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How to become an expert winemaker | bulk

wine and grapes

If you are following this series of blogs on winemaking, you have probably made your first batch of 5 litres and have enjoyed sharing it with your friends.  These wines are ideal for barbecues, although it hasn’t exactly been barbecue weather in England. You know that 5 litres doesn’t go far at a barbecue though and so maybe when you get good at it; you could make 25 litres! (more…)

How to become an expert winemaker | Carbs

wine and grapes

Carbs or carbohydrates are sugars and starches. Sugar is fairly easy to understand and the sugar used in wine making is the granulated sucrose that we are familiar with, but there are other types of sugar. There is fructose, otherwise known as fruit sugar, but also found in some vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Fructose is important to mental health and so those foods are important to us. Then there is lactose, that is a sugar that yeast won’t break down and so is sometimes used to sweeten wine after it’s finished fermenting. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose aren’t usually used to sweeten wine. There have been accusations that these sweeteners can damage health too. I try to avoid them because although the digestive system doesn’t absorb them, they can be broken down in the large bowel causing gas. Who wants more gas? (more…)

How to become an expert winemaker…

Do you remember the 1963 film, the Great Escape? Hilts, the Cooler King makes moonshine from potatoes to celebrate Independence Day, the fourth of July. It’s easy to make, just dig up some potatoes that were previously fertilised by soil from your escape tunnel. Make a ‘must’ by chopping them into tiny pieces and adding water; add yeast obtained by the camp scrounger. Then ferment for a month or two, run it through your still allowing the lighter alcohols to escape and using the heavy alcohols to sterilise your commando knife. Then allow the alcohol from the still to drip into a carboy previously well washed after being used to transport sulphuric acid and hope that the guards don’t notice the smell. Actually, the film was based on a real escape and there weren’t any Americans, no fourth of July and no moonshine…  So being English I will share my knowledge of making real booze… (more…)

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