What do I need to make beer?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Aside from a Brewer’s Best ingredient kit you’ll need some basic equipment: a primary fermenter, a carboy, siphon rod and hose, bung, airlock, a spoon, a thermometer and a hydrometer—which are all available packaged into one box so you don’t miss any items. Other than that you’ll need to purchase some sanitizing agents and obtain a brewing pot of 12 litres (three gallons) or larger in size, which most people already have. Depending on how much beer you want to make you could purchase extra carboys, or add a larger brew pot, and some people find a kegging system a wonderful way to enjoy their craft brewed beer, but you can start with the basics and get brewing right away!
How many bottles does it make?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Brewer’s best kits make 19 litres, or about five Imperial gallons of beer, which yields 4-dozen standard 330 ml bottles—eight six-packs.
Are there commercial craft beer’s that are similar?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
All of the Brewer’s Best styles are based on commercial equivalents, many of which you’ll already be familiar with. On the other hand, some are very specialized styles— while they are available in some areas, many people might not have not tried smoked beers or beers made with Rye!
Is it expensive to make craft beer?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Not at all! You’ll need to by the equipment and come up with a brewing pot, which should cost around $100 dollars or so, but that will pay for itself with your first batch. In fact, you’ll find that even a standard beer recipe will save you at least half off the commercial price, and when you start making bigger and bolder styles, you’ll cut your beer budget my more than two-thirds!
I have to use sanitizers on my equipment – Why and are they safe?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Cleanliness is next to goodliness: as with any food preparation, it’s important to keep your working areas and equipment both clean and sanitary. One of the reasons that beer ferments so well is the highly nutritious makeup of the wort (unfermented beer). Yeast grow well in beer, and so would other micro-organisms. Cleaning to remove soils, stains or other matter, followed by the use of a sanitizing treatment will ensure that only the yeast get a chance to act on the beer.
The sanitizers used in beer making are as safe and useful as any home cleaning product—in most cases they are actually much less harsh, as they are designed to be safe for use with food products.
Is craft beer making popular?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
It’s no exaggeration to say that craft beer making has exploded in the last decade: tens of thousands of people now brew their own beer, with more starting every day, and interest in new styles and brewing techniques, beer festivals and beer clubs continues to grow. In fact it is so popular even US President Obama does it in the White House.
Do I have to age my beer before I can drink it?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Fresh beer is best! Once your Brewer’s Best beer has completed fermentation, you’ll have to wait two to three weeks for it to carbonate in the bottle, and then you can enjoy delicious fresh beer.
How long does it take?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Your first brew day will take a little bit longer as you sort your way through equipment and ingredients, but when you’ve got that under your belt you can make a fresh batch of Brewer’s Best beer in less than two hours, from start to finish.
What styles of craft beer can I make?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
There are over fifty styles of beer available, from standards like American lager or English Pale Ale to Imperial India Pale Ale and Robust Porter: you could make a new beer every week and not repeat yourself for a year! You can make your favorite commercial style or try something new and delicious.
Is it hard to make?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
If you can successfully make a pot of tea or coffee, you already possess all the skills necessary to make your own craft beer. The only two things that are out of the ordinary for most people are sanitation—keeping everything clean and sanitized ensures good beer—and a small amount of patience you’ll need as you wait a few weeks until you can drink your beer.
What will my craft beer taste like?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
The answer might surprise people who have never brewed before: it will taste excellent! Most non-brewers haven’t had the good fortune to taste really fresh beer, and fresher is better! The flavours are lush and bright, with rich maltiness, bright grainy notes, crisp hops and refreshing carbonation, all true to style, from dark, luscious stout to tangy German Hefeweizen.
Why should I get into craft beer making?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
People make their own beer for a variety of reasons. It can be cheaper than buying commercially equivalent beers; it allows people to adjust recipes according to their own tastes, creating unique beverages that aren’t available anywhere else; entering your own beers into competition is a wonderful challenge and gives great feedback. But mainly you should get into craft brewing for the same reasons you learned to prepare your own food: you can control the flavour and aroma of your beer, the ingredients that go into it and take pride in making a great beer—and sharing it with others.
What is craft beer making?- from on Wednesday August 21st, 2013
Craft beer making/ brewing is the brewing of beer and other beverages through fermentation on a small scale as a hobby for personal consumption, amateur brewing competitions or other non-commercial reasons.
Brewing on a domestic level has been done for many thousands of years, but has been subject to regulation and prohibition during some time periods in certain places. Modern craft brewing is now convenient, easily accessible and yields excellent results from the very first batch.
What about Sulfites in wine? Do I need them? I think they give me a headache!
- from on Friday June 25th, 2010
We will defer to a great article written by Mary Gorman:
“Contains Sulfites.” Just two little words — yet so frequently misunderstood! Words you see on almost every bottle of wine. What are sulfites? Are they really bad? Do they cause wine headaches or other related ills?
The term ‘sulfites’ is an inclusive term for sulfur dioxide (SO2). SO2 is a preservative and widely used in winemaking (and indeed most food industries), because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. SO2 plays a very important role in maintaining a wine’s freshness.
Consumption of sulfites is generally harmless, unless you suffer from severe asthma or do not have the particular enzymes necessary to break down sulfites in your body. The amount of sulfites that a wine can contain is highly regulated around the world. Any wine containing more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur dioxide must affix to the label ‘contains sulfites’.
Myth #1: Red wine has extra sulfites, and therefore causes headaches
In the EU the maximum levels of sulfur dioxide that a wine can contain are 160 ppm for red wine, 210 ppm for white wine and 400 ppm for sweet wines. Quite similar levels apply in the US, Australia and around the world.
The fact that red wines typically contain less sulfites may seem surprising to people who blame sulfites for their red wine headaches!
Red wines contain tannin, which is a stabilizing agent. Additionally, almost all red wines go through malolactic fermentation. Therefore, less sulfur dioxide is needed to protect the wine during winemaking and maturation. So there goes myth #1.
Myth #2: Sulfites in wine cause headaches
Medical research is not definitive on the relationship between sulfites and headaches. There are many other compounds in wine such as histamines and tannins that are more likely connected to the headache effect (not to mention alcohol!).
Myth #3: Wine should be avoided, because of the sulfites it contains
Another surprising fact is that wine contains about ten times less sulfites than most dried fruits, which can have levels up to 1000 ppm. So if you regularly eat dried fruit and do not have any adverse reaction you are probably not allergic to sulfites.
While the figures I have stated are maximum SO2 levels, discussions with many winemakers over the years would lead me to believe that in practice, sulfite levels are generally well below the maximum permitted limits.
Myth #4: Sulfites are inherently unnatural
Apart from the potential allergic reaction, many people are against sulfites, because they feel they are an unnatural addition when making wine. While that view is valid, it is important to remember that sulfites are also a natural by-product of the yeast metabolism during fermentation. So even if you do not add any additional SO2, your wine will still contain sulfites.
A better understanding of how sulfur dioxide breaks down and binds during winemaking, better winery hygiene, and more careful viticultural practices to ensure healthy grapes (i.e no rot) have all greatly helped to reduce the need for SO2 additions during winemaking. Today, there are many winemakers who refrain from adding any SO2 until after the fermentation is complete.
Why sulfites are necessary
There are really very few wines that are made without some use of SO2. This is because wine is perishable, prone to oxidation and the development of aldehyde off-odors. SO2, particularly for white wines, is important for freshness. Wines without any SO2 generally have a shorter shelf life – about six months, and need to be kept in perfect storage conditions. Given that a winemaker has very little control over the wine’s storage conditions from the time the wine leaves the winery until it is consumed, it is little wonder that SO2 is so widely used to help guarantee that the bottle of wine you open will be fresh and clean, and taste as the winemaker intended.
Additionally, one of the reasons that you see more wines labeled ‘made from organically grown grapes’ than labeled ‘organic wine’ is because in the US organic wine must not have any added SO2.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, DWS, is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. She hold the Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), and is a candidate in the Master of Wine Program.
Can I make wine that is as good as store bought brands?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Yes. It may help to allow the wine to age after taking it home. The juice we receive is the same juice Wineries are using to produce commercial store bought wines. The big differnce is when you buy a wine in a store it has aged at least a year or two. So if you can get into the habit of cellaring some of your wine to build a supply of aged wine you will find the wine is far better than it was young.
Is it expensive?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Not at all. The prices for our most popular wine kits range from $125 to $225 for 30 bottles if made in store less if you want to make it at home. This means you can have a bottle of quality wine for approximately $5.00.
I've never done any wine making on premise, what do I need to know and how much work is required of me.- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
The process of making wine on premise starts with choosing the type of wine you want to make and what quality of wine kit you want to use. The LCB requires that the customer own the ingredients and begin by sprinkling the yeast on the juice to begin fermentation. We assist you at all times to whatever extent required. After the batch is started the customer has no further obligations until the wine is ready to be bottled. When you arrive for your bottling appointment you need to sanitize your bottles, fill & cork them and finish by applying labels and shrink caps. We provide all the necessary equipment and assistance for you to accomplish this with ease.
How long will it take?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
We offer you the choice of 5-week,7-week and 8-week wine kits. Our 5-week wines are made from the finest blend of grape juice and concentrate. They are usually ready to drink in a few weeks after bottling. Our 7-week wines are made from premium quality grape juice blends. They are fuller bodied and require a longer aging time (at least 2 to 3 months). Our 8-week wine kits, with 100% varietal grape juice from country-specific vineyards, the Eclipse Series has re-defined the quality expectations of the advanced winemaker and the wine kit industry alike.
What kinds of wines are available?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
What is the alcohol content?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
The alcohol level in our wines range from 11% to 14.5%.
Are Winexpert wine kits dry or sweet?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Our wine menu has sweetness indicators next to the wine names. Most of our wines have a dry finish, but we can adjust the levels to your taste. Just ask.
Can I clean my bottles when I come in to bottle?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
No, your bottles should already be clean as we provide time and equipment for sanitizing already clean bottles. Thoroughly rinsing a wine bottle very soon after it is empty, soaking it for a few minutes to remove the label and draining it completely eliminates the need to spend much more time cleaning bottles that are left to the last minute. HINT! Store the clean bottles upside down to avoid contamination by foreign objects, dust, insects etc.
Can I store my wine at Beyond The Grape?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Sorry, once your wine is ready to be bottled you need to bottle and remove it to your home within a reasonable length of time (30 days). This is required by law as well as by the availability of containers and space to put them in.
What are Tannins?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Tannin comes from the skins, seeds, and stems of the grapes, and also from wood. It gives wine its longevity and character. Tannin is also found in strong tea.
What about wine with food?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
The fuller flavoured the food, the more full-bodied the wine should be. A simply prepared chicken can match well with a light bodied white wine. If you add a rich cream sauce, then a medium to full-bodied white may be preferred. You can also find more specific pairings on our wine pairing page.
What about wine with cheese?- from on Friday June 18th, 2010
Similar to how milk softens tea, cheese serves to round the tannic tastes of wine. Brie with sparkling wine is a good combination. Blue cheese overpowers most wines except dessert wines.