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Frequently Asked Questions

When using a Winexpert kit, how much water should I add to the juice?

Remember that the juice plus your water will equal 6 gallons. (Don’t add 6 gal. of water to the kit!) If you want to mark your bucket to the 6 gallon level, pour 6 one gallon containers into the primary fermenting bucket. Mark it and then pour the water out. You are ready to start!

 

Do I have to take a hydrometer reading?

Specific gravity tells you the sugar levels, alcohol content, and the progress of fermentation. This is the best way to know if your wine or beer has finished fermenting or not. If you take a hydrometer reading at the beginning it will tell you the specific gravity without fermentation. Check the directions in your Winexpert kit or recipe for guidelines to follow. Keeping a record of the specific gravity will help if you have questions later too!

 

How do I use an airlock?

Take the lid off of the airlock and fill the reservoir half way with water. Put the lid back on. This will allow gases to leave and keep air and critters out! Many people make the mistake of leaving the lid off. You definitely want it on! What temperature should I keep my homebrew at during the fermentation process? 65-75ºF is the best possible room temperature for normal fermentation. Below 65º will give you a “stuck” fermentation. Above 80º may kill your yeast.

 

How careful do I need to be for sanitizing my equipment?

Sanitizing everything your wine or beer touches is very important. Make sure all utensils and equipment are clean before use. Use a chlorine cleaning agent to sanitize your equipment. Be sure to rinse before using. There are no-rinse agents that you can buy at the homebrew shop too! For wine we recommend using a metabisulphite solution. You can mix your metabisulphite solution in a gallon jug of water and then put some into a spray bottle. Spray down your spoons, racking tubes, buckets, etc.

 

What about water quality?

We feel like if you are drinking the tap water from your sink, it is good enough to make wine or beer from. If you just feel like you need to have bottled water, go for it, but do NOT use distilled water. If your tap water is overly chlorinated, try setting it out in a glass carboy or bucket (sanitize!) overnight. The chlorine will usually dissipate overnight.