More Winemaking Toys

February 15, 2008 at 8:51 pm (Thoughts, Winemaking, Winemaking Tips) (, , , , , , , )

Yeah, you’re hooked. Me too. The good news is that your not going to spend a fortune to move up one level in the food chain. Here’s what you need to ask Santa for:

  • Floor Corker – this is the best $70 you will spend. Trust me, you are going to get sick of that hand corker in about 4 minutes. This will take the pain out of bottling.
  • Bottle Tree – Get the big one. I wash my bottles and put them on the tree to dry, then store them in their cases upside down to keep the dust out.
  • Washer/Injector – This little baby lets you fill a bowl with Iodophor solution and spray the solution into your bottle by pushing the bottle down on a plunger. Sanitize or your hard work goes bad.
  • More Carboys – I have five 6-gallon carboys and three 5-gallon carboys. If you have only one carboy, you can only have one batch of wine in the works. It’s not uncommon to have wine in a carboy for 3 or more months. Buy a couple.
  • pH Meter – This is my wish-list item. I still don’t have one and I should. This is for the advanced lush, but maybe I’ll find one in my stocking if I post my wish here.
  • Chemicals – No, you don’t want chemicals, you do need them though. You’ll need grape tannin for fruit wines, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, yeast packages, acid blend, Potassium Metabisulfite (kills off wild yeasts), and Potassium Sorbate (halts yeast growth).
  • Wine Thief – This is a tube you lower into your carboy, cover the top (like a straw) and out comes about 25 ml of wine to taste or test. Very inexpensive and very useful.
  • Vinometer – This little thing is also inexpensive, but I really like having it. When your wine is done fermenting and all the sugar is gone, you put in a few drops of wine until it starts dripping out the bottom, then turn it upside down. You can read directly the alcohol content of your wine.

See, that wasn’t so bad. All of that together is probably about $200, and now you are in serious winemaking mode.

What toys did I miss?  Post your suggestions.

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