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Tips for Timing Your Fermentation

Most importantly, never go by the number of days suggested by the instructions in the kit. Always use your hydrometer to get within the required range for each step.A client recently brought in a weak wine which was fermented according to days rather than actual Specific Gravity.  Calgary's dramatic barometric pressure shifts and high altitude mean that if you do not monitor your Specific Gravity then you may not allow for complete fermentation.  If you stabilize at 14 days (accor...

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POSTED February 10th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


On Corks

The Home Vintner has had a 100 per cent guarantee on all our wine and beer kits since 1993.  Customer satisfaction is very important to us at all our locations.  In order to honour this guarantee, it is absolutely essential that you use our premium corks, as there are many substandard corks on the market. We see wine ruined on a weekly basis because of cheap corks. Please also remember to peel off the bar code sticker on the top of your wine kit box to keep wit...

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POSTED February 9th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says

PORTLAND, Ore.  — The Huffington Post on Friday reported on a new study out of The University of Alberta that shows that drinking a glass of red wine may have the same effect on the body as an hour at the gym.A component in the wine, resveratrol, was seen to improve physical performance, heart function and muscle strength similar to the affect exercise has on the body.Principal investigator Jason Dyck says, “I think resveratrol could help patient populat...

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POSTED January 18th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Raving About Dessert Wine

Comment from a client: I just tasted my 3 year old raspberry chocolate port! It is soooooo good I am glad I waited that long, it was difficult to wait, but the result is delicious! Chocolate, tart and sweet all at the same time a great dessert on its own, no pie or ice cream needed.

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POSTED January 15th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Rediscover the Time & Place for Lighter Reds

We all have our favorite body strength in red wine, mine changes every day. Our Little Black Book of Wine available in all our stores has a special legend at the back that tells you the style, body, oak type if included and the sweetness of each kit.Some like a rich body and deep concentration, others enjoy a more moderate red with lots of red berry fruit intermixed with other herbaceous and/or spicy notes with a leaner body with a refreshing finish.The first cardinal rule is to not serve delica...

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POSTED January 6th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS


Filtering Wine

Should you filter? Only if you want to polish up your wines. Filtering is a personal choice and not a requirement. The Home Vintner has carefully selected a style of filter system to minimize the impact and enhance the character of the wines.Our systems reduce filter shock and allows the wine to recover much more quickly. We use the best quality filter pads available which we have tested ourselves. Cheaper pads will leave bits of paper in your wine and result in a cardboard taste.We have a...

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POSTED December 29th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Combatting Fruit Flies

It's that time again - the inevitable return of our sworn enemy – the common fruit fly. Minute little flying monkeys of doom, they're hard to exclude from your winemaking areas, and while they're easy to kill, by the time you've swatted one, thirteen more have materialized out of thin air, looking for a free meal! The reason why we need to be concerned over the little monsters isn't just that they're unsightly and chewy when you discover one inside a mouthful of Chardonnay. No, it's their...

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POSTED November 25th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Hops & Beer

Hops were introduced to beer in the 15th century as a preservative and flavouring agent. Extra hops can add more dimension to your beer:      - a bittering characteristic or      - a distinctive flavour or      - aroma• Hallertau – used in lager, pilsner and wheat beers• Cascade – American ales, IPA or Porter• Saaz – Pilsner, Lager or Lambic• Fuggle – English beers and American ales&...

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POSTED October 27th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


Notes on Ageing

Most red wines, when young, have obvious fruity aromas and some degree of astringency or "bite". With age, they will develop softer, gentler, more complex aromas and flavours. They become richer as the fruit mellows and the astringency of the tannins relax, giving the finished wine its body and character.Many white wines also benefit with age.  High acid levels will soften over time, uncovering wonderful textures and flavours. Ageing your wine in an environment which helps preserve its fine...

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POSTED October 23rd, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


Bittering Hops

The trend in craft beer is to enjoy higher IBU’s (International Bittering Units) than in the past. Make your Barons beer kit as usual, remove about 4 L of the wort and place into a stainless steel pot. Add your hops and simmer for one hour. Once cooled add the 4 L of malt to your primary. Stir in your bentonite and sprinkle your yeast on the surface.The rule of thumb is:     • Aroma Hops – simmer for less than 5 minutes or dry hop in your primary  &...

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POSTED October 14th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Storing Your Wine

Drastic changes in temperature will rapidly ruin bottled wine. Ideal conditions for storage are a steady 7 to 13 degrees C.  Although maturation is slower, more complexity will develop. Stored at 20 degrees, wine will mature much faster.  No matter what, always keep your wine away from direct light, as ultraviolet rays are particularly harmful.Some degree of humidity is beneficial for long term storage.  Beware of air conditioners, as they actually suck moisture out of the air. Id...

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POSTED October 12th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


Pinot Noir

Super light reds sometime get a poor reputation with serious wine drinkers, partly from a misconception that a good red wine needs to have a rich body and deep concentration. But that is not always true – depending on what you are looking for. Super light reds can give lots of red berry fruit intermixed with other herbaceous and/or spicy notes with a feather weight body and refreshing finish.The first cardinal rule is to not serve super light reds at room temperature! Light reds can seem t...

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POSTED October 2nd, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


Allergic Reaction to Red Wine

Some people think they are allergic to sulphites. The fact is, sulphite allergies are very rare. It's more likely that they're having a histamine reaction.  What most people describe as a sulphite headache is a reaction to compounds found in wine known as bioamines.  An example of a bioamine is malolactic fermentation. Some commercial wineries add malolactic bioamines before the end of alcohol fermentation in order to get the wine on the market sooner.  The Home Vin...

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POSTED October 2nd, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


The Crab Tree Effect

Why does homemade beer sometimes tastes more like cider? Catabolite repression is the technical term when beer kits are cut with large amounts of sucrose or glucose. The yeast will behave differently creating by-products, which leaves a cidery taste. Fusel alcohols will remain, giving a cloying unnatural sweetness combined with a harsh bitterness and a deceptive impression of body and mouth feel.The Home Vintner prides itself on supplying the best beer kits and add on packs for our discerning cu...

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POSTED August 10th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Locals Create Winning Wines

There is some excellent wine making going on in Airdrie. Friends Kellie Babin and Kelly Mackay both earned gold at the 2015 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition, April 10-12 in Vermont. “It was quite exciting, I didn’t expect to win a medal at all, let alone a gold and bronze,” said Mackay, explaining she shipped bottles to the competition and was thrilled to be successful. Babin was equally excited to put Airdrie’s name on the map. “We’ve been hap...

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POSTED August 7th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

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