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To Sulfite or Not To Sulfite

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Some random articles that I found on the web that I thought would be of interest.  The homebrewers article talks about homebrew clubs and the fellowshiping that happens.  If you have never attended one, you should really try.  It is fun. 

The article on sulfiting your wine brings out a lot of points that I know most beginners hear.  I personally like to stretch things to a limit and experiment with different techniques.  Sometimes they work and other times, they are dreadful. 

While we are talking about experiments, the tea wine experiment is fermenting quite nicely.  The yeast took an extra long time to get started (I just add dry yeast), so I'm about 2 weeks behind where I would have liked to been.  More on that at a later post.


Amateur brewers trade tips and tastes

An informal band of beer brewers known as the Rum River Wort Hogs gathers the second Monday evening of each month at Billy's Bar and Grill in Anoka.
An informal band of beer brewers known as the Rum River Wort Hogs gathers the second Monday evening of each month at Billy's Bar and Grill in Anoka.

There, the dues-paying members of the most prominent, if not the only, home-brewing club in the north-metro area and one of only a handful in the state have sampled brews, swapped tips and shared tales about beer for about 11 years.

Read more at the Star Tribune

On a personal note, I have visited my local homebrew club on several occasions.  It is always nice, to swap stories and ideas over some great homemade beer.


Aerating your wort.

Someone at a local brewpub was talking about homebrewing and was saying that when doing a batch sparge that the mash should not be stirred at all after adding the strike water and to just let it sit for the hour. I thought you were supposed to stir the mash every 15 minutes or so?

Secondly he said that after the runnings are being poured off into a kettle (before boiling) that it is crucial to not aerate this at all? That it must be poured off gently and not distrurbed until boil begins. Do you agree?

Thank you.

Read more at The Brew Board


To Sulfite or not to Sulfite, that is the question.

Ian over at the Homewinery has a interesting post about sulfiting your wine.  Seems he disagrees with one of the articles. He states:

"Finally had a chance to read through this current (June-July 2006) issue of WineMaker Magazine. Some really interesting articles and some country wine recipes provided by Jack Keller.

One article though in particular, the “Winemaker Profile” column on Chuck Blethen really caught my attention. In fact, there are two things he is quoted as saying that I wonder about."

Personally, I have cut down on the use of sulfites in my wines.  I add Campden tablets with the original must but do not add any more until the final racking.  I originally would add Campden tablets after each racking but I felt that I was over sulfiting.  And, there was the occasional batch that smelled like rotten eggs because of it.
One winery in Pennsylvania, Foxburg Winery  does not add sulfites at all.  Their wine is very good and has more body than others that I have had.  Maybe a full bodied wine will cellar better without the sulfites?  Sounds like an experiment to me.

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