This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.
I (Don Buchan) contacted Rabbi Jaffe at the Jewish Community Council in
Montreal and asked him about making kosher wines and beers.
Rabbi Jaffe told me that as long as the wine or beer is made by a Jew
with no non-Jewish contact it is considered to be kosher. Nothing
special needs to be added or done.
As a non-Jew, I would surmise that any cleanliness practices that may
exist in Kosher law would also have be to be practiced, though Rabbi
Jaffe did not mention this nor do I know for certain.
If you (as a Jew) follow all the cleanliness suggestions in this FAQ,
you should be able to consider your wine or beer to be kosher.
Rabbi Jaffe also told me that all domestic (Canadian, and presumably
American) beers are considered to be kosher.
Note that this all sounds contradicting since the lines are not drawn
as to where
begin with the growing of the ingredients or only with the actual
production of the wine, etc., as well as not defining where it has to
stop. I (Don again) have been told that it starts at the growing of
the ingredients and continues to even the serving of the wine.
The following is a synopsis of an article from the March 24, 1991 Los
Angeles Times by Dan Berger about Kosher wines.
1. Standard kosher wine: Standard kosher wine has to be produced in its
entirety by observant Jews. Even the spigot has to be turned by an
observant Jew to draw a tasting sample. Standard kosher wine may be
consumed by any (Sabbath) observant (orthodox) Jewish person, but it
loses its kosher certification if it is opened and served by a non-
2. Mevushal wine. Mevushal wine has to be heated to a specified
temperature. It remains kosher no matter who serves it. Weinstock
Cellars heats the grape juice prior to fermentation to 170F and then
chills it again instantly.
I would recommend that if you need to absolutely certain that your wine
or beer is kosher, consult your Rabbi before starting your batch.