An Overview: Test Kits for Residual Sugar (RS) and Alcohol Levels (%ABV)

ABV reaction bottle
ABV Reaction Bottle
On the quest to fashion the best wines, we make multiple measurements to ensure that our wine ferments and ages properly.  We know that it’s important to keep our SO2 levels up; knowing the pH and acidity of the wines is essential to SO2 management as well as proper stability and flavor.  If we’re doing malolactic fermentation, we need to measure malic acid to know when that step is complete.

At some point prior to bottling, you’ll likely want to know the levels of residual sugar (RS), as this will impact your preparation for bottling. If you’re selling your wine, you need to measure your wine’s alcohol by volume (ABV); and even if it’s for your own use, it’s good to know the alcohol level, if for no other reason than to be able to prove you are on top of your process from vineyard to bottle.  In the last few years, Vinmetrica has released two new kits for assessing these post-fermentation parameters.  The Residual Reducing Sugar test and the Vinmetrica ABV kit are accurate and simple procedures for home winemakers and small wineries. Keep Reading More!