My Top 10 Favorite Winemaking Posts…

Top 10Another year has passed, and the rear-view mirror is full! I always use this time as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened. In doing so I have come up with a list of my top 10 favorite wine making posts.

These are wine making post that I feel have been helpful, entertaining and interesting. They are listed in no particular order. You might want to give them a once-over and see if there’s anything that piques your interest:

  1. Keeping Fruit Wines In Fruity Balance
    Learn how: sugar, fruit and alcohol level all come together to create balance in a homemade wine.
  1. 7 Random Winemaking Facts…
    A listing of winemaking trivia that my surprise you. Take a look and see how many of the 7 you already know.
  1. In Plain English: The Difference Between pH And Titratable Acidity In Wine
    Understanding pH and titratable acid is the key to having a wine that tastes great and is stable. This post takes a complicated topic and distilled it down to something that’s easy to understand.
  1. A Simple Guide To Metabisulfites
    Covers the differences among Sodium Metabisulfite, Potassium Metabisulfite and Campden Tablets and how much this difference really matters.
  1. What’s The Difference Between Crushing And Pressing Grapes?
    The blog post clears up some of the confusion surround crushing and pressing. How are they different, and what are their purposes.
  1. How To Handle That Last Bit Of Sediment
    A handy little article the gives some quick pointers about racking your wine — how to do it more efficiently so as to lose less wine with less work.
  1. Is Oxygen Good Or Bad For Wine?Shop Wine Making Kits
    Knowing how to leverage air exposure to your advantage can go a long ways in producing a healthy, stable wine. See how easy it is.
  1. Picking When To Pick
    This is actually a 4 part series of posts that contain some solid information on how to determine the optimal time to harvest your grapes.
  1. What On Earth Is Bottle Shock?
    Learn how bottle shock affect both commercial and homemade wines, particularly after bottling, and how manage this phenomenon.
  1. 5 Myths About Homemade Wine
    Here are the top 5 myths that many non-home-winemakers believe. These are misconceptions that keep many from enjoying this rewarding hobby.

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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.

Christmas Punch Recipe With A Holiday Wish

Santa’s got his sleigh loaded! It’s a time of celebration and cheer.

As families come together, old stories will be retold once again. Presents will be passed among us, as we reflect about how the nieces, nephews and cousins have all grown since we’ve last seen them.

We sincerely wish that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive.

And with that, we would like to share with you a special recipe in the hopes that it may add even more cheer to your holidays…

 

Christmas Punch Recipe

  • 750 ml of dark rum
  • 750 ml of dry red wine (homemade of course)
  • 3 cups strongly brewed tea
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredient in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a simmer until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not boil.
  3. Serve in a heat resistant bowl, warm.
  4. Add fruit garnishment such as orange slices and cranberries.

 

From everyone at E. C. Kraus,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf

We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf
We sincerely hope that your Christmas holiday is full of joy and excitement, and that the New Year brings you the brightest of days and provides you with all for which you strive. – See more at: http://blog.eckraus.com/wine-making-tricks-and-tips/a-simple-recipe-and-a-holiday-wish#sthash.yXRHFevz.dpuf

Making Your Own Toasted Oak For Wine

Toasted Oak For WineI have tried oaking wine to my satisfaction with oak chips. Now I want to make my own toasted oak strips. I purchased some white oak that I sawed into yard stick width and thickness.  I noticed in the wine supplies different types of flavors for oaking. I was told it was like flavored coffee. What should I do to the oak strips so as I can oak wine?

Thanks,
Marvin F.
—–
Hello Marvin,

First, I want to commend you on your DIY spirit. It’s fun hearing about people tryin’ to get it done on their own.

This is a project that is a little more involved than one might first suspect. Toasting oak to be used in wine is a very delicate process. I for one would suggest that you are probably better off by leaving this one to the experts. But I understand your drive to try doing this yourself.

Shop Toasted Oak ChipsFirst, it is important that you use a white oak as opposed to red oak. You seem to be okay in that department based on you question, above. Red oak is a completely different family of wood. The only thing they have in common is the word “oak”.

The oak then needs to be dried to what cooperages refer to as sap clear. They typically do this by letting the slats or staves of wood dry cross-stacked in the sun for 1 to 3 years. The oak strips are rotated and rearranged periodically to allow for even drying. Someone trying this at home could get around this if they happen to have a kiln of some sort to dry the slats out, or maybe thay have a source of white oak that has already been sitting around for a few years.

Once the white oak is sap clear it then needs to be toasted. This is typically done over a flame of burning white oak wood. Oak is used for the fire for toasting as opposed to another wood or fuel to keep foreign residues to a minimum. Try not to let the smoke from the fire directly hit the wood. Rely more on the fire’s radiating heat by keeping the wood adjacent to the fire instead of over the fire.Shop Oak Powder

There is some art and some science to toasting oak for wine. Not only do you need to be concerned about how toasted the oak wood is becoming, you also need to be concerned about the temperature being used to do the toasting. Both how much you toast the oak and how fast it toasts plays into the flavor the wood will contribute to the wine.

Toasting Oak For WineIf the wood is toasted too fast there is not enough time for all the caramelized sugars in the wood to raise to the surface. The heat doesn’t penetrate the wood deep enough. Toast the wood too long and you will raise too much tannin with the sugar which will bring too much bitterness to the wine. The right temperature a length of time is beyond my experience and most cooperages keep this info as a trade secret, but you can get a sense of what to do by seeing how a wine barrel (not whiskey barrel) is toasted.

Shop Oak Wood ExtractiveBecause of the complexity involved, I would suggest that you do not try this yourself and purchase some oak that has been professionally prepared. It is not something I would try, especially when an entire batch of wine may be on the line, and the toasted oak is relatively inexpensive.

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.

There’s A Yeasty Smell In My Wine. Should I Dump It!?

Noticing Yeasty Smell In WineI’m still learning this process but haven’t had this happen. Got 3 gallons of Muscadine wine I was gonna bottle up. When opened up it has a very strong “yeasty” smell in the wine. Made this a couple times and never had this happen. Only thing I did different was use a different wine yeast. (Montrachet instead of lavlin 71b 1122.) I may have forgotten to rack the wine after it had been placed in the secondary fermenter. Either forgot to write it in log or didn’t do it. Seems I read somewhere that could cause this issue. Anyway, should I bottle this or dump it and start a new batch when the Muscadines ripen this summer. Thanks for the advice……..

Name: Bill B
State: SC
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Hello Bill,

There is absolutely no reason to dump any wine because it has a yeasty smell. This is an issue that comes about from time to time that is easily overcome.Shop Wine Yeast

It is true that different wine yeast have different amounts of yeast odors, but the yeast smell also increases the more the yeast become stressed. If the fermentation is done in an environment that does not make the wine yeast happy, you will get more of this odor.

Examples causing stress are:

  • Fermenting at too warm of a temperature
  • Fermenting with not enough nutrients in the wine must
  • Fermenting with too little yeast to perform the job at hand

The last one typically happens with old wine yeast is used, or a significant portion of the yeast cells are killed in the rehydration process.

Most of the time this odor will go away on it’s own throughout the natural course of the winemaking process. Racking the wine is one of the times that this odor is able to release from the wine and dissipate. You stated that you are not sure if you racked the wine, so this could be all that’s wrong with the wine.

Shop Potassium BisulfiteAnother normal activity in the winemaking process that releases this odor is adding sulfites. This would either be Campden tablets, potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite. If you do not ever add any of these then this can contribute to the yeasty smell in the wine.

A sulfite should always be added to a wine anyway to protect it from spoilage and oxidation, but doing so also drives out unwanted volatile gases that are in the wine from the fermentation – such as the ones you are smelling. If you haven’t done so already, the simple task of adding a standard dose of sulfites and waiting a few days may be all that is needed.

Since you are not sure if you racked your wine or not, I’m guess that all you need to do is rack the wine and add sulfites. Hope this should get rid of the yeasty smell in your wine. In not, repeat the process. Rack the wine in a splashing manner and then add sulfites again.

If you find that the yeast smell in the wine is not leaving that you may want to take a look at what to do about treating wine with a hydrogen sulfite issue.Shop Mini Jet Wine Filter

Just remember next time to keep your wine yeast happy, regardless of the type used; rack your wine sufficiently; and always use sulfites in your wine. Do these things and you should not have this problem again.

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.

What Size Corks Should I Get For Bottling My Wine?

Different Size Corks For Bottling WineIf you’re getting ready to buy corks to bottle your wine you may be wondering which size corks you should get. We offer four different sizes of wine cork stopper. They are sizes: #7, #8, #9 and #10. These numbers refer to the diameter of the cork. The higher the number, the larger the diameter of the cork.

The opening of a standard, 750 ml wine bottle is 3/4 of an inch. If you have a wine bottle corker you will want to purchase either the size #8 or size #9 corks. The diameter of these corks are 7/8″ and 15/16″, respectively. Size #9 corks is what the commercial wineries use. Either will require a wine bottle corker to press them into the bottle.

Which size cork you get depends on the type of wine bottle corker you have. Any wine bottle corker on the market can put in the size #8 wine cork, however some wine bottle corkers have trouble putting in a full-size #9 cork.Shop Wine Corks

If the corker was purchased from E. C. Kraus, you will be able to put in a size #9 or #8 cork just fine. If your corker was purchased from somewhere else then some caution will be required.

Some wine bottle corks on the market use a funnel-design to compress the cork. The wine cork is shoved through a funnel into the opening of the wine bottle. For the most part, this design of corker will work okay for a size #8 cork, but if you want to put in a full-size #9 wine cork and get a tighter seal, using a funnel-style corker can be a problem. The larger cork can get pinched and frayed as it goes through the funnel.

All the wine bottle corkers we offer compresses the cork evenly, from Shop Wine Bottle Corkersall sides then plunges the cork into the barrel opening of the wine bottle. With this method of corking no damage will come to the cork, as it is not be contorted through a funnel opening.

We do not recommend using size #7 cork, but we do offer them for individuals who want to put their corks in by hand. This size wine cork is small enough in diameter to be put in without a wine bottle corker. The downside is that they do not seal the wine bottle very well. In fact, if you lay the wine bottle on its side, there is a fair change that the #7 wine cork will seep some wine. For this reason you should store wine bottle upright if using this size of wine cork.

Size #10 corks are for larger size bottles. While many larger bottle still have the same 3/4 inch opening that the 750 ml have, some larger size wine bottles have larger openings that will require this larger size cork.
—–
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.

How to Take a Hydrometer Gravity Sample

How To Take Hydrometer SamplesTaking a gravity sample for a hydrometer reading is one of the basic aspects of homebrewing. Without it, it’s pretty hard to figure out the alcohol content of your beer. But you might be surprised how many homebrewers take gravity readings haphazardly.

How do you take a gravity sample without contaminating your beer?

 

When testing for original gravity…

This part is a little easier because you can take a gravity sample of boiling (sterile) wort, with little risk of contamination.

 

  1. Pull a sample of wort at the end of the boil using a clean, glass measuring cup or thief. You’ll need about 3/4 cup of wort for a sample to take your hydrometer reading.
  1. Place the measuring cup in an ice water bath to cool the sample to 60-70˚F. You can do this while you chill your main batch of wort.
  1. Pour the gravity sample into your hydrometer testing jar. Give it some time to settle.
  1. Take the temperature of the sample so you can correct using a hydrometer adjustment calculator, if needed for temperature correction.Shop Hydrometer Jars
  1. Suspend your hydrometer in the gravity sample and give it a spin. Take your reading. The spin is to release air bubbles that may have attached to the side of the hydrometer. These air bubbles can throw off the hydrometer reading by adding to the hydrometer’s buoyancy.
  1. If you want, taste the wort, then discard it. While it may be tempting to put the sample back in the wort, this as a great way to contaminate your homebrew. It’s not worth the six ounces or so of beer.

 

When testing for final gravity…

This part can be a little trickier. Since the wort is at fermentation temperature, it’s much easier for microbes to grab hold and contaminate your homebrew. To take a sanitary sample for your hydrometer reading, you have two options:

 

Option #1: The ThiefShop Hydrometers

  1. Use a clean and sanitized thief (plastic, glass, stainless steel) to collect a gravity sample of beer from the fermenter.
  1. Take your hydrometer reading and, if needed, correct for temperature.
  1. Taste the beer, or discard it. Again, it may be tempting to put the gravity sample back in the fermenter, but this as a great way to contaminate your homebrew.

 

Option #2: Sample from spigot or siphon

  1. If pulling a sample from the spigot, sanitize the spout by spraying the inside with a sanitizer solution. Air dry before collecting the sample. If using a siphon, be sure to clean and sanitize it before placing it in the beer.Shop Fermentation Sampler
  1. Take a gravity sample of beer into your hydrometer testing jar.
  1. Take your hydrometer reading and correct for temperature if needed.
  1. Taste the beer or discard it. Don’t put it back in the fermenter!
  1. If you pulled a sample from the spigot, rinse it out by spraying sanitizer solution into the spout.

 

What method do you use to take a hydrometer gravity sample?
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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.

Making Sulfite-Free Wine To Reduce Headaches

Making Sulfite Free WineThis is a subject I get about at least once a week. People are desperately interested in making sulfite free wine.  Usually it is because they are suffering from headaches that they are attributing to sulfite allergies. For this reason they want to make their homemade wine without sulfites.

The major foil to making sulfite free wine is that sulfites are a natural byproduct of fermentation. In winemaking we talk about sulfites in terms of ppm (parts per million). Wine fermentations will naturally produce sulfites somewhere on the order of 10 to 20 ppm.

This amount may seem small, but compare it against the fact that the average bottle of wine on the market only contains about 65 ppm or the fact that any wine in the U.S. that has more than 10 ppm must have on its label, “Contains Sulfites,” then it starts to become clear that the amount of sulfites made by a fermentation is, in fact, significant to the wine’s total content.Shop Campden Tablets

So the answer is, “no.” You can not make sulfite free wine. There will always be some sulfite in your homemade wine. Now lets move on to the next logical question…

 

Can I make wines without adding sulfites?

The answer is: certainly you can. But, you should also be asking the question: do you want too? Sulfites such as Campden tablets or potassium metabisulfite are added to a wine for a reason: to keep the color and flavor fresh over time, and to keep it from spoiling. If the level of sulfites are too low, then it is susceptible to being overcome with bacteria, mold and other detrimental spoilers. Making sulfite free wine does not come without its own risk.

Because wine has alcohol, and alcohol is a preservative, the amount of sulfites needed to keep it from spoiling is very small as compared to amounts we find in the foods we eat everyday. Fruit juices, for example, can have on the order of 200 to 300 ppm; dehydrated fruits, conservatively around 1,000 ppm; and salsa around 1,000 to 2,000 ppm. These are much higher amounts than the 45 to 85 ppm you will typically find in wine.

With this in mind, to me it doesn’t make sense to short your wine the minuscule amount of sulfites it needs to help protect it from spoilage. And, it doesn’t make sense to blame such small amounts of sulfites on headaches when so much of it is in the foods we consume everyday. That brings us to the next logical question…

 

So Why Do Some People Get Headaches From Wine?

There are a certain number of people who do get headaches from drinking wine – even as little as one glass – but as explained above, blaming this on sulfites is not reasonable.

Besides the fact that there is not that much sulfite in wine to begin with, there are a couple of other reasons why this doesn’t add up, as well:Shop Wine Filters

 

  • Sulfite allergies are much more rare than there are people having headaches from wine. According to medical industry reports, there are somewhere between 500 thousand to 1 million sulfite allergy sufferers in the U.S. This equals only about 1 in 300 to 600 people.
  • A headache is not the primary symptom of a sulfite allergy. Asthma or having trouble breathing is the very first problem to show up.

 

A great article on this subject is titled, Red Wine Headaches. It covers in fair detail other possible reasons why someone might get a headache from drinking wine, such as histamines.

 

So, What Should I do?

If you are still not convinced that sulfites are completely innocent of all charges, then you might want to consider taking better control of the sulfites. Don’t completely eliminate additions of sulfite to the wine, but lower the level of sulfites. Don’t worry about making sulfite free wine but maybe try adding less sulfites, instead.Shop Sulfite Tester

For example, right before bottling the wine, instead of targeting a sulfite level of 55 ppm for red and 70 ppm for whites, maybe shoot for 35 ppm in reds and 50 ppm for whites. Reduce the amount of sulfites in your homemade wines. Don’t necessarily eliminate additions to your wine.

You can take readings with a Titrettor Hand Tool and Titret Test Vials. By taking control of your sulfite levels in this way, you can be certain that no more sulfites are in the wine than absolutely necessary to keep it fresh.
—–
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.

Increasing Beer Head Retention And Body

Increasing beer head retentionAre you looking for a more foam and body in your homebrew? Drinking a beer that has poor head or no head at all, or is thin and non-lasting can be a disappointment. As a homebrewing you want a beer with a foamy head that lasts and leaves behind some lace on the side of the glass.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do, like utilizing certain specialty and adjunct grains. By using these grains you will be increasing beer head retention and body.

 

What are specialty grains and adjunct grains?

It’s easy to get hung up on nomenclature, but it’s really quite simple. A specialty grain is anything other than the base malt used to make beer. They can contribute flavor or color to your homebrew. They are used in smaller proportions relative to the total grain bill. Examples of specialty grains include caramel malt and black malt.

Adjunct grains are a type of specialty grain, anything other that malted barley, that are used to make beer. They typically contributed additional fermentable sugar to the beer. Examples include wheat, rye, oats, spelt, corn, and rice. Specialty grains used for increasing beer head retention and body often have higher protein content than barley, which contributes to body. Specialty grains and adjunct grains are typically added to the mash or, in the case of extract beers, steeped as a specialty grain along with some Shop Barley Grainsbase malt.

Without further delay, here are some of the most commonly used specialty grains used for increasing beer head retention and body.

 

  • Caramel maltCaramel malt is high in unfermentable dextrins, or complex sugars. When these sugars remain in the beer, they help contribute to a full mouthfeel. Adding caramel malt, taking note of the color and flavor contributed by the grain, is one way to enhance the body of your beer.
  • Carapils — Like caramel malt, Carapils (Briess’s brand name dextrin malt) is high in dextrins, but unlike caramel malt, it is light in color, so it will do little to affect the color or flavor of your beer. Use up to about half a pound in a five-gallon batch for more body and increasing beer head retention.
  • Wheat — Imagine a thick, chewy hefeweizen. That creamy body and the billowy head on top of the beer are thanks to the wheat. There are a few choices when choosing wheat: White malted wheat, red malted wheat, torrified wheat, unmalted wheat, and flaked. You can also use a Midnight Wheat in darker Shop All Grain Systembeers. Use about 10% wheat to add some body to a pale ale. As much as 50% or more can be used in wheat beers such as hefeweizens and berliner weisse. Malted, flaked, or torrified wheat can be added directly to the mash; raw, unmalted wheat will need to be cooked first.
  • Oats — Oats are another adjunct grain used for increasing beer head retention and body. It’s most often found in beers like saisons, wits, and oatmeal stouts. Flaked oats are pressed between hot rollers to make the sugars more accessible, but if you’re not too concerned about gravity points, straight oats from the store work well too. Use at most about 25% flaked oats in a grain bill. Most beer recipes will have 5-15% oats.
  • Rye — Like oats, rye can increase body, but might contribute to an oily character. People often describe rye as spicy, but there’s some debate over whether it’s mistaken for the spicy hops that are often paired with rye. Brewers can choose from flaked or malted rye – both give similar results and work wonders in a rye pale ale.Shop Grain Mills

 

Adding specialty malts to you beer recipe is a practical and natural way for increasing beer head retention and body in your homebrewed beers. Body and head retention should always be kept in mind when creating a beer recipe, trying to brew to style, and even when trying to please your own palate.

Looking for other ways to enhance body and head retention in your homebrew? Read: How to Make a Full-Bodied Homebrew Beer.
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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

My Peach Wine Will Not Clear

Wine Will Not ClearI have a peach wine that has a haze to it. The wine will not clear. It has been chilled for 2 weeks after fermentation, racked 4 times and I have added fining agents. It cleared to this fine haze but will not clear any further. Is this a wine that is not going to completely clear and I just need to live with it? Oh yea, there was pectic enzyme added at the start. What are your thoughts? Thanks

Name: Echota
State: TN
—–
Hello Echota,

Base on information you have given, it sounds like the reason your homemade wine will not clear is because you have a pectin haze, even though pectic enzyme was added at the beginning.

Fining agents will take out the particles in a wine that can cause it to be cloudy, but a pectin haze is different. It is not caused by particles. It is caused by the actual make up of the liquid itself. The pectin chemically bonds to the wine, making it impossible to clear with just fining agents such as bentonite or isinglass.

The standard dose of pectic enzyme called for in most wine recipes is enough to breakdown and drop out a usual amount of pectin from the fruit, but in some instances the amount of pectin in a wine must can be unexpectedly large. This leads to the situation you are describing where your homemade wine will not clear, completely.

One way to know for sure if your wine is experiencing a pectin haze is to take aShop Pectic Enzyme sample of the wine, say a half-full quart mason jar, and add a ridiculous amount of pectic enzyme to it. If the wine clears without leaving any sediment, then you know that a pectin haze is the reason for you wine being cloudy.

If the wine clears, but leaves sediment behind, then you know it is a particle haze – not a pectin haze – and more time, gravity and fining agents is the answer to resolving this issue.

Clearing up a stubborn pectin haze in a wine after the fermentation has stopped is somewhat difficult, but it can be done. It’s simply a matter of adding more pectic enzyme to the wine.

The problem really lies with the fact that the fermentation is no longer fermenting. This causes the pectic enzyme to take longer to do it’s thing, so some patience will be needed. It could take as long as a month or two for the pectic enzyme to clear up the wine completely.

If you are using our liquid pectic enzyme the standard dose is 1/8 teaspoon for each gallon of wine. However, in this situation you want to add a double dose of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine. This is in addition to any pectic enzyme you addedshop Bentonite at the beginning of fermentation. If you are using a powdered pectic enzyme the story is the same. Add double the recommended dosage listed on the package and give it time.

When ever a homemade wine will not clear you always want to look towards protein particles such as yeast cells, tannin, etc to be the cause. These are things that can be easily dropped out with fining agents and wine clarifiers. But whenever you get into a situation where that last little bit will not clear out of the wine, no matter what you try, then it’s time to start suspecting a pectin haze to the reason your wine will not clear.

Best Wishes,
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.

5 Spot-On Clone Homebrew Recipes

Beer Made From Homebrew Clone RecipesUsing clone homebrew recipes to brew your favorite beers can be a fun and enlightening experience. Every brewer can learn a thing or two by making clone homebrew recipes to replicate the brews of a master. The subtle (or not so subtle) differences between your version and theirs can tell you a lot about your technique, your ingredients, and your equipment. There may be adjustments you need to make between the way they brew it and the way you brew it, since there are some inherent differences between homebrewing and professional brewing.

Are you up for the challenge? Here are five clone homebrew recipes worth trying at home:

 

  • Terrapin Rye Pale Ale Clone – Have you ever brewed with rye? Rye malt or flaked rye can bring an interesting dimension to your beer, a soft rye spice reminiscent of rye whiskey. This partial mash recipe is a clone of Terrapin Brewing Company’s Rye Pale Ale, which earned them a GABF gold medal in their first year at the competition.
  • Westmalle Tripel Clone – Regarded as one of the best tripels in the world, Westmalle Tripel is reportedly the first beer to use the name “tripel”. The Belgian monks of Westmalle Abbey know how to craft an excellent beer – do you?Shop Steam Freak Kits
  • Pliny the Elder Clone – One of the top 25 beers on BeerAdvocate’s Top 250 list, Pliny the Elder was making hop heads swoon when most other Double IPAs were still a glimmer in their brewer’s eye. This is one of the clone homebrew recipes for the hop-heads. It uses a pound of hops to hit over 100 IBUs! Can you handle it? An all-grain recipe with an extract version is included.
  • Anchor Steam Clone – San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. has been brewing a California Common beer for over 100 years: Anchor Steam. A moderate yet firm hop bitterness characterizes this pale ale/lager hybrid, making it a great choice for a year round session beer. Challenge your fermentation temperature control by holding this beer at 60-65˚F throughout fermentation.
  • Uinta Dubhe Clone – Ever since tasting their beers at a GABF beer and cheese tasting, I’ve been a huge fan of Uinta. This five-gShop Fridge Monkeyallon clone homebrew recipe of Uinta’s Dubhe is a massive black IPA made with 21+ lbs. of grain, 3/4 pound of hops, and toasted hemp seeds – I’m thinking of calling mine “Hop Sludge”. The recipe is derived from an interview with the brewers, so it should be pretty close to the real thing. Just be warned: at over 9% ABV, it’s definitely a sipper!

 

Interested in developing some of your own clones? Check out these tips for creating clone homebrew recipes from beer blogger Bryan Roth.
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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.