I'm sharing a list of things I have learned on this forum or eslewhere, quite often by making mistakes!
Feel free to add your own, I'll edit the main tread as we go. It could be a quick reference for any begginner!
1.Do what Tom says...
2.Cheap kits make cheap wines (sometimes useful, I serve it when people had to much to really appreciate the real good stuff...I also give it to free loaders
3.Start slowly when you degas with a drill
4. plan space in your carboy for your additives before topping up!
5. If you leave K-meta solution in your stored carboys, don't breath in the fumes as the wine pushes them out! (fixed that for Dan
6.Put your sorbate & K-meta in an empty clean pop bottle with a little bit of water to dissolve, use like a shaker.
7.USE A FUNNEL (when adding stuff to the wine , NOT TO RACK!!!)
8.Make sure your tubing fits your filter BEFORE pumping wine into it!
9.When making fruit wine, adjust your ingredients to make 1 extra gallon (ex: if you make a 6 gallon batch, make a 7 gallon recipe in your primary).I then rack the extra gallon in a 1 gallon jug with an airlock and use it instead of water to top up before stabilising, if you don't need it, just finish it and enjoy it with the rest
10.get stoppers small enough to fit an airlock on a wine bottle and keep different format of bottles handy, that way when you use the method above, you can save the rest in one of thos smaller containers...1 more bottle of good wine is always better in the cellar than down the drain.
11.When starting, ALWAYS read de recipe or instruction before starting the wine, re-reding before each step. Some kit will have different steps (like wineexperts that doesn't want you to rack before clearing)
12. When it comes to equipment, always have a spare (as your finances permit).
13. Always check that the valve (at the bottom) is CLOSED before racking into a tank.
14. One of the best pieces of equipment I own is a "cork puller". This is an "L" shaped gizmo with a "T" handle that is used for extracting corks that have been pushed into a bottle. This little thing is perfect for pulling out stoppers that are stuck in the neck of a jug. Just pull out the fermentation lock, slip in the "L" rod through the center hole, and give her a firm yank. Total cost was about $3
that's it for now...I'm dure there will be more!!
Fell free to aff your own, I'll update the list as we go!!