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Blood lye salt

The yellow (there is also red) blood leach salt (also known as yellow potassium, potassium ferrocyanide or potassium ferricyanide) is a complex potassium-iron compound and is used in viticulture for blue colouring. It reacts with copper if iron is also present and binds both to form an insoluble, blue substance that settles on the soil. As hydrocyanic acid can also form in the process, its use is subject to authorisation. A test solution in a small amount of wine (10 ml) can be used in a "preliminary test for iron" to determine whether blue fining is required before bottling. Only authorised persons may determine the amount of blood brine salt required. Improper use can result in the wine defect bitter almond note.

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Egon Mark
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