Tips for Brewing A Lambic Beer Recipe At Home

Lambic BeerI love lambics. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth for anything except alcohol, but a good lambic seems out of my reach if for no other reason than I don’t have a building with louvred vents like they do in Belgium to capture wild yeasts. I’ve done a little searching online for lambics, but the process seems to be: “make a good ale, then add a bushel or two of apples and let ferment for another 2 years and bottle.” There has to be more to it than that. What do you recommend?

Name: Justin V.
State: Pennsylvania
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Hi Justin, thanks for your great question!

I can tell you right now that brewing a lambic beer recipe at home will be a labor of love. First, let me cover some of the elements that make a traditional lambic a lambic, and then I’ll share a couple lambic beer recipes.

As you probably know, lambics were developed around Belgium, specifically in the area of Brussels and the nearby town of Lembeek. Lambic can be traced back hundreds of years and is a very distinctive brew.

One of the main characteristics of lambic is that it is fermented with a variety of wild yeasts, particularly Brettanomyces. These wild yeasts and bacteria gave the beer a dry, unique flavor profile, a combination of tart, earthy, leather, fruity, and even “horse blanket.” As you mentioned, Belgian brewers would traditionally move their wort to a “cool ship,” a large, rectangular vessel with an open top, then leave the wort in the open to collect wild yeasts and bacteria through windows or vents. Some brewers would even refuse to clean those rooms for fear of disturbing the precious microbes!

Lambics can be characterized as pale and moderate in gravity. It’s traditional to have about 30% unmalted wheat in the grain bill. You might try using torrified wheat.

It’s also traditional to use aged hops when brewing a lambic beer recipe, which were used for their preservative value more than their bittering, flavoring, or aroma characteristics. The aged hops would produce a negligible bitterness that wouldn’t interfere with the sour, earthy, and complex wine-like flavors of the lambic. If you don’t have any aged hops on hand, try asking around your homebrewer friends – someone will likely have some lying around.

After the mash and boil, the beer would be moved to the cool ship, and then fermented in barrels. Sometimes fruit was added, especially cherries and raspberries, for added flavor and fermentability. Here is where the tough part comes in – lambic is usually aged one to three years or longer!

Liquid Beer Yeast For Lambic Beer RecipeAs a beginning lambic brewer, I would recommend using a premixed lambic culture, such as the one offered by Wyeast . This blend contains the appropriate combination of yeast and bacteria to make a lambic. Some brewers will recommend that you use a dedicated set of equipment for your lambic and other “funky” beers so as to avoid cross contamination with your other brews.

With all the information above, I believe you have some good hints as to what to do when you brew a lambic beer recipe at home. Below are two beer recipes. The first is for a lambic-esque beer, made sour with cranberries rather than funky microbes. The second beer lambic recipe is for a more traditional lambic, and comes from the book Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff.

Good luck!

Cranberry “Lambic”, from A Year of Beer 
(5-gallon batch, all-grain recipe)

Specs
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.018
ABV: 4.6%

Ingredients
6 lbs. Wheat malt
3.5 lbs. Pilsner malt
1 oz. Hallertau hops at :60 (2.8 AAUs)
.25 oz. Hallertau hops at :15 (.7 AAUs)
.5 oz. orange peel (5 minutes)
5/8 cup priming sugar
1 can cranberry juice concentrate added to secondary
Bavarian Wheat ale yeast

Directions 
Mash crushed grains at 124˚F for 30 minutes, then raise temperature to 153˚F for 60 minutes. Raise to 168˚F for mash out. Boil wort for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule above. Ferment at 65˚F for 10 days, then move to secondary for 14 days. Glass carboys are recommended for fermentation.

 

Lambicus Piatzii, from Brewing Classic Styles
(5-gallon batch, extract recipe)

Specs
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.006
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: 5
SRM: 4

Ingredients 
5 lbs. Wheat LME
4.1 lbs. Pilsner LME
3 oz. aged hops (any European low-alpha variety) at :90 minutes
Safale US-05

Directions
Mix LME with enough hot water to make 7.7 gallons and bring to a boil. Add hops and boil for 90 minutes. Chill wort to 68˚F and pitch ale yeast (use half a packet of dry yeast or a full packet of liquid yeast without a starter). After a week, add the lambic blend. Ferment at 68˚F for six months to a year. A layer will form on the top of the beer called a pellicle. This is caused by the lambic culure and it is normal. The pellicle will often fall to the bottom of the fermenter when the beer is ready to be bottled. Bottle for 1 to 1.5 vols CO2.

Justin, this should be enough information to get you on your way to brewing a lambic beer. There are two beer recipes that you can brew at home and some insight and tips on how to get either of them brewed.
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Do Your SunCal Concentrates Make Sweet Wines?

SunCal Wine ConcentrateI was looking at your homemade wine kits and was wondering about using the SunCal concentrates to make a Chianti. I saw in the directions that for all the SunCal kits call for 6.5 pounds of sugar. Does this mean that these wine recipes are going to make a sweet wine? I have made wines in the past from buckets of juice and other wine making materials from a local supplier and never had to add sugar.

Barry H.
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Hello Barry,

This is a great question about an area of wine making that seems to cause a lot of confusion for some winemakers.

Alcohol is made when yeast consume sugar and turn it into alcohol. If the fermentation is successful there be no more than a residual amount of sugar left in the resulting wine – nothing that would make the wine sweet. All the sugar you add in the beginning is meant to be turned into alcohol leaving the wine dry.

With most homemade wine kits all the original sugars that the grapes provide are still in the concentrate. You are simply adding water to bring the concentrate back to a juice so that you can make wine with it. With the buckets of juice you got locally, all the original sugars were in them, as well, so no additional sugar was needed to achieve a reasonable alcohol level.

But in the case of SunCal Concentrates, not only is water taken out during the concentration process but some of the sugar is removed as well. This is why you need to add the 6-1/2 pounds of sugar. Without doing so you will not get enough alcohol from the fermentation.

Shop Grape ConcentrateBut what if you want a sweet wine, you say. This is something that is controlled after the fermentation has completed. It has nothing to do with the sugar added in the beginning; it as to do with the sugar added after the fermentation. If the fermentation goes as planned, you wine should always turn out dry.

If you want to sweeten your wine, the time to do it is right before you bottle. Just sweeten it to taste and then add a wine stabilizer (potassium sorbate) to eliminate any chance of re-fermentation, or you can use Wine Conditioner which has sweetener and wine stabilizer mixed together.

With this basic understanding of the role sugar plays in a wine you can make any of our wine recipes or homemade wine kits as sweet or as dry as you like. Make the wine the way you like!

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Table Grapes Vs. Wine Grapes For Wine Making

Table Grapes vs Wine GrapesHello Kraus,

Please explain to me what is the difference between wine grapes and table grapes.

Thank you,
Mert B.
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Hello Mert,

This is a great question and one that gets down to the basics of learning how to make your own wine.

There are many significant differences between wine making grapes and table grapes – eating grapes as you called them:

Table grapes are crunchy-er with a stronger skin and firmer pulp than wine grapes. This not only makes them more pleasant and appealing to eat, but it also makes them hold up to the rigors of being transported long distances to your local market. As a consequence, grape you buy at the store tend to have less juice in relation to the amount of pulp.

The juice you get from the eating grapes is also not as sweet as the juice from wine grapes. A typical brix reading for table grapes is 17 to 19, whereas wine grapes are around 24 to 26 brix. This is important because it is the sugar that gets turned into alcohol during a fermentation — less sugar, less alcohol.

*Brix is a scale that represents the amount of sugar in a liquid as a percentage. It is the standard scale used by refractometers which are used to take these readings in the vineyard.

Another significant difference is that the acidity level of table grapes tend to be slightly lower that the average wine grape. This is to increase the grapes impression of sweetness while on the market.

Having said all this, you can learn how to make your own wine using grapes you buy from the grocery store. You can run them through grape presses to get all the pulp out of the way. You can add extra sugar to bring the brix level up to that of a wine grape juice. And, you can adjust the acidity of the juice by adding acid blend to raise the acid level to what’s need for wine.Shop Grape Concentrate

But all of this will not change the leading factor that makes a table grape far different from a wine grape… and that is flavor. While table grapes taste fine for popping into your mouth as a snack, once fermented, the flavor of the resulting wine is fairly uneventful and could also be described as non-existent.

While table grapes could be used for learning how to make your own wine – as a practice run, so to speak – do not expect this wine to bring any enthusiastic raves from family, friends and neighbors. The wine will be drinkable and may even be pleasant, but it will not be stellar.

Mert, I hope this answers your question about table grapes and wine grapes. It is a question that we get fairly often, so I plan on posting it on our wine making blog.  If you have anymore questions, just let us know. We want to do everything we can to help you become a successful home winemaker.

Happy Wine Making
Ed Kraus


Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

When to Aerate A Wine

Primary FermentersAt what point do you aerate your fruit wine?
—–
Jason,

Aeration should only be done during the primary fermentation. This is the first 3 to 5 days of when the wine is in a primary fermenter and most active.

The only reason aeration is done is to give the wine yeast more ability to multiply and establish a solid colony. When a packet of wine yeast is put into a 5 or 6 gallon batch of wine, it has the monumental task of growing itself 100 to 200 times that little packet. That’s what causes all the beige-colored sediment you at the bottom of a fermenter. To readily do this the wine yeast need air. Without the air the colony size may suffer resulting in a sluggish fermentation.

Ironically, after the yeast colony is well established and the fermentation is starting to slow down, air is the enemy. For the rest of the wine’s life you want to keep air exposure time short and splashing to a minimum. The major concern here being oxidation of the wine.

What all this means for the home winemaker who is making 5 or 10 gallons is that the primary fermenter should be left exposed to air. This can mean doing something as simple as leaving the lid completely off a bucket fermenter. Cover it with a thin tea towel, nothing more. Or for a winery dealing with 500 gallon vats, this could mean continuously pumping and recirculating the wine back out on top the fermentation surface, much like a fountain.

There is a second element to this as well. Regardless of how much you are fermenting, you will always want to make an effort to keep a dried cap from forming on the surface of the fermentation. The pulp will want to rise during a primary fermentation. If left undisturbed it can dry and form a solid cap, choking the wine yeast off from the much needed air.

To prevent this from happening you will want to punch the cap back down into the wine. For most home winemakers with their 5 and 10 gallon batches, once a day is plenty. You can use something as simple as a potato masher for this purpose or you can stir it until the cap is dispersed. For larger batches you may need to punch down the cap several times a day.

Hope this information helps you out.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

When To Add Oak Chips To Homemade Wine

Toasted Oak ChipsHowdy 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 will need to add more oak chips to your homemade wine. In fact, I would not consider adding more French toasted oak chips to the wine until it has cleared and maturated to some degree while in bulk. See what tannins and other proteins drop out on their own, first.

There is nothing wrong with adding toasted oak chips during the fermentation, but you want to use a moderate dosage. Don’t go to overboard. It is possible to add to much. If you want to add oak to the wine during the fermentation, you may also want to consider using oak powder instead of oak chips. Oak powder does not strain out like the oak chips. Having said that, I do prefer using toasted oak chips after the fermentation.

If it is only protein stability that you are concerned about, you also have the option of treating the wine with bentonite, instead of more oak chips. Among other things, bentonite will collect and drop out excessive tannins. This will help to make the wine more heat stable while aging in bottles.

If it is the flavor effects of toasted oak chips you are primarily looking for, it would be best to wait until the wine has aged in bulk for a month or so after the fermentation has completed. This is when I would add oak chips to your homemade wine. I don’t know how many gallons you have, but you can store it in carboys or vats. At this point, you want the wine to be off any yeast sediment and the head-space should be eliminated, as well.

Shop Toasted Oak ChipsBuy waiting you are allowing the wine to get to a point where you can start to distinguish its developing flavor profile. Adding oak chips at this point will not only help you to stabilize the wine further, it will allow you to monitor the oak balance of the wine. Since the wine is already maturating, you can do this with a little clearer perception of the final outcome.

Monitor the wine by sampling along the way. Depending on the dosage you will want to sample every 1 to 4 weeks.

I recommend 1/4 pound of toasted oak chips for every 10 gallons of wine. At this dosage a typical amount of time for oaking is about 30 to 90 days. Sample the wine every 2 weeks. Here is some more information on how much and how long to use oak chips.

What you are looking for is balance. You want the reduced harshness of oak aging to be in line with woody character the oak is adding.

Best Wishes,
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Can I Add Liqueurs To Homemade Wine?

Blueberry Liqueur To Be Added To Homemade WineCan I add liqueur to my wines? I have added brandy to some, blackberry, peach. Will it change the taste?

Tino — NY
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Hello Tino,

Absolutely, you can add liqueurs to your homemade wine. I always like to encourage experimentation. Without it, nothing moves forward.

Adding a brandy or liqueur to a homemade wine puts it in the category of a fortified wine. Brandy is added to wines to produce Ports, Sherrys, Maderas and others. They typically will run around 18% to 21% alcohol. This is not uncommon at all. On a commercial level, adding liqueurs is not commonly done, but certainly has some great potential. Why couldn’t you add peach schnapps or peach brandy to a peach wine? It would raise the alcohol and intensify the flavor.

Obviously, you have to use some common sense in your combinations. The flavors needs to be complimentary to one another. For example you wouldn’t want to use orange brandy with a blueberry wine. You want to stay within reason.

I would also suggest that you take baby-steps. Do a bench-testing, first. Add the chosen liqueur to a sample of the wine. This does two things: 1) it allows you to establish a dosage ahead of time that can later be applied to the entire batch; 2) it acts as a safety-net; it you accidentally add too much to the wine sample, you can put the sample back with the rest of the batch and start all over.

Shop Liqueur FlavoringsAs a side note, we sell liqueur flavorings for transforming vodka, brandy and the likes into various liqueurs. They come in tiny bottles for making a quart or two at a time. You just add them to the alcohol base, sometimes with sugar, to create an array of liqueurs.

Home winemakers will use liqueur flavorings to enhance the flavors of their wine. For example, you can use the pear brandy liqueur flavoring directly to a pear wine to increase the wine’s fruitiness. It will not raise the alcohol level of the, but it will add a noticeable amount of flavor.

Also realize, that it is possible to have too much alcohol in a wine. A wine can go out of flavor balance if it becomes too hot or alcoholic. When this happens the wine will start to taste more watery, less flavorful, less fruity. This is because of the numbing effects that alcohol can have on the senses, both taste and smell. This is one good reason to look at liqueur flavorings instead of liqueurs. You get the flavor without the heat.

Regardless, I think adding liqueurs to homemade wines is a fantastic way of playing around with the flavors in your wine. I can be valuable. Not only can you come up with something spectacular, you get to exercise your senses in a way that will only help you with future batches of homemade wine. Just remember to take careful steps, and do sample tests before moving forward with the whole batch of wine.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus

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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

When Should I Filter My Wine?

Wine FiltersWhen should I filter my wine? I have a wine that is about 4 months old and I’m wondering if it is to early to filter it.

Don
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Hello Don,

When first learning how to make your own wine it is important that you don’t become too impatient, however since the wine has been bulk-aging for 4 months, I would say you’ve been patient enough. It would be fine to filter your wine at this time.

One of the more common wine making tips I share with beginning winemakers is:

“Never filter a cloudy wine. The wine should be done fermenting and look clear before filtering”.

You can verify that the wine is done fermenting by testing it with a wine hydrometer. You should be getting a test reading of .998 or less. For more information about this you may want to take a look at the article, “Getting To Know Your Hydrometer” listed on our website.

A wine filter is not designed to remove visible particles from a wine. A wine filter is designed to take out very fine particles, smaller than the human eye can see. This gives the wine a beautiful, polished appearance. It brightens the wine.

With this in mind, it is important to make sure that all the sediment that can fall out of the wine on its own has done so, otherwise the extremely fine filter pads that are used in the wine filter will clog up very quickly.

Shop BentoniteIf you are making wine from wine concentrates, the sediment will fall out fairly easily on its own in a week or two, but if you are making wine from fresh grapes or some other fruit, getting all the sediment to drop out can sometimes be challenging. For this reason, it is suggest that you treat the wine with bentonite before filtering.

Speedy bentonite is a fining agent that will help speed up the natural falling-out of the sediment so you can filter your wine sooner and more efficiently. To learn more about fining agents you may want to reading the article, “Using Finings To Improve Your Wine“.

You will also want to rack the wine off the sediment before filtering the wine. This will eliminate the chance of drawing sediment into the wine filter.

There is another, more simple, way to answer the question: When should I filter my wine? Filter the wine when it is ready to be bottled. Make it the last step the wine goes through before it is put to rest in the bottle. There is no advantage to filter the wine before that time.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Is There Something To Add To Stop A Fermentation?

Mad Scientist With Something To Add To Stop A Wine FermentationHello,

At times my plum wine will appear to have stopped fermentation, and then after bottling it will start up again causing a big mess. Is there something I can add to the wine that will ensure that fermentation has stopped?

Albert W.
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Dear Albert,

It sounds like you are experiencing a stuck fermentation. There are several wine making books that cover this topic in fair detail. One that I might suggest is First Steps In Winemaking.

A stuck fermentation is when the yeast stop consuming the sugars before the sugars are all gone. There are several reasons why this could be happening: lack of nutrient, lack of oxygen, too cool of temperature… For more information about these reasons you can read the following article, Top 10 Reasons For Fermentation Failure.

A stuck fermentation can start up again if the conditions change. In your case, just the simple exposure to air that inadvertently happens during the bottling process could be enough to start the wine fermenting again.

Unfortunately, there are no wine making products that guarantee a complete stop of a fermentation or a re-fermentation. What has to happen, is the fermentation needs to fully complete before bottling. The big question is, “How do you know when the wine’s done fermenting”?

Shop HydrometersOne simple way is to take a reading with a wine hydrometer. The hydrometer is a simple glass instrument that can instantly tell you how much sugar, if any, is in your wine or must. Using the hydrometer is simple. You take a reading by observing how high or low the hydrometer floats in the wine. By taking a reading before bottling and confirming no sugars are present, you can bottle your wine knowing that it will not ferment later on in the wine bottles.

As a side note, once you have verified that the fermentation has completed and the wine has had plenty of time for the yeast to settle out, you can add sugar for sweetening, but you must also add potassium sorbate at the same time. Potassium sorbate can keep a fermentation in check, but only if all of the yeast as been settled and removed from the wine first, and the wine looks visibly clear.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Why Does My Wine Taste Better The Next Day?

Wine Poured From A CarafeI really enjoy the wine making information in your newsletters. I bottled my first wine, a California Merlot, last May. It aged in 6.5 L carboys and had 8 months of French oak chips. I racked it twice. It is still a bit young, but interestingly, if I decant the wine and drink it 24 hours later, it is a much better wine. Can you speculate as to why does my wine taste better the next day?

James — MI
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Hello James,

The wine taste better the next day because you are allowing time for it to breathe. What is really going on when a wine breathes is it is being introduced to fresh air again, something that it hasn’t had contact with for quite some time. By pulling the cork and simply letting the wine bottle stand or by pouring the wine into a carafe, the air will start a mild oxidative process that will soften the rough edges of the wine’s tannins.

It also allows time for any odd gasses to escape that may have developed during the aging or maturation process. Allowing a wine to breathe has also been known to intensify both the flavor and bouquet of a wine — something that can be a problem for wines that have not been fully aged, however this is not true in every case.

While allowing time for the wine to breathe can be a benefit for some, for most it will have no benefit at all, and for others it may even bring damage, particularly with older wines whose flavor structure has been known to collapse very shortly after decanting. The wines that are most likely to benefit from breathing are younger, heavy reds that have not yet had time to take complete advantage of the aging process. And, it just so happens that young, red wines is whats readily available to the home winemaker.

How long you should let the wine breath is another issue. Usually we are talking minutes not hours. More than likely 60 minutes would have been just as good as waiting for the next day to drink your homemade Merlot. As a general rule-of-thumb the younger the wine the more time it may need to take full advantage of breathing, but to say a wine needs until the next day to breathe is excessive from any perspective. Think in terms of a few minutes with a probability of improvement on up to an hour.shop_wine_making_kits

With all this being said, unless you have previous experience with decanting a specific wine, giving it time to breath can be a bit of a crap shoot. In the case of your Merlot, you have specific experience with it, so I would not hesitate to let it breathe for 30 minutes and see what you think.

In the case of an unfamiliar wine: if it is white, allowing time for it to breathe is pointless; if it has been aged more than 4 years, not recommended; and if it has been aged 8 or more years, it could be risky in the sense that the wine’s structure could collapse altogether giving the wine a flabby character. Stick with the red wines that are heavy in tannins and short on aging.

James, I hope this answers your question as to why your wine tastes better the next day. You are not the first to bring this up, and I have even experience myself. Just look at allowing wine time to breathe as once more tool that can help you get better enjoyment out of the wines you’ve made.

Happy Winemaking,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Sweet Idea! Adding Fruit To Wine Kits

Adding Fruit To Wine KitsWe did a Chardonnay wine kit recently. The results were very good, by all accounts. What is your position on mixing peach, apricot or even persimmon into a batch of that? Wondering. Thanks in advance for your time.

Jeff
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Hello Jeff,

Adding fruit to wine kits is a great way to enhance any attractive characteristics that a particular grape may possess. For example: raspberries with Merlot grapes, strawberries with Zinfandel, pears with Pinot Grigio… The options are endless and there is always room for experimentation. It’s a great way to have even more fun while making these wines.

Usually when a home winemaker wants to make a wine in this style, they will mix the wine kit and fruits together in the fermenter and proceed with the fermentation from there. After the primary fermentation has completed, the fruit is then removed as the wine goes into a secondary fermenter. However there is another – more professional – way for adding fruit to wine kits. One that will give you much better control over the end product. In other words, less chance of messing up.

Shop Niagara Mist Wine KitsInstead of mixing the grape concentrate and fruit together at the beginning of fermentation, make the chosen fruit into its own wine, separately.

In the case of your Chardonnay, you could make some peach wine – one or two gallons of it. When it is time to bottle, you can experiment with blending some or all of the peach wine with it.

How much peach flavor you add is a matter of personal taste. You can add a little or a lot. You could do sample taste-testings with varying ratios of the two wines. This is the real power of making the two wines separately. You have complete control over the outcome. If you had added some fruit like peaches at the beginning of fermentation, all you could do is guess as to how much peach to add and hope for the best.

By adding fruit to wine kits in this way, you will have total control over how much fruit flavor is in the wine. This method will also allow you to safely mix blending samples together without risking your entire batch.

We have more information about blending wines together in an article on our website that you may want to take a look at: Blending To Improve Homemade Wines. This article should give you some better insights as to what you are look for when putting two wines together.

As far as whether to try peach, apricot or persimmon, all I can say is that I have seen the most success using peach verses apricot and I have never tasted persimmon added to a Chardonnay. But having said this, I would never tell you not to try any combination. There are no wrong answer when adding fruit to wine kits. Home wine making is about being creative, experimenting and seeing what you can come up.Shop Fruit Wine Bases

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.