Your Source For Making Wine and Beer

Black Tea Wine

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo by: sarahemcc

* 4 tablespoons bulk black tea
* 1 11-oz can frozen red or white grape concentrate, depending on desired color
* 2 lbs sugar
* 2 tsp citric acid
* 6 pts water
* 1 tsp yeast nutrient
* 1 pkt wine yeast

Bring water to a boil and pour over the tea and sugar, stir well, and infuse until cool. Strain into primary, add grape concentrate, acid, nutrient and yeast. Cover and ferment until s.g. drops below 1.020. Transfer to secondary, fit airlock and ferment to dryness. Rack when wine is clear and completely dry, top up and refit airlock. Rack again after 45 days, stabilize, refit airlock, and set aside for 3-4 weeks. Sweeten to taste if desired and bottle.

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How The Process Of Beermaking Is Done

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How The Process Of Beermaking Is Done
Submitted by: Greg Hall

When you think of brewing you probably think of brewing a good cup of coffee. Brewing can also be the process of making alcoholic beverages as well. Beer is one of these beverages that brewing is used for and fermentation is used to make beer.

Brewing can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times. The fermentation process was discovered accidentally by the Sumerians. No one knows exactly how this occurred however as it was not written down. It is thought that it may have had something to do with the making of bread since many of the ingredients are the same and if left without cooking, or completely cooking the bread mixture can ferment. They were able to repeat the process and continue to create the drink, which they obviously enjoyed the first time it happened. The beer of this era could not be stored and did not have any foam. Beer was thought to contain a spirit or god because drinking the mixture seemed to possess the person who drank it.

Unlike wine where fruit juices are a big part of the ingredients, beer's major ingredients are malt and hops. Add to this yeast, sugars, and water and in the right combinations and with the right processes you will get beer. The first process to undergo is mashing. Mashing is where crushed malt and hot liquor are combined and kept at a constant temperature for about an hour so that the enzymes convert the starches into a fermentable sugar. The mash would be similar in consistency to cream of wheat or oatmeal.

Water is then filtered through the mixture to dissolve any remaining sugars. This is called sparging. The liquid that is heavy with sugar is known as wort. Boiling is now required to remove excess water, remove microorganisms, remove any sweetness, and develop bitterness. The wort is collected in containers called fermenting vessels.

The next step is fermentation; during this process yeast converts simple sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide plus a wide range of flavors. Every yeast has its own flavor profile so this explains why each beer company has its own distinct flavor.

Packaging is the last step. At this stage the beer contains alcohol but not a lot of carbon dioxide. In order to fix this there are not a lot of options, the most common one used is forced carbonation by adding it directly to the keg or bottle. Casks for real ale, kegs for brewery carbonate beer, and cans or bottles for take away sales. During packaging you must be careful to not oxidize the beer or it will become stale. It depends on the person as to whether or not the beer is aged.

About Author: Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Home Beer Brewing at

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Photo by: colbs

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An Intro to Wine

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guest Post by: Shireen Qudosi

An Introduction to Wine

What You Need to Know Beyond Just Red and White

With the rise in environmental awareness, there’s now a mushrooming rise of eco-friendly wine and wineries. There are three categories of eco-friendly wines: sustainable, organic, and biodynamic.

“Sustainable” means that grapes were grown with few to no chemical, fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. This method nurtures the soil naturally, whereas “organic” wines are grown in organically certified vineyards and are made without added sulfites.

On the other hand, “biodynamic” winemaking goes way beyond organics. With biodynamics, the farm is viewed as a living system. The soil is treated with complex compost preparations (of course without chemicals or pesticides), including quartz, yarrow flowers, stinging nettle, and more.

Biodynamic winemakers claim to have noted stronger, clearer, more vibrant tastes in their wines, as taste test conducted byFortune confirmed. Now all you have to do switch out bulky refrigerators for portable wine coolers, an energy efficient way to chill your wine.

If one of your hobbies is collecting exotic or expensive wines, then the next thing you have to think about is how you're going to maintain your investment. There are a lot of different types of wine storage units and between wine bottle coolers, wine racks, portable wine coolers, and wine cellars, it's easy to get confused.

However, with an easy to follow guide on the importance of storing your investment properly and a quick breakdown of the different types, you'll have this category covered. But before discussing the different options, it's important to understand why simple sticking a bottle or two in the fridge is far from adequate for storing your bottle of wine.

Wine Storage

When it comes to choosing a method for wine storage, you want to consider and compare the different features available to you. There are three basic types of wine cooler storage devices: wine bottle coolers, (multiple bottle) wine coolers, and wine cellars.

If you're a beginner, you may want to consider a wine bottle cooler, which also works great for dinners and smaller events. This way you can have the bottle temperature maintained while you dine. This is a particularly key table setting item if you expect the meal to last for a longer time. A wine cooler also adds a level of sophistication to any dinner or cocktail party, which you can never go wrong with

If you're collection is a little larger, then consider a wine coolerthat comes equipped with wine racks to prevent your bottles from clashing together. Wine coolers have advanced a long way and most (such as NewAir wine coolers) now also come with thermoelectric multiple independently controlled temperature zones for both red and white wines, touch screens, sleek lighting with glass doors, casters for mobility, as well as a wide variety of styles for various space needs, plus an ability to house anywhere between 14 to 32 bottles.

When buying a wine cooler, you should also understand the specific differences between a wine cooler and a wine cellar. If you have aging wines or a long term wine storage need then you need a more sophisticated wine cellar as opposed to just a wine cooler. Once you've understood the difference you want to consider the capacity you need for a wine cooler (or cellar). However, if you're a wine expert or have a larger collection, then a portable wine cellar is your go to purchase. Small or large, a wine cooler unit protects your investment (as well as its taste) until you're ready to drink it.

But above all, don’t be a wine hoard. Remember that wine is for enjoyment. Salu!

Source: Intro to Wine is brought to you by Air & Water, Inc.

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Homebrewing Becoming More Popular

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Geoff Haas' St. Paul basement, a few more batches of home brew bubble away. As he looks over the glass carboys sitting on the table, Haas said, "I've been pretty busy over the holidays, making some beer."

Haas is typical of a growing list of home brewers who are being bitten by the bug. For many of them, it begins with the notion of saving some money -- brewing your own beer and fermenting your own wine can be cheaper than buying it. But for the most avid hobbyists, it becomes an obsession over taste.

"I think now it's just more about the love of the process and the love of beer," Haas said

Read more at WCCO

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Is Your Cellar Stable For Wine Storage?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Melanie Hudson

There are three wine storage golden rules to follow! Wine cellar has to be dark, humid and cold. All of those three conditions are crucial for right aging of your wine. Why is light so damaging for wine? Wine is an organic liquid. And each carbohydrate organic compound like proteins is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light. What will UV light do to wine? It will cause complex organic molecules in wine to dissolve and they will start to ruin the flavor and the natural aging process of wine. The same effect will excessive sunbathing have on your skin. Ultraviolet light, as a part of sunlight is degrading proteins in our skin. The effects are well known. In extreme cases UV light can cause uncontrollable growth of cell structures leading to skin cancer.

Those who want to buy a ready-made wine cellar unit with integrated cooling and humid control center should also pay attention to the light source provided within. Neon light emits much more UV light than a classical light bulb. It may not make a difference for wine bottles that will be consumed within a year. But for storage of wine bottles that can age for centuries, those short periods of UV exposures within 10 or more years, quickly sum up.

Why should you pay attention to humidity in your wine cellar? Humidity is important for storing wine bottles traditionally sealed with cork. Despite the fact that there are many other wine sealing materials on the market, you will not find a serious top wine producer using anything other than a cork. What is the relationship between the cork and the humidity? The cork has to be in regular touch with humidity on both sides. That means the inner side, reaching into the bottle has to be in contact with the wine (that is why wine cellar storage racks will store wine horizontally), the outer side of the cork has to be in environment humid enough to prevent cork from drying. A dry cork becomes porous and the air starts to leak into the bottle, spoiling the wine. How will you know if you cellar is humid enough? Relative humidity in a room can be measured with humidity meters called hydrometers. Those are really cheap and easy to buy in any wine storage accessories store. What is humidity important for a perfect wine aging process? According to French wine experts and scientist, perfect humidity level of a wine storage cellar lays between 60-70%. But more than humidity levels in a cellar, the quality of cork itself is the crucial factor in preventing the wine from leaking or from spoiling.

If you ask any wine expert on the world which from those three golden rules plays the most important role in fine wine aging, they would unanimously say-The Temperature. The best temperature for wine storage is traditionally believed to be 55°F or 13°C. Little research has been made to discover why exactly that temperature. But more than the temperature itself, it is important not to let the temperature fluctuate for more than 1 degree. Quality wine needs stable conditions to gradually develop its best aroma, taste and color.

About the Author
For more on special wine cellar equipment visit


Home Beer Brewing Success

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Submitted by: Paul P.

Home Beer Brewing is becoming an increasingly popular hobby for men and women of all ages. The ever increasing price of drinks at bars and clubs coupled with a greater interest in entertaining at home have made it increasingly popular.

So yes you can start home beer brewing! However it dos not have to be a solitary occupation locked away in the cellar or shed for hour after hour. As well as being a hobby for the individual it can also be a family project through which you introduce members of the family to alcohol and the need to be responsible with it. Some people do not understand why people make their own beer. They wander why they want the all the mess and clutter associated with creating their own brew. They believe that it is far easier to simply go to the store and get what they want when they want beer. However, it is not simply about the convenience or the cost of the beer stores.

The actual reason why a lot of people have started home beer brewing is because they think it is both enjoyable and exciting. This is a way for them to participate in hobby that they like and that keeps them busy. Some people create their own brew just because they have never tried it before and now the proliferation of Home Beer Brewing Kits and other resources provide them with the opportunity relatively cheaply.

It is also a way for individuals to reconnect with their ancestors and family history. There are so many different recipes for beer, not only held by the breweries, but that have also been handed down through different families. They are using the recipes that their ancestors used and seeing if they can do what they did, In the process they are discovering that they can create great tasting beer. Many of the recipes are easy to follow and have an ingredient list that is easy to find. There are different things that people can buy to make their beer making experience more fun.

With the right kit and the best beer-making recipe, it has come within the reach of many more people and anyone can try making great tasting beer. Even if it is a one shot thing, it will be worth seeing if you can create a beer that is just as good as the beer that is purchased in the store. You can create anything with the home beer brewing supplies that you can now find in the store.

Buying the kits to brew your beer is going to make it easier for a lot of people to do. You can get everything that you need with this kit and it will make your beer brewing easier. Finding these kits will make the beer brewing adventure even more fun for someone that has not had the opportunity to try making their own beer yet.

Finding out about making your own beer is easy. You can go online and get all the facts and the tips that you need to get started on making your own beer. There are many tips and pieces of advice that you can use when you start your new hobby of making your own beer and I hope you will enjoy your own beer!

About Author: Paul Duxbury writes extensively on Home Beer Brewing and on Beers and Beer Accessories

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