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Making Wine

The story of my journey through home wine making.

In this section I will be posting the story of my wine making experience with links to the whole story by Episodes.

Current status

In May 2018 I was awarded a Bronze medal for my 2016 Syrah at the 2018 Winemaker Conference in Saratogaa, NY.  And in June a Silver medal at the 2018 Alameda County Fair for the same wine!

2016 Syrah Awards

For past, use links at right. 

First the bad news, not evry wine is successful, and the Primitivo red and blush were some of those.  The apple wine came out excellent though.

Well crush 2018 is here!

Episode 14: Part 1 - September 2018

This year I plan to do mostly whites, because I am low on them.

Episode 14: Part 2 - September 2018

Due to several issues totally out of my control, I decided to go with Brehm Vineyards again.  Now, first I (and many others) have made some excellent wines using the Brehm frozen must and juice.  They are very good for making wines, high quality and excellent sources.  But, once you get into using fresh grapes, it is difficult to go back.  I did.

On Friday 12 October 2018 I placed an order for four (4) pails of Chardonnay from Carneros, Sonoma County CA.  They were deliverd on Wednesday 17 October.  I unpacked them (very well packed) and stated letting them unfreeze. 

2018 Brehm Boxes

On Saturday 20 October 2018 I started the process.  The first step was to open the pails, which actually was the hardest part.  First I cleaned and sanitized the tops (after cleaning and sanitizing all my tools).  The stripped off the zip strips around the edge of the lids.  Then using a pair of channel lock pliers I pod the lids off.

2018 Brehm Pailes

2018 Brehm Juice

Next I took readings to verify Brehms analysis.  Fits off I got a low specific gravity which meant a low Brix, then after slapping myself in the face I stirred the pails vigorously  and low and behold the specific gravity came up to where it needed to be.



Calc Brix






















In general I have found that a good additive addition is to use the More Wine BF995 - Brehm White additive pack.  They are just enough for about 5 gallons and are premeasured and packaged.  Also the pack is cheaper than buying the additives independently.          

Added at start           

            • TAN250 — Tannin FT Blanc Soft (3g)

            • AD356 — Opti-White (15g)

Added about 1 hour later    

            • DYW56.  — Dry Wine Yeast - ICV-D47  - (8g)

            • AD343 — Go-Ferm Protect (10 g)

to b added 2 days later        

            • AD345 — Fermaid K (8 g)

And now the waiting.


More to come

Questions and comments should be directed to:



MIke Albrecht

About Me
for more information see:
My personal page
Smart Dog Mining

Making Wine Secions

Making Wine


A list of each of my wine making episodes.