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  1. Raptor99

    Wine for 1st Grandson's 21st bday!

    This article mentions 4 traits of wines that age well: acidity, tannin, ABV, and residual sugar: Even for a wine that ages well, it will gradually improve to a certain point, and then start to decline. I'm not sure that you can come up...
  2. Raptor99

    Worry-free Alcohol?

    (emphasis added) If the conversion of alcohol takes place in the stomach, it won't affect the flavor. But it will prevent you from feeling the buzz.
  3. Raptor99

    Sparkling Wine with Straight Cork

    It all depends on the carbonation level. If the level of carbonation in beer is suitable for your project, you can use beer bottles. But not for Champagne level carbonation. Beer generally has a carbonation level of 1 to 3 volumes CO2...
  4. Raptor99

    Lemon Balm Wine - I'm going for it!

    It's supposed to be in the mid-80's this weekend, so my lemon balm will go to seed soon. It's time to use it or lose it. I did some brewing trials with fresh lemon balm to determine the best brewing temperature. After two sets of trials, I concluded that 160 degrees probably gives the best...
  5. Raptor99

    Elderberry wine

    In March I planted three elderberry bushes. It will be a year or two before I get much of a harvest, so this year I'll be visiting a friend this year to harvest some elderberries.
  6. Raptor99

    Elderberry wine

    @BarrelMonkey My 2022 Elderberry used 20 lbs. of elderberries in an initial total volume of 4 gallons, aiming for 3+ gallons of finished wine. So that is a similar amount of fruit to your 2023 version. I had to add quite a bit of tartaric acid and acid blend to get the pH down to 3.6. So far...
  7. Raptor99

    Elderberry wine

    Elderberry wine benefits from 2-3 years aging. It is so-so the first year, but awesome by year 3.
  8. Raptor99

    Eastern Redbud - I'm going for it!

    I've been thinking about steeping temperature for herbs and flowers. We make a lot of tea, and the flavor can change considerably depending on the brewing temperature and time. I have yet to experiment on my lemon balm, but I'd like to see how different temps/times affect the flavor profile...
  9. Raptor99

    Wine does not last long once opened

    I use Vacuvin as well, and I have found that some wines last longer than others. Some commercial wines start to taste oxidized by day 2, while others can last 2-3 days. I think that the difference is due to differing antioxidant factors in the wine. Tannins and SO2 will both help prevent...
  10. Raptor99

    YAN levels in Honey

    @RylanJacobs If it is fermenting okay I would not try to change the pH at this point. If fermentation has started, it will probably continue without raising the pH. Once fermentation is finished, there are two factors to consider: * Taste: If it is too tart, you could consider raising the pH a...
  11. Raptor99

    YAN levels in Honey

    I don't think that it is impossibly low. It seems that the honey does something during fermentation to lower the pH. I have experienced that on several occasions, but it does not always happen. I'm not sure why. I've had a few batches drop below 3.0 in primary fermentation. See my comment from...
  12. Raptor99

    YAN levels in Honey

    I added a bit of Potassium Bicarbonate to raise the pH a bit.
  13. Raptor99

    What R you doing today?

    That's quite a fancy floor corker you have in the middle of the room! 🤣
  14. Raptor99

    Aging after clearing

    I make country wine, which usually benefits from a little bit of backsweetening. The taste of the wine changes during aging, so I usually age them at least 6 months before bottling so that I can adjust the sweetness to the appropriate level. If you do any adjustments for taste before bottling...
  15. Raptor99

    Recorking wine question

    This is the simplest solution. Mix up some Simple Syrup and keep it in the fridge. That makes it easy to mix in a little sugar in each glass of wine.
  16. Raptor99

    Corks, and other bottle stoppers

    The FastRack Portuguese Floor Corker is 32 inches high according to the ad: It is unclear from the ad whether 32 inches is the height with the handle raised or fully lowered.
  17. Raptor99

    Corks, and other bottle stoppers

    I looked at a few videos. People are bending way down at the waist to use this on the floor. Here is a video of using the red corker on a waist high counter: This one looks like he is on his knees: . This one too: Since this is called a "floor corker," I thought that you could use it on the...
  18. Raptor99

    Corks, and other bottle stoppers

    That is exactly my concern. If I got that one, I would need to build a platform the right height to put under it. In terms of ergonomics, standing is better than sitting while pushing down on the corker lever, as long as you don't need to lean over. The Burgundy Superior Portuguese Floor Corker...
  19. Raptor99

    Corks, and other bottle stoppers

    I just saw this on the Label Peeler site: Does anyone use their floor corker while seated?
  20. Raptor99

    Corks, and other bottle stoppers

    Continuing the corker discussion... On Amazon the basic Red Portuguese floor corker is listed with prices ranging from $69.99 to 169.99. I'm not sure what the difference is between them. The look virtually identical in the pictures...