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Wine Making Commandments

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Quin

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Here are some tips that I wish I had followed when I first started making wine (commandments that I should not have broken). In the last 5 years, these have helped my wines go from WTF to yummy. I was wondering what other simple tips have helped you?

- Do not make wine while drinking.
- Use the best ingredients possible.
- Start with a primary volume that is greater than the planned finished wine volume.
- Keep the yeast happy.
- Limit oxygen exposure to the extent possible after the primary.
- Let the wine age.
- Do not bottle unbalanced or gassy wine.
- Learn what good balanced wine tastes like.
- Keep good notes.
- Read wine-making books, magazines, and this forum.
 
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Ajmassa

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Here’s A few more I’ve acquired

-make press and crush days a social event. Friends and family. Eat, drink and enjoy the day- long days require food in the belly and extra sets of hands. And make it a tradition to crack open a bottle of the previous years wine!

-if planning to age multiple years spend the extra $0.25 - $0.35 each for quality corks

-if making wine with a partner make sure they can be trusted and a clear $$ agreement beforehand -heard lots of horror stories.

-if making more than say 100 bottles a year- just buy new bottles

-adjust acid with caution. Same additions move ph differently year to year. And when in doubt shoot for 3.63

-there are no mistakes in winemaking- only learning experiences.
 

pgentile

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- make things like white and fruit wines to give away to family and friends so you can protect your red wine inventory
- make press and crush days a solo or limited event, so you don't get pissed at people breaking things and asking stupid questions
- tell most people your wine is not that good so it's better if you don't share it with them
- always drink beer while making wine, and drink wine while making beer
- if you don't have the patience for aging just call it beaujolais and drink away
 

pgentile

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Do not spill a drop unless your prepared to lick it up!
:dg
I still gasp whenever I spill any, but around here with 2 teenagers, 3 cats and a dog, when something hits the floor, it's a goner. Unless it's something the dog likes.
 

Stressbaby

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Lil' bump

I've added a commandment to my list - never bottle based on how it tastes straight from the carboy.

I've had many batches where I think I've nailed it based on samples pulled from the carboy, then after bottling the whole thing it didn't seem quite balanced.

My solution is to rack down...6 -> 5 + 1/2 + 1/2 or 5 -> 3 + 1 + 1/2 + 1/2, etc...bottle at least 2 x 750ml or 3 x 500ml, put them in the wine fridge, get them to the right temp then sample. If not right I work on tweaks before extrapolating the tweaks to the whole batch.
 

Country

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Still pretty new but here are my additions;

-Have a spare hydrometer, it’s a matter of when not if you will need it.
-Get the floor corker now.
-Never turn down free bottles.
-Before you make a major deviation or try to “fix” your wine, sleep on it!
-Come here and post often. :)
 

skyfire322

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Still pretty new but here are my additions;

-Have a spare hydrometer, it’s a matter of when not if you will need it.
-Get the floor corker now.
-Never turn down free bottles.
-Before you make a major deviation or try to “fix” your wine, sleep on it!
-Come here and post often. :)
+1,000,000 on everything here!
 

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