What good is having a thermometer or titration kit if the numbers you are getting from them are off? Make sure you are properly calibrating all your wine testing equipment.
There is so much more you can do with wine than simply drinking it. Bob Peak walks readers through several side projects winemakers can perform starting with their homemade wines to create other items of interest.
As autumn rolls into winter, it’s time to heat things up with mulled wine. A holiday tradition around the world, mulled wines usually include spices, citrus fruits, and wine served hot to take the chill away.
When you set your sights on making a “keeper” wine, one you plan to lay down for several years, there are certain techniques you can employ to make sure it doesn’t round the bend too soon. Learn how to make that wine worth holding on to.
Looking for another hobby that can enhance your passion for winemaking? Try making your own sausage! Not only does sausage pair well with your wines, but you can even use your wine in the recipes.
Terroir has been a bit of an esoteric topic for a long time in winemaking. But as we come to learn more about it we are figuring out ways to use it to our advantage. Learn techniques to express terroir in your white wines.
As your winemaking production scales up, so does the space required to store the wine as well as the miscellaneous items that come along with it. Bob Peak guides readers through some of the various bottlenecks that winemakers experience during the aging and bottling processes as their operation grows.
Scaling up to larger and larger sized batches of wine may save money because of bulk buying, but new equipment will become necessary at some point. Bob Peak runs through considerations winemakers need to ponder for crushing, pressing, and fermenting larger-scale batches.
A barrel made of oak wood has been the preferred container for aging wine for hundreds of years. This remains true today despite modern advances in plastic, concrete, and stainless steel. Barrels
There is a certain set of hobby winemakers that are happy with their current winery set up and volume. But for those that are looking to grow their hobby, here are some finer points to expanding your volume with fresh grapes.
For those that are regular winemakers, the accoutrements start to add up through the years. Here is a guide for folks to consider what things to keep in their “winemaker’s pantry,” their uses, and their shelf life.
Wine is far more than alcohol and grape juice. What makes the magic? Fermentation is the star. I like to drink white wine, I like to make white wine, and I like to help others make white wine, too (and I also enjoy red wines). In the nearly 20 years I have been making wine
Despite popular lore in some diet-watching crowds, sulfite in wine is not only low compared to many foods, but it is key to limit oxidation of wine and to keep spoilage at bay. Learn how to test a wine’s sulfite level and when and why to use it properly for your wines.
Glycol cooling systems have been fixtures in commercial wineries for many years. Often using large, permanently mounted refrigeration compressors, they circulate a chilled solution of propylene glycol through pipes arranged throughout the cellar. At each cooled tank, connections allow for the circulation of the chilled glycol through a jacket surrounding the wine or must. Digital
Titratable acidity, or TA, is often viewed as a more advanced test, but it shouldn’t be. With a simple kit and a good pH meter, anyone can measure TA in any wine. Bob Peak has some straightforward advice for winemakers to help you bring balance to your wines through TA.
Near the top of the list of factors that winemakers should be measuring in their juice and wine is pH. Bob Peak breaks down the what, when, why, and how of measuring for this critical factor in winemaking.
Many wine writers draw a distinction between “aroma” and “bouquet.” Typical is the discussion by Yair Margalit in his excellent book Concepts in Wine Chemistry. He says aroma “is the term for smell derived from the grape . . . Some varietal aromas are very powerful and recognized easily, and others are very weak and
Not all wines should go through a secondary malolactic fermentation (MLF), but for all wines that do undergo this fermentation, testing should be performed since these secondary fermentations can get stuck. Learn some of the basics of performing your own MLF test with paper chromatography.
Right out of the gate, winemakers are instructed to “follow the directions” when it comes to kit wines. But once you get comfortable with the process there are plenty of options to tweak. Bob Peak details some of those adjustment opportunities.
Feedback is one of the quintessential parts of growing and learning in this hobby. There are many avenues a hobby grape grower and winemaker can take for evaluation and advice, so make sure that you’re looking in the right spots.
Home winemaking in Italy traces its roots back to the pre-Roman Empire. While North American home winemaking roughly parallels how the Italians do it, Bob Peak got the chance to explore the winemaking techniques found in the Old Country.
Winemakers new and experienced will often compare different wines and make mental notes about the experience. For those that want to improve upon their wines, spider charts offer an easy-to-visualize evaluation of several sensory variables.
Photo by Charles A. Parker/Images Plus These wines are not common in the commercial marketplace where dry grape wines dominate. There are some fruit wines, of course, and a few novelty wines made with coffee or chocolate. You can find mulled or spiced holiday wines to serve warm in the winter. Among the small group