10774 95 St NW Edmonton, AB T5H 2C9 
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Our objective is the creation of enjoyable wines/beers, suited to the individual tastes of each of our customers. If you find that the wine/beer kit you have purchased does not satisfy you, simply return it to the point of purchase with proof of purchase and all included materials, and we will be happy to replace the product.

We strive to provide our customers with the Best Products & Advice available to date. Our hope is every customer leaves 100% satisfied with their Experience at Brew For Less.

Why Choose Brew for Less?

  • Our goal is to provide you with efficient, reliable and memorable service.
  • We has been featured in the Sun newspaper and several local T.V stations for our large selections and service.
  • BFL maintains a 300+ count of wine and beer kits everyday, to give our customers the largest selection in Edmonton.
  • In 2006 BFL built a new store on its original corner, to expand our selection and better serve our customers.
  • We carry a wide range of quality's in wine kits. Everything from your basic beginner style concentrate kit to the highest end juices available.

Wine & Beer Making Terminology


| B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | V | W | Y |


A

ACIDITY

Perceived in the taste of the wine as a level of tartness, acidity is a naturally component consisting of mainly tartaric acid, at about 0.5 to 0.7 percent of the wine by volume.

ACTHOCYAN

S Natural organic chemical compounds responsible for the red, blue and purple colours of grapes and wine. Include anthocyanins, anthocyanidins and pro-anthocyanidins.

AERATE

Exposing the wine to oxygen either through decanting or allowing the wine to "breathe" in an opened bottle or glass. Thought to allow off-odours to dissipate in older wines, and to soften aromas in younger ones.

ALCOHOL

The sugar in wine grapes is fermented through the winemaking process into alcohol, and is measured as a percentage of volume. In white wines, this ranges between 9 and 14 percent; in red wines between 11 and 14 percent.

AMERICAN OA

K Oak wood for wine barrels sourced in American forests. Favoured by many winemakers, particularly those in Australia and Spain. AOC Short for Appellation d'Origine Controlee (sometimes Appellation Controlee abbreviated as AC). Translates literally to protected place name, and is the official French category for higher-ranking wines. AOC wines are categorised according to name, origin, grape varieties and other legal definitions.

APPELLATION

Official name referring to a wine's geographic region of origin.

AROMATIC

Used to refer to a wine, particularly white wines, with intensely floral or fruity aromas, such as Muscat or Viognier.

AROMA

The smell of a wine. Some people use the term aroma for younger wines; bouquet for those that have been aged.

ASTRINGENT

Caused by tannin, refers to the mouth-puckering character of some wines.

ATTACK

In wine tasting, the first impression of a wine on the mouth. Usually perceived as a first "hit" on the tip of the tongue and at the front of mouth.

AVA

Acronym for American Viticultural Area, indicating wine-growing regions as defined through geographic and climatic boundaries by the Federal Government. Theoretically, the American version of the French AOC system.

B

BALANCE

The relationship of the components of the wine including alcohol, residual sugar, acid and tannin. When no one component stands out against the rest, the wine is said to be well balanced, an indication of quality.

BARREL-AGED

Refers to wines that are fermented in containers such as stainless steel, then placed in oak barrels to mature. Also refers to wines that are fermented in the barrel.

BARREL-FERMENTED

Some white wines, notably Chardonnay, may be fermented in barrels rather than in stainless steel to impart a subtle oak character.

BARREL

A small wooden barrel used for ageing red wine, and fermenting some styles of white wine. Most barrels are about 227 litres (50 gallons) in size, and are made of oak, primarily from French and American forests.

BARRIQUE

Small French oak barrel.

BIG

Used to describe wines that are very full and intense; considered the opposite of elegant.

BLACK FRUITS

Aromas and flavours found typically in red wines including those of blackberries, black currants, blueberries and black cherries.

BLACK GRAPES

Grapes with reddish or blue pigment in their skins used to make red wine.

BLEND

To assemble individual lots of wine together to make one wine. Can apply to different grape varieties, or grapes of the same type from different vineyards, regions and vintages.

BODY

The tactile impression of wine in your mouth. Think in terms of light, medium and full--or skim milk, whole milk and cream!

BORDEAUX BLEND

A style of wine assembled from the classic red grapes of Bordeaux including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

BOTTLE-AGEING

The winemaker decides how long a wine will age in the bottle before it is released for sale. Many wines are made to be consumed upon release; finer wines, particularly reds, may require additional bottle ageing by the consumer. In the case of Champagne and sparkling wine, bottle ageing allows the wine to acquire, complexity, depth and fine texture; it is also known as ageing "on the yeast" or "en tirage".

BOUQUET

The more developed and complex aromas said to be evident in older and mature wines.

BRIGHT

A wine descriptor referring the character of the wine, including its appearance in the glass, to be fresh and exciting, and refracting light.

BRIX

Scale of measurement of total dissolved compounds in grape juice and approximate concentration of sugars used in the United States as one gauge of ripeness at harvest. One degree Brix is approximately 12-g/l sugar.

BRUT

Champagne style that is very dry, meaning little or no residual sugar.

BUNG

Barrel stopper made of glass, plastic, rubber, silicone or other material which seals the bung-hole in the barrel like a cork. Can be removed to permit topping up or racking. The position of the bunghole can be changed to maximise or reduce aeration.

BUTTERY

Descriptor often applicable to Chardonnay that has undergone malolactic fermentation; describes both texture and flavour attributes.

C

CASTELLO

The Italian word for castle; refers to a wine estate, such as Castello d'Albola.

CEDARY

A woody aroma that characterises certain red varietals.

CHAMPAGNE

Refers to sparkling wines made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and vinified using the Methode Champenoise winemaking process. Term is sometimes used to refer to sparkling wines from different regions, but correctly, only sparkling wine from Champagne may be called Champagne.

CHARRY

Aromas and flavours of a toasty nature created by the application of oak barrel ageing to the wine.

CHATEAU

A French winery estate, typically found in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, the architecture of ch?teaux can range from grand to mundane.

CLASSICO

Italian term indicating that wine comes from the heart of a specific region. While Chianti Classico is a demarcated DOCG district, the Classico for Verdicchio, for example, refers to the central part of the appellation.

CLONE

A selection within a grape variety, which exhibits certain characteristics distinct from others in the group. Viticulturists and winemakers experiment with different clones of the same variety to optimise their plantings and provide specific flavour and tactile characteristics.

COLHEITA

Term used in Port winemaking referring to vintage.

COMMUNE

Typically refers to a wine-growing village in the Burgundy region of France.

COMPACT

Wine described as intense but not full.

COMPLEX

Opposite of simple. A wine that has a lot going on.

CONCENTRATED

Dense aromas and flavours.

CONCENTRATION

What wines with dense aromas and flavours evidence (as opposed to weak and watery).

COOPERAGE

Collective term for wooden containers; also used to refer to the activities and workplace of coopers, who make and repair small barrels and large wooden vats.

CREAMY

Wines, particularly barrel-fermented Chardonnay that has undergone a secondary, malolactic fermentation, that have a rich, smooth mouth-feel and are fuller in body are often characterised as creamy.

CRISP

Describes wines that are clean, and possibly a bit on the tart side. Opposite of soft. Wines that are crisp are typically higher in acid, and go well with food.

CUVEE

A blend of many lots of still wines, particularly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, designed to become a well-balanced Champagne or sparkling wine.

D

DECANT

To transfer wine from the bottle into another container, to aerate or to separate a red wine from its sediment

DEMI-SEC

A Champagne style that is semi-dry, but sweeter than sec.

DEPTH

The impression of many layers of complexity in a fine wine.

DISGORGING

The process by which the sediment collected in the neck of the Champagne bottle during the riddling process is frozen and expelled prior to the final corking.

DISTRICT

Refers to a geographic area more specific than region, but less specific than commune.

DOCG

Abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita , meaning controlled and guaranteed place. Italy's official category for its highest ranking wines.

DOC

Abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which means controlled place name. Italy's official category for wines whose name, region of origin, variety and other defining factors are regulated by law. In Portugal, DOC is also an abbreviation for the highest official wine category, Denominacao de Origem Controlada.

DOMAINE

French term for wine estate, commonly used in Burgundy.

DOSAGE

The liqueur, or sugar dissolved in reserve wine, added to the Champagne just before final corking. The dosage finishes the Champagnes and determines its level of sweetness.

DOUX

A Champagne style that is sweet.

DO

Abbreviation for Denominacion de Origen, which means place name and refers to Spain's official category for wines whose name, region of origin, variety and other defining factors are regulated by law.

DRY

Refers to a wine that is not sweet. Can also mean a wine that feels rough or dry in the mouth.

DULL

Opposite of bright and clean; can refer to a wine's appearance, aromas and flavours or overall style.

E

EARTHY

Refers to aromas and flavours that suggest wet or dry earth or minerals.

ELEGANCE

Suggests a wine of a certain delicacy and grace as opposed to power and intensity.

ESTATE

A property that grows grapes and makes wine from its own vineyards.

EXTRA-SEC

A Champagne style that is extra dry, but sweeter than Brut.

F

FERMENTATION

A naturally occurring process by which the action of yeast converts sugar in grape juice into alcohol, and the juice becomes wine.

FINISH

The final impression of the wine in the mouth after swallowing, particularly in terms of length and persistence of flavour.

FIRM

Describes a wine neither soft nor harsh in reference to tannins in a red wine and acidity in a white.

FLABBY

Describes wines that are too soft.

FLAVOUR COMPOUNDS

Organic compounds in grapes responsible for many of the aromas and flavours in wine.

FLAVOUR INTENSITY

How strongly wine flavours are perceived.

FLAVOURS

The aromatic components of wine that define its varietal characteristics as noted in the mouth.

FLESHY

Wines so described have a rich texture and mouth-feel.

FORTIFIED WINE

Wines such as Port to which alcohol has been added.

FRENCH OAK

Considered by many to be the finest oak for the ageing of white wines; also used for reds.

FRUIT CHARACTER

The characteristics of the wine has derived from the fruit, including aromas, flavours, tannins, acidity and extract.

FRUITY

The fruit aromas and flavours evident in wine. Can be fresh, dried, cooked; examples include fresh apples, dried figs, and strawberry jam.

G

GRAPE TANNIN

Tannins in a red wine attributed to the grapes as opposed to winemaking methods.

GRAPE VARIETY

Type of grape, such as Chardonnay or Merlot.

H

HARMONIOUS

Referring to a pleasant and graceful balance of components in a wine.

I

IGT

Indicazione Geografica Tipica. A category of wines created in Italy by Wine Law 164 in 1992 to approximate the French Vin de Pays and German Landwein.

INTENSE

Used to describe wines that express their character powerfully.

L

LEES

The grape solids and spent yeast cells that fall to the bottom of a white wine after fermentation.

LENGTH

The sustained impression of a wine across the tongue.

M

MACERATION

The process of soaking the skins of red grapes in their juice to extract colour, tannins and other substances into the wine; can occur pre or post fermentation.

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

A natural, secondary fermentation, optional in the winemaking process, which softens the total acidity of the wine through the conversion of malic into lactic acid.

 MATURATION

The process by which a wine reaches a point of readiness for bottling; can continue in the bottle.

MINERALLY

Used to describe flavours and aromas that suggest minerals, such as flint, steel, chalk etc.

MOUSSE

The ring of light foam at the top of a glass of sparkling wine.

METHODE CHAMPENOISE

The traditional French Champagne winemaking method used for producing sparkling wine.

METHODE TRADITIONELLE

The equivalent of the traditional French Champagne process know as Methode Champenoise, but applied to the making of sparkling wines outside the Champagne region.

N

NEW OAK

Can refer to brand new barrels, or barrels that have been used from one to four years previously.

NEW WORLD

Winemaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Canada etc. outside of Western Europe.

NON-VINTAGE

Refers to those Champagnes whose Cuvee contains wine from a previous vintage.

NUTTY

Broad descriptor to describe aromas and flavours of nuts in a wine; more specifically hazelnut, almonds, roasted nuts etc.

O

OAKY

The aroma and flavour characteristics imparted to a wine through the use of oak barrel fermentation and/or ageing. These may be characterised as vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, toast, smoke or char. Sometimes associated with imparting a higher tanning level than the wine might ordinarily have.

OFF-DRY

Term for wines that are neither fully sweet not dry.

OLD OAK

Barrels old enough to have lost much of its woody character. Generally five year or older.

OLD VINES

Term referring to vines that are generally 40 years or older. Presumed to deliver small yields, but good quality.

OLD WORLD

Refers to the winemaking countries of Western Europe including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.

P

PALATE

Referring to the mouth, or how a wine's characteristics manifest themselves in the mouth.

PETROL

Aromas or flavours reminiscent of gasoline, classic in European versions of Gew?rztraminer and Riesling.

PHYLLOXERA

A parasite that feeds on the roots of vitis vinifera grapes, resulting in decline and premature death.

PLUMMY

Aromas and flavours that suggest ripe plums.

PLUSH

Describes a wine that feels luxurious in the mouth.

POWERFUL

Describes a wine of intensity and strength.

PRETTY

Describes a wine of delicacy and finesse.

PRIMARY AROMAS

Fresh fruit aromas suggestive of the wine varietal.

PUNT

The dome-shaped indentation in the bottom of a wine bottle.

R

RACKING

The process by which clear wine is removed from the settled sediment or lees in the bottom of a container.

RED GRAPES

Also called black grapes, with skins that have reddish or blue pigment in their skins.

REGION

Geographical area for wine growing less specific than a district; more specific than a state or country.

RESERVE

Loose designation for presumably higher quality than "standard" version of the wine. In the case of Champagne, reserve wine refers to wine from previous vintages added to the cuvee for consistent quality and style.

RESIDUAL SUGAR

Remaining sugar in wine after fermentation.

RIDDLING

The art of turning and tilting bottles of sparkling wine in order to ease the sediment into the neck of the bottle. Often performed mechanically in modern facilities.

RISERVA / RESERVA

Italian/Spanish term for "reserve" indicating longer ageing before release and suggesting higher quality. Regulations determine how long this is for individual wines.

ROSE

In still wine or Champagne, a slightly pink tint comes from contact with the grape skins or the addition of a small portion of red wine to the cuv?e. 

ROUND

As opposed to flat or angular, refers to a wine's structure, particularly acid, tannin, sweetness and alcohol.

S

SECOND-LABEL WINE

A less expensive or second brand made from grapes or wine a level down from primary label

SEC A Champagne style that is dry, but sweeter than extra-sec.

SEDIMENT

Residue in the bottom of a bottle of red wine that forms as the wine ages.

SERIOUS

Describes a high-quality wine.

SILKY

Refers to a smooth, supple texture.

SINGLE-VINEYARD WINE

Wine made from the (presumably) good grapes of a single plot of land and not blended with any other grapes.

SKIN CONTACT

The pre-fermentation period in which the grape juice rests in contact with the skins of the grapes. Used in red winemaking to enhance colours and texture; may be used briefly in white winemaking to enhance aromas.

SMOKY

Aromas and flavours suggesting smoke or smoked wood imparted by oak barrel fermentation or ageing.

SMOOTH

Describes a wine that is not rough or harsh.

SOFT

Wine lacking in hardness or roughness, and present when alcohol and sugar dominate acidity and tannin.

SPARKLING WINES

Refers to all effervescent wines outside those from the Champagne region of France, vinified the Methode Champenoise (correctly known elsewhere are Methode Traditionelle).

STEMMY

Red wines with green or stalky tannins.

STEMS Woody part of the grape bunch that is high in tannin. Usually removed and discarded before fermentation.

STONY

Aromas or flavours that suggest the mineral quality of stones.

STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS

A wine's alcohol, tannin, acid and sugar (if any).

STRUCTURE

How a wine's structural components are perceived. Ideally structure should be well-balanced, without any one component dominant.

STYLE

Characteristics that form the personality of the wine.

SUPPLE

Describes a wine that is fluid in texture in the mouth, without roughness or harshness.

SWEETNESS

The impression of a sugary taste in a wine. Can be due to the presence of residual sugar or other sweet-tasting substances such as alcohol.

T

TANNIC

Describes wines too high in tannin.

TANNIN

A substance found in the skins, stems and seeds of grapes (grape tannins) and imparted by oak barrels (wood tannins), that, in balance, can lend structure, texture and ageability to red wines.

TARRY

Aromas and flavours that suggest fresh tar.

TART

A term that can be applied to wines that are too high in acid, or made from under-ripe grapes.

TASTE

The impressions formed by wine in the mouth, perceived as bitter, sweet and sour.

TERROIR

French term referring to the growing conditions in the vineyard, including climate, soil, elevation, slope, drainage, topography etc.

TEXTURE

How a wine feels in the mouth.

TIGHT

Can refer to a certain lean or underdeveloped quality of the wine in its aromas, flavour or structure.

TIRAGE

The process of bottling a cuvee with the addition of active yeast and sugar in order to induce a second fermentation. The carbonation produced by this second fermentation is trapped in the bottle, producing the effervescence of Champagnes and sparkling wines.

TOPPING UP

The process by which evaporated wine is replaced in the barrel.

V

VARIETAL CHARACTER

The unmistakable set of sensory characteristics attributable to a grape variety.

VARIETAL

Term for grape variety.

VEGETA

L Aromas or flavours that suggest vegetables.

VIN DE PAYS

French phrase for country wine. Lower status than AOC.

VINIFICATION

The activity of making grape juice into wine.

VINTAGE

The year in which a wine's grapes were harvested; sometimes referring to the grape harvest itself. Vintage designations are only given to Champagnes whose cuvees contain wines made from a single year's harvest. As with Port, a Champagne vintage is only declared in a year of exceptional quality.

VITICULTURE

The activity of growing grapes.

VITIS VINIFERA

Species to which most of the worlds wine grapes belong.

W

WEIGHT

Impression of heft and volume of the wine in the mouth.

WELL-BALANCED

Used to describe wines in which all component--alcohol, acid, tannin (if any) and sugar (if any)--relate to each other in such a way that none seems dominant.

WOOD TANNIN

Describes tannins attributable to barrel ageing, rather than the grapes.

Y

YEAST

One-celled organisms responsible for turning grape juice into wine.

Frequently Asked Questions


My wine bottle has exploded, why?

The wine was not completely finished fermentation prior to bottling. You can avoid this from happening by using your wine hydrometer. The S.G. reading should read 0.995 or below prior to bottling.

My wine has started to ferment again, why?

This happens when the wine is bottled before fermentation has completed. To avoid this from happening you should maintain the recommended fermentation temperature. It is very important to take a Specific Gravity Reading before bottling. This will tell you if your wine has finished fermentation (0.995 or below).

My wine is brown and taste bad, why?

This is caused by oxidation. Always rack your wine carefully to avoid splashing. You should use a syphon hose that reaches the bottom of your carboy or pail when racking or when bottling. Always remember to fill from the bottom up and do not allow your wine to be exposed to the air for any period of time.

My wine taste like vinegar, why?

Your wine might have a bacterial infection due to improper sterilization of your equipment. It is very important to make sure that all of your equipment is sterilized well. A sulphite solution is the best to use. Hot water alone will not kill bacteria. Cleanliness in the surrounding area is also very important. Any spilled wine should be wiped right away because it attracts fruit flies and one fruit fly can infect your wine. You should use food grade plastic, and it is a good idea to periodically replace your tubing.

My wine tastes harsh but looks fine, why?

Your wine probably just requires aging. Aging is a very important step in winemaking.

My wine tastes sweet, why?

Your wine will only taste sweet if it has not finished fermenting. To make sure that it has finished fermentation take a S.G. reading, it should read 0.995 or below.

My wine will not ferment, why?

It is probably due to incorrect temperature. The temperature should be between 70 and 80F. If the temperature is too cool, the yeast will become inactive; if the temperature is too high, the yeast will die. You can, in most cases, restart it by using a Yeast Starter. Pull a ? gallon of your must and put it into a sterile gallon jug, add 2 teaspoons of Yeast Energizer and one pack of Champagne Yeast; Mix well, cover lightly, place in a warm spot (on top of fridge), once you have a vigorous fermentation (6-12 hrs) add to your original must.

Should I filter my wine?

Yes. It is recommended that you filter your wine. By filtering a clear wine, you are "polishing" your wine which will remove any impurities that your wine may have such as yeast cells and other unwanted material. It improves the taste and the look of your wine. Filtering your wine enhances the quality of your vintage and ensures that the wine will be sediment-free in the months to come.

What does the Bentonite do for my wine?

Bentonite aids the yeast in growing quicker and stronger in the initial fermentation. It also helps to settle out the dead yeast cells so that you are not transferring a lot of sediment into your secondary fermentor after racking.

What does Metabisulphite do for my wine?

It protects your wine from spoilage and aids in clearing. It also helps to prevent oxidation. You can dissolve 50 grams of metabisulphite in 4 litres of water and use it as a sterilizer for all of your equipment and containers. It does a great job.

What does the Potassium Sorbate do for my wine?

It inhibits the reproduction of yeast cells. It does not kill the yeast cells but it will prevent your wine from renewed fermentation. This is neccessary for all wines, especially when you sweeten your wine before bottling.

Why do your instructions say NOT to top up during stage 3?

Brew for less's wine kits are designed to make 23 L. of balanced wine. When you start the wine, you add enough water to bring the must to 23 L. There is always some wine left behind with the sediment after racking. If you top up with water, you are diluting the wine and therefore the finished wine will not be as it was intended. If you are following the instructions and not leaving the wine for long periods of time without any fermentation occuring, there is no risk of oxidation with the head space.

Why does my wine feel slightly fizzy on my tongue?

It's possible that the wine had not finished fermenting when bottled or it has some residual CO2 that was not released during the de-gassing stage. To avoid this, maintain the proper fermentation temperature until the fermentation is complete. The hydrometer reading should be 0.995 or below. Also, ensure that all of the CO2 has been driven off during the de-gassing process before fining, filtering and bottling.

Why should I put shrink capsules on my bottles?

Shrink capsules are not only for decorative use but they are an important part of your winemaking as it protects the cork from unwanted pests such as spider mites and fruit flies and still allows your wine to breathe.

How do I sweeten my wine after it has finished fermenting?

Once fermentation is complete you can sweeten your wine by adding a sweetener (wine conditioner). You would add the wine conditioner prior to filtering. One ounce per gallon takes the edge off and two ounces per gallon starts making the wine fairly sweet. The best thing to do is to add to taste. Be careful not to over-sweeten.

How should my wine be stored?

You should keep it in a dark place. Light will excite molecules and oxidizes your wine. It should be vibration free (storing wine under the stairs is not a good idea.) You should have it in a humid place between 50 and 80 percent. You should always keep it away from odors (paint cans or anything with a strong odor) The reason for this is because the taste of your wine can be affected. Maintaining a constant temperature between 16-21C prevents your wine from premature aging. Rapid temperature changes in your wine storage location are detrimental to your wine. You should keep your wine bottles on their side so that the cork stays moist; otherwise the corks will dry out and allow unwanted air in. Wine asks for two things only, to be left lying quietly in a cool dark place, and to be served slowly, giving it plenty of time and room to breathe the air.

Latest Customer Testimonials


Best selection of Italian juices! The consistency is great. Never had a bad wine.

Tony CarelliSt.Albert, AB

The selection doesn't get any better. I've been brewing for 3 years now, and I make a new wine every time.

Todd LeclairFort Saskatchewan, AB

Great kits and low pricing. I always pass by when I'm going through Edmonton.

Lisa BarnesGrande Prairie, AB

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