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Beer & Wine Articles Needed

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I’m looking to expand the features of this site and I need you (the reader’s) help. I would like to include wine or beer recipes along with tips and how-to’s that are reader generated. Yes, you the reader can have your own recipes, etc. highlighted on this blog.

Initially, I would like to have the last post of the month filled with reader submitted articles. If I get enough material, I may even expand the weekly postings to 3 times a week.

This is strictly a non-paying adventure. You will get the benefit of having your name in lights as being the author of the article, recipe etc.

So, if you have a favorite recipe, a new way to filter, or different fermenting technique please send it in. You can submit it to


Wine Making In 8 Simple Steps

Thursday, February 22, 2007

After about six years of wine making and learning about acid testing, pH, balance etc., you wonder if you can condense the process down to just a few simple steps. These simple steps are assuming the following:
1. You are going to use store bought juice’s. ie. Welch’s frozen or any other that does not have preservatives added;
2. You plan to consume your wine as early as possible, usually about 2 – 3 months after primary fermentation;
3. Your not out to win any awards but what something you can kick back with and enjoy.
I know many winemakers would cringe with the 3 assumptions above, but I feel there numerous people looking to get into winemaking and would like to take a simple approach. Or, maybe your are an experienced winemaker looking to make a batch for quick consumption. Either way, here are the simple steps to making wine.
This procedure is designed to make 1 ½ gallons which will probably end up being about 1 gallon bottled.


1. Use two 11 ounce frozen juice to 1 gallon of must for a medium bodied wine. For a heavy bodied wine use 4 to a gallon. That means you will need 3 to 6 to make this batch.
2. Dump juice into your primary fermenter and add enough water to make 1 ½ gallons. Check the sugar content by using your hydrometer. If needed add enough sugar to bring the hydrometer reading to between 1.080 – 1.095. Retest after adding sugar and if higher that 1.095 dilute with a little water.
3. If you wish to, you can add two crushed campden tablets to your must. I really don’t think you need to since your must is pretty much sterilized. If you do add campden tablets, you will have to let the must sit for a day prior to adding the yeast.
4. Add your yeast nutrient
5. Add your yeast. Personally, I prefer to use half a packet of dry yeast.
6. Allow to ferment for 7 – 10 days then rack over to secondary fermenter.
7. If you plan to add oak chips, now is the time for that. Keep in the secondary for about 6 to 8 weeks. Rack again.
8. About 2 weeks after the last racking, you can begin to consume your masterpiece. I use either a 1 gallon or 2 gallon plastic water jug with a spout, if I plan on drinking my wine immediately. Otherwise, I just bottle it for later.

There you go. Eight simple steps to making wine. Nothing real hard about it and the best thing is that you can begin drinking it in about 2 to 3 months. Give it a whirl and let me know how your masterpiece turned out.

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Happy Fat Tuesday !!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hey, instead of playing with your computer today, go out and celebrate Mardi Gras. Sometimes we just need to take a break from all the daily stresses. So go enjoy today.


American Pilsner

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Recipe type: Extract
Batch Size: 5 US Gal
Starting Gravity:
Finishing Gravity:
Time in Boil: 1 hour
Primary Fermentation: 7-10 days
Secondary Fermentation: 2 weeks


* 4 pounds Munton's Light DME
* 1 pound Corn Sugar
* 1 pound Malto-Dextrine
* 1 oz Hallertau (full boil)
* 1 oz Kent Goldings (finishing-last 10-15 minutes of boil)
* ½ tsp Irish Moss (last 10-15 minutes of boil)
* M&F Lager Yeast (dry)


Boil 60 minutes -cool quick. Siphon into fermenter, aerating well. Top up to 5 gal w/ water Pitch yeast and stir well, further aerating. When fermentation starts, move to 48-52 degree lagering room. One week in primary, at least two in secondary (or rack again in a week, if necessary). Bottle and let condition for at least 2 weeks in lagering room.


Sangria Recipe

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


We finally got hit with a winter snow that amounts to anything and I've been outside most of the day either scrapping or shoveling. I'm in more of a "drinking" mode than "making" mode and thought I would pull out an easy drink recipe. Besides, I usually associate sangaria with summer and partying, not scrapping or shoveling snow.

So, Enjoy !!!


* 1 lemon

* 1 lime

* 1 orange

* 1 1/2 cups rum

* 1/2 cup white sugar

* 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine

* 1 cup orange juice


1. Have the fruit, rum, wine, and orange juice well chilled. Slice the lemon, lime and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher. Pour in the rum and sugar. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours to develop the flavors.

2. When ready to serve, crush the fruit lightly with a wooden spoon and stir in the wine and orange juice. Adjust sweetness to taste.


Ascorbic Acid

Often called "Vitamin C" by laymen, for a short time ascorbic acid was thought to be a viable substitute for sulfur dioxide (SO2) in wine; i.e. it was thought that ascorbic acid would protect wine against oxidation as well as SO2 does. Research has demonstrated this belief to be false. In an oxidative environment, ascorbic acid leads to rapid browning of catechin, a component of wine. The co-presence of SO2 delays the browning, but the delay is prolonged without ascorbic acid present. In other words, the wine ages better with sufficient SO2 present and without any ascorbic acid.


Are You A Beer Snob?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hey you! Are you the guy that puts down commercially made beer? Are you a true beer snob? I must admit, that until a few years I could have been any one of the snob types listed below. As I get older, I have taken a less snobby view of beers and categorize them into: Enjoyable, Drinkable, and Nasty. Very few make the nasty list, so I guess I have turned into the guy that will drink just about any beer. This list is from Modern Drunkard Magazine Online and the entrie article is a riot.

Types of Beer Snobs

Deciding you want to be a beer snob is not enough. You also have to decide what sort of beer snob you want to be.

The Beer Fuehrer

This curmudgeonly gentlemen will declare he would rather guzzle urine than drink what he considers “bad beer.” And by bad he means any beer that comes in a can, has commercials on television, or has been heard of by more than fifty people. He can only pity the poor fools who sit in bars drinking the swill disgorged by the vast corporate vats, when they could be drinking swill produced in much smaller ones.

The Hops Head

The power-crazed Dr. Frankenstein of beer snobs, this wretched soul has descended so deeply into the pit of snobbery he has convinced himself that the vile liquid (he will call it something akin to Super Duper Black Cherry Berry Power Porter) he concocted in his basement is not only non-poisoness, but superior to the stuff it took monks 50 generations to perfect. One caveat: the longer and more grandiose the title of his obscene creation, the more likely it will be good for poisoning the rats in your cellar.

The Beer Geek

The beer world equivalent of a Trekkie, this fan is forever making pilgrimages to far flung festivals and conventions, will belong to any number of beer associations (and wears the T-shirts to prove it) and has never had sex with a woman where there wasn’t money involved. Beards are common and they have a powerful fetish for steins.

The Beer Lover

These are the Rex Reeds of the beer snob community. They have never met a beer that was not “gorgeously fabulous” or “fabulously gorgeous.” The closest they ever come to a bad review is when they mistake the glass of water used to clear the palate for beer, and even then they’ll give it three stars and declare it “a promising new light lager worth keeping your eye on.”

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Perfect Brewing Supply


Bass Clone Recipe

Bass Ale


6.6 lbs Munton & Fisons light unhopped liquid malt extract

2 1/2 gallons Artesian bottled water or boil and cool water, store in sanitized plastic milk jugs

1 1/2 lb Crystal Malt 20L

1 oz. Kent Goldings hops 5.0 AA (boil)

1/2 oz. Fuggle hops 4.8 AA (boil)

1/2 oz. Willamette hops (finish)

1 tsp Gypsum 1/2 tsp. Irish Moss

1 pkg. #1098 British Ale Liquid Yeast

1 1/4 cup Light DME or 3/4 cup corn sugar (priming)


Add crushed grains to 2 1/2 gallons of cold tap water, add gypsum. Heat to 170 degrees, remove from heat cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove grains from liquid, add liquid malt extracts and boiling hops. Boil for 60 minutes. Add Irish moss in last 15 minutes of boil. Add finishing hops last 2 minutes of boil. After boiling cover pot and set into cold water bath in sink for 30 minutes. Add 2 1/2 gallons of cold water to the 5 gallon carboy. Add cooled wort to carboy. Shake carboy to add oxygen to wort. Add yeast pkt., shake carboy again to mix yeast.

Here's and interesting twist. After making your beer, try it with a cheddar fondue. If you've never made a fondue, check out this article at Cheesaholics Anonymous

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Perfect Brewing Supply



Period of maturation intended to impart "condition" (natural carbonation). Warm conditioning further develops the complex of flavors. Cold conditioning imparts a clean, round taste.

Source: Jack Keller


Wine Grapes - Part 2

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Part 2 of the Series

The Merlot grape is a close cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon in many respects. It is lower in tannins and makes wines that mature faster and are softer in texture. Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in order to soften the blend. At its best, Merlot makes a wine that is dry, rich in flavor and smooth as it finishes in your throat. At its worst, Merlot makes wine that is dry but thin in taste and texture, and not very pleasant to consume. Most of what you will come across are likely to be of pretty good quality.

Merlot is able to mature in regions that are cooler than those required for Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is more susceptible to fungus and mold diseases and therefore a bit harder to grow. Merlot varies widely in quality around the world depending on location and producer. This variety was first known for its success in the Saint Emilion and Pomerol areas of Bordeaux. Chateau Petrus is the stellar example of fine Merlot.

Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grapes to grow and make into fine wine. It is also one of the very best when it is done properly. It has very specific requirements for its growing conditions. It needs warm days and cool nights. If Pinot Noir receives too little heat in the growing season, its wines are thin and pale. If the growing season is too warm, the wines have an overripe, cooked flavor.

Pinot Noir produces a small crop. It has low amounts of tannin and relatively high acid levels for a red grape. Pinot Noir found its fame in the Burgundy region of France where it is the primary grape used for red wines. It is also a major component in the production of most fine quality Champagne and California sparkling wines. The state of Oregon in the United States appears to be an upcoming growing area with the right conditions for Pinot Noir. Some promising wines are also starting to come out of New Zealand. It is known as Spatburgunder in Germany where the cooler climate produces wines that are crisper and lighter than elsewhere.

Sangiovese is the primary grape used in Northern Italy in the region of Tuscany to make Chianti and also for Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese produces wines that are spicy, with good acid levels, smooth texture and medium body. In the right climates and with controlled yields, Sangiovese can be made into very structured and full bodied wines. It is usually blended with other grapes for best results and in northern Italy is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in the 'Super Tuscan' blends.

Sangiovese is experiencing increased interest and plantings in California and elsewhere. Because of its ability to create smoother wines with acid levels that pair well with many foods, a great deal of experimentation is taking place with it as a blending agent with several red varieties.

Syrah/Shiraz this grape is known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia. In the United States, it can appear under either name depending on the style of the winery. The grape is thought to be named for a city in Persia (Shiraz) where it probably originated. It produces full rich wines of intense color and flavor. In warmer climates like Australia, the grape produces wines that are sweeter and riper tasting. In cooler climates like the Rhone valley of France, it often has more pepper and spice aromas and flavors. Syrah usually becomes drinkable at an early age and most are produced for consumption within a year after release (2rd year from harvest). On the other hand, there are Syrah/Shiraz examples of very long lived wines such as Hermitage in France and Penfold's Grange in Australia.

Syrah/Shiraz was brought into southern France by a returning crusader, Guy De'Sterimberg. He became a hermit and developed a vineyard on a steep hill where he lived where he lived in the Rhone River Valley. It became known as the Hermitage. The use of Syrah spread in the Rhone River Valley of France and it is now very important to the best wines of that region. It is often blended with Grenache and is an essential grape in the production of Chateauneuf du Pape.

In Australia, Shiraz has found a real home. The Shiraz grape is the most widely planted red grape variety in Australia where it is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or occasionally with Mourvedre.

Whether in France, Australia or elsewhere, this grape has shown it can create some fabulous wines in the right conditions. It is important to find the right site for planting and to restrict the growth of the vine and its crop to achieve the best results.

Zinfandel is a grape variety that has been important almost exclusively in California. The Zinfandel grape can make solid red wines with good fruit and structure. It was a popular variety with home winemakers during the American prohibition era because its thick skins allowed the grapes to ship without damage. It later (late 1970's and early 1980's) became popular for the wines produced from it with forward fruit flavors and spicy overtones. Zinfandel declined in popularity in the mid 1980's and became unprofitable to grow until "White Zinfandel" was introduced. White Zinfandel is a Zinfandel rose that is left slightly sweet with an acid balance.

Recent DNA tests indicate that Zinfandel is actually the same as the Primitivo grape found in Italy.


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Burgundy Wine Recipe

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

Primary Fermentation was 7 Days



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

Original Gravity 1.10

Vinometer Reading 15%

Secondary Fermentation 6 weeks

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

You might want to pair it with an Italian Onion Soup Recipe. Here are a couple to choose from:

The Recipe Link

Perfect Brewing Supply


Wine Press

A wine press is a device used to extract juice from crushed grapes during winemaking. There are a number of different styles of presses that are used by winemakers but their overall functionality is the same. Each style of press exerts controlled pressure in order to free the juice from the fruit. The pressure must be controlled in order to avoid crushing the seeds and release a great deal of undesirable tannins into the wine.

Press Types

A basket press consists of a large basket that is filled with the crushed grapes. Pressure is applied through a plate that is forced down onto the fruit. The mechanism to lower the plate is often either a screw or a hydraulic device. The juice flows throw openings in the basket. The basket style press was the first type of mechanized press to be developed, and its basic design has not changed in nearly 1000 years.

A horizontal screw press works using the same principle as the basket press. Instead of a plate being brought down to put pressure on the grapes, plates from either side of a closed cylinder are brought together to squeeze the grapes. Generally the volume of grapes handled is significantly greater than that of a basket press.

A bladder press consists of a large cylinder, closed at each end, into which the fruit is loaded. To press the grapes, a large bladder expands and pushes the grapes against the sides. The juice then flows out through small openings in the cylinder. The cylinder rotates during the process to help homogenize the pressure that is placed on the grapes.

A continuous screw press differs from the above presses in that it does not process a single batch of grapes at a time. Instead it uses an Archimedes' screw to continuously force grapes up against the wall of the device. Juice is extracted, and the pomace continues through to the end where is it extracted. This style of press is not often used to produce table wines, and some countries forbid their use in higher quality wines.
Source: EncycloWine



Health Benefits of Beer

Thursday, February 01, 2007

You might be wondering why all the links to articles about beer being good for you. Well, part of the reason I make my own beer or wine is that I can control the process and what goes into what I am drinking. I have always felt that moderate amounts of healthy foods each day will keep me from falling apart. Of course, healthy foods can mean different things to different people. For me, it means "fresh from the farm" or as fresh as possible for meats, vegetables, fruit, etc and with very little chemicals added. Just like when you make wine or beer.

So, here are a few articles for you to check out:

The Health Benefits Of Beer

Research increasingly indicates health benefits of beer could surpass wine

Cheers! Health benefits of beer

Guinness good for you - official

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Guinness Clone Recipe

This is probably the primary reason I got into homebrewing. With a case of Guinness, in my neck of the woods, costing around 35 bucks, it doesn't take a genius to fiqure out that it is cheaper to make your own. The original recipe is for an all-grain brewer, but I have listed the substitutions for the extract brewer.


7 pounds, Crushed pale malt

2 pounds, Flaked barley

1 pound, crushed roast barley

1 ounce, bullion hops

3 ounces, northern brewer hops

1 tsp. CaCO3 (if you are in a soft water area)

yeast starter made from a bottle of Guinness or a liquid yeast

OG: 1045-1053

Extract brewers: Substitute 2 cans of a light extract for the 7 pounds of pale malt. Also, if you don't want to make a yeast starter use Whitelabs Irish Ale yeast or Wyeast Irish Ale yeast.

I generally boil at 60 minutes, 30 minutes and 15 minutes and add my hops in at those intervals. At the 15 minute mark, I also use Irish moss to help settle the solids.

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Brew Pub

Marzoni's Brew Pub

Pub that makes its own beer and sells at least 50% of it on premises. Also known in Britain as a home-brew house and in Germany as a house brewery.

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