Beer & Wine Hobby Blog

  • Buon Vino Filter Trouble Shooting

    Q: Why Should I use "Buon Vino" Filter Pads?

    A: You should use Buon Vino Filter Pads because the micron sizes and consistency of Buon Vino Filter Pads have been designed to give optimal performance when used with Buon Vino wine filters. The flow rate of the pump is designed to work in conjunction with the Buon Vino Filter Pads to give you the best filtration possible. For more information, please visit the Filter Pads page here.  Continue reading

  • Grains for Brewing

    Barley malt is the basis of most beers. The malting process converts the starches in the grain to sweeter, softened kernels. The grain is first steeped in water until it has absorbed a fair amount of moisture; then drained and kept at controlled temperatures until it begins to sprout. During this time, enzymes are activated which will later convert starch to sugar. The sprouting is halted by gently drying the malt. The sprouts are removed and the malt cured before use. The remaining starches are later converted in a process called “mashing” to fermentable sugars by the previously activated enzymes. Modification refers to how much of the original starch had been used in the germination process. The higher the modification, the more starch was used. Highly modified malts are easier to mash, yield a clearer beer, but also have less sugar to extract into the wort. Less modified malts will yield more sugar after a mash, but also require a controlled mash schedule and protein rest. Continue reading

  • Using Your Buon Vino Filter

    Filtering can render wine instantly clear. Filtration can remove yeast, bacteria, and grape debris from the wine, making it more stable. Stable wines are less likely to change their appearance or taste with time. By removing yeast or bacteria that could referment the sugars, the amount of SO2 and other chemical preservatives can be reduced.

    Filtering works by removing small particles from wine. If your wine is young (less than two months old) or very cloudy, a filter will clog too quickly to clear any of the wine. The large particles in a young or cloudy wine block the filter pads, causing the pressure inside the filter plates to rise. This in turn causes the wine to spray out the sides of the filter and puts stress on the pump and hoses. Continue reading

  • Calculating Specific Gravity For Your Beer or Wine

    The specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a liquid to the density of water. Water has a specific gravity of 1.000. In case of wine, as you add sugar (water soluble) the specific gravity increases, for example 1.015. The specific gravity indicates the amount of fermentable sugar or potential alcohol in the must (or wine).

    A hydrometer is used to measure the specific gravity and has three scales, Specific Gravity, Balling or Brix and Alcohol Content. The Balling or Brix scale expresses the amount of sugar as a weight percent and the Alcohol scale indicates the potential alcohol content. To determine the alcohol content, you must take two readings, one before fermentation and another after fermentation is complete. Subtract the two numbers (Alcohol Scale) and the difference is the alcohol content of the wine. Continue reading

  • Malolactic Fermentation and Your Wine

    What is Malolactic Fermentation?

    'Malolactic fermentation' (ML) describes a fermentation by bacteria (leuconostoc oenos) that are able to convert malic acid from grapes into lactic acid. It occurs alongside, and in addition to regular fermentation, and can be desirable for two reasons:

    Reducing excess acidity. By converting the relatively harsh tasting malic acid into the softer lactic, ML softens the flavour of the wine.
    Adding complexity. In addition to converting the acid, malolactic bacteria can add a component of 'buttery' flavour (diacetyl), along with more complex flavours and aromas. Continue reading

  • Beer Making Frequently Asked Questions

    What is “Single Stage” brewing? “Two Stage”? “Blow-by Method”?

    Single Stage: the beer goes through the entire fermentation cycle in one bucket. It should be brewed at room temperature (65-75ºF), take about 5-7 days, and be bottled as soon as it is finished fermenting. As beer brews, a sediment is formed, and if the beer sits on this sediment too long, it will pick up some “off” flavors. This is nothing that will harm or hurt you, but will just taste and/or smell bad. The sediment consists of spent yeast, used hop pellets, and boiling by-products. Continue reading

  • Sulphite Facts

    Potassium Metabisulphite is a stable source of sulfur dioxide in winemaking. The use of sulfur compounds is not a recent innovation. The great Dutch shipping empire popularized the use of sulfur in the 16th century by refusing to ship any wines not treated. They insisted on sulphites because sulphite treated wines were the only ones that survived a long sea voyage without turning into vinegar. Continue reading

  • Brew King 5 Liter Mini Keg Instructions

    Mini Keg Instructions

    Note: These instructions refer to both the white two-cylinder and black one-cylinder adapters. As of 2011, the manufacturer discontinued the two-cylinder adapter. The 2-cylinder design accommodates 2 CO2 cartridges or 1 nitrous oxide and 1 CO2 cartridge (for Guinness style recipes).

    For a 5 gallon batch of beer you will need: (4) Mini Kegs, (4) Two-Piece Re-usable Bungs, a Tap-A-Draft Dispensing Regulator, a white Tap-A-Draft Adapter and CO2 Cartridges. Continue reading

  • Wine & Must Additions

    Wine and Must Additions

    Sugar Additions

    Add table sugar to increase the specific gravity of juice. To calculate the amount needed, take an initial gravity reading. Subtract that from the specific gravity you wish to begin with. The difference will determine how much sugar to add. For example: the initial specific gravity is 1.068, and the desired gravity is 1.085; 1.085-1.065 = 0.02, so the gravity must increase by 0.02 degrees. Continue reading

  • 2.5 Gallon Barrel Beer Recipe & Instructions

    2.5 Gallon Barrel Beer Recipe Instructions 

    In general:
    * All beers are brewed at room temperature. The beers will brew in 5-7 days, and should be bottled within 10 days.
    * Corn sugar or malt should be used for added sugar. Cane sugar can cause winey or cidery flavors. Continue reading

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