Monday, August 27, 2007

Cellar Craft & WinExpert Wine Kits - Rule 3

Cabernet Franc Icewine Style Many, many times I have told customers that there are only two rules for making homemade wine: First, read and follow the directions and second, keep your equipment clean.

There is no doubt that these two rules are the most important but there are a few other rules, too, and even though I am writing this blog article in the context of making wine from WinExpert or Cellar Craft ingredient kits the same rules apply to any wine making that you do.

Our third rule is that you should keep records. Keep a pad and pencil close by your winemaking area so that you can write down exactly what you did and the environment in which you did it.

Things you should record are the ambient temperature of the area in which you are making wine, the temperature of your wine must, the specific gravity of your wine must, the date you put together your wine must, the date you pitched the yeast (with temperatures), the total acidity of your wine must (WinExpert and Cellar Craft kits are acid balanced so this is not as important with these kits but it is important if you are making wine from backyard fruit or grapes you raised or purchased). If you do any other testing (such as pH) be sure to record this information, too. Also make a complete listing (with quantities) of any additives you put in your wine (such as acid blend, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, etc.).

As your wine progresses, be sure and continue to make notations with dates of specific gravity changes and anything else that you feel is important in the progession of from juice to wine and continue right on through bottling (and even aging). If this particular wine becomes one of your cellar classics you want to be able to duplicate the process you used in making this wine.

Other ideas on making wine or homebrewing your own beer can be found in other blog articles or in our newsletter. You can find our newsletter on the newsletter page at and then clicking on the links to our .pdf files.

BlueStem Winery is a full-service winemaking and home brewing supply store located at 305 Third Street in Parkersburg, Iowa. You can visit our website at or drop by our store. All pricing on the website includes shipping within the lower 48 states.

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