Thirty-Eight Wine Kits and Counting – WMA033

Thirty-Eight Wine Kits and Counting – WMA033

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma033.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSAbout 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 making wine head first. If you’d like to connect with Dennis you can find him in the Winemaker’s Academy Community forum as well as in our Facebook Group. Featured Community Discussion: Glass vs. Plastic vs. Steel vs. Oak Secondary...

Read More

Bulk Aging, Corks, and Specific Gravity – WMA032

Bulk Aging, Corks, and Specific Gravity – WMA032

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma032.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIn 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 so Contact Matt and let him know. Adams County Wine Competition Call for Entries Entry...

Read More

Why Synthetic Corks Are Worth Using

Why Synthetic Corks Are Worth Using

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma031.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSSince 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 hundreds of years. They weren’t “authentic”. One day I volunteered to bottle at a local winery (more about that here). They were using Nomacorcs and were quite happy with them. As I continued to volunteer at this winery I got more and more interested in the closures, how long they last, and what the benefits of using them are. Then, when my last wine was ready to bottle, I went out and purchased some #9 Nomacorcs to try for myself. The were comparably priced to my beloved #9 natural corks so I took the plunge. My First Experience with Synthetic Corks Like natural corks synthetic corks come in a sealed bag and you don’t need to worry about soaking or sanitizing the closures. I picked up 30 closures for about $10 US. When it came time to bottle I pulled one out, inspected it, and proceeded to use my dual lever corker (affiliate link) to insert it into the bottle. One down. My first impression was that the cork was not as easy to insert as the natural cork because the plunger on the dual lever corker is not as big around as the Nomacorc. This cause the sides of the cork to get caught up in the corker itself and while the center of the cork was perfectly even with the top of the bottle the sides were sticking up. [insert pic here]. Now to be fair I’ve never had great luck getting even the #9 premium corks to sit quite right either. The difference was that the synthetic corks were still caught up in the corker after inserting the cork so you have to be careful how you pull the corker away from the bottle so you don’t cause it to fall over and potentially break open. I made some adjustments to the corker and proceeded to finish up the bottling process. After a while I got the feel of inserting the corks and the bottles started to look better. The Benefits of Synthetic Closures There are many benefits to using synthetic closures. First, they don’t ever dry out. This means that if you pick some up at the local winemaking shop it doesn’t matter if they’ve been on the shelf for six months or a year. They’re going to be in perfect condition to use. It also doesn’t matter if you keep a stash of synthetics around the house for a couple years. Natural corks, on the other hand, do dry out. I’ve purchased “new” bags of corks from wine making supply shops that were already past their prime and...

Read More

Inert Gases, Racking, and Preserving Fruit Wine Flavor

Inert Gases, Racking, and Preserving Fruit Wine Flavor

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/WMA030.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSWinemaker’s Academy Podcast Episode 30 In this question & answer episode of the podcast we cover the following questions: At what point in the winemaking process will I benefit the most from using inert gases? I racked all the sediment after primary fermentation. Was this a mistake? My pear wine lacks actual pear flavor. What can I do to bring it back out? Resources & Products Mentioned Beginner’s Guide for Email Subscribers Winemaker’s Log The Ultimate Guide to Kit Winemaking VineyardFresh Wine Preserver – argon in a can Photograph by: Tim Patterson –...

Read More

Using Inert Gases in Winemaking – WMA029

Using Inert Gases in Winemaking – WMA029

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma029.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSJust recently I tested out Private Preserve while bottling a raisin wine. Private Preserve is an aerosol can filled with a mixture of inert gases. In this episode we’re going to explore what inert gases are, why it’s beneficial to use them, and I’ll share my own thoughts and experiences using these gases. What are inert gases? Inert gases are gases that do not normally react with anything. Unlike oxygen which oxidizes things like metal, wine, and food, inert gases do not interact with these at all. You can expose metal to an inert gas and it won’t rust so long as that is the only gas the metal is exposed to. This ties into why you would want to use inert gases when making or more accurately storing wine. Why Should I Use an Inert Gas to Protect Wine? The best use of inert gases in winemaking is to displace the oxygen in a container of finished wine. After a wine has finished fermenting it will be susceptible to the negative effects of oxidation. A wine that has been exposed to too much oxygen will taste flat, flabby, and past its prime. Inert gases are used in a process called sparging, which is a fancy term for displacing the oxygen in a container with inert gases. Generally you would have your wine in whatever container it is going to be aged in, be that a carboy or bottle, or whatever and then you spray an inert gas to remove the oxygen and quickly recap the container to trap the gasses. Now you can also sparge an empty container and then fill it with wine, same thing. The Easy Way to Try Inert Gas Private preserve is probably the easiest way to dip your toe in the use of inert gases. It comes in an aerosol can and runs about $20 US. The can contains a mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon and according to the manufacturer are “all benign, non-flammable, tasteless, and medial quality”. The can does come with a short straw that you can use to direct the flow of gases. Originally it was developed for wine drinkers to top up their open bottles of wine to preserve it for the next day. I’d certainly go that far if I was drinking something expensive or really fancy but it also comes in handy for home wine makers looking to try inert gases. The alternative is to go out and buy a tank of inert gas but in addition you’ll need hoses and regulators to control the flow of and direct the gas into your container of choice. Generally these gases come in decent sized tanks that might take a home wine maker a long time to go through. I’ve priced small systems out and found that it would take $150 – $200 to get going with inert gases. This is pretty expensive in comparison to $20 for the aerosol can. Using Private Preserve When you pick up a can of Private Preserve the first thing you’ll notice...

Read More

Stopping a Wine Fermentation – WMA028

Stopping a Wine Fermentation – WMA028

http://traffic.libsyn.com/winemakersacademy/wma028.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSStopping a Wine Fermentation Is it possible to stop a fermentation by adding sorbate or sulfites or both? This is a common question I get from wine makers. While it is possible to do it can be tough. Even commercial wineries sometimes struggle to stop it right where they want it. Home winemakers have it even tougher without the fancy equipment wineries use. In this episode of the podcast I’ll address how fermentations can be stopped as well as some common misconceptions concerning the use of sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to stop a fermentation. Questions Answered My wines keep developing mold even though I’m using sulfites. What’s going on here? I started my wine 5 days ago and now the airlock is bubbling very slowly, is it okay? Is there a way to salvage the wine at the bottom of the carboy with the sediment in it? Resources & Products Mentioned Stabilizing Wine for Back Sweetening How To Backsweeten a Wine How to Back Sweeten a Wine Kit The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Fermentation How Long do Primary and Secondary Fermentations Last? Photograph by: Tim Patterson...

Read More
Page 2 of 712345...Last »