A few years ago I came across an old book at my parents house on wine recipies. I tried making one for chokecherry wine and it turned out so good that I went on to making almost every recipe in the book, and from there to making my own recipies and methods always with trial and error but still lots of fun. Anyway, not long ago I came to find almost all recipies other than the book I had use stuff like pectic enzyme, acid blend, tannin.. ect. I have never had trouble making good wine without this stuff so I am just wondering why it is used alot more often then not in winemaking? I do plan on making some with the addings soon to see the diffrence in taist.
Tannins do three different things. The first is flavor. Tannins increase the zesty flavor thats lacking in many home made wines. The tannin is the "zest" or peel of the grape. Tannins help clarification. Residual proteins and other particles are neutralized and dropped out of suspension just by it being in the wine. They also aid in the aging and keeping qualities of the wine. Wines that are deficient in tannin do not take advantage of the aging process very well improving only marginally. They also tend to deteriorate more rapidly in longer storage situations.
Pectic enzyme is used by a lot of winemakers and it helps break down the pectin in the fruit allowing more flavor and color to be taken from the fruit. Acid balance is important as well, however balance is the key. Acid blend is usually Tartaric and Malic acids combined. Some say the Tartaric is all you really need in a wine but it depends. It is important to be more or less inside the window of acidity where fermentation thrives and longevity and mouthfeel and taste are more or less "correct". You are right when you say you don't "need" these things, just like you don't need sulfites, but again they help protect the wine and allow it to age to perfection. Many fruit wines don't age well anyway and need to be consumed in a year or less. Some however really get interesting after a year or more, and in those cases sulfites are a necessary evil although personally I love em since they kill all the bacteria you do NOT want in there!
Thanks for the info DGreene, I am going to do my homework on this and try a batch. I am thinking rhubarb, raspberry, apple.. sounds like a good combo. Although it will take a lot of research to get it right doing it this way. Anyone with thoughts or idea's would be great. It will be 5 gal.
That book sounds good. Can you post the title, author and publisher?