Writer: Bob Peak

76 result(s).

The Winemaker’s Pantry: Supplies to keep on hand

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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.

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White Wine Fermentation Decisions

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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

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Testing for SO2: Keeping your wine safe

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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.

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Home Glycol Cooling Systems

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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

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Testing for Titratable Acidity

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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.

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Testing for pH: What the big pHuss is about

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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.

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Topic(s):

Maximizing Wine Aroma

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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

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Testing for Malolactic: Don’t be in doubt

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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.

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Live Chat with Bob Peak

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Live Chat with Bob Peak, which took place on January 22, 2020.

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Upping Your Kit Game: Making the most of your wine kit

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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.


Classes, Clubs, and Consultants: Getting expert help at home

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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.

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Ciao Vino! Home winemaking in Italy

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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.

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Visualize Sensory Evaluation: Utilizing spider charts to compare wines

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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.

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Off The Beaten Path: Spice, herb, and vegetable winemaking

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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

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Finishing For Whites and Rosés

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The time period leading up to bottling day is the time winemakers need to take advantage of last minute adjustments and additions. Bob Peak takes readers on a spin through some techniques that winemakers can use before bottling white and rosé wines.


Chat With Bob Peak

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Live Chat with Bob Peak, which took place on January 16, 2019.

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Monitoring Your Wine: What to test for and when

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There are some winemakers who practice the age-old philosophy that the wine will take care of itself . . . but for those who want to produce the best wines possible, monitoring is key. Bob Peak takes readers through the what, why, and when for testing your wines.

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Aperitifs

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When you make your own aperitif wines at home — such as sweet and dry vermouth — you can then make your own cocktails with them. Learn the basics of making these drinks, plus three cocktail recipes sure to appease even your guests who aren’t wine drinkers.


Thinking Outside the Bottle: Presenting Your Homemade Wine

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With the holiday season approaching, presenting your homemade wine to friends and family should be a point of pride. Bob Peak offers readers several pointers to take a fun and festive approach to an evening pairing of your wine with guests.

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Using Tannins: Purposes, sources, and use in winemaking

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Tannins can provide a wine with a lot more than just astringency. They can also be useful in white and rosé wines as well if used properly. Bob Peak gives a tour of the benefits of various tannin products available to hobby winemakers.


Determining Ripeness

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Determining when grapes are ready to harvest is one of the most important decisions of the entire vintage. Here’s what to look for.

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Making Wine From Juice

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You may be curious about a way of making wine intermediate between using fresh fruit and making kit wines. Increasingly popular, the hobby of making wine from grape juice comes in two


Unconventional Additives

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There are lots of possibilities for adding extracts, flavorings, herbs, and spice when you are making wine at home. We explore a variety of options.

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Controlling Fermentation Temperature

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Many hobby winemakers believe that fermentation temperature control is beyond their reach — but this isn’t so! Discover how to keep temperatures in the proper range.

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Adjust Your Must

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There are many points throughout the winemaking process where a winemaker must make adjustments
in order to influence the final outcome. When the grapes come into the winery, the very first choices you will make as a winemaker will be done in the unfermented must.

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