Home wine making is a skill that’s easy to learn but difficult to master. Experience is the only way to get better, but the process is simple enough to start in an afternoon. In the simplest form of wine making, all you need to do is mix juice, sugar, and yeast and let it ferment for 10 to 30 days. However, the result won’t be particularly pleasant. Creating a rich and full-bodied wine requires carefully picking fruits that capture the flavor you want and relying on the right chemicals and equipment to give it the perfect taste.
Start by making sure all your equipment and ingredients are fully washed and cleaned. Pick sour or rotten fruit from the batch. If you don’t have a wine press, you’ll need to crush the fruit yourself, using a strainer, a bucket, and your clean feet.
Beer brewing is an art that is almost as old as civilization itself. For millennia, people have tried to craft and perfect their own home brewing recipes using different grains and equipment that helped them achieve good tasting beer. Today’s beer is mainly made from barley, and some beer enthusiasts would insist that a top-quality drink should only be made from barely. However, other grains are also just as capable of whipping up a great batch of the famous drink.
Wheat, sorghum, rye, oats, corn, rice, and even sugar are all known as adjuncts. The term “adjunct” refers to any unmalted grain used in beer brewing to supplement the main ingredient (commonly malted barley). Some people think that adjuncts are only used to cut down on production costs, since some grains like rice and corn are cheaper than barley.
Home brewers have two options when it comes to making beer at home: extract brewing and all-grain brewing. To begin with, it is important to understand the home brewing process itself.
Beer is a result of fermenting malt sugar. The traditional process of making beer is to mash grains, take the remaining sugars as base, introduce the yeast, and then wait for it to ferment. Traditionally, all-grain is the only way to brew beer; however, today’s technology has made it possible to brew even with extracts only. In simple terms, an extract is a ready-made malt that can be immediately used as a base. Extract brewing allows the brewers to skip over the malting and mashing process and go right ahead to the fermenting process.
It is common for beer lovers, particularly those who brew their own, to check their beer’s label and study the content. Some ingredients, like milk or fruits, can certainly point to the brewers’ creativity, but the use of chili peppers surely reflects the brewer’s preference for the hot stuff. If you want to give your homemade brew a kick, a dash of chili pepper could be the answer.
Caution: Hot Zone
In his article for Brew Your Own magazine, Scott Russell says there are many cardinal elements to consider before you even go about making your own chili beer. One main point is that the chili content must not overpower your brewed malt and hops. The beer itself should be well-brewed and can stand their ground.
There are many fruits which can be used for homemade wines. Specific citrus varieties, like tangerine, have become perennial favorites by home winemakers who want to craft something different from the products available at the nearest liquor store.
Tangerines, also known by their scientific name citrus reticulata, have been tagged as cousins of oranges. Along with satsumas, tangerines come from the Mandarin family of citrus trees, and both originated from Southeast Asia. Tangerines are recognizable by their smaller size compared to oranges, and are also easier to peel than oranges. Some of the well-known tangerine varieties include the much sought-after Wilking and Kinnow, the Nova, and the Changsha. However, you have to be careful when shopping around for tangerines – a few citrus fruits may be passed off as tangerines but are not “true” tangerines, such as Calamondins and Minneota Tangeloes.
Has six months passed since you made wine using your starter kit from The Brewmeister? That means the home-made wine sitting in your basement is now finally ready for tasting. But wait; do you know how to properly assess your wine? Knowing the proper wine tasting techniques will give you the necessary skill to determine if your home brewing recipes are successful.
Here are pointers on how to properly taste and assess wine:
1. Pouring the Wine – Proper wine tasting starts at the pouring itself. In a restaurant, the waiter will do this for you, but at your own home, you need to do it yourself. When pouring, make sure that the bottle is about 6-10 inches from the bottom of the glass, to allow the liquid to aerate as you pour, thus improving the taste.
Beer is almost as old as civilization itself. Some historians believe that beer making started some 10 millenniums ago when our ancient ancestors moved away from hunting and gathering, and started agriculture. Nobody really knows how it was invented, but the common belief is that a barrel of bread or grain got wet and turned into pulp. Someone must have tried this pulp, either out of curiosity or hunger, and found it good. Majority of the ancient civilizations, like the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians, included the drink in many of their religious ceremonies.
One has to wonder, however, if the beer made today is still the same as the ancient beer that our ancestors created. The answer is no. While the brewing process and techniques remain largely unchanged, the home brewing supplies back then were different.