Tracking Winemaking Notes
Often home winemakers make a practice of keeping a winemaking journal to track likes, dislikes, or fails, & successful vintages & blends.. These kitchen journals made the process of running a home winemaking hobby far more efficient.
If you are going to make wine at home, it is a good idea to keep a winemaking journal. One of the keys to producing good wine is being consistent. A wine journal will allow you to do that as well as track your progress as you develop advanced skills. In the beginning, your notes may not seem like much; however, over time this information can become extremely valuable. You may think you will be able to rely on your memory alone, but, this can be quite dangerous if you want to develop good wines. After a few batches, there is a very good chance that you will forget exactly which details worked best and which you would like to avoid.
You should record any information that would have an impact on the final outcome in your journal. Of course, it is not necessary to list trivial information that will not have any impact. However, you will want to include information such as the type of yeast and temperature recordings for your wine must.
- How much fruit you used
- The type and amount of sugar you used
- Amount and type of yeast
- Amount and type of nutrients
It is also important to keep dates specific information about dates as well. Such as, when the yeast is added & when rackings are performed. In addition, any time you add ingredients, you should make a note of this as well. Also, be sure to note when you bottle the wine. You may want to include information about how the wine looks or tastes as you do a sample taste test.
Don’t forget to note the dates that the hydrometer readings were taken as well! As you record hydrometer readings over time, you will gain a lot of insight. Keep in mind that you should take hydrometer readings when the fermentation process is first begun as well as during any rackings. At the end of the fermentation process be sure to take readings. In the event you add any fruit or sugar to the must during the fermentation process, it is a good idea to take additional hydrometer readings.
What makes a good winemaking journal?
Anything that you feel comfortable with can be used for your winemaking journal, even a spiral composition notebook can be beneficial. The one problem with using this method is that you may find it difficult to keep your notes consistent. By using a standard template you will have prompts to help remember the type of information that you want to record (such as grape variety or harvest date). Having such a document will hold up over time much better than relying solely on a spiral composition notebook.
You may also find it helpful to add other reference information that will be right at your fingertips. For example, you might wish to print off conversion charts and place those in your binders so that you can access the information quickly while working with your wine.
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