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Toronto U Brew

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Visitors to BC may be familiar with the “U-Brew” concept, a store in which all the work is done for you and all you have to do is bottle the finished wine.  Sounds like a good deal?  Read on …
I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, visiting a similar store in order to review some of their procedures.  The thing I noticed above all is that some of these places are cutting corners in order to rush the wine out the door due to space restrictions and demands on the employee’s time.  Where they most often go off course is omitting the VIGOROUS stirring in the primary that is of the utmost importance!   This of course undermines the quality of the product and the clients end up bottling substandard wine. 
These stores are not legal in Alberta as of now, so for the time being we have to do all the work in our homes, ourselves.  All the wines that the Home Vintner carries contain natural sugars from the grapes, which is difficult to dissolve, requiring extremely vigorous stirring in the primary fermentor.  After stirring WELL, take a hydrometer reading, if it is low, stir, stir, stir again!  You can lose about 25 per cent of the weight and character if stirring is not done thoroughly.  A little extra time, care and vigilance at the stage will reward you with the most from your wine.

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