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The Wine Vintner's Blog

Pressing the Grapes

September 26, 2012 by Wine Vintner

After draining the wine that has separated from the mulch on the inside of the barrel, you have 1/3 to 1/2 of a barrel of stems, seeds and skins. This mixture still holds a great deal of very good wine. We take it out of the barrel and put it into the wine press and can squeeze as much as 30% more wine...that can convert into up to 30 more liters of wine depending on which grape you have used to make your wine.

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The Easiest Way to Make Wine

September 17, 2012 by Wine Vintner

A lot of people take a look at our way to make wine and say "that's a lot of work" and then never ever make their own wine. Here is my answer to those who want to find an easy way to make wine. Here is the easiest way to make wine you will ever see.


Stir the Fermenting Wine

September 15, 2012 by Wine Vintner

Q...do you use any yeast or sulfites in this process?


A...No and No. We do not use any additives or preservatives in this process at any time. This is why it is so important to have a wine cellar. After fermentation the wine must be stored in a cool and usually dark place. By cool I mean 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If stored in a warm place fermentation will continue with the result that the wine will turn in a nice red wine vinegar.



Q.... where was this filmed?


A...This is filmed at my house here in White Rock BC...the intersection of Canada, the United States and the Pacific Ocean.


Q.... how much does the dryness affect the grapes during the first fermentation process?

Picking up the Grapes

September 7, 2012 by Wine Vintner

The official start of the season is always when we pick up the grapes. They have ripened early this year due to some great August heat. That combined with lots of rain early in the season has produced very juicy grapes for making wine this year.

Barrel Info????

September 6, 2012 by Wine Vintner

Question

Could you give me more information about the barrel.

Answer:

The barrel is a 200 liter barrel/200 quarts. It is red oak. I got it through Mendicino Cooperage who are now back in business under new management.

The pipe is a standard 1 inch plastic pipe and tap. Buy one 4 to 6 inches long with threads on both ends.

You make the tap into the barrel just between the bottom and second strap for the end of the barrel you choose to be the bottom. Use a slightly larger bit attachment for the first bore into the barrel. Only go in 1/4 to 1/2 and inch tops. Then go in with a bit that is exactly the size of the pipe. You should need to use the threads on the pipe to screw it into the wood. Use plumbers tape to seal it there and when you put the tap on the other end of the pipe as well. Make sure it is running parallel to the bottom of the barrel.

The Tools to Make Wine at Home

September 5, 2012 by Wine Vintner

In this movie we show you all of the tools you need to make wine the way we do here at howmakewine.ca. After there is a list of all of the tools you will need to make our wine.

- 1 barrel - our is capacity 200 liters

- 1 multi- pronged plunger stick (see fermenting process video)

- 1 plywood cover for barrel

- 1 old towel to cover barrel

- 2 plastic storage containers

- string

- 8 inch twigs from any kind of fruit tree

- 1 crusher

- wood blocks to elevate the barrel

- 1 ladder to stand on when transferring grapes from the box to the crusher

- 1 wine press (ours is 50 liters)

- 1 tool box that may need to include pipe wrenches

- An assortment of glass wine demijohns, carboys and jugs to hold the wine after fermenting

- 1 or more funnels

- 1 sauce pan to transfer wine from bins to glass storage vessels

Here are a few more tools.

A Different Aerator

August 24, 2012 by Wine Vintner

I was visiting my cousin on the other side of the continent and she showed me a different aerator than what we had seen before. We tried it out and it is very handy and portable. It does not aerate as well as some others do when poured straight from the bottle but I would think that if it was used with a decanter you have have even better results.

Fix the Wine Press

August 23, 2012 by Wine Vintner

Fix the Press

The start of the 2012 wine season is approaching quickly. It is time to get the equipment ready. We will start by repairing our wine press

Can I Use my Home Grown Grapes?

August 13, 2012 by Wine Vintner

Here are two questions asking the same question


Question 1:

I have 5 grape vines, full of grapes. I bought a kit, which wasn't much help. I am currently checking websites. I need simple instructions, with basic equipment. Not sure were to start. Please help.

Question 2:

My grape vine is doing so well this year, I want to attempt making wine from it, but I think I hardly have enough, is it worth to try? I don't know what kind of grape it is, previous year, I just crushed the grapes and consume the juice, it is sweet like sugar. Do you know if wine making store can crush the grapes for me for a fee? I have no clue in wine making, but I think it's fun to try, any suggestion from you will be much appreciated.

Answer to both questions.

As you can see from our site and videos our method involves a serious investment in both equipment and time. There are other methods but we have chosen to focus on this one alone as it is what we know best and what presents best on the web. However, I will make a few observations.

Do I need to add Sugar

August 7, 2012 by Wine Vintner

Question

I have very good grapes that I grow my self. I've made wine for two years now with very good reviews from friends and family. I never use any sugar at all and my wine and it's very nice and dry and almost a bit tart. I'm not a fan of using sugar, but why would I want to use some sugar in making my wine? Does it significantly change the taste or if added in the beginning of the fermentation process does it mostly just increase the alcohol content?


Answer

Your question is very close to one of the core values of our website. The grapes are a fabulous product of nature. Why screw around with nature if you don't have to? Also...what did people do before we had refined sugar and all of these chemicals to modify and preserve the taste of things?

The answer is that they took care of it using cellars and just did more work to get the wine made.

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