Acids are very important in wine making, affecting both the fermentation and the finished taste. A wine that lacks acid tastes dull or flat. Lowering the pH (adding acid) adds life and sparkle (taste not gas) to the wine. Correcting the acid level of a wine can be the difference between an unpalatable wine and a master piece. Citric Acid
Tartaric Acid
Lactic Acid

Acid testing kit


Enzymes are molecular catalysts, typically speeding reactions and lowering the required temperature to achieve the reactions. Pectolase in the most commonly used enzyme in wine making, it speeds and maximizes the colour extracted from plants and fruits. Amylase is a starch destroying enzyme, it brakes down starches into fermentable sugars and destroys haze forming compounds from clouding the finished product. Pectolase


All brewers and vinters need some method of cleaning equipment and killing foreign bacteria. Depending on your task and equipment, there are various chemicals that can help.
Campden tablets and sodium metabisulphite (same active ingredient) are yeast inhibitors, they can prevent bacteria from growing and so prevent moulds, infections etc. They also slow oxidation. They do not clean dirty equipment, so it must be clean first, and must not be used on stainless steel as it can cause surface corrosion.
Chlorine based products both kill yeasts/moulds and help to clean. The let down is that it must be rinsed very thoroughly, chlorine has both a strong taste, and has other detrimental effects on drinks (ruins head on beer).
No Rinse sanitizers have long been a favourite in America and are now becoming more popular in the UK. Based on sodium carbonate peroxide, these cleaners kill germs and then sublimate so rinsing is not important.
Campden Tablets
Sodium Metabisulphite
Chlorine Based
'No Rinse' Sterlizer


Finings are solutions or powders that, when added to liquid distribute charged particles. These particles conglomerate the dead yeast cells and other undesirables in the liquid which then precipitate and settle to the bottom of the container. Finings speed the time it takes to clear both wine and beer.
While not strictly a fining, 'Irish Moss' operates in a similar way to finings and is added near the end of the boil in full mash beer making.
Active Carbon or Activated Charcoal can be used to remove undesirable odours and tastes form liquid. It is not a fining but a heterogeneous catalyst. Its massive surface area (the theoretical surface area of one gram would cover two tennis courts) allows absorption, and very fast reaction speeds are then achieved. It settles quickly and the liquid can be syphoned off easily. Very useful to remove the bi-products of high alcohol yeasts.
All Finings
Kwik Clear
Vin Clear (isinglass)
Irish Moss
Activated Carbon


Yeasts, like most living things require food to live. In the case of yeast water and sugar are enough to get yeast cells to grow and ferment, however to keep a yeast colony healthy and ensure it can ferment to its potential certain amounts of trace elements are beneficial. Nearly all yeast nutrients contain diammonium phosphate (a kind of fertilizer), the more advanced contain blends of amino acids, and vitamins as well. All Nutrients
Vitamin B1

Water Treatment Chemicals

Balancing the dissolved solids in the mash liquor is an essential part of advanced brewing. Whether increasing the carbonates in light bitters or decreasing the pH for a Pilsner you'll find the chemicals here. Water Treatment

General Chemicals

Here is a few useful chemicals that do not fit the other categories but are helpful anyway. They include Tannin, Precipitated Chalk, Potassium Sorbate and others. General Chemicals


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