble gum) in my wine but others cannot. What % of my customers will be able to detect it?

While the legal limit for potassium sorbate is 300 ppm, the sensory threshold is around 130 ppm. It depends on the taster’s sensitivity and experience on whether or not it will be detected in a wine.

TANNINS

What is the difference in finished wine between liquid and dry powdered tannins?

Liquid oak tannins are hydrolysable, extracted only by water from oak destined for barrels. They have a very soft profile on the palate and contribute more aromatics and flavor than structure. Liquid oak tannins’ strength is in finishing adjustments to wines.

The dry tannins we carry are condensed tannins extracted with a water-ethanol matrix. They tend to provide more palate impact than aromatic or flavor impact. Powdered tannins can have a place anywhere in the winemaking process, depending on what you are trying to do.

How much tannin should I add?

Each wine will react differently with the different tannins and in order to optimize the impact, we strongly recommend doing bench trials to determine the addition rate of tannin.

When should I add tannins?

Depending on which tannin you are adding and why, they can be added at crush all the way up to 2 weeks prior to bottling.

Why would I add them at harvest?

Adding tannins at harvest can accomplish a number of things. Tannins can provide a range of functions including anti-oxidation, pro¬tection from botrytis enzyme activity, color stabilization, de-proteinization while providing flavor, tactile and aroma enhancement.

If I add too much to my wine is there any remedy?

It is definitely best to avoid adding too much tannin at any point. That being said, you can remove excess tannins through various fining methods. If the need should rise, doing thorough fining trails with different agents is advisable to obtain the best result.

Can I add them just before bottling?

We do not recommend adding tannins within about two weeks of bottling. Adding any tannin can change the stability of any wine. This time will allow you to monitor the stability of the wine and make any further adjustments if necessary.

OAK PRODUCTS

How much oak alternative should I add?

The baseline addition rate from our stave and chip supplier is about 5 g/L. With our staves, that equates to about 1 stave per 10 gallons (1 stave equals about 1 square foot of surface area, or about 200 g). With our chips, that equates to about 20 lb/1000 gallons. With those numbers in mind, we strongly recommend bench trialing different rates to optimize your addition.

How long should I leave the oak in the wine?

Time of total extraction is largely dependent upon the surface to volume ratio of the oak product. Therefore chips will take less time to be fully extracted than staves. Chips typically take about 3 weeks. Spirals will take about 3-4 weeks. Spirals can contribute unwanted bitterness if left in too long due to end grain cuts. The staves we carry will be fully extracted in 3 months. We recommend paying close attention to sensory profile changes as you age using oak alternatives.

There are circular cut oak inserts that expose the end grain of the wood, and long cut inserts that expose very little end grain. What is the difference between these two formats?

The circular or spiral cut inserts have a shorter extraction time than long cut inserts. Care needs to be taken in order to prevent over extraction of potentially bitter compounds from the wood in the spiral cut inserts. We recommend paying close attention to sensory profile changes as you age using oak alternatives.

What is the difference between American oak and French oak?

To start, American oak is from Quercus alba whereas French oak is from Quercus petraea and sometimes Quercus robur.

American oak tends to have an intense and more immediate flavor impact than French oak. It has a higher level of lactones, contributing significant sweet, coconut and vanilla notes to a wine. The cell structures of American oak also differ from French oak species, which allow coopers to cut staves rather than split staves, making barrel production more economical.

French oak tends to contribute more tannins along with complex spicy and fruity notes. The tannins contributed tend to be finer and more transparent than those from American oak. The cell structures of French oak require the wood to be split rather than cut which, along with log sourcing restrictions, make barrels generally more expensive to produce than American oak.

FLOTATION

You sell adjuncts for flotation. Do you also sell the machines? If not – where do I get one?

We do not sell the flotation machinery but Juclas USA supplies a variety of flotation machinery as well as other enological equipment. 

FILTRATION

Do you have anyone on staff to help me troubleshoot a filtration problem?

Yes! Please contact us if you have need help troubleshooting a filtration problem. Doug Manning is a well-regarded expert in the area of sterile filtration and bottling. He has experience in bottling wine using filters from many different manufacturers. Doug provides wine-specific support for your filtration projects.

 

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