Are you or a friend new to the hobby of winemaking? Don’t worry — WineMaker’s Technical Editor Bob Peak is here to explain the basics of making wine from grapes, juices, and kits.
If you are a winemaker looking to boost your wine’s quality, then tracking pH is a must. Bob Peak introduces the chemistry behind the numbers we obtain and how to use them to our advantage.
Commercial producers of ice wines and ice ciders are highly regulated in their production, but hobby wine and cidermakers don’t need to abide by those rules. Learn some creative ways to produce these coveted, sweet sippers.
Tannins are a big piece of the large puzzle when balancing many styles of wine. It’s important to understand ways to increase or decrease their presence when that balance leans too heavily in one direction or the other.
Why make harvest/crush day more stressful than it needs to be? With a solid game plan things should run smoothly. One of the best ways to get all your ducks in a row is to create a checklist so that no small details are overlooked.
Limoncello is the most popular citrus-flavored liqueur, but they can be made from other citrus fruits as well. Learn to make four citrus liqueurs: Limoncello, limecello, arancello, and mandarincello.
There is no denying that oak alternatives are a lot gentler on the wallet and on the environment. Bob Peak takes a spin through oak chemistry, available options, and techniques to incorporate them to elevate your wines.
Approaching food-wine pairings can be complex given the nearly endless options available . . . but there is a science to it. Learn the basics to matching a wine with a food course to impress even the sticklers in the group.
There are four gases often used in winemaking, each with its own unique advantages. Learn what sets carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, and beer gas apart, and which is best for each chore where gas can be of assistance in the home winery.
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.
Wine barrels are constantly changing. Each time one is filled it will lose some characteristics and, eventually after enough uses, it will go neutral. How you use a barrel should change over time also.
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.
Whether it is choosing a yeast strain, halting fermentation with a little residual sugar, putting a wine through malolactic fermentation, or a myriad of other options, there is a lot to consider when fermenting white wines.
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