Date: Feb-Mar 2014
Growing Grapes In AlbuquerqueMEMBERS ONLY
I’m thrilled for your new move because Albuquerque is just about as far north in New Mexico as you want to be planting traditional wine grapes of Vitis vinifera. Many grape types thrive in this drier, sunnier and often higher-altitude state, and some fabulous wines (Gruet’s amazing sparkling wines are some of the best-known) are
Sluggish Fermentation WoesMEMBERS ONLY
Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of sugar left there. I would start, however, with a quick check of your numbers to be sure. A °Brix of -1.0 (0.995 specific gravity) is where “dryness” starts when measuring with a hydrometer. Please make sure you are temperature-correcting your hydrometer reading. If your juice/wine
Hangover Myths RevealedFREE
I just read the article you refer to, which seems to claim that “natural wine” (an ill-defined term, which in the article seems to mean “minimal sulfites added except at bottling” or
Brett in the Winery, Hangover Myths, and Grapes In AlbuquerqueMEMBERS ONLY
Brettanomyces is often an ambient microbe in the air we breathe, but that’s no reason to go inviting concentrated and healthy stocks of it into your cellar.
Wine & OlympicsMEMBERS ONLY
Winemaking and the Olympic sport of skeleton racing have more in common than you might think.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Way to Better Wine KitsMEMBERS ONLY
I had a very interesting conversation with a couple of veteran winemakers at a guided wine tasting I conducted this fall. Together, they had made dozens of batches of wine, were using advanced techniques and had won medals; most recently two gold, one silver and three bronze medals between them in the WineMaker International Amateur
Higher Alcohol Off-Odors in WineMEMBERS ONLY
Did you ever create a wine that seemed more viscous than your typical wine, or which may have exhibited heavier fruity odors, or perhaps a solvent-like smell? The culprits may well be higher alcohols, also called fusel oils; all wines contain some at various concentrations. Higher alcohols in small concentrations can contribute positive aromatic characteristics
Fining Your Way to Clear WineMEMBERS ONLY
Fining of wine is the addition of one substance to remove another. It is a diverse subject with several classes of materials involved in its use and lots of different intended outcomes.
Build a Carboy CleanerMEMBERS ONLY
I learned quickly during my early days of cleaning up after myself in the winery that a carboy brush is designed to spackle the walls, surrounding cabinets and the user with undesirable crustiness from within the carboy interior. Sure, a brush does a good job of cleaning the major gunk out, and it’s cheap, but
Design your Home WineryMEMBERS ONLY
We have had many customers at Blichmann Engineering ask about using our fermenters for winemaking, which is why I decided that I needed to learn more about making wine. My first batch of whole fruit red wine was a classic disaster resulting in a large stain on the carpet in my basement. I was woefully
Grapevine Pruning FundamentalsMEMBERS ONLY
Pruning is the removal of portions of the vine. Training is the arrangement of the vine parts both immediately after pruning and as the vine grows. The trellis is the physical structure upon which the vine grows. All three of the above elements are used to optimize the vine’s performance. The goal is to balance
Sangiovese: The king of TuscanyMEMBERS ONLY
Grapes in Tuscany are a way of life, and Sangiovese, the red workhorse of Tuscany through the millennia, is as noble as they get — well, depending who you talk to.
Kombucha In My Winery?MEMBERS ONLY
Just like I would not let a buddy of mine do any Brettanomyces beer-brewing experiments in my winery, so should you not do Kombucha and wine together in your kitchen (or garage) winery. Brettanomyces is a classic wine “spoilage” yeast responsible for a host of off aromas, often described as “barnyard” and “Band-Aid.” In addition,
Making Sangiovese: Tips from the ProsMEMBERS ONLY
Sangiovese is primarily associated with wines from Italy, especially from the Tuscany region. However, there are also a number of vineyards in the New World growing Sangiovese. The 2012 California Grape Crush Report shows winemakers in the state crushed 9,400 tons of Sangiovese. Here are two pros who contributed to that number. Steven Kirby is
Cleaning and Sanitation for BeginnersFREE
An introduction to cleaning and sanitation for beginners.
In the Wine LabFREE
Sooner or later, if you make wine at home, you are going to do some chemical analysis. To establish (or expand) your wine testing capability, what will it take? There are some