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Country Wine Tips

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I was reading the December issue of Winemaker and ran across an article in the Wine Wizard section about Country Wines. I make a lot of country wines and found the article a worthwhile read. One thing I do that the article says not to do is to buy juice from the supermarket. Just find the frozen juice that does not have potassium sorbate in it. To read the article, click here.

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Sanitizing Agents

I have listed a few sanitizing agents so that you may choose which one works best for you.

B-Brite
This compound is used to sanitize winemaking equipment. It cleans with active oxygen, and does not contain chlorine or bisulfite. Effectively removes fermentation residues.Use: Dissolve one tablespoon of B-Brite powder in one gallon of water to create a sanitizing solution. Sanitize winemaking equipment for at least one minute, then rinse with clear tap water. Discard solution after use.

B-T-F
This concentrated iodine-based solution sanitizes winemaking equipment.Use: Dilute with cool or lukewarm water to obtain desired iodine concentration. Adding 0.3 oz in 3 gallons of water creates 12.5 ppm, while adding 0.6 oz in 3 gallons of water makes a solution of 25 ppm. Immerse items for 1 to 2 minutes; allow sanitized items to drain well or air dry. CAUTION: Never add to hot water; might stain clothes. Winemaking equipment must be cleansed separately beforehand, since B-T-F is not rated as a cleanser.

Campden
Campden, available in tablet form, is used to kill all the naturally occurring wild yeasts and undesirable bacteria in must, and thus prepare it for a "clean" fermentation. It contains potassium metabisulfite, which is a fancy term for sulfites.Use: Use one Campden tablet per gallon of must. Crush tablets well, then mix in with the must. Be sure to add it to must 24 hours before pitching your wine yeast; if you are impatient and pitch the yeast too soon, the campden will kill it too! Campden can also be used to make a sanitizing solution for winemaking equipment; see Grapestompers for details. Each tablet contains 0.50 - 0.55 grams of potassium metabisulfite; chemically speaking, each tablet contains 57% sulphur content; therefore, 1 tablet per gallon = 75 ppm SO2.

Easy Clean
Easy Clean no rinse cleaner/sanitizer. Five pound bucket with handle. Similar to One-Step but 4% stronger. Oxygen based sanitizer/cleanser. Dissolve one tablespoon powder to one gallon warm water. Wash surfaces with solution. Rinsing is not required but is recommended

One Step
Contains no chlorine, which can leave a film on glassware and corrode stainless steel. One Step is an excellent oxygen based sanitizer. Sanitizes with two minutes of contact time, no rinsing required! Environmentally friendly. Use 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.

I have also used Oxi-Clean to sanitize my equipment. Works on the same principle as the oxygen based sanitizers and is more readily available. I use the multi-purpose stain remover variety.

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Fining Agents

Bentonite
This is powdered clay that is used as a fining agent to clarify wine. Caution: If too much is used, your wine will have an earthy flavor.Use: Bentonite should be made up 24 hours before adding to wine. For a standard six gallon kit, add no more than 2 tablespoons of bentonite to 1/2 cup warm water; mix or shake well. The manufacturer recommends mixing 2 1/2 teaspoons into 2 1/2 cups boiling water. Mix really well, allow to cool, and add to wine.

Bocksin
This solution of silicium dioxide removes H2S (hydrogen sulfide) odors and related off-flavors in wine. An indication of H2S is the smell of rotten eggs.Use: Add 15 ml (0.5 oz) per 10 liters of wine. Stir thoroughly and wait 24 hours. Rack without disturbing the sediment. It is recommended to filter the wine after treatment. If the wine becomes cloudy, treat with finings.

Calcium Carbonate
This chemical is basic; in other words, it lowers the acidity of your wine to within your targeted range. Calcium carbonate is often used in place of adding water to achieve a more basic wine, since adding water will dilute your wine.Use: 1/2 oz reduces acidity by 1 ppt in 6 US gallons of wine. Be sure to perform an acid test so you don't overshoot your desired mark.

Wine Kit Enhancer
Add this stable California grape juice to enhance the taste, aroma, and bouquet of your wine kit.Use: Add to your wine kit at any point during the winemaking process: - Prior to fermentation (just before pitching yeast) for flavor, aroma, and alcohol boost - During fermentation for topping off - After fermentation (just prior to bottling), for fruit flavors, aromatics, and as a sweetener.

Lysozyme
This solution is used in wine to hinder or prevent a malolactic fermentation. It controls lactic acid bacteria and is made from an enzyme which naturally occurs in egg whites. A web page from Scott Lab explains what lysozyme is, how it works, and recommended dosage.Use: Add 1 oz per 5 gallons of wine, which provides about 250 ppm.

Potassium Metabisulfite
Potassium metabisulfite is added to wine to inhibit bacteria and yeast growth, as well as slow down oxidation. It may leave an unpleasant aftertaste in wine if the dose is too high. This chemical is also used in a water solution as an antiseptic rinse to sanitize equipment. It is identical to, but better than, Sodium Metabisulfite, because it does not add sodium to one's diet. CAUTION: Some people, particularly asthmatics, can have a severe allergic reaction to this substance.Use: For wine: 1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) of powder per gallon of wine provides 150 ppm free SO2. A little bit goes a long way, so be careful! Always test the free S02 content of your wine (using Titrets and Titret holder) to determine the proper amount to add. Generally speaking, the target free SO2 for red wines is 20-30 ppm and 25-40 ppm for white wines. The exact target depends upon the pH of the wine.For sanitizing solution: Dissolve 1 to 2 oz. (2 to 4 tablespoons) Potassium Metabisulfite powder in one gallon of water.

Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is used to slow down yeast growth and inhibit fermentation, thus "stabilizing" your wine prior to bottling.Use: Add 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine. grapestompers recommends using one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine in concert with potassium sorbate, because sorbate tends to work better in the presence of sulfites. Be sure to stir well, and let the dead yeast cells settle before final racking prior to bottling.

Sodium Benzoate
This is another chemical used to stabilize wines (slow down yeast growth and inhibit fermentation); generally preferred by makers of fruit (non-grape) wines. Use: Add one crushed tablet per gallon of wine and stir well; works best in the presence of sulfites, so you should also add one crushed Campden tablet for every sodium benzoate tablet. Allow yeast to settle as lees before finalracking and bottling.

Sparkalloid
Sparkalloid is used as a fining agent.Use: 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of wine. Mix required amount of powder with a small amount of cold water. Mix well until solution is smooth and creamy. Add mixture to finished wine and stir. Let wine settle for a week or more, then rack.

Wine Conditioner
An additive used to take the "bite" out of young-tasting wine and add a sweeter taste. Added to finished wine just prior to bottling according to taste. A little bit goes a long way! Use: Add 1/2 to 1 oz. to stabilized wine, stirring thoroughly and sampling after each addition, until the desired taste is achieved.

Yeast Energizer
A super nutrient with many vitamins and trace elements. Used to make wine with a high alcohol content or for fruit lacking in nutrients. Encourages wine to referment when it has stopped too soon. Use: 1 crushed tablet per gallon of wine or must.

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Problem With Blog

One tiny little HTML code problem caused me to delete a copy of posts. The problem is fixed now and I'll re-post the articles about finings and additives.

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Splitting The Beer Posts to a New Site

I'm going to devote this site to only making homemade wine and will be starting a new site for just beer posts. Home Brewer is up and running. The schedule for posts on that site are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. All previous beer post from this site will be re-posted on the new site.

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Thanksgiving Vacation

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Aaah, Thanksgiving vacation. The one time of the year I really get to devote to my hobbies. I have plans for the next few days and hopefully I'll be able to accomplish them. After taking the kids to grandma's on Thursday, I'll have four days free to pursue a few experiments.

First up, I like Ian from
Home Winery Blog have run out of room. Seems like this is commonplace for us wine makers.

So the first order of business will be to bottle some strawberry wine from this past summer's batch. This should free up some room to rack over the concord for a few months of aging. I have some blueberry from March along with some concord from 2004 that I'll blend and bottle.
Then I'll finally be able to do an experiment. It seems that the peach from this year is really thin bodied. I'm planning on adding in some Welch's White Grape Peach Juice to add a little fullness. I've never had to do this so I'm hoping that it works. If not, it will end up being blended with something else.

The other grand experiment is making a gluten free beer. I have some sorghum malt along with corn syrup, corn meal, and molasses to mess with. This is one experiment that I have been waiting to try for the past few months. Just not enough time in the day.

Lastly, I hope to make a barleywine for you beer lover's. Last year's batch topped out around 15% alcohol because of using wine yeast. Still debating on whether to use wine yeast or beer yeast.

Well anyways, have a Happy Thanksgiving and keep on fermenting.

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Additives When Making Wine

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who says you can't teach a dog new tricks. I was researching some ideas on the web and found out about a couple of different additives that can be used in wine. I honestly never knew about using asorbic acid or lysozyme. I'll have to try the asorbic acid next time I bottle wine. Note: Most of this information came from the Grapestompers website.

Acid Blend
This compound is used to raise the acidity of wine, thus increasing tartness. It is comprised of equal amounts of malic, tartaric, and citric acids.Use: Acid blend is most widely used by winemakers who start their wine recipes from scratch; you will not need this chemical if you are making wine from one of our wine concentrate kits. Its usage varies depending on the acidity of the wine or must. An acid test kit should be used to determine the acidity and usage.

Ascorbic Acid
This reduces oxidation in bottled wine when added just prior to bottling (not effective for bulk storage).Use: 1 teaspoon per 6 US gallons of wine.

Campden
Campden Tablets are available in tablet form, is used to kill all the naturally occurring wild yeasts and undesirable bacteria in must, and thus prepare it for a "clean" fermentation. It contains potassium metabisulfite, which is a fancy term for sulfites.Use: Use one Campden tablet per gallon of must. Crush tablets well, then mix in with the must. Be sure to add it to must 24 hours before pitching your wine yeast; if you are impatient and pitch the yeast too soon, the campden will kill it too! Campden can also be used to make a sanitizing solution for winemaking equipment; see Grapestompers winemaking sanitation page for details. Each tablet contains 0.50 - 0.55 grams of potassium metabisulfite; chemically speaking, each tablet contains 57% sulphur content; therefore, 1 tablet per gallon = 75 ppm SO2. Helpful hint on using campden tablets at Winemakermag.Com.

Wine Kit Enhancer
Add this stable California grape juice to enhance the taste, aroma, and bouquet of your wine kit.Use: Add to your wine kit at any point during the winemaking process: - Prior to fermentation (just before pitching yeast) for flavor, aroma, and alcohol boost - During fermentation for topping off - After fermentation (just prior to bottling), for fruit flavors, aromatics, and as a sweetener.

Grape Tannin
Found in skins and stems of grapes, tannin adds astringency or zest to wine. Also aids in the clearing process. Tannin occurs naturally in red wines which are fermented in the skins, but must be added to white wines.Use: Usage varies according to the grape or fruit, but generally, you would add no more than 1/4 teaspoon per gallon to fruit wines. Not needed if making wine from a kit.

Lysozyme
This solution is used in wine to hinder or prevent a malolactic fermentation. It controls lactic acid bacteria and is made from an enzyme which naturally occurs in egg whites. A web page from Scott Lab explains what lysozyme is, how it works, and recommended dosage.Use: Add 1 oz per 5 gallons of wine, which provides about 250 ppm.

Pectic Enzyme
Pectic enzyme increases juice yields from fruits by breaking down cellular structure. Also acts as a clarifier, and is used to clear hazes caused by residual pectins.Use: Add 1/4 teaspoon per 6 US gallons of wine. If making wine from scratch, this is a good item to have in your arsenal.

Potassium Metabisulfite
Potassium metabisulfite is added to wine to inhibit bacteria and yeast growth, as well as slow down oxidation. It may leave an unpleasant aftertaste in wine if the dose is too high. This chemical is also used in a water solution as an antiseptic rinse to sanitize equipment. It is identical to, but better than, Sodium Metabisulfite, because it does not add sodium to one's diet. CAUTION: Some people, particularly asthmatics, can have a severe allergic reaction to this substance.Use: For wine: 1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) of powder per gallon of wine provides 150 ppm free SO2. A little bit goes a long way, so be careful! Always test the free S02 content of your wine (using Titrets and Titret holder) to determine the proper amount to add. Generally speaking, the target free SO2 for red wines is 20-30 ppm and 25-40 ppm for white wines. The exact target depends upon the pH of the wine.For sanitizing solution: Dissolve 1 to 2 oz. (2 to 4 tablespoons) Potassium Metabisulfite powder in one gallon of water. Sulfite calculator at Winemakermag.com

Yeast Nutrient(Fermax)
Acts as a food for the yeast and promotes rapid starting and complete fermentation. Use: 1 teaspoon per gallon of wine, or if using tablets, 1 tablet per gallon of wine.

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Reading a Hydrometer

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Just yesterday, I had a friend ask how to use his hydrometer. So after explaining to him the process, he understood what was going on.

Being rather lazy today (hey it's Saturday) I've decided to list a few articles that explain using the hydrometer. Some of the articles are rather in depth and a few just give you the simple basics. Check them out.






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Peach Wine Follies

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tons of peaches, gallons of wine. So I thought. This year's making of peach wine has been quite the adventure

I brought home a bushel of the red haven peaches with the intent of making wine. I use the red haven's because they are small and fit in the Mr. Juicer. Just cut those babies in half and juice them. The only problem with the juicer is that the juice has tons of solids left in it.

Problem #1. With so many solids it became very difficult to get an accurate reading on the hydrometer. So I put in about 5 pounds of sugar for 5 gallons figuring that it would be about right. Well, must have been to high a gravity because it didn't ferment which was problem #2.

To solve the second problem, I diluted the batch and ended up with 10 gallons of must. After diluting, the peach juice really began to ferment. After being in the primary for a week, I transferred the wine to a secondary fermenter. The secondaries were 2 plastic water cooler jugs that are similar to carboys. Made a blow off tube and that everything would be ok.

Well that's when problem #3 stepped in. Seems that there was still too many solids in the must, which clogged the blow off tube. To make a long story short, I got a call at work saying that the lids blew of and there was peach crud all over the ceiling and the walls. After the explosion, problem #3 was pretty much solved since most of the solids were on the walls. Cleaned out the blow off tube and washed the walls and ceiling and thought everything would be fine.

Racked the wine over to another secondary a couple weeks after the incident and added oak chips. Allowed it to sit for about 2 months and just racked it over again. Problem #4, very little body to this wine. Seems that the dilution made it thin and water. I'm going to try and solve this by adding Welch's frozen Grape/Peach juice to the wine and allow it to ferment again. I think one 11 ounce can per gallon should do the trick. If all else fails, I just mix it with a fuller bodied wine. Cross your fingers.

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Holiday Beers

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ho,Ho, Ho, and mistletoe, the holiday beer season is upon us. This is the time of the year that breweries send out their variety packs or their winter ales or lagers. Great time to be a beer drinker. You always seem to get the best around holiday time.

In my part of the world, distribution is very limited, but we are able to get 5 different variety packs 9 different winter brews. Michelob has 6 different beers packed in their variety pack and the most interesting is the Pumpkin Spice. I haven't had this one, but I have tried a few pumpkin beers. They make a nice treat after gobbling down that turkey dinner.

The Holiday Porter found in Sam Adams is a new addition for this year and after reading about it on their web site, I can't wait to try one. The Cranberry Lambic and the Old Fezziwig are always interesting and fun.

Molson got rid of their Golden and replaced it with their Triple X. That and the Export are worth buying this package.

Saranac packs 12 different beers in their holiday package. Usually it contains a few of their everyday beers along with a few of their specialty beers. The caramel Porter and the Oatmeal Stout are fun and I wonder what the new one Winter Wassail tastes like. The best part about this is package is that you get to try 12 different beer styles. Great way to learn about beer.

Yuengling , America's Oldest Brewery, variety has the Traditional Lager, Lager Light, Black & Tan and the Lord Chesterfield in their package. Production problems last year prevented this package from hitting the market, so it is nice to see that it is now available.

Some of the more traditional holiday beers include: Sam Adams Winter Lager, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Sam Smith's Winter Welcome and Brooklyn Chocolate Stout.

Victory's Storm King is worth the money along with Weyerbacher's Winter Ale. Weyerbacher's niche is making "big beers" and the names they come up with are excellent. Blithering Idiot, what a great name for a beer.

Two that are more into the holiday spirit are Troeg's Mad Elf (an elf on the bottle) and Penn Brewery's Saint Nick Bock.

So, grab some friends and set up a tasting of the holiday beers.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas, it's the best time to drink beer. Well that's what the lyrics of the song should have been.

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Barley Wine

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well here it is November 16th and fall has officially set in at my neck of the woods. Temperatures in the high 30's and the wind gusting to about 15 miles an hour. It's these kind of days and nights that make you want to kick back and drink one of those "big beers." You, know the kind that are over 9% alcohol, the barley wine category.

The last copy of years I have been brewing a barley wine. The twist that I do is that I use wine yeast instead of beer yeast and I also do not carbonate my barley wine. I'm trying to go for a smoother, mellower style than you usually find. Still working the kinks out. Here is my recipe from last year's batch.

Barley-Wheat Wine
August 21, 2004
2 Gallon


3 ½ Pounds Light Dry Malt Extract
3 Pounds Crushed Wheat, Buckwheat & Amarath
1 WelchÂ’s White Grape/Peach Juice (100% Frozen Concentrate)
2 Teaspoons Yeast Nutrient
2 Campden Tablet
1 ½ Gallons Water
1 Pack Red Star Montrachet Yeast
2 Cups Light Brown Sugar

Original Gravity 1.090

Racked from Primary Fermenter 08/28/04

Added 2 pounds Dark Brown Sugar mixed with 1 gallon water.

Dry Hopped 1 ounce Fuggles Hops Pellets 4.4% Alpha along with 1 ounce
East Kent Goldings Hops Pellets 5.6% alpha


Racked September 9, 2004

Tasted this about 3 months ago, still a little sharp.

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Splenda or Sugar to Sweeten Your Wine

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I just heard over the summer that you could sweeten your wine with Splenda. The advantage that I heard was that it would not ferment. This is great because you do not need to add potassium sorbate to your wine. I like to keep the chemicals to a very small amount in my wine. But how does it taste? Is sugar better? Well, I gave it a try with a couple of bottles of strawberry wine. Mixed about 1/4 cup of Splenda to 1 gallon of wine. I'm not sure if there are any problems with splenda in the long run. The 5 bottles of wine that I had only lasted a couple of months.

I did find some interesting articles on both and here are the links:


A post on Wine Making and Beer Making Bulletin Board

WineMaker Magazine Mr. Wizard Column

Posts on the Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum




Posts on Home Improvement

E.C. Kraus Newsletter

Posts on Homemade Wine




E-mail me or leave a post and let me know your ideas on sweetening wines.

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Lavlin Yeast Descriptions

I have used this line of yeast with a lot of success and it is my preferred yeast. It seems to make a smoother and better tasting wine. The yeast costs a little more than the Red Star, but I think it is worth it. If you get a chance, check out the Lavlin Yeast web site. Some really interesting reading about the types and number of products that are available. I copied this information off their site so that it would be an easy to use reference.



The 71B strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) that has the ability to metabolize high amounts (20% to 40%) of malic acid. In addition to producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature quickly, it does not extract a great deal of phenols from the must so the maturation time is further decreased.

The 71B is used primarily by professional winemakers for young wines such as vin nouveau and has been found to be very suitable for blush and residual sugar whites. For grapes in regions naturally high in acid, the partial metabolism of malic acid helps soften the wine. The 71B also has the ability to produce significant esters and higher alcohol, making it an excellent choice for fermenting concentrates.



Selected by the Institut Coopératif du Vin (ICV) in Montpellier among numerous killer strains isolated and studied by Pierre Barre at INRA, the K1V-1116 strain was the first competitive factor yeast to go into commercial production and has become one of the most widely used active dried wine yeasts in the world.

The K1V-1116 strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F), capable of surviving a number of difficult conditions, such as low nutrient musts and high levels of SO2 or sugar. Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have very low volatile acidity, H2S and foam production.

The K1V-1116 strain tends to express freshness of white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Seyval. The natural fresh fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations



This strain was isolated from grapes grown in the Côte de Rhône region of France by Dr. Dominique Delteil, head of the Microbiology Department, Institut Coopératif du Vin (ICV), in Montpellier. ICV D-47 strain was selected from 450 isolates collected between 1986 and 1990.

The ICV D-47 is a low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well, forming a compact lees at the end of fermentation. This strain tolerates fermentation temperatures ranging from 10° to 30°C (50° to 86°F) and enhances mouthfeel due to complex carbohydrates. Malolactic fermentation proceeds well in wine made with ICV D-47.


This strain is recommended for making wines from white varieties such as Chardonnay and Rosé. It is also an excellent choice for producing mead, however be sure to supplement with yeast nutrients, especially usable nitrogen













The EC-1118 strain was isolated, studied and selected from Champagne fermentations. Due to its competitive factor and ability to ferment equally well over a wide temperature range, the EC-1118 is one of the most widely used yeasts in the world.The fermentation characteristics of the EC-1118 - extremely low production of foam, volatile acid and H2S - make this strain an excellent choice.

This strain ferments well over a very wide temperature range, from 7° to 35°C (45° to 95°F) and demonstrates high osmotic and alcohol tolerance. Good flocculation with compact lees and a relatively neutral flavor and aroma contribution are also properties of the EC-1118.













The Bourgovin RC 212 strain was selected from fermentations produced in the Burgundy region by the Bureau interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne (BIVB). It was selected for its ability to ferment a traditional heavier-style Burgundian Pinot Noir.

The RC 212 is a low-foaming moderate-speed fermenter with an optimum fermentation temperature ranging from 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F). A very low producer of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), the RC 212 shows good alcohol tolerance from 12% to 14% per volume.

The RC 212 is recommended for red varieties where full extraction is desired. Lighter red varieties also benefit from the improved extraction while color stability is maintained throughout fermentation and aging. Aromas of ripe berry and fruit are emphasized while respecting pepper and spicy notes.

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Categories Added to Sidebar

Monday, November 14, 2005

Just a quick post to let you know that I have added categories on the sidebar. This way you can look up posts on either wine, beer, cheese or techniques and not have to read through the archives. You can find them right after my profile. Hope this makes things easier.

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Wine Posts

Wine

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Beer Posts

Beer


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Cheese Posts

Making Cheese

Making Cottage Cheese

Making Homemade Cheeses

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Lavlin Dry Wine Yeast Chart



Lavlin wine yeast chart that you can also find at http://www.lallemandwine.us/home.php. Nice site and they also have tips if you have a stuck fermentation.

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Red Star Wine Yeast Descriptions

Sunday, November 13, 2005

As promised, here are the descriptions for Red Star Wine Yeast. I copied this information from the manufacturer's website Lesaffre Yeast Corp. I have used their products with a lot of success and it amazes me because I don't follow the instructions. I pitch the dry yeast in the must and let it go from there instead of rehydrating it. Seems to work well.



Product Description:
Red Star Premier Cuv© (Davis 796), a strain of Saccharomyces bayanus from a French wine yeast, is a special isolate of Red Star Yeast & Products. This yeast has good tolerance to ethanol and free sulfur dioxide, and ferments to dryness. Premier Cuv© is noted as a very low producer of foam, urea, and fusel oils. It is recommended for reds, whites and especially champagne. This yeast is reported to perform well restarting stuck fermentations. Winemakers have remarked that Premier Cuv© is the fastest, cleanest, and most neutral fermenter offered by Red Star®. Ferments best between 7°-35°C (45°-95°F).



Product Description:
Red Star® Pasteur Champagne (Davis 595), a strain of Saccharomyces bayanus, has been derived from a pure culture slant of the Institut Pasteur in Paris. This strain has been widely used in the U.S. since 1968. It is a strong fermenter with good ethanol tolerance, and will readily ferment grape musts and fruit juices to dryness. This strain also has good tolerance to free sulfur dioxide. This strain is recommended for all white wines, some reds and for fruit juices. Although this yeast is somewhat flocculant, it is not commonly used for sparkling wine. Pasteur Champagne has been recommended, by several sources, for restarting stuck fermentations. Ferments best between 15-30 deg. C, (59-86 deg. F).



Product Description:
Red Star® Pasteur RedTM (Davis 904), a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been derived from the collection of the Institute Pasteur in Paris. It is a strong, even fermenter that produces full bodied reds. This yeast encourages the development of varietal fruit flavors, balanced by complex aromas, especially when using grapes of the Cabernet family. It may be necessary to cool the fermenting must to prevent unwanted temperature increase. This yeast is reported to give character to less robust red grapes, or those picked before optimum development.



Product Description:
Red Star® Cote des Blancs (Davis 750), a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been derived from a selection of the Geisenheim Institute in Germany. It is a relatively slow fermenter, identical to Geisenheim Epernay, but producing less foam. This yeast requires nutrient addition for most chardonnay fermentations. Cote des Blancs produces fine, fruity aromas and may be controlled by lowering temperature to finish with some residual sugar. It is recommended for reds, whites, sparkling cuves and non-grape fruit wines (especially apple, it is reported). Ferments best between 17°-30°C (64°-86°F). Sensitive below 13°C (55°F).



Product Description:
Red Star® Montrachet (Davis 522), a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been derived from the collection of the University of California. This strain has been widely used in the U.S. since 1963. It is a strong fermenter with good ethanol tolerance, and will readily ferment grape musts and fruit juices to dryness. This strain also has good tolerance to free sulfur dioxide. This strain is recommended for full bodied reds and whites. It is not recommended for grapes that have recently been dusted with sulfur, because of a tendency to produce hydrogen sulfide in the presence of higher concentrations of sulfur compounds. Montrachet is noted for low volatile acidity, good flavor complexity, and intense color.

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Red Star Wine Yeast Chart

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I pulled this chart of the manufaturer's website (http://www.lesaffreyeastcorp.com) so that you can use it to determine which dry yeast type you need to make your wine. I will explain each type of yeast in the next post.

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Cottage Cheese The Old-Timey Way

Thursday, November 10, 2005



Our household has decided to switch to eating more organic and preservative free foods. In my neck of the woods, this requires us to make a lot of our own foods. One of the things that we have decided to make has been cottage cheese. It does take some time to do, but if you plan correctly, it should only take about an hour to make a batch.

Here is the process that I use to make simple cottage cheese.

Night before, put 1 gallon milk into pot with starter, cover and let it sit overnight.

Next morning, add 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup water.

Add 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup of water. Mix with a slow up and down motion.
Cover and let stand for 4 - 8 hours.

The curd should be rather soft at this point, cut the curd and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Slowly heat the curds to 110 degrees. I usually use the lowest setting on the stove.

After the curds have reached 110 degrees maintain this temperature for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, cover and let stand for another 5 minutes.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, drain the curds into the colander and tie into a ball.

Dunk the ball into cold water a couple of times and then let drain for 10 minutes.

Untie the bag, place curds in a bowl and break up the pieces. Add any salt, herbs, fruit that
you desire. I have been using cumin along with caraway seeds, sort of a southwestern rye taste.

Store covered in the refrigerator. This will keep for about a week and will make about 1 1/2
pounds of cottage chess.

Just another thing that you can enjoy with your homemade wine or beer. Make a couple of different ones and have a cheese and wine tasting party. Bottom line, just enjoy.

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Blog Facelift

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I am working at tweaking the appearance of this blog and giving it a little facelift. So, if you see different backgrounds or headers, don't be alarmed, I'm just trying to make it prettier and more user friendly. If you have any ideas, please post them on the comments.

Thank you.

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Wine Clubs

Monday, November 07, 2005

Went to the monthly wine club meeting and enjoyed some very nice wines. I still think the best wines are those that are made and shared by the amateur wine maker. You always tend to get their best wine when they share it. Our local club holds its meeting at the local winery (http://www.oakspringwinery.com/) and usually everyone brings some wine and food. This evening there was a Merlot made from Chilean juice that was fairly young, but not bad tasting. An apple spiced wine that had a hint of cinnamon. The best though was the sour cherry wine. Very clear and very smooth tasting for something that was only about 5 months old. If I could buy it I would.

I encourage you, if you are just starting out in wine making, to find a local club. I always pick up a lot of tips from others to improve my wine. And besides, the tasting part is always fun. Give it a try.

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Recipes Using Store Bought Juices

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I thought I would post a couple of my recipes that have used store bought juices. The only thing that you need to look for when buying store bought is that it has no preservatives. The peach recipe uses the Mr. Juicer to make the juice.


Grape Raspberry

December 22, 2002
1 Gallon

Silver Medal Winner 2003



2 11.5 ounces Welch’s Grape Raspberry Juice (frozen)
3 Cups Sugar
2 Teaspoons Acid Blend
1 Teaspoon Yeast Nutrient
1 Campden Tablet
1 Gallon Water
1/8 Teaspoon Grape Tannin
½ Pack Cotes De Blanc & Narbonne Dry Yeast


Original Gravity 1.100

Racked January 12, 2003, Gravity was 1.020, 4 ounces of sugar, 1 campden tablet and potassium sorbate added.

Racked February 1, 2003, Topped off with water

Bottled March 2003 added Hungarian Oak Chips



Peach

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
3 Campden Tablets
4 Pounds Sugar


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



Strawberry Kiwi
December 22, 2002
1 Gallon



2 11.5 Ounce Juicy Juice Strawberry Kiwi
2 Teaspoons Acid Blend
1 Teaspoon Yeast Nutrient
1/8 Teaspoon Grape Tannin
3 Cups Sugar
1 Gallon Water
1 Campden Tablet
½ Packet Cotes Des Blanc Yeast
½ Packet Narbonne Yeast


Original Gravity 1.095

Racked January 12, 2003, Gravity 1.010, added 4 ounces sugar, 1 campden tablet and potassium sorbate

Racked February 1, 2003


This one suprised me. It actually tasted pretty good after aging for about 6 months.

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Plastic or Glass, Which Do You Use?

Plastic or Glass which do you use? When I first started out making beer I used the white plastic fermenter. It was the only thing that I knew to use because I had no clue as to what a carboy was. These white buckets are great. Easy to clean and if you get one with a spigot, easy to fill bottles with. When I started doing wine I would use this as a primary fermenter but I would need something as a secondary.

So enter the plastic 5 gallon bottle. This is a picture of a 5 gallon Better Bottle with a spigot. I have not tried this type, but instead I have been using 5 gallon plastic water bottles, you know the kind that go on top of water machines. The plastic is great for short term storage or used as a secondary fermenter. You can remove the small cap in the middle and put in a small stopper for your airlock. I've been using this method for about 2 years now. Primary reason--->the bottles are lighter. A filled 5 gallon carboy weighs a ton.

The glass carboy, the original fermenter, and the one preferred by many. Sure glass will make a better storage container than plastic, but personally I don't understand all the hype by others who insist that glass is the only thing to use. Maybe it is part tradition, part stubbornness, or part brainwashing. Heck, I don't know. For me, these are always a real pain to clean, so I usually use my glass fermenters for aging my wine. I usually transfer my wine from the plastic bottles to the glass bottles after about 2 or 3 months. I age my wine for about 6 - 9 months in the glass before finally bottling it.

Glass or plastic, which do you use. I guess it is just a matter of personal preference. I would suggest that if you are just starting out, that you use the plastic bottles. Whole lot easier to use and will cut down on any frustation levels.



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Blueberry Wine

Friday, November 04, 2005



This is one wine that just sort of happened. It was the middle of February of this year and my wife and I were shopping at Big Lots. Shopping is not on my top 100 things to do, so to keep from going completely crazy I wandered in the food section. Up on the top shelf I spied 15 ounce cans of Oregon Harvest blueberries for 75 cents a can. Usually you pay about 2 bucks for a can and about 28 dollars for a 96 ounce can of Vinter's Harvest blueberries. I started doing some quick math, "hmmm, 10 cans for $7.50 and 150 ounces, what's the catch?" Reading the label for ingredients I found that it was blueberries and natural juice. Wow, no preservatives!!! It was a no brainer. 10 cans just happen to fall into the shopping cart and make their way back to my place. It took about a month before I could find the time to turn those blueberries into wine, but it was worth it. Here's the recipe if you want to try it.

Blueberry Wine

10 15 ounce cans Oregon Harvest blueberries
2 11 ounce Welch's frozen concord grape juice
12 cups sugar
2 tablespoons acid blend
3 tablespoons yeast nutrient
3 campden tablets

Crush blueberries, add sugar, acid blend, yeast nutrient and campden tablets.

Pour the blueberries into your primary fermenter. I filled it with water to the 3 1/2 gallon mark because I wanted a fuller bodied wine. If you want a thinner bodied wine you need to add more water and more sugar. 4 cups of sugar to 1 gallon of water should be enough to keep the alcohol amount the same. My original gravity was 1.085, so you may want to use your hydrometer to check.

Let stand for 24 hours

Pitch the yeast

After about a week, rack over to a secondary fermenter. After 2 months, rack it again.

I bottled this wine after about 6 months and have been tasting it ever since. You probably could start consuming this wine after 3 months but I usually like to give it 6 months minimum.

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Additions to Blog

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I finally took the time to put some additions to the blog. Updated my profile and added a separate section for feeds and directories. Another new section contains wine blogs. There are many out there, but I only included those I thought might be of interest. The last section added contains links to wine making sites. Most are non-commercial and generally include tips and techniques.

Hope you enjoy the additions.

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Strawberry Wine

Wednesday, November 02, 2005




Hey, that’s me picking strawberries. Well actually it is my assistant Jake. It was his first adventure out to a farm and Grandpa put the boy to work. Gotta’ teach them early. This was my first ever batch of wine made from strawberries and I have to admit, it did not turn out bad. Generally, after the wine has completely fermented (and it is usually a dry wine), I go back and sweeten it up. For this batch, I used Splenda because somewhere I read that Splenda does not ferment. Here is the recipe if you wish to give it a try.

Strawberry Wine


20 lbs of fresh strawberries
10 teaspoons acid blend
5 teaspoons yeast nutrient
50 drops pectin enzyme
1 ¼ teaspoons grape tannin
10 campden tablets
23 cups sugar (about 10 lbs)
2 ½ gallons water
2 frozen Welch’s white grape/raspberry juice, 11 oz size

Crush the berries and add all the ingredients to a 5 gallon primary fermenter. Add the yeast or the yeast starter the following day. Allow to ferment for about 7 days before racking over to a secondary fermenter. In about 3 months, check with a hydrometer and if stable enough, bottle.

I sweetened the wine before bottling with ¼ cups Splenda to 1 gallon wine.

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