Finally a Keeper

In this past year I had decided to make some fresh fruit wines. After my third attempt, I finally came up with a keeper !nana's strawberry wine

I made just a one gallon batch this time. I juiced 4# of fresh strawberries. Juicing did take some of the color away- but still works nicely. The wine cleared easier. As with most home made fresh wine it turned out a little more ABV than I wanted. So just before bottling I added some Wine Conditioner to sweeten it up a little. This process is called “back sweetening”. I can hardly wait for it to age a bit and drop a few fresh strawberries from my garden in a glass and enjoy.

The recipe I used was in  Winemaker’s recipe handbook. It is one our best selling books for beginners. All the recipe are scaled for one gallon. Very straight forward and easy to follow.

The Wine Conditioner I used was from the Global Vintner. Contains the sweetener and the potassium sorbate.  The potassium sorbate will inhibit the sugars from starting to ferment again.
Now I get to play with a blackberry wine i started a few months ago. but this one is a 5 gallon batch . Wish me luck !


Figuring Alcohol %

Ever  wonder what the alcohol % was in your home crafted wine and/or beer?  Well I have, so I set out to learn more about it. What I learned on this voyage was somewhat amazing. There are very professional formulas that involve air temperatures and etc ( very scientific). But I wanted something simple, some formula to give me a close, general idea of how much alcohol was in the product I was drinking and making.
There are online calculators simple and professional types. I will put in some links of places I have been, please check them out.
Some general information for you is that the average wine alcohol content is 11-15%. And for beer is it 5-6%. But please not that these numbers can vary on the style and type of wine or beer you are making.
There are a few abbreviation that you will need to know.
%ABV = Percentage Alcohol By Volume
OSG = Original Specific Gravity -first reading at the time of making wine must or beer wort
FSG = Final Specific Gravity- last reading before bottling.
* Special note: I take a reading at each step. This tells me if everything is on track or not.

You will need a few pieces of equipment.
Wine Thief – tube to help remove liquid from it’s bucket or carboy
Hydrometer -there are various styles with may more reading available
Hydrometer Test Jar- Place liquid from thief into to take hydrometer reading.

wine Thief
Hydrometer Test Jar

I can continue this conversation but there are better articles that can explain this better than me. At the end of this blog I will link some places for you to visit.

Here are the formulas that I use. They will give you a general idea of what the alcohol % is.

Wine Formula:
%ABV= OSG-FSG  divided by 7.36 multiple by 1000

Beer Formula:
%ABV= (OSG-FSG) multiple by 131.25


Please check these links out- as they have great information.

Happy Sipping

Blackberry Wine

After years of making my wine from great wine kits, I decided it was to up the game and start making wine from scratch (somewhat-baby steps). So a few weeks ago  I made a blackberry wine. So far so good- now the challenge is to get it to the finish line-lol.
I use Vintner’s Harvest Blackberry Fruit Wine Base. Followed the recipe that was on the label. I checked the gravity yesterday and re-racked it, also took a little sip–a little sharp- but once it ages, I think it will be pretty good. Though I am thinking about sweetening it a bit more. Will let it age in the carboy longer and think about before bottling.
It seems to me that home made scratch wines are a little higher in alcohol content. But like any wine it will mellow out with aging. Can hardly wait !
Don’t be afraid- give it a try ! It is actually fun. The hardest part is waiting for it to age 😦

Happy SippingIMG_0368

Boys have been busy

Well Brian and Lee have been busy developing their our “Crafted Beer” Recipes. And I must say they are really good !

Brian made a Hefeweizen Style base beer but added Apricot flavoring. Apricot is not overpowering. Good job Brian !
Lee made a Light Wheat Style base beer. And being a big fan of watermelon, he added Watermelon flavoring to his. What a suprise-very light and yet not a  overpowering watermelon taste. Just perfect Lee !
Can hardly wait for the warm summer days to enjoy both these creations on my deck with bbq going !
That is the fun of crafting your own beer, you can experiment with different flavorings and additives to make it your own! So go big on experimenting-never know what you will come up with !

Summer is Coming

It seems that mother nature is struggling this year. I sure hope for all our sake she find her happy place soon. My prayers to all those afflicted with the flood, tornadoes and bad weather.
We have been busy over the winter here at the store. Adding more inventory, learning new processes in both the beer and wine crafting. Has been fun and interesting. We even finished the new Brewing Classroom. And started up a new “Brew Club”. And am planning for our first summer “Wine Club” meeting.If you planning any type of gathering this summer now is the time to make your wine or beer. Not sure how much you need- please  read the post “Planning for Event”, it will give you approximate calculation for the size of your event.

If you have any comments or question pleases contact me.

Sugar and Calories in Wine

Many people are health conscious these days and like to watch the sugar and calorie intact. A while back I had a patron ask me about this, so after researching, this is what I found.

Red Wine:
Size: 750 ml Bottle (standard size bottle)
Approx. 625 Calories
Approx. 20 grams Carbohydrates
Approx. 5 grams Sugar
Single Size of Red Wine
Single Serving is considered to be 5 oz.
Approx. 125 Calories
Approx. 4 grams Carbohydrates
Approx. 1 gram sugar

White Wine:
Size: 750 ml Bottle (standard size bottle)
Approx. 610 Calories
Approx. 20 grams Carbohydrates
Approx. 7.5 grams Sugar
Single Size of White Wine
Single Serving is considered to be 5 oz.
Approx. 125 Calories
Approx.. 4 grams Carbohydrates
Approx. 1.5 grams Sugar

Please keep in mind that these are only approximate calculation. The sweeter the wine the more the numbers will go up. The most popular lately is the fruity sweet styles-they will be higher in all areas.
Hope this helps you if you are watching the numbers. Me, nah, I just enjoy a good wine every now and then and figure I just have to spent more time on the tread mill !

Happy Sipping

Planning a Special Event- How to figure quantity of wine & beer needed

Are you planning and special event this year, such as a wedding, family gathering, and etc.
This is a rough formula to help you figure out just how many bottles you may need. Of course all depends on how your guest drink, where it is a open bar, or limited bar. But hopefully this will give you a guideline to get you started.

Wine: Calculated with 750ml bottles and 5 ounce serving.
Each bottle has about a 5 glass service of 5 ounces. Again this will depend on how it is poured, could be more or less servings per bottle.
Take the number of guest and divide by 5, this will equal the approximate total of bottles needed. Multiply that by the amount planning on serving per guest. As a extra precaution add 1 more bottle per 20 bottles you are purchasing.
100 guest  divided by 5 servings per bottle=20 bottles x 4 serving per guest= 80 bottles. If you know of the number of children and non-drinkers you may eliminate them from you calculations.
Please check with the store you are purchasing from that they will refund you for any unopened or tampered with bottles not used. Be aware they may have a policy against this. Remember to always include both a white and red wine.

Beer: Again this will depend on if your are having a open bar or limited bar. Figures are a standard 12 ounce bottle.
Take the number of guest and multiply by 4.
General rule is 4 bottles per guest.  To figure Beer is pretty straight forward. As beer comes in 24 bottle cases.
100 guest x 4 = 400 bottles divide by 24= 17 cases of beer.

But remember when try to figure all this out, not all guest drink alcoholic beverages.  And not all drink wine or beer. If you can figure a rough idea of how many guest drink what, you will be able to cut the volume of wine and beer purchased. but always remember to add a couple extra bottles to your total- guest can surprise you. A few may partake just on special occasions.

One of the best ways to help cut cost is to make your own. Find a local “On Premise” Wine and Beer Store. Discuss with them about what you may like to make. Then set up to have a gathering of your friends to make what you will need. It is always a special feeling to know that you made it yourself, and that it is a great quality of beer and wine.



Great place to gather with friends and make wine and beer of your choice