Wine Conductivity (Tartrate Stability)
Tartaric acid and its various forms are naturally found in grapes and wine. The principal form of tartaric acid present in wine is potassium bitartrate, commonly abbreviated as KHT. As grapes develop on the vine, potassium from the soil moves into the ripening fruit and forms soluble KHT. The presence of KHT in wine can lead to its precipitation, or formation of crystalline deposits, in a finished product. KHT crystals are the visible particles that may appear at the bottom of wine bottles during storage, export, or when chilled before consumption. While natural and harmless, it can be perceived as undesirable for a customer.
Tartrate stability can be determined through the use of a conductivity meter. When KHT crystallizes during cold stabilization, there is a loss of potassium ions as it forms a precipitate. The loss of potassium ions from solution results in a drop in conductivity. Higher drops in conductivity during the test indicate less stable wines.
A selection of portable and benchtop conductivity meters are available to measure tartrate stability in wine.
Below are the most common conductivity products for measuring tartrate stability during the wine making process.
Benchtop pH meters include the HI5000 and edge tablet designed meters.
he HI5000 series is our most advanced benchtop conductivity (EC)/Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meters incorporating the latest microprocessor to bring exceptional features and performance for the most demanding user. These meters are completely customizable to user specific requirements.
The edge meters are very unique in design and in the use of digital electrodes. The edge is designed in a tablet style that is a hybrid between the flexibility of being used as a portable or as a benchtop. The edge meter uses digital electrodes with the edge multiparameter version that can be upgraded with other probes to measure pH or dissolved oxygen.
A variety of portable meters are available to measure conductivity. They include versions with manual range selection to models with automatic range selection.
In this category are the conductivity standards used to calibrate the conductivity meters.
Accessories include shockproof rubber boots used with the portable meters. These boots give additional protection from accidental drops and provide for a more tactile feel when holding the meter.