Winegrowers Supplies - Ercobin: ascorbic acid
A chemically pure vitamin C product, specially selected for the treatment of beverages.
Chemical name: L(+) ascorbic acid. E300. For foodstuffs (restricted use).
Aim of Treatment
Protection against oxidation to stabilize taste and bouquet. Preventive treatment against untypical ageing off-flavour.
Product and Effect
Ercobin acts as high grade antioxidizing agent and even though the necessary SO2 content in the wine is still needed, aroma preservation is much better due to the reductive capacity of Ercobin. Moreover, Ercobin preserves and intensifies typical taste-giving and bouquet substances of the wine. Treatment achieves the following:-
• principally, treated wines develop more aroma, with a short delay after bottling.
• long lasting quality wines and sparkling wines are more racy, fresh and fruity when tasted. An Ercobin treatment is particularly advantageous for low-acid wines (depending on grape vine variety, the effect can set in at different times).
• preventive action against untypical ageing off-flavour (indoleacetic acid) which is contained in the grape as protection against wilting, should not be decomposed in the young wine (via intermediate products formed, e.g. formylaminophenyl-3-oxo propionic acid) into 2-amino acetophenone, since this results in off-flavours in the wine. Ercobin (vitamin C) protects very well and permanently against this undesired reaction. The Ercobin dosage should come up to 10 to 15 gm per 100 litres and should be added shortly after the first sulphiting. If the tendency for untypical ageing off-flavours is strong, dosages can be increased; up to a maximum of 25 gm per 100 litres.
It should be noted that the measurement of free-SO2 in the presence of ascorbic acid leads to increased values. A method for separate determination exists.
Under EU wine regulations the legally permitted maximum dosage is 250 mgm per litre. Often quantities of about 10 gm per 100 litres are already sufficient to preserve the aroma and help against oxidation.
The quantity of Ercobin is best determined by pre-tests and has to be added to the vessel in dissolved form.
For this purpose, Ercobin is dissolved in at least a 20-fold quantity of the wine (or cider) and subsequently added to the remainder of the wine; thoroughly mixing until complete distribution is achieved. If Ercobin is used for untypical ageing character protection, the product should be added shortly after to the first sulphiting. Dependent on off-flavour intensity, dosages can be varied. Ercobin becomes effective as antioxidizing agent only when free-SO2 is already sufficiently present in the wine. This is why the free-SO2 content of the wine should be kept stable at least at 30 mgm per litre.
Storage: store in a cool, dry and dark place. Reseal opened packets immediately and tightly.