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Adding Sulfites To Homemade Wine
I started fruit wine making in May. Yesterday I came across reading something on your blog which caught my attention. Something that I haven't read or was told before. That is to add campden tablets and sorbate after each racking. Do I need to do this after each racking or is it ok with every other racking?... By me not adding any since I started and going on my 3 and 4th rackings am I in jeopardy...
Can I Use Potassium Sorbate To Stop A Fermentation?
As the yeast eats the sugars, the sweet taste disappears as the sugar is eaten. I have heard you can't stop the yeast from doing their job. But if I want a sweeter wine and my reading has reached an SG of 1.010, can I put in potassium sorbate to stop it there for some sweetness instead of letting it run to the end at .998 and having to try and back sweeten a dry wine? Byron J. — FL ----- Hello...
When To Add Oak Chips To Homemade Wine
Howdy Ed, ...To balance the tannins, we French oak chipped the must at the start of fermentation [Petite Sirah] and at the half way point applied the Aussie method of Rack and Return to decrease the seeds in the must. Sieving out the seeds also removed the oak chips. My question is, at what stage should we re-oak the juice? Jamie O. — CA ----- Hello Jamie, I would not automatically assume that you...
Why Does My Homemade Wine Smell Like Pine?
I made an apple-honey-raspberry wine that tasted fine at bottling. Now 2 months later, it smells like pine. What chemical is that? Kjuten — CA ----- Hello Kjuten, The pine smell in your wine is not related to any chemical that might have been used in the winemaking process. It is a trait that you will find even in some commercially produced wines — mostly Cab. and Merlot grape wines,...
Removing The Bitterness From A Homemade Fruit Wine
I have tried to make watermelon wine... I had started the process back on 5/26/14. On 7/11/14 I racked off the wine after it quit working and it had a SG of less than 1. But it tasted really bitter. Is there something that I can do to give it a better watermelon taste or add another fruit. I am open to suggestions, so I don't have to dump 6 gal of what should be a good flavored wine. Kevin S. — IL...
Leigh Erwin: Sampling My Homemade Wines
Hi everyone! I hope all your home winemaking projects are working well for you and things are running smoothly! A status update first:  I’m still in a “holding pattern” for my mead right now, as it’s still just hanging out in the carboy finishing up secondary fermentation.  I’ve been sampling my homemade wine. I tasted the Pinot Chardonnay wine that I had made several months ago, and have tasted...
3 Reasons Why A Homemade Wine Can Be Bitter
In May I bottled my 2013 Riesling made from Riesling juice. Prior to bottling I filtered the wine, and added simple syrup, potassium sorbate, and kmeta, all in the correct quantities. It tasted very good at bottling time, however, now after a few months has passed, it has become drier and has a slightly bitter finish. What caused this change, and is there anything I can do now to correct it,...
Don't End Up With Sediment At The Bottom Of Your Wine Bottles!
Sediment has long been an inconvenient reality for the home winemaker — one that if not dealt with properly can lead to sediment at the bottom of your wine bottles. It's enough to make a grown man cry. But if one takes the proper precautions they can guarantee that such a flaw does not happen to their precious wines. Sediment is something that occurs during the fermentation, and it is something...
Tips for Labeling Your Own Beer Bottles
Have you ever thought about upgrading your bottled homebrew with a customized beer label? It’s not very difficult! Whether you want to bring a bottle of homebrew to a homebrew club night or dress up some homebrew beer as gifts, there are several options at your disposal for labeling your own beer bottles.   “Quick Fix” Beer Bottle Labels If you just need a quick and easy way to label your beer...
I Have Too Much Headspace In The Secondary Fermenter
I am very new to wine making and have questions about the secondary fermenting and handling the headspace in the fermenter... I am sure it's never good to let get oxygen in there but it never seems to work out for me. Can you please shed more light on this process and what's the best to deal with this. Use water? etc? And after racking secondary from 5 gal. and get lets say 4 1/4 gal? What...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner Wine Making Journey: Part 27
Hey everyone! How are all your batches of homemade wine coming along?  This is the first time in a few months where I don’t actually have any wines fermenting or otherwise hanging out in a carboy.  I’ve now completed and bottled three different wines – a Pinot Grigio, a Pinot Chardonnay, and my first red, a Carmenere.  My life is also starting to get extremely busy and will remain so for the next...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 26
It’s bottling day!  Yay!  Finally, I am able to bottle my first homemade red wine---the Carmenere you may or may not have read about in some of my previous entries.   You may or may not also recall, I was a little worried about this wine, particularly since I had a semi-major “mishap” one morning involving a massive leak and some quick thinking. Basically, I had installed the spigot on my plastic...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 25
Hi everyone! So today I had to decide whether or not to go ahead and bottle my homemade Carmenere wine (batch #3 total) a week early, or hold off for another week or so.  If you recall, I had a mini disaster with my Carmenere in that I lost a little bit of it and had to quickly transfer the rest into my primary fermenter due to a structural integrity failure of the spigot on the carboy the wine...
Why Is My Homemade Fruit Wine Not Fermenting?
This question is somewhat long but well worth the read. Ron's homemade fruit wine is not fermenting and he is at his wits end as to what to do about it. See what kind of plan of action we came up with. -------------------------------I have a question in regards to some issues I've had with my attempt at making a fruit wine (blueberry, specifically). I think I've resigned myself to the fact that...
Wow! Each Bottle Of Homemade Wine Tastes Different!
Hello,I recently opened a few bottles of a French Cab that I made / bottled in June 2013. The first bottle had quite a bit of sediment in the bottom and the wine did not have a distinct smell or taste. The second bottle was clear but had absolutely no taste whatsoever!? The third bottle was also clear but also lacks a definitive wine taste but is measurably better than the first two. How is it...
If You Struggle With Degassing Your Homemade Wine, Then Read This...
Degassing has been one of my biggest problems, stirring just does not get it done. I am in the health field so... Next I tried a surgical suction pump generating about 20 inches of mercury neg pressure. That did ok but there is still a little fizz. Next I went for stopcocks, tubing and 60cc syringe, boy can I get negative pressure with that. No more fizz but you should see the bubbles that come...
My Homemade Wine Gives Me Heartburn
We have been making wine for a few years now. Everything from blueberry, blackberry, pear, apple, strawberry, peach, and pineapple. Mostly from fresh fruit but lately some from frozen fruit. The big problem we have is that after 2 glasses I am dying from heartburn! I'm not sure what to do to lessen the acid and after reading some books I'm even more confused and I'm not even sure which acid i...
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...