Writer: WineMaker Staff

I have a half ton of Merlot… that seems to be getting some volatile acidity…

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Volatile acidity I have a half ton of Merlot in my garage in a barrel that seems to be getting some volatile acidity from taste. I’m getting it tested now. What is

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I am using Flextanks and oak chips for my wine and am really liking the results…

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Oak chips, mesh bag? I am using Flextanks and oak chips for my wine and am really liking the results. However, I put the oak chips in loose and they clog up

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I have made quite a few reds and all of them have come out well, except the kits that I received from my friend.

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Compromised kits? A friend of mine gave me quite a few wine kits. All of the white wines have come out very good, but the reds are a different story. The reds

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What would you recommend to make my wine clear, please?

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Clarifying elderflower wine I made some elderflower wine last year and have now decanted it into bottles. It is very cloudy. What would you recommend to make it clear, please? Huw M.

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A week in I realized that I forgot to put water in my airlock…

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Empty airlock I am new to making homemade wine and I recently started my own batch of Pinot Grigio. A week in I realized that I forgot to put water in my

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I’ve been frustrated with the use of Clinitest tablets for measuring…

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Testing troubles I’ve been frustrated with the use of Clinitest tablets for measuring the end point or final dryness in my homemade wine and have been wondering and reading about the use

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I made some wine about four months ago but the level of alcohol is at 8%.

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Increasing alcohol I made some wine about four months ago but the level of alcohol is at 8%. Is there something that I can do now to increase the level of alcohol?

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I recently inadvertently added the wrong yeast to a new batch of frozen Chardonnay juice.

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Yeasts for MLF I 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

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When do I cross the line from being just a home hobbyist to being a “winemaker?”

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License to sell I have been making wine at home for the past five years and my friends tell me I am pretty good! They like my wine and I thought about

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I made my first batch of Merlot and tried a bottle after it aged for a month.

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Sparkling red? I made my first batch of Merlot and tried a bottle after it aged for a month. I noticed that the wine had some carbonation to it. Will this go

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Add 12 grams of citric or tartaric acid to your sanitizing solution.

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Acid for sanitizing In The Winemaker’s Answer Book (on page 54), you say to add 12 grams of citric or tartaric acid to your sanitizing solution. Is it OK to use an

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Can you tell me if typical wines in the store contain gluten

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Wine and gluten allergy Can you tell me if typical wines in the store contain gluten or if certain yeasts contain gluten? Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats.

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Pressing my grapes seeds can result in undesirable flavors in the wine

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  Heavy pressure When pressing my grapes I am aware that pressing the seeds can result in undesirable flavors in the wine. I have always been careful not to over-press my grapes

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Can you tell me if typical wines in the store contain gluten or if certain yeasts contain gluten?

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Wine and gluten allergy Can you tell me if typical wines in the store contain gluten or if certain yeasts contain gluten? Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats.


Will freezing affect the juice I get in a 5-gallon (19-L) kit?

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Freezing kit juice Will freezing affect the juice I get in a 5-gallon (19-L) kit? I am concerned about the variations that occur in home winemaking. My 6-gallon (23-L) primary fermenter works

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How long will a layer of argon or CO2 be effective in protecting the wine or must from oxygen?

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Argon gas My carboys are 6 1⁄4 gallons (24 L). I am making mostly heavy reds and want to bulk age in glass carboys for up to twelve months before bottling. I

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Where can I find good quality bottles?

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Bottle quest I have a few batches of wine under my belt. I have been plagued with either cheap, flat bottom bottles or stuck collecting and cleaning out empties. Where do wineries

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How can I fix a wine with high pH and low TA?

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High pH and Low TA in a Chardonnay I have a batch of 2006 Chardonnay that has completed primary and secondary fermentation. It tasted flabby so I had it tested for pH

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Can MLF bacteria become airborne?

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MLF malfunction As the weather warmed in May 2007, several of the wines in my basement started working again, similar in appearance to a MLF fermentation. I also noticed renewed fermentation in

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Can I fix a re-fermented wine?

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What’s with the fizz? I bottled an Amarone from juice about six months ago. I have been trying it every couple of months to see how it is coming along. I opened


2007 Label Contest Winners

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It may be plonk, but – our grand prize winner shows – that doesn’t mean the label can’t be cool. See all the winners of WineMaker’s annual label contest.

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Why are my TA readings off?

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I crushed and sulfited my Cab grapes. In doing the initial tests I got the following readings. Brix was 23.5 (+.22 temp correction) = 23.7, S.G. 1.099 (+.013 temp correction) = 1.112,

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How do I know if I’ve blended correctly?

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The Zin of Blending We just blended a 55 gal. 1997 oak barrel with a blend of 60% Zinfindel and 40% Merlot. Whatever comes out, we’re going to drink it! But could

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Fruit and Grape Blends: Tips from the Pros

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Ken Korando came to winemaking by way of entrepreneurship. Educated as an electronics engineer, he and a colleague patented technology used to decline balance debit cards – the sort of technology that


Fruit and Grape Blends: Tips from the Pros

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Ken Korando came to winemaking by way of entrepreneurship. Educated as an electronics engineer, he and a colleague patented technology used to decline balance debit cards – the sort of technology that

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