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Measuring Additives in Winemaking

Q: "Okay, once again, how many grams are in a teaspoon?"
A: "Okay, once again, it depends on the specific ingredient.

Grams, the Useful Measure

I received an email asking, "What equipment do I need most to advance from beginning winemaker to advanced?" Wow. Heavy question. I thought immediately of an acid titration test kit, a good, reliable pH meter, an SO2 "Ripper" test kit, and several other useful apparati, but in the end I wrote back with the following recommendation: "Get yourself an accurate, reliable gram scale."

I finally arrived at this bit of advice because, in the end, grams and milliliters are the measure of most additives and chemicals used in advanced winemaking, while teaspoons (and their fractions) and tablespoons are the measures used by the beginner. Having said that, I'll admit I still use teaspoons (and their fractions) every chance I get.

I have a periodically calibrated gram scale capable of measures down to the hundredth of a gram. I also have a small balance scale accurate to one-tenth of a gram. The former is digital and was not that expensive, compared to what they cost 20 years ago. The latter is sufficient for most needed measurements and comes in handy when the battery dies on the digital one.

Some Useful Measure Conversions

Chemical 1/4 Tsp 1 Tsp 1 Tblsp
Acid blend, powder
1.3 grams
5.0 grams
15.2 grams
Ascorbic acid, powder
1.0 grams
4.2 grams
12.6 grams
Bentonite, agglomerated
1.1 grams
4.1 grams
12.7 grams
Calcium carbonate, powder
0.9 grams
3.9 grams
11.4 grams
Citric acid, powder
1.2 grams
4.8 grams
14.4 grams
Diammonium phosphate, powder
1.2 grams
4.6 grams
13.8 grams
Fermaid-K Nutrient, powder
1.0 grams
4.0 grams
12.0 grams
Fumaric acid, powder
1.4 grams
5.3 grams
15.9 grams
Gelatin, powder
0.8 grams
2.8 grams
8.5 grams
Grape tannin, powder
0.6 grams
2.4 grams
7.1 grams
Isinglass, powder
0.6 grams
2.3 grams
7.0 grams
Malic acid, powder
1.2 grams
4.5 grams
13.5 grams
Oak-Mor premium, granules
1.5 grams
4.4 grams
Oak-Mor toasted, granules
2.1 grams
6.2 grams
Potassium bicarbonate, powder
1.2 grams
4.8 grams
14.5 grams
Potassium bitartrate, powder
1.0 grams
4.2 grams
12.8 grams
Potassium caseinate, powder
0.8 grams
3.1 grams
9.5 grams
Potassium metabisulfite, powder
1.6 grams
6.6 grams
20.0 grams
Potassium sorbate, prilled
0.8 grams
3.3 grams
10.2 grams
PVPP, powder
0.4 grams
1.7 grams
5.1 grams
Sparkolloid, powder
0.3 grams
1.1 grams
3.4 grams
Yeast hulls, powder
0.6 grams
2.5 grams
7.4 grams
Tartaric acid, powder
1.3 grams
4.9 grams
14.7 grams

Calculation of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Potassium metabisulfite, 1 gram = 150 ppm in 1 gallon, 30 ppm in 5 gallons
Potassium metabisulfite, ¼ teaspoon = 225 ppm in 1 gallon, 45 ppm in 5 gallons
Potassium metabisulfite, 1½ tablespoon to 1 gallon water makes ½% solution for washing equipment
Potassium metabisulfite, 2 oz. to 1 quart water makes 5% solution for sterilizing must (1 teaspoon solution per gallon of must)
1 Campden tablet contains 0.55 grams potassium metabisulfite, yielding 75 ppm SO2 to one gallon of must or wine

Also see Conversions and Equivalents

Last update was July 30th, 2019.

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