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Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 21
Hi everyone! Just checking in with you regarding the progress of my CellarCraft Carmenere wine kit!  On day 10 after starting primary fermentation, I checked the specific gravity and it was 0.998.  The instructions said that the specific gravity should be less than 1.000 in order to move onto the next step (secondary fermentation), and since the specific gravity of my wine was 0.998, then I...
The Power of Blending Homemade Wines
I have been following your blog for some time and find you very helpful. I am a amateur winemaker starting with grapes and moving on to fruit wines. I recently made about 3 gallons of semi-dry red raspberry wine from frozen raspberries that came out very nice but intensely full of flavor. My wife describes it as "almost wanting to pick the seeds out of your teeth". Although it has a very...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 20
Hi everyone!  Leigh here!  I’m so excited to report to you all today as I’ve finally started batch #3 of my very own homemade wine!  In case you didn’t read previous entries of mine, I’ll just remind you that several weeks ago I purchased a new home winemaking kit from ECKraus.  Specifically, I purchased the Cellar Craft Showcase Red Wine – Chilean Carmenere.  This is my first red wine I’ve tried...
All My Homemade Wines Are Too Dark And Taste Awful
Ed, I have made approximately 15 batches of wine from wine kits (mainly California Connoisseur, but also Cheeky Monkey, and KenRidge Showcase). The majority has been Sauvignon Blanc.Only 2 batches turned out well. One in particular was outstanding. Both were CA Conn. For all of the others, I have had to struggle to drink the wine, and have thrown the majority out. I have no idea why the 2 turned...
Why Does My Fermented Wine Have A Sulfur Taste And Smell?
I recently made a Pinot Noir and all was great until just prior to bottling. I tasted throughout the fermenting process and was pleased with the taste, but a sulfur smell/taste developed just prior to bottling! What did I do wrong?Name: ScottState: California ----- Hello Scott, Sorry you are having such a problem with your wine. I know it can be upsetting when all seemed to be doing so well. There...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 16
Hey everybody!  Leigh here!  Just checking in with you all to update you on how everything is going in “new home winemaker land” over here! Last time I caught up with you, my “Pinot Chardonnay” had just finished its primary fermentation, and I was to leave it alone, completely cut off from air, for 2 weeks while it finished up the remaining 30% or so of secondary fermentation that was left to...
How Do You Lower The Acidity Of A Wine?
Have now racked my muscadine wine for the 2nd time and gave it a taste test. It seems to have a very tart taste. What can I do to correct this?Name: BudState: Tennessee ----- Hello Bud, The reason your homemade Muscadine wine is too tart is because the acidity is two high. The acidity comes from the fruit, itself, in this case the Muscadine grapes. It can also come from any Acid Blend you added as...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 14
Hi Everyone!  I hope you all are staying safe and warm with all this ridiculously cold arctic air that’s been hanging around much of the continental US this winter!  All these cold temperatures got me thinking about how you all were handling the extremes in your home, and in particular pertaining to your fermentations and wine storage.  Thankfully, we never lost electricity for any reason (not yet...
Can I Re-bottle My Homemade Wine?
Ed, I bottles some wine in 2007-2008 when I first starter brewing the stuff. Back then I skipped too many step. Well the wine taste good but some of the batches have sediment. Though this does not bother me when you are sharing it bothers some. My question is about filtering wine and re-bottling. I thought it might be that easy.  If so, I would have a short bottle of wine after filtering that I...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 13
Hi everyone!  I just finished the first phase of my new batch of homemade wine made from a wine juice concentrate, and I’m very hopeful at the moment for its success!  It smells and looks great, so here’s hoping fermentation will start right up and get cranking (though I do realize it could take a day or two to really get moving). First thing is first—I sterilized the equipment I was going to use...
How Do You Clear A Cloudy Homemade Wine?
Please give me any advise on how to clear up my Red wine?Name: Bruce KoehlerState: Ca. ----- We get asked this quite often: how do you clear a cloudy homemade wine? This can be a big concern for the first-time winemaker, especially after they see just how cloudy a homemade wine gets right after fermentation — not to worry, though. If given enough time, it is most likely that the cloudy wine...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 11
Hi guys!  Leigh here! It’s been 2.5 weeks since I bottled my first batch of Pinot Grigio that I made from the winemaking kit from ECKraus.com, and I wanted to pop open a bottle with you to share with you how it is developing.  If you remember, I did have half a bottle (the last of the wine at bottling) and of course I had to drink that!  I believe I had made a comment about how I thought I could...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 9
Hello Everyone, I wish I could report to you how lovely my first batch of homemade wine tastes after going through the process of making it all with you, however, I don’t really know, as I’m trying to be patient and let it sit to get over bottle shock and all that other moving around it’s been doing during the past month! I did try a little bit of the wine right at bottling time, and I have to say...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 8
Bottling day is here!  1 month of waiting is finally over!  As excited as I was to bottle my wine, I still wanted to make sure I followed the winemaking instructions and get through everything as thoroughly and correctly as possible. The first thing I did was I siphoned the wine into my primary fermenter.  Now, the instructions had said to siphon into a carboy, but just like last time, I only had...
My Homemade Wine Has Bubbles And Sediment. What Should I Do?
Hi Ed,I made 36 gallons of wine last year, a Alicante and Zinfandel mix. This was my first attempt at winemaking. I followed the instructions from a wine book. I racked the wine three times put in the proper extra ingredients then bottled it over the correct period of time. The wine turned out terrible. There is still sediment and it must have not fermented properly because it still has bubbles....
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 6
I’ve made it to Stage 3 in the home winemaking process without any problems (that I am aware of as yet anyway! Ha!).  It’s been nearly 3 whole weeks since I got started with the Connoisseur wine making kit from E. C. Kraus, and I am just as excited now as I was then! As I looked at the directions for the wine making kit, the first thing I had to do for Stage 3, the degassing phase, was to check to...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 3
Happy Belated Thanksgiving, everyone!  Leigh here, just checking in! While eating the delicious meal I prepared for my guests, my only regret is that I didn’t decide to start making my own wine earlier than I did.  OK, I don’t regret anything, but I did think it would have been really nice to serve my own homemade wine with the meal! One of my “problems”, if you can even call it that, is that I...
Best Way To Back Sweeten A Homemade Wine
I am making Vineco Pinot Chardonnay. I will be ready to bottle in a week or so. I have not done the stabilization & clarification step yet, which is when I would normally back sweeten my wine. Can I complete all the steps, bottle half of it, and THEN sweeten the other half? Will the K sorbate added at step 4 or adding some K metabisulfite hinder refermentation from adding wine conditioner for...
There's A White Scum On Top Of My Homemade Wine
Bill has made a few small batches of home wine, and all went well. This year we did a strawberry rhubarb and on the third racking in a 5 gal jug, it developed a thin white scum over the center of top. We could get past the film to re-rack, but Bill is concerned it is ruined...is it?Name: Gidget M.State: PA ----- Hello Gidget, What this sounds like is something called flowers or flowers of wine....
There's A Sulfur Smell In My Fermenting Wine
I'm making a Sauvignon Blanc from a 6 gallon bucket of refrigerated fresh juice that was already pH balanced, sulfited and inoculated with a wine yeast by the producer. Instructions on bucket; bring must to 76 degrees stir 2x daily, recover with bucket lid and rack to secondary fermenter at 1.020. My starting SG 1.090 and I racked last night after two weeks to secondary at 1.020 and noticed...