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How Does A Wine Ferment Without Adding Yeast?
Why is my juice bubbling and I have not added my yeast yet.Name: Jerry R.State: PA ----- Hello Jerry, The simple answer is your juice is naturally fermenting because of wild yeast. This is why a wine will ferment without adding yeast, at all. Yeast is everywhere: floating in the air, landing on plants and animals. It is ubiquitous to the nature in which we live. Your juice either picked up some...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 9
In several earlier posts, we introduced a few home winemaking terms that you may or may not be familiar with.  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post, like all the previous posts, gives you a short introduction to a few of those terms to help you get started in home winemaking, or perhaps brush up on some of the terms you may not have seen in a while. Acid:  Acid is one of...
Getting More Potential Alcohol From Sugar
Mr. Kraus, How do I get the potential alcohol level up to 10 or 11% when making a dry wine without adding sugar? Also, knowing the potential level before fermentation and S.G. how can I find the ACTUAL alcohol level after fermentation?Name: Jay K.State: Arkansas Hello Jay, Thanks for the great questions about potential alcohol from sugar and determining alcohol content. Both of these...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 7
In several earlier posts, we introduced a few home winemaking terms that you may or may not be familiar with.  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post, like all the previous posts, gives you a short introduction to a few of those terms to help you get started in home winemaking, or perhaps brush up on some of the terms you may not have seen in a while. B-Brite and C-Brite -...
My Homemade Wine Has A Sour-Bitter Taste
I have made two batches of wine from wild grapes here in WI. The first one was harsh at first but aged about a year and it turned out very good and smooth. The second batch has been bottled now for about a year and is still sour, bitter and hard to drink. Wondering what I could do with it besides just sweetening it -- don't care much for sweet wine. I am about ready to pick some for the...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 5
In several earlier posts, we introduced a few home winemaking terms that you may or may not be familiar with.  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post, like all the previous posts, gives you a short introduction to a few of those terms to help you get started in home winemaking, or perhaps brush up on some of the terms you may not have seen in a while. Bottle shock – If...
Making Wine From Grapes At Home
Can you furnish a grape wine recipe for 5 gallons of Cynthiana grape wine?Name: Dennis T.State: GA Hello Dennis, Making wine from grapes is more of a process than a recipe. This is true regardless if you are a winery or just an individual making grape wine at home. It's different than making wine from a fruits like blueberries or peaches where you can follow a wine recipe to make the wine. The...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 3
In some earlier posts, we introduced a few home winemaking terms that you may or may not be familiar with.  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post, like the previous posts, will give you a short introduction to a few of those terms to help you get started in home winemaking, or perhaps brush up on some of the terms you may not have seen in a while. Anthocyanin: We’re...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 2
In an earlier post, we introduced a few home winemaking terms that you may or may not be familiar with.  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post, like the previous post, will give you a brief introduction into just a few of those terms to help you get started in home winemaking, or perhaps brush up on some of the terms you may not have seen in a while. Piquant: This term is...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know
If you’re new to home winemaking, some of the language used in the wine making books and wine recipes can be very intimidating.  But after you’ve done some research and have been practicing for a little while, you’ll wonder why you were ever confused to begin with!  There are many terms to learn in home winemaking, and this post will give you a brief introduction into just a few of those terms to...
Which Is Better: Fresh Or Concentrate?
How does the flavor of a wine made from this fruit compare to a wine making kit from concentrate? I know this is a broad question but are there any drastic differences? -Matt W. ----- Hello Matt, Thanks for the great question. The advancement of concentrating juices has jumped by leaps and bounds over the last hand-full of decades. It has finally gotten to the point that it is indistinguishable...
Making Wine With Eating Grapes
Our local supermarket has grapes on sale, with and without seeds. Can I crush these to make wine?Name: JohnState: New York Hello John, Yes, you can make wine with eating grapes, but realize they are not intended for making wine. They have been bred for eating. This means that the sweetness and acidity are both lower than what you'd expect from an actual wine grape. The flesh is thicker and firmer...
Controlling Wine pH: Quickly and Easily
Dear Ed, I just had two batches of wine tested for pH levels. One is a cabernet made from plain juice and its pH is 3.78. The other wine is a merlot, also made from plain juice and its pH is 4.01. After I drew the samples to be tested I racked both batches of wine and added a quarter tsp. of potassium metabisulphite, both are six gallon batches. I started this wine on October the 9th. 2012....
Crush Grapes Better Than The Big Boys!
Commercial wineries spend thousands of dollars or more in order to produce high quality wines.  If it costs that much for commercial wineries to produce a stellar wine, is there any hope for the home winemaker?  Can the home winemaker produce a similar high quality wine?  The answer is yes!  Of course!  Making great wine isn’t just for those that can afford to produce thousands of cases of wine. ...
There's A Salty Taste In My Wine
I have been aging my last years batch of wine since late September of last year. I tasted it and it has a kinda salty type taste to it. I have never ran into this problem before. Do you have any suggestions, or will I have to call this a loss?Name: ScottState: Ca.   Hello Scott,   Having a salty taste in your wine is a very unusual fault to have, but I am going to think out-loud a bit and see what...
How To Fix A Sour Wine
Hello,I'm a beginner wine maker, and my last batch (2012) grapes were picked late. As the result the Brix level was high (27), and based on others recommendation I added some water to lower the Brix level. But this also lowered the TA to about .40%, which is lower that recommended. So the same expert friend also recommended adding some Tartaric acid to increase the TA. I used half the...
Using Campden Tablets: The How, When And Why
I crushed fresh Syrah juice from grapes last September into 3 six-gallon plastic fermenters w/air gaps. I added 1 Campden tablet per gallon into the 3 six gallon plastic fermenters 24 hr. before adding the wine yeast. I separated out the sediment in January. I plan to bottle in mid-May. From your guidance, I plan to add 1 Campden tab per gallon before bottling. Should I have also added Campden...
Are All Wine Yeast The Same?
In your article about making wine from Welches grape juice you listed Red Star Montrachet yeast. I commonly use Lalvin.......at the advice of my local wine shop. You are the expert without the profit margin and I as well as others would likely appreciate your insight on yeast. Are all yeasts equal? What is the best way to select yeast? Thank you.Name: BlaineState: Washington Hello Blaine, Not all...
There's White Scum On My Wine. What Should I Do?
I bought table grapes at a farmer's market, very sweet, reddish grapes for my wine. I had success with the fermentation and put it in a carboy. It made 4 gallons and I put it in a 5-gallon carboy with an air lock, thinking the CO2 would force the oxygen out. It continued fermenting and I assume no oxygen got in.Ten months later there is a thin, white-ish particulate on surface. When I moved...
Crush And Destem Your Grapes Like A Pro
Perhaps you’ve been making homemade wine from juice or other fruits up until now, and you’ve recently decided that you would like to start making wine from grapes.  It is important to know your options in regards to how you plan to process your grapes, so you don’t end up with green or other off flavors from the grape stems and other debris. We’ve already covered grape presses in another post, but...