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  1. G

    Merlot

    Most wine kits have a bag that is a combination of juice and concentrate that is pre-balanced for acid and ph and such. Along with sulfites and clearing agents, they will also contain a yeast and usually a type of oak that's considered right for the wine you're making. The main thing is you...
  2. G

    Why is wine fermentation schedule different from beer?

    We're obviously off-topic here but what fun is life if we never color outside the lines? I agree on the Winexpert limiteds. I've tried just two, but both are among my favorites. The 2009 Petit Verdot is so good at 6 months, it's hard to keep my hands off it. I understand it's out of this world...
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    What to ignore in wine kit instructions?

    MalFet, sounds like you've already figured out a lot. Follow the instructions except for the following: 1. degas more than the instructions call for, and be prepared to test for gas later (put a little in a little bottle and shake it; you'll see) and rectify it. 2. Plan to let everything take a...
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    Trying to make a Bordeaux (I'm new to wines)

    Wow. I'm guessing you've never spent any time on winepress.us. No one who had checked it out would say that a forum with one wine category is better than one with more than a dozen (kits, grape growing, barrels, equipment, bottling, recipes, etc.) and 10 times the traffic. Sorry if this is...
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    Trying to make a Bordeaux (I'm new to wines)

    I think a kit is a good idea. There are literally dozens of kits you can consider. Anything that's a cab or merlot is a Bordeaux. If you want a Bordeaux blend, there are several, anything called cab-merlot or, as noted, meritage (the California version of a Bordeaux blend. I've been making...
  6. G

    First wine kit. I have questions.

    I don't know why they tell you to use metabisulfite for sanitizing. It's an option, but so are StarSan and such. The metabisulfite in the kit is for the stabilizing part of the instructions, so save it for then. Most kit makers use a 7.5 or 7.9-gallon bucket for wine. You need headspace in...
  7. G

    Wine expert: Symphony and Luna Bianca

    You'll note that the Luna is off-dry (possibly sweeter than you think) with heavy oak, and the Symphony is dry with no oak. I'd make the call based on how you like your wine. I haven't made either, but I've made the Mezza Luna White, which is kind of the little brother to the Luna Bianca and...
  8. G

    What dry yeast for a Chianti

    For a straight-ahead red or white, fully dry, you can't go wrong with Premier Couvee. The Montrachet can really stink up the house. For the most part, we can trust the kit manufacturers to pick the right yeast. Even if they might save a buck by putting in some less-than-ideal yeast, why would...
  9. G

    Confusion about steeping

    When it comes to science, I yield to the Yoop. When it comes to experience, I can add this: Since I started steeping in less water, my beer tastes better.
  10. G

    Coopers Real Ale - Violent Fermentation

    Did you use Cooper's Dry Ale Yeast. That stuff is so violent it's R rated.
  11. G

    Who uses a funnel screen?

    My first experience was pretty much identical to yours. Now, I just dump the wort straight into the funnel, trying to leave most of the trub and such behind. If I have a lot of free-roaming hops, sometimes I'll put a 6 or 8 inch kitchen strainer over the mouth of the funnel.
  12. G

    IPA too bitter?

    1. It's way too soon to judge. 2. That's half the hops in the free world. 3. RDWHAHB
  13. G

    What do I need to start in wine making?

    Wow, who put a bug up your butt with the anti-kit screed? All I said was he wouldn't need much equipment if it he wants to go with grape wine kits. Then I thought I should explain what that entails. Sorry if your life sucks.
  14. G

    What will spit do to my beer?

    Hey, spit happens! Actually, it sounds eerily similar to my first bottling experience. I immediately stopped the siphon and rinsed out the bucket and somehow got it going again into a clean pail. Only later did I realize that the fermented beer was almost certainly up to the task of knocking...
  15. G

    What do I need to start in wine making?

    Frankly, assuming you're talking about traditional grape wine, I'd recommend you try a couple of kits. Then you wouldn't have to fool with enzymes and nutrients and acid blends and all that crap. All you really need to add to your equipment is a bucket fermenter, 7.5 to 8 gallons, and a...
  16. G

    Dish soap!

    Rinse, rinse and rinse again. Dish soap in bottles ruined my first batch, and I'll never forget it. But after rinsing with hot water, those buggers will be plenty sanitized. You can just fill em up.
  17. G

    First Timer

    I agree you're going to want to go with a kit. It's not the same as in beer, where you can just throw together a few ingredients. You'd have quite a bit to learn if you wanted to piece together things or go with real crushed grapes. Kits lead you by the hand and really turn out pretty good...
  18. G

    Late LME addition time?

    You should be fine at 10 minutes. Palmer in his How to Brew book talks about adding the last of the extract with 5 minutes to go, I think.
  19. G

    First Brew/Fermentation Question

    If you call or e-mail Midwest, they can probably give you the gravity figures. If all else fails, make sure you give it plenty of time to finish fermenting and you'll be fine. I see no reason to worry about astringency unless you've squeezed a grain bag into it.
  20. G

    So, this is quite the suprise...

    I'd say you're safe in swapping the blow-off for the airlock. You're probably done with the bulk of the fermentation, but you want to let the yeasts finish their work, as another poster said. It's not surprising to have different batches perform differently in terms of fermentation times. A...
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