Cleaning and Sanitizing 101One of the most important aspects of any fermentation is keeping your equipment sanitary. This article outlines the basic steps and products for keeping it clean.
Winemaking Step By StepFor most beginners, the hardest thing about making wine is simply figuring out, in advance, what equipment is going to be needed. This list should set most of these fears to rest.
Red Winemaking1. Crush (break the skins) and de-stem the grapes. For most grape varieties, about 90% of the larger stems should be removed.
White Winemaking1. Crush the grapes to break the skins. It is not necessary to de-stem them. Keep the grapes as cool as possible.
Yeast Recommendations ChartA comprehensive information sheet that covers the most important specification of the yeast strains we stock.
Restart Your Stuck WineThe New Protocol - Simplified!
Previous versions of protocols for restarting stuck fermentations have been horribly difficult to comprehend and implement, but now a new simplified method is available that doesn’t require splitting the volume multiple times and can be done in four efficient steps.
Mysterious MalolacticWe have heard all the problems and helped people complete MLF successfully year after year.
Wine Chem 101So why chemistry? Without knowing some of the chemistry of wine, a home winemaker may be flying blind—or at least wearing dark glasses with the lights off.
Wine Chem 101 Part BIn Part B of Wine Chem 101, Bob tackles the chemistry the wine component responsible for the "zing": Acid. The two major organic acid components of grapes and grape juice are tartaric and malic acids, usually starting at about a 50-50 ratio.
Wine Chem 101 Part CIn the final part of our Wine Chem series, Bob discusses the relationship between pH and sulfite. While the titratable acid number—TA—is all about taste, the pH number is all about stability. In particular, wine pH strongly influences the effectiveness of sulfite in preserving wine’s freshness and quality.
Kitchen-Table Winemaking TrialsWhile some rules of thumb and general guidelines can point the winemaker in the right direction, there’s nothing like a trial for really pinning down the best treatment. After you read this article and feel you are ready to perform your own table trials,
Varietal WinemakingThis is a companion piece to the basic winemaking guidelines found in our newsletters. Here are modifications and extensions to the procedures you might want to employ to get the very best out of a particular wine variety.
Wine Enhancement ProductsWe offer a group of wine enhancement products to help malolactic fermentation, contribute progress in cellaring, and achieve a better finish. Here are specific instructions in their use.
Cellaring Products Fact SheetA concise, comprehensive information sheet that covers oak and oak extract products to help you decide what (or what not) to add when cellaring your wine.
Using Wine TanninsIn 2011 we introduced a new group of professional grade products to our home winemaking customers. Those enzymes, tannins and specialized yeast nutrients have been very popular ever since.
Sacrificial TanninsThe primary role of these enological tannins is not to add anything, but rather to give themselves up as ‘sacrificial tannins’. Added early in the fermentation cycle, these tannins combine with proteins and other grape components and precipitate out into the lees.
Midcourse CorrectionsWhile the wine is sleeping in the cellar, don’t forget about it! There will be ongoing maintenance and possibly midcourse corrections to be applied. February seems like a good time to get going on them.
Wine Faults and RemediesWhen you are evaluating your own wines, it pays to include wine appearance as this may be the first indication that your wine needs attention.
Cellar Checks for BottlingApril showers - bring bottles, corks and sleeves! The time has arrived for your more delicate wines to be tasted, tested, racked, and maybe fined and/or filtered. Bottling season is here.
Gimme Some Skin (Time)Adjusting the skin time either upward or downward will have much to do with the kind of wine we extract from a given lot of grapes.
Barrel Care ProceduresA reference guide for general barrel care including swelling, acidifying, cleaning, as well as short and long term storage.
Tired of Bottling? Keg Your Wine!"Draft wine" is wine that has been kegged and then served from the tap instead of the bottle. There are benefits to choosing draft wine over bottling.
Learn How to Grow Grape VinesThe allure of the wine country and the process of making wine is ubiquitous in Sonoma County. For some of us, having our own vineyard is the ultimate step in the process.
Fun With Chemistry: Harvest AnalysisFor the 2006 harvest, my wife Marty White and I decided to give several home kits and techniques a try. We used the SAP panel from Vinquiry as our reference and ran our own tests to match on our home-grown pinot noir and chardonnay.
The Nutrient Lowdown: SAP and SNAPThe SAP and SNAP panels are a way you can test your wine for sugar, nutrients, acidity, and pH. With labratory testing performed by Vinquiry in Winsor, you'll then have the staff of the Beverage People to help with interpretation of your results.
Twins Separated at BirthSince Syrah does well as both rosé and port, and one seeks to produce less and the other more from the grapes, maybe we could make both from the same lot of grapes. For the 2006 harvest, my wife Marty White and I set out to do just that.
Drag Strip Or Wine Cellar?“Burnt rubber” is one of many unpleasant descriptors applied to the volatile reduced sulfur (VRS) compounds than can occur during the fermentation and aging of wine. If you detect this kind of aroma, fix it quick!
Lysozyme to the Rescue!Better known among home winemakers as malolactic bacteria, Oenococcus oeni bacteria are mostly a friendly beast. However, there are times that the work of Oenococcus is not welcomed by the winemaker. Eliminating residual Oenococcus may help prevent development of undesirable volatile acids, histamines, and other off aromas or flavors.
Making CyserApple juice and honey combine to made a wonderful fermented beverage called Cyser.
Wine MagnetOur popular quick reference magnet reminds you how much yeast to add, how many ppm of Free SO2 you need, and how to adjust your Total Acidity.
Filtration"Microfiltration" wine filtration is a process of passing wine through media to remove particles that are suspended.
Making wine from grapes isn’t just for professionals. Thousands of amateurs succeed with home wine fermentation every year and so can you. Being rooted in the heart of wine country gives us unique access to knowledge and products for home winemaking. We have been at it for over 30 years and we are still in the forefront of the fermentation movement. Today, we are extremely well qualified and fully equipped to help you achieve success in your new hobby. We have designed this website to help you find all the products you need and the information that you want. Wine making is easy and fun. You’ll see!
Our catalog/newsletter will get you started with instructions for beginners, as well as useful articles for experienced winemakers. From beginners kits, to presses and crushers, our whole inventory can be found here.
Our location in Sonoma County has kept us in constant contact with grape growers and winemakers who have shared their expertise with us. Let us bring award winning winemaking to you.
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