Friday, November 14, 2008

Check out Home Winemaking


There's a great new winemaking video posted here: Home Winemaking 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why Your Homemade Wine Doesn't Taste Good

It's true - the first few times I made my own wine - it tasted... uhhh... Bad.

I drank it anyway.

I wasn't a wine lover or connessuer or anything like that. I had just read that it was pretty easy to do and you didn't need much equipment and it was cheap.

Well - all of that is true.

The problem is that I wanted it to taste good. Actually - I wanted it to taste great.

But - it didn't.

So I did a little research and found out 2 "secrets", if you will, that increased that quality of the flavor almost instantly.

The next batch I made, even my wife drank some and said it was "OK". Now I was getting somewhere.

A few more batches and a few more little tweaks and changes and guess what? She didn't know it was mine! She thought I bought it. Pretty cool huh?

Now - believe me - this didn't happen over a few weeks or months. It actually took 3 and a half years. BUT - I did it.

I knew how to take store bought ingredients and turn them into a wine that tasted as good as or better than what you buy at the store or the wine shop.

So - what are those 2 secrets and what are the few tweaks? I'll get to that in my next post so stay tuned. In the mean time - you can get my basic "How to make Your Own Wine" book free at this link:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How to Make Homemade Wine

Homemade wine making is fast becoming very popular across the world.

There are several reasons for this.The biggest one is that the cost to transport that yummy nectar from where they grow, harvest, and ferment it is going up right along with the cost of fuel. There's no two ways around it - we are about to see bottles of wine at the grocery store and wine shops double.

In the last year, there has been a flurry of "How To" guides crop up around the internet. All of the guides are helpful and at least can get a beginner started.

The truth is, you can make high quality wine, award winning wine, at home, in a 5 gallon food bucket.Some preparation and materials are required. You have to at least have a hydrometer.

You need at least the 5 gallon bucket. AND - you need some kind of near air tight secondary fermentation vessel. In the industry we call this a "carbouy".The secondary fermenter is where the wine will sit for weeks or months finishing it's fermentation. For this reason, the carboy must be sealed so that air cannot get to the wine.

However, there has to be a way for the CO2 to escape.So - an airlock is used.There are very inexpensive airlocks and more expensive airlocks. They all do the same thing - keep the air out.

Then to round out the equipment, there are various racking canes, bottling tubes, and plastic tubing.

Some chemicals may be required as well.Yeast is an obvious first one (not really a chemical but a dormant microbe). Citric acid, potassium sorbate, metabisulfate, campden tablets, pectin enzyme and a few others are pretty common.

The biggest secret in home wine making is: get the good stuff to start with. There is no reason to use frozen grape juice from the grocery store.There are actually vineyards that will sell small quantities of grapes or even crushed grapes and juices, fresh from the vineyard. Although these are hard to locate, they do exist.

I have found at least one wine making guide that lists these sources.Aside from the money savings (you can make wine for about 25 cents a bottle), there is the actual enjoyment of making something that you can drink!

If your batch comes out really good, you will be calling all your neighbors and friends to come and give it a try.Cheers and happy wine making!

By: Mike Carraway
Mike Carraway has been making homemade wine for the last 20 years. Get a FREE COPY of his latest book, "How to Make Wine" at and you can be making wine tonight!

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Homemade Wine Story

When I first started thinking about trying to make my own wine, I knew I had to have at least a little start-up information.

I mean, I had made wine before - in high school. Me and a buddy of mine got some Welch's frozen concentrate, put some water and sugar in it, then threw in some yeast. Then we had to wait like 2 weeks.

The 2 week wait was almost unbearable.

But when we drank it, it gave us a rosy glow and we sat there and giggled for about an hour.

That was 20 years ago.

Now, when I decided to start making wine - REAL wine - I knew I needed some advice. The internet is full of it. Good advice, bad advice, and just ugly advice. Most of it is crap.

What I wanted was something that would spell it out - in plain english. A step-by-step guide. Nothing technical or full of scientific mumbo jumbo.

I had read a couple of books on winemaking (yawn). Too much techno-speak. Too much pH and acid level and titration.

Then, I found this one: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Homemade Wine

You can click on the link and check it out. Believe me, it is written so that anyone can start from scratch and start making their own excellent wine within a half an hour.

The best part is that it comes with a complete winemaking library, so, if you want to get technical - you can. The information is all there.

There's even a video or two. Basically, the whole package is probably worth $100. I only had to pay $34 and it was worth every penny.

Last time I checked, there was a special running on the site so you can now get the whole package for only $27. Probably better to take advantage of it sooner rather than later.

If you want to try your hand at making your own wine, I recommend The Complete Illustrated Guide to Homemade Wine and the extra stuff that comes with it.

I did find a couple of other great books but both of them were like $47 or more. This one had everything and then some but it cost less by about $14.

Let me know what you thought by posting a comment.