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Summertime, and the Cookin' Is Easy

Some works of art require only soil, sunlight and waterOne of my favorite things about summer is eating fresh, in-season produce from my own garden. When I was younger, I prided myself on eating fresh food because I bought quality produce from the green grocer. Eventually I came to understand that fresh might mean it had been picked [...]

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A Long Tale, Part Two: Racking the Skins

Note: This blog is second in a series of 'long tail' articles. There are a lot of winemaking techniques that can be demonstrated in a couple of paragraphs, but great wine doesn't happen in one day or even in one month: a lot of techniques don't show off their results for months or even years. [...]

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Advanced Techniques #1: Post Fermentation Maceration

Note: This blog is one of a series of 'long tail' articles. There are a lot of winemaking techniques that can be demonstrated in a couple of paragraphs, but great wine doesn't happen in one day or even in one month: a lot of techniques don't show off their results for months or even years. [...]

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Anti-Rhapsody In Blue

That just ain't rightRhapsody a state of overwhelming usually pleasurable emotion. Antonym: depression Have you ever noticed that all modern blockbuster movies are shot in two colors these days? They alternate between blue and orange. This severe restriction of color palette is referred to as 'amber and teal' in the industry, and it's one of the worst [...]

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Sulfites: The Facts

Is that what they mean by 'hot pants'? There's no such thing as an allergic reaction to sulfite.  As someone once observed, ' that's a bold statement'. It's probably the most controversial thing I've ever said, and I say it a lot.  Sadly, the Internet seems to have become a platform that allows people to be simultaneously incredibly well [...]

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Jumpin' Jack Flash, It's the Gas, Gas, Gas

Tiny bubbles, in the wine . . .  Damn! and just when I was starting to get it. -- Edward Degas, on his deathbed. Degas, despite his cool name, did not make wine, but rather art.  Degassing can be a contentious subject for people making their first wine from kits. It's crucial for the success of the kit to [...]

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Hydrometers: the Eureka Moment

εύρηκα!  ---Archimedes "Remember kids, the only difference between science and screwing around is writing it down." ---Adam Savage Home winemakers have two basic tools that supply them with most of their data, the thermometer and the hydrometer. Thermometers allow us to monitor the temperature of our wine and adjust the environment to keep it in the right range for fermentation. Hydrometers allow [...]

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A Kegful of Questions

A few days ago I posted about my  sweet new Master Vintner Cannonball Kegging system. I love it, and I'm never going to let it sit empty, ever--it's so easy to use, and is perfect for taking my wine anywhere I want.  However, in my enthusiasm, I skipped past the fact that a lot of winemakers won't [...]

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Master Vintner and the Case of the Missing Bentonite

“Data!data!data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay.” An astute winemaker contacted me this morning, with a very pertinent question.  Tim, I met you at the Milwaukee NB store. I did the Master Vintner Pinot Noir yesterday and was kind of surprised that there was no Bentonite. I thought that you [...]

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Making Master Vintner II, Rack and Roll, and I Feel Fine

Nothing brings a smile to my face like lots and lots of wine does. A few weeks ago I started ten Master Vintner Kits (as one does). It was time to do some racking. In order I was going to  Gather my equipmentSanitize my carboys, bungs, airlocks, racking hoses, hydrometer and test jarTest and record the specific gravity [...]

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