First Time Winemaker – Part II

First Time Winemaker – Part II

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma037.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis 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 racking, auto siphons, and bulk aging. Click play on the media player above to listen now! Resources & Products Mentioned Ultimate Guide to Kit Winemaking Auto Siphon (affiliate link) The Winemaker’s...

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Making Wine from Kits, Juice Pails, and Grapes

Making Wine from Kits, Juice Pails, and Grapes

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma036.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSMaking 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 differences are, what we need to be thinking about as well as testing for. Have a notebook ready! Resources & Products Mentioned The Winemaker’s Log (Check it out!!) Missouri Valley Wine Society Lallzyme EX MoreWine Guides Featured Community Discussions Sulfite Free Winemaking Photograph by:...

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First Time Winemaker – Part I

First Time Winemaker – Part I

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma035.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis 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 for you. Much of what we cover is also available in the Ultimate Guide to Kit Winemaking. There are still some good lessons covered for more experienced winemakers. We cover topics that all winemakers can use a refresher on from time to time. Resources & Products Mentioned Ultimate Guide to Kit Winemaking Winexert French Cabernet Sauvignon Featured Community Discussion Can wine be bottled right after it has been filtered, or should you wait a day or...

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The Importance of Yeast Starters

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 with a healthy and active yeast population. This article assumes you are pitching your own wine yeast and not relying upon wild yeast to make your wine. In the yeast life cycle, the first phase is concerned with growing the yeast population. Once they reach critical mass alcoholic fermentation gets underway and our must is made into wine. The stronger the initial population introduced to our must, the quicker this first phase will go. An active and healthy yeast population is also better able to keep unwanted spoilage micro-organisms at bay. When competing for the same resources (i.e. sugar) wine yeast are quite aggressive. Dry active yeast is the most common form available to winemakers. Just like baking yeast, it is a powder which contains little granules of live yeast. The outside of the granule is a crust of dead yeast cells and food which protects and feeds the living yeast cells inside this crust. Obviously they’re not thriving in those granules as they are provided with only enough food to sustain them in a dormant state. Tossing dry yeast into a wet environment full of sugar and nutrients and likely at a differenent temperature is an abrupt change in environment. It can take a day or two for the yeast to adjust before the growth phase really starts to take off if pitched this way. There are better ways to introduce a yeast to a must and we’ll talk about two of them here. The first method is to simply hydrate the yeast so they are out of their crust and available to start consuming sugar. The second method involves creating a yeast starter. It begins with hydration but takes things much further by growing the population in a starter before adding it to the must. These soft transitions that allow the yeast to acclimate without dying and hit the must fully active and ready to rule the fermentation of your must. Hydrating Wine Yeast As the name implies, hydrating is merely getting the yeast out of the crusty granule and loose in water. It involves heating water to a specific temperature and dissolving the yeast in it. This wakes them up and gets them ready to start eating. Once they are awake again and free to roam they will need food (sugar) within a very few minutes to survive. Ideally a hydrated yeast is moved to a must within 5-10 minutes and with a temperature differential between the yeast and the must of less than 10F (5C). The...

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A Tale of 3 Pinot Noirs – WMA034

A Tale of 3 Pinot Noirs – WMA034

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma034.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSHave 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 kits? In this episode of the Winemaker’s Academy podcast my guests and I set out to answer this question. Academy members Dennis and Cathy sent me three bottles of wine made from three different kits ranging from Vintner’s Reserve up to Eclipse. We did a blind tasting on the air and explored the differences between them. The results will surprise you! Featured Forum Discussion As mentioned in the show our featured community discussion for this week is: What’s your go-to fining agent? Click on the link above to check it out and please do contribute to the discussion. We’d all like to know what your favorite fining agent is for troublesome...

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