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Red Winemaking Outline
written by Andrew Conlon
Red Winemaking Outline This is a checklist and outline for use with our Guide To Red Winemaking Manual. For the full 72 page guide, visit: http://morewinemaking.com/content/winemanuals   A.  At The Crush: 1. Crush/Destem Your Grapes: Use a manual crusher/destemmer...
08/12/2014
Benchmarking of SO2 Analysis Instruments and Methods in Wine Applications  By Daniel Pambianchi This article published on MoreWinemaking.com with the written permission of Daniel Pambianchi Abstract: Free sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a key parameter monitored throughout the...
01/31/2014
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08/07/2013
Glossary of Winemaking Terms
written by VineCo / Cellar Craft Wine Kits
Glossary of Winemaking Terms ACIDITY Perceived in the taste of the wine as a level of tartness, acidity is a naturally component consisting of mainly tartaric acid, at about 0.5 to 0.7 percent of the wine by volume. ACTHOCYANS Natural organic chemical compounds responsible for...
05/29/2013
Chances are you have never thought about a winemaking consultant for your hobby winemaking.  You should. It is cheaper than you think and the results can be amazing. Allow us to introduce you to our friend and winemaking consultant Shea Comfort. Shea Comfort helped us start the...
08/15/2012
Before you add the yeast, you need to test the must to determine if any additions/corrections are needed. Very rarely will you get a grape that naturally has the required balance of acids, sugars, and pH necessary to create a harmonious wine. When one or more of these elements are out of their...
05/09/2012
Before we get into the technical aspects of adding oxygen to the must, now is a good time to review the other part of the system, the phenomenon of oxidation-reduction and how it effects the chemical matrix of a wine. The term “Redox Potential” effectively refers to a wine’s...
05/09/2012
Oak Barrel Care Guide
written by Tristan Johnson
Congratulations on your new winery purchase and welcome to the world of oak barrel ageing!  Your home winery is now part of an age-old tradition which truly does add depth and character to the wines produced in this method. The following are some guidelines and considerations that...
05/09/2012
Choosing a Wine Cork
written by Tristan Johnson
When browsing MoreWine!'s selection of wine corks, it may be difficult to know which one is best for your particular wine. Choosing the correct cork comes down to two factors: how long the wine will be in the bottle before it gets consumed, and economics. If you will be...
05/09/2012
OFF - Use and Care of a pH Meter
written by Tristan Johnson
Parts of a pH Meter: Your pH meter consists of two or three basic parts, depending on the model you have purchased. All meters will have a main body component, which houses the microchip used to process the measurements made by the meter and the meter’s display. All meters also have...
05/09/2012
Brehm Fruit Instructions
written by Tristan Johnson
Notes from MoreWine! on Frozen Fruit:   Important to Read! Making wine from Frozen Fruit is nearly identical to traditional wine making from fresh fruit, with a couple key exceptions. This paper  is intended to give you the essential information that is specific to working with...
05/09/2012
White wines are made using only the juice from the fruit, the solids are not included. In order to separate the juice from the solid parts of the grapes, we must crush and press the grapes before the fermentation begins. Once we the juice is processed (also called "must") we test the...
05/09/2012
White Winemaking Sulfite Additions
written by Shea Comfort
One of the keys to a successful fermentation is removing any native wild yeast and bacteria from the must prior to adding your special winemaking yeast. Wild yeast and bacteria can consume sugar from grape juice just as easily as your special yeast can, but generally produce some pretty...
05/09/2012
Once we finish pressing we will have a light green/yellow colored juice that will be very cloudy. This cloudiness is coming from fine grape particles/solids that have been created during the crushing-destemming and pressing stages. Removing these solids is highly recommended  because...
05/09/2012
Preemptive Fining of White Wine
written by Shea Comfort
Fining: not just post-fermentation!   Remember from chapter one that fining is the process of improving the wine by adding a specific product that will remove/lessen an unwanted element? Examples of this are egg white fining for removing excess tannins/astringency in red wines, or...
05/09/2012
White Winemaking Additives
written by Shea Comfort
Once the pH, TA and sugars have been taken care of, you may want to consider incorporating some of the beneficial specialty winemaking additives into your must. For quite a while these additives have been readily available to commercial wineries but not packaged in smaller quantities for home...
05/09/2012
Fermentation Temperature Every winemaker has a theory on what temperature to ferment at.  We have seen great wine fermented from a variety of different temperature schedules. You should pay attention to the temperature. It's definitely a good habit to note the temperature of the...
05/09/2012
When is Fermentation finished?
written by Shea Comfort
In about two weeks most of the sugar will have been consumed by the yeast and fermentation will slow, making it easier to keep track of the falling sugar level of your wine. You want to be aware of your sugar levels because they will give you an overview of how the ferment has been...
05/09/2012
White Wines and Malo/Lees
written by Shea Comfort
Once the primary, alcoholic fermentation has finished it is time to decide if you want to do a malolactic fermentation ("MLF"). Unlike for red wines where doing an MLF is considered standard practice for creating a high quality wine, delicious white wines can be made with no,...
05/09/2012
The timing of filling the press depends on the technique of processing the fruit you decided to use:   Whole clusters: Fill the press immediately, add SO2 to the juice as it gets released during the pressing cycle.   Crush with no cold soaking: Fill the press as soon...
05/09/2012
Sanitization in winemaking
written by Shea Comfort
  The Importance of Sanitization      We’re all aware of the risk of potential spoilage of our wines due to contamination by certain wild bacteria and yeasts.  If it hasn’t happened to you, it’s likely you probably know somebody from...
02/22/2012
Sulfiting at crush
written by Shea Comfort
One of the keys to a successful fermentation is removing any native wild yeast and bacteria from the must prior to adding your special winemaking yeast. Wild yeast and bacteria can consume sugar from grape juice just as easily as your special yeast can, but generally produce some pretty...
02/22/2012
Guide to SO2 Management
written by Shea Comfort
An Introduction to SO2 Management If we want to make high quality wines, then one of the most important things we as winemakers need to learn is how to effectively manage the sulfite levels in our wines. When done correctly, maintaining the proper amount of sulfites in a wine protects it...
02/22/2012
Types of SO2
written by Shea Comfort
Types of SO2   We recommend SO2 in 2 specific forms for addition to your wine, Potassium Metabisulfite (most common) and Efferbaktol (our favorite). Potassium Metabisulfite is often shortened to “meta” “SO2” “Sulfite”, and comes in a white powder...
02/22/2012
Using Additives in the must
written by Shea Comfort
Once the pH, TA and sugars have been taken care of, you may want to consider incorporating some of the beneficial specialty winemaking additives into your must. For quite a while these additives have been readily available to commercial wineries but not packaged in smaller quantities for home...
02/22/2012
Red Wine Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort
Your fermentation should become active anywhere from 1-3 days after introducing your yeast to the must. An important factor in determining how long it will take is the temperature of the must.  Yeast‟s rate of metabolism is directly affected by temperature: cold musts start fermenting...
02/22/2012
Pressing a Red Wine Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort
At the end of the fermentation the wine will have extracted everything it needs from the seeds and skins. When this is completed, it is time to press. It is important to press in a timely fashion because a prolonged exposure to grape solids post-fermentation might cause reactions that could...
02/22/2012
Malolactic bacteria have a reputation as being decidedly more difficult to work with than yeast, however many of the problems often encountered stem from a lack of understanding the appropriate conditions necessary for the bacteria to successfully complete its job. One reason this might be the...
02/22/2012
The Effects of Oxygen Exposure      Oxygen makes up about 20% of the air we breath and is found everywhere in the winery. In general, we as winemakers are mostly aware of the detrimental effects exposure to oxygen can possibly have on our wines: at best, a dulling of the...
02/22/2012
1)  Garbage in garbage out! Get the must dialed-in at crush, so that the subsequent wine will be in good shape post alcoholic fermentation for receiving the ML inoculation. A clean, healthy alcoholic fermentation means your ML bacteria will have an easier time getting started and...
02/22/2012
All About Oak and Red Wine
written by Shea Comfort
     American oak (Quercus alba) has about 21% non-tannic phenolic content while its French (and Hungarian) counterpart (Quercus robur), contains around 14%. However, French (and Hungarian to a lesser content) has 2.5 times the extraction of total phenolics than does the...
02/22/2012
The following are results from research done at Stavin and should only be used to give an approximation of what each of these three varieties of oak can bring to your wine. Each sample was made using oak cubes with a two-month contact time and evaluated with no bottle ageing. Note: Due to the...
02/22/2012
We recently heard a story where a commercial brewery was not obtaining the final gravities they were expecting. After fingers were pointed at equipment manufacturers and at yeast suppliers the end result was the gauge thermometer they were using in their Mashtun was 5 degrees off. Whoops. This...
02/15/2012
A High End Home Winery Example
written by Olin Schultz
We often get asked to set up comprehensive home wineries that allow the new or novice home winemaker to start with everything they need to make high-end wine at home.  We would like to emphasize 'Make high-end'wine'.  It will often depend on exactly what and how much you...
08/15/2011
Advanced Winemaking Books
written by Cory Grossgart
Principles and Practices of Winemaking - Authored by the viticulture and enology professors from the University of California at Davis, this text provides in-depth, albeit highly technical information on practically every aspect of modern winemaking and equipment. It is designed to be used as...
04/12/9
Bottling Your Wine
written by Shea Comfort
Once we have gone through the pre-bottling check-list and the wine has undergone any needed treatments, we are ready to bottle the wine. Make sure that the bottles are rinsed clean, sanitized, and that your corks (W430) and corker (W405) are at hand. Then, bottle the wine using one of the...
12/05/8
First Transfer of Red Wine
written by Shea Comfort
Transfer clean wine in preparation for Malolactic Fermentation   Once the alcoholic fermentation is over it is time to begin the Malolactic Fermentation (the next chapter will discuss the MLF in detail). Before MLF is possible, it's important to get rid of the unwanted solids...
08/12/5
Racking Post MLF
written by Shea Comfort
Having finished MLF, the wine should be removed from any sediment at the bottom of the vessel by racking. Whenever you need to do a racking it is a good idea to test your wine for needed additions (especially SO2). Any addition can easily be added during the transfer. By consolidating multiple...
08/12/5
Aging Red Wine
written by Shea Comfort
The French use the term élévage to refer to the aging/storage period in a wine's life.  It roughly equates to our term “to raise” in English, as in raising a child. An appropriate term, since our job as winemakers during this stage is to watch over the wine...
08/12/5
We need to occasionally check in on the wine‟s progress by testing and tasting every 4-6 weeks throughout the entire maturation period. What we are looking for is the following:   1.  Is everything all right? Is the wine still fresh and fruity? Or, are there any funky,...
08/12/5
Depending on how much sediment is in the wine, it may need to be racked a few times during its maturation. In addition to helping clear the wine, racking can also be used as a way to insert a small, beneficial amount of oxygen.  If the wine is a little edgy when you first taste a sample,...
08/12/5
Red Pre-Bottling Checklist
written by Shea Comfort
If the wine tastes fine and you are happy with the level of clarity, an SO2 test is all that's left. Once this has been taken care of, we can proceed to the actual bottling of the wine.  Please see our Guide to SO2 Management for additional information.  ...
08/12/5
Fining and Filtration
written by Shea Comfort
Both fining and filtration are treatments that can be done to further polish or finish the wine just before bottling. Fining works by introducing an agent to the wine that physically binds with a targeted element, most commonly tannins or proteins. Once the reaction finishes and the...
08/12/5
-Use filtered water, not straight from the tap if you can avoid it. Chemicals found in tap water (ex: chlorine) could possibly contaminate the final flavor of your wine or even be a precursor to TCA formation (cork taint)! A good source of clean water in a winery can be simply and conveniently...
08/12/5
Acidity in wine grapes is the product of several organic acids naturally found in the fruit. Tartaric and Malic make up the lion's share of these acids. We mostly focus on them during winemaking. Depending on when the fruit was picked and how the wine was made, these acids will be present...
08/12/5
For this example, let‟s put everything together by taking a look at how we might deal with 25 gallons of Syrah must that is at 27.5º Brix, with a pH of 3.95 and 5g/L TA.  Fruit with these starting numbers will  definitely need some work before yeast can or should be...
08/12/5
Bench Trials
written by Tristan Johnson
What, Why & When A bench trial is a small-scale trial meant to simulate the addition of an additive or fining agent to a larger volume of wine. The idea is that by trying an addition or fining out on a small scale, you can try a range of dosages, or even different products, without...
08/12/5
An Introduction to Understanding Oxygen & Fermentation This  MoreManual!™ has been written to help explain how oxygen can be used as a tool during fermentation. Usually thought of as being problematic and something to avoid, oxygen, when properly understood and used...
08/12/5
Filter Cleaning Guide
written by Tristan Johnson
  Intro   All filters are essentially strainers, made up of very small, uniformly sized holes or pores. As wine passes through these pores, any solids in the wine which are larger than the specific pore size of the filter will not pass through and become trapped...
Inert Gas and Winemaking
written by Shea Comfort
The Importance of Inert Gas       During aging, if a wine is not protected from both microbial spoilage and oxygen at all times it is likely to spoil. Protecting wine usually involves maintaining proper SO2 levels and keeping containers full.  Additionally,...
Sur-Lie ageing
written by Shea Comfort
At the end of the fermentation(s) there is a large population of yeast (and possibly ML bacteria) in the wine. Once they run out of sugars or are inhibited by an SO2 addition these organisms become inactive and settle out at the bottom of the fermenter forming a layer of solids called the...
Once the correct TA/pH and SO2 levels have been adjusted, the lees will have been stirred-up during the addition and the wine will be cloudy. We can either transfer the wine now to our ageing/storage vessels or we can wait. The timing and how we carry out this racking will determine the amount...
Throughout the entire maturation period we need to occasionally check in on the wine’s progress by testing and tasting it.  We like an interval of roughly every 4-6 weeks. What we are looking for is the following:    Is everything all right? Is the wine still...
White Pre-Bottling Checklist
written by Shea Comfort
At some point in the next 6-12 months, depending on the type of wine you are making, the wine will have come together enough to be considered finished. If you are making a straightforward, fruity wine that does not have any oak in it and is not being aged on the lees then you will usually have...
Fining Finished White Wine
written by Shea Comfort
A white wine is usually fined in order to soften a harsh or astringent character, to improve clarity, and/or to create heat stability. Fining agents  should be used at the lowest possible dosage needed to achieve the desired effect. Over dosage can often create a loss of mouthfeel, aroma...
Filtering White Wine
written by Shea Comfort
There are two reasons to filter wine: aesthetics and microbial stability. On the aesthetic side, filtration can make a wine more polished both in the glass and in the mouth; often creating a rounding effect that softens the wine’s edges. If your wine is sound with no flaws, then you can...
Cold Stabilization of White Wine
written by Shea Comfort
If an unstabilized bottle of wine becomes cold (i.e.: chilled in a fridge before being served) it can trigger a crystallization reaction between the potassium and the tartaric acid which combine to form a deposit of crystals (potassium bitartrate, A.K.A.: "tartrates"). When this...
Heat Stability in White Wine
written by Shea Comfort
If an unstabilized wine has an excess of protein, this protein can come out of its solubilized form, flocculate and deposit at the bottom of the bottle. Usually this happens fairly quickly when an unstable wine becomes sits at a warm temperature for a couple of days. It can also happen at...
Testing For Heat Stability
written by Shea Comfort
Heat stability test protocol:   •  Fine filter a 100 mL sample of wine (a coffee filter works great for this). If the sample is not filtered, other forms of precipitation may settle out with the protein and it will be difficult to get an accurate assessment of the results....
Timing Stabilization Treatments
written by Shea Comfort
•  If you will only be doing cold stabilization, then this can be done during the ageing of the wine at any time. In cold climate areas, carboys and tanks are allowed to cool down during winter by being left in unheated garages or sheds. However you do it, the wine must be at least...
Once the wine has cold stabilized you should have clear wine sitting on top of a layer of crystals that form a crust on the bottom and occasionally the sides of the vessel. If you also heat stabilized then you will also have a layer of bentonite/protein lees under the crystal crust. Now you...
Pressing Small Batches
written by Tristan Johnson
This is the simplest and least expensive method for pressing off red wine fermented from small lots of grapes or from a couple of pails of Brehm Vineyards frozen must.   This step will require: Two Buckets (FE340 & FE345) Plastic Carboy (FE314) Glass Jar...
Red Fermentation Checklist
written by Shea Comfort
At the crusher: SO2: Use 50 ppm (1.6 g or ¼ tsp per 5 gallons of must). Add SO2 as soon as the fruit is crushed. Make sure to mix it completely throughout the entire must volume. Helpful hint: It’s convenient/easy to add the SO2 as the crush is taking place in 5 or 10...
White Fermentation Checklist
written by Shea Comfort
At the crusher: SO2: Use 50 ppm (1.6 g or ¼ tsp per 5 gallons of must). Add SO2 as soon as the fruit is crushed. Make sure to mix it completely throughout the entire must volume. Helpful hint: It’s convenient/easy to add the SO2 as the crush is taking place in 5 or 10...
How to Choose a Crusher Destemmer
written by Tristan Johnson
Destemmers and Crushers Info The Crusher-Destemmer, Destemmer-Crusher and Destemmer-Only are machines that are used to separate the grapes themselves from the stems and then to split open the grape in order to get at the sugary juice inside that is going to be fermented. This type...
How to Choose a Wine Grape Press!
written by Tristan Johnson
Choosing a Press   Info There are basically two types of wine press in the world: Basket Presses (also called Ratchet Presses) and Bladder Presses. The essential concept behind a wine press is to separate the juice or fermented wine (depending on if you're doing reds or...
How to Choose a Stainless Wine Tank!
written by Tristan Johnson
Info The use of stainless steel tanks in home winemaking is fairly common.  Because winemakers only get one chance each year to begin the winemaking process (when working with fresh grapes) and because the amount of work that goes in to making 50 gallons of wine is not much more than...
How to Choose a Wine or Must Pump!
written by Tristan Johnson
Info There are two main classifications of pumps that are used in wineries: Must Pumps have oversized pump heads and work with larger tubing so that they are capable of moving must from one place to another (crusher to fermenter, fermenter to press); Fluid Transfer Pumps are used only for...
How to Choose a Wine Filter!
written by Tristan Johnson
Info We sell Plate and Frame filters for winemaking.  Basically these filters consist of plastic plates which hang in a steel frame. The filtration media (stuff that actually does the filtering) are square pads (also called sheets) of cellulose fibers that are placed between the...
Transferring/Racking Wine
written by Shea Comfort
In winemaking, transferring the product from one container to another is referred to as racking and can be done in one of three ways:   Siphoning With small volumes, racking is usually done by gravity using a simple siphon set-up. This is a good, low-cost solution that works...
Float Switch Instructions
written by Cory Grossgart
Introduction Please read these instructions in their entirety before using your new MoreFlavor! Float Switch Congratulations, and thanks for your purchase of your MoreFlavor!  Float Switch. Float Switches are a great tool for customizing and automating your home brewery or...
Plum Wine Recipe
written by Phil Montalbano
For 1 gallon: • 5-6 lbs plums • 4lbs fine granulated sugar • 1 gallon of water • 1½ tsp acid blend (AD600) • 1 tsp pectic enzyme (helps break down the fruit to clarify later. AD350) • ½ tsp go-ferm (AD342) • ½ tsp...