FAQ's

If you have a question about the projects in the book, feel free to ask and I'll post a response here.  (Click here to submit a question)

MAPLE PLYWOOD?

Hi Steve,
Have to say I'm a big fan, really enjoy your book and articles keep up the
good work! Now, I have a question for you, for some of your projects such as
the destemmer and crusher you use ACX plywood.  I also work in construction
and have access to a lot of maple plywood scraps, could these be used or in
your opinion would it not hold up as well?
Thanks for yor time, and again really enjoy your projects.

Sincerely,
Mark

Hi Mark,

I think maple plywood would make a beautiful machine.  Go for it!

--Steve

NEUTRAL OAK BARREL VS. DEMIJOHN?

Hi Steve,
I just finished my autographed copy of your book. Thanks. I'm gatering
materials for the hydraulic press now.
I'm a small volume home wine maker (15-30 gallons/year).
I was using a barrel; but as they are about $300 now, I've gone to using 15
gallon domijons.
Some people have said that the advantage of the barrel is the toasted oak,
which can be reproduced via your instructions in your book.
However, some have said that the oak barrel will breath just a little,
allowing a small amount of oxygen exchange for the wine, affecting final
aged product.
So the question is: do you think that there would be a noticable difference
between a red wine aged in a glass domijon versus the same wine aged in a
neutral wood barrel?

Thanks,
Dave

Hi Dave,

I would use the barrel over the demijohn for a few reasons:

1.  A barrel will allow for what's called microoxygenation which has been shown to improve wine.

2.  A barrel will allow for concentration of the wine through evaporation through the wood.  The lost portion is referred to as the "Angel's Share".

3.  A barrel is a lot safer to use than a demijohn.  Take good care of it, and it will last for years. Try to keep it full year round, and if you need to store it dry, burn a sulfur disk or candle in it to protect it.

Good question.

Steve Hughes