Home Brew Accessories

  • Oak Barrels and Oak Alternatives in Home Winemaking

    Barrels and Staves and Cubes, Oh My!

    Oak Barrels Picture of rack of oak barrels


    You’ve done it! You’ve made your very first batch of wine. You crushed the grapes yourself, taken countless hydrometer readings, checked the acid levels, waited what has seemed like forever.

    It’s time to bottle – but before you do, you give it a taste and something is missing. You can’t put your finger on it. This is good, sure, but it’s not as smooth as you’d like, or not as complex. It doesn’t finish on your palate quite right.

    What could it be? Did you miss an important step? Did the fermentation not go as well as you thought? What is this je ne sais quoi that is missing?

    Could it be oak?

    Continue reading

  • Comparing Glass and Plastic Carboys: Expert Advice

    Comparison of glass and plastic carboys

    The Question I Hear at Least Once Per Day: Glass or Plastic?

    For years, homebrewers and wine makers have fiercely debated on whether to use plastic or glass carboys during fermentation. I’m going to warn you now: if you are looking for a definitive answer, you are going to be disappointed. There are pros and cons to both. I will lay them all out, and you, mighty homebrewer, will have to decide the best choice for yourself.

    Continue reading

  • Natural Corks vs. Plastic Corks

    Wine lovers are known for strong opinions about their favorite beverage. The merits of grape varieties, wine regions, vintages and wine making methods are all hotly debated, often over glasses of wine.

    One subject that’s sure to spark conversation among oenophiles is the use of plastic corks versus the traditional natural cork. We’re not going to try to change anyone’s mind here today, but here is our assessment of the pros and cons. Continue reading

  • How To Cork Your Wine

    Once you’ve gotten your first batch of wine well underway, it’s time to learn more about the next steps in the process. One of the most important of these steps is also one of the last ones: bottling. We don’t mean to intimidate anyone who’s just starting out with their wine making kit, but properly bottling and corking your wine is critical to the outcome of the wine making process.

    Corks are one part of your wine making supplies which it definitely behooves you as a wine maker to learn more about. If you’re looking forward to finally bottling your first batch soon, then you’ve come to the right place – keep reading for an explanation of how to cork your wine the right way. Continue reading

  • An Introduction to Wine Making Bottles

    You could be a very experienced amateur wine maker and still know little to nothing about one aspect of wine making – bottling. Sure, you know all about how to bottle the wine you make with your wine making kit and you know how to properly seal your bottles to prevent spoilage and allow your wine to age properly, but how much do you know about the bottles themselves? There are different kinds of wine bottle you can choose and while to be perfectly honest, any wine bottle will do in a pinch, certain types are traditionally used for different types of wine. Continue reading

  • Wondering What To Do With Your New Wine Making Supplies?

    wine making supplies

    Whether you’ve received your first set of wine making equipment as a gift from a friend or family member or you’ve decided to pick up your own, you may well be wondering: what now?

    Thankfully, it’s not as complicated to make your own wine as you may have thought – and wine making kits make this something that’s almost as easy as preparing a meal. Continue reading

  • Supplies Needed for a Beer Brewing Kit

    beer brewing supplies

    Home brewing has become popular enough that most of you reading this probably know someone who makes their own beer. The truth is, if they can do it, so can you.

    It’s actually very easy to brew beer, provided that you have the right supplies. What do you need to get started? There are a few essentials that every brewer needs.

    One of the most important things every brewer needs is a large pot – a canning pot that can hold 20 quarts or more will work nicely and is large enough for brewing a 5-gallon batch of beer.

    You’re also going to need a large glass jar, a measuring cup and a long wooden spoon to stir your home brew. You probably won’t find these in your average beer brewing kit, but you probably have them in your kitchen already.

    There are some other things you need to get started, including a large glass bottle for fermentation (a 5-gallon or larger plastic bucket will also do fine, provided it’s food grade plastic) and an airlock.

    It’s OK to reuse beer bottles, though you’ll need to clean them thoroughly and sanitize them before you put your home brew into them. You can also buy new bottles if you prefer. Bottle caps and a capper are the final necessities for your first batch.

    Beer Brewing Kit Ingredients

    That’s it for brewing equipment, but you’re also going to need some ingredients: hops, yeast and malt.

    You’ll find a large selection of all of the above at any home brew shop. If you have a more deluxe model of beer brewing kit, then some starter supplies of these ingredients may have been included.

    If you’ve got your eye on some particular style of beer, then consider purchasing any one of a wide array of beer ingredient kits. There’s one for practically every beer style under the sun.

    But if you already have ingredients as part of your kit and this is your first batch, then you might want to wait before branching out into other styles of beer anyway. Like anything else, practice makes perfect when it comes to home brewing.

    Some day, though, you may get to the point where your favorite brew happens to be your very own creation!

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