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Fermenting Beer
written by Jack Horzempa

By Jack Horzempa History of yeast In the Reinheitsgebot (German beer purity law) of 1516 there were three ingredients listed in brewing beer: barley (malt), hops and water. As any brewer today knows there is one ingredient missing from that list: yeast. Yeast...

A Comparison of North American Two-Row and Six-Row Malting Barley
written by Paul Schwarz and Richard Horsley

Malt Focus: Comparing 2-Row & 6-Row Malted Barley by Paul Schwarz and Richard Horsley Ever since its introduction to North America in the 17th century, barley has taken on a life of its own. Both two-row and six-row North American malted barley are rather different from their...

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 want...

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...

Red Winemaking Outline
written by Andrew Conlon

by Andrew Conlon     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...

Benchmarking of SO2 Analysis Instruments and Methods in Wine Applications
written by Daniel Pambianchi

By Daniel Pambianchi Abstract: Free sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a key parameter monitored throughout the winemaking process and at bottling to ensure wine is adequately protected from enzymatic and chemical oxidative effects and microbial spoilage. The aim of this study was 1) to benchmark...

MoreWine! Now Open in the East Coast!
written by Olin Schultz

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Glossary of Terms Used in the Process of Making Wine
written by VineCo / Cellar Craft Wine Kits

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 the red, blue and purple colours...

Hire Your Own Winemaking Consultant
written by Olin Schultz

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...

Testing the must for sugar content, PH, and TA
written by Shea Comfort

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...

Oxidation-Reduction Potential: How It Effects The Chemical Matrix of Wine
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Preparing White Juice for Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort

by Shea Comfort     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...

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...

Settling Solids Prior to Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

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...

Controlling Temperature for a White Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort

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...

When is Fermentation finished?
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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,...

Choosing Whether to Press or Macerate White Grapes
written by Shea Comfort

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...

Sanitization in winemaking
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

Guide to SO2 Management and SO2 Calculator
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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

5 Steps to a Succesful Malolactic Fermentation (MLF)
written by Shea Comfort

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...

How to conduct a Malolactic fermentation (MLF)
written by Shea Comfort

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...

The Effects of Oxygen Exposure on Red Wine
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

A comparison of French, Hungarian, and American Oaks
written by Shea Comfort

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...

Calibrating Bimetallic Thermometers
written by Olin Schultz

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Aging 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...

Tasting And Adjusting Reds During Aging
written by Shea Comfort

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,...

Additional Transfers/Controlled Oxygen Exposure
written by Shea Comfort

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,...

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.  ...

Wine Filtering and Fining
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...

Dilution and Chapitalization of Musts
written by Shea Comfort

-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...

About Acidity and Adding Acid to Must/Wine
written by Shea Comfort

By Shea Comfort     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...

Complete Must Adjustment Example: ºBrix, pH, TA
written by Shea Comfort

    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...

Performing a Bench Trial
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...

Guide to Macro Oxygenation and Fermentation
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

First Transfer of White Wine (Lees Management)
written by Shea Comfort

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...

Tasting and Adjusting Whites During Ageing
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

Final Racking and Whether to Sterile Filter
written by Shea Comfort

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...

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...

Float Switch Instructions
written by Cory Grossgart

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...

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...