Monday, August 30, 2010

Properly Sanitizing Your Home Winemaking Equipment

One of the main determinants between good wine and terrible wine is the sanitization practices in the home winery. Bacteria and wild yeast would love nothing more than to get into your wine and spoil it. Taking the time to learn proper sanitization will save you heartache down the road when you have 30 bottles of undrinkable swill.

90% of Wine Failures Come from Poor Sanitization

One of the most important tasks in the winemaking process is proper sanitization. Fruit juices are not only responsive to wine yeasts, they will pick up any wild yeast or bacteria if allowed. As with canning, making sure that all equipment used is sanitized greatly lessens the chance of contamination. There are some basic steps to properly sanitizing your winemaking equipment. Once you have gone through the process a few times, it will become second nature. 


Friday, August 27, 2010

What Equipment Do You Need to Make Wine?

Home winemaking can get very technical and involve lots of specialized equipment. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can start your first winemaking adventure for about $100 plus the cost of the kit. Here's the skinny on what equipment you need to get started:

Know What You Need Versus What Would Be Nice to Have

Like most other hobbies, winemaking can be simple and inexpensive or cause you to take out a second mortgage on your home. Some amateur winemakers I have known have gone on to be true vintners and open their own winery. At the professional level, winemaking equipment can be quite expensive. Fortunately, if you are just starting out, you can pick up all of the basic equipment and supplies for around $100. Here is what you need:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buying Your First Wine Kit

When you go into a winemaking store for the first time, the choices can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for buying the right wine kit for you:

Know How to Navigate Through the Endless Varieties

Winemaking has been practiced for thousands of years in many cultures. Today's fine wines are a result of the knowledge, experience and craftsmanship of the vintner as well as the quality of the soil, the sunlight, and the grapes themselves. Contemplating replicating that wine at home is daunting. However, home winemaking is a growing hobby and one that is satisfying and rewarding. With the quality of today's wine kits improving all the time, you can make wine from grapes grown around the world.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making Commercial-Quality Kit Wine at Home, Part 2

More info on making quality wine at home for those who are new at the process:

Finishing and Bottling the Wine

Depending on the kit, the wine will have to sit and age for 3-6 weeks, allowing fermentations to all but cease and allowing the tannins and flavors to develop in the wine. The kit instructions may call for racking the wine one or more times during this period to take the wine off of the spent yeast. Be careful to introduce as little air into the process as possible to avoid oxidation, which gives the wine an off-flavor.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Commercial-Quality Kit Wine at Home, Part I

Winemaking can seem confusing at first to those who want to start the process. But making quality homemade wine is easy with these hints and tips:

Starting and Monitoring the Wine

Wine kits have come a long way in terms of quality since the first ones began appearing on the market in the 1970's. Now you can make hundreds of styles of wines from around the world- wine that your friends wouldn't know didn't come from the store unless you told them.

Every wine kit is slightly different in its instructions but here is a general overview of the process.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making Wine at Home: Secrets of an Award-Winning Home Winemaker

I started making beer when I was in my teens. That was quickly following by learning to make my own wine. Like any hobby, winemaking can be as uncomplicated as you wish to make it. Here are some tips to get the most out of your homemade wine:

It's Easy to Make Your Own Wine at Home with a Few Simple Cautions

For me, it all began with making beer. My husband and I loved English bitters, Belgian Krieks, German lagers and dozens of other beer styles that were not readily available in our area. It did not occur to me that one could also make wine at home. Once I began making wine that I preferred over many commercial vintages and that began winning awards, winemaking became a lifelong hobby.

In fact, making wine at home can be even easier than making beer. Like any other hobby, you can stay as simple or get as expensive and complex as you like. Most home winemakers start off by using a wine kit and that is what we will discuss here.