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How Sparkling Wine is Made – WMA024

- Nov 20, 2014

How Sparkling Wine is Made – WMA024

Podcast: Play in new window | Download How Sparkling Wine is Made Sparkling wines are an amazing product of fermentation. They must be made with utmost care not only for the sake of the wine but also for the well being of the wine maker. Taking a still wine in the bottle and then adding sugar, then yeast, and then capping can lead to some significant pressures building up in those glass bottles. Pressurized glass is a recipe for danger if you don’t have the hang of how sparkling winemaking is done. This podcast episode will show you how...

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My Airlock Needs Water?

- Nov 13, 2014

My Airlock Needs Water?

Recently I’ve heard from more than one confused beginning winemaker asking if their wine was ruined because they never put water in their airlock. It’s not all that surprising as a beginner has a lot to figure out with all the steps, additives, and equipment. I’m sure there are wine making shops that forget to mention that the airlock needs water. For a seasoned wine maker it’s just how things work. An Academy member by the name of Robert recently wrote in with just this problem. He purchased everything he needed to...

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Tasting Wine with the Wine Curmudgeon – WMA023

- Nov 5, 2014

Tasting Wine with the Wine Curmudgeon – WMA023

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Tasting Wine with the Wine Curmudgeon As winemaker’s we’re always concerned with how our wines taste and whether or not there was anything we could do to improve upon them. To help us understand how to better taste our wines we have Jeff Siegel, the Wine Curmudgeon, on the show for this episode. Jeff is a wine writer, wine judge, and has literally written the book on how to purchase cheap wines. His specializes in helping ordinary consumers find wines that are reasonably priced. Jeff has...

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Are Sulfites Necessary in Wine? – WMA022

- Oct 24, 2014

Are Sulfites Necessary in Wine? – WMA022

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Are sulfites really necessary to make wine? The debate over whether or not we really need sulfites has been heated in the last few years. There is a growing population of winemakers that believe you just don’t need them and shouldn’t use them. There are also those who swear by using them in order to make wines that are stable and will stand the test of time. Which answer is right? The only one who can say is you. In this episode you’ll hear what Winemaker’s Academy members have to...

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Wine Grape Chemistry – WMA021

- Oct 9, 2014

Wine Grape Chemistry – WMA021

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Wine Grape Chemistry Grapes are complex little things. If we’re to make great wine from them then we’re going to need to have a good understanding of the chemistry that makes them what they are. That’s the topic for this Winemaker’s Academy episode. This episodes discussion is based on the paper Composition of Grapes by Murli Dharmadhikari (free PDF). I highly recommend reading the entire paper in addition to listening to the show. The paper is five pages long and packed with...

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How and When to Use Sulfites – WMA020

- Sep 17, 2014

How and When to Use Sulfites – WMA020

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Adding Sulfites to Wine Sulfites are a great tool for protecting wines. They can help ensure stability at the start of the wine making process as well as help wines keep for years in the barrel or bottle. The key to sulfites is understanding that it is something to be maintained rather than something you add once and are done. There’s also no simple way to figure out how much you need to add. In this episode we’ll cover when to use sulfites and how best to measure sulfites. Listener &...

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How to Detect a Stuck Fermentation

- Sep 12, 2014

How to Detect a Stuck Fermentation

Recently Barbara wrote in with this question on a possible stuck fermentation: How can I tell if my wine is stuck and not fermenting in the secondary fermenter? Should the airlock be bubbling? -Barbara Matt’s Answer: Hi Barbara, Thank you for reaching out with your question! Being able to identify a stuck fermentation is an important skill to have and can keep you from taking drastic measures when you might not need to. The latter days of a fermentation are going to be much slow.er than primary fermentation. It is certainly possible to...

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Why, How, and When to Degas Wine – WMA019

- Aug 28, 2014

Why, How, and When to Degas Wine – WMA019

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Why How and When To Degas Wine Degassing is one of those wine making tasks that can be quite frustrating if you don’t have the right tools or know the best conditions under which you should degas. If not done correctly degassing can take hours if it is successful at all. In this episode we explore the three main ways to degas, how best to prepare your wine for degassing, as well as why it is so important in the first place. Products and Resources Mentioned Here’s a list of products and...

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Protecting Your Wine with Airlocks – WMA018

- Aug 14, 2014

Protecting Your Wine with Airlocks – WMA018

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Protecting Your Wine with Airlocks Airlocks are your best line of defense against oxidation and spoilage micro-organisms. It is very important that you carefully maintain your airlock and monitor it. This episode is all about how to do just that. By far the most important thing you need to know about airlocks is that they need to have the water level properly maintained. When the water level gets too low the airlock ceases to protect your wine and leaves it open to the outside world. Listen to this...

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A Wine Making Timeline

- Aug 7, 2014

A Wine Making Timeline

Knowing when to do what when making a wine is critical to producing a quality wine. When you make wine from a kit each and every step is spelled out for you but when you go to make wine from fresh fruit it’s up to you to decide / determine when to perform each of the necessary steps. What follows is a guide that you can use as a starting place to for outlining your own wine making timeline. Your mileage will certainly vary but this should be a good starting place. Remember to experiment and refine your process. Eventually you’ll...

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