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Fri, 02 Jan 2009 14:26:00 +0000Do you love wine? Maybe you want to learn wine making basics? The time is now to get in on the fun of basic wine knowledge .... CHEERS!
Wed, 24 Dec 2008 20:26:00 +0000What about a wine making kit for that hard to buy for wine lover on your list ... check this one out from Amazon:
Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:10:00 +0000Humans have been fermenting stuff into alcoholic beverages for thousands of years, it is not rocket science, but, of course great wine is! With a little bit of basic wine knowledge, you can learn how to make wine that you and your friends can enjoy.
Fri, 13 Jun 2008 01:16:00 +0000The last step in wine making is filling and corking your bottles. It is very critical how you handle the wine from this point on. The better the care, the better the wine. This is basic wine knowledge.
Wash and sterilize enough bottles to hold your special juice. Use your bleach solution again or run the bottles through the hot cycle on the dishwasher. Siphon the wine into the bottles, leaving about two inches of space for the cork. Soak your corks in tap water while you are filling the bottles. This will make them easier to insert and will clean them adequately. Following the instructions for your corker, cork all the bottles.
Get creative and design some colorful labels with your computer print shop program and print them out on self-adhesive labels. Be sure to put the bottling date on each bottle and always do this for future reference.
Put the bottles away in the cool, dark place to age. Try to forget about them for at least six months. OK, I know, you can't wait! Go ahead and open a bottle after the second week. It will be wine, and it should taste pretty good. There might be a slightly raw flavor from the fresh alcohol, but this will go away over time. As the wine develops in the bottle, the flavors will marry and meld. By the time the wine is six months old, it should be getting pretty smooth and should improve for another six months. Most homemade wine will not continue to improve after a year. This is especially true of home made fruit wines. Plan on drinking it all within six to eight months of its first birthday.
So now that you know how to make wine, be brave and give it a try!
Wed, 11 Jun 2008 23:05:00 +0000Usually, your homemade wine is ready by the end of the second week to siphon into your glass carboy. So, take a peek and see what is going on. Is the wine clear on top with a layer of sediment on the bottom? If so, then it's time for step two.
Sun, 08 Jun 2008 15:36:00 +0000To learn wine making basics you have to use a lot of common sense. Once you decide to make a batch wine, you will need to invest in some equipment. If you haven't already collected the equipment that we talked about below, it might be a good idea to purchase your wine making supplies from a supplier. You can get these online ... see ads to the right or go to a home brew supplier. The basic kit should include a 6.8-gallon bucket with lid for primary fermentation, a 3-piece fermentation lock, a 5-gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation, a drilled stopper to fit, some lengths of vinyl tubing for transferring to bottles, a thermometer, corks, a corker, and of course you will need wine bottles. This is all you need to get started. A hydrometer is a lot of fun because it lets you know what your alcohol content is.Next comes one of the most important steps ... SANITIZE THOROUGHLY ..... !!!!!! In this case cleanliness is next to Godliness! Any cooties left over in your equipment can cause mold to grow and that means all your hard work is destroyed. You can use commercial wine making cleansers sold at most wine making shops, or bleach. The aim is to clean out your carboys and other equipment as thoroughly as possible. If you use bleach begin by sterilizing your primary fermentation vessel (the plastic bucket) and lock with a solution of ¼ cup chlorine bleach to 5 gallons water. Rinse completely. For the commercial cleaners just follow the instructions on the package.Decide on the wine making area. The room should be around 70F. This is a natural process that is going on! It needs a good temperature to work with. If the temperature is too hot or cold, your wine is not going to come out properly.Next, decide what you are going to ferment!Fruits, vegetables, honey, even dandelions will work, but, for your first project, stick to something reliable. Berries, concentrates, grapes, peaches, cherries, or plums are all good choices of wine for the beginner. If you're starting with the raw fruit, begin with about 12 pounds of fruit, press it, strain out the skins for peaches and other fruits, although you should leave red grape skins on if you're making a red wine. If you remove the skins on red grapes, you'll end up with White Zinfandel! You can use one kind of fruit or a combination. If you don't want to press it, you can freeze the fruit. Freezing makes it unnecessary to crush the fruit as freezing ruptures the cell membranes, allowing the juice to flow freely. Now we go back to making sure that our bucket in sanitized and rinsed thoroughly. Add the thawed fruit. Bring four gallons of good quality water to the boil and add 8 pounds of sugar. You can use regular granulated sugar, but corn sugar will producer a nicer flavor. Boil until the sugar is dissolved then pour over the thawed fruit in the fermenter/bucket. This step pasteurizes the fruit, killing all the wild yeasts. Cover with the lid and allow to cool down to 90º F. When the mixture is cool, add the yeast, ½ tsp. pectic enzyme, and 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient. Press the lid down tight and insert the fermentation lock in the small hole provided. Fill the lock about half full of water, put the second piece in place and snap down the lid. Place the bucket in a cool, dark place and wait for the magic to happen! Check back the next day and there should be evidence of fermentation, maybe some bubbles escaping from the lock. This can be exciting, watch it until you are bored, then go away and leave it alone again for two weeks. You can check back periodically but there is really nothing to do except sniff the aroma escaping in each little bubble and start polishing your wine glasses!Use your basic wine knowledge to make homemade wine .. it's fun![...]
Sat, 07 Jun 2008 19:54:00 +0000Wine making is no different than any other activity ..... it has it's own terms to describe the process. Below, are just a few to get you started on your wine education and basic wine knowledge.Aging : Letting a wine sit for months to years, to allow its flavor to properly develop. Aging is often done in oak barrels or in glass bottles. Alcohol : When yeast eats the natural sugars in the grapes, along with oxygen from the air, it creates as an end product alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide bubbles out of the wine before it's bottled. This process is fermentation. Blending : Mixing together two different wines to create a blended wine which has flavors of both of the original wines. Classic Bordeaux, for example, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Brix : Usually thought of as a 'sweetness scale', Brix measures the amount of sugar in the original grape juice. Cap : The leftover grape skins and stems and such that float on top of the liquid during primary fermentation. Capsule : Not used on many wine bottles in modern times, the capsule was a foil or lead covering for the cork, often used to keep rats or mice from chewing their way into the cork. Carboy : Glass or plastic bottles used for home winemaking. These come in a large range of sizes, from 1 liter up through 20 liter and larger. Chaptalize : To add sugar into a grape juice that does not naturally have enough sugar to make a decent wine. Cold Stabilization : In essence it is chilling a wine solely to precipitate out the natural potassium bitartrate crystals, to ease wine buyers' fears that it is unnatural. Enology : The Science of Winemaking. Extended Maceration : Letting the red grapes sit for a while before being pressed, so that they flavor and richness develops. Filtering : Sending a wine through a filter cloth or paper, to remove any remaining sediment or impurities. Fining : Adding a substance to a wine - often clay or egg whites - to collect together impurities and sediments in the wine. The wine is then racked, leaving behind the 'sludge'. Hydrometer : A measuring device that tells you the specific gravity of a wine. This helps you determine the amount of alcohol in the wine.Malolactic Fermentation :This is a secondary fermentation done to convert the malic acid in a wine to lactic acid, giving it a smoother flavor. Methanol : Methanol is wood alcohol, and is poisonous. It is made normally from wood, coal or natural gas. This is NOT the kind of alcohol created in winemaking. Must : The original grapes, stems, skins, and liquid that is used to create a wine. Oxidation : Oxidation occurs when air comes into contact with a developing wine. Usually a fault in a wine, it causes the wine's flavor to change and the liquid to brown. Pigeage : When you make a red-grape wine, the skins of the red grapes form a 'cap' on top of the wine while it ferments. This cap must be broken up and stirred back into the wine to give it a lot of contact. This breakingup is called pigeage. Pomace : What is left behind when the must is pressed, and the juice is all removed. Pomace is often used for a traditional Italian drink, Grappa. Primary Fermentation : The main fermentation that turns a vat of grape juice into a wine. This is where the yeast works on the sugars in the raw juice, converting those sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Racking : When you move a wine or developing wine from one container to another, leaving behind whatever sediment has collected at the bottom of the first container. Stuck Fermentation : This is the term for a fermentation which simply won't begin, or which begins but then loses its wind partway through the process. Sulfite : Sulfite is normally added to a wine to kill off the wild yeasts, so that a certain yeast can be added to the wine. Also, sulfites help a wine age. Tannins : Tannins are natural substances found in grapes[...]
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:47:00 +0000
One of the things that makes wine making so attractive is that you don't have to spend a ton of money to get started, and if you already are buying wine at the store it can actually save you money, after all , you should have plenty of bottles. But there are some basic pieces of equipment you will need before making your first batch.
Of course you will need a container, I have found that plastic works best for fermenting the juice and an air-lock will also need to be able to fit the container. This is to allow gases to escape without letting stuff back into the wine during fermentation like nasty buggies! For siphoning your wine off of the sediment a 1/2 plastic hose works well. All very simple items.
If you are making wine from fresh fruit a straining bag comes in handy. It is used for easy removal of the pulp during fermentation. You can leave the bag in the fermentation, filled with pulp, and simply pull it out at the right time.
A hydrometer will allow you to determine the alcohol level of your wine and it will help you to track the progress of your wine's fermentation. So you will also want to get one, you will find that it is an invaluable tool!
There is a lot of other cool wine making supplies, but these are really the basics to get you on the road to making your first vino! Wine making should be fun so relax and enjoy the experience!
(image) Learn basic wine knowledge here and make your own homemade wine.
Tue, 25 Mar 2008 22:57:00 +0000Basic Wine Knowledge ... every story has a beginning and my wine experience started quite young for an American girl.