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