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The Facts on Wine Concentration

Wine concentration is managed by TTB-Approved membrane process OR through Alcohol Removal. All de...

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The Facts on Wine Concentration
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Written by admin   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 02:00

Wine concentration is managed by TTB-Approved membrane process OR through Alcohol Removal.

All dealc concentrates wine. After all, it removes alcohol, thus reducing the overall volume and increasing the % of "extract" in a wine, albeit by a very small amount.  This "concentration" is legal.  However, it is tiny. So tiny as to be irrelevant.  There is also a legal method for concentrating wine by membrane, and it is much more effective.


Membrane Concentration, Legally

Concentration, especially of red wines, is an important dimension of wine.  But you have to ask yourself, concentration of what?

  • color?
  • tannin?
  • palate weight?
  • aroma?
  • flavor?
  • acid?
  • alcohol?

The last two--acid and alcohol--are effectively prohibited by the TTB, which only allows the use of ultrafiltration for the purpose of wine concentration. By definition, ultrafiltration will not concentrate acid or alcohol to a significant degree. But when done right, it can concentrate the rest. We utilize our special high rejection ultrafiltration for just this effect.


To be clear, UF is solely suited for the purpose of concentration of flavors and colors. Adding water after the concentration is not permitted by the TTB.  It also would result in a poor quality wine.


Concentration by Dealc

It is interesting that sometimes people cite an advantage to the high wine loss of vacuum distillation by spinning cone column: wine concentration.  Another TTB-approved process utilizes reverse osmosis followed by distillation of the permeate and reintroduction of the water byproduct (AKA pot bottoms). This also could be viewed as having concentration effects.  This is because both processes remove considerably more than just alcohol.


Approximate Loss/Concentration

Source of Loss

Spinning Cone


Alcohols & ?



Alcohols & ?

Mavrik DCE


Just Alcohols

Our TTB approved alcohol removal process (Direct Contact Extraction--DCE) removes only alcohols and virtually nothing else.  The "concentration" effect is "only" .9% for each 1% reduction in alcohol (it is not 1:1 because alcohol is much less dense than water).  So yes, some dealc processes "concentrate" the wine as much as one whole percent more than ours, by removing flavors and aromas in addition to the alcohol removed. This is no way to concentrate wine.


Lower losses, lower costs, and no heat, vacuum, pressure, or manipulation makes DCE very attractive.  But won't you miss the concentration effect of the older methods some wonder?  Just take a look at the table.  In all cases, the "concentration" is so negligible as to have little effect.  Yet the cost of the lost wine and flavor, is not so negligible, is it?


Now, if you really want to concentrate the wine, our UF process is much more controlled and effective.  Don't cook and deconstruct your wine just to achieve negligible concentration.

Contact us
today to find out how you can send your wine to a service hub nearby, or have us come to your winery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 15:50
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