Manual vs automatic titration in wineries

Category: Oenology | Tags: #  #  
If you are well-established winery or just hobbist that is very passionate about wine, you have to perform some analytical technique. One of the most comprehensive and commonly used analytical methods is titration. Many parameters can be quantitatively and qualitatively determined by titration.
There are several ways to conduct titrations, but have you ever thought about the method that will be simple as possible, as quick as possible, and will not require the knowledge of chemists, expensive and big analytical laboratory equipment?
Stay tuned to find out more!


Titration is an analytical technique that allows the quantitative determination of a specific substance (analyte) dissolved in a sample. It is based on the complete chemical reaction between the analyte and the reagent (titrant) of known concentration added to the sample:

reagent (titrant)

Not very long time ago, many industries conducted manual titrations. Manual titrations can be exhausting, long, frustrating. Standing in front of the burette, performing a titration, adding reagent drop by drop, waiting for the color or pH change, hoping you will close the valve properly and just in time…Many things can go wrong, and a lot of frustration can accumulate. Manual titrations can be inaccurate, and results can vary between operators based on the subjectivity of color indicators. . Manual titrations are time-consuming and not always accurate or consistent. And when you hopefully finish the titration successfully, do you know the meaning of the used titrant volume? What does that mean, where will you use that data, do you have proper equations to calculate the needed data?

Don’t you think that is too many questions for something that should be so much simpler?
And what if I told you that there is a device that will do titration for you, successfully, every single time? That there is a device that will do all equations and calculations for you and the only thing what you need to do is to turn it on, put a sample, and press start? I guess you are wondering where have that things been your whole life. 
Well, Hanna Instruments is here to welcome you into the beautiful world of automatic titration!
If you would like to conduct titration you should know which parameters in wine you can measure. With titrators you can measure pH, titratable acidity in wine, volatile acids, reducing sugars, ascorbic acid, YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen), free and total sulfure.
Many people think that switching to automatic titrators is demanding and very often have a fear of new technologies. But believe me, it is very simple, saves money and time, and improves your product. All successful and well-established wineries are already there, saving their money, time and improving their product. Why wouldn’t you be there too?
Switching to automatic
titrators saves time

Manual titrations require absolutely the full attention of the analyst that is performing the test. The analyst has to observe the addition of the titrant and watch for the endpoint. Because of that the analyst is occupied during the testing and cannot perform any other task until the titration is complete. With automated titrations, the analyst is no longer involved so much in the titration process. You put a sample in a beaker, put an electrode in a beaker, put tubes in the sample, and reagent. And you press start. Voila! In just a few minutes, you are done with your analysis of wine.

Switching to automatic
titrators saves money

In the beginnig you will invest in the titrator, but with the time you will save your money. Automatic titrators significantly reduce the usage of titrant. They use only the needed amount and the sample won’t be overtitrated and it won’t compromise the precision of the results. Furthermore, by having your own titrator, you don’t have to take your wine for expensive analysis in fancy analytical labs. Hopefully, with a better understanding of the costs for capital investment purchasing, wineries can make better decisions as to the ideal investments into winery lab analysis.

Switching to automatic titrators allows you to obtain better accuracy and repeatability.
For manual titrations, you need a glass burette to add titrant to the sample. The valve on the burette is being used to open or close manually to control the burette’s dosing. The precision of these doses is entirely dependent on the analyst’s skill. It is not reliable when comparing results among different users with varying levels of experience. Transferring on automatic titration, high precision pump preforms titration and is capable of doses as small as 0,001 mL. This will provide you greater resolution and better accuracy.
Switching to automatic
titrators can improve the
quality of the wine.

The wine lab is a critical part of the production process that is beyond a winemaker’s sense of taste and smell. The lab is the primary source of quality control in the winemaking operation. Proper lab protocols can improve your wine quality, leading to the better customer and critical reception of your wines, and in the end, boost wine sales.

Switching to automatic
titrators can save you space
in your wine lab.
Automatic titrators are available in many varieties with many methods and parameters to measure. You can have up to 100 different methods stored to your automatic titrator and even more on a USB stick and with that transfer some other methods. They range from the most versatile, high throughput level to simple, single-use models. All Hanna titration systems provide an easy way to increase throughput, accuracy, and traceability in any field. It’s only a matter of finding the one that is right for you.

Know when you already decided that automatic titrator is something that you definitely need you are probably asking what is the best titrator for you and your winery.

1.The Hanna HI931
Automatic Potentiometric Titrator

Same as the HI901C, the HI931 is capable to perform multiple titrations including acid/base, redox, ion-selective electrode titrations and photometric titrations. The HI931 is great for those who don’t have to much space because it comes in a 50% smaller footprint compared to the HI901C while maintaining high precision and accuracy in your measurements.   

Easy To Use
You can easily navigate between screens and menus with virtual keys. You will never get lost and you will quickly get where you need to be. Even if you can’t find something you can always select the dedicated HELP key.
Durable Design
No matter what kind of environment you work in, the body of the HI931 is made out durable, heat-resistant, and stain-resistant material called Cycoloy®.
Inner electrical parts of the titrator, display, and the buttons are fully sealed so you can work without worrying that you will damage your titrator from a spill.
Flexible Electrode Holder and Adjustable Arm
HI931 has an electrode holder that can hold up to three electrodes, four tubes, and one temperature probe all at the same time. Even though it sounds like is hard to maneuver it through all, believe us it is not!
Because of the angle of the holder, you can remove the stirrer and use a stir plate to handle small volume samples.
2.The Hanna HI932
Advanced Automatic Potentiometric Titrator
Need a 50% smaller instrument but the same capabilities as HI902C has? Then HI932 is the best solution for you. It still handles multiple analyses and has the 40 000 step pump for the precision you can always rely on.
Streamline Your Testing
Not only does the HI932 perform tests such as acid/base, redox, ion-selective electrode titrations and photometric titrations, it also can perform linked analyses which allows you to run two titrations back to back in the sample.
Automatic Reagent Addition

An option on the HI932 is to have a peristaltic pump that can be programmed to dispense a specified amount of reagent by volume into your sample. This allows you to remove extra handling of regents and chemicals, as well as introducing consistent dosing and accuracy to your tests.

Built-In Spill Handling
The HI932 has a Cycoloy® body that is sealed. You can perform your titration without worrying that the spills will damage the electronics. There is an external gutter to guide liquids away from the important connectors and electronics.
GLP Management
Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) information is digitally recorded with each sample. You can program in the sample identification, the company and operator name. The date, time, electrode ID codes, and calibration information can all be included in reports.
3.The Hanna HI922
Autosampler for Automatic
Potentiometric Titrator

HI922 Autosampler allows you to expand your sample handling capabilities. The autosampler is made to be used with the HI931 and HI932 Automatic Titration System and they interface together directly.

Chemically Resistant Pumps
To the HI922 you can connect up to three peristaltic pumps. These pumps can be used for reagent addition, sample leveling or waste removal. All components of the pumps are chemically resistant.
Optical IR Beaker Detection

An optical infrared (IR) beam is used to detect the presence and absence of each beaker. You can program the HI922 to handle a missing beaker how you deem fit; you can skip the missing beaker, pause the sequence, or stop the titration sequence.

A Titrator for Every Need
Automatic titrators are available in many varieties. They range from the most versatile, high throughput level to simple, single-use models. All Hanna titration systems provide an easy way to increase throughput, accuracy, and traceability in any field. It’s only a matter of finding the one that is right for you.
4.Hanna Mini Titrators
HI84500, HI84502 and HI84533
If you want to upgrade from manual titration to improve your accuracy and consistency, a mini titrator is just what you need. Mini titrators are perfect for those who need something fast and simple, but accurate. There’s no too much guessing and thinking with the mini titrators because everything for your specific testing is included.
Mini titrators are excellent
for fast and focused measurements
Mini titrators are always giving you simple and reliable testing of wine. HI84500 is a great mini titrator for measuring sulfur dioxide, while HI84502 is a great mini titrator for measuring total acidity in the wine. Each one is dedicated to a single use and designed to provide fast, accurate measurements with minimal setup.
This mini titrator comes preprogrammed with methods and also includes premixed reagents and an electrode specific to your testing need. These auto titrators also feature intuitive navigation screens which show you accurate measurements with just a few easy steps.
Get repeatable and accurate results every single time

Mini titrators will provide you accurate measurements with the dosing system.This system  provides precisely controlled reagent dispensing. The electrode will give you a response during the titration, and based on that the volume of titrant is dosed automatically adjusted to allow for faster, more precise titrations. HI84500, HI84502, and HI84533 use an official method to automatically perform titrations to either a fixed endpoint (based on the official methods) or to an equivalence endpoint.

To summarize all, automatic titrators will provide you more accuracy, traceability, increase throughput and give you peace of mind in your wine-laboratory.
In the beginning, you will have to invest, but this investment doesn’t have to be as high as you may think.
Automatic titrators with high-volume applications will save your time and reagents. That alone is sufficient to provide you a return of the investment.
Ordering an automatic titrator from Hanna Instruments will not only provide you the instruments, reagents, and electrodes, but we also provide you the technical support and training to help you transition smoothly from manual to automatic titrations.

Now that you decided that you need a brand new automatic titrator, contact us so our Hanna team can recommend you titrator and methods you need so your wine can flourish.

Tajana Mokrović, mag.nutr.

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