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    Is it a problem to degas twice?

    If I try to degas a Winexpert kit manually at stabilization time, then decide it wasn't enough and go at it again in a week or two with a drill and whip is that a problem? Am I inviting oxidation by fooling with it twice?
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    Tip for beginners -- and maybe others

    If you're not sure your beer's as good as it should be and you're using tap water, try some store-bought. I'm now drinking my first batch using gallon jugs of "spring water" or whatever it was called, and it's really smoother and better than any other beer I've made. If your beer is great...
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    How to spark fermentation that's stalled

    My Winexpert chardonnay kit started to ferment 6 days ago and never got as active as I'm used to seeing (based on the experience of nine batches of beer and one other wine kit). As I'm nearing the 7-day mark when it should be nearly ready to rack to a carboy, it's at about 1.040. The floating...
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    Advice on buying local grapes?

    I've been making wine from kits for all of a month now and, naturally, feel qualified to make wine from grapes. OK, I know I sound like a joker, but this is September and we've got local vineyards that produce great grapes. How can I not at least consider it? My question is: What are the...
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    Use yeast nutrient in kits?

    Do many kit winemakers use yeast nutrient routinely? The instructions in my Selection International kit don't call for it, but I've read it might keep some of the rotten egg sulfur smell from developing in primary. What do you all do? Also, is there a difference in yeast nutrient for beer...
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    Is white wine trickier to make than red?

    I have a white wine kit (Winexpert Selection International French Chardonnay) and would like to get it going, but I'm held back by a book I read that suggested whites were more finnicky than reds and required a cooler fermenting temperature. Dire warnings about white wine turning brown and all...
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    Is metabisulfite needed for sanitation?

    I have StarSan and iodophor on hand from making beer, but I notice the wine kit I'm getting calls for metabisulfite to sanitize everything. (It's a Winexpert kit, and I found the instructions online.) I know that I'll probably need some sulfite eventually for later rackings and such, but do I...
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    How much ullage in secondary?

    I just put my first batch, a merlot kit, into secondary and realized I wasn't sure how much ullage to leave. I've looked for info and found varying amounts. How much space do you folks leave? I left only about an inch (no wonder I had to use a whole bottle to top up). Should I leave more than an...
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    How to quell the smell

    The merlot kit (my first wine ever) I made up Friday, four days ago, is giving off a noticable sulfur smell. I used Red Star Pasteur Red yeast, if it matters. Does the sulfur smell always indicate a need to add nutrients? Thanks.
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    Winemaking books for beginners?

    I've been surprised and disappointed in the how-to books I've found on winemaking so far. I'm wondering whether there is one out there that really lays out the basics in an organized fashion and acknowledges that kits are where many of us start. I've read portions of "The Joy of Home Wine...