Legal Home Brewing of Wine & Beer in India

Understand the Legal restrictions on Home Brew Alcohol in India
Understand the Legal restrictions on Home Brew Alcohol, wines and beer in India

Is home brewing legal in India? The answer is YES. It has some exceptions though. They are:

  1. Dry states and districts do not permit alcohol production. It is not allowed to ferment homemade wine or brewing beer is not in these places.
  2. Distillation is banned without a proper license as it is dangerous (methanol poisoning, explosion risks).
  3. Commercial sale is banned for any alcoholic wine or beer unless requisite taxes and permits are in place.

Refer to our FAQ for more specific answers.

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We use the post office which is the fastest and most economical shipping service and most items are shipped the next day morning. Also, it helps us cater to clients from semi-urban regions and North East which are not adequately serviced by regular courier service. For international shipments especially to the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal & Africa, request you to email us the paperwork required. We will be happy to post your consignment, but you will be responsible for customs clearance and paperwork.

Do write to us if you want to use a private courier, like Maruti Courier. There might be an incremental shipping cost.

Every first Saturday of the month we conduct workshops for first-timers. The charge is ₹ 2,500/- for one person and ₹ 3,400/- for a couple. 

Additionally, we do conduct on-site and web-tutorials for professional wine-makers and those with specific requirements. Fermentation is not only about alcohol. We conduct classes for Kambucha, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, pickles, and other healthy food transformations as well. I’d recommend you to browse our recipes and the homebrewing book till classes are back on track.

All equipment and hardware (unless customized) come with a no questions asked return policy. All our hardware meets the stringent European standards for portable water, but we will be happy to replace or refund you if you are not satisfied. However, the buyer needs to pay for the return shipping and ensure that the product is in a resealable condition.
The consumables & food ingredients, unfortunately, cannot be returned. Hence request you to try out with a small batch before placing a large order.

₹ 1/- is the minimum order.

We want to promote, legally, the hobby fermentation & food-craft. Hence no order is too small for us. We are flexible, you can even ask your friend in Delhi/Bangalore to pick from our store or we could use a courier company. However, you need to be of legal drinking age.

Home fermentation is your grandmother’s recipe and does not use any shortcuts, chemicals, preservatives, or anything unhealthy. So there is not a store in the world that can even think of beating it in taste and health benefits. It is a probiotic food that not only tastes good but is also nutritious and low on calories. Unlike the packaged food and beverage which is loaded with chemical food colors, preservatives, and stabilizers.

We will guide you on how to change the taste, color, aroma, mouthfeel, and even the ingredients to suit your tastes, health, and nutrition needs. We have a lot of easy to use customizable kits. Also, we put a lot of emphasis on packaging, which will help you make the best packaging in the industry. This will also help you throw an awesome party for your friends and family and boast of your latest hobby.

Fermented food and beverages are natural, healthy, and full of Vitamin B and other probiotic nutrients. They are good for those on a strict diet especially a ketogenic diet or digestive problems. Fermented food help restore the gut bacteria and natural fauna of the digestive system making us healthier, stronger, and with a stronger immune system.

Unlike packaged food, fermentation adds to the taste without any oil, sugar, food colors, preservatives, or chemical essence or any unhealthy additives. This makes homebrew healthier than its commercial equivalent.

During fermentation, the yeast eats away the sugar and adds to the taste. Hence reducing calorie intake and tackling hunger pangs. India is the Diabetic country of the world, and a lot of diabetics are switching over to homemade apple cider vinegar and kombucha as an alternative to soft drinks.

If you have a pre-existing condition or allergies, it is best to consult with your doctor. Fermentation often results in drastically altering the food properties. You can also read about how 8 different types of ayurvedic preparations can be made at home.

We primarily cater to small home brewers who like to DIY and customize their products. In the fittings section of the website, you will find a lot of support to repair and customize your equipment. If you wish to service your equipment and are stuck, do reach out to us at brew@arishtam.com and we will try to help you out.

Warranty support unfortunately is not there at the moment for imported items. Shipping back to the international manufacturer often costs more than the product. That being said, we will strive to help you get the spare parts to help you restore your homebrew equipment, beer kits, and winemaking equipment.

Arishtam can offer competitive prices only by maintaining a very lean inventory. Sometimes the items are not in stock but are abroad or stuck in customs. Once they are back in stock, we will contact you and initiate dispatch. We will recommend you to opt for bank transfer payment mode for back order. This way you can release the payment once the items are in stock.

E-commerce does not come under essential services. As a result, we are not operational during COVID-19 lockdown. We expect to be operational in full capacity by 10th May 2020. If that is too late for you, please reach out us at brew@arishtam.com and we will try to refund or find an alternative for you. We exclusively ship via India Post, so it will be difficult to start shipping before the government postal service is restored.

You are in a perfect place. We are here to help out hobby brewers to pick up new skills. Our advice would be to spend some time on the recipe section or read the home brewing guide. There are tons of youtube videos and online recipes available to start. Pick the simplest one and try to make a small (one liter) batch. Don’t rob yourself of the pleasure of researching to pick up a new skill and go for instant gratification. We also conduct classes on the first Saturday of every month (starting 6th June 2020). Do attend one or reach out to a friend who can guide you with a trial batch.

Being an eCommerce store, it is difficult for us to ship the fragile glass bottles to you. What we can instead offer is a host of fermenters that are more durable for your homebrew kits needs. Alternatively, you can attach an airlock and cork/ grommet to your airtight glass jars and DIY a carboy yourself.

Yes, we are supporting point to point couriers/pickup delivery service. However, we request you to coordinate/email us for the stock availability in the local store before you place the order. Also, the couriers have to be booked at your end/app (the delivery guy needs to give the order reference number and customer name to pick up the order). We typically open at 6 am on Saturdays and Sunday so your order should reach you before you begin your brew day.

Arishtam sells only ingredients and equipment for your fermentation needs. Please contact your nearby liquor store for licensed beverages.

The Vedic name Arishtam means freedom from injury/ disease. Our Vedas and ancient literature describe fermentation at great lengths. They detail out ways to extract the essence from the herbs, ensuring that the nectar reaches every cell & rooh (the spirit) of the recipient without being denatured in the process. Western medicine typically boils the herbs to extract its essence and then use sugar syrup to mask its harsh tastes. Presently, homeopathy and many western medicines are altering their recipes to incorporate the tinctures. Like the ‘Vedic Arishtam’, they have discovered that alcohol is a good solvent capable of extracting the medicinal properties most efficiently from the herbs and has an uncanny ability to make the taste more palatable.

If you are following a good lucid recipe and using fresh ingredients then rarely will you end up with a stuck ferment. However, in the unlikely scenario that you do not see any microbial activity even after 24-30 hours, please follow this troubleshooting guide.

Typically it takes 7-10 days to ferment at 25 Degree Celsius after which you can start bottling your homebrew beer or wine.

Excessive carbonation aka bottle bombs usually happens due to a rookie mistake of bottling too early. Use a hydrometer before bottling to ensure all fermentable sugar has been converted to alcohol/ethanol by the yeast before you proceed for bottling. Also carefully weighing the priming sugar is what it takes to control the carbonation (about 8gm per liter).

India Pale Ale is a craft beer that is hoppy and crispy ale. As compared to lagers a.k.a. bottled beer, it is brewed at higher temperatures and is full of hop aromas and is bitter too. To understand craft beers better refer to the beer style guidelines. If you are still perplexed with the jargon used, refer to our glossary of commonly used terms.

Almost all food-grade disinfectants can be used as a sanitizer. However, our favorites are Campden for winemaking and hydrogen peroxide. Refer to the link for 6 golden rules to sanitization

Wooden wine barrels are a lot of commitment in terms of space, cost, and care for most homebrewers. Instead what we recommend is using a ball lock keg and oak chips. For more details refer to this guide.

Under professional additives, we have tons of fining agents like Bentonite, Isinglass, Irish Moss, and Gelatin that you can use to make your home brew clear. For instructions and dosage refer to this link

Methanol a.k.a. wood alcohol is generated from fermenting wood, pectin, skins of fruits, and distillation. There is a simple WHO-approved test to check for dangerous levels of methanol. The various strains of brewer’s yeast aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae that we stock will produce ethanol by fermenting glucose (grape sugar), maltose (grain sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar). Methanol is a toxic byproduct of fermentation, but its levels are so low that unless you distill your homebrew, you should be safe. If you still want to test for methanol levels, please refer to this document.

Yes, home brewing is legal in India. But you need to follow three golden rules:

  1. No Distillation
  2. No commercial activity/sale
  3. No crossing of state boundaries.

Alcohol is primarily regulated by the State Excise Department. Most states have an excise department website where you can get more details on the regulations and taxes. As long as you don’t live in a dry state (Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, etc.) and stockpile less than permissible limits you are safe.

If your product has <0.5% alcohol at the time of sale, then it will not come under excise regulations and can be commercialized. That being said, FSSAI has jurisdiction on food safety and standards. Any food product produced commercially needs to adhere to FSSAI norms. They have accredited laboratories all over the country that can help you with testing and compliance for non-alcoholic probiotics as well.

If you have placed the order and later on changed your mind, don’t fret. Just drop us an email and we will stop the dispatch. Typically we prefer to ship an alternative or issue a coupon/credit note to compensate. However, if you need a cash refund, then specify that in the email. We might charge a 2.25% Credit/debit card transaction fee that we have to pay to our payment gateway for this facility. (No refund charge for direct bank transfer payments). If your order has been dispatched, then cancellation would not be possible.

Most orders are dispatched the next day. Some orders especially of kombucha and live cultures are shipped every Monday. So that they get delivered on time and don’t die due to weekend office closures. All ingredients (except malt) are shipped via speed post and are usually received within 3-5 days. Malt and bulky equipment is sent via registered parcel service of India Post and usually gets delivered next week. We rely on Government Postal service because they are the most reliable parcel service for rural India, the North East, and other remote areas of the country. Do drop us a note if you want the items to be dispatched via Maruti Courier or Speed post and we will give you an estimate on the additional shipping cost.

Do note that if your product is on backorder, please get the confirmation on the expected arrival day (usually 30 days) before making the payment. For expensive equipment/kits, we often accept token advance to process the order.

So many products around you are fermented: curd, cheese, black tea, coffee, olives, bread, and pickle. Not all fermentation is alcohol.

For centuries, fermentation was the method of choice for the preservation of food, purification of water, and enhancing the taste & nutritional value of the food ingredients. Making alcohol and getting drunk was never the central obsession of society. It had more benign purposes like food preservation in the absence of refrigerator and preservatives.

You can make several probiotic food recipes like pickles, cheese, curd, vinegar, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, idli/ dosa batter, or even bread at home which are fermented foods and do not contain any alcohol.

Refer to this link for further details on FSSAI compliance on 0.3% ethyl alcohol permissible limits in your probiotics that you are marketing.

Home Distillation a.k.a. moon-shining without a license is illegal in India (and most parts of the developed world). At Arishtam, we don’t stock any distillation columns, moonshine stills, or help with tutorials on distillation.
Some Ayurveda practitioners and makers of natural aromatic oil do distill essential oils from their brews but it is not with the intent of extraction of alcohol. That being said, there are lesser restrictions on wine, beer, and other non-distilled fermentations.

You cannot engage in the commercial sale of your homebrew liquor without paying the requisite taxes and holding licenses/ permits. This includes hosting paid events where the homebrew is served or encouraging your patrons to pay for your ingredients or entry fee. Even bartering/ exchanging alcohol for goods and services is considered as a notional sale and is illegal.

Non-alcoholic ferments like probiotic Kombucha, ginger ale, kefir, miso, etc. can be sold if your finished product has an alcohol concentration of less than 0.5% v/v. If you want to commercially market a non-alcoholic probiotic ferment, please visit any of the FSSAI testing laboratories for the requisite lab test reports and documentation. I have found ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture also very helpful in research and development for indigenous recipes.

Do not try to cross state boundaries with alcohol. This includes road, air, train, etc. Most states have checkpoints and can unnecessarily harass/ penalize the defaulters.

Even sending bottles and wine bladders via post/courier is not easy. Firstly most courier companies will not accept liquids and misdeclaration is an offense. Then you need permissions (NOC) from the state excise of the state where you are dispatching the beverage to a lab or for market testing. Homebrewing is strictly for personal consumption. Hence it is advised not to over-complicate this hobby.

Certain states esp. Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, and certain holy/ religious districts/ regions/ places of the country have been marked as dry states for various reasons. Manufacture of alcohol is restricted to purely industrial use only, that too with prior permission in these regions. Please check the local laws before proceeding. However, except for the dry states/ regions, we are yet to encounter any law that explicitly prohibits individuals from home brewing for personal consumption in limited batch size.

All international trade of plant and animal products require a compulsory phytosanitary certificate. Live plants and animals require quarantine, fumigation, and treatments to ensure that pests, pathogens, and other invasive species don’t accidentally get transported. For more details, please refer to the plant protection and quarantine department website.

Unlike Europe or the US, India has no annual quota or limits on the quantity of alcohol (wine, beers, ciders, and undistilled beverages) you can home-brew. Instead, the Indian Excise Department has put restrictions on the quantity that can be stocked at any given point of time.

Each state has its limits on what is constituted as commercial quantity. As long as you are brewing/stocking below this threshold and don’t reside in a Dry state, you should be safe. I am yet to encounter any law/ government memo limiting the number of batches or number of home-brew parties one can throw, but checking with the local officials is always advisable before you start taking this hobby seriously. Permissible limit to stock as per some state laws are:

  • Karnataka: 18.5 liters of beer or 9 liters of wine.
  • Tamil Nadu: 12 bottles of beer 650ml or 12 bottles of wine 750ml (It is governed by Tamil Nadu Alcohol (Possession for Personal Consumption) Rules, 1996)
  • Delhi: 18 liters of wine, beer or cider
  • Punjab: 1 case of beer (more with an L-50 permit issued lifetime or annually.
  • Haryana: 12 bottles of beer or wine (more with L-50 permit)
  • Rajasthan: 12 bottles of beer or wine
  • Himachal Pradesh: 48 bottles of beer or wine
  • Goa: 24 bottles of beer

No state in India has legalized home distillery or home alcohol distillation kit. Possession, operating, or dealing with distillation equipment without a license is illegal. However, you can obtain exceptions for medical purposes, herbal extracts, perfumes, and Ayurveda medicines. If you are planning to get a distillation license, then buy a stainless steel distillation kit. Modifying pressure cookers to make crude makeshift stills can land you in trouble.

Consuming alcohol in public places, while driving, encouraging minors to drink, etc. is unlawful under Section 268 of IPC. Also, try to be in harmony with the religious sentiments of the neighborhood. If your home brewing hobby is resulting in public nuisance or hardships to your neighborhood then it might lead to a problem. Fermentation is a natural transformation of food through microbes. It makes the food more desirable and prevents spoilage. Talk to them and explain it to them.

Undistilled homebrews are reasonably safe and a 7,000-year-old art that pre-dates civilization. However, death and injury due to negligence, rash action can lead to a case under IPC 304A or worse homicide. Not to mention, explosions/ accidents that can happen during amateur distillation, are considered terrorist activities.

Be careful about exposure to minors. The legal age to drink varies by state (Delhi for example has set it to a high threshold of 25 years). Instigating minors to drink or not preventing (inaction) them to source alcohol is an offense.

Sorry, at this moment, we don’t offer cash on delivery. However, you can place a small value trial order to test our services and check online for our reviews.

It is perceived to have artificial butter, butterscotch, caramel, or toffee aroma and flavors. Sometimes it expresses as a milky slickness on the tongue. It is caused by inadequate boiling or oxygenation of the wort. 3-7 days of Diacetyl rest (slightly raising the wort temperature ~20-25OC towards to end of fermentation) helps in controlling it, as the yeast will naturally metabolize these away. Diacetyl is often confused with kettle caramelized malty notes. A bit of training can help isolate the two very different faults.
If not taken care of, this can cause serious hangover or headache in beers.

Acetaldehyde is one of the several precursor compounds produced by yeast during fermentation. It has a green apple-like aroma and flavors and is common in young beer and mead.

Glucose >> Pyruvic Acid >> Acetaldehyde >> Ethanol

Although Acetaldehyde is a natural precursor to ethanol formation, its residual levels in the finished brew is not desirable. At excessive levels, it might even give a paint solvent/ nail polish smell. Here are the few causes for this off-flavor:

  1. Insufficient healthy yeast count. Many home brewers end up with old or improperly stored yeast. Also to save cost and time some brewers sprinkle the dry yeast on their wort. Making a vigorous starter batch and ensuring adequate oxygen and nutrients reach the yeast.
  2. Fast Pressure Brewing. A brewery under pressure to churn batches as quickly as possible tries to ferment alcohol as fast as possible. This does not give yeast enough time to metabolize the precursor compounds completely. This problem is larger for lagering than for ale.
  3. Another reason for acetaldehyde is fermenting inverted sugar instead of natural unpasteurized honey during mead making. Adulterated packaged honey is therefore avoided by mead makers.

Remedy

  • 48 hours of Diacetyl rest for lagers and ales. Slightly warm conditioning and patience are all it takes for the yeast to complete its task.
  • In mead tasting like acetone: Allow it to age for at least 6 months. High sugar and natural compounds in honey prevent yeast activity. Hence it takes it longer to clear up.
Tasting Acetaldehyde As An Off Flavor In Beer
Tasting Acetaldehyde As An Off Flavor In Beer
Watch this video on YouTube

Sulfur (H2S) – The aroma of rotten eggs or burning matches from the beverage is a result of H2S residue. It gives the beer, smell of the LPG gas, or decomposing organic waste. It is a sign of stressed yeast. The easiest way to replicate (in your experiments) is by using bread yeast to produce ethanol (stressed yeast= high sugar, high alcohol, and no oxygen). Amateurish quest to produce the highest ABV possible of adding too much sugar in wine and malt in beers will also yield these Sulfur aromas. Using the right strain of yeast, adequate oxygenation and nutrients help in keeping the problem at bay. Winemakers and brewers use a few drops of copper sulfate to remove these unpleasant flavors. However, use it sparingly because of copper toxicity regulations in food.

One of the easiest ways to get rid of this smell is:

  1. Use proper brewer’s yeast instead of baking yeast for fermentation
  2. Fine with a few drops of copper sulfate solution.

Does your homebrew have the stench/ smell of a skunk? It is a result of improper handling and storage of beverages (especially imported bottles). Hops react to riboflavin (from grain) under UV light to produce this skunk flavors. This is the reason why we keep the beers in dark bottles away from sunlight.

That being said, white wine is also very susceptible to UV light. In wine, it is called ‘goût de lumière’, which means the taste of light, especially in sparkling wine. In some light beers, patrons add a slice of lime before serving. This is to mask these skunk notes.

Ever wondered why Corona beer is served with lime? Imported beer in the clear glass gets skunk and citrus notes help mask the off-flavors.

Rotten Vegetal – Similar to cooked, canned, or rotten vegetable aroma and flavor (cabbage, onion, celery, asparagus, etc.) One whiff of the brew is all it needs to detect it. If it smells like the LPG or propane gas, then probably they have contamination issues. In wine, it is often a result of excessive contact with dead yeast post-fermentation. Breakdown or autolysis of yeast cake at the bottom is the culprit.

The industry is moving to the conical fermenter, which allows aging and storage in the same vessel without raking. Home-brewers, unfortunately, have to rake their wine every couple of weeks to remove the dead yeast (aka lees or yeast cake) sediments. If you are too worried about oxidation, pumping some CO2 in the new container before raking would help. CO2 being heavier than air provides a shield against oxidation.

Buttery, Waxy Goat Cheese: These are the buttery flavors often characteristic of wild fermentation. The yeast produces fatty acids (especially caprylic acid) to impart these notes in the brew. It is desirable in Lambic beers and prolonged cask-aged wine. Some winemakers introduce Lacto-malic culture to induce these notes. However, using improperly stored or oxidized hops can also introduce these cheesy notes.

Rancidity: smells like baby vomit or putrid smell of spoilt dairy. This is caused by butyric acid because of the breakdown of fats. It is usually caused because of contamination. Another reason is the use of oily ingredients (nuts, Choco butter, etc.) whose fat breaks down during fermentation. An untrained taster often confuses it with DMS

At low levels, it has a sweet, cooked, or canned corn-like aroma and flavor. These Sulphur based compounds are produced during germination. The precursor is SMM (S-methyl methionine) that is converted into DMS. Stale and improper malting is the primary reason for this fault. Other reasons could be improper mashing, cooling the wort slowly and wild yeast infection. It is often confused with Rancidity. You can use the stainless steel wort chiller for temperature control

This is one of the most common faults in amateur home brew. It could be because of process issues or improper bottling and storage. It is discussed in detail in the links.

Grainy, husky beers: Similar to nutty, harsh flavors of fresh green wheat. It is often prominent in home-brewers using self-malted grains. Giving the malt a 2-4 weeks rest (in paper bags) helps get rid of it. Besides, improper mashing can cause it. Avoid mashing for more than 2 hours or over-sparging with boiling water.

Estery: It is the aroma and/or flavor of any ester (fruits, fruit flavorings, or roses). I like a few banana notes with my wheat beers but too much of anything is undesirable. The usual culprit is poor temperature control. Each yeast has different thermal sensitivity. The same yeast can give clove flavors at low temperatures but banana/fruity notes at high temperatures. Maintaining lower and constant temperatures is the key to keep them manageable.

However, isolating the contribution of the fruity notes from the fruits/ flowers/ hops and that from the yeast cannot be done without access to the recipe. Making tea from the ingredients is the first step towards understanding these notes before altering the fermentation temperature conditioning.

Metallic flavors have multiple names: Tinny, coiny, copper, iron, or blood-like flavor. It makes the home brew beer and wine taste like beetroot and is generally considered undesirable.

There are two major reasons for the metallic flavors in beer and wine:

  • Equipment issue: The metal ions from your equipment could be getting leached into your brew. Remember that fermentation releases a lot of organic acids that can react with metals. Fermenting in aluminum or non-food grade fermenters is the usual culprit.
  • Even if you are using SS304 stainless steel equipment, you can sometimes get the metallic flavors if the workmanship is not good. All equipment needs to be treated for pickling or Passivation. This removes any free ions and unbonded iron from the surface of the containers. Welding, drilling, bending or any metalworking creates free unbonded ions, sharp edges, and micro-fissures from which metallic ion can be leached. Treating the equipment with full concentration (without dilution) of Anphossan will leach out any unbonded metal ions. It will also remove any stains, rust (yes freshly welded stainless steel can rust if not pickled) and bring back the shiny luster in your equipment
  • From Malt: Commercial breweries install a powerful magnet at the end of their grain mill to pull out any metallic shavings from the grain and keep these flavors at bay.
  • From Special Ingredients: Some fruits, especially the beetroot has a prominent metallic flavor and should be avoided.
  • Groundwater: In Eastern India (especially near mines), this could be an indication of groundwater contamination. Using RO water and monitoring the wort chemistry would help. New stainless steel equipment also gives these flavors, probably because of micro-scratches and free ions on the metallic body. A strong acid wash, followed by alkaline neutralization helps to remove it from the brand new equipment.

Sour/ Acidic: Excessive tartness in aroma and flavor. It can be clean (lactic acid) or sharp vinegar-like (acetic acid). PH below 3.0 is a sign that ethanol was oxidized to acetic acid and there is probably no recourse. At mild levels, pH (especially in wine) can be altered by the addition of some Calcium Carbonate (food grade chalk powder CaCO3). Vinegar CH3COOH in Latin means sour wine, which can be a reflection of how common this problem is.

If too much acetic acid is there, we will get a burning sensation in the nose, which is not desirable. In some beers like Gose, Wild Ales, Weise, and Sour Beers, a slight amount of tartness is desirable. However, do check the mashing process if the wort is getting sour. At low levels, it is often hard to distinguish between acetic acid and lactic acid sourness. Here, the smell comes handy. Lactic acid has no smell but vinegar has a distinct smell of nostrils burning.

This is usually caused by using old expired hops. At low levels of oxidation, one gets the catty notes (cat urine, tomato or grape leaves). However, at a higher level of degradation, one gets the cheesy notes. Making hop tea from the ingredients helps to identify them early. Storing hops in oxygen-free and inside a refrigerator helps counter this issue. In wine, larvae of some insects when crushed also yield similar urine like rancid bitter notes.

This could be due to a variety of reasons.

  • Firstly improper mashing leads to many unfermentable sugars.
  • Secondly incomplete fermentation due to poor yeast health. One of the easiest ways to replicate this is by using baker’s yeast for making beers from the same wort.
  • Stuck Fermentation.

Although Indians have a slightly sweet palate, excessive sweetness in beer is a flaw. To deliberately introduce residual sweetness, one could use crystal/ caramel/carapills malts. Milkshake IPA and milk stouts have added lactose (an un-fermentable sugar) to get a balanced sweet palate.

Phenolic: Spicy (clove, pepper), smoky, plastic, plastic adhesive strip, and/or medicinal (chlorophenols) like smells and flavors. German wheat beers and some English styles need these notes but often too much of a good thing is also bad. Another problem is that it can come from a variety of reasons, so debugging takes longer.

  • The culprit to the root cause is the chlorinated water, which gives medical and bleach-like aromas.
  • Second could be the yeast strains, try switching to a strain with a crispier finish. English stout yeasts are often attributed to clove flavors.
  • The third is the sanitizer residue especially iodine and chlorine. Try switching to a rinse-free sanitizer.
  • Fourth, mashing technique: Over sparging, using too hot water, or even crushing the grain too much can introduce these notes.
  • Fifth and the most obvious reason could be adding excessive spices. Spices lead to an increased warmth perception (higher perceived ABV) which is why some winemakers deliberately add excessive cloves and whole spices (garam masala) in their wine.
  • Lastly, in wine, this is called ‘Brett’ wine because of the yeast Brettanomyces strains (contamination) that were introduced in the vat.
Campden Treatment for Chlorine Removal in Brewing Water
Campden Treatment for Chlorine Removal in Brewing Water
Watch this video on YouTube
Campden powder can be used to remove chlorine from your brewing water.

Cork taint: wine faults

Musty/ Earthly: Stale, musty, or moldy aromas/ flavors. Sometimes earthy notes like mushroom and beet are perceived. It is usually a sign of fungal contamination and should be taken seriously. If there are any wall seepage and waterlogging issues, they should be fixed immediately. Using a humidity controller and proper sanitization is also recommended.

In wine, it is called cork taint, because the cork was not kept soaked in wine during aging (bottles were kept upright instead of at a slant in the cellar). It is often caused by compounds called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) or 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA).

If there are signs of malo-lactic fermentation (small microbubbles in wine during secondary that does not disappear), then adding Potassium Sorbate (wine stabilizer) before back-sweeten can also introduce these earthly notes.

The addition of some herbs, mushroom, cannabis/weed/hemp, etc. can also introduce these Earthly flavors. A bench test of these additives can root cause the culprit.

Yeasty: A bready, sulfuric, or yeast-like aromas or flavors. It is most often because the beverage is not aged properly and has too much yeast floating around. The quickest way to get rid of them is to wait for a couple of weeks under an airlock.

Some gelatin beer fining agent and 24 hours of a cold crash (keeping finished fresh ferment in a refrigerator) often do the trick to remove these off-flavors.

Diamond: Chemically these are Potassium Tartrate crystals, at the bottom of the wine bottles. Wine with excessive levels of tartaric acid tends to exhibit these diamond/ sugar like structures during aging. The best way to get rid of them is to cold crash (24 hours at 4o C) and then bottle. It is sediment in the bottle and does not affect the sensory perception in any other adverse way. One of the reasons expensive wine bottles have a dimpled base is that these crystals are stuck to the dimple structure at the bottom and are not poured out in the wine glass.

Heat Damage: It is a common term used by experts to describe anything that they suspect was improperly stored and handled. The notes from heat damaged IPA (hoppy beers) and wine are similar to an over-aged and oxidized beverage. Hence, heat damage gets more blame than it should deserve. The best way to prevent heat damage is by storing your hoppy beers and wine at less than 13 degrees Celsius.

It is an unusual name for viscous, slimy and fatty mouth-feel in wine. It is often a result of mallo-lactic fermentation. Wine styles with excessive dextrins and polysaccharides are known to exhibit a fatty feeling on the tongue.

Ever felt a whiskey/brandy-like feeling when drinking homemade wine?
The aroma, flavor, and warming effect of ethanol and higher alcohols. Sometimes it is described as hot. It can also be a result of adding too many spices like cloves & cinnamon in the brew. It is desirable in spicy Christmas beer and heated winter wine. It is a result of high-temperature fermentation or stressed yeasts. The biggest problem is that this reduces the amount of beverage that can be gulped in one sitting. Hence, most winemakers and brewers like to keep higher alcohols to the minimum.

Astringent: Puckering, lingering harshness, and/or dryness. When in excess, it impacts the finish or aftertaste by introducing harsh graininess and huskiness. In wine, it is often a result of excessive contact with grape skins. Reducing the contact with the skins and tannins used rectifies it. In beers, it could be because of too much of peated malts, smoked or biscuit malts. Another reason could be over mash or over sparge (which releases the grain astringency). Altering the pH and a few trial batches are needed to isolate the source of this astringency (grain, hop, or water). The reason for aging wine and certain styles of beers is to mellow down this astringency through certain natural biochemical reactions. Aged bottles are more valuable because of this unique flavor profile. Saving the astringent bottles for next quarter or year is always a good idea.FAQ Details

This is probably due to Refermentation. It is a common problem in inadequately pasteurized or preserved sweet wine. This is discussed in the post on Haze and can be cured by adding potassium sorbate or stabilizer in sweet wine.

For champagne, they keep it in a rotating neck freezer so that all yeast crystallizes on the cork and when we open it, gets expelled.

Grassy: Aroma/ flavor of fresh-cut grass or green leaves. Some hops and herbs especially Saaz hops have such a feeling. Fresh hops that are not dried properly also give these grassy notes. Many Indians who grew up drinking jaljeera and herbal teas actually like these notes in their beers. Some home maltsters who use fresh inadequately dried malts also report this problem.

Watery/ Thin: It lacks the body and mouth feel. In wine, it is a result of not using enough fruits. In beers, it is a result of using too little malt or too many enzymes. Adding a bit of specialty malt like caramel/ crystal malts will rectify it. The mashing temperatures can also be altered to produce more sugars that are unfermentable.

Manure: Also called Farmyard smell. It is a sign of improper cleaning of fruits and grapes before pulping. Sometimes in fruit beers, it is a sign of improper puree making techniques. Essentially, there is a degree of composting or undesirable microbial activity. Proper sorting of fruit is recommended to isolate the composted fruits. Most farmyard wine also have other defects associated with wild fermentation.

Solvent: are aromas and flavors of higher alcohols (fusel alcohols). Similar to acetone, lacquer varnish and paint thinner aromas. It is an indication of stressed yeast and is undesirable. Cheap distilled liquor (where the last portion of the distillate is not discarded) often gives these notes. Reasons for the stress could be inadequate healthy yeast count, high gravity (too much sugar), high temperature accelerated fermentation, etc.
In mead, the common reason is the use of inverted sugars or adulterated packaged honey.

Umami: Soy sauce or Thai fish curry aromas and flavors. It primarily comes from amino acids released from the autolysis of yeast. Slight umami flavor is desirable in Sake and some aged beers but it is a difficult flavor to balance. The usual culprit is the beverage sitting over dead yeast (cake/ lees) for a few weeks. Some brewers have switched to lower protein malts & changes in mashing to reduce Umami. Conical fermenters where the yeast cake can be drained out is recommended to combat these notes.

Floating Film: It is a transparent or sometimes white/ greenish layer on top of the wine (seldom/ rare beers). These films stick to the needles or toothpicks, due to their oily nature. The most common reason is the use of oily ingredients (certain fruits, chocolate butter, and nuts) and resinous hops. These can be remedied by tweaking the recipe.

However, wild yeast or mold infection could also result in these flecks on the surface and should not be ignored. Proper sanitation and a daily ritual of stirring the wine are known to help.

Homebrew is the most ancient technology known to mankind. It was practiced by cavemen, even before writing, agriculture or religion was discovered. Hence, it is an easy and safe food transformation.

On smell, trust me, if it smells offensive then it is composting and is not edible fermentation. My fermenter sits comfortably on top of my refrigerator which is in the middle of my living room and neither my wife, kids, or my guests ever complained. On the contrary, you get a nice fruity smell similar to one from a ripe fruit orchard.

One of the easiest ways to get your toes wet in this hobby would be the hooch recipe or toddy recipe. They can be practiced with simple ingredients found in one’s kitchen and do not need any investment.

Yes, all our parcels are packed in multi-layer discreet packaging. A lot of our customers live in orthodox joint families. Hence, we understand and respect your choices and privacy.

Hooch is a crude American term for any unfinished, freshly fermented wine or alcoholic beverage. It has a negative connotation because the product is often homemade with primitive fermentation techniques and hence equivalent to Desi Daru (देसी दारू) As per excise department, it is also categorized under the same category.

Toddy is the Indian term for Indian country/village wines which are not made from a traditional recipe i.e. not following a European grape wine recipe or a British/American apple cider recipe. This Indian traditional alcoholic beverage has a variety of medical, religious, psychological, and even psychedelic effects. Like the Native American Indian culture, Toddy making is acceptable (or overlooked by authorities) as part of a traditional religious and cultural practices. We tried to map a few on this map of India.

Wine, on the other hand, is a more refined sophisticated beverage that can be bottled and stored. Hooch and Toddy need to be consumed within a day or two or it will become too sour and dry for consumption. They typically take 4-8 weeks to make compared to 2-3 days for toddy. Most wines are aged for 6 months to two years before it is ready for serving while country beer/hooch/toddy is served fresh.

Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine
Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine

Some people confuse Toddy with Feni (Cashew Fruit Alcohol), Mahua (Mahua Flower/cake Alcohol) and Handia (Rice Alcohol). The sugar and starch source for all these 4 traditional Indian Beverages are different. Today fermentation techniques are made more sophisticated. As a result more and more people are consuming them in beer or wine form rather than distilled spirit. Rice Wine is also hazy white, so it is often sold as Toddy. However distilled spirits from these fruits and flowers are closer to Indian Mezcal or Tequila.

A 5gm of wine yeast costs 100/- and is good for about 5 Liters (6.5 bottles of 750ml each). Wine yeast can produce 15-17% alcohol in 3 days and is recommended for most beginners. We deliver it all across India via our courier partner India Post. If you buy bulk packets of 25gm or 100gm, you can save upto 40% on the price of the yeast.

The beer yeast on the other hand costs 175/- for 5gm and is good for about 10 liters or 30 pints of ale beer.

You can track your order either through my account page or by providing your order number and email address

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Bread yeast is selected to leaven (raise wheat-based dough), produce a lot of CO2 in a life span of 4-6 hours, and die off. Wine yeast is created in a lab and selected for its ability to produce high alcohol in adverse conditions (like no oxygen, low pH/acidic environment, and high sugar concentration). Yes, you can ferment ethanol with bread yeast, but to make quality wine you would need a special wine yeast.

Wine yeast will produce high ethanol (ferment dry without residual sugar or sweetness), does not produce off-flavors, and bring out the best color and aromas from your grapes and fruits. For more details, please refer to this tutorial 

YES, it is completely legal to make wine and hard apple cider at home in India for personal use except in states where it is banned like Bihar, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Manipur, and Nagaland. Just remember the following 4 golden rules:

  • Do not sell alcohol or engage in commercial activity without license permits and tax approvals.
  • Do not try to distill into brandy, vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, etc.
  • Keep your batch size small (below state-specific restrictions on how much alcohol you can ferment or store under your roof).
  • Also, don’t try to ship alcohol or cross state boundaries.

No law states in India that you cannot brew beer or make wine at home but this is only for personal use and not for commercial purposes. For a detailed list of regulations refer here.

Yeast is essential for winemaking, without yeast you will have only sweet juice and not wine. Yeast will convert sugar into ethanol alcohol and CO2. Some traditional winemakers don’t add yeast, but that does not mean that they made wine without yeast. What they did use was the natural yeast from the skin of the grapes for their fermentation. This technique is called wild fermentation and requires a biome to be established so that the right strains of microorganisms dominate the white deposits on your grape skin.

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Winemaking is like any fermentation or curd making. If you add too much jaman (curd starter culture), then your milk will turn into curd faster, but there will be no other perceivable change in your final product. However, if you don’t add enough starter culture, then the milk will spoil. Similarly, wines require a dosage of yeast. If the active yeast cell count is too low, you will be prone to spoilage. However, adding too much yeast will only lead to faster fermentation and no other change. The yeast will finish their job fast, settle at the bottom, and will be raked off.

Adding too much yeast nutrients or DAP is serious. It is a chemical and usage of more than 1gm per liter is banned in the USA.

Typically 4-12 days but it depends on a lot of factors:

  1. Fermentation temperature. Higher the temperature faster the fermentation is (but beware of the off-flavors produced in yeast fermented at above 25 degrees Celsius)
  2. Yeast dosage. although 1gm/liter is recommended. Increasing it to 3gm/liter can produce wine in 2-3 days (50% reduction in time)
  3. Availability of yeast nutrients. Grape and fruit juices don’t have enough natural proteins for the yeast to multiply fast. Adding 0.5-1gm per liter of yeast nutrient is sufficient to establish a healthy yeast colony and fast fermentation. Mead is notorious for being slow to ferment and produce nail polish like off-notes because of a lack of nutrients.
  4. Sugar concentration: 18-25% w/v of sugar concentration is ideal for fermenting with wine yeast. However higher the concentration, the more time it will take for the yeast to finish its job and produce ethanol.

Raisins are dried grapes. If grapes had enough ammonia, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin Bs then we would not be adding nutrients in the first place. So short answer is that raisins are a good source of glucose and cellulose (skin). It is not a good source of nutrients. The raisins do help in improving the flavor and ABV of your homebrew, but apart from that, it has little impact on the health of your yeast colony.

Yes, you can ferment homebrew wine and beer without yeast nutrient as well. However, it helps because of the following reasons:

  1. yeast nutrients have YAN (yeast assimilable nitrogen) which is needed to establish a healthy yeast colony. Healthy yeast = faster fermentation, lesser chances of infection (which means safer ethanol production), lesser yeast mutation (better flavor consistency).
  2. It prevents stuck fermentation
  3. Better flavor profile. Nutrients reduce the stress on yeast and prevent the off-flavor production in homebrew beer and wine

Yeast is a living creature that is shipped in a dormant condition. So like any organism, they have a shelf life from 3 days to 24 months. It is always important to buy yeast from a reputable store and ensure that it is kept in a cool dry place (away from sunlight and not in the freezer). Using bad yeast means that all the effort you put into making the homebrew will go to waste. There are Four kinds of yeasts used in home brews.

  1. Dry Yeast (like the ones sold at arishtam) They have an 18-24 month shelf life.
  2. Commercial Liquid Yeast: which has a shelf life of 1 week. If you are buying imported yeast, it might be difficult
  3. Self-propagated cultures: You could take some yeast sediment (trub) from your previous batch, wash the yeast, and maintain the culture. As long as you can keep it in the refrigerator and feed it every 3rd day, you can keep it for years.
  4. Slants: Seasoned pro home brewers can maintain their slant bank in agar medium for 3 years by freezing them. Home oven-dried yeast is usually able to survive 1 month of storage.

Yeast is very temperamental and goes bad very fast. In comparison, yeast nutrients are chemicals and dead yeast extracts that have a 2-5 year shelf life. So it is completely fine to use an old yeast nutrient in your yeast starter.

If you happen to stumble upon an old yeast nutrient and cannot buy a replacement, then don’t worry.

  1. Take 100ml of water
  2. Add 5gm of sugar
  3. Add 5 gm of yeast nutrient (old)
  4. Boil the three for 10 minutes and cool it in an ice bath
  5. Wait until the temperature reaches 30 degrees
  6. Sprinkle 5gm of dry yeast, stir gently and wait for 15-60 minutes
  7. Whoa! you have a yeast starter for a 10-liter batch.

Yes, they need lots of yeast nutrients (0.5-1gm per liter compared to 0.25gm per liter in case of homebrew beer). The reason is that honey and apple/fruit juice don’t have enough proteins and nitrogen. With a low YAN (simply put nitrogen that yeast can use) the fermentation tends to get stuck and is prone to infection. To compensate that we use 2-4 times more yeast nutrient. This helps establish a healthy yeast colony, prevent infection, stuck fermentation and off-flavors

Yeast is the single-celled microorganisms that are responsible for fermenting sugar (maltose, glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.) to ethanol. In the absence of oxygen, these yeasts do the transformation which converts your grain/fruit into a beverage. Yeast nutrients, on the other hand, are food for the yeast. On their own nutrients achieve nothing more than making a comfortable home for the yeast to function at its best capacity. Yeast energizer, on the other hand, is an SOS remedy needed to recover from stuck fermentation or incomplete fermentation or excessively low-temperature fermentation which can make yeast sluggish.

Although Yeast Energizers are types of nutrient blends, they also contain components such as vitamin B, diammonium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, and yeast hulls. Yeast energizers are particularly useful to restart a Stuck Fermentation, as it allows yeast populations to increase in a batch of beer or wine which likely has been depleted of these components due to an earlier yeast population growth. The additional components included in Yeast Energizers are most effective when for high gravity fermentation (high sugar high alcohol), low-temperature lagering, excessively low pH, high ash content (molasses) and other extreme fermentation styles.

The best time to add yeast nutrients is in the starter culture when you are hydrating the yeast. Beer brewers also add yeast nutrients during the last 10 minutes of the boil so that the ingredient gets sterilized. Wine and cider makers typically add it during step feeding (along with sugar in 2-3 stages during the initial days of fermentation). What you should never do is add the yeast nutrient along with Camden (potassium metabisulfite) on the first day i.e. before adding yeast. This is food for the yeast and not for other bacteria and wild microorganisms. Similarly, whether you are making beer or wine, don’t add it in second or after 3 days into fermentation (unless it is a stuck ferment)

There are two ways to add fizz:

  1. Using a CO2 cylinder.
  2. Add half a teaspoon of Priming sugar to your homebrew and seal the bottle for 2 days.

For more details refer to this step by step guide

For carbonation 1 teaspoon of priming sugar is considered ideal. For a more accurate dosage, put about 8gm per liter of beer. Add at the time of bottling (once the fermentation is complete) allow it to rest for 3 days before transferring to the refrigerator.

While beer brewers add just 8gm of sugar per liter of beer, sparkling wines, cider, and champagne need 16 to 25gm of sugar to create that loud distinct pop sound when you uncork a fully pressurized bottle.

Note: Be careful to use only stainless steel kegs or extra thick glass bottles. Normal glass bottles and water bottles are not meant to withstand this pressure and tend to burst.

Fruits contain acetobacter (bacteria that oxidizes ethanol alcohol into vinegar acetic acid), mold forming fungus, and several strains on wild microbes on their skin. You need potassium metabisulfite, Campden tablets or some form of sulfite to weaken or kill these bacteria before introducing the wine yeast.

Another alternative is boiling the fruit before adding yeast. However, the application of heat often leads to loss of most aromatic natural flavors and colors. Hence most winemakers prefer 12-24 hours Campden rest of their fruits to sanitize them and make a sterile medium for the wine yeast to dominate.

Another alternative is Sodium metabisulfite. However, you would need to use 20% extra dosage. This is because commercial sodium metabisulfite has much lower strength. Also, don’t use Sodium salts in the wine instead of Campden tablets/powder. It tends to alter the taste. Also, there are regulatory FSSAI norms to limit the salt content in food.

Campden a.k.a. potassium metabisulfite is an antioxidant/ preservative, commonly called “sulfites”. Most commercial wine labels will have listed it as one of its ingredients. It inhibits the bacteria activity but does not impact the yeast so much.

Potassium sorbate on the other hand is a preservative designed specifically to inhibit yeast reproduction. It’s used in white wine, cider, and mead which we want to be sweetened. Sorbate will prevent the yeast from fermenting off these residual sugars and prevent the wine from becoming dry and too alcoholic.

We recommend you to add 0.05gm of Campden powder per liter to achieve 25ppm of SO2 in your wine. Campden is added in dry red wines to prevent oxidation (turning to vinegar) and color stability (red color turning orange). I typically bottle wine at a pH of 3.5 and add about 25ppm of SO2 (from Campden) at the time of bottling. For other pH values, you can refer to the table below to compute the recommended dosage.

what is the safe level of campden in wine.

Add about 0.1 gm of Campden powder to fresh grape or apple or fruit juice to inhibit the bacteria, mold, and wild microbial activity in it. Cover the juice and let it rest overnight for the Campden to dissipate before adding any yeast and nutrients to it. This way the wild fermentation is prevented, and acetobacter, which turns alcohol into vinegar, is inhibited.

Wild yeast in fruit and grapes are often killed using Campden. However, once you have finished wine a stronger wine stabilizer is used when bottling sweet wine.

We recommend using a Tinseth IBU calculator for the exact dosage. Hops are divided into three categories:

  1. Bittering hops that are added 45-60 minutes into the boil
  2. Aromatic hops that are added in the last 10-15 minutes into the boil
  3. Noble hops that are dry-hopped add added directly to your fermenter

Most recipes would specify the quantity of hops for a 20 Liter batch and the time (it is the countdown time with Zero being flame off or end of wort making process). Depending on the recipe and style you could add from 0.25gm to 5-10gm of hops per liter of beer. However, the variety of hops and degrees of isomerization (due to boiling duration) has a big impact on bitterness a.k.a IBU.

Bitterness in beer can be quantified using IBU (International Bitterness Unit). Typical Indian beer would have an IBU from 5-15. The bitterness in a beer comes from the hops, the water (calcium, sulfate and magnesium ions), and boiling of hops (isomerization). We recommend you to use Tinseth’s calculators to help you adjust your IBU based on the hops you have. The link has various hoppiness levels for several styles of commercial beers.

Alcohol in a beer comes from the malt used and not from the hops. However hoppy IPAs (India Pale Ale) tend to be too bitter for easy gulping. Therefore most brewers add extra malt in them to balance the taste. So even though hops don’t make beer alcoholic, hoppy beers tend to have high alcohol percentages.

Yes, you can make Gruit style beers using spices, fruits, and roots which don’t need any hops. A lot of brewers are using Orange peels and coriander in their wheat beers and reducing their dependence on Hops. However, you cannot make an India Pale Ale IPA without hops.

Turbo yeast is a special strain of saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast that is genetically selected owing to its various abilities like:

  1. Fast action. It can make 17-20 % alcohol in 3-7 days (compared to 1 month for a traditional winemaking process)
  2. It is better suited for summers (high-temperature brewing of 20-30 degrees Celsius without producing off-flavors or hangover inducing higher fuel alcohols.
  3. High inoculation and cleaner crisp taste. The resulting ferment will not taste bready and the yeast will die off and settle in the bottom automatically without the need of fining agents (egg, isinglass, or bentonite) to clear the wine.
  4. It is also preferred by distilleries because of ethanol production for neutral spirits. However, please check the local permits and laws needed for moonshine stills before trying to distill whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, or brandy at home.
  1. Use extra yeast (3gm per liter will ferment twice as fast as 1 gm per liter. With turbo yeast, you can ferment 18-20% in 3 days.
  2. Maintain the temperature between 20 to 25 degree Celsius
  3. Add a little quantity of sugar syrup daily rather than all at once. If your recipe calls for 210 gm of sugar per liter, add 70 gm daily for 3 days rather than 210 gm on the first day. This will prevent the dehydrating effect of sugar from slowing down the yeast metabolism.
  4. Always hydrate the yeast for 15 minutes at room temperature water (less than 30 degree Celsius temperature) so that it hits your wine running.

Typically bottled home brew beer has a shelf life of 6 months. However, most home-brew beer is consumed within a week to a month of bottling or kegging. However, some people regularly store homebrew beer for up to 6 months successfully. Beyond this, the beer is still safe for consumption, just that it will not taste fresh. However, a couple of factors need to be taken into account to determine the shelf life.

  1. Storage temperature: Beer is like wine, higher the temperature the faster is the degradation in flavors.
  2. UV light: Even a couple of hours in direct sunlight can ruin a perfectly fresh beer
  3. Packaging: Microbrewery Growlers don’t last 2 days because the beer was oxidized during filling. If you see packaging in proper crown sealed glass bottles or stainless steel kegs, 6-12 months life is easy
  4. Oxidation: Once you open the bottle, drink within an hour.

Not more than a few days or max 10 days. Why?

Once the fermentation is over, the yeast dies and settles at the bottom. This yeast then starts breaking down and releasing umami flavors (soy sauce). To counter this, professional brewers brew in conical fermenters. In a conical fermenter, you can remove the dead yeast, and hence the umami flavors from yeast breakdown will not bother you.

Homebrewers, on the other hand, periodically rake their wine and beer from primary to secondary to tertiary fermenters to get rid of the off-flavors from sediments.

There are multiple ways.

  1. Lactometer: It is a 0.9 to 1.0 specific gravity meter that checks the density (hence fat content of the milk). You can use a 0-100% alcohol meter for this also. However, it will not work with skimmed milk as the fat content is already removed.
  2. Milk colostrum levels and adulteration with water in unpasteurized milk can be detected via a refractometer. Good thing is that it measures the dissolved solids & fats so it works with homogenized skimmed milk as well as unpasteurized milk.
  3. If you are a cheese or kefir maker from unpasteurized milk, then use a pH meter for an indication of microbial activity in your input milk (before adding the culture).
  4. The best test for checking the milk spoilage is the Resazurin dye test which directly tests for microbial activity.

1 Brix = 1 degree Plato = 1% of sugar (10gm of sugar per liter).

1gm of sugar gives ~0.45ml of pure ethanol. For a more detailed guide on measurement refer to the post on the measurement of alcohol

hydrometer brix to specific gravity table
hydrometer brix to specific gravity table

Sugar changes the refractive index or optical properties of water. The refractometer has a light source, a prism, and an optical sensor. It determines the bending of light (total internal reflection) angle to determine the minute delta in the refractive index. Through a calibration chart, it then determines the BRIX, degree plato or sugar % reading

how your refractometer works

Salt (salinity), machine coolant, alcohol, glycol (antifreeze), and almost all other dissolved solutions also similarly impact the refractive index. Hence, there are different refractometers with different calibration scales and ranges available. Based on your application, please choose one that is most suitable.

Pros:

  1. It is sturdy, rugged, and robust. I have never heard anybody breaking their refractometer. While hydrometers have an affinity to roll off the table and break.
  2. It is portable and easy to use. In the fruit mandi/shop you can easily ask for a two drop sample (compared to 250ml for hydrometer). For beer making it is easy to cool 2 drops of wort for mashing efficiency as well.
  3. For a small batch home brewer, you will lose 250ml of beer/wine every time you take a measurement. A refractometer consumes just 2 drops.
  4. Hydrometer’s gravity reading gets impacted by tiny bubbles in carbonated drinks. Refractometer reading is not impacted by it.

Cons:

  1. It is useful for initial reading only. The refractometer cannot be used for final gravity as alcohol and acetic acid also alters the refractive index of water.
  2. The refractometer has to be recalibrated with distilled water and a 10% BRIX solution for accurate readings.
  3. If you don’t have an ATC refractometer, then the temperature compensation table can get very confusing.
  4. If you take the 2 drop sample from the top of the wort, chances are that the floating oil film will change the refractometer reading. As a good practice, use a pipette (plastic dropper) and take the sample from 1 inch below the water level.

In short, a refractometer cannot completely replace hydrometer but it can make measurements simple during a field trip.

Fermentation is probably older than civilization and agriculture. It is a perfectly safe hobby that does not produce any poison or foul smell. When it comes to the safety aspect, follow the 4 golden rules:

  1. If the smell is funky, then it is better to discard
  2. If you see mold or a white-green-black floating film on top then discard
  3. If you are not distilling or fermenting wood or other inedible substances then one need not worry about methanol
  4. If the tastes are odd, then discard. Better safe than sorry.

People have been fermenting beer, wines, and ciders for 5 thousand years across the globe with various simple crude setup. A modern kitchen is much more hygienic and hi-tech than the early man’s setup. So if one could do a safe fermentation in a crude setup, then they can do the same in a modern kitchen. So be assured that if a recipe is followed, then a home brew will not make you sick or poison you.

Absolutely! Can you expect a commercial package to shower you with the same love, attention, and care as a handcrafted beverage? Homebrew is a handcrafted jewel in the form of a beer or wine bottle made with utmost standards.

Homebrewers do not use molasses or artificial colors or flavors that are widely used in the Indian IMFL industry. With natural fresh ingredients as input, the output is simply wonderful.

A triple scale is a nifty density meter used to measure the extent of fermentation in any brew, especially wine and beer. It sells under multiple names Mustimeter, BRIX Hydrometer, or Specific Gravity Hydrometer. It is a basic tool that measures the density of your beverage. It is calibrated to give BRIX, density, and potential alcohol from one single instrument.

Essentially gently lower the hydrometer in your wine or beer. Wait for it to settle and take the reading. Make sure you check the lower meniscus, and there are no dissolved CO2 (bubbling) in the beverage.

correctly reading hydrometer
correctly reading hydrometer
Measure Alcohol in Beer, Wine and Alcohol at Home | HYDROMETER| Refractometer | ARISHTAM | INDIA
Measure Alcohol in Beer, Wine and Alcohol at Home | HYDROMETER| Refractometer | ARISHTAM | INDIA
Watch this video on YouTube

Arishtam stocks Stainless Steel wort chiller because of the following reasons:

  1. Most locally made copper or aluminum chillers are made from AC ducting tubes. These air conditioning tubes are meant for industrial use to carry refrigerant and not food material contact. As a result, they are often dosed with lead and other heavy metal which helps in making these tubes harder and stronger. Unfortunately, that makes it hazardous for use in brewing.
  2. Stainless Steel chillers are better suited for chilling kombucha tea, honey mead, and milk for the cheese industry. Unlike copper, Stainless Steel does not react to low acidity, also it is easier to clean any grime/deposits that can get accumulated.
  3. Stainless steel is inert and does not accumulate the green rust that eats away your pipes. Hence it has a much longer life than a copper chiller.
  4. Pure food-grade copper is very soft and prone to pinching and denting which can render your equipment useless as the pipe will get blocked. Stainless steel is much tougher.
  5. SS-304 does not react with acid-based sanitizers that can eat away your copper metal over time.

Plate chillers consist of two sets of interlocking plates. We pass cold water through one set and boiling wort through the other to create a heat exchange.

Advantages of Wort Chiller:

  1. It is easy to sanitize: We can simply add the stainless steel chiller in the wort and disinfect it by boiling along with the wort. So, no extra effort is needed. Plate chillers on the other hand need a thorough cleaning as the wort goes inside the delicate and intricate tubes, pumps, and internal plates of your plate chiller.
  2. Repair: If a section of the wort chiller pipe is blocked, one can cut it out and repair it. However, plate chillers are brazed together and hence much more difficult to repair.
  3. Wort Chiller can be attached to tap water to create the chilling. However, plate chillers need a magnetic drive high-temperature food grade pump to operate, which adds to the cost and cleaning efforts.
  4. Plate chillers need to be monitored continuously for flow rate (both of hot beverage and cold water). If the two flows are not balanced, then the desired cooling will not happen. Wort chillers, on the other hand, do a batch cooling. So one needs to keep it on till the temperature drops to pinching temperature (30 Degrees Celsius).

Essentially, plate chillers are ideal for industrial use if you are planning to chill a large batch (100 Liters or more) and are brewing multiple times a week. For a smaller 20-50 liters batch, one can simply use a wort chiller pipe to achieve the desired results.

After you have removed the spent grains, one can add the wort chiller. This way during the rolling boil, the metal surfaces also get sanitized. After the flame is turned off, one can connect it to the cold water source.
Wort chiller works through a simple heat exchange mechanism. The chilled water inside the pipe cools down the wort as it flows. In about 15 minutes, it can bring 35 liters of boiling water to room temperature.

Typically it takes 30-48 hours in case of wine or beer ales. It can take as long as 3 days for the lager fermentation as the cold temperature decreases the yeast CO2 fermentation rate and also the CO2 solubility increases at lower temperatures.

If your fermenter has still not started bubbling then:

  1. Please check for leaks. Very similar to a car puncture repair. You can spray sanitizer at all joints and lid and seals to find a leak. Once you find it seal it with Teflon tape or any other food-grade sealant that you can find at a plumbing store.
  2. Check for stuck fermentation
  3. Cross-check if you have fermentable sugars left in your fermenter.

Indian summers are notorious in increasing temperatures to above 25 Degree Celsius. Above this temperature, the yeast starts producing stressed off-flavors and hangover causing chemicals. Luckily, you can make a simple swamp cooler for your fermenter. Other options to cool down your fermenter include:

  1. Using a cooling jacket or ice to bring down the peak heat of the Indian Summer noon.
  2. Converting an Ice-Cream freezer into a fermentation chamber using a simple thermostat
  3. Using tec Peltier cooler to regulate the temperature with a mobile app.

You can use any food-grade sanitizer to sanitize your fermenter. StarSan or Hydrogen Peroxide good sanitizers that are available easily in the local chemist shop. Also, be mindful of cleaning/buffing any scratches, blindspots (areas which tend to blacken over time because they were hard to reach or clean). Remember to clean the insides of holes and dismantle joints and fittings before sanitizing. For more details refer to this blog post.

 Yeast Nutrient & Energizer will remain stable for 1 year if stored in an airtight container in a cool environment away from sunlight. Simply reseal the silver pouch and keep it in the refrigerator/freezer and you should be good to go.

Kombucha can go flat because of a variety of reasons. Here is a troubleshooting guide.

  1. Improper packaging: You need a proper container that can retain CO2 pressure. Crown caps are the best for it. However, screw cap type milk bottles don’t hold pressure that well. A swing type bottle is also great.
  2. Priming Sugar: If you ferment the kombucha completely, then there is not much sugar left for it to ferment and carbonate. Use a hydrometer and add about 8gm of residual sugar per liter at the time of bottling.
  3. Improper bottle conditioning: Natural CO2 takes a couple of days to form. Keeping the kombucha in the refrigerator immediately after bottling does not give it adequate time to carbonate.
  4. Lack of yeast. If you filter your kombucha, then you might strip it of yeast and healthy microbes. This would not allow the fermentation to happen in the bottle.

Jun tea is a sweet, sour effervescent beverage made from fresh unpasteurized honey and green tea. Kombucha on the other hand is made from tea and sugar. The primary difference is that kombucha is a lot more tart than Jun. However, you can use the kombucha mother to make Jun tea as well. So the two cultures are very similar in origin. For all practical purposes, Jun tea is a type of kombucha and should not be treated as a different culture altogether.

  • First have a look at the SCOBY. If there are black or green patches on it, then the kombucha is most likely affected by mold and should be discarded.
  • Then look, if there are any insects, weevil or pests in the kombucha. If they are 1-2, you could probably discard the impacted portion. If there are too many, then you may have to procure a fresh mother.
  • Smell the kombucha. If it smells pleasant then you are probably OK. If it smells rotten or sewage like, then discard.
  • Trust your senses. Taste a spoon full. It should taste tart and yet refreshing.

In short, if the kombucha that you made looks OK, smells ok and tastes ok, then it is OK.

Kombucha traditionally is made in a glass or porcelain fermenter. We would strongly recommend you to start in a similar mason jar or a pickle jar that is typically found in Indian kitchens. Tie it with a muslin cloth (or handkerchief) to prevent insects from dropping by.

As you scale your kombucha, we would recommend you to use either:

  1. Conical fermenter: This allows you to rapidly clean the sediment without disturbing the SCOBY. Hence, you can ferment faster and scale up your enterprise.
  2. Another option is to ferment in a Corny Keg. These are inexpensive and allow you to produce very good quality natural carbonation. You can sell and transport in the kegs as well. This allows you to scale up fast.

Cornelius keg (also known as a Corny or Corney or soda keg) is a beverage keg originally made by Cornelius. It is a stainless steel canister designed to withstand huge pressure (120psi 4 times what is there in your car tyre).

They are ideal to store, dispense, carbonate, and even transport sodas, beer, champagne, kombucha, and ginger ales. Its unique three mouth design makes it easy to clean and maintain kegs over many years. Also, its long slender design makes it easy to refrigerate and store in tight spaces like your chest freezer.

Kegs are easy to maintain. A standard 11/16 x 7/8 in. wrench is sufficient to remove the keg ball lock posts and dismantle the keg for cleaning or repairing. However, we will recommend you to buy 7 in 1 spanner. As it can help you with your beer lines and beer taps as well. It is ideal for all microbrewery purposes.

A corny keg has 3 inlets and a PRV (pressure release valve). To fill the keg, open the large oval lid to fill the liquid. Use the gas inlet to fill in CO2 and the liquid inlet to dispense.

How to fill a Corny Keg UPDATED (Simple, LODO, & Closed Transfer)
How to fill a Corny Keg UPDATED (Simple, LODO, &amp; Closed Transfer)
Watch this video on YouTube

Corny kegs, don’t have any markings. This makes it difficult to set up for the first time. To find out which side to connect with CO2 gas and which side connects to your beer lines, there are 3 ways.

1. Dip Tube

Open the keg and try to feel the inside of the keg posts. The liquid line will have a long dip tube going all the way to the base of the keg. The gas line will have a shorter inch and a half stainless steel tube (as shown in the picture)

Inside of the Gas post of the ball lock keg

2. Keg Post Construction

If you are unable to open the keg (because it is pressurized or filled), then look at the keg-post construction. The gas post is smoother while the liquid post has a ridge design. As shown in the picture.

Gas vs liquid ball lock connect

3. Ball Lock Connect

Find the ball lock connect on which Gas is written (usually the white/grey in color) and connect it to the keg posts. If it fits then you are golden. However, this is the least reliable method as modern keg connects fits both ends. This is because some home brewers like to force carbonate their kegs by pumping CO2 from the beverage end instead of using the carbonation lid.

ball lock keg connection
Gas Ball lock connect

Typically I fit in 7-8 kegs in a chest freezer aka Amul ice-cream refrigerator. Just attach a thermostat and you are good to go. You can buy your keezer attachments here.

If you are unsure how many kegs you can fit in, cut out 8.5 inches circular discs (you can also use serving plates of 8.5-9 inches diameter). Place it inside the refrigerator to cover the area.

If you are trying to fit your corny homebrew keg in a fermentation chamber or mini-fridge, just make sure that you have knee-length height in your keg which is 25 inches for 19L and 14.25 inches for 9.5 Liters version (plus an additional inch or two for maneuvering)

Your beverage serving cans are made of aluminium. Kegs are made of SS304. Reasons are:

  1. This allows it to store highly acidic homebrew like cider, mead, and wine. (Even gose style beers and lambic beers).
  2. Also aluminium is a soft material prone to scratches, while stainless steel is tougher. This prevents contamination from hiding in the scratches and ruining your brew
  3. Aluminium cans are coated with a food-grade resin coating from inside to be able to withstand corrosion. This mechanism is good for disposable containers. However, kegs are supposed to be re-used. Hence checking the coating integrity every time you empty them is going to be tedious. So kegs and equipment used in the beverage industry are made from Stainless Steel and not Aluminium.

Toddy is a refreshing traditional drink from Indian Villages. It is supposed to be consumed in the afternoon along with lunch (before the siesta) or during religious ceremonies and social parties. It is unfiltered and has the signature white milky color from the suspended yeast.
It is mildly alcoholic (3-5% alcoholic) and has a lot of good probiotic microbes from the lacto-fermentation. It can be made from coconut sap, sugarcane juice, fresh flowers, and herbs. It is supposed to be consumed within 1-2 days and is always served fresh.

Toddy is made from a variety of locally sourced ingredients and with a variety of styles. It is a rustic Indian traditional beverage which can be made from:

  1. Tender Coconut juice in South India and Coastal parts (link to the Hindi version of the recipe). Remember there are laws against tapping the sap of coconut trees.
  2. Sugarcane juice – It turns slightly brownish and sour as the sugar gets fermented to alcohol. From North India.
  3. Tetra pack juices can also make wonderful toddy wine.
  4. Steamed Rice which is a famous afternoon dish of Odissa.
  5. Mahua flowers from Central India.
  6. From mango, other fruits, and flowers as well.

It is usually served fresh and turns sour very quickly. However, Now with the use of proper packaged yeast and refrigeration, it can be bottled for later as well.

In mild quantities, Vedic Wine is a healthy refreshing drink. Vedas call Arishtam as Sidhu.

Wine in Ayurveda

जरणीयो विबन्धघ्नः स्वरवर्णविशोधनः । लेखनः शीतरसिको हितः शोफोदरार्शसाम्॥

Ca. Su. 27 /185

Apakwa rasa sīdhu (sugarcane wine made without boiling) is a digestive, laxative. It improves swara (voice) and varna (skin color). It does lekhana (weight loss) and is useful in sopha (swelling of joints/ arthritis), udararoga (Abdominal diseases, digestion, and gastric ailments), and arśas (piles or constipation).

तद्वत् पक्वरसः शीधुर्बलवर्णकरः सरः । शोफघ्नो दीपनो हृयो रुच्यः श्लेष्मार्शसां हितः॥(Su. Sū. 45/184)Pakwa rasa sīdhu improves bala and varna. It is sophaghna, agnidīpaka, hrdya, rucikāraka and is useful in kaphaja arsas.

The 9 Health Benefits of Vedic Wine are:

  1. It eliminates stress and body pains. Nothing better than a pitcher of Vedic Wine after a day of hard work in the fields
  2. It helps fight against cholera and water-borne diseases. fermentation eliminates bad bacteria and purifies the water in the beverage. That is why buttermilk, pakhala, Arishtam and toddy are safe drinks to have in places where waterborne diseases are rampant.
  3. It is Diuretics. Which means it improves kidney function. It helps restores the necessary osmotic balance in the body. Also, it flushes your bladder and kidney by promoting urination. Arishtam and Toddy drinkers have pale straw-colored urine.
  4. Wine prevents sunstroke by reducing the body’s metabolism rate (thanda food) and hydrating it.
  5. No preservative, no chemicals, no sugar. That is why it is better than any commercial hard drink and packaged soft drinks
  6. Wine helps to preserve and promote Indian Culture & Traditions
  7. It is probiotic and aids in Digestion. Wild fermentation from the terracotta pots helps restore the good bacteria in the gut. This good bacteria helps eliminate constipation, gas and other gastric
  8. It is rich in Vitamin B. The yeast of Toddy is the richest source of Vitamin B-12 for a vegetarian.
  9. It Promotes Weight Loss. Never heard of Wine elly? Well, it is one of the lowest-calorie nutritional drinks available in the market. Fermentation takes out the sugar and leaves you with the goodness of fruit juice.

That being said, Arishtam recommends moderate consumption for recreational purposes only. Drinking in excess or for intoxication will damage your liver and general health.

Amazing Health Benefits of Palm Wine || Thati Kallu Benefits || Toddy
Amazing Health Benefits of Palm Wine || Thati Kallu Benefits || Toddy
Watch this video on YouTube

Toddy is supposed to be fermented in terracotta pots and drunk fresh. Usually, in villages, they consume it within 24-48 hours of tapping the palm tree or juicing the sugarcane. If you store in a refrigerator, you can extend it to a week. However, if you want to store longer and serve in bottles or cans here is what you need:

  1. Read about how to prevent oxidation in your homebrew. How to use an airlocksiphon, and sanitize your equipment. This will dramatically improve your shelf life.
  2. The white color of toddy comes from suspended yeast. If you plan to store it for long, please filter it.
  3. You need to improve packaging so that the toddy does not get contaminated. You can also use kegs to make it very bubbly
  4. On its own, it will become very alcoholic (10-13% Alcohol) please read about how to reduce alcohol.

If prepared like wine and stored properly, toddy can last for months in glass bottles.

Koji has its origin in Japan. It is used extensively in making Sake. After the fermentation is over, the Brewmaster would collect the rice inoculated with the yeast. He would dry and powder the spores for his next batch.

Chinese Rice Ball, as the name suggest has its origin in China. After the fermentation is over, the brewmaster would collect the residue. It would be dried and shaped into small balls (laddoo) which is then used for the next batch.

In terms of ability, both the strains can convert starch to simpler sugars and alcohol. Hence, for an amateur sake brewer, one could use the Koji to make Chinese rice wine. Also, similarly one could use Chinese rice yeast balls to make Koji.

One can unfortunately not use Baker’s yeast or wine yeast or beer yeast to make rice wine. The reason being that these yeast don’t have the Alpha amylase enzyme needed to convert starch into sugar.

There is a huge variety of rice wine and traditions. Some like it tart, some sweet. Some like it filtered while most like it milky white. Some like it plain, while some infuse spices and a lot of people infuse flowers (floral aromas). It is hard to generalize the taste and flavors of rice. However, in general, it is a slightly tart, mildly sweet, and alcoholic beverage.

Technically any alcoholic beverage made from the fruit is called Wine. However, apple wine is called hard cider. Pear wine is called Hard Perry. Honey or flower wine is called Mead.

Rice is technically a grain. Hence any alcoholic beverage made from rice should be called rice beer. However, most people call it rice wine or sake.

Apple Cider can be turn out bitter because of a variety of reasons. Here are some to help you out:

  1. Low Residual sugar. Sweetness is the best mask for bitterness (for example coffee and chocolate). Try using some wine stabilizer and back-sweeten your cider.
  2. Excess Tannin: Adding too much oak chips, fruit skins, and other sources of natural tannin can introduce astringency, woody feel, or bitterness in your wine/cider. The best way to reduce is by using a fining agent. IsinglassBentonite, and Gelatin can help you control excess tannin.
  3. Aging: Time mellows down all harsh flavors in cider/wine. Try aging your cider/white wine by 1-6 months and red wine by 1-3 years. With time the complex biochemical reactions will make your beverage more flavorful and amazing.
  4. Problem with the fruit: Although you can make cider/wine from any fruit, some fruits are not that flavorful. When you take the sweetness out (by converting it to alcohol/vinegar), the residual flavors start emerging. Try to experiment with a different harvest or fruit type. Mixing two or three different fruit also helps.

For more details refer to our off-flavors guide.

Fruit wine is full of aromas and flavors from the natural fruit it is made of. They are often infused with spices (especially cinnamon, ginger, star anise) which add to the complex boutique flavors that we recognize with a good cider. They taste very similar to a dry white wine but can be back sweetened to taste. If you carbonate your cider, it will taste and feel like champagne.

Unlike cider vinegar, your alcoholic hard cider should not taste sour or burn your nostrils (acetic acid). They are also not supposed to taste bitter.

Fermentation takes away sugar leaving the goodness of fruit behind. Yeast and natural fermentation also add to Vitamin B-12 and other probiotics to your diet. These vitamins are otherwise very difficult for vegetarians to source. Hence fruit cider is more healthy for the gut and overall well-being of its consumer.

If you are conscious of weight loss, then ferment your apple cider dry (without residual sugar). Use a hydrometer and ensure the specific gravity reading is 1.000 or lower. This sugar management will help you if you are diabetic risk, on a keto diet or looking to lose weight.

Remember we added no colors, preservatives, artificial flavors, or chemicals in your homemade cider. Try using organic fruits with the skin to extract the maximum benefit of nature and improve your health.

Both Malt extract (Dry Malt Extract Powder) and Malt Syrup (Liquid Malt Extract) are made from Pilsner barley using vacuum drying. However, Syrup has 80% malt while 95% for dry malt powder. Arishtam Prefers DME because it is a more concentrated form and powders have longer shelf life and ease in transportation.
There is a separate malt powder that is used in the baking industry. This is a powder of diastatic grains. This cannot be used for wort making as the enzymes have not yet converted starch into maltose needed for your beer.

Liquid Malt Extract and DME can be created from variety of grains. The most popular being Barley, Wheat and Sorghum. The advantage with Sorghum Malt Extract is that it is gluten free.

IPA (India Pale Ale) also called American Pale Ale and New England Pale Ale is a hop-heavy alcoholic beer. You need a copious amount of base malt (like Pilsner and malt extract powder) and very little amount of craft malt in the recipe. Go for the yeast with the highest attenuation so that the sweet malty flavors are subdued and hop aromas dominate.

The wort extract powder we sell at Arishtam is ideal for IPA style beers. We will recommend using 2-3 aromatic hops for the best results.

Malt extract has already gone through the wort making process before it was vacuum dried. Hence, there is no need to boil it throughout the 2-hour long mashing cycle that most recipes would call for. That being said, the bittering hops need ~60 min of boiling with malt for it to be fully isomerized. So this is what I would do:

  1. From your favorite recipe identify the quantity of Pilsner, Munich and bother base malts and substitute it with Malt extract powder (DME).
  2. Add the craft malt (non-base malt) in your wort early on and allow it to go through the 2-hour long mashing cycle.
  3. Towards the last 60 minutes add the bittering hops (or the early boil portion of dual-purpose hops). If your recipe has no craft malt, then add 1/4-1/3 of your DME at this stage and skip the step 1 & 2.
  4. Towards the last 15-20 minutes, put in the rest of the hops and malt extract powder.
  5. Stir it, as malt extract tends to get caramalised into red color if over boiled.

Most Malt can last for 24-36 months from the date of manufacture if stored properly. Malt extract when exposed to moisture solidifies into a solid block. Grains tend to gather pests if not stored properly.

Read our blog on proper storage tips for your craft malted grains. Also, use your coffee french press to test the quality of malt before adding it to your wort.

 A pH of 3.0 to 3.4. is desirable for white wines, while Red Wines have a pH range of 3.3 to 3.6. Your dry wine should have a higher pH, while your sweet wine typically is at the lower end of the range. This is because sweetness can mask a lot of sour/tartness or acidity.

If the pH is too low, the wine will taste like vinegar. If the pH is too high, then you would need an excess amount of Campden and preservatives to stabilize it. Remember Alcohol and pH are the two natural protection for wine.

Some professionals also measure TA (Total Acidity). It is essentially a measure of how much Calcium Carbonate is needed to increase the pH. The simple morality based calculations don’t work with beer with organic acids. There are a lot of biochemicals that can emit H+ ions but they are so weak that the pH meter does not capture it.

Sugar + yeast + no oxygen => Ethanol

Converting sugar into alcohol/wine or ethanol is one of the simplest and oldest food transformation possible. Read about our toddy wine to get the detailed recipe. Essentially, you would take 200gm of sugar in 1 liter of water. Boil it and cool it to room temperature. Then add 1-3gm of hydrated turbo yeast and cover it with an airlock. In 2-3 days the fermentation will be complete. Check the hydrometer to measure the extent of fermentation. The specific gravity would drop from 20% BRIX to 0 Brix indicating all the sugar has converted to alcohol.

Making grape wine is one of the oldest and simplest fermentation transformation. It is older than the Mahabharat, Ramayan, or Bible. You can get the detailed step by step guide in this recipe. Essentially you need grape juice, some wine yeast, and an airlock.

Chocolate malt is not the same as chocolate powder. If we roast the barley enough, its SRM/EBC/Loviblond will increase. Essentially it means that it will start giving dark brown color to your beer wort rather than the traditional golden colors. This is achieved by a high temperature longer kilning to increase the EBC to 500-1000. During this transformation, the flavors become more caramel-like. This makes them ideal for dark porters, chocolate stout, and other dark beers. Usually, chocolate malt is made from barley but lately, dark roasted chocolate wheat malt is also available.

One should not confuse chocolate malt with black malt. Black malt has an EBC of 1200+ and a overwhelming smokey flavors. Black malt is useful for Guinness style beers (black porters)

10 to 15 minutes. However Beer chilling depends on variety of factors:

  1. Where are you are chilling? Chilling in the refrigerator takes about 30 minutes but chilling in a freezer takes 10-15 minutes.
  2. What: Glass is an insulator. Hence glass bottles take 30 minutes to chill but aluminum cans can be chilled in 10 minutes.
  3. How many: It will be faster if you add a couple of bottles in your refrigerator. However, if you add a couple of crates then it will take forever. Do check if the refrigerator is overloaded or vents as blocked. Those can also add to the chilling time.
  4. Season: It will take longer for the refrigerator to function in summer than it will in winter. Humidity also reduces the cooling efficiency as the condensation of air can take away a lot of chilling power of your freezer

How to chill the Beer Wort Fast?

  1. The higher is the difference between the beer (wort) and the chiller source, faster is the cooling.
  2. Stirring or circulation pump can cut down your chilling time by half.
  3. Faster is the chilling, less will be the haze in the beer. Also flash chilling causes pasteurization that can prevent home brew beer infection.

Yes, you can make amazing wine from tetra pack juice or fresh fruit juice. Just add some sugar and turbo yeast and you are golden. Couple of things to take into account:

  1. Make sure the juice is preservative-free. Preservatives retard the microbial action and lead to stressed yeast wine.
  2. Don’t buy juice with added colors and artificial flavors. Mango juice is notorious for this it has 5% mango pulp and the rest 95% is added sugar, color, and synthetic essence. You would not want to drink that.
  3. Check for acidity. If it is lower than 3.5 (which is the case with most artificially sweetened fruit juices), you need to increase it. Adding some Calcium Carbonate will help to achieve the right pH level.

One of the biggest advantage of a transparent plastic carboy fermenter is that is allows for a very accurate beer and wine quantity reading.

Fermzilla comes with a water level sticker as well. The sticker will have a read marking for the seam level. All you need to do is to align the two and stick it.

Fermzilla Water level strip application. How to.
Fermzilla Water level strip application. How to.
Watch this video on YouTube

If you are using a fermenter without this water level sticker, then you will have to calibrate it the old school way.

  • Step 1: Take the empty fermenter weight and tare it to zero.
  • Step 2: Add 1 kg or 1 Liter of water.
  • Step 3: Mark that level as 1 Liter
  • Step 4: Add another kg to get the 2 liter marking.
  • Step 5: Repeat till the fermenter is filled.

It is very important to have right water level marking in a home brew fermenter. Most recipes will call for a specific ratio of wine and beer additives. If you don’t know how much liquid is there, chances are that you will add too much or too little of spices. This will lead to imbalance of flavors, colors and aromas. Also good record keeping is the key to be able to successfully scale from a small home brewing to pilot recipe research to running your own microbrewery.

One needs to understand the difference between cleanness, sanitation and sterilization.

Scrubbing and washing with hot water cleans the surfaces. It will remove any sticky residue from malt, grape, fruit or yeast. However it cannot sanitize the equipment.

Sanitizer will eliminate any bacteria or microbes sticking on the surface, however it cannot clean and scrub the equipment.

For a successful home brew beer, wine or kombucha one needs to perform both the tasks. First we need to clean all surfaces so that all sticky residue or soiling is removed. Then second we use the sanitizer to ensure that the surface is free from microbes.

Please note that don’t scratch the surface of the equipment during a through scrubbing. Also clean all brewing equipment before and after each use.

Traditionally people have been using potassium permangnate, strong acid and Lye (sodium hydroxide) and bleach for sanitizing. These are strong chemicals and impart a off flavor to the food. As a result one would need to rinse the equipment with water after the application of these rinse free sanitizer. This is oxymoron because when we wash them again with normal water, fresh contaminants gets introduced into the solution.

Rinse free food grade sanitizer means that on a clean surface, one needs to just create a 60-90 seconds contact. After sanitization we just need to drain off excess water and let it air-dry. This sanitizer will not leave any toxic residue which will harm the health or change the flavors of your home brew. Also it is good for the environment because the sanitizer will easily break-down into non-toxic components and not harm the environment.

Yes, one of the biggest advantages of Anphossan is its long shelf life. After you are done with the brew day, you can use the the same solution to wash the equipment again. Since most brewers wash their equipment before and after every use, this means that one can reuse the sanitizer and hence use only 1/2 the quantity needed. If you are planning to store the diluted sanitizer for a long time, do check its pH level frequently. The potency of the sanitizer can be easily maintained by ensuring pH is below 3.0.

Iodophor, Bleach, and other cheaper sanitizer generate a lot of volatile fumes. Through these fumes chlorine, iodine, ammonia and other sanitizer chemicals dissipate into the atmosphere. This would reduce the strength of the sanitizer and also the toxic fumes are not healthy for the workers. Prolong exposure to Chorine, Iodine, and Ammonia can perforate the lungs and cause respiratory damages.

Yes mold and bacteria can easily be eliminated using Anphossan. The low pH anionic sanitizer is best for defending against infection because the acid attacks the greasy slimy sticky layer coating on your equipment. By eliminating this layer, the sanitizer can penetrate deeper and kill the mold and bacteria that are hiding behind.

Washing and scrubbing your equipment before application of sanitizer is recommended. Also please clean your equipment before and after every use. This will prevent any home brewing infection, contamination and growth of unwanted microbes.

This sanitizer is a multipurpose sanitizer which can be applied to multiple surfaces. You can use Anphossan on Glass, Stainless Steel, Plastic and Rubber. For copper, you can spray or wipe to sanitize and eliminate the greenish black spots. However Don’t soak the copper for long duration.

Almost all Beer, Wine, Kombucha and Dairy Cheese equipment can be cleaned with this acidic sanitizer. It is food grade, does not give any toxic fumes and rinse free. Hence it makes cleaning and handling very easy. Added advantage is that one does not need to wash or rinse the sanitizer after use. This saves labor and chances of contamination from the washing water.

Beer bottling is very simple. Here are 6 simple steps:

  1. Wait till the fermentation is complete
  2. Give finishing touches: Priming sugar to create CO2 fizz, potassium sorbate to stabilize and back sweeten wine, Campden to prevent bacterial action or spices/secondary infusion to perfect the taste.
  3. Use a siphon to pour the beverage into the bottle without oxidation. If you have a beer bottling gun, then it is easy to purge with CO2. This way oxidation chances are eliminated completely.
  4. Once the bottle is filled, put a crown cap and crimp it to seal the bottle. The priming sugar will naturally get converted to CO2 and create the fizz or beer head.
  5. Paste a nice label and personalize the packaging.
  6. Chill and invite the friends over to collect their admirations.

The advantage for Glass bottles:

  1. They are easily available, inexpensive
  2. A personalized label with a crown cap really gives a professional touch to your beer.
  3. It is easy to carry, gift and serve.

The advantage for kegs are:

  1. You pour out exactly the amount that you need.
  2. Serving from a tap gives an uplift to your minibar. You feel like a microbrewery.
  3. It is easier to dry hop, mix different experiments, and do very scientific craft beer recipe experiments.

Advantages for beer can

  1. It creates an unbelievable excitement for the customers
  2. It is easier to cool, chill. It is not fragile and weighs a lot less
  3. Unlike glass bottles, kegs don’t explode due to excessive pressure.

Sediment a.k.a. trub or yeast deposit or yellow ring is very normal in home brew bottle. It is not an indication of there being anything wrong with your beer. This occurs because

  1. Priming sugar caused yeast to multiple. After their job is done, this yeast will deposit at the base.
  2. The beer was not aged in the secondary fermentation. As a result, there was still some haze that settled to the base. Filtration or cold crashing for 48 hours usually solves this problem.
  3. If you use a corny keg and pressure bottle fillers, it will ensure that the sediment is in the keg and not in the bottle.

Does it affect the beer in any way?

Not really. The yeast sediment does not alter the taste in any way. It is completely edible and a good source for Vitamin B.

How to pour the home brew beer?

  • Because of the sediment, it is advisable to pour the home brew beer rather than serving it straight in the bottle.
  • Remember to leave behind a quarter of the bottle. This way the sediment does not get poured out into the glass.
  • Pour the quantity in one go. If you tilt the bottle to pour halfway, then straighten the beer bottle, you stir up the sediment. This will make your beer hazy.
  • The key thing is that when you pour beer, you’ll want to ensure that you pour the beer out fully but halt the pour just when the sediment is about to exit the bottleneck.
  • The yeast sediment will make your pour cloudy. It can also alter the color. So most brewers avoid pouring it out.

Fermentation is Sugar (malt, fructose, or sucrose) being converted to CO2 and ethanol alcohol. Firstly if this CO2 is not vented out, it will build up pressure and will cause the home brew fermenter to explode. The primary job of an airlock is to allow this CO2 to be safely vented out.

Second problem is that if oxygen or outside air is allowed in, this will react with alcohol and convert it to vinegar (acetic acid). The reason airlock is named as an lock because it should lock the outside air out.

Arishtam keeps two varieties of airlock. The traditional S Type and the modern 3 piece airlock.

Wine is fermented for the first 1 week without an airlock. Similarly most beer brewers will keep their fermenter open (without airlock) for the first 4-6 hours. This is because oxygen in the initial stages of fermentation is helpful. That being said fermenting without airlock increases the chances of oxidation. Your alocohol will turn to Vinegar.

Even for non alcoholic fermentation airlock is used. Airlock helps keep mold, bacteria and infection away. Also flies get attracted to the CO2 from fermentation. Airlock keeps them out.

  • Step 1: Ensure that the fermenter is sealed airtight. If the lid is loose some food-grade packing (cling wrap, Teflon tape, or food-grade silicone sealant or food-grade adhesive) is used to seal the fermenter.
  • Step 2: Create a hole in the lid of the fermenter for the airlock. Use a drilling machine or hot iron nail to achieve it. I like fermenters with a plastic lid as making a hole is easy.
  • Seal the joint between the lid. You can use a cork, a grommet or a hot glue sealant for this.
  • Arm the airlock by adding some water or disinfectant to it.
  • Test for air leakage. Press the lid gently. If the airlock bubbles then the seal is good enough. Else you need to debug and find the leakage to be plugged.
airlock attached to fermenter lid

It depends really on the stage of the fermentation, temperature, and batch size. For a typical 20 Liters batch (5 gallons) fermenting at 20 degrees:

  1. It normally takes 24-48 hours for the yeast to start bubbling. This is because during the boiling of beer all the dissolved air is expelled. So a lot of CO2 generated by the yeast will be dissolved in the wort before the airlock starts bubbling.
  2. Lower temperature increases the CO2 solubility and decreases the yeast action. Hence lagers take even longer to start bubbling.
  3. For the first 3 days (for ales and wine) the fermentation is at its peak. The bubbling rate will be high. About 5-10 bubbles a minute.
  4. Once ~30% of the fermentable sugar is converted, the bubbling rates start to fall down drastically.
  5. Usually, by the end of the week, the fermentation rate drops to less than a bubble every minute.
  6. In the secondary fermentation or aging the airlock rarely bubbles. Bubbling is a sign of either there is a drastic temperature change or refermentation.

Ideally, you can fill the S type airlock with water and 3 piece airlock does not need any water to arm the lock. However many brewers recommend filling the airlock with disinfectant (sanitizer, or spirit). This is because:

  1. If there is a drastic temperature change, there are chances that S type airlock will start sucking back air into the fermenter. A sanitizer will ensure that microbes are not introduced in the process.
  2. If the headspace is not enough, the fermenter can overflow. This causes yeast and organic material to spill out and attract flies/contaminants. A sanitizer limits the damage.
  3. One big problem with fermentation is flies get attracted to the CO2 being generated. They often lay eggs in the airlock.

Till 1970, dry yeast was not used commercially for brewing. Most breweries would save a bit of the trub and use it for their next batch. Even bakers would mix a part of their old dough to leaven their new batch of bread. This practice has seen a comeback due to the resurgence of sourdough technique in baking.

Traditional Wine makers throughout Europe would cultivate the yeast biome. They would compost the lees and all the organic residue from the wine making process. This compost is used as a natural organic fertilizer for their fruits and grapes. In doing so the yeast strain that the particular unique natural strain of yeast (which is locally available and isolated) would dominate the biome. The fruits now just need to be juiced and they will start fermenting naturally.

Kveik yeast is also usually harvested and rarely cultured. Traditional households would make special oak rings or towers that they would insert in their brew. The yeast would attach themselves to the wood and this wood would be used to inoculate the next batch.

How to Harvest Liquid Yeast at Home

Today we are going to talk about how to harvest yeast from your old batch. Depending on which school of yeast harvesting you follow, you can either top-crop or bottom crop your yeast. If you are using a conical fermenter, then it comes with a free yeast harvesting attachment. Once you have harvested the yeast, you should wash it. Doing so will get it rid of all the hops and sediments which can lower

You can choose to use fresh liquid yeast by adding some yeast nutrient and making a starter culture. Post that you can:

  1. Use the wet yeast as is. Keep feeding it every 3rd day with some fresh wort to keep it alive. Store it in the refrigerator dairy section (4 degrees) so that its metabolism is reduced. Best if you are planning to reuse the yeast within a month.
  2. Make slants using glycerine. This will allow you to freeze them and store for ~2years
  3. Dry the yeast. Especially Kveik. The home-dried yeast typically have a shelf life of 90-180 days.
How To Harvest and Wash Yeast for Homebrewing
How To Harvest and Wash Yeast for Homebrewing
Watch this video on YouTube

Carboy is a Persian word qarābah (قرابه) pronounced Karāvah. In Arabic, it is also called qarrāba, meaning “big jug.” In a way, they are similar to roman amphora, Indian Terracotta Surahi (सुराही), and Fermentation Vats used for storing and transporting precious liquids.

glass carboy wicker basket demijohn
glass carboy wicker basket demijohn

Demijohn on the other hand originally referred to the wicker basket case that was used to pack the glass bottles (carboy). It is believed the word originated in 17th Century France and was originally Dame Jane.

Glass Fermenters are notorious when it comes to brewing accidents. During aging we often store wine and beer in carboy for extended periods. If the airlock is blocked, there is a chance that the pressure gets build up. The problem with glass is that when it burst, its produces a lot of sharp shards which can cause accidents. However, Arishtam’s carboys are shaped like fermentation crocks. Hence they have an in-build airlock which prevents blockage or pressure built up. Hence they will not explode.

Safety tips for Glass Carboy

  1. Always check the airlock for blockage. The yeast or krausen can often overflow. When it does it will block the airlock.
  2. Keep a foam cushion or a yoga mat as a base for your glass bottles. If the glass bottle is placed on the floor improperly, it will crack.
  3. Never hold your filled glass carboy with the neck. Glass has a better compression strength then tensile strength. Support your bottle by keeping a hand at the bottom of the fermenter.
  4. an LPG cylinder weighs about 20-25 kg but your glass carboy will weigh ~30kg (10kg for the glass and 20kg for 5 gallons of beer or wine). So don’t be shy in asking for help when transporting or shifting your fragile bottles.

Wet glass can be very slippery. Hence we recommend taking special care for them.

  1. You can use the carboy washer. It sprays a let which allows you to quickly clean the carboy. Also, the brass pipe is very small. So it allows the water to drain out once it has cleaned the carboy.
  2. If you still see and stubborn stains in your glass (like the ring at the bottom of the teacup) then I would recommend using a strong acid or lye. Glass is inert so you can use strong chemicals to clean it.
  3. If there are deposits that need scrubbing then make a mixture of dry rice and detergent. One liter of this mixture can be poured in the carboy and you can give it a nice shake. The rice acts as an abrasive which attacks the deposits.
  4. Finally use a rinse-free brewing sanitizer to disinfect all surfaces.

Carboy can be used to store, transport and dispense any liquid. Plastic carboy are very commonly used as a water in India. You can also ferment wine and beer in them. Kombucha brewers often face a problem as the SCOBY is not able to access enough oxygen.

Please read about how a plastic carboy can be converted into a wine and beer fermenter.

For beer carboy can be used for primary as well as secondary fermentation. However for wine we prefer using a wider mouth vessel. This makes cleaning of skin and sediment easier.

red wine in plastic carboy fermenter
Difficult to clean pulp deposit in a carboy wine

There are multiple ways to attach a airlock.

  1. You can drill a small hole using a hot nail or soldering iron on the blue cap of the water can carboy.
  2. Then you can use either a grommet or cork with a hole to attach the airlock.
  3. If you are planning to brew in winters or cold crashing or expecting drastic temperature changes then use a 3 piece airlock. Otherwise, you will need a contraption like the video below to prevent suck back in your carboy.
BobbyfromNJ Preventing cold crash suckback in fermenters
BobbyfromNJ Preventing cold crash suckback in fermenters
Watch this video on YouTube
An innovative way to prevent suck back of air during cold crash

This writeup has a detailed pros and cons of different fermenter designs.

Fermentation Bucket

The bucket has a very wide lid. It makes it easier to clean. Remove the sediment and sanitize. It is easier to attach a spigot into the bucket as your hand can reach to the base and screw the tap on to your fermenter. Buckets are very easy to stack. I have kept 25 buckets one inside each other to make a pillar reaching the roof of my apartment. Carboy would have taken a whole sleeping bed-sized space for the same number.

A wine maker loves bucket for the primary fermentation. For the first 3-4 days it is so much easier to work in a bucket. The seeds skin and the sediment are so easy to remove.

Beer makers love to attach a spigot or tap to their buckets. This makes bottling so much easier. Just attach a beer gun and gravity will finish the job.

However, the large lid of the bucket takes its toll. It is very difficult to seal the bucket and it invariably leaks. Also large lid means more head room. This headspace is the oxygen or air between the liquid and your lid/airlock. Either your beer/wine will get oxidized in the bucket or the headspace will be too little and the krausen (floating yeast) will spill over.

Plastic Carboy

Carboy on the other hand are great for secondary fermentation. Its narrow mouth is easy to seal. So no leakage and oxidation loss. It is preferred for any aging experiments. Plastic carboys are also inexpensive and easily available in the corner store. Just ask for a bisleri water can and you can bring home a fermenter.

Drawback:

  1. Glass fermenters are fragile
  2. There is no way to put a tap of airlock through the narrow mouth.
  3. It is very hard to clean as the mouth is too narrow.
  4. Improper sanitization means that carboy are prone to infection.

Solution

30 Liters Flat bottom fermenter by Arishtam. It has a wide enough mouth to be used as primary. Yet the seal is tight enough that it can be used for prolonged aging. The lid is wide enough for a hand to go inside and clean/sanitize the whole equipment so no infection.

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A hydrometer is a floatation device used to measure the density of liquids. Pure Water at 20 degrees will read 1.000. As alcohol (Whiskey, rum, brandy) is added/produced in the solution the density will reduce. As sugar is added into the solution the density will increase. Simple example Honey and Chashni are thicker and denser than water.

We use this property to measure the amount of sugar in the wine must or beer wort. Then as the fermentation proceeds, we use the property that alcohol is lighter than water to measure the extent of fermentation (measurement of alcohol)

Do read about how to make a hydrometer at home and how one can calibrate a hydrometer before experiments.

Application of Hydrometer

Hydrometers are used in variety of industries and applications as well.

  1. Lactometer: or fat-meter is used to measure the fat content in the milk solution. If the farmer has adulterated the milk with water or starch then the density of milk will increase.
  2. A battery meter is used to measure the H2SO4 (battery acid) concentration in a lead-acid battery. A charged battery will have sulphuric acid but a discharged battery will have water and lead sulfate sticking to the electrodes.
  3. Swimming pool & aquarium hydrometers measure the saline content. The salt concentration has to be regulated to keep the water fit. As the salt concentration increases the density of the water also increases.

Parts of a Hydrometer

Hydrometer consists of 3 main parts

  1. Ballast: the weight that is at the base of the hydrometer. It is usually made of lead. However, some cheaper hydrometers use iron. Iron tends to get rusted (increase the weight) and hence the cheaper hydrometer needs to be recalibrated.
  2. Float: Also called bulb: This is made glass and is filled with air. The bulb provides the balance to the weight. Essentially the volume of the bulb has to be matched with the weight in the ballast. As the density decreases, the hydrometer will sink more to restore the balance.
  3. The stem: It is the thin cylindrical tube with calibration. Lesser the density the more stem will sink.
two point calibration of hydrometer
As the density increases (in wort due to malt or in wine due to sugar), the hydrometer starts floating. As these malt/sugar gets converted to alcohol, the density reduces and the hydrometer starts to sink. So the sinking of the hydrometer is a good sign for brewers. It means that their fermentation is getting completed.

Can I measure Humidity?

Many people confuse hydrometer with hygrometer. While the hydrometer measures the density of fluid, hygrometer measures the relative humidity in the air.

Hydrometers are simple instruments. You can make them at home. You can make a hydrometer more accurate by calibrating them at home.

What is specific gravity?

Specific gravity or Relative density is the density of the liquid as compared to that of distilled water. 1 Liter (1000cc) of water at 4 degrees measures 1kg. As we add more sugar/salt the density increases. As we add more alcohol (spirit, wine, beer) or fat (milk) the density decreases. We are using this physical property to estimate the potential alcohol in your drinks.

Wine is typically made from grapes that are 20-50/- a kg. Cider are made from other fruits which are usually in 50-100/- price range. However pure forest honey is 800-1000/- a kg. A wine typically takes 4 weeks to clear up for drinking, mead takes as long as 6 months to become clear.

Not only the ingredients cost more, but also the processing time is higher. Hence the higher cost for mead. If you want to know more about Indian forest honey the read the link.

honey mead style guidelines
Here are different types of mead paired with different fruits and spices.

Mead are very mild flavored. They will have hints of the flowers and the fauna from which the honey was extracted. The color of mead is also dependent on the types of honey being used.

Typically most people like their mead to be slightly sweet so that the floral aromas are best complimented. However you can get mead in variety of flavors from dry to full bodied. Often brewers add flowers and spices in the mead to increase the flavors. However most mead are very strong and are supposed to be consumed in moderation (a glass maximum two only).

Mead are typically aged for long. It takes 6 months before the mead clears up. So longer you age it the better it becomes. Like most wines they don’t have an expiry date and don’t go bad if stored properly.

It is ok to get a slight tart lactic acid taste in the mead. However getting acetone or kerosene flavors is not OK.

Theoretically you can convert mead into acetic acid vinegar. However that would be sacrilege to the effort by the honey bees in making your honey.

Similarly nobody distills mead to make brandy. On the contrary some brewers have made fortified mead by adding distilled grape wine to it. (20% ABV as against a traditional 13-15% strong mead.

Mead is a very rare and priced beverage. It is rarely sold in the wine shops and most gifted. Mead has an 8000-year-old tradition behind it. So if someone gifts you a bottle of authentic mead, please be grateful to the bearer.

Traditional pickles are very good for health. They are made by lacto fermenting vegetables are are full of enzymes and good bacteria that improve the gut health.

Vinegar pickles are instant pickles made in factory. The company will chop and steam the vegetables so that they become soft. Then they will add salt oil and vinegar to it. To preserve they will add a lot of preservatives also. Since no microbes can survive the steaming and preservatives… vinegar pickles are no longer good for you. They are just instant food that adds spices, sourness, and taste without any associated health benefits

It’s the same as saying ethanol is the same as an alcoholic Whiskey. No, even though they are chemically the same, distilled acetic acid (white vinegar) is not the same as unfiltered vinegar.

Vinegar is a good cleaning agent:

  1. It is used along with iodophor to reduce the ph and improve the efficacy of acid-based brewing sanitizers.
  2. Vinegar dissolves calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate readily. It can also be used to cure sulphate water strains on vessels. Hence it is a great cleaning agent to clean off white water strains from chrome and stainless steel. Boil some vinegar in your coffee kettle to get rid of the hard water salt deposits from it.

Vinegar as a preservative

  • Vinegar lowers the pH which inhibits mold and other harmful fungi from propagating. Acetobactor, Lactobaccilus, and Yeast are three organisms that produce acetic acid to fend off infection.
  • Hence vinegar is a great preservative. Acetic acid in brine (salt solution) is used to preserve vegetables and pickles for 2-5 years.

Vinegar in Cooking

  • Rice Vinegar is preferred in almost all Asian cuisines preparations.
  • European Continental Salads need a dash of vinegar and olive oil to get the authentic flavors.
  • Pickles gets it taste from Vinegar
  • Meat marinated with unfiltered vinegar becomes tender. The acid breaks down proteins. Also, the bacteria in vinegar start lacto fermentation which makes the meat soft and easy to chew. I cannot think of any red meat marination that does not need curd or vinegar for 4-8 hours.

Physical properties of Vinegar:

  1. Vinegar is readily soluble in water.
  2. You can distill vinegar. However since the distillation temperature of water is 100°C and that of acetic acid is 117.9 °C, most people boil off water to concentrate vinegar.
  3. Vinegar fumes irritate the nose and cause a burning sensation. However, in moderate quantities, it does not cause any harm to humans.
  4. Vinegar is formed by oxidation of ethanol. Hence it is no longer flammable.
  5. Vinegar does not expire. In fact, it becomes thicker and more pungent with age. Aged vinegar is called Balsamic Vinegar and sold at a premium.
  6. Vinegar like any acid is harmful to the eyes. So don’t allow it to splash inside.
  7. Vinegar is acidic. So it creates H+ ions that conduct electricity.
  8. When vinegar is added to baking dosa it creates CO2 gas.
  9. Although vinegar is an acid, it is a very weak acid. hence it does not damage gold plating, silverware, or chrome plating. It is used extensively to clean grime (oil) and water stains in the kitchen.

Here is the Safety Data sheet for Vinegar or Acetic Acid

What are Hops

Hop grows in creepers all over the world. It belongs to the family Humulus lupulus and shares its genes with Cannabis/hemp/marijuana. This perennial crop is usually harvested around August and processed. Depended on the processing style we get different types of hop varieties.

Beer is essentially made of 4 main ingredients (hops, malt, yeast and water). Yet hops occupy 60-70% of the discussions about beer making. It is used as a bittering agent, to infuse aromas and flavors in the beer.

Hop cones. Whole leaf hops
Hop cones. Whole leaf hops

Types of Hop processing

  • Fresh Hops or Frozen hops: These are hop cones that were plucked fresh from the plants and frozen. The aromas are best preserved here as there is no processing or drying involved.
  • Hop Pellets also known as T-90 Hops. The hop cones are dried and compressed into pellets. This drastically reduces the volume and also prevents air from seeping deep into the hops.
  • Cryo Hops: They are an advanced freeze-drying technique. It involves pouring liquid nitrogen over fresh hops. The nitrogen separates out the moisture by freezing water into tiny crystals. This technique preserves the aromas the most. As a result cryo hops are usually used in 1/2 the quantity as compared to Hop Pellets.
  • Whole Leaf Hops: The fresh hop cones are lightly kilned to dry out the moisture. after that rather than crushing them into pellets, they are pressed into hop bales. The wholesale hop market usually buys these bales from the farmers and processes them into T-90 pellets.

Bottle beer goes bad for three reasons:

  1. Exposure to sunlight: Beer is sold in brown bottles so that UV and sunlight is blocked. However, still some sunlight goes in the bottle. Sunlight reacts with hops and alcohol to create skunk beer. Corny beer kegs are made of opaque stainless steel. Hence there is no scope of UV or sunlight reacting with your beer. Hence UV skunks or bad beer does not happen in kegs.
  2. Oxidation: One of the reasons why bottled beer has an expiry date is because of micro-oxidation at the crown cap crimping. Over 6 months this steel joint on the glass bottles can become loose and oxidize the beer. Corny Keg and aluminum cans have a much tighter seam and hence no oxidation. Brewers worldwide have aged sparkling wine and beer in kegs for 2 years without any apparent oxidation.
  3. Heat Staling: Hoppy bears are prone to getting stale cardboard-like off-flavors when exposed to high temperatures for extended periods. The kegs are usually taken better care off. Unlike the glass bottles that often are transported and stored in the open and outside refrigerator. Hence chances of heat damaged beer in a keg is negligiable.

Essentially can beer tastes better than bottled beer. Keg beer tastes best.

Another problem with bottled beer is that once it loses its CO2, it goes flat. There is nothing much one can do to resurrect this beer. However, in a keg, one can always force carbonate and get the fizz back. Unless there is dissolved CO2 and pressure, one cannot pour the beer. So be assured your keg beer will always have foam.

  1. Clarity: Mead takes longer to ferment and even longer to clear out. We recommend a minimum 6 months of ageing (1 month if cold crashed) for it to clear out.
  2. Fusel Alcohol: Mead also produces some fusel alcohol which makes fresh fermented honey taste like acetone. By aging these off flavors are removed and floral flavors gets enhanced.
  3. Complexity: By aging for ~6 months complex biochemical reactions happen. This mellow down the hasher flavors and enhances the more delicate flavors. Aging works best for sweet mead. The 1:1 Mead (one part honey one part water) needs to be aged for 2-3 years to get the best flavors. As compared to that the 1:3 Mead (one part honey, 3 parts honey) is ready in 3-6 months.
  4. Boasting Rights: The older is the bottle that you gift, the more it will be valued and appreciated by your friends and family.

It takes 30-90 seconds to sanitize using Starsan, Anphossan, StellarSan, and other similar phosphoric acid-based sanitizers. There are multiple ways to apply the sanitizer:

  1. Conventional submerging way. Take a big tub of sanitizer solution and submerge/rinse your equipment there. The acidity of the sanitizer will also help remove the calcium deposits or the white strains that gather on the equipment.
  2. Container method. Often brewers use the fermenter as the big tub. They will fill it with the sanitizer and then clean all the other equipment (especially hydrometer and airlock) inside it.
  3. Tilt-Rolling method: Rather than making a lot of sanitizer solution, one can make a small quantity (1-2 liters) and put it in the fermenter. Then you can splash clean the fermenter with your hands to clean the remaining surface. Another option is to tilt the fermenter on the side and roll it on the ground slowly. This allows the solution to get contact with all the inner surfaces of your fermenter and disinfect it.
  4. Brewing Sanitizer can be sprayed onto the surface requiring cleaning. This is the most effective way because one bottle of spray can last multiple brew days. However, note that bleach and iodophor should not be sprayed.

Remember to drain the excess liquid and airdry your equipment before brewing. Also, the Anphossan can be reused. Fill any empty bottle with the residual sanitizer and use it for your next brew day. Just ensure that the pH is below 3 for the sanitizer to be effective.

One of the best thing that you can do with orange peel is boil it and make tea. Just add chopped or ground orange peel to some water, put it over flame and let it brew for sometime. Bring it to boil and then filter the water into a cup. And your orange peel tea is ready. You can also add sweeteners or spices to it as per your taste. You just need to take care of some basic things like washing the orange peel thoroughly before use..

Orange peel has more benefits than the fruit as it has more fibres. When infused with boiling water it becomes extra beneficial. It helps in constipation, fights acidity and heart-burn and improves the overall health of the digestive system. A good digestive system is important for weight loss. Orange peel contains pectin.This helps in regulating your blood sugar levels. Vitamin C in the orange peel boosts immunity and therefore, good for lung infections, cough and congestion, and bronchitis. These peels are, importantly, a good source of polyphenols hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones. Both have huge potential anticancer effects.The polyphenols in the peel also prevents chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, alzheimer’s and obesity.

Boiling orange peel can also provide you with a healthy room freshner. Just keep boiling the peel until you see vapors rising and the water almost dries up. This gives you a strong but pleasant odour of an orange.

Grinding orange peel and making orange peel powder is really easy. You can get the orange peel powder packets at shops too but homemade ones are always better and more effective. Follow the below steps for grinding orange peels at home:

  1. Select good quality oranges, preferably organic ones.
  2. Wash the oranges thoroughly in order to remove any pesticide and chemicals on the fruit. You can also use fruit wash or hot water to clean.
  3. Peel the outer skin of the oranges with hand or with a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Try to not cut the white part and just the top orange layer as much as possible.
  4. Depending on what you want to use the peel powder for, cut the peel into large chunks or thin strips. Here, we are talking about grinding the peels so it’s better to cut them into thin even strips. The more thin the peels are, the easily they dry out.
  5. For sun drying you can simply spread all the peels on a tray and place it under the sun for 3-4 days to dry completely.
  6. Alternatively, you can spread the orange peels on parchment lined baking sheet and bake them for 30 to 60 minutes at 200F (93 degree C) in an oven. Check the peels often and remove the tray from the oven when the peels harden and curl. Let the peels cool.
  7. Put all the dried peel into a completely dry food processor. Grind for at least a minute and your beautiful orange peel powder is ready.
  8. Store the powder in an air-tight container and use it according to your needs.

Zest is a part of the Peel. Technically speaking, zest is the outermost colorful layer of the peel. While the peel of the fruit usually means the entire outer layer enclosing the fruit. Zest contains the essential oils responsible for the orange fragrance and flavor. Orange peel includes the zest and also the white pith. The white pith is bitter and unpleasant and hence, makes the peel bitter too sometimes. The zest part of the peel provides it the flavor and fragrance.

parts of orange fruits

Orange zest provides the orange flavor and fragrance to a dish or beverage without the bitterness of the whole peel. As a matter of fact, there is a non-ideal substitute for orange zest and it depends on the recipe in question and what you expect the orange zest to accomplish. However, lemon zest is the best bet for a substitute of orange zest. Lemon zest can provide the citrus flavor to the recipe that is expected of orange zest. Lemon zest also pairs up with spices in the same way as orange. It is equally effective as a substitute in sweet dishes too. Furthermore, both orange and lemon are equally pungent and therefore, can be used in the same quantity.

Do check out our Lemon Liquor Recipe and how to make wheat beer with Oranges.

Lemon peel contains many more nutritional and skin benefits than lemon itself. It contains vitamin C, minerals, fibre, and some very healthy enzymes. Lemon peel also has cleaning properties and can be used at home as a natural and non-toxic cleaner, deodorizer, and also as an insect repellent. Therefore, lemon peel can be used for a lot of purposes. Some of them are:

Use of lemon peel for consumption:
  1. For flavoring various recipes and garnishing soups, salads, yogurts, dressings etc.
  2. Lemon peel can be incorporated into marinades and used in seasonings for dishes like lemon pepper chicken and lemon pepper fish.
  3. Lemon peels can be made into candied peels. These can be both eaten as it is or used in cake, cookie, bread, and chocolate recipes.
  4. Use the lemon peel powder for making lemon sugar and lemon pepper.
  5. Lemon peel powder can be used for both lemon peel water and lemon peel tea.
  6. Lemon peel acts a good flavour for Kombucha.
  7. Use the lemon peel for making your perfect citrus beer.
  8. We can also make Limoncello, the traditional italian lemon wine with the help of lemon peel.

Lemon peel can also be used as a scrub, exfoliator, skin brightener/lightener, nail whitener, teeth whitener and for other skin care purposes. It can also be used as cleaning, humidifier and deodorizing agent at home.

The zest of any citrus fruit is the thin flavored and colored outer layer of the fruit. While peel is the entire skin of the fruit – everything but the flesh. To make it simple, zest is a part of the peel, the outer and the colored part. It contains the essential oils responsible for the fragrance and flavor. Lemon peel includes lemon zest and also the white pith (the inner part) which is bitter and unpleasant.

Ever wondered why your hands gets the fresh fragrance of lemon and oranges when we peel or sneeze them? This is because the skin contains a lot of aromatic oils that gets released in a mist of fine droplets when we disturb the skin.

Lemon juice gets some of this fragrance because of this transferance. However citrus juices is a source of acidity and flavors. They are not a good source of essential oils. Thats why using orange and lemon juice would be a poor substitute if you are looking to improve the citrus aromas and subtle flavors of your brew.

Bentonite clay is composed of ashes taken from volcanoes. So it does taste like mud if you wine has not cleared up. Typically waiting for 3 days helps clear up the bentonite taste. Cold crashing will help remove this taste faster. That being said, in the finished wine, one should not get any residual flavor from bentonite.

Technically. it is an absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate clay. Bentonite clay, historically, has been used in healing methods for protecting the body from various serious diseases. It contains many important metals like magnesium, calcium, etc. that heal the heart, digestive system and nervous system. People have been using the clay for various skin, medicinal and industrial purposes but eating bentonite clay is slowly becoming a health trend. Talking about how it tastes like, well, it’s clay and has the same texture as any other form of fine grained clay. It is generally mixed with water and consumed.

Fuller’s Earth also known as Multani mitti is a clay like substance that is composed of aluminium magnesium silicate. While Bentonite clay, also known as Montmorillonite clay, is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay. Both of these are very similar in the sense that they contain many of the same components. Fuller’s earth also contains bentonites that is formed of ash taken from volcanoes. That being said Multani mitti leaves a strange off-flavor in the wine. Hence Multani Mitti is used in face pack, mud bath and other external purposes only. Please don’t add multani Mitti to wine.

Bentonite clay and fuller’s earth are both highly absorbent in nature and have similar skin benefits and cleansing properties. But bentonite clay is has more healing properties as compared to fuller’s earth. It is also consumed as an antidote for toxins in body. However fuller’s earth is not considered suitable for consumption.

Bentonite clay also known as montmorillonite clay are of two types: sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite. Basically the determination of sodium or calcium bentonite is done by whether the dominant element is sodium or calcium.

Sodium bentonite has a higher pH level. This provides it with natural swelling abilities and makes it a natural ‘hole plug’. While calcium bentonite has a lower pH and do not swell. The former has more industrial uses and the later is used mostly on body for healing purposes, both internally and externally. Both the bentonite clays contain various minerals and metals.

Freeze Distillation is a misnomer. There is no boiling, formation of methanol, flammable (explosive) fumes production. Hence there is not much concern for authorities. There is also no law that explicitly bans keeping alcoholic beverages in freezer. However do check with local laws before distillation.

Freeze distillation is essentially keeping the cider, sugar-wash, beer or wine in the freezer. At about -10 Degree Celsius, the beverage becomes a slush. Alcohol acts as an anti-freeze so the freezing point is lower than water. As the temperature is further reduced, more and more water crystalizes into ice and residual liquid turns into higher concentration ethanol. We repeat although this technology is called Freeze Distillation, it actually means Fractional Freezing. The freezing point of ethanol is -115 oC. However if you are able to achieve -30degree Celsius, then only one can remove substantial water from your beverage.

% of EthanolFreezing Point oC
00
10-4
20-9
30-15
40-23
50-32
60-37
70-48
80-59
90-73
Freezing point of Water Alcohol Mixture

Glacial Acetic Acid

For school projects a similar and much easier experiment to follow is making distilled acetic acid at home from vinegar. It is called Eisessig or ice vinegar. Vinegar forms ice like crystals when kept at 4 Degree Celsius. Although the water and ethanol gets left behind, the tartness of your cider and vinegar reduces as the oxidized ethanol gets separated in form of white crystals of acetic acid. One of the reason why ethanol always recommend cold crashing of home brew is improvement in clarity and taste (less sour) due to this simple inexpensive process.

Dry bentonite clay does not go bad. Clay comes from earth and in general does not have an expiration date. However, they might catch pick up odors from the surrounding. So, it is recommended to store them properly. Also, if you add water to the clay it might not stay good for long as with time they get exposed to bacteria and start growing microbes. Hence, it’s important to check the microbial analysis of the clay before using it.

Government regulations require products to have an expiration date. Therefore, one might find an expiration date on the container of the bentonite clay. But, as mentioned above, dry natural clay lasts for years.

There are plenty of fruits that can be poisonous and dangerous to our health if eaten improperly. Certain fruit peels are difficult to consume and at times are also inedible and poisonous. For example, peels of avocados, honeydews, melons, lychee, pineapple and the likes are considered as inedible. Talking about being poisonous, mostly it’s not the peels rather other aspects like seeds of the fruit, ripe or raw fruit, etc. that one needs to worry about. For instance, seeds of apples, apricots, cherries contain amygdalin, which after coming in contact with acids in human digestive system becomes cyanide. Similarly, cashew fruit, almonds, etc. should never be eaten in their raw form.

After boiling your homebrew it’s important to cool your wort as quickly as possible. There are several methods of chilling your wort quickly both with or without cooling equipments. In most cases it depends on the kind of brewing you are upto. Some methods to cool your wort are :

1. Using Equipments:

These are some wort chilling equipments used by homebrewers. Immersion wort chiller is the mostly common used. Counter flow wort chiller and Plate chiller are a bit more complex to use as compared to Immersion wort chiller.

2. Using Natural Methods:

  • Ice bath
  • Using ice packs
  • Sealing and leaving the wort for the whole night to cool down naturally

Many of times for the first couple of batches brewers don’t have the availability of wort chiller. And sometimes it’s also the demand of the brew to use natural methods.

Yes, one can leave the wort to cool naturally overnight. But it is important to understand the risk before you do it.

Cons: Cooling wort overnight has its own set of problems. Keeping wort hot for too long will lead to a reduction in aromatic hop and essential oils needed for the flavors. It will increase your brew day from 1/2 a day to 2 days. Also certain off-flavors esp DMS seep into the beer. The naturally cooled wort starts tasting like tinned baked beans.

The overnight wait contaminates the wort before one is able to pitch in the yeast. Sanitation becomes a big issue in this method which affects your end product. Achieving ‘cold break’ (protein coming out of the wort, excess protein leads to haze and staling of the beer quickly) becomes impossible in the slow cooling of the wort.

Pros: Leaving the wort overnight under the right temperature conditions to cool can cut you a lot of cost. You need not buy the wort chilling equipment. This method also saves a lot of water consumption as the wort chiller requires gallons of water. It also saves a lot of labor that one needs to do in case of equipments.

There are more ways than one to brewing beer. Do what works for you.

The time a wort chiller takes to cool the wort down depends on the ambient temperature as well as the temperature of the water supply. The amount of wort and the water used accordingly also decides the time taken. Approximately, a wort chiller would take around 20 minutes for a 20Liter/ 5-gallon hot wort to come from 100 degrees C to 28 degrees.

If you are still confused like I was when I started:

  1. Pressurize the keg at 30PSI for 24 hours to achieve full carbonation.
  2. Cool keg to 4 degree to achieve maximum CO2 saturation.
  3. Vent off the pressure to reduce it to 12PSI.
  4. Try to dispense beer. If it does not work reduce the pressure to 16psi for more foam or 8psi for lesser foam.

Professional Answer to Keg Pressure

It is hard to figure out what is the ideal pressure for everyone as it depends on multiple factors:

  1. Temperature. The solubility of CO2 varies exponentially with the lowering of temperature. At 4 degrees Celsius, the beer typically has 2.5 to 3 times its volume (~1L per 330ml pint) of CO2 dissolved in it. As the temperature rises this volume also goes down. Typically brewers report the pressure at the keg when it is chilled. If your keg is at room temperature, you need 10-15 PSI higher to compensate for this.
  2. Where you are measuring. The pressure is highest at the CO2 cylinder where the regulator dispenses it. As it flows through the gas manifold, the keg connects, into the tank, and out the beer tap, the pressure drops. Think of CO2 pressure as the voltage and your beer line as resistance coils. More are the attachments, connections, splitting, and the longer the line more is the pressure drop. Most brewers report CO2 pressure at the regulator valve, however most books will talk about pressure at the dispensing tap. To cut the story short. There is no right bookish gospel truth. Based on your configuration the pressure will vary.
  3. Beer Style: Not all beer foams the same. Also, not all beer styles need to be carbonated to the same level. Sparkling water tastes so different than normal tap water because of the dissolved carboxylic acid. The carbonation that you need depends on:
    • How much head you want
    • How much head forming particles (hops wheat etc.) in your beer
    • What style of beer you are serving
    • What is your serving temperature?
    • Luckily most beer style books have notes on the carbonation, ideal serving temperature, and pressure to get you started. However, don’t be bookish. Go by your own preference and craft beer signature.
  4. How soon you want to carbonate and serve. Carbonation is a slow process. you could use the carbonation stone to accelerate it. Or you could pump in CO2 at very high pressure and roll the keg to dissolve it. As a rule of thumb: If you want to serve it within the next 3 days. Maintain pressure at 30psi and then vent off the pressure using a PRV (Pressure release valve) and serve at 12-16psi.

Yeast is responsible for carrying out the fermentation process in beer making and overall brewing. This is one of the most important part of brewing. Yeast takes up sugars like maltose, glucose and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. It has the credit for providing various beer styles. The brewer picks up the yeast according to the recipe or the style of the beer they want to make.

Yeast is either an ale yeast or a lager yeast. The former involves warm temperatures while the later needs cool temperatures. This difference in temperature produces different flavor and aroma characteristics and thereby providing various beer styles.

Both beer yeast and bread yeast are products of a single-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. But they are formed from different strains of this species. The main difference between beer or brewer’s yeast and baker’s or bread yeast is that brewing requires yeast that can produce CO2 and alcohol whereas baker’s yeast has a much stronger focus on the CO2. Bread yeast is primarily used as a raising agent whereas brewers expect the yeast to be virile and reproduce at a fast rate that will transform the sugary wort into a drinkable beer.

There are plenty of examples of these two being used interchangeably. However, each comes with it’s own precautions and aspects to be taken care of.

  1. No Purchase is needed to submit your entry.
  2. There is no Entry Fee
  3. You should have created the artwork yourself and own rights for the same.
  4. The permitted bottles are
    • Wine bottle 750 ml (green, transparent, frosted, or black)
    • 330ml pint bottles (Brown, Green or Transparent)
    • 650ml Beer Bottles (Brown, Green, Blue or Transparent)
  5. You need to take 4 pictures of your entry (each bottle art) from 4 different angles.
  6. The background has to be plain (white, brown, or Dark Colors) but no distractions. Preferably contrasting to your artwork so that the focus will be on the bottle.
  7. Please take pictures from a well-lit room. You don’t need expensive professional lighting, but a good flash and lit room will be sufficient.
  8. Please embed your contact information in the entry/picture (it could be any one of the following:
    • Your Instagram handle or
    • Your Twitter Handle or
    • Your Name, Phone & email Address
  9. Please post the picture on your social media and tag Arishtam so that it is visible
    • @ArishtamI (Twitter)
    • arishtam.brew (Instagram)
  10. On 31st December at midnight, we will be reviewing all entries with the Arishtam Social Media tags with the count of likes/shares/retweets for the judges to make an evaluation.
  11. The winners will be intimated on their Twitter/Instagram account so that they can claim their prize
  12. Please note, although you will retain physical possession of the art-piece, by submitting the entry you allow Arishtam.com and its affiliates to use your entry for its promotional materials and marketing activities.
  13. Any depiction of breaking of law, anti-social behavior (including glorifying drug use, smoking, or public intoxication) or offensive will be disqualified.
  14. The competition is open to all adults who are of legal drinking age (in the jurisdiction of their residence).
  15. Arishtam.com holds the right to withdraw or alter the rules of the competition at any given point in time. It is doing it at its own accord to promote Indian arts and is under no legal obligation to complete the competition.

Yes, there is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. We encourage you to submit multiple bottles for the competition. However, art is focused on quality over quantity.

  • Please make sure your entry is uploaded to your favorite social media channel (Twitter or Instagram
  • Please don’t forget to tag Arishtam: @ArishtamI (Twitter) arishtam.brew (Instagram)
  • Your prize is determined by the originality of your art and the number of social media likes/shares/retweets you have. So 1 bottle with 10k likes have a better chance than 100 bottle with 100 likes each.

The competition will run from 1st Dec 2020 to midnight 31st Dec 2020.

The winners will be notified via Twitter/Instagram handle before 5th Jan 2021.

The top 9 entries will get 1,100/- credited to their Arishtam Wallets by 7th Jan.

The judging will be with a pannel of 3 judges from 3 different regions of India

  1. Chand Kumar, Delhi (you can watch his video below as well) Who runs a school for Indian Aspiring Artists.
  2. Ravi Soni, Mumbai (20 years of experience in retail & fashion and a graduate of Royal College of Arts & NIFT)
  3. Ankur Aggarwal, Bangalore (21 years of Home Brewing Experience, Graduate from IIT Kharagpur, IIM Lucknow and an Artisan at arishtam.com)

Judging Criteria

Each valid entry will be evaluated on a score of 100 using the below 10 criteria:

  • 10 Points for Originality. (We want artists and not Painters who copy)
  • 10 Points for Indian Traditions. (How your art can be used as a representative of Indian Culture & Society.)
  • 5 Points for Theme (Practicality as a New Year or Christmas gift)
  • 15 Points for Color Combination.
  • 15 Points for Presentation (lighting, clarity, image resolution, and the art description in your Twitter/Instagram to brief the audience)
  • 25 Points for Finese (How well you could embody your creativity)
  • 20 Points for a number of Social Media likes/shares/Tweets
  • Bonus: up to 5 points for special artists. These artists are those who had to face an unusual level of resistance, oppression, discrimination or otherwise hostile environment. They overcame these challenges and were undeterred in their pursuit of art and passion.
  • Negative 20 points for not having your Instagram/Twitter handle on the submitted entry.
  • Any entry that promotes anti-social behavior, glorified smoking, narcotics, intoxication, or public nuisance will be disqualified.

The winners will be contacted on 5th Jan 2021 via their twitter/instagram handles. The top 9 entries will be given 1,100/- INR Arishtam.com wallet cash balance which they can use for purchase of brewing equipment, probiotics or supplies.

The social media allows one to hide the identity and yet create an impact. You can create an anonymous Instagram/Twitter handle to submit annonymous entries. The judging criteria does not have any weightage on number of followers you have or who you have. However submitting an entry under your own name will help you get likes/shares/retweets faster.

Unfiltered Rice wine/Rice Beer is always turbid & milky white like milk. The ones served in restaurants are of often pale yellow (straw color) and clearer. When the filtered rice wine is stored for longer duration, they can deepen color even further to develop a tan like light brown color.

Most traditional recipes call for cloudy white slightly effervescent rice beer kept in ceramic jars, which is stirred before serving. However to pack in glass or store the rice beer for long duration aging, filtering it to make it clear is recommended

The aromatic rice wine/beer has ~13-18% alcohol when finished. The Chinese dry rice wine can have 18%+ alcohol content.

Rice fermentation is a 2 stage continuous process. The koji is breaking down starch and converting it to alcohol simultaneously. As a result it takes about 2-3 weeks to complete the fermentation.

However most practitioners consume their rice wine fresh (young) which is usually 48 hours to 1 week old. Every time they decant some wine, they top it up with more steam rice and water

Method of Preparation:

Cook

  • You can make rice beer/wine with any rice. However low aromatic oil rice is preferred (Dosa Rice gives better flavors than aromatic Basmati Rice). Milled/Polished Rice has lesser oil content than unpolished brown rice.
  • Wash 2 to 2.5 kg or rice and soak for an hour. Steam (not boil or Cook) it until soft but not gelatinous gooey.
  • Once cooked, spread the rice evenly on a clean and sanitized tray or plastic sheet and cool. This allows the koji a large surface to innoculate (spread) over the rice substrate.
  • Once it reaches 30°C sprinkle the koji evenly and mix properly with rice. You can use gloved hands or some clean and sanitized utensils.
  • Keep it moist for 24 hours for the koji to multiply fast.
  • Make balls of rice and fill it in your preferable fermenter. A wide-mouth jar (Glass, steel, or Plastic fermenter) is preferred as there will be heavy deposits from the leftover rice.
  • You can add some herbs and organic flowers as per your taste to make it more delicate and aromatic.

Primary Fermentation

  • For the first three days, use a sanitized utensil to mix the content and push down if the rice starts floating.
  • The koji we sell has yeast in it. So need to add additional yeast.
  • On the fourth day. Mix the rice as usual and try tasting your fresh milky white sake. You can consume fresh or allow it for secondary fermentation.
  • Keep mixing and pushing the floaties for the remainder of 10 days.
  • Use a clean and sanitized  brewbag or cheesecloth to filter out the liquid into a jar or fermenter with airlock.

Secondary Fermentation

  • Once you filter the rice wine, you will get a staw colored pale liquid that is clear (not cloudy/milky white as the fresh sake is)
  • Keep it in a small fermenter with an airlock (no chance of outside air to come in). If you don’t do that, the sake will become more tart (sour) and might even convert to rice vinegar (which is used for Asian Cooking Recipe)
  • Some amateur websites will recommend you adding glucose or sugar to your rice wine. Well, that is primarily because instead of selling Koji they are selling yeast they are selling saccharomyces cerevisiae with amylase sachets. THERE IS NO NEED TO ADD ANY SUGAR OR GLUCOSE. It will make your wine boozy, artificially sweet, and start tasting weird. Traditional recipes never use any artificial ingredients to boost alcohol.
  • Allow the fermentation to continue for another 3-4 weeks.
  • Cold crash for 24 hours to make it more clear and bottle it.

Storing & Enjoying

  • If you are serving it milky wide then use Sake Cups (they are Katori shaped/size ceramic bowls). You can serve directly from the fermenter.
  • If you are planning to age it, then store in flip-top bottles or crown cap beer bottles. Store the wine in a cool and dark place.
  • Over time rice alcohol becomes darker. (straw color yellow to light brown tan color)
  • Rice Wine is delicious at all stages of its production. Find which taste suits your taste-buds, cuisine, and party schedule. A bottle of seasoned rice wine is 1 month to 6 months old.
  • Rice Wine is best enjoyed at room temperature (sometimes even warmer) but NEVER chilled.
  • Rice Wines can be very alcoholic and tangy. So we suggest you to go slow if it’s your first time since you can get reasonably drunk before you realize it.
  • Rice wines pair really well with Asian cuisine and is usually served with dinner.

Campden tablets/powder are used as sanitizers and preservatives. They are sulfur-based and slowly release SO2 gases. It will be reminiscent of Diwali crackers because of this sulfur gas. Please don’t smell it or try to taste them (undiluted) as sanitizers are toxic chemicals.

Side-effects include headache and temporary loss of olfactory senses.

Also Called K-Meta or K2S2O5 or potassium pyrosulfite is used as a preservative and sanitizer in wine making industry. It is a white crystalline powder with a pungent smell of Sulphur. This smell is because of SO2 being released. When in tablet form it is called Campden.

You can use either name as long as the potassium metabisulfite is stored in cool dry condition it will release SO2 that can be used as a wine sanitizer or to kill bacteria and wild yeast in the fresh grape juice.

Mangrove Jack’s craft brewer’s yeast sold at arishtam.com is in the dry form. Dry yeast is easy to store, transport, and carry. The wet yeast on the other hand needs to be chilled at all times and has a shelf life of a few weeks (as compared to almost 2 years for dry yeast). As a result for a hobby brewer and even microbrewery dry yeast is much more convenient and easy to use.

Although most manufacturers recommend that you use the yeast directly, but rehydrating the yeast is always advisable for the following reasons:

  1. When hydrated, the yeast forms spores and goes into inactive state. By hydrating it in a sugar/wort plus nutrient solution, you give it adequate time and jumpstart to become fully active again.
  2. Yeast often dies when expired, mishandled, exposed to humidity or high temperaures during transportation or storage. If you pinch it directly in the wort, it will take 24-48 hours before you can detect yeast inactivity. By hydrating the yeast, you are always 100% sure the yeast is active.
  3. Hydrated yeast have a jumpstart over any other contaminents or microbial infection. When the wort is cooled, it sometimes picks up infection from the fermenter or air. If the dry brewer’s yeast is hydrated (good yeast count) they are able to fend off infection by the mere fact that they are more in number and faster in activity.

Process:

  1. Take 5-10X of sterlized water (boil the wort or water) (50ml)
  2. If you are using water then add some priming sugar or table sugar to make a 5% solution (2.5gm or 1/2 teaspoon). DME or wort can be also used instead of sugar.
  3. (optional) add nutrients 1/4gm per 50ml.
  4. Boil and cool it to body temperature.
  5. Once the solution has cooled to 25-35 degrees celsius then add your yeast (5gm)
  6. Wait for 30 minutes to foaming to start and then add it to your beer wort or wine must.

If the foaming has not happened. Then wait for another 30 minutes. If not then the yeast is probably inactive and it might be best to use a backup sachet.

Broadly speaking there are three kinds of wine yeast:

  1. Red wine yeast which are designed for high tannin & phenolic wine must. However mead is made from honey which lacks the tannins and phenols that these yeast are selected for.
  2. White Wine or Champagne yeast: These are designed for high alcohol wines with stress from pressure fermentation (CO2 fizz). However most mead is served flat and have a 10-13% alcohol content.
  3. Fruit cider yeast that relies on body and mouth-feel from the fruits. Honey on the other hand is very delicate and lacks the body.

So essentially if you want to preserve the delicate aromas and flavors of the honey then it is better to use Mangrove Jack’s honey mead that is specially designed for this purpose. You can technically make alcohol from any yeast, but the craft beverage needs a balance that these specialized yeast are selected for.

Glass is the preferred container for wine or alcohol. It does not leach, it does not oxidize, its smooth surface does not shelter microbes.

Bulk aging in larger carboys/fermenters is preferred over bulk aging in bottles for following reasons:

  1. Sedimentation: The more the wine ages, the more sediment it collects. by bulk aging you get a second chance to remove it and get clear bottles that can be gifted.
  2. Infusion: Most Indians love to infuse spices, botanicals, herbs or oak chips in their wine. Bulk gaining in big bottles makes calculations easier. Also it is practical to remove the spices when the right level of spices is achieved.
  3. Oxidation: Small bottles have larger head space per unit volume. Bigger bottles one can fill to the brim and be secure.
  4. Convinience: It helps procastinate the effort to bottle up the wine till its ready for consumption.
  5. Space: Larger the bottle, lesser space it takes

A 2.6 Liter carboy has a dimensions of 15.5 X 15.5 x 23cm

A 5.2 Liter carboy has a dimensions of 19cm X 19cm X 28cm

However glass bottles are blown and have some bottle to bottle variations in dimensions.

Arishtam stocks water sealed fermentation crock. In this traditional design, there is a circular moat at the lid. One needs to fill it with water and put a glass bowl on it.

The anaerobic fermentation will produce the CO2 gases. These gases pass through the water moat (like they do in a regular airlock).

Another advantage of fermentation crock is that since the lid is large, the chances of overflowing of wine is lesser. Also if it does, the grape pulp comfortably sits in the lid and does not make a mess.

With the regular airlocks/bubblers one needs to be worried about the airlock being choked. This could be because the pulp from the wine blocks it from inside or because insects/dirt from outside falls in the small airlock bubbler. The large moat design of the lid prevents these kind of blockages.

Hence fermentation crocks are the easiest and most carefree design fermenters in the market. You can use them for primary ferments as well as bulk aging (kimchi is traditionally stored for 3 years in them)

All-grain beer brewing is a method of making beer from scratch using only malted grains, water, hops, and yeast. This process is often contrasted with extract brewing, where brewers use malt extract syrups or powders as a significant portion of the fermentable sugars in the beer.

In all-grain brewing, the process involves several key steps:

  1. Mashing: Crushed malted grains (usually a combination of barley and other grains) are mixed with hot water in a vessel called a mash tun. The heat and water activate enzymes in the malt, which convert the starches in the grains into fermentable sugars. This process typically takes about an hour and results in a sugary liquid called wort.
  2. Lautering: After mashing, the wort is separated from the solid grain material through a process called lautering. The wort is drained from the grains, leaving behind the spent grain husks.
  3. Boiling: The wort is then boiled, and hops are added. Hops provide bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer, and their addition at different times during the boil can influence these characteristics.
  4. Cooling: After the boil, the hot wort is rapidly cooled to a temperature suitable for fermentation. This is usually done using a heat exchanger or an immersion chiller.
  5. Fermentation: The cooled wort is transferred to a fermenter, and yeast is added. The yeast consumes the sugars in the wort, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process can take several days to weeks, depending on the beer style.
  6. Bottling or kegging: Once fermentation is complete, the beer can be bottled or kegged, often with the addition of priming sugar for carbonation (if bottle conditioning is used).

All-grain brewing provides more control and flexibility over the beer’s flavor and character, as brewers can fine-tune the ingredients and the mashing process to achieve their desired outcomes. It is often favored by experienced homebrewers and professional craft brewers. However, it requires more equipment, time, and knowledge than extract brewing, which is a simpler method that uses malt extract instead of mashing grains.

Home Brewers often use Malt Extract instead of All Grains. In all Grains, the brewer has to convert the starch to fermentable sugars by making a wort. In Malt Extract this job is simplified for them. In the Malt Factory the grains are converted to fermentable sugars and then in large vacuum spray drying drums this wort is dried to give the malt extract. This is now an instant powder that can be used to brew beer.

Essentially, Malt extract is a concentrated syrup or powdered form of malted barley (and sometimes other cereal grains) that contains the fermentable sugars, malt flavor, and color typically found in malted grains. It is used in brewing beer and making certain other fermented beverages, as well as in cooking and baking.

There are two main types of malt extract:

  1. Liquid Malt Extract (LME): Liquid malt extract is a thick, syrupy substance that consists of malted barley, water, and enzymes. It is produced by mashing malted grains to convert the starches into sugars, then boiling the resulting wort to concentrate it into a syrup. LME is available in various forms, including pale malt extract (which is lightly colored and flavored) and specialty malt extracts (which are darker and have more pronounced flavors). LME is commonly used in homebrewing and is a convenient way to add fermentable sugars and malt flavor to a batch of beer.
  2. Dry Malt Extract (DME): Dry malt extract is a dehydrated form of malt extract. It is created by spray-drying the liquid wort to remove most of the water content, leaving behind a fine powder that retains the sugars and flavors of malted barley. DME is lighter and less bulky than LME, making it easier to store and transport. It has a longer shelf life and is often preferred by homebrewers for its convenience.

Malt extract is commonly used in homebrewing for several reasons:

  • Convenience: It eliminates the need for mashing and lautering, which can be time-consuming and require specialized equipment.
  • Consistency: Malt extract provides a consistent source of fermentable sugars and malt flavor, which can help brewers produce consistent batches of beer.
  • Versatility: Brewers can use malt extract as a base for various beer styles and then customize their recipes by adding specialty grains, hops, and other ingredients.

While malt extract is convenient, many advanced brewers prefer the all-grain brewing method (as mentioned in a previous response) because it offers more control and allows them to create a wider range of flavors and styles. Malt extract is a useful tool for both beginners and experienced brewers, depending on their preferences and brewing goals.

Ginger Wine and Rhodo Wine is Alcoholic. Most wines have an alcohol content between 10-13% but Arishtam Wine has up to 15% Alcohol Content. This means that a 200ml bottle of 15% Wine is equal to 70ml of Old Monk/Whiskey which typically has 42.5% ABV Alcohol. (more than one large peg or two small pegs)

Ginger Ale on the other hand is like Apple Cider. It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. By default, popular brands like Schweppes are non-alcoholic cold drinks. Similarly, most apple ciders are non-alcoholic and a lot of vinegar brands sell under Apple Cider.

Even the ginger ale that are alcoholic are typically based on beer recipes which means that it is 5% to 8% strong. Ginger wine on the other hand is 2-3X stronger alcohol.

  1. Authenticity of Ingredients:
    • Natural wine is made from yeast, real fruits, flowers, natural spices and quality ingredients. Instead of adding spirit, a very complex detailed process of adding yeast and fermentation is used. This stands in contrast to fortified wines in India that use rum. RTD beverages are made with synthetic flavors, while natural wine uses more authentic and traditional winemaking approach.
  2. NO Artificial Additives:
    • The use of Rum, artificial colors, and synthetic flavors in fortified wines and RTD beverages may deter individuals who prioritize natural and unadulterated products. Natural wine, with its minimal additives, can be seen as a purer and healthier option.
  3. Lower Caloric Content:
    • While RTD, LAB, and fortified wine add calories to your drink by adding sugar and spirit. Arishtam Wine on the other hand uses fermentation. This converts the sugar from the fruits to alcohol. Hence a better choice for those aiming to moderate their calorie intake while still enjoying an alcoholic beverage.
  4. Environmental Friendly:
    • Natural wine, unlike sugar mills are environmentally friendly. There are no chimneys, no foul smell or even water discharge. Unlike the ecological impact of mass-produced beverages that use synthetic additives, the wine is a very environment friendly industry.
  5. Emphasis on Terroir and Tradition:
    • With Ginger from Agrakhal, Buransh (Rhodo) from Valley of Flowers, Khumani (Apricot) from Kumao, Anjeer (Bedu Figs) from Rudraprayag and Malta (Citrus peels) from Pauri. Arishtam Wine is using quality ingredients from all across Uttarakhand and helping revive its wine culture. That is why it appeals to consumers who appreciate a deeper connection to the land and the cultural heritage of winemaking.
  6. Diverse Flavor Profiles:
    • Arishtam wines, from Ginger, Rhodo, Anjeer, Apricot have much diverse and unique flavor profiles, offer a range of taste experiences that may attract those seeking a departure from the standardized flavors often found in rum-based RTD beverages.
  7. Support for Local Producers:
    • Natural wine, typically associated with smaller, artisanal producers, may attract consumers who wish to support local businesses and appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the winemaking process.
  8. Higher Alcohol Content 15%:
    • The quality ingredients and manufacturing process leads to a smoother and cleaner alcoholic kick. Natural wine is preferred by those who seek a more moderate and session-able drinking experience compared to rum-based fortified wines.

Preferences for ingredients, authenticity, health-conscious choices, and environmental values makes natural wine a luxurious beverage for your evening.

Switch from “QUALITY over QUANTITY” and drink in Moderation to create a culture of mindfulness and responsible Zero Hangover. Here is a step by step guide for college students, youth, bachelors and recreational drinkers to have a great evening without the nastiness of morning after.

  1. Anything in excess is addictive and harmful: Switch from QUALITY over QUANTITY. From Spirits with 40-45% alcohol to lower-alcohol beverages like wine and beer that keep you hydrated instead of dehydrating you.
  2. Check the Labels and watch out for terms like “FORTIFIED”, “BLENDED”, AND “ADDED ETHLY ALCOHOL”. Natural alcohol on the other hand gives a smoother kick with less nastiness.
  3. Stay away from Brands that use SYNTHETIC FLAVORS, ARTIFICIAL COLORS, CHEMICALS and ESSENCES. The world is moving towards organic food, why not your beverage?
  4. Check the Manufacturing Location. If your alcohol is made in a sugar mill, then you know RUM and MOLASSES are used rather than fruits, flowers, and other natural ingredients. Quality ingredients and processes make quality products.
  5. Stay Hydrated, Drink Water, Juices, and Cocktails instead of spirit. more water is there in your system, the faster the body will metabolize and neutralize alcohol and keep you hangover-free
  6. Eat Food & Drink in moderation: That is why Arishtam publishes a long list of wine pairing guides. Momos, Tandoori Chicken, Pahadi Food, Chaat, Pahadi Thali, and Pakode are great company for any evening party. They absorb the alcohol and release the digestive juices. Keep you and your friends safe.
  7. Dates and Parties are for Bonding and not Games: Avoid drinking games and focus on quality conversations. Don’t let peer pressure force you into drinking or smoking or unprotected sex.
  8. Set an alarm and book your cab before hand. By limiting your duration (Curfew time) of drinking, you can stay connected with your friends without the intoxication of excessive drinks. Don’t Drink and Drive. Use Cabs Instead.
  9. Respect Boundaries: Don’t force your date into drinks. Alcohol does not make you cool.
  10. Peer Support: One of the biggest reasons Cigarette habits are hard to break, is because Cigarette needs no occasion and is often consumed Alone. Similarly, try to do only SOCIAL DRINKING instead of risking drinking alone. This limits the options, opportunities and quantity.

To summarize, focus on natural alcohol, free from chemicals and drink quality beverages in moderation. This is the best cure for HANGOVER.

Your food and vegetables are going organic, but why does your favorite drink still have Chemical Essence, Artificial Colors, and Synthetic Flavors?

Not only chemicals are harmful to your health and Liver, but you end up paying 3X because:

1X because: Synthetic (or nature identical colors and flavors) are added only to products that are of poor quality ingredients.

2X because: The cost of these chemical turds will be paid by the consumer. Both in the price of the product and its health implications.

3X because: The only reason the manufacturer adds these chemicals is so that they can fleece you by charging extra and make extra profits.

Some Indians drink only imported spirits and whiskey because they believe foreign manufacturers have better ingredients and production process. If you want to consume quality drinks and beverage, then Check the labels, visit the manufacturer’s facility, check the social media feed. You don’t have to waste money on imports when there is a Vedic Arishtam right next to you.

Wine, Beer and Alcohol have been part of our Vedic and ancient traditions. It is a very simple natural production process which has been practiced since last 5000 years.

GINGER BEER Alcohol in 5 mins l Ginger Ale l Simple home made beer and wine ARISHTAM INDIA
GINGER BEER Alcohol in 5 mins l Ginger Ale l Simple home made beer and wine ARISHTAM INDIA
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The Elegance of Arishtam Ginger Wine: A Smooth Classy drink that is unlike any whiskey, Rum, or Beer.

The sophistication and cultural significance of Arishtam Wine need no Introduction. This ginger wine has earned its place as a beverage of choice for many. Today we talk about how this unique wine from Uttarakhand delivers potent yet refined intoxicating effects without the foul smell and bitterness of Whiskey, Rum, Spirits, and Beer.

The Subtle Aroma: Whiskey, Rum, and Spirits are made from Distillation. The sugar mills that make them don’t follow the modern industrial manufacturing processes. As a result, sometimes the whole city and neighborhood smells and stinks when molasses are being converted to spirit. No wonder Indians associate molasses smell with alcohol.

Natural Arishtam Wine is made from fruits and flowers and uses no molasses or spirits. Superior ingredients and Superior Processing = Superior Products. Twice the alcohol with ZERO FOUL SMELL.

One of the distinguishing features that set wine apart from spirits and beer is its subtle aroma. Unlike the overwhelming scents associated with spirits, wine boasts a delicate bouquet that enhances the overall drinking experience. The aromatic profile of wine, from the fruity notes of reds to the crisp freshness of whites, allows for a more nuanced exploration of flavors without overpowering the senses.

No Bitterness, Only Bliss: Arishtam Wine, is made from quality ingredients. As a result you will experience a smooth and velvety texture. We eliminate the bitter and sour aftertaste commonly associated with some sugar mill spirits, beer and fortified wines. The absence of bitterness allows for a more enjoyable and approachable drinking experience, making wine a preferable choice for those seeking a refined and pleasant taste without the need for mixers or chasers.

Equally Strong, Less Aggressive: While wine are stronger than Beer and RTD (in terms of alcohol content), its inebriating effects are often perceived as less aggressive than whiskey/rum/spirits or even strong beers. Arishtam Wine has a very gradual and steady rise to inebriation. No water/soda is needed which means that you know how much you are drinking and how much alcohol is consumed. Arishtam Wine provides a more controlled and comfortable experience for those who prefer a more relaxed pace in their drinking endeavors.

Culinary Versatility: Wine’s versatility extends beyond the glass and into the realm of culinary experiences. Wine Pairs well with food and snaxs, enhancing the dining experience with its ability to accentuate flavors and textures. This culinary adaptability adds another layer of appeal to wine, positioning it as a sophisticated and versatile choice for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

Cultural Significance: Beyond the sensory aspects, wine carries a rich cultural significance that has been woven into the fabric of human history for centuries. Its association with celebrations, rituals, and the art of winemaking itself elevates wine to a level that extends beyond mere libation. The cultural allure of wine further solidifies its superiority, offering a connection to tradition and refinement.

जनता की आवाज़ covers UTTARAKHAND'S FIRST Fruit WINERY | NEWS CLIP | INDIA | ARISHTAM
जनता की आवाज़ covers UTTARAKHAND'S FIRST Fruit WINERY | NEWS CLIP | INDIA | ARISHTAM
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Arishtam Offers a unique “Quality over Quantity Experience” in an affordable manner for the youth. Our Unique blend and natural recipe has created this No Foul Smell, No Bitterness experience that allows you on focus on your party rather than getting drunk. Cheers to the drink that proves you can have both strength and subtlety in a single glass.

Rosé, a beloved creation born from the harmonious blending of red and white grapes, has long held its place as a delightful and accessible choice. It started as a modern new-age wine where the leftover wines were blended to cater to someone who likes the sweet taste of white wine and the color of red.

On the other hand flower wine or floral is a luxurious premium blend of meticulously hand-picked flower blossoms. As a result, you get aromatic, aphrodisiacal alternatives ideal for special occasions, dates, and Valentine’s Day.

Flower Wines: Handpicked Elegance: Arishtam Rhodo wines are made from The Red Flowers grown in the “Valley of the Flowers” from the Gharwal Region of the Himalayan Moutain range. These rare flowers are grown in inaccessible terrains of 4,500 to 10,000 feet high region of the Himalayan Mountain Range (1,500 m to 3,500 m above MSL). The Rhodo Tree itself blossoms when it reaches a height of 20 to 60 feet height making flower picking a labor-intensive precarious task.

Rosé Wine: Approachable Rosé is an affordable and versatile wine for daily occasions. It is a lighter alternative that bridges the gap between the red and white wines with a spirit of approachability.

Enter the realm of flower wines, where delicate blossoms take center stage in a symphony of scents and flavors. Crafted from handpicked Buransh/ Rhododandrum flowers, these wines offer a unique sensory experience that goes beyond traditional grape-based varieties. Often celebrated for their aphrodisiac qualities, flower wines bring an added layer of allure, making them an ideal choice for intimate dates and special occasions like Valentine’s Day.

Next date night, try something beyond the traditional grapes.

In the foothills of the majestic Himalayas there lies a small Hamlet called “Valley of Flowers” A Virgin medow , amidst the splendor of nature’s bounty, lies a tale as old as time – the enigmatic allure of flowers as aphrodisiacs. For centuries, cultures around the world have revered flowers not only for their aesthetic beauty but also for their mysterious ability to ignite passion and desire. As couples seeking solace from the rigors of modern life venture into this idyllic landscape, it’s worth delving into the deeper significance behind the romantic association between flowers and love.

Red Flowers have long been intertwined with human emotions, their delicate petals and intoxicating fragrances evoking feelings of joy, nostalgia, and, most notably, desire. But what is it about these ephemeral wonders of nature that sparks the flames of passion in our hearts?

  • Symbolism and Sensuality: Flowers have been imbued with symbolic meanings and associations since ancient times, often representing fertility, romance, and sensuality. Their vibrant colors, soft textures, and enticing scents captivate the senses and awaken dormant desires within us.
  • Aromatic Alchemy: The aromatic compounds found in flowers stimulate the olfactory senses, triggering the release of neurotransmitters in the brain associated with pleasure and arousal. From the heady fragrance of roses to the subtle sweetness of jasmine, each flower possesses its own unique blend of aromas that tantalize and seduce.
  • Red, Color of Love, evokes a myriad of emotions and associations deeply ingrained in human consciousness. Symbolizing passion, desire, fertility and romance. Red captivates the heart and soul, igniting flames of affection and longing. Its bold hue, reminiscent of ripe berries and blooming roses, draws parallels to the intensity of love’s fervor, while its warmth and vibrancy reflect the fervent emotions that accompany matters of the heart. Across cultures and civilizations, red has been revered as the quintessential hue of love and ardor, adorning everything from wedding bridal attire to Valentine’s Day decorations. Whether painted on canvas or expressed through gestures of affection, red serves as a potent reminder of love’s power to enrapture and enchant. A timeless symbol of passion, uniting souls in a symphony of love that transcends boundaries and endures through time.
  • Cultural Reverence: Across cultures and civilizations, flowers have been revered as sacred symbols of love and beauty. From the lotus flower in ancient Egypt to the cherry blossoms of Japan, floral imagery permeates folklore, mythology, and art, serving as a timeless expression of romantic longing and devotion.
  • Natural Aphrodisiacs: Beyond their symbolic significance and sensory appeal, certain flowers are believed to possess aphrodisiac properties, purportedly enhancing libido and sexual vitality. From the passionate potency of damiana to the soothing sensuality of lavender, these botanical treasures have been celebrated for their ability to kindle the flames of passion and intimacy.

As couples venture hand in hand through the enchanting landscapes of the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of blooming rhododendrons and fragrant wildflowers, they are reminded of the timeless allure of nature’s most enchanting creations. In the delicate petals of a flower lies a world of mystery and magic, where love blooms eternal and desire knows no bounds.

Home-made wines are healthier and better alternatives to cold drinks and even packed fruit juices. This is because when consumed in moderation, wine has fewer calories and sugar than these sugar-laden drinks and beverages. Just remember to use a triple scale hydrometer to check how much sugar is eaten by your brewer’s yeast daily and how much residual sugar is left..

Here is a chart of the sugar content in various fruits.

Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine
Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine

However most of this sugar gets fermented and converted to Alcohol. So a Dry Wine made at home has <1gm sugar per 100ml drink. The chart below has information on how much alcohol does sugar (what is inside the fruit + what is added) will yield. You can also buy ready made wine Arishtam 15% from your nearest liquor store.

Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine
Brix-chart-for-various-fruits-for-wine

Coconut Wine also called Neera or Toddy is a mildly alcoholic beverage. Coconut Palms are selected to yield high fat content in their sap so that Copra yields a high value coconut oil. While Neera Trees are selected based on its ability to produce sugar or sweet sap which can ferment for a refreshing mildly alcoholic beverage.

  1. Tree Age: Choose coconut palms that are between 10 to 20 years old. Trees younger than 10 years may not yield enough sap (watery sap), while older trees may have reduced sap flow or be more prone to diseases.
  2. Health and Vigor: Look for trees that are healthy, with vibrant green fronds and a sturdy trunk. Avoid trees with signs of disease, pest infestation, or damage.
  3. Location and Environment: Select palms that are grown in suitable environments for toddy production, preferably in coastal regions with sandy or loamy soil and a tropical climate. Trees growing in such conditions tend to produce better quality sap.
  4. Previous Tapping History: Trees that have been tapped previously for toddy production are often preferred, as they have established tapping points and may yield more sap. However, ensure that the tree has not been over-tapped, which can weaken it.
  5. Height and Accessibility: Consider the height of the tree and accessibility for tapping. Opt for trees that are of manageable height and located in areas where tapping can be done safely and efficiently. Too tall or too short tree will add to your labor cost without commensurate benefits.
  6. Sap Yield: While it’s not always possible to determine the exact sap yield beforehand, look for trees that are known to produce good quantities of sap based on local knowledge or previous tapping records.
  7. Species and Variety: Different varieties of coconut palms may produce sap with varying flavors and qualities. Consult with local experts, gardeners, plantation or experienced toddy tappers to select the most suitable species or variety for your specific needs.
  8. Fat Content for Copra vs. Sugar Content for Neera: Coconut palms selected for toddy production, also known as Neera or Coconut Wine, should have high sugar content in their sap, while those selected for copra production should have high fat content in their sap to yield high-value coconut oil.
  9. Ethical Considerations: Ensure that the palm is sourced from sustainable and ethical practices. Avoid trees that have been illegally tapped or are part of protected areas. Trees need to be given rest for one season after tapping for one season. If the rest is not given, then the tree dies out and becomes week, making it useless.
  10. Consultation: Seek guidance from experienced toddy tappers or agricultural experts who have knowledge about selecting coconut palms for toddy production in your specific region.

If you ask your gardener/nursery for Neera Palm, they will show you the same. However if you want to make toddy at home for only trials, you can use tender coconut water for it too rather than tapping the trees or climbing them like monkeys.

Kegland specializes in homebrewing and beverage dispensing equipment. They offer a wide range of products catering to homebrewers, craft beer enthusiasts, and those interested in making Beer, Wine, Kombucha or Simmple Fermenting. Equipment for Kegging, Canning and dispensing beverages are their strong suite.

Some of the products offered by Kegland include:

  1. Kegs: They provide various types of kegs, including stainless steel kegs in different sizes (e.g., 2.5 gallons, 5 gallons, 10 gallons), cornelius (corny) kegs, and mini kegs.
  2. Homebrewing Equipment: Kegland offers a comprehensive selection of homebrewing equipment, such as fermenters, mash tuns, brew kettles, immersion chillers, and fermentation temperature control devices.
  3. Dispensing Equipment: For those looking to dispense their beverages, Kegland offers a range of dispensing equipment, including draft beer towers, faucets, shanks, disconnects, and gas regulators.
  4. Kegerators and Keezers: They provide kegerators and keezer conversion kits for those interested in setting up a dedicated draft beer system at home.
  5. Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies: Kegland offers cleaning and maintenance products for kegs, draft lines, and other brewing equipment, including cleaning kits, sanitizers, and line cleaning pumps.
  6. Carbonation and Filtration: They provide carbonation equipment such as carbonation lids, carbonation stones, and spunding valves, as well as filtration options for achieving clarity in homebrewed beer.

Overall, Kegland aims to support homebrewers and beverage enthusiasts with high-quality equipment and supplies to enhance their brewing and dispensing experience.

Ensuring the authenticity of Kegland products purchased internationally or in India requires careful attention to several key factors:

  1. Authorized Retailers: Purchase Kegland products from authorized retailers or distributors. Check the official Kegland Australia website or contact Kegland directly to obtain a list of authorized international distributors. Buying from authorized sellers reduces the risk of purchasing counterfeit or substandard products. Arishtam is the Official Partner for Kegland in India
  2. Product Packaging: Examine the packaging of the product for signs of authenticity, such as official branding, logos, and labels. Authentic Kegland products typically feature clear and professional packaging with the Kegland logo and product details.
  3. Product Documentation: Authentic Kegland products often come with accompanying documentation, such as user manuals, product guides, or warranty information. Ensure that the documentation matches the product and includes relevant contact information for Kegland.
  4. Serial Numbers and Labels: Some Kegland products may include serial numbers (they start with KLXXX), as a form of authentication. Check for these features and verify their legitimacy with Kegland if necessary.
  5. Verify Seller Reputation: Aristham has over 7000 user reviews on various Kegland Products. The good bad and ugly, most reviews have user pictures as well. Check our ratings and customer feedback. Also give a shout in various brewing forums to understand how much Arishtam has done for Indian Brewing Community since 2017.
  6. Price and Deals: Be cautious of deals or prices that seem too good to be true, as they may indicate counterfeit or imitation products. Compare prices across different retailers and verify that the pricing aligns with the typical market value of Kegland products. Remember the fraudulent sellers often increase the price at the time of checkout under the head of Taxes or Shipping. At Arishtam You Get What You See!
  7. Purchase from Established Dedicated Brewing Websites rather than Random or Generic Online Platforms: Home Brewing is a specialized niche and discount e-commerce sellers will not be able to support you with your brewing questions and tutorials that you will need to make the most of these equipments.
  8. Contact Kegland: If you have doubts about the authenticity of a product, reach out to Kegland directly for verification. Provide details such as the product name, model number, and purchase location to assist them in confirming authenticity.

By following these guidelines and exercising diligence in your purchase decisions, you can minimize the risk of purchasing counterfeit or unauthorized Kegland products internationally.

Using Kegland Australia brewing equipment offers several benefits for homebrewers:

  1. Quality and Durability: Kegland is known for producing high-quality brewing equipment made from durable materials such as stainless steel. Their products are designed to withstand the rigors of homebrewing and provide reliable performance over time.
  2. Wide Range of Products: Kegland offers a comprehensive range of brewing equipment to meet the needs of homebrewers at every skill level. From fermenters and kettles to kegs and dispensing equipment, they provide all the essentials for brewing and serving beer at home.
  3. Innovation and Technology: Kegland is committed to innovation and continually develops new products and technologies to improve the homebrewing experience. They incorporate features such as temperature control, carbonation options, and modular designs to enhance brewing efficiency and convenience.
  4. Customization and Flexibility: Homebrewers are hobbist which don’t want to break their bank while fermenting. By Adhering to Kegland Standard equipment one can grow and develop their hobby as it evolves. It is modular and integratable which is the biggest strength of Kegland. This includes options for kegging, fermenting, and dispensing beer in various styles and quantities.
  5. Support and Resources: Kegland & Arishtam.com provides excellent customer support and resources to assist homebrewers with their brewing endeavors. This includes online tutorials, instructional videos, troubleshooting guides, and access to a knowledgeable support team to answer questions and offer assistance.
  6. Value for Money: Despite their high quality and innovative features, Kegland brewing equipment is often priced competitively, offering homebrewers excellent value for money compared to other brands. This makes Kegland products accessible to a wide range of enthusiasts without compromising on quality.
  7. Community and Collaboration: Kegland actively engages with the homebrewing community through events, forums, and social media channels, fostering a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among brewers. This community-centric approach allows homebrewers to share knowledge, tips, and recipes, enriching the brewing experience for all involved.

Overall, using Kegland brewing equipment empowers homebrewers to brew beer with confidence, creativity, and convenience, making the hobby more accessible and enjoyable for enthusiasts of all levels.

Arishtam is the Authorized Distributor and Reseller in India. This means that you have the whole power of Kegland International community and access to wide variety of brewing forums and online resources to help you with your problem.

For the first 6 months post purchase, Arishtam Will be Providing Support and warranty for any issues, defects or replacement that you need. Beyond Six months the maintenance parts are shipped directly from the Brand through international mail. Do check our 7000+ user comments and feedback since 2017 to understand the credibility and reputation of this website.

Crown Cap is an airtight metal seal crimped on the top of most glass bottled beers, ciders, mineral waters, etc.

Also called crown cork (crown seal, crown cap or just a cap), the first form of bottle cap, was invented by William Painter in 1892 in Baltimore. The company making it was originally called the Bottle Seal Company.

Other types of glass bottle sealing mechanism include:

  1. ROPP: Also called screw cap. these are resealable screw caps often found on wine bottles and medicine bottles. unfortunately, they don’t hold pressure that well.
  2. Twistoff: they is a hybrid of crown cap and ROPP. They can be twisted and opened without a opener/tool and yet they can retain pressure.
  3. Pull-on Ring Cap: They are aluminum caps and a hybrid of the beverage can and crown cap. Made from aluminium they can be opened like a beer can. making them popular increasingly.

Why is a beer seal called a crown cap?

The ridges or knurled end of this glass bottle closure is in the form of an inverted crown, hence the name of crown cap.

Sealing a glass beer bottle with a crown cap is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sanitize: First, ensure that both the bottle and the crown cap are thoroughly sanitized. Cleanliness is essential to prevent contamination.
  2. Position the Cap: Place a sanitized crown cap onto the filled beer bottle. Make sure it is centered on the bottle’s neck.
  3. Capping: Position the bottle under a capping tool (such as a wing capper or a bench capper). Press down firmly to seal the cap onto the bottle. The capper will crimp the edges of the cap, securing it in place.
  4. Check for Leaks: After capping, check for any leaks. If you feel that the cap is not fully compressed onto the bottle, remove the capper, turn the bottle 1/4 turn, and repeat the compression. Ensure a tight seal.

Remember, using a capper specifically designed for crown caps is recommended for professional results.

The standard size for a beer crown cap is typically 26mm in diameter. This size is commonly used for most glass beer bottles and is designed to provide a secure seal, preserving the carbonation and freshness of the beer. The 26mm crown cap is a universal standard for many bottling operations and homebrewers alike.

Other popular caps include

  • 29mm Caps: Some bottles, especially Maggi Sauce, champagne-style bottles used for specialty brews like Belgian lambics, use larger 29mm caps1. These caps provide a secure seal and are commonly seen on unique or high-end beer bottles. The thread finish varies based on bottle size, with the most common sizes being 26mm and 29mm.
  • Growler/Screw Caps: Growler or screw caps are versatile options for beer enthusiasts and brewers. They come in various materials, including plastic (such as Polyethylene terephthalate) or metals (like aluminum). These caps create an airtight seal, preserving beer freshness during storage or transportation. Breweries that dispense draft beer often prefer screw caps because they maintain pressure and carbonation levels over time. The cap lip has corresponding measurements on both sides, making it easy to identify overall bottle size without measuring each bottle individually.
  • Swing-Top Caps: Swing-top caps are popular among brewers and collectors due to their unique design and sealing benefits. They consist of two parts: the cap itself and a steel lock (also known as the “Lightning” toggle closure). The combination of metal screw caps and tight fits makes them ideal for bottles that need an extra secure seal, such as home-brewed beer, cider, or soda. Swing-top caps prevent oxygen from entering after bottling, ensuring freshness. These caps are especially useful for resealing partially consumed bottles.
Pouring the illegal moonshine down the drain
Pouring the illegal home brew moonshine wine down the drain

Note: The literature mentioned here should not be constituted as legal advice or instigation to break the laws. The advice mentioned here is only to explain the laws and regulations in a simple language and should not be constituted as complete. Please consult a qualified legal & tax attorney before fermenting wines or beer.

The aim of Arishtam is to educate you on the ancient process, best safe practices, and nudge you towards reviving the ancient traditions and recipes. Fermentation wines or craft beers should not be an occult art or a mystery practiced by a few but should be a democratic movement for the wise masses. Most enthusiasts have many questions on the safety and legality about fermentation at home. Here, we try to address some of the concerns.

If you are a first-time brewer then browse our recipe section and try out your first home brewing kit,