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Bench Trial Protocol

Last updated: 6/2021

Applies to: beverage producers and winemakers conducting bench trials with lysozyme, tannins, enzymes and fining agents.

Why Conduct Bench Trials?

We recommend performing bench trials with many of our products including lysozyme, tannins, enzymes and fining agents. A bench trial is a small-scale test that simulates the effect a tannin, fining agent or other additive will have on a large volume of wine. Bench trials are used to evaluate the efficacy of treatments, determine proper dose rate, and gain familiarity with addition methods. By working in small volumes, large volume mistakes can be avoided.

Wine matrices differ for many reasons (vintage variations, winemaking practices, etc.) and bench trials must be repeated for every lot of wine. An additive that worked last year or in a different lot, may not work again in the same way or at the same dose. Bench trials also demonstrate how an additive will behave during preparation (rehydration) or mixing. Many fining products have unique and sometimes difficult solubility issues which can pose a challenge in the cellar. Bench trials alert the winemaker to potential issues and can help formulate a more efficient plan when additions are made in the cellar.

Bench Trial Calculator

This calculator will help determine the amount of any given stock solution to achieve a range of concentrations in various-sized sample bottles.You can use the following equations or the cheat sheet in the next section to calculate the amounts of a given product needed for your specific sample size.

How to Perform a Bench Trial

Protocol:

  1. Make sure to keep a CONTROL. A control is an untreated portion of wine.
  2. Decide which dosages to prepare (100 ppm, 200 ppm and 300 ppm for example). Consult product technical information for manufacturer's recommended dosages.
  3. Prepare stock solutions. Make a 2.5%, 5% or 10% stock solution by adding 2.5, 5.0, or 10.0 grams of product to total volume of 100 mL, respectively. After weighing out the product, mix it with 80 mL of water until either dissolved or all lumps are gone. Put it into the graduated cylinder or volumetric flask and fill to the 100 mL mark. Additives that are liquids can also be prepared in this way by adding 2.5, 5.0, or 10 mL product to total volume of 100 mL.
  4. Using either the Bench Trial Calculator (above) or the Cheat Sheet here, add the appropriate volume of stock solution to either 375 mL or 750 mL bottles, then fill to the proper level (evacuating the head space with gas, if possible).
  5. After capping or corking, agitate gently to get a good mix. If the product is not completely soluble (e.g., Noblesse, fining agents), occasional agitation to stir up the product in the wine might be necessary to duplicate what would take place in the barrel or tank.
  6. Taste and/or test after the appropriate waiting period. For fining agents, this might just be as long as it takes the agent to settle. For tannins, it should be at least several days, but it is even better if the trial can sit for at least two weeks.

Finishing Kit for Bench Trials

This protocol applies to all types and brands of products you may need to bench trial; however, should you choose to work with Scott Labs finishing products, consider using our Finishing Kit for Bench Trials. The kit contains trial sizes of our entire tannin portfolio and samples of REDULESS™, ULTIMA SOFT and FLASHGUM R LIQUIDE.

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Bench Trials with Oak

Bench trials with our THERMIC line of oak infusion products look a little different than what is described in this protocol. Please click below to order a free trial kit then follow the instructions on the included card. No extra tools are required.

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