This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.
Secondary Fermentation: The stage during which fermentation is
completed, usually in a closed vessel such as a carboy. This period
commonly refers to the completion of sugar fermentation by yeast, but
also refers to the time when other fermentations, particularly
malolactic fermentation, take place. See section G20. DIFFERENT KINDS
OF FERMENTATION USED IN WINEMAKING.
sg: Specific gravity. The reading taken from your hydrometer that
measures the relative density of your must/wine to water. Rarely should
the reading go above 1.100 as this makes it very difficult for yeast to
work and this will produce a wine with 14% alcohol, getting in the area
that yeast have difficulty tolerating.
Sorbate: Potassium sorbate (also shortened Ksorbate). A substance that
is toxic to yeast and used as a stabilizer. Sorbate's effectiveness
depends on low yeast counts in the wine; if it's high, sorbate will be
inneffective. Clear your wine properly, and ferment out to sg 1.000 or
Sulphite (or sulphate): Referring to sodium metabisulphite or potassium
metabisulphite. A substance that is noxious to many spoilage
microorganisms and wild yeasts and is used as a microbiological and
oxidative inhibitor. Sulphite's effectiveness depends on low organism
counts in the wine; if it's high, the sulphite will be inneffective.
Clear your wine properly and ferment out to sg 1.000 or less.
Chemically, sulphite is S03(-2) while sulphate is SO4(-2); the desired
form in winemaking is sulphite, however, the two words are often used
(or confused) interchangeably. Since sulphate is oxidized sulphite (ie.
sulphite reacts with oxygen in the air), sulphite prevents unwanted
browning in wine, and too much sulphate in a wine will cause
bitterness. Therefore avoid letting your wine contact the air as much
as possible. More in G24. HOW MUCH SULPHITE IS NEEDED?
Sulphite solution: A solution of 1 tablespoon sulphite crystals to one
gallon of water, used to sanitize all surfaces in contact with your
wine. The solution may be reused with care. Usually only one reuse would
be a sure way that the solution remains viable.
TA: titratable acid. It's directly relative to the amount of a base --
such as sodium hydroxide -- required to bring the pH of the liquid to
8.3. This is useful as it is one of many ways of measuring the acidity
of your wine and as such determining whether or not the acidity of your
wine is sufficient. See G21. ACIDE BALANCE
Vapour lock: A simple device that looks like a wide letter 'S' laying
on its side (this is the standard form, there are others). It is filled
with enough water such that air or contaminants cannot flow through it
back into the wine while allowing the pressure from fermentation gases
(primarily CO2) to push out. These are also known as fermentation locks
and air locks.
Wine: The fermented juice of fruits having an alcohol content of 7% to
14% (higher levels are possible).
Wine Thief: A hollow tube similar to a turkey baster that has a hole on
each end, one at the bottom to allow wine in when you put it into your
wine, and the other at the top to cover with your thumb when you take
it out so that the wine in the tube stays there until you put it over a
glass and uncover the hole at top to release the wine. Also, someone
who takes some of your wine without your knowledge; typically the
culprit is a family member or friend. :)
Wort: Unfermented beer.