Some rules of thumb for winemaking

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pwrose

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Every forum that I have ever been a part of has a thread for general rules of thumb for that forum. In this case we have winemaking and enough experts and non-experts here to have a good rule of thumb thread.

Add your one line rule of thumb you follow for your wine making, I will edit this post and add them as they are posted for as long as I can.

I will save Tom the trouble of posting his favorite and put it up for him.

So here goes it

PW:
listen to the people that have been there done that

Tom:
follow the three P's, Patience - Patience - Patience
follow the three T's, Taste - Taste - Taste
think out of the BOX
Use WineCalc to figure how much sugar to add

djrockinsteve:
Learn how to read a hydrometer and use it, it is your friend

xanxer82:
Degas properly!
Measure twice cut/pour once

granda:
always check weights and measurments twice and again for luck

UglyBhamGuy:
Sanitize
Take notes

IQwine: Listen to Tom:b

robie:
A check of specific gravity is the only reliable method to determine if fermentation is ongoing
Don't try to degas unless the temperature is at or above 75 F
Just before bottling, if your wine is in a glass carboy, utilizing either a vacuum pump or a vaccu-vin do one more degas, just to be sure
When bottling, inside the bottle always allow ~two fingers of room between the top of the wine and the bottom of the cork
Always have a backup hydrometer handy
Never bottle cloudy wine

Runningwolf:
Own two more carboys of each size then you think you'll need. You never have enough
Ensure you own an extra hydrometer and glass thief
Stabilize before back sweetening
If it is not moving, ferment it
Never throw anything away. If its crap, mature it
You will never get 6 bottles to the gallon
If in doubt, improvise
Keep notes
make sure you keep all wines labelled at all stages of winemaking
Always present your homemade homebrew wine well

non-grapenut:
Dont forget the pectic enzyme!!!

myakkagldwngr:
Ferment juice, not water
Get everything you can from your fruit or berries before going to the gallons you are looking for

sirden1959:
best advise I can give is if you don't understand something, and have a question... ask it here, seek advice, then listen to it...

jdeere5220:
Let the wine tell you when it is done, Not the other way around

Julie:
Date your chemicals

ffemt128:
Always have a willing participant to taste your wine along side of you and to give you an honest opinion

steviepointer:
When deciding what to make next, make what SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) wants. Get it out of the way, so you can move on to making the good stuff

Daisy317:
Just because the recipe says so does not mean it will work for you. Don't be afraid to tweak a recipe to your taste
Make wine you like. There's no use of having a cellar full of wine you won't drink

non-grapenut:
If you have a friend or family member that DOESN'T like wine, have them taste test...THESE are your worst critics! If they say "that's do-able" then you know you have a weiner

PW
 
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Tom

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LOL !!
The 3 "T's"
Taste
Taset
Taste

Think out of the box.
 

granda

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always check weights and measurments twice and again for luck
 

Tom

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Use WineCalc to figure how much sugar to add.
 

pwrose

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Well it looks like things are shaping up nicely, and Tom seems to be the focus of it all. The center of attention if you will.

Keep em comin

PW
 

robie

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A check of specific gravity is the only reliable method to determine if fermentation is ongoing.

Don't try to degas unless the temperature is at or above 75 F.

Just before bottling, if your wine is in a glass carboy, utilizing either a vacuum pump or a vaccu-vin do one more degas, just to be sure.

When bottling, inside the bottle always allow ~two fingers of room between the top of the wine and the bottom of the cork.
 

robie

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Always have a backup hydrometer handy. They break easily, but they are cheap.

Never bottle cloudy wine. If it's not clear, it will stay that way and/or drop sediment in the bottle.
 
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1.If it is not moving, ferment it.
2.Never throw anything away. If its crap, mature it.
3.You will never get 6 bottles to the gallon.
4.If in doubt, improvise
 
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Keep notes.
Always keep some notes on what you have done to what wine. Then you can repeat your success and learn from your mistakes.

And make sure you keep all wines labelled at all stages of winemaking - a homebrew winemaker should know the contents of every gallon jar
 
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Always present your homemade homebrew wine well
Here we enter the psychology of wine serving. Serve some wine out of a clearly re-used lemonde bottle with an apology that it is "an experiment" and "you might not like it" and the recipient is likely to hate it.

Somehow it looks much more "professional" to be able to draw the cork from an labelled and capsuled bottle of wine rather than farting some wine into a visitors glass from the box in the fridge. "Ah yes," you say, "this was made from the fine blackberry harvest of 2007 and has been maturing in the cellar for over 2 years". You dust some cobwebs off the label and exclaim with mock suprise that you thought you'd drunk the last of the first bottling some time ago.

Give them enough psychology like that and they'll drink carpet cleaner if you fancy serving it. Ask the Scotch whisky industry, they've been doing it for years!
 
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