Writer: Alison Crowe

383 result(s).

High-pH Wine, Stabilizing Whites and Cucumber Wine

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Higher pH wine can be easily fixed . . . but the question is, should they be? As is often the case, the answer is sometimes. The Wiz digs deep into one reader’s pH dilemma as well as properly stabilizing a white wine and a fermentation question on a cucumber wine.

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Concentrate vs. Acid Blend & Filtering Concerns: Wine Wizard

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QI am considering making a five-to-six gallon batch of peach or apricot wine. A friend said I can add a can of white grape-juice concentrate (100% fruit) in place of an acid

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Dry Wine & Mystery Grapes: Wine Wizard

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QI like ’em dry. Question? My last batch of Merlot (2001) came out too sweet. What can I do now if I want the finished wine to have less sweetness? R.J. Yalch

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Vanilla and Fluted Bottles: Wine Wizard

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QI often hear about the vanilla flavors in red wines. I know that those flavors are derived over time from aging in oak barrels. I wanted to know what would happen if

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Sulfite-Free Wine & A Cool Quandry: Wine Wizard

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QI am a beginning winemaker. I have yet to make my first batch, but I just got a kit that contains Pinot Noir juice. I want to make a sulfite-free wine because

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Cooking Corks & Mead “Demustified”: Wine Wizard

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QI’ve been brewing beer for about 10 years, so I’m pretty well acquainted with the cleaning process. This is my third year making wine, and I recently received some corking advice that

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Choosing Yeast, Boosting Alcohol: Wine Wizard

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QI recently inadvertently added the wrong yeast to a new batch of frozen Chardonnay juice. I had planned on using Lallemand’s ICV-D47 but picked up Red Star’s Côte des Blancs, it was

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Stench of Sulfur & Excess CO2: Wine Wizard

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QHere’s one problem you may have been asked about before. My finished wine has an aroma and taste of rubber and burnt toast, a bit like burnt rubber. Since I will be

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Fizzy Wine & Gravity Readings: Wine Wizard

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QI have just made my first batch of wine, a white one. Funny things have been happening to it. Everything seemed to go well with the fermentation of the wine. When it

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Wrecked Riesling & Adding Oak: Wine Wizard

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QI had a great Riesling going this vintage, but now I’ve stuffed it up. I nursed it along until the last racking, when I seem to have put in an overload of

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Cloudy Chardonnay & Lambrusco Grapes: Wine Wizard

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QAfter I stabilized my wine, I added French medium toast oak beans to the Chardonnay 3/4 cup (new beans), Sauvignon Blanc 1/3 cup (new beans), Ruisseau Blanc 3/4 cup (used beans), and

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Adding Sugar & Wine Kit Chemicals: Wine Wizard

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QHow can I increase the sugar content and body of my juice without using refined sugar? I am looking for cheaper alternatives. Please point me to specific recipes. Azubuike OgalaOxford, New Jersey

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Sugar Content & Malolactic Fermentation: Wine Wizard

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QI have been making wines for more than 20 years, but I have a problem with initial sugar determinations, added sugar requirements and subsequent alcohol content. Hydrometer readings on the initial crushed

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The Solera System & Copper Caution: Wine Wizard

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QA few years ago I toured some wineries on a trip through Michigan and found one that was quite unique. One of the methods of this winery was called “solera.” This method

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Killer Bacteria & pH: Wine Wizard

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QI own a small store in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I have two customers with the same problem and I have no solution. Both batches were made with a four-week wine kit. The

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Adding Oak & Rehydrating Yeast: Wine Wizard

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QI make wine in five-gallon batches from juice that I buy in Canada. I also buy skins, stems, and small bags of toasted oak chips, then let it all age in five-gallon

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Locating Grapes & Cleaning Presses: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I came back from Australia six months ago and was fortunate enough to visit the Hunter Valley. I brought back some wine and among the bottles was a Chardonnay/Verdelho

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Feeding Your Yeast & Elderberries: Wine Wizard

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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

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Is MLF testing necessary?

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You are absolutely right that most wines, especially those that are inoculated and have favorable conditions, will go malolactic (ML) complete within six or eight months of harvest. Even if your area

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Troubleshooting Off-Odor in a Viognier

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Viognier can be a bit of an odd duck. Like Riesling, it can get some of those weird petrol/gas like aromas, and that’s just natural, from the grapes. Like Sauvignon Blanc, it

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Barrel-Aging Question

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Unfortunately, with a small barrel like that, you’re going to have a high ratio of oxygen:wine. If you think about a traditional-sized barrel, it’s about 59 gallons (225 L); there’s a lot

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A Corker Conundrum

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I hope I’m assuming correctly, but I’m imagining that you’ve got the smaller, lighter-weight red metal corker with adjustable spring-loaded bottle base and plastic jaws, sometimes called a “Portuguese” corker. These are

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A Corker Conundrum, Barrel Questions, MLF Testing, and Troubleshooting

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Fresh off her winemakermag.com Live Chat, the Wiz continues to dish out advice on a wide array of topics including a misbehaving corker, barrel size considerations, malolactic advice, and troubleshooting off-odors in a Viognier.

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5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve been making wine for about a year now and I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help me out with a wrap-up of some of your winemaking wisdom.

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Cork Questions: Wine Wizard

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Dear Wine Wizard, I’ve heard both “yes” and “no” on soaking corks before bottling. All of the commercial wineries I’ve visited don’t soak their corks before bottling. Can you set us straight


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