Your Source For Making Wine and Beer

How To Make Wine With Fruit

Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo by: Joe Washing

When beginning the home wine making process, you will be faced with many
options. Do you want a fruit-based wine, or do you want to produce wine from
concentrate? Would you rather use homegrown grapes or store-bought? On of
the most rewarding and interesting aspects of the home wine making process is
the ability and freedom to develop your own flavor profiles and signature wines.
Creating wine from fruit (especially if it’s homegrown!) allows for experimentation
and exotic flavor development. Wine developed from fruit can take on a variety of
forms and flavors, and can be created using anything from bananas to blackberries!

Once you pick a fruit of your choice, find a reputable recipe for your creation. You
can find many recipe options in wine making books, as well as on the internet
under wine making resources. However, be careful that you chose a recipe from a
dependable source, to ensure that your wine turns out well. If you are stumped on
where to find a good recipe, check out our wine recipe chart that breaks down wine
recipes by fruit type. These recipes have been tested time and time again, and are
proven to make excellent batches of wine (5 gallons of wine per recipe).

Once you have successfully chosen a recipe, pull out your wine making checklist and
ensure that you have all the following ingredients:

Yeast Nutrient. This is necessary energy for the yeast that guarantees that your
yeast will ferment and produce alcohol.

Yeast Energizer. This is used when fruit lacks the nutrients required to ensure that
yeast ferments. It has a wider breadth of nutrients that yeast nutrient doesn’t offer.

Acid Blend. This is what gives your wine a specific edge or sharpness. It adds acid
that natural wine may be lacking.

Pectic Enzyme. This produces clear wine and breaks down the fruit to extract
maximum flavor.

Yeast. Yeast takes sugar and produces alcohol! It’s a vital part of the wine making

Wine Tannin. This brings clarity to the wine as well as increases flavor profiles in
the wine. It also helps the wine flavor develop during the aging process.

Campden Tablets. These tablets are crucial to ensuring that your wine doesn’t
spoil. They are added prior to fermentation as well as the bottling process.

Once you have all these ingredients in place, creating a distinct flavorful wine will
depend on successfully balancing the fruit, sugars, water, and further ingredients.

The wine making process itself is relatively easy. Combine all ingredients and
add some patience. After a few days have passed, it is necessary to remove any
extraneous pulp and siphon the wine off the sediment that develops.

The wine making process is fairly straightforward. With a few simple ingredients
and sturdy wine making equipment, you can produce numerous batches of wine
that will last over time. Once you become familiar with the wine making process,
experimenting and developing unique flavor profiles becomes an enjoyable part of
developing a final creation. For more tips on getting started with the wine making
process, visit

Guest Post from E.C. Kraus


Pruning Grapes The Correct Way

Sunday, December 04, 2011

First things first: It is important to understand that a grape vine only produce grapes on one-year-old canes and spurs. Older parts of the vine will not produce grapes.

In other words, pruning a grape vine the incorrect way, or removing the incorrect wood from a grape vine, will result in lower yield and even total crop loss. This article on how to prune grapes, will show you some basic tips on how to prune a grape vine the correct way, to ensure your vines will produce enough grapes for you and your family to enjoy.

During the dormant season of the grape vine (normally winter), the shoots from the previous year's growth will become a dark brown color - we grape growers speak of the "ripening of the wood". Grape vines are pruned early spring, after the chances of frost damage is over. It is important to not prune grapes too early, as the pruning of the vine will stimulate new growth and if new shoots develop too early, the chances of frost damage is much higher. After you have looked at the history of frost occurrence in your area, you will have a good idea of when the right time to prune is.

Before you prune your vine, you should understand the difference between a spur pruning and cane pruning on grapes. Spur pruning is when you prune the cane back to 2 to 4 buds and cane pruning is when a cane is pruned of 8 to 12 buds long. This article covers the most widely used method of pruning grapes: spur pruning.

A spur that was pruned during the previous pruning season (last winter - while the grape vine was dormant) will develop new shoots from the 3 to 4 buds. These two shoots will be the bearers during this year's harvest.

If you understand what I am explaining to you, it will make sense that spur I this dormant season, will become an old spur next year, and during dormancy, after next year's growing season and so the process will go on and on. In other words a shoot that will develop for a spur pruned during dormancy, will become next year's spur.


The Grape Guy

For even more grape growing tips, you can visit My Grape Vine and if you would like to become a member of The Grape CoachingProgram where you will learn how to grow grapes by means of video and mp3's, visit The Grape CoachingProgram - get your 10 day FREE training right now!


7 Popular Beer Adjuncts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

  1. Fruit and vegetables
  2. Grain
  3. Herbs and spices
  4. Additional sugar
  5. Bacteria
  6. Coffee and tea
  7. Chocolate

Source: Adjuncts - The role and variety of beer adjuncts.


Homebrewers Association | News: 2011 Zymurgy Best Beers in America

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The results are in for the 2011 Best Beers in America Poll! For the past nine years, we've asked Zymurgy readers to share a list of their 20 favorite commercially available American beers. A record number of votes were cast this year; 1,306 different beers from 433 breweries were represented in the poll.

Top-Ranked Beers

We have a three-peat! Russian River's Pliny the Elder, a double IPA, claimed the top spot for the third straight year. Finishing second for the second straight year was Bell's Two Hearted Ale, an IPA.

(T indicates tie)

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
T3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
T3. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
5. Bell’s Hopslam
6. Stone Arrogant Bastard


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