Helpful Tips for Making Your Own Homemade
Wine and Beer

Making your very own homemade wine or beer is really just about these three things:�

1.� supplies or equipment
2.� a recipe and ingredients
3.� a little knowledge

And remember, the first two things can be easily obtained by simply getting one of our prepared equipment kits
which already contain all of your needed supplies, and a recipe kit which gives you all of your ingredients and a recipe to follow.� So there's not much need for too much brain power yet!� Now you just need the "little bit of knowledge".� So here we will give you some information to help you get� familiar with the basic supplies and equipment that you need, and then you will be ready to brew up a storm!� Reading these helpful tips first will ease your mind about getting started.� First, we'll just go over the type of equipment that you need.� As mentioned above, we have already put together several wine making and brewing beginner equipment kits that contain all the components you need.� For example, one of our wine making equipment kits, the "Vintner's Best Equipment Kit (item #3010) contains:

- 7.9 Gallon Fermenter with Drilled & Gasketed Lid����������������
- 6 Gallon Better Bottle Plastic Carboy
- #6.5 Drilled Stopper to Fit Carboy

- Econolock
- Bottle Brush
- Wine Hydrometer
- Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser
- 30 - 8 x 1� Corks
- Fermtech Racking Tube
- 5 ft Siphon Tubing
- Fermtech Bottle Filler
- Plastic Shut Off Valve
- Equipment Instructions
- Easy Double Lever Corker

So, as you can see, it's all been taken care of for you.� I've highlighted that the kit even comes with equipment instructions!� What more could you ask for?� The only thing left is your bottles for bottling.� This kit even sends you 30 corks!� And believe me, this equipment is pretty simple to use.� I have made wine with my Dad several times, and it is pretty easy, not to mention enjoyable, and a nice memory to have...and he still makes some of the finest wine I have ever tasted if I do say so myself.

Now,� just a few other helpful tips about making homemade wine.� Cleanliness is essential in winemaking. You must clean all equipment before beginning, and you will notice that the equipment kit mentioned above already comes with an "easy clean no-rinse cleanser".� Any dirt or grime on the tools can grow mold and ruin the wine.� Make sure you clean the fermenter as well as the mixing utensils you will be using. The room in which the wine is being made should be around 70 degrees. It is important that it is not particularly cold or hot or the natural process through which wine is created will be compromised.�

Before we move on to some helpful tips about beer brewing, I will leave you with these simple steps to guide you in making your delicious homemade wine:

(this first step is only if you are the more experienced winemaker, and planning to make your homemade wine from produce - by purchaseing one of our convenient recipe kits will eliminate this whole step)
Prepare the wine making produce by cutting up larger fruit, busting skins on smaller fruit, chopping up fruits such as raisins, and bruising any produce like ginger root, etc. Also, any large pits should be removed. It is also important to understand that you can over-process the produce. Food processors, blenders and such should not be used for this purpose. Doing so will cause too much bitterness from the skin and seeds of the produce to be incorporated into the resulting wine.

Stir together all of the wine making ingredients called for, EXCEPT for the YEAST, into a primary fermenter. Collect any pulp in a fermentation bag and submerge the bag into the wine making mixture. Add water to equal the batch to 5 gallons. Then add 5 Campden Tablets. They should be crushed up before adding. Do not add the wine yeast at this point in the process. Adding the wine yeast at the same time you add the Campden Tablets will only result in destroying the yeast.

Cover the fermenter with a thin, clean towel and wait 24 hours. During this waiting period the Campden Tablets are sterilizing the juice with a mild sulfur gas. During the 24 hours the gas leaves the container making it safe to add the wine yeast.

Sprinkle the wine yeast over the surface of the juice and then cover with a thin, clean towel. Allow this mixture (must) to ferment for 5 to 7 days. You should start to see some foaming activity within 24 hours of adding the wine yeast. Typically, 70% of the fermentation activity will occur during this 5 to 7 day period.

After 5 to 7 days remove the pulp from the fermenter and discard. Siphon the wine into a secondary fermenter in a careful manner, so as to leave the sediment behind. You can easily remove the pulp by lifting out the fermentation bag. Wring out any excess juice from the bag. Siphon the wine off the sediment without stirring it up. Get as much liquid as you can, even it some of the sediment comes with it. If necessary, add water back to 5 gallons.

Attach a wine making air-lock and fill it approximately half-way with water. Allow the juice to ferment for an additional 4-6 week period or until it becomes completely clear. You may want to verify with your wine hydrometer that the fermentation has completed before continuing on to step 7. The wine hydrometer should read between 0.990 and 0.998 on the Specific Gravity scale. Be sure to give the wine plenty of time to clear up before bottling.

Once the wine has cleared completely, siphon it off of the sediment again. Stir in 5 Campden Tables that have been crushed and then bottle. When siphoning off the sediment this time, you want to leave all of the sediment behind, even if you lose a little wine.

Keep these Helpful Tips in mind and you will be making delcious homemade wine in no time!

How To Brew Your Own Homemade Beer

Now let's talk about homebrewing some crisp refreshing beer.� If you see the term "extract homebrewing" it simply means this:� Beer is made using the sugars from malted grains.� Malt extract is sugar extracted from malted grains. Malt extract can be purchased in either dry (DME) or liquid form (LME).� Remember these terms because you will see them in our homebrewing recipes kits.� By using extract brewing, the brewer can maximize time and efficiency.� Please visit our Beer Ingredient page to read more about these ingredients.

The life blood of your beer is the yeast.� Yeast consumes sugar.� Yeast produces the by-products of CO2 and alcohol as it consumes or "eats" the sugar.� While yeast will work at “eating” most sugars, malt sugars are ideal for their chemical make-up.� Some homebrewers under pitch dry homebrew yeast.� A minimum of 10 grams should be used.� Dry beer yeast can be pitched directly from the packet, although hydration in water will improve results. There is also pure pitchable liquid yeast called Wyeast.� You may choose from Ale, Lager, Wheat, and Belgian Wyeast.� You will see the term "White Labs" for yeast in the beer recipes.� White Labs, Inc. is a world leader in fermentation sciences for the beer brewing industry.� They manufacture liquid yeast for professional and amateur beer brewers.

Just like with making homemade wine, you will need to start with getting your supplies or equipment by purchasing one of our convenient homebrewing equipment kits already put together for you!� Again, it could'nt be more simple.� A basic homebrew equipment kit includes:

- 6.5 Gallon "Ale Pail" Primary Fermenter with Drilled & Grommeted Lid���������������������
- 6.5 Gallon "Ale Pail" Bottling Bucket with Bottling Spigot
- Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser
- Airlock
- Siphon & Bottling Set-up
- Home Beermaking Text
- Hydrometer
- Bottle Brush
- Twin Lever Capper
- Liquid Crystal Thermometer
- Bucket Clip
- Equipment Instructions

Again, for the beginner, some of these terms may be intimidating, but don't allow them to deter you from making some great homemade wine or beer!� Once you begin, you will find them self-explanitory and easier to understand.� Visit the Brewing Equipment page to see our huge selection of equipment and become more familiar by seeing pictures and reading more on the subject.� Also please visit the How to Brew page for more valuable information on the general topic of how to brew beer.� Another helpful tip regarding bottling of your beer is to remember that if you don't want to bottle each beer, you can always keg it!� Your friends will be amazed at your next keg party that you actually own the keg and made the beer inside of it!� So go to our Kegging Equipment page and learn more.

I hope that you will find these helpful tips valuable when beginning your new adventure into making your own homemade wines and beers.� Again, don't be intimidated by the unknown...remember to get your needed supplies by checking out our kits which are already put together for you, and refer back to this helpful tips page when necessary.�