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Wine Storage Tips

Here are some wine storage tips to ensure top quality wine:

Do:Store your wine upright for the first 3 to 5 days.After that, store your wine on its side in order to keep the cork moist.Store your wine in a cool, dark place.Your wine should be stored where the temperature is CONSISTENT. Bright light, movement, and temperature fluctuations can negatively affect the quality of your wine.

Do Not:Do not constantly turn your wine.Red wines will sometimes dust (leave residue on the inside of the bottle). This is normal.Simply decant your wine.Do not store your wine directly on a cement floor. Put a thick piece of wood under your wine storage boxes.Do not store your wine on heated floors.

Food and Wine Pairing What you are looking for is harmony and balance in your pairing. Wine on its own tastes different than when it is paired with food. If it is complementary, wine can impart its flavours to a dish, thereby giving the food an added layer, or food can lend its flavours to the wine. If they clash, or if one overpowers the other, the experience will under whelm and disappoint and can sometimes lead to flavours that are not present in either, like an unpleasant metallic taste which can result from high tannin content and oily fish. With the right pairing, wine and food can combine to give your palate great pleasure! Barrel aging offers you the opportunity to recreate the same conditions that big wineries make on their wines.  When wine is put into an oak barrel, the water and ethanol in the wine dissolve the tannins and the aromatic compounds from the wood and impart the highly coveted 'oaky' aroma and flavour profile.  Even after the wine is bottled, the contact made by the oak makes a lasting impression.        

Most of us have tasted red wines (and white too) that have been so heavily oaked that little or no fruit character remains of the grape.  This is generally because the wine has been been over-oaked by prolonged exposure to a barrel. Dry red wines, especially robust reds (note: never oak a Pinot Noir), which have been had time in an oak barrel reap the benefit of exposure to the wood by developing interesting and complex aromatic profiles.  The typical characteristics are vanilla, spice, toast, nut and caramel.  They also tend to age better than their un-oaked counterparts.  Research shows that four week kits don't show much benefit from it. With the frequency of use, longer and longer time-frames are needed to extract the same effect from the barrel.  Since barrels are good for 12-18 months of constant turnover/use, they are a a great option for anyone who is working towards building up a good inventory.  Once they start to lose their immediate impact and need to sit for longer periods to achieve the same oak extraction benefit, then the barrels become ideal for anyone who would like to use them for longer, slower oak exposure as well as long term storage. We also have acacia barrels for white wines.  The effect of an acacia barrel on a dry white wine will give a sweet honey note to the wine without actually adding sweetness. Young customers have sweeter pallets according to studies.  Please ask any of our staff members about these barrels.

The Skinny On Grape Skin Kits They're Loaded with tannins: Tannins come from grape skins and seeds; they provide colour, flavour, and structure, giving that astringent mouth feel characteristic of red wines. With grape skins wine kits you are increasing your wine's exposure to the skins, allowing for more tannins to be extracted, and more varietal character to develop, giving you a wine that is truer to its varietal style. And they're loaded with antioxidants: Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skins and seeds, has been linked to numerous cardiovascular health benefits, and is one of the main reasons red wine is celebrated as a heart-healthy drink. Antioxidants are found in all wines but, because of their prolonged contact with the grape skins, they are most prevalent in reds. Addition of grape skins means an extra step plus additional time, but these aren't a four week wine kit!  Having gone to the extra time & trouble, you'll want to allow your bounty at least a year under cork to fully appreciate the fruits of your labour.
Gluten Free HOMEMADE Beer

If you were a beer lover but can't drink it because the gluten in the malt used to make the beer does not 'sit well with your system', well……have we got news for you!  White Labs has discovered an enzyme that breaks gluten down to less than 10 ppm (The recognized international standard for "Gluten Free" is 20 ppm.) Now people who have had to give up beer can once again enjoy their favorite microbrew. Just add a vial of Clarity Ferm to ANY beer at the same time you pitch the yeast when you brew.  The best part is that it doesn't have any effect on the flavour.  We've made some and given some of our customers the opportunity to try it out.  Even the customers with known celiac or intolerance issues had no problem at all! It might sound too good to be true but this product is legit. Here's what one famous expert had to report: "I brewed a batch of beer called Slithy Tove Pale Ale (which included 10% malted wheat) to which I added Clarity Ferm at the beginning of fermentation.  The beer was tested by a professional laboratory.  The results came back indicating that the gluten content in my batch was “less than 5 ppm.”. This level of gluten may be tolerated by Celiac patients.  Every other aspect of beer character, flavor, appearance aroma, etc. was outstanding and identical to a beer brewed without the enzyme."                                                                             -Charlie Papazian (Author Complete Joy of Home Brewing)  

Clarity Ferm  
The following article is the technical stuff about Clarity Ferm as released by White Labs, the company that produces it.  Pretty dry reading.  In short, what Clarity Ferm does is chop all the gluten molecules into teeny, tiny, irregular shapes that the body does not recognize as gluten.   20ppm (parts per million) is the internationally recognized standard for 'gluten-free'.  During the fermentation process, Clarity Ferm chops the gluten in beer kits down to 10ppm  or less - half that of the standard.  We've done our own experimentation and have had some of our brave gluten-intolerant (and even celiac) customers who have agreed to 'take one for the team' by offering themselves up as guinea pigs.  

ALL OF THEM - everyone, without exception had ZERO reaction to the beer kit we made with the addition of the Clarity Ferm.  That's pretty compelling evidence!  Even Charlie Papazian (well know beer guru) endorses Clarity Ferm.  Read about a university experiment based on Charlie's own results by clicking here. The best part is that it doesn't change the taste of the beer AT ALL!  SO.........if you have missed cracking a cold one because you knew what it was going to do to you or just can't bring yourself to buy the commercial gluten free beers (both the price and the taste!), well, a whole new gluten free world has opened up for you.  Welcome to beer with Clarity Ferm!

1) To increase the collodial stability of beer by reducing chill haze.
2) Producing gluten reduced beers in beers made from barley and wheat.

Chill haze in beer results from the precipitation of complexed polyphenols and proteins during cold storage. This haze develops over time and, initially, is reversible (haze disappears when the temperature of the beer increases). Eventually this chill haze can become permanent. Clarity Ferm will prevent the precipitation of complexed polyphenols and proteins by hydrolyzing the sensitive (haze-active) polypeptides in the region where such hydrogen bonding occurs. The specificity of the enzyme ensures that no other beer parameters are affected. This easy-to-use enzyme can be used on all types of brewing materials and is a cost effective product to replace silica gel or PVPP. Simply add when pitching yeast, and Clarity Ferm will do its work during fermentation. When fermentation is complete, chill haze has already been addressed. In addition to eliminating chill haze, Clarity Ferm significantly reduces the gluten content in beers made with barley and wheat. A Clarity-Ferm treated beer made from barley or wheat usually tests below 20 ppm of gluten, the current international standard for gluten free. White Labs offers gluten testing for beers, this test will allow brewers to know the gluten level of the beers it produces, but brewers are not allowed to use this value on their labels until the FDA completes its validation. The TTB has issued interim labeling guidelines for beers made with gluten containing grains, and it states: "TTB will allow use of the statement 'Processed or Treated or Crafted to remove gluten,' together with a qualifying statement to inform consumers that: (1) the product was made from a grain that contains gluten; (2) there is currently no valid test to verify the gluten content of fermented products; and (3) the finished product may contain gluten." Clarity Ferm is a product containing a highly specific endo-protease which only cleaves polypeptides at the carboxyl end of the amino acid proline.  Protease is derived from Aspergillus niger. ** Contains Sodium Benzoate. The amount in Clarity-Ferm is less than 0.1%, thus meeting FDA regulations, and this amount is further and significantly diluted when put into beer.  

Beer Brewing Tips & Tricks

Pick the right time to chill your beer The shoulder seasons – Spring and Autumn – are the transition between Summer and Winter. They are also the gateway to the heartbreak of a lesser known phenomenon –flat beer! Wildly fluctuating temperatures bring warm days and chilly nights. Your freshly bottled beer needs constant warmth for bottle fermentation to occur properly. Bottle fermentation takes place over 14 to 21 days under optimal conditions. A little science happens to your homebrew once it’s bottled. The viable yeast still left in suspension after bottling mingle freely with the priming sugar and fermentation ensues! The by-product CO2 is trapped under the cap and absorbed into your beer. Life is good! If your freshly bottled beer is in a spot where it is exposed to cool temperatures before the viable yeast still in suspension have had the chance to ‘do their thing’, then it will take a very long time for them to convert the priming sugar into alcohol; if ever. In the Autumn especially, we’re all reluctant to turn on the heat for the first time. We throw a sweater on to stay warm but do nothing to protect the fledgling beer. This is not the right time to chill your beer!  Here’s the solution! When you bottle your beer, put one or two of your beer in a P.E.T. pop type bottle (500ml) – not a water bottle – and leave them with the rest of your beer which is in glass bottles. When the P.E.T. is rock hard (like a new bottle of Coke) and there are little pockets of sediment in the divets in the bottom of the bottle, then the ‘sentinel’ beer has done its job and the batch is ready or very close to being ready to pile into the fridge. No guesswork involved.  Opening a beer after waiting for a couple of weeks or longer, anticipating a frosty, fizzy pint only to find flat, slightly sweet beer is a cruel and terrible disappointment…….not to mention a waste.  

To avoid disappointment:    
Be sure to leave the whole batch someplace where it will be WARM. It doesn’t need to be tropical, but it does need to be warm - not hot, not by a window, not by a heater, not on the floor, not in a draft. (read any Dr. Seuss lately?).  It needs to be at the same temperature that you would keep it if you were fermenting out a batch of beer or wine or making bread.  70 + degrees F (or about 22 + degrees C) would be great!  Remember - no drafts.     Under ideal conditions, your beer should be good to go in two three weeks but ideal conditions are hard to come by so anticipate 3 to 4 weeks for good carbonation.    The cooler it is, the longer it will take to carbonate - up to several months.  Seriously!  So watch your temperature - it's really that important!  Other than that, keep it out of bright light; it is beer after all.  

Barley, Malt & Vine has 500ml PET bottles available if you choose to go the plastic bottle route, which, by the way, is great for Summer playtime.  No worries about broken glass on the boat or by the pool. While we’re talking about fermentation issues, here’s a couple of other common problems:     Waiting too long to bottle a beer after it’s finished.    

Racking too frequently to ensure that you have a really clear beer at bottling time. Both actions cause more yeast to drop out of suspension and can result in a beer that is ‘too clean’. It will take a long time for the remaining yeast to build up to a level where they can finish the job. While you don’t want to bottle cloudy beer, you need to have some of the yeast culture alive and kicking in order to provide the all-important bottle fermentation that represents the essence of home brewing. There’s a certain difference between homebrew & commercial beer that I believe is due in part to the final fermentation. Every now & then we have customers bring a sample of their beer because they were not happy with the carbonation level.   The severity of the problem has ranged from a few bubbles perhaps but certainly not what they (or we) would expect to being completely flat!  With a second bottle of the customers flat brew, we've had occasion to experiment by stashing their beer bottle someplace where it would be at a constant temperature - in our fermentation room. No fluctuating temperatures. Voila! One week later (or so) and we have beer with BURP! Just goes to show you - beer wants to be at a 'warm' temperature while it is performing its magic! Moral of this story: Give your beer lots of warm love and you will never be heartbroken when you want to give it the cold shoulder! Gone are the days when 'home-made beer' meant something that your uncle made in the garage and brought out only when the 'good, tailor-made' beer was gone. Made properly, home brewed beer will stand up to comparison with any micro-brewed beer.  PLUS - you can make your choice of beer GLUTEN FREE!  

At Barley, Malt & Vine, we've taken home-made beer to a whole new level.  We offer a wide range of beer kits in a vast array of beer styles: FestaBrew beer kits are a proven market leader and are 25 litres of pure wort.  Just pitch the yeast into the wort and off you go. They are made by a Canadian microbrewery and are actually available to buy commercially in Ontario! Best Case beer kits are locally sourced and contain all the ingredients that you need to make a batch from grains.  These kits are a hot seller and offer the DIY beer-maker the easiest way to make a real micro-brewed beer from scratch.  (It's easier than you think!)Our canned beer kits are from all over the world: Brew Canada (Canada), Brew Maker (England), Coopers (Australia), Mountmellick (England) and Muntons (England).  Whether you favour a light Mexican style cerveza or a stick-to-your-bones hearty stout, we have it - and everything in between.  Not only can we offer you a world of beer, we also have cider - apple, pear,  mixed berry, raspberry lime, peach passion, blueberry and raspberry mango. What a great change of taste -  sparkling cider! We also offer kegging supplies; everything that you will need to set yourself up with your beer on tap. With a  range of different yeast styles and a variety of hops to enhance your beer to suit your tastes, we can help make your homebrew experience even better.  Don't forget that you can make your beer gluten-free!  Imagine!  Your choice of beer gluten-free. Does it matter what's coming; Summer? Christmas?  Wedding?  Party-time?   Get ready!

Barley Malt & Vine
71 City Road
Saint John, NB
E2L 3M6
506-652-4884   info@barleymaltvine.com

Store Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:30am - 5:30pm
Thursday & Friday 9:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday 9:30am – 4:00pm

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