Click here to learn how to make wine from a kit.


Fermenting Wine in Open Containers

- Aug 20, 2015

Fermenting Wine in Open Containers

There’s a lot of discussion around open fermentations. Beginners especially wonder why some recipes call for open fermentations and kit instructions call for an airlock to be placed on the fermenter as soon as you’ve pitched the yeast. The truth is, you can do it either way. When you’re first getting into winemaking I do not recommend fermenting your wine in an open container. There’s a bit more risk involved if you don’t have a good feel for when to put the lid on your wine. The Benefits of Open Fermentation Fermenting out...

read more

First Time Winemaker – Part II

- Aug 13, 2015

First Time Winemaker – Part II

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma037.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download This is the second part in our three part series going through the entire winemaking process on the air with first time winemaker, Chris. Start from the beginning here: First Time Winemaker – Part I. In this episode Chris and Matt discuss how the first steps in the kit winemaking process went. Then they discuss racking from the primary fermenter to the carboy. Throughout the interview Matt answers many great questions from Chris regarding...

read more

Making Wine from Kits, Juice Pails, and Grapes

- Aug 7, 2015

Making Wine from Kits, Juice Pails, and Grapes

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma036.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Making Wine from Kits, Juice Pails, and Grapes Winemaker’s Academy member Craig joins us on this episode of the podcast to share his experience making wine from wine kits and then moving on to juice pails and grapes. He shares a lot of great insights and lessons learned. As you can imagine it is a bit different working with juice pails and fresh grapes as much more of the chemistry is left up to you, the winemaker. Craig explains what these...

read more

First Time Winemaker – Part I

- Jul 17, 2015

First Time Winemaker – Part I

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma035.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download This is the first in a three part interview series with Winemaker’s Academy member Chris, a first time winemaker. Together she and I walk through the first steps of the kit winemaking process. We discuss what needs to be done, what to watch out for, and answer Chris’s questions on what’s in strore for her. If you’re a beginner and have been wondering what’s invovled in making a kit wine for the first time this episode is...

read more

The Importance of Yeast Starters

- Jul 3, 2015

The Importance of Yeast Starters

Pitching yeast into a wine must can be very stressful for these micro-organisms upon which we rely for the production of alcohol. Exposing yeast to changes in temperature, sugar levels, as well as sulfite and nutrient levels causes them stress. If the stress is too much to bear they may go into shock or die off. Creating a yeast starter is the best way to reduce shock and ensure a healthy population is introduced to your wine. Our job as a winemaker is to make this transition as easy on the yeast as possible so that fermentation gets underway...

read more

A Tale of 3 Pinot Noirs – WMA034

- Jun 26, 2015

A Tale of 3 Pinot Noirs – WMA034

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma034.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the variously priced wine kits? Each kit manufacturer has different lines of kits that each have a different price tags on them according to the quality of the juice in the kit. However, what’s the real difference in taste? Introductory kits can sell for as little as $70 while the more expensive kits go for $200 or more. Are the expensive kits really three times better than the introductory...

read more

Thirty-Eight Wine Kits and Counting – WMA033

- Jun 18, 2015

Thirty-Eight Wine Kits and Counting – WMA033

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma033.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download About two and a half years ago Winemaker’s Academy members Dennis and Cathy decided to give winemaking a try. They started with one kit but their new hobby soon blossomed into thirty-eight wine kits! Dennis and I decided to get the three of us on the phone and talk about how they got into winemaking and what lessons they’ve learned along the way. So grab a glass of wine and listen in as Dennis and Cathy share their experience diving into...

read more

Racking Wine For Clarity

- Jun 10, 2015

Racking Wine For Clarity

Clearing a wine in preparation for bottling can be tricky. There are many different clarifiers on the market and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. An alternative to using clarifiers is to rack your wine strategically over time to help clear the wine. But how are you supposed to know when to rack your wine? Recently I discovered a recommended racking schedule while reading From Vines to Wines by Jeff Cox and expanded upon it to give you a complete schedule from start to finish. This schedule assumes that you are not using a fining...

read more

Bulk Aging, Corks, and Specific Gravity – WMA032

- Jun 4, 2015

Bulk Aging, Corks, and Specific Gravity – WMA032

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma032.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download In this Question and Answer podcast episode Matt addresses the following questions: Is it okay to leave red muscadine wine in the carboy for several months under the protection of airlock? Do you do anything with your corks before bottling? My kit wine specific gravity is supposed to be between 1.090 and 1.110, but my hydrometer reads 1.070. What’s the reason for this? Do you have questions you’d like to hear answered on the podcast? If...

read more

Why Synthetic Corks Are Worth Using

- May 22, 2015

Why Synthetic Corks Are Worth Using

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma031.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Since I started making my own wines I’ve been a bit of a purist when it comes to closures. Like most home winemakers I started out with the cheap agglomerated corks that came with my equipment kit. From there I moved on to the premium #9 corks and started looking at buying solid natural cork. I didn’t give much thought to synthetic corks because they were not natural. They weren’t the closures that wineries have been trusting for...

read more