Wine & Cider Analyses

Analytical Packages

We have state-of-the-art analytical equipment and extensive experience in developing new analytical methods. We are re-validating assays that were offered prior to the move. They will be listed on the website as they come back online. Please contact us if you require analysis that is not listed. 

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Wine Analytes References

Brix: Expresses the percentage of sugar (to be more precise, total soluble solids) in weight. It can be used as one of the parameters to track the maturity level before harvest* and to track the fermentation process in must.

*For grape maturation and must, it is only an approximation of sugar, since before a certain maturity level other compounds such as organic acids, amino acids etc. can interfere with the measurement.

 Conductivity: A measure of the ion conductivity of must/wine. It is used for cold tartaric stability tests.*

*Currently not available.

 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): A measure of all the dissolved solids in must/wine, including all organic and inorganic substances.

 Turbidity: A measure of the clarity of must and wine, in NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units). It is an important parameter to track, in must before fermentation for efficient yeast activity, and in wine for filtration practices and before bottling.

 Density: The mass of the must/wine divided by its volume.

 Glucose + Fructose: A measure of the total amount of the principal sugars in grapes - glucose and fructose. It is an important parameter to measure fermentable sugars in must and residual sugars in wine.

 Total reducing sugar: A measure of the amount of fermentable sugar, primarily glucose and fructose, but also other sugars which are capable of reducing other compounds; such as galactose, maltose, lactose etc.

 Glycerol: The amount of the most prominent wine polyol, glycerol. In wine, glycerol has important sensory effects, while the amount in grapes depends on their variety, maturity and health condition.

 Potassium: The amount of potassium in must/wine, which is an important parameter for grape ripening, for must and for the stability of finished wine.

 Total dry extract: All matter that is non-volatile under specified physical conditions, including non-volatile organic substances and mineral compounds in must and wine.

 Colour: The measurement of optic density is used to determine the colour of the wine and the concentration of total phenolic compounds.

  • Wine colour intensity is calculated from the sum of the optic densities in wavelengths of 420 nm (yellow/brown colour), 520 nm (red colour) and 620 nm (blue colour), while colour hue (shade) is calculated from the ratio of optic densities in wavelengths of 420 nm to 520 nm.
  • Concentration of total phenolic compounds is expressed with optic density in wavelength of 280 nm.
  • In white wines, the optic density in wavelength of 420 nm can be used to determine the browning.

 Folin-C Index: An index which is used for total phenolic content determination and is traditionally obtained by oxidizing all phenolic compounds contained in wine by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent.

 CO2: The amount of dissolved CO2 in wine.

 pH: A measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in must or wine. It is an important parameter for all the steps of “wine growing”: grape maturation, must, fermentation and aging.

 Total acidity: A measure of all types of acids, including volatile and fixed acids in must/wine. It takes into account inorganic acids, such as phosphoric acid; organic acids, such as tartaric acid, malic acid, citric acid etc., as well as amino acids.

Total acidity (pH 7.0): Uses the end point of pH 7.0, expressed in terms of sulphuric acid.

Total acidity (pH 8.2): Uses the end point of pH 8.2, expressed in terms of tartaric acid.

Tartaric acid: The main organic acid specific to grapes. It is an important parameter for grape maturity along with malic acid, as well as stability and organoleptic characteristics of wine.

 Malic acid: One of the major acids present in grapes, along with tartaric acid. It is one of the parameters used to track maturity of the grapes before harvest, and in wine for decisions of malolactic fermentation process.

 Lactic acid: An acid which is produced by yeast cells during fermentation or metabolic activity of bacteria. It has an important organoleptic effect in wine.

 Sorbic acid: Used as an antimicrobial agent in wine. There is a legal limit of sorbic acid in wine in Canada.

 Volatile acidity: A measure of all of the volatile fatty acids, which is mainly acetic acid. Acetic acid is produced during fermentation by yeast and in case of bacterial spoilage.

 Gluconic acid: An acid which is used to identify must or wine made of grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea. 

 Free Sulfur Dioxide (Free SO2): A measure of the free form of SO2 in must or wine. There is a legal limit of free SO2 in wine in Canada, as well as many other countries.

 Total Sulfur Dioxide (Free SO2):  A measure of all forms of SO2 in must or wine; free SO2, plus the amount of SO2 that is bound. There is a legal limit of total SO2 in wine in Canada, as well as many other countries.

 Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN): The sum of free alpha amino nitrogen and ammonia measured by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) by FOSS. It is an important parameter to measure for efficiency of fermentation process.

 Alpha amino nitrogen: The amount of nitrogen present in all free amino acids except the proline which is not assimilated by the yeast. It is one of the compounds of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), together with ammonia.

 Ammonia: One of the inorganic forms of nitrogenous compounds, most directly assimilable by yeasts. It is one of the compounds of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), together with alpha amino nitrogen.




Parameter - Method - Price

pH - Electrochemistry - $6

Brix - Refractomer - $6 

Density/Specific Gravity - Digital Density Meter - $6

Conductivity and Total Dissolved Solids - Electrochemistry - $6

Turbidity - Nephelometer - $6


Classic Package - Wine, Fruit Wine, Cider, Mead

Parameters: Ethanol, total acidity, volatile acidity, total reducing sugar, free SO2, total SO2, pH, and sorbic acid*

*Sorbic acid upon request

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $50

Grape Ripening Package

As the grapes start ripening, you’ll soon start to consider when to harvest them. With the Grape Ripening Analysis package, ALAB is able to help with harvest decisions. We suggest having analyses done periodically starting from veraison to harvest, so you can track ripening parameters throughout the season to have a good understanding of the ripening trends.


  • Brix
  • Glucose + Fructose
  • pH
  • Volatile Acidity
  • Specific Gravity
  • Potential Alcohol
  • Total Acidity
  • Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN)
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Potassium


Method: FOSS (FTIR)

Price: $25

Sample Requirements: 

  • 200 grape berries: Take a representative sample from your plot by collecting 200 berries. Please make sure that they are intact. Place them in a clean zipper bag, and label them with identifying information (plot number, grape variety, etc.) and bring or send them to ALAB as soon as possible, ideally on the same day of the sampling.
  • 120 ml grape juice: You can crush your own grapes and bring or send us the juice (you can contact ALAB for free sample bottles). Make sure that the juice is brought to ALAB as soon as possible, ideally on the same day of the crushing. Avoid overnight refrigeration to prevent tartaric acid precipitation. If you are not able to bring the juice on the same day of crushing, we recommend you send us grapes instead.

NOTE: In order to avoid overnight sample refrigeration and allow same day processing of the samples ALAB will accept grape and juice samples from 9 am to 3 pm. Wine samples will be accepted from 9 am to 5 pm as usual.

FOSS Rapid Analysis

100% Grape Wine




Reducing Sugar


Total Acidity (pH 8.2)

Free & Total SO2

Volatile Acidity

Colour - A420, A520, A620, Hue & Intensity

Tartaric, Malic, and Lactic Acid


Method: FOSS WineScan SO2

Price: $25

Please check back regularly for additions to packages. 



Colour Profile

Parameters: Absorbance at 280nm, 420nm, 520nm, and 620nm.  Hue and Intensity as calculated values.

Method: Spectrophotometer

Price: $15

Organic Acid Profile

Parameters: Oxalic, tartaric, malic, lactic, acetic, citric, succinic acids


Price: $45

Sugars Profile

Parameters: Glycerol, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Sucrose, Maltose, and Lactose

Method: HPLC-RI

Price: $40

Note: Not available for Cider Samples



Parameters: Alcohol by volume

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $25

Sulfur Dioxide

Parameters: Free SO2 and Total SO2

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $30

Phenolic and Anthocyanin Analysis

Parameter: Total phenolic content (Gallic Acid Equivalents)

Method: Spectrophotometer

Price: $30

Parameter: Total Anthocyanin content (Malvidin-3-Glucoside  Equivalents)

Method: Spectrophotometer

Price: $30

Yeast Analysis

Parameters: Yeast count and viability

Note: Analysis intended for yeast cultures and product under fermentation. Not recommended as a method to make sure that product is free from yeast prior to bottling.

Price: $40


Parameters: The sum of free alpha amino nitrogen and ammonia

Method: Enzymatic kits

Note: Juice/Grape/Must Samples

Price: $30

Calories and Carbohydrates

Parameters: Calories, Carbohydrates, Alcohol by Volume

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis - Alcohol and Total Reducing Sugar, AOAC methods for Calories, Carbohydrates, Ash, Extract and Real Extract.

Price: $85


Parameter: Cold Stability

Method: Conductivity for 30 minutes after seeding with potassium bitartrate at 0°C for white wines, 4°C for red wines.

Price: $22

Parameter: Heat Stability

Method: Turbidity before and after 2 hours at 80°C

Price: $22

Consultation Services

ALAB can provide interpretation of the lab results for commercial producers through the services of the Wine Quality Specialist, Neslihan Ivit. The Wine Quality Specialist position is a unique collaboration between Acadia and Perennia, intended to help maximize the quality of the wine produced in Nova Scotia. There is no additional cost for the interpretation.