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Paul's Beer tip! Simmering Your Wort

One of the great things about Barons beer kits is the no-boil convenience, simply sanitize your equipment, mix your malt with water, pitch your yeast and you’re good to go! However, if you decide to add bittering or flavouring hops to your beer they’ll need to be simmered to isomerize the alpha acids. It helps to simmer them in some of the reconstituted wort, to meld the flavours properly. Make up your beer as usual, remove 3 to 4 litres of wort to a pot of at least 8 litres volume, and...

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POSTED April 20th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Wine tip! Bottle Stink

When young wines are put into the bottle they sometimes carry a residual aroma of fermentation with them, often a hint of hydrogen sulphide or simply a slightly yeasty character.  This usually dissipates with time, but if you’re drinking your wine young, decanting it before serving or swirling it in the glass will often drive off most of the aroma.If the stinkiness persists, your wine may have hydrogen sulphide or excess sulphite.   Also, make sure  your wine is completely...

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POSTED April 20th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Beer tip! Hops

Adding extra hops is an excellent way to customize your Barons beer.  Even though the beers are precisely hopped and have balanced flavours, most home brewers feel in their heart that there is no such thing as too much hops.   Unless you are well versed with hop types, make sure you stick to classic varieties.  Some hops can provide unusual flavours and aromas if used inappropriately.  For North American ales try Cascade, for German beers use Hallertau or Saaz, and for English...

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POSTED April 20th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Wine tip! Rent the Home Vintner Degassing Machine

One of the problems in Calgary and area is our higher altitude. It can be difficult to remove the C02 gas from the wine after fermentation ceases. We recommend removing the excess gas from the wine right after stabilizing, as a high C02 concentration can also impede the ability of the clearing agents to bond properly. We dissuade our customers from beating the gas out of the wine with attachments connected to a drill, as after a number of days with this abuse to the wine...

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POSTED April 20th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Beer tip! Keeping it Fresh.

The lifespan of a beer is directly related to its alcohol content, darkness, sweetness, and hop content. Darker beers with a higher alcohol content, for example, will generally last longer than a very light, low alcohol beer. Also, be sure you check for freshness on the shelf before you buy! Read the product codes on the box ---if those codes are missing, you can bet they’ve been deliberately removed and you can be sure the product has expired. Think about your own needs when you choose between...

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POSTED March 28th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Wine Tip: To Filter, or Not to Filter?

Should you filter your wine kit or not?  Half of our customers don’t filter their wine kits, but the other half do! The Home Vintner uses a filter system that is very gentle on your wine. To see if your wine is brilliantly clear, take a sample glass into a darkened room and shine a flashlight through it. Don’t look into the light, instead look into the glass from the side to see if the beam is still visible as it travels through the wine.  It could look something like a sunbeam...

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POSTED March 28th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Decanting Your Wine

 Decanting is a word that conjures up mystery and ritual. According to Webster's dictionary, to decant is to “pour off gently, as liquor, so as not to disturb the sediment, or to pour from one vessel into another: as to decant wine.” Very old wines and vintage Ports are decanted to separate the clear wine from the sediment in the bottle,but for the most part wine is decanted in order to expose it to oxygen. Wine industry experts argue back and forth about the benefits of decanting...

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POSTED March 28th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Beer Tip! Keep Calm and Brew On

Once you’ve made your beer, treat it gently and with respect. It is surprisingly sensitive and doesn’t like to be agitated. Do not store it on the door shelf of your fridge, for example. All that opening and closing can affect the flavour and aroma. Do keep it cool and try to keep it in a place where the temperature remains fairly constant.  Do not quick chill it in the freezer. That sudden temperature change can destroy some of those valuable sensory qualities. Give it an hour or...

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POSTED March 2nd, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Spring is in the Air, Time to Prepare!

Spring will be in the air soon.  It's time to start one of the Island Mist kits. Although your wines look good in bottles with labels and shrink tops, and definitely will age well this way, our food grade wine bags can be convenient storage for a short period of time, and increases transportability. Good for camping trips, back yard entertaining, and other summertime activities. Our Island Mist kits, with their lower alcohol and strong fruit flavours , don't seem to mind a...

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POSTED March 2nd, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Wine Gummies

We recently stumbled across a recipe that seemed too goo to be true, Wine Gummy Bears!Well, we tried it out, and the results were amazing. This recipe could be replicated with red, white, rose, or even port! We would suggest leaving out the sugar if you try these with Port, since Port is already sugar heavy. these gummies turned our sweet, chewy like a gummy, and with still some of the depth of the wine shining through. We used the Limited Edition Fourtitude wine, and it was perfect. Here is...

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POSTED March 2nd, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS


Paul's Wine Tip! Avoiding Oxidation

Oxidation is the result of too much air contact during racking, storing and bottling and/or insufficient sulfite. The odour is primarily due to acetaldehyde, the oxidation product of ethanol.Without sulfite, colour and aroma compounds react with oxygen. With oxidation the fruity aroma disappears and is replaced by an "aldehyde" or "sherry" aroma.  As oxidation proceeds, red wines change from bright red to brick red and then brown.  White wines change from yellow to gold to brown.

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POSTED January 31st, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Wine Diamonds

When opening and pouring some of your aged wines, you may see small crystals on the bottom of the cork or in the bottom of your glass or bottle.  These completely harmless particles are known as wine diamonds or tartrates.When the wine kit juices are shipped to the kit facility, they are pumped into nitrogen-purged tanks, tested for quality and stability and held at very low temperature. This both speeds up the formation of wine diamonds (crystals of potassium bitartrate...

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POSTED January 31st, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Paul's Beer Tip! WHOLE GRAIN BREAD ( Using “ spent” grains )

Thanks to a recipe from our customer, Rocky Wallbaum, here’s a good way to use grains left over after you brew a kit of beer which has you add grains to water, which you’ll add to your wort.  After you’ve drained the liquid off the grains, let them cool, then package in 1 cup sandwich bags and freeze.  Thaw one bag at a time and make great bread!  Use 1 bag to make 1 loaf of multi grain bread.  Rocky’s recipe is as follows: Whole grain bread (using...

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POSTED January 30th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Beer Contest Results are in!

We would first like to thank all that participated in our recipe contest – there were some interesting tasting submissions! We have selected three winners. One will be a new recipe add-pack, one will be a recipe, and one is a twist off an existing recipe add-pack.  Winners will receive a free Barons Beer kit of their choice. Nick’s Tranquilo Amarillo Session Ale: This wheat ale was very pale yellow in color, light looking with a light body but packed with flavour. The aromatics dance...

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POSTED January 25th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Paul's Beer Tip! - Aging your Beer

The first three months of aging your beer in the bottle makes a big difference to its character and its head retention.  Unlike some commercial beers that have a short shelf life, the more malt and the more hops in the beer, the longer it can age.  The British increased  the hops in their beers to make the journey to India, e.g., India Pale Ales.Our Barons kits have more malt and hops than most other kits so have that ability to improve over the first year.  Lighter beers, like...

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POSTED December 30th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

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