On Site Wine and Beer Making

Grape & Grain has always been your friendly neighbourhood wine and beer supply shop. Now we are branching out into “On-site Winemaking”, sometimes known as B.O.P.’s (Brew On Premises), U-Vints, U-Brews or simply a “winemaking” shop. The basic concept is we can now provide you a place to brew your wine or beer. Our equipment is used for every step of the process, and we do all the heavy lifting and clean up.
Making wine with us is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

  1. YOU START THE WINE OR BEER – Come see us anytime, pick out your wine, and start it up in our facility using our equipment. Mix the ingredients in our clean sterilized primaries, and add the yeast.
  2. WE DO ALL THE WORK – Transferring, stabilizing, degassing, clearing, and filtering. We do all of it. All you have to do is have patience for 4-6 weeks (2-3 weeks for beer).
  3. YOU BOTTLE THE WINE OR BEER – Schedule an appointment and come in and bottle your wine. It will be filtered and ready for you, bottle fillers, corks and corkers will be provided. Beer is not filtered, and will require a period of 2 weeks additional time to self-prime before consumption.

Each batch of wine makes 23 litres, approximately 30 750ml bottles (or the equivalent). Beer also produces 23 litres, approximately 60 or more 341ml bottles (or the equivalent). To make onsite, you choose your wine (prices will vary) and we add an ‘on premise’ fee of $50 per batch. Beer choices are limited to BrewHouse kits at this time, and our ‘on premise’ fee is $30 per batch. Corks and caps are included at no extra charge. It takes 4 to 6 weeks from starting wine to the bottling stage, and 2-3 weeks for beer.

Optional additional charges may include:

  • Extended storage time beyond 6 weeks – $2 per week.
  • Bottles – $12/case for regular 750 ml wine bottles. Ask for details on other options or beer bottles.
  • Labels and Shrink Caps – about $4 and $2, but some kits come with labels.

To get started simply come in and we can answer any questions you may have about the types and styles of wine that can be made. All of the wine kits we carry have been tested and we guarantee their quality. Our suppliers are all Canadian based, but they source grape juice from worldwide sources—North America (United States, Canada), South America (Argentina, Chile), Australia, New Zealand, Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Germany), and South Africa.

According to the rules set out by the Liquor and Gaming Authority, the customer is required to start the batch in person by mixing ingredients and ‘sprinkling the yeast’ on a batch of juice/must/wort to initiate the fermentation process. The customer is also required to fill the bottles and cork the wine at a later date. An appointment to start a batch is not required, only to bottle when it is done. Call us – we’ll be happy to set it all up for you!

degassing white wine


 

What else is there to know?

Why should wine be left upright after bottling? And for how long?

The action of corking a bottle compresses the cork and forces it into the bottle. By leaving bottles upright for a day or two, some of this compressed air is allowed to escape. If bottles are laid on their side immediately, the pressure will not be released and the wet corks will seal with extra pressure against them, possibly causing the corks to be pushed part way out. After 24 – 48 hours has passed, bottles should be stored on their side so the corks provide a seal. Occasionally, a drop or two of wine will be forced past the cork with the air as the wine is bottled. This is no cause for alarm, just a sign that a little of the air pressure is being released.

Can we drink the wine right away?

All wines are ready for consumption immediately after bottling, but we think you should wait a bit. There is an aging period recommended after bottling, as the wine does improve dramatically with age. Typically 4 week kits benefit with 3-6 months or more of aging. You can keep these wines cellared for as long as 1 ½ – 2 years. The 6 and 8 week kits benefit most from 6-12 months or more. You can keep these kits cellared for 2-3 years. Remember this is a general guideline, and will depend on the environment.

What about beer?

Beer needs 2 weeks to prime, in a room temperature environment and away from sunlight. When you add the dextrose priming sugar at bottling it needs about 2 weeks to ferment in the bottle where the CO2 is trapped, thus producing a carbonated beverage. Afterwards, move your finished beer to a cool dark place. Beer from kits is best consumed shortly after the carbonation period is done up to and beyond 6 months. This keeps the fresh hop flavours intact, which will dissipate over the long term. We don’t generally recommend keeping beer beyond a year.

What is the proper temperature to store wine?

The ‘ideal’ temperature for long term storage is 45 – 55° F (7 – 13° C), but wine can be stored within a degree or two of freezing or as warm as room temperature. The cooler the temperature, the slower the ageing; the warmer the temperature, the quicker the maturing. Remember – constant temperatures are the key. What should be avoided are 1) direct sunlight, 2) heat, 3) temperature fluctuations. Therefore, keep your wine at a constant temperature, preferably room temperature or cooler, and in an area that is not exposed to direct sunlight. The same is true for beer.

Do you offer labels for the bottles?

If we carry a wine we usually have a variety of labels for it! We also have a wide variety of shrink capsules to help give your wine a professional look. Simply choose a label and decide what colour of shrink top you would like to match. These high quality professionally designed labels are either ‘dry gummed’ or ‘peel and stick’, and both will soak off the bottle in 5 – 8 minutes as you prepare for the next batch. This is not a necessary step, but it does make the presentation of your wine much better. You can also apply shrink caps to cover the cork for a complete matching finish.

Are there other options for bottling wine?

Yes there is. You may want to use smaller (375 ml) bottles for single servings, or larger bottles (1.5 litre) for larger events. We also offer 2 litre and 4 litre jugs. Another option is the wine bag. These bags are designed for convenience and portability. Simply fill the bag and seal it with a cap-tap, then put them into a cardboard or plastic dispensing unit and serve. This has an advantage of allowing you to serve as much or a little wine as you need, while not having half empty bottles subject to oxidation if left for a few days. Bagged wine is great for early consumption, but is not a recommended way to store the wine over a longer term.

 

First Beer


On Site Service Fees (as of May 2016):

Wine Service Fee $50
Includes: All transfers, degassing, filtering, and free corks. You provide the bottles.

Beer Service Fee $30
Includes: All transfers, priming sugar, and caps. You provide the bottles.

These prices are in addition to the cost of the kit you choose.

Optional charges:

  1. Extended storage time beyond 6 weeks – $2 per week.
  2. Bottles – $12/case for regular 750 ml wine bottles. Ask for details on other bottle, jug, or bag options or beer bottles.
  3. Labels and Shrink Caps – about $4 and $2, but some kits come with labels.
  4. Special Modifications – Prices will vary, ask for details.

 

Beer batches