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... more

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 (usin... more

POSTED January 30th, 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 kits have more malt and hops than most other kits so have that ability to improve over the first year.  Lighter beers, like our... more

POSTED December 30th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Paul's Wine Tip! Fermentation Problems Associated with Temperature

This time of year, it's important to pay attention to your fermentation temperature. Your kits are designed to ferment at room temperature , generally a range of 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. If it's much above 32 degrees Celsius, you may have added too much hot water to the must and the yeast could be dead. Let the must cool to the recommended maximum in your instructions, and pitch a fresh package of yeast.If the temperature of the must is below 18 degrees Celsius, warm the must up... more

POSTED December 30th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Paul's Wine Tip! What causes Oxidation in Wine?

We all know that oxidization can ruin any wine, but what causes this? Well, the answer is simple: oxidization is the result of too much air contact with the wine, or insufficient sulfite levels. This can occur at any point during the winemaking process, as of course it does with the finished product. For example, oxidization can occur during the racking process, and as such it is important to minimize how many times you rack your wine, as well as to use either our vaccuvin system to remove exces... more

POSTED November 26th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Specific Gravity and Skins Kits

Many premium wine kits now include skins packages. The addition of grape skins improves and enhances the body, mouth-feel, tannin, color and most importantly – FLAVOUR. There are also heart smart properties associated with contact with the skins. When making one of these kits, initial specific gravity readings may not be as expected. Each of these wine kits come with the appropriate type of grape skins package for style. The sugar content naturally occurring in the skins package will vary... more

POSTED October 17th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Red Velvet Dessert Wine - The Experience!

I had a chance to taste this wine recently, and was SO IMPRESSED that I wanted to get out a review asap.An Airdrie customer gave a review recently from tasting at bottling. She loved the wine, loved the huge chocolate, and was happy it was not too sweet. I found the "not too sweet review" interesting - and wondered - what does that really mean?Lets just say that tasting it was WAY BETTER than hearing about it! Thanks again to Deirdre for sharing. It took a full five minutes before the joy o... more

POSTED October 4th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Beer Tip - Cold Conditioning

Cold conditioning is the process of holding finished ale at low temperatures (close to freezing) for several days.  Fermentation activity ceases and the yeast drops out of suspension, leaving a clear beer with a smooth flavour.  In effect, it gracefully ages the beer, leaving it much more stable over time.Both lagering and conditioning are best accomplished in a fridge dedicated to beer.  External thermostats can easily convert an old fridge or chest freezer to a beer cooler. ... more

POSTED September 26th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Hops - Customizing your Beer Kits

Almost all contemporary beer contains hops of some variety, which were not utilized as an ingredient for beer until the 16th century. Craft beer enthusiasts today do everything from blending a variety of hops, to highlighting a single stunning hop.  Our beer kits are precisely hopped and have balanced flavours. Having said that, most home brewers feel in their hearts that there is no such thing as too many hops!Adding extra hops is an excellent way to customize your beer kit. We recommend s... more

POSTED September 19th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

The Greatness of Port

Port (or what is called Vinho Porto in Portugal) is a fortified wine exclusively from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. There are many other countries that produce fortified wine (Canada, the United States, France, Australia) but only wines from Portugal can be called Port.Port is one of the best dessert wines around, it’s unique, robust, often woody body balances out the sweetness perfectly. Port wines are also versatile; in that they can be consumed at the end of th... more

POSTED August 24th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Pairing With Port

Traditional style dessert wines as well as the specialty flavoured limited release styles are not just for sipping after dinner with dessert. As such a great finish to a meal, with the full body, higher alcohol and sweetness, this wine tends to get left as a stand alone sipper or paired with sweet desserts. Truly it’s time to get out of that box and let this wine sing! With our Selection Specialé Dessert Style wine, try pairing with ginger. Gingerbread cookies can temper the sweetne... more

POSTED August 23rd, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Grape Skins and enhancing your wine kits.

You may have noticed a trend in home winemaking, which is the addition of grape skins in selected wine kits. Skins can be a great addition to your home wine kit, after all commercial wineries ferment their wines with maximum skin contact. We stock several kits that include skins such as our Eclipse line,  and our World Vineyard 12L line of kits.Why add extra grape skins? Adding extra skins to your kits can enhance your wine in many ways. Skins can help add more dimension, more characte... more


Beer Tip - serving techniques

Enjoy your beer when it's refreshingly cool, not ice cold. You'll want to savour all the subtleties and aromatics of a fine brew – something you just can't do when it's cold enough to numb your palate. If you can set the temperature controls on your fridge, aim for something in the 7-10 degree Celsius range. Don't drink it directly from the bottle – you'll end up with a stomach full of gas. Do choose a good quality beverage container – clear glass, or stoneware. If yo... more


Never judge a beer by it’s description.

I just got back from Vancouver While there I was doing a lot of tasting of craft beers, and have found a wildly diverse interpretation of styles. There is a lot of very good beers, but also a number of clumsy attempts. Many were out of balance and/or over-bitter for the type or style. They were not at all what you should expect from the brewer’s claims. My concern for our beer customers is that is they try a Kolsch or a White IPA, and it’s not very good, that they will judge all of t... more


Pairing Wine and Romance!

Finding the right wine to go with a great meal is an integral part of enhancing the romance of any meal!If you want that special occasion to be as perfect as possible, then choosing the right wine to go with your meal can lift your occasion to the next level. A perfect pairing can really bring that “wow-factor” to the table -  when wine and food complement each other so well that the flavours of both ‘pop’.At the Home Vintner we have all your bases covered! This mont... more


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