Winemaking Calculators Go Online

New website's free tools provide help for busy winemakers

by Jane Firstenfeld
Online winemaking calculator
Among other calculations, the website can tell you how much water you must add to reduce Brix in your must.
Sebastopol, Calif. -- A newly launched website, VinoEnology.com, is helping professional winemakers during their hectic crush. It was founded by Petar Kirilov, an industry consultant and winemaker for reverse osmosis and de-alc specialist Vinovation. Visitors to the website can instantly access winemaking calculators for:
  • Fermentation (Brix, yeast, nutrients);
  • Chaptalization and water dilution (sugar and water additions);
  • SO2 (addition of potassium metabisulfite and liquid SO2 solution);
  • Acid addition (tartaric, malic and citric acid addition);
  • Fining and oak addition (clarification and oak wood chips addition);
  • Fortification (alcohol addition);
  • Blending and cost calculator (wine blending and cost).
Although we found that some of these formulas are online at other sites, (e.g., winemaker.com, fermsoft.com), nowhere did we locate a more complete and user-friendly selection.

Kosher wines
Winemaker and columnist Jeff Morgan has already put the Vinology.com calculator to practical use.
Napa/Sonoma winemaker and Wines & Vines columnist Jeff Morgan illustrated how winemakers can use these calculators. He said he had put them to the test during the Labor Day weekend, when working with a skeleton crew in a winery lab.

"The head of the lab had an accident, and was in the hospital. We were reading the instructions on the instruments, and trying to make our own calculations, but didn't feel too sure about them. So we went to vinoenology.com, plugged in the numbers, and backed up our calculations. It came in real handy. It's critical that you feel comfortable with your calculations."

Morgan nevertheless recommended performing your own measurements to get the basic numbers, and knowing how you want your wine to finish. "It's not a substitute for equipment to make the readings, but it's a neat place to go for the calculations."

In the website's water dilution calculator, for instance, you simply enter the amount of wine you wish to dilute, the actual Brix of the must or juice, and the target Brix you want to achieve and immediately are told the volume of water you should add. For example, 500 gallons of wine at 27° Brix will require 51.02 gallons of water to achieve 24.5° Brix. Even a mathematically challenged journalist can do it.

VinoEnology.com also offers other services to the industry: classified ads for real estate, barrels and equipment, grapes and bulk wine, wine jobs and services and a "world marketplace," as well as technically oriented industry news.
Posted on 10.27.2008 - 17:53:33 PST
Great article and really helpful websites for the whole wine industry.
Windsor, CA USA

Posted on 09.05.2008 - 15:01:02 PST
Petar Kirilov has been my assistant winemaker for a couple years now. He's incredibly bright, hard-working and dedicated. Baffled that it didn't exist already, he developed this tool completely on his own to serve the whole worldwide winemaking community. Great work, Petar! -- Clark Smith, winemaker, WineSmith
Sebastopol, CA USA

Posted on 09.11.2009 - 21:20:11 PST
Very helpful winemaking calculators and tips. Thanks again for that and have a good 2009 Harvest.
home winemaker
Santa Rosa, CA USA