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How to Pick the Perfect Bubbly

Saturday, December 31, 2005

With it being New Year's Eve, I thought that I would post this article found on about how to pick champagne.
How to pick the perfect bubbly
Posted by the Ocean County Observer on 12/31/05

Champagne has been the drink of celebrations for more than 15 centuries — a fact that will be in evidence again tonight at New Year's Eve parties across the country.

To find the perfect champagne, there are certain dos — and don'ts — that every wine lover must know, starting with what is considered "true" champagne, how much you should spend, and how loud you should pop that cork.

"A lot of people don't know much about champagne," said Donny Sanders, owner of Monaghan's Liquor Store, Toms River. "They rely on what they see or hear from advertisements. There are less known brands that are a better quality."

From its earliest days, champagne has held a special place in history. Clovis, King of the Franks, was baptized in Champagne in 496 after he was converted to Christianity. Coronations of French monarchs were accompanied by Champagne. It also flowed freely on Bastille Day, July 14, 1789 when the monarchy was overthrown.

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Orange Concentrate Wine Recipe

  • one 12 oz. can 100% pure orange juice concentrate
  • 1 1/2 lb sugar
  • 1 tsp tartic acid
  • 1 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp tannin
  • 1 gallon water
  • wine yeast and nutrient

add orange juice,sugar and nutrient to 4 pints of water. stir to dissolve. dissolve tannin in a small amount of boiling water and add. top up with 7 pints of water,leaving lots of space in your fermenting jar. add pectic enzyme and yeast. let ferment 1 week. top up to full gallon. let ferment until can drink this wine right away, but it improves with age. serve chilled.
This will make 1 gallon of wine and I usually use 2 cans of concentrate to 1 gallon for a fuller bodied wine.
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India Pale Ale Recipe


  • 4 pounds, Munton and Fison light DME
  • 4 pounds, Geordie amber DME
  • 1 pound, crushed Crystal Malt
  • 1-1/2 ounces, Cascade leaf hops (boil 60 minutes)
  • 1-1/2 ounces, Cascade leaf hops (finishing)
  • 1 teaspoon, Irish Moss
  • Wyeast #1056 Chico Ale Yeast (1 quart starter made 2 days prior)


Add the crystal malt to cold water and apply heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or so then sparge into boiling kettle. Add DME, top up kettle and bring to boil. When boil starts, add boiling hops and boil for 60 minutes. 10 minutes before end of boil add 1 teaspoon of Irish Moss. When boil is complete, remove heat, add finishing hops and immediately begin chilling wort. Strain wort into fermenter and pitch yeast starter. Primary fermentation took about 4 days. After about a week bottle and let set for another 2 weeks.

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How to Order Wine at a Resturant

Friday, December 30, 2005

I was reading the most recent posts on Vinography and ran across this article. It is a riot. Here are a couple clips to wet your appetite.

2. Don’t ask, “What’s cheap?”

10. DON’T SMELL THE PLASTIC CORK EITHER!- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people do this. Lots of wine makers are moving away from natural cork to synthetics. Sniffing a plastic cork tells the world you’re a moron. Don’t smell the bottle cap either. (I never smelled the plastic cork before I was a waiter, so there!)

26. Its wine, not the Blood of Christ. Don’t worship it. Enjoy it.

To read more:

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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British Bitter Beer Recipe


  • 5 to 6 pounds, Alexander's pale malt extract
  • 1/2 pound, crystal malt, crushed
  • 10 ounces, dextrose (optional)
  • 1-1/4 ounces, Cascade hops (boil)
  • 1/4 ounce, Cascade hops (finish)
  • Munton & Fison ale yeast
  • corn sugar for priming


Steep crystal malt and sparge twice. Add extract and dextrose and bring to boil. Add Cascade hops and boil 60 minutes. In last few minutes add remaining 1/4 ounce of Cascade (or dry hop, if desired). Chill and pitch yeast.

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Apple Wine Recipe

  • 16 cups apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 pounds raisins
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrients
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon acid blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1 gallon water, hot
  • 1 package wine yeast (for 1 to 5 gallons)

Place fruit in primary fermentor. Pour boiling water over it. Let sit overnight.

24 hours later, add balance of ingredients. Stir to dissolve sugar. Stir daily for 5 to 6 days or until frothing ceases. Strain out fruit and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can. Siphon into secondary fermentor and attach airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

If wine is not clear, or still has quite a bit of sediment forming between rackings, Fine the wine as follows.

Use wine finings or plain gelatin. Gelatin: use 1 teaspoon per 6 gallons of wine. Finings: 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons or as per package directions. Soak in 1/2 cup cold water for 1/2 hour. Bring to a boil to dissolve. Cool. Stir into wine. Let sit 10 to 14 days. Rack. If not clear enough yet, repeat process. DO NOT increase amount of gelatin or finings. The mixture will stay suspended in the wine, preventing it from ever clearing. Bottle once wine is clear.

The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.

NOTE: The best apples to use are tart apples such as winesap, jonathans, etc and not the delicious apples.

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Planning for the New Year

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's about this time each year that I like to sit down and plan what wine and beer that I like to make during the upcoming year. It's usually not set in stone, but more of a trail to follow. Most years revolved around what beers to make a presents for the following Christmas. For next year, my primary focus will be more on experimenting and expanding my skills. What I would like to do for 2006:

1. Make more wine from fresh fruit and vegetables: Peach, Strawberry, Apple and Grapes.

2. Make smaller batches. Seems like the batches that are less than 3 gallons turn out better. So a lot of small batches to get lots of practice.

3. Better recording of ingredients, original gravities, etc. One of my weaker points.

4. Try at least one kit wine. I've never tried one in the almost 5 years of wine making, figure that it is about time.

5. Experiment with more concentrates that are purchased from grocery stores.

6. Make a couple of batches from grape concentrates. ie. Burgundy, Merlot, etc.

7. Experiment with a couple different sweetening agents. ie. Splenda, stevia etc.

8. Switch to all screw top bottles: See Bad Cork post for reason why.

9. For beer, make a couple of barley wines.

Will I accomplish all these goals? Probably not, life has a way of interfering with having fun. But, hey, who cares, making wine and beer is suppose to be enjoyable. When it gets to the point where it becomes a pain, then I'll quit. Of course, I'll be sharing the experiments with you the successes and also the failures.

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Wine Tasting Tips

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Since I'm really a "newbie" to wine, I've never learned the fine art of tasting wine. Basically, after tasting the wine, I say either "I'd spend my money on that" or "that sucks." Nothing about nose, or legs, or anything else. I'm sure most American's do what I do. So to help educate me and others about the fine art of winetasting, I pulled this from Virginia Wines.

Wine Tasting Tips

Color and Smell can tell you a lot about a wine before you taste it. Start by holding your tasting glass up to the light to observe its color and its texture (or weight).

Next swirl the wine around in your tasting glass. Observe the streaks of wine (legs) as they roll down the side of the glass. The legs can help you determine the body of the wine. The swirling will also allow the aroma of the wine to be released into the air. Stick your nose down into the glass to detect the fragrances being released.

Slowly and carefully taste the wine making sure it comes in contact with each part of your tongue (the tip, the sides, the center and the back). Each part of your tongue specializes in a different taste sensation so it is important to slurp the wine around in your mouth so that each part of your tongue gets a turn to taste.

It's okay to dump wine after you have tasted it. All tasting rooms have dump buckets and if you don't see one, ask the tasting room to dump it for you.

Spit after you have tasted. Especially if you are planning to visit several wineries. That will help you keep your senses.

There are no right or wrong descriptions of how a wine tastes or smells. Everyone's palate is as unique and different as each individual.


Back from the Holidays

I'm back from enjoying the holidays. Its 8 am here so look for new material in about 12 hours.   I have to go back to work,  Bummer.
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Saturday, December 24, 2005

May you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas.


Christmas Presents

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's Christmas time and with everyone running about to buy presents, why not take a more personal approach.  Why not give away some of that wine that you have made over the past year.  Due to an illness in the family, money is tight this year, so everyone is going to get some of my wine for Christmas.  I am going to add a little twist and have each bottle personalized with the "giftee's" name.  Luckily for me, most of our children are of drinking age, and the one that is not will get some cash.  To me, Christmas is about sharing who you are and not how much you can buy.  In my case, I'm a wine maker and I want to share.
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Acid Blend

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We all have used acid blend when making wines to raise the total acid content to and acceptable level. Usually, acid blend is a blend of 50% tartaric acid, 25% citric acid and 25% malic acid.
Ever wonder what those acids are, what they are used for and where they come from? I did a little research and found these interesting tidbits about the acids that make up acid blend.

Malic acid

an alpha-hydroxy organic acid, is sometimes referred to as a fruit acid. This is because malic acid is found in apples and other fruits. It is also found in plants and animals, including humans. In fact, malic acid, in the form of its anion malate, is a key intermediate in the major biochemical energy-producing cycle in cells known as the citric acid or Krebs cycle located in the cells' mitochondria.

Basically, malic acid is what gives apples its' tartness

Citric acid

is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. It is a good, natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks. In biochemistry, it is important as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and therefore occurs in the metabolism of almost all living things. It also serves as an environmentally benign cleaning agent and acts as an antioxidant.

Citric acid exists in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but it is most concentrated in lemons and limes, where it can comprise as much as 8% of the dry weight of the fruit.

Tartaric acid

is the molecule that makes unripe grapes taste sour. It is a principal flavor element in wine. Tartaric acid is used as a flavoring agent in foods to make them taste sour. The potassium salt of tartaric acid (potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate) is weakly acidic, and is known as "cream of tartar". Since it is a dry acid, cream of tartar is used in baking powders (along with sodium bicarbonate) to produce carbon dioxide gas when water is added.

Wow a little cooking knowledge that I didn't know. Learn something new everyday. For a more in depth article about wine acids click here.

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Wine Making Mistakes

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We all have the occasional bad batch of wine and wonder where we went wrong.  Usually, it is not paying attention to the details or some of the very basics are missing.  So here are a few articles that go over the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
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Tropical Wine

It's been colder than a witch's you know what here and the wind chill has been below 0 in the mornings. So, I started looking for an recipe that would remind me of a warmer place. You know, a place that grows coconuts has white sandy beaches and is warm. Just reading the recipe brings hope that warmer days are just ahead. Only 3 more months until spring!!!!

I found this recipe on Jack Keller's site and renamed it Tropical Wine. The original name is Orange-Pineapple-Coconut.


Bob Arndt is a relatively new winemaker and has written to me many times trying to understand the nuances of his new hobby. He created this wine....

  • 32 oz. orange juice (Tropicana, not from concentrate, in 64 oz. carton in dairy section)
  • 32 oz. pineapple juice (Dole, not from concentrate, in 46 oz can)
  • 6- 11.8 oz cans young coconut juice with pulp (strained) not coconut milk or cream, mine is from Thailand
  • 3 cups sugar or 1.095
  • 1 tsp. grape tannin
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1/8 tsp. pectic enzymes (liquid)
  • 1 tsp. acid blend
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient
  • 2.5 grams Montrachet yeast

Mix juices. Check specific gravity, then mix 1 quart of juice with sugar, bring to 110 degrees, mixing until sugar is completely dissolved. Add sugar mixture to juice and lower temperature to 75 degrees with sandwich bag filled with ice cubes. Add crushed and dissolved Campden, acid blend and grape tannin. After 12 hours add pectic enzyme. After 12 more hours, add yeast nutrient and yeast. Ferment in primary to 1.010-1.025. Rack to secondary, top up and fit with airlock. Ferment as long as you can wait (usually 30 days for me). [Recipe by Bob Arndt, location unknown]

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Bad Cork

Monday, December 19, 2005

This is the first time since I have been making wine that I experienced a musty looking cork.  It came from my last bottle of Apple Wine which was made in 2003. The ironic thing, is that I had posted about switching to all screw tops instead of corks because of this reason.
There could be a couple reasons for the bad cork.  Poor sanitation is probably the biggest.  Guess I should have soaked the corks in a sanitizer for a longer period.  Or, maybe, I should drink the stuff faster.  Hmmm, time to grab a glass.

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Sugar and Wine

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Boy, I really must be a neophyte in the winemaking hobby.  I was looking at Jack Keller's site about the different sugars that can be used in wine making.  28 different varieties, count 'em, 28!!!
Personally, I only knew about 5 or 6 different varieties, so boy do I really feel stupid.  This webpage is one that you should bookmark because it is a great reference.
I plan on using Sugar in The Raw in my next batch of wine  I'm not too sure how it will ferment out, so i'll try it on 1 gallon batch.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
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18th Century Wine and Beer

When I visited Monticello several years ago, I was fascinated by Jefferson's farming techniques. I was also fascinated how that just about every family during that time period made their own beer and wine. Just think how cool it would be if everyone now made their own wine and beer. Millions of varieties to taste and enjoy. Well if you want a little background about that period, check this out from Colonial Williamsburg.

This is an old time wine recipe. I'm not sure if the powder sugar means regular sugar or powdered sugar since terms were a wee bit different than.

WINE-RAISIN or STEPHONY, may be thus made: Take two pounds of Raisins of the Sun dried, a pound of good Powder-sugar, the Juice of two Lemmons, and 1 whole Peel: Let these boil half an hour in 2 Gallons of Spring-water; and then taking the Liquor off from the Fire, pour it into an earthen Pot, which is to be cover’d close for 3 or 4 days, stirring it twice a day, and adding a little Sugar.

For you beer drinkers, here is a recipe for spruce beer.

Spruce Beer Recipe from Pioneer Thinking.
5 gallons of water
1/8 pound of hops
1/2 cup of dried, bruised ginger root
1 pound of the outer twigs of spruce fir
3 quarts of molasses
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water or 1/2 cup
of liquid homemade yeast

In a large kettle combine the water, hops, ginger root and
spruce fir twigs. Boil together until all the hops sink to the
bottom of the kettle. Strain into a large crock and stir in the
molasses. After this has cooled add the yeast. Cover and leave
to set for 48 hours. Then bottle, cap and leave in a warm place
(70-75 degrees F) for 5 days. It will now be ready to drink.
Store upright in a cool place.

Lastly, if you want to know what kind of beer George Washington drank, check out this feature from National Public Radio.

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Cranberry Wine Recipe

Friday, December 16, 2005

Crushin' the net this afternoon and stumbled on this recipe for Cranberry wine. Even though it is probably too late too enjoy it for this holiday season, the cranberries are plentiful in the stores and now is the time to buy them. You can replace the Sultanas with golden raisins.

Cranberry Wine

  • Cranberries 1 lb
  • Water 1 Gallon
  • Sultanas (minced) 1.5 lb
  • Sugar 2 lb
  • Yeast
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Citric Acid 0.5 tsp

Place the minced sultanas in a fermenting bin and cover in 2 liters of boiling water. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the acid and allow to cool. Cover the cranberries with boiling water and crush all of the berries. Pour into the fermenting bin and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the pectic enzyme and stir well. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours. Add the yeast and nutrient and stir well and then cover and move to a warm place to ferment. After 10 days, strain off into a carboy and fit a bung and airlock and then leave in a warm place to ferment out. Clear and bottle the wine as usual once fermentation has completed.

If you wish to use a more potent recipe try this one at Roxanne's Wine Cellar.

This one looks like fun, guess I'll be picking up the ingredients tomorrow.

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Making Wine Labels

Thursday, December 15, 2005

One of the great things about making wine is that you get to give it a way to friends and family. I usually like to dress up those gifts by making my own labels.

I usually use Microsoft Publisher to make the labels because it is easier to use than Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. When making labels for 12 ounce bottles, the set-up that I use is to make a 1 column by 3 row grid on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper. This allows you to use regular paper instead of gummed or adhesive labels. Just tape one edge of the label to the bottle and wrap it around. Tape the other edge to the label and you have one that completely wraps the whole bottle.

For regular wine bottles, I use a 2 column by 2 row grid to make a label that fits nicely on the bottle. Just secure both edges of the label with tape and your done. A couple of sites that also have helpful hints are: Grapestompers, Wine Labels.Org, and Wine Making by Jack Keller.

So have some fun this holiday season and make those bottles look like they cost 100 bucks.

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Mouthfeel of Your Wine

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

As home wine makers we have the ability to control a lot of different variables to achieve the wine that we enjoy.  One of those factors is the body or mouthfeel.  For those of use that are new in the wine scene, let me share this excerpt from Oxford Wine Room.
A wine's body is described as light, medium, or full.  So, when you are tasting a glass of wine, how can you tell which kind of body it has, and just what is body, anyway?  Body is the weight of the wine on your palate.  The best way to figure out any given wine's body is to think about the relative weights of skim milk, whole milk, and half-and-half.  A light bodied wine will feel about as weighty as skim milk in your mouth; a medium-bodied wine will feel like whole milk, and a full-bodied wine will feel like half-an-half.  Another way to think about this; Wine with a rich, complex, lingering flavor is considered full-bodied; one that is watery or lacking in body is considered light-bodied or thin; a medium-bodied wine ranks in between.  Not all wines strive to be full-bodied however, some wines strive for finesse and complexity.  It is also important to remember that the wine's quality and characteristic is influenced in many other ways.  Climate, weather during harvest, and even winemaker's preference can all determine the final outcome of a particular wine.
One way to measure the body of your wine is described in this excerpt from Bacchus Wine Cellar

A wine's body is measured by swirling it around the glass and seeing how long it takes the wine to flow down the sides. Full-bodied wines are heavy and come down the sides of the glass in sheets. Medium-bodied wines are less thick and break into "legs" (lines of colorless glycerin) as they flow down the sides. Light-bodied wines are not heavy and will not cling to the sides of the glass when swirled.

I have taken thin bodied wines and made them into medium bodied by adding more juice after about the second racking.  It will referment, so make sure that you give it enough time.  Current, I am doing it with my peach wine from this year since it was a little thin.  I added in some Welch's White Grape/Peach Juice and it is currently plopping away.


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Revamped Website

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Ben's Wine Making Tips took on a new look this evening.  The original website looked like a third grader designed it and I felt it was time for a huge upgrade.  I started experimenting with Cascading Style Sheets and felt that they made a better looking website.  I also made my own navigation buttons with Adobe Photoshop.
The new site works in IE6, Avant and Firefox.  For some reason, in IE6 and Avant the navigation buttons are in a square instead of a straight line.  Probably because IE6 and Avant are really not geared up for CSS designed websites.  The revamped site is much more prettier in Firefox.
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Screw Caps Instead of Cork

Monday, December 12, 2005

Before I started to make wine, I rarely drank it. Reason being is that getting the cork out of the bottle was such a pain in the butt. I am sure, I am like most American consumers and don't want the hassle when I want to have a drink.

This quote for an article in
Metro Active is quite interesting:

"It's a move fully supported by Gordon Getty, the wealthy philanthropist who is a part owner of the winery. Getty, like so many wine lovers, has been frustrated time and again by encountering wines that are "corked," their aromas and flavors negatively affected to the point that the drinking experience simply is not enjoyable. "

And this excerpt from
The Star says exactly what I believe:

"Local winemaker John Belsham said Thursday the screw tops preserve wine better and cut losses caused by poor quality corks.
Belsham admitted the industry would have to overcome "snobbish" attitudes from drinkers who favor traditional corks, but said the benefits were worth it.

"The people who really know their wine know they will be getting better overall quality," from the screw top bottles, Belsham said. "

The reason most "wine" people do not like screw tops is that they think that they wine is cheap junk. Well, most of us wine makers would not call our wines junk. There is probably more care given to homemade wines than commercial wines. Reason being, it's our personal name and reputation on that bottle of wine. From a wine maker's point of view, screw tops make it easier to open and easier to store than a corked bottle. That's why I plan on replacing the few cork bottles I have with screw tops. If you plan on replacing corks with screw tops, get the plastic ones. They are easier to clean and re-use whereas the metal ones are a one shot deal.


Wine Making Resources

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I thought that today that I would compile a short list of websites that deal with making homemade wine.  I checked these sites out before listing them and feel that they are very good.

For the beginner:
Roger Simmonds


Download Books:
Home Winemaker's Info Page (free download)   This is a nice little book, worth the download.

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Winemaking Clubs

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's Saturday morning and I'm listening to the plop, plop, plop of the airlocks on my peach wine.  It got me thinking, where did I get most of my encouragement to continue with this hobby?  I mean, just making and drinking without sharing ought to be a crime.  Then I'm thinking, geez, the Cap and Cork club is where I get the motivation to continue.  The Cap and Cork club is our local wine making club here in Altoona and meets the first Monday of every month.
It seems that every month I'm trying a different wine that was made by one of the members.  The elderberry wine at the last meeting was good enough to be sold commercially.  Just sharing the tips and problems in wine making is time well spent.
If you are not in a club now, I encourage you to attend one.  You can find list of clubs at Winemaker Magazine.  If you are in Altoona during the first Monday of the month and would like to join us, contact Scott or John at Oak Spring Winery for time and directions.
 If you feel like doing a winery tour in Pennsylvania check out the routes at Pennsylvania Wineries.

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Brewing Your First Beer

Friday, December 09, 2005

I've noticed recently that a quite a few of my beer visitors are looking for ways to brew their first beer. I know when I first started out that it was kinda' scary and that was even after reading several books. The internet at the time had very few resources. But thanks to low cost computers, there is now tons of info. Here is a listing of some of the better sites.

Article at Real Beer written by John Palmer

Article at Brew Your Own magazine

Articles at Beer Town

Handouts from the Grape and Granary

This should get you started. The bottom line is that it is suppose to be enjoyable, so don't panic over the process.


Beer Yeast Strains

I just received my January/February edition of Brew Your Own magazine and there was an interesting article on beer yeasts. It covers both the dry and liquid kind.

The amazing thing to me, was that they have listed over 130 different yeasts. I knew there were a lot, but not that many. I have used maybe 6 different ones in my homebrewing days.

You can access the entire yeast listing by clicking here. Also, check out the hop chart and the grain chart.


Blog Changes

If you have been to this blog before, you will notice that I have changed the format. The previous format seemed a little restrictive and the margins seemed to be wasted space. This format seems to be more open and it also allows me to make changes to the HTML code easier.

I have also been experimenting with different ad layouts. Some I'll probably keep and others I'll dump. The primary concern is to make the whole blog eye appealing so if an ad doesn't meet that criteria, it will be dumped.

Looks like the Home Brewer site is not doing to well and will probably start posting more beer stuff on this site. About 80% of the visitors are here for wine info, so look for more beer posts beginning next week.

I think that is about it.


Wine Books

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cold winter night here in Pennsylvania and what a better thing to do then to re-read some of your wine books.

The best wine book, in my opinion is Robert Cluett's "Making Homemade Wine" which is published by Storey. Actually, the company considers it a bulletin so you will find it under Cooking in the bulletin section.

Storey has about 15 books listed in their Beer/Wine section and I have read about half of them. Enjoyed everyone and I always picked up a little trick or two. Might make a great stocking stuffer.

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Concord Wine

This recipe is the first time that I used actual grapes to make wine. I picked the grapes at my bosses's father's house on an October afternoon. October 2003 was not a real good year for grapes in my area, so they were more tart then sweet. I did eventually add a couple container's of Welch's Grape Juice to the must, but that was after the original had mostly fermented. This wine ended up being an average wine.


October 3, 2003

5 Gallon



40 Pounds

Concord Grapes

7 ½ Pounds


6 Teaspoons

Yeast Nutrient

2 Packs

Pasteur Red Yeast

First time using real grapes, we crushed ½ cold and made juice out of the other half by heating them

Racked October 5, 2003 to primary fermenter

Racked October 17, 2003 and added 33 oz Welch’s Frozen Grape Juice Concentrate along with 1 cup sugar to top off

Still a work in progress, tasted in December and it still has a high acid factor

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Burgundy Wine Recipe

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This was the first wine that I made using canned juice purchased from other than the grocery store. It took almost a year before it really mellowed out but it was worth the wait. Only wished that I had made more.


July 13 2003

2 Gallons



46 ounces

Alexander’s Burgundy Juice

4 cans


4 cups


2 Teaspoons

Yeast Nutrient

1 ½

Campden Tablets

1 Teaspoon

Acid Blend

½ Packet

Narbone Yeast

½ Packet

Pasteur Red Yeast

Primary Fermentation was 7 Days

Original Gravity 1.10

Vinometer Reading 15%

Secondary Fermentation 6 weeks

Bottled in Gallon Jugs August 29, 2003 along with Oak Chips

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Peach Wine

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Here is the original recipe for my Peach Wine. This was the best batch out of the past 3 years. I must have had the magic touch when I made it because I have not been able to make a better peach wine since. Maybe this year, I can only hope. Well enjoy the recipe.


August 10, 2002

3 ½ Gallons



¾ Gallon

Peach Juice

1 ¾ Gallon

Water & Peach Pulp

1.2 Ounces

Acid Blend

1 Tablespoon

Grape Tannin

33 Drops

Pectin Enzyme

1 Gallon

Cold Water


Campden Tablets

4 Pounds


Original Gravity 1.090

Final Gravity .992

Final Gravity Sweetened 1.026

Juice peaches with juicer to make peach juice. Use pulp left over from juicing and add to the must.

Used Red Star Cote Des Blanco Yeast

Racked August 16th and 23rd

Bottled October 5, 2002

Syrup mixture to sweeten was 2 sugars to 1 water

Added Hungarian Oak Chips at bottling time

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