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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...
Oaking Wine With Oak Chips: How Much And How Long
What type of oak chip would you recommend using on muscadine wine? I'd like to do a little experimenting. My wine is a combination of red and white muscadine grapes yielding a blush/rose type wine. What type of oak chip, quantity per 6 gallon carboy and length of time to soak would you recommend? Thanks much!Name: Ed P.State: Illinois ----- Hello Ed, Nothing wrong with a little experimentation....
In Plain English: The Difference Between pH and Titratable Acidity In Wine
We are using pH 4662 test strips to find the acid in our fruit wines. We got the test strips from a wine making shop, The salesman said they were for acid but they say pH is this what we are supposed to have or is there a conversion to find the correct acid levels?Name: Gene P.State: PA ----- Hello Gene, I would like to thank you for such a great question. Wine acidity and pH is a subject that...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 10
In several earlier posts, we introduced a few home winemaking terms.  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 Washer: Bottle washers are great little pieces of home...
Using Screw-Cap Wine Bottles Vs. Cork. What's The Difference?
Here's a great question from one of our customers about screw-cap wine bottle vs. cork. I thought this would be great to share! I live very close to Annefield winery and use their used wine bottles for bottling my homemade wines. Sometimes they use corked wine bottles and screw cap wine bottles for the same wine. Do you know why this would be? Name: William B. State: Virginia ----- Hello William,...
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...
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...
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...
Adding Oak Chips During Fermentation Vs. After Fermentation
The wine kits I use often have a small packet of oak chips for adding during the fermentation. Your article on the use of toasted oak chips says to add them during the aging process. What is the difference?Name: David F.State: Illinois ----- Hello David, Thanks for the great question on adding oak chips during a fermentation. An important thing to know is that oak chips have an effect on the wine...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 18
Hi, everybody!  Leigh here! I decided to hold off on starting my new batch of wine (the CellarCraft Carmenere wine kit) until after I got back from vacation, as due to the timing of everything listed in the wine kit instructions, I wasn’t going to be able to get to a “holding point” before leaving on my journey.  Instead, I decided to take the time off to study the wine kit instructions more and...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 17
Hey all!  Beginner winemaking blogger, Leigh, here! I am so excited to report that I received my next shipment from ECKraus.com the other day!  As you may recall, my first wine was a California Connoisseur Pinot Grigio that is now hanging out in wine bottles (bottled a few days before Christmas), and my second wine was a SunCal Chardonnay that is currently spending some time kicking back in a...
Why Did Stirring My Wine Result In An Eruption?
I made my first 5 gallons of plum wine last fall and it turned out really well. Recently I decided to try making grape wine using frozen grape concentrate. I figured on only doing a gallon to start with before making a larger batch. I used a plastic gallon milk jug for the primary fermentation and after the second day decided to stir the wine. That turned out to be a huge mistake! As soon as...
Can I Make Wine From Grape Juice That Was Diluted With Water?
I purchased a winemaking kit that came with fresh juice from a local winery. The process was not explained well in the class, and it turns out I added water to the fresh juice in error (instructions did not differentiate between fresh and concentrated juice). The juice does contain 50% water, and has been in the refrigerator since (about 2 months). Is this juice still usable to make a batch of...
How To Make Homemade Concord Wine
I have about 2 gallons of homemade Concord grape juice in canning jars. This juice isn't clear and contains pulp but doesn't contain any preservatives. Can I make wine with this and if so how??Name: CindyState: GA ----- Hello Cindy, Absolutely, you can make homemade concord wine with your canning jars of concord juice. The first that to understand is that in the case of making wine with concord as...
Winemaking Terms You Should Know: Part 8
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. Isinglass:  Isinglass...
Leigh Erwin: A Beginner's Wine Making Journey: Part 15
Hi there, folks!  Leigh here! I have finally started batch #2 of homemade wine from ECKraus.com and I wanted to share with you all my/its progress! As I mentioned in an earlier post, this time I wanted to try making the wine using individual wine making ingredients instead of a wine making kit, to see if 1) I could do it without that much instruction and 2) it was better or worse in the end than...
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 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...
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 -...