Dear Wine Wizard, I am planning to brew my first mead this weekend. I will be using a recipe that calls for “yeast extract,” which I take to be the same as products I’ve seen called “yeast hulls” and “yeast nutrient.” Are they all the same? Also, how worried should I be about my champagne
As home winemakers, there’s nothing like adding a new trick to our repertoire. Anything that makes our wine a little better is definitely a good thing. For those reasons, you should explore
With all the excitement of harvest and crush in the air, it’s easy to forget about planting. But if you’d like to start a small, backyard vineyard next spring, there are some
Malolactic fermentation (MLF) may sound mysterious, but it’s a technique every home winemaker should master. It’s quite different from “regular” fermentation, in which yeast convert sugar into alcohol. MLF involves bacteria instead
One of the most enduring — and evocative — images in the winemaking world is that of the barrel room. Virtually every commercial vintner has one, and it’s among the “must sees” on any winery tour. Besides its symmetrical beauty and photo-op appeal, the barrel room indicates that the vintner is shooting for an elusive
Nothing feels as satisfying and authentic as making your first batch of wine from fresh grapes. And there’s no better time to try it than in early autumn, when grapes all over the country are ripening in vineyards and backyard gardens. There are many kinds of grapes to choose from, depending on where you live.
The harvest came a little late that year. Having fully prepared myself by washing the equipment, buying additives and laying plastic sheeting all over the basement floor, I found myself glancing anxiously
Wine is made in the vineyard. “It’s the terroir,” the French will say. Or is it the winemaker’s craftsmanship that makes the wine? What gives wine its bouquet, aroma, structure and balance? That’s a much-debated topic in winemaking circles. In spite of the many opinions, no one can dispute this fact: You need to select
Sometimes commercial wineries chill their for months in the 30-degree Fahrenheit range and still get “tartrate fallout.” Even if a wine has been “cold stabilized,” as this process is called, there’s no
In regards storing your opened can of concentrate, I would freeze it. Dump the remains into a Tupperware or other freezer-safe storage container and stick it in your freezer. The high sugar content might actually prevent all of the liquid from freezing, but the cold temperatures will halt any chemical reactions or microbial growth that
Wine Wizard replies: The short answer to your question is: 0.45 micron nominal filter pads are the industry standard for “sterile” filtration. These pads prevent all yeast and bacteria from getting through. So, if you want to be as certain as possible, it’s best to filter with a 0.45 micron nominal pad. This will ensure
I have three remonstrative but kindly meant words for you: don’t go there. Though I’m known among my friends and associates as an antiquities enthusiast, when it comes to winemaking, I have no trouble putting historical curiosity aside. I choose to use new equipment instead of charming old bottles encrusted with mysterious matter or “moonshine”
Have no fear of the Champagne yeast failing to take off in your honey. As long as you dilute the honey accordingly, you’ll have a sugar solution that the yeast should happily ferment to dryness (in other words, minimum residual sugar) — or to whatever point at which you want to arrest fermentation with cold
You’re right in assuming that it has something to do with acidity, but the answer you’re looking for is not exactly the presence of an acid but rather the absence of one. Fruit juices exist in the acidic realm of chemistry. They have a hydrogen ion content high enough to make the concentration of acid
Commercial wineries get a lot of their argon from welding supply houses, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t, too. The only thing that I would wonder is just how much argon you’ll really need. These companies typically won’t sell their gasses in anything much smaller than a large, upright cylinder (usually about four feet high).