Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to 'start' the wine or beer fermentation?

As a U-brew/U-vin, you must, by law, add the key ingredients for fermentation to benefit from the lower taxes and thus lower price. Don't worry, it is easy and we still do all of the rest until you come back to bottle.

Why can't we try before we buy?

At a commercial winery, you are buying product which they have made, and you are paying full taxes. Sampling is legally permitted. At a u-vin, you are technically making the wine. The trade-off for the lower taxes make the cost much lower than commercial wine is that we cannot offer you samples to try. By law, while you are bottling, you are allowed to sample the beer or wine that you have made.

You can exchange samples when bottling at the same time as other clients. You can also exchange a few bottles which is an excellent way to try different wines. And if you and your new friends decide to form a 'wine club', you can keep trying new wines.

What about sulfite allergies?

There is no sulfite used in beer production. Sulfite is a natural by-product of wine fermentation. The wine kits add a minimal amount of potassium metabisulfite to stop the fermentation process, much less than most commercial wine. Without sulfite, there is a high risk of refermentation which may lead to exploding bottles. You can ask us to omit the sulfite.

My wine has developed crystals. Should I worry?

Wine crystals or wine diamonds are accepted as a sign of quality. Decanting the wine leaves the crystals behind.

My beer went cloudy after a few months. Has cloudy beer turned sour?

Naturally brewed beer has a shelf life of roughly 3 � months in the fridge. Some beers, like the Heffenweiser, are meant to be a bit cloudy. Eventually, all beer will begin to cloud over and after time, throw sediment which accumulates at the bottom of the bottle. A bit of cloud will not affect the beer. If your beer is clouding too quickly, check the temperature at which it is stored.

What kind of corks do I use?

Most of our clients use regular agglomerated corks made from chipped cork. If planning to cellar the wine for more than 2 years, we recommend semi-synthetic or synthetic corks which are designed for longer retention.

What kinds of labels will I be using?

Some kits come with labels in the kit. If there is no label, we will create a label for you. Our labels are selected to ease of application and removal as much as appearance. Special occasion labels and corporate labels are also available. For your very special event, we work with a graphic designer and printer to make your event even more memorable.

What happens if I drink my 8 week wine as soon as I get home?

While we highly recommend maturing the wines, some of our clients enjoy their wines young. There is nothing wrong with tasting the wine as it evolves. Reds tend to become more smooth and mellow with time. If you taste an 8 week Shiraz while you bottle, it may show some �edge� which smoothes out after a few months in the bottle. Aerators come in handy for young wines.

I�m just starting to drink wine. Where do I begin?

With a new client, we start with some basic questions. Do you want red, white or blush? How much do you normally spend on a bottle of wine? Do you plan to serve the wine with food, or on its own? How soon do you want to serve the wine? How much wine do you tend to go through in a week? Your answers help us understand your taste so we can help you select the right wine. You should definitely ask for a copy of the New Brew Handbook for more advice on wine as well as how to care for it once you take it home. Try the new Wine Finder featured in our April 2014 newsletter for more clues on the wine that's right for you.

Got a new question? Send us an email and we will try to respond. We may add your question to the FAQ page of our web-site!