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This is the small print where I deny everything and refuse to take any responsibility for anything. Any opinions given should not be taken as facts & any facts given should not be taken as opinions. As an extra precaution all the really small print is in white text, this is copyrighted .


E. & O. E.


Copyright www.petespintpot.co.uk  2008. First published 17 October 2008, last updated  20 Feb. 2017.


Pete’s Pint Pot is dedicated to the home production & sensible drinking of beer, wine, cider & meads plus a little bit of china painting & a few bits of photograph tampering.


If you are affected by any of the articles on this site or any of the issues raised in them, I truly feel very sorry for you.


Finally the sanity clause: As Chico Marx

famously said to brother Groucho,


  “Everybody knows there ain't no

     Sanity Clause!”



WARNING:-

Some pages may contain music!

Do not enter this site if you are allergic to nuts!

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Wine Pages



              ine & cider making, like brewing, can be great fun at home, even from kits & there is a vast range of these available to-day, fortunately it is very hard to find a bad one. They are mostly pretty reliable too, but designing & drinking your own creations is by far the most rewarding.


When it comes to making you own booze, wines & ciders are generally much easier to make than beer. All the ingredients you require for basic recipes are a can of “concentrate” or three cartons of supermarket pure fruit juice (no artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives or sweeteners), some sugar & a sachet of wine yeast. Normally a quarter tea-spoon of yeast nutrient will help (or a vitamin B tablet), as will a teaspoon of Bentonite (dried mud granules - honest!), this will help the wine to clear after fermentation. Careful recipe design can mostly avoid the use of additional acids.


Cheap kits:- I cannot personally recommend any budget wines in to-days market.


Expensive kits:- I consider Beaverdale to be the best available, California Connoisseurs have a large range to choose from.


ALL kits, like other home made wines, benefit from “bulk maturation”. After racking your finished wine into a sterilized demijohn, add a crushed Campden tablet (prevents oxidation & inhibits bacterial growth) cover with cling film, secured by a rubber band (this will allow any gasses to escape safely). Store for at least a month (three is much better) in a cool dark place. During this time the wine will mature, developing subtle aromas & flavours, suspended yeast & other assorted rubbish will also settle out giving a “star-bright” wine. Bottle & wait another 3 weeks or so before drinking. A lot of manufactures seem to omit this information, perhaps they know how anxious we are to enjoy their wares.


If you would like to try designing your own beer, wines & ciders you can download my FREE calculators from the www.yobrew.co.uk/calculators.php web page. Two different versions are available, one for “metric” users & one for Imperial & US measures. Both types are made with Microsoft Excel but have been tried with both the free Kingsoft Office & the SoftMaker (Ashampoo) PlanMaker programs without too much difficulty.

You may also find the article on basic beer, wine & cider recipe design at www.yobrew.co.uk/card.php useful.


SWEETNESS: For finished wines & meads there are several degrees of sweetness, most people seem to have their own definitions, thus rendering the system fatally flawed. So here are my (fatally flawed & arbitrary) definitions which may appear in the site, they mostly increase in nice, easy 5° steps:


Style

Dry

Medium Dry

Medium

Med. Sweet

Sweet

Desert

Commercial wine by (my) numbers

1

2

3

4

5

6

Final Gravity

<998

998-1005

1005-1010

1010-1015

1015-1020

1020+

Approx. sweetening sugar (g/4.5 litre)

0-50

50-130

130-200

200-260

260-310

310+

Approx sweetening sugar (g/750ml bottle)

0-8.3

8.3-22

22-33

33-43

43-52

52+


IF SWEETENING A WINE/MEAD/CIDER ETC. WITH SUGAR YOU MUST ENSURE IT IS STABLE BY ADDING POTASSIUM SORBATE (E202). This should also be used if stopping fermentation early to give a sweeter wine. Another method of sweetening wine is to “feed” it with sugar every time the S.G. approaches 1005, eventually the yeast will be rendered useless, unable to ferment any more sugar, leaving a sweet wine.


Artificial sweeteners may be used, these are especially useful for people who are “watching” their weight, diabetes sufferers & of course those who just want to sweeten their wine without adding stabilizers, replacing one chemical compound with another. I don’t know how stable sweeteners such as saccharin & aspartame are when used in wine but there are products aimed at the home brewer/wine maker market. Because of the health risks associated with SOME artificial sweeteners I personally avoid them (they also tend to leave a nasty lingering taste in the mouth).


DO NOT sweeten beers, ciders etc. with sugar as this could lead to exploding bottles!!


MEADS

Wines made using sugar can be converted to meads by replacing all of the sugar by 1¼ times the weight of honey (assuming honey is 80% sugar as 1/80% = 125%). Note that the OG & FG will be increased by the un-fermentable substances in the honey.



SOME WINE FAULTS:-


COLOURED HAZE - Caused by being in close proximity to metals such as iron or copper, add ½ tsp citric acid.


DARKENING - Could be a coloured haze but more likely to be caused by oxidation or fruit rot, add 2 Campden tablets & leave for 2 months or more before drinking.


HAZE - Pectin hazes can be cured by adding 1tsp pectic enzyme to the wine, if it persists try again at the next racking. Starch hazes can also occur especially if using grains. You need iodine to detect these hazes (meths. for pectin) & Amylozyme 100 to cure, see a good wine book.


FLOWERS (SPECKS) - Are caused by the Mycoderma bacteria when the wine is exposed to air. If a thick film has occurred the wine is past help but if only a few specks are present, remove as many as possible then filter onto a crushed Campden tablet. Drink as soon as possible afterwards. As usual, prevention is better than cure, so never degass your wines.


MEDICINE FLAVOUR - Is usually caused by lack of acid so just add 1tsp of acid & leave to mature for 3 months at least for the acid to “marry” then taste again.


MUSTINESS - Can be caused by standing on the lees for too long or by equipment not being sterile. Rack "splashily" onto a crushed Campden tablet.


MOUSINESS - Is a mousy or mouldy smell that can be cured in its early stages by adding a crushed Campden tablet & its effect reduced by the aeration of the wine before drinking.


OTHER HAZES, SMELLS & TASTES - Could be caused by damaged fruit, bacteria, contamination from strong smelling substances in close proximity - don't keep wine in a garage next to cleaning agents, garden chemicals, petrol etc. Try adding 2 crushed Campden tablets & if that does not work try fining.


OVER SWEET - With low alcohol content is a result of stuck fermentation.


Oxidized — The wine will smell like a sherry, and may smell stale, nutty or even like burnt marshmallow or stewed fruit. The wine’s color can offer a clue too. Usually an oxidized wine will be turning a shade of brown — brick red for reds, and golden to tawny for whites. An oxidized wine can mean it was subjected to hot temperatures, was not stored properly or was exposed to air. If you order a wine by the glass and it smells a little stale, ask how long the bottle has been open; it’s probably been a few days. Not good. Keep in mind a newly opened bottle can also be oxidized.


ROPINESS/OILINESS - The Tartarophtorum bacteria causes rope-like threads or iridescent waves or an oil-like surface layer on the wine. Pour into a sterile bucket, stir well & filter onto 2 crushed Campden tablets.


"ROTTEN EGG" SMELL - Usually bacterial contamination caused by bad hygiene practises.


   Too much sulfites, usually the result of grapes being dusted with too much sulfur during the growing season

   Lack of proper nutrients (nitrogen, yeast hulls) during fermentation

   Yeast combining with various forms of sulfur (some folks swear that Red Star Montrachet yeast is notorious for causing     H2S).

 

SULPHITE SMELL & TASTE - Keep until it has gone - overused the Campden tablets?


STUCK FERMENTATION - Make a yeast starter, when working add an equal quantity of the offending wine, shake well & leave in a warm place. When fermenting O.K. (after 6 hrs or so) add an equal quantity of the offending wine etc.


VINEGAR SMELL & TASTE - Put it on your chips! You have made vinegar wine but watch out for those EELS!


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SOME WINE FAULTS:-


COLOURED HAZE - Caused by being in close proximity to metals such as iron or copper, add ½ tsp citric acid.


DARKENING - Could be a coloured haze but more likely to be caused by oxidation or fruit rot, add 2 Campden tablets & leave for 2 months or more before drinking.


HAZE - Pectin hazes can be cured by adding 1tsp pectic enzyme to the wine, if it persists try again at the next racking. Starch hazes can also occur especially if using grains. You need iodine to detect these hazes (meths. for pectin) & Amylozyme 100 to cure, see a good wine book.


FLOWERS (SPECKS) - Are caused by the Mycoderma bacteria. If a thick film has occurred the wine is past help but if only a few specks are present, remove as many as possible then filter onto a crushed Campden tablet. Drink as soon as possible afterwards. As usual, prevention is better than cure, so always ensure your storage demijohn is topped up.


MEDICINE FLAVOUR - Is usually caused by lack of acid so just add 1tsp of acid & leave to mature for 3 months at least for the acid to “marry” then taste again.


MUSTINESS - Can be caused by standing on the lees for too long or by equipment not being sterile. Rack "splashily" onto a crushed Campden tablet. Tyrene


MOUSINESS - Is a mousy or mouldy smell that can be cured in its early stages by adding a crushed Campden tablet & its effect reduced by the aeration of the wine before drinking.


OTHER HAZES, SMELLS & TASTES - Could be caused by damaged fruit, bacteria, contamination from strong smelling substances in close proximity - don't keep wine in a garage next to cleaning agents, garden chemicals, petrol etc. Try adding 2 crushed Campden tablets & if that does not work try fining.


OVER SWEET - With low alcohol content is a result of stuck fermentation.


ROPINESS/OILINESS - The Tartarophtorum bacteria causes rope-like threads or iridescent waves or an oil-like surface layer on the wine. Pour into a sterile bucket, stir well & filter onto 2 crushed Campden tablets.


SULPHITE SMELL & TASTE - Keep until it has gone - overused the Campden tablets?


STUCK FERMENTATION - Make a yeast starter, when working add an equal quantity of the offending wine, shake well & leave in a warm place. When fermenting O.K. (after 6 hrs or so) add an equal quantity of the offending wine etc.


VINEGAR SMELL & TASTE - Put it on your chips! You have made vinegar wine but watch out for those EELS!

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