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-   -   cabernet sauvignon (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/cabernet-sauvignon-380747/)

Waylit 01-12-2013 03:19 AM

cabernet sauvignon
I've been making beer for years, but it's time to show my wife some love. Cabs are her favorite so I was thinking of buying a kit to make her some wine.

I'm looking for some advice. I'd like to ferment 5-6 gallons. Can anyone recommend a source or specific kit?

Thanks for the help

Richy_23 01-12-2013 08:54 AM

Mate go the grapes the best deal if you want a hand I can help you I am a winemaker

vNmd 01-13-2013 01:20 AM

I am in the same boat. What I did was look for the area of what she likes. She doesn't like California cabs. She likes, and I must admit they are good, southern hemisphere types (Argentina, Chile, Australia). The first batch was a Australian Cabernet kit. I hope to bottle this one in a month or so and try it in June for her birthday. Next is an Argentine Malbec (close to a Cabernet and I know she likes it). There are sites that go into the different regions and let you do searches on area and wine types. The wine kits I know of make 6 gallons. I don't want to advertise any sites. If you pm me I can send you more details on what I have done. Unfortunately I have not completed to finished taste product yet and am still stinging from a Christmas gift that didn't fit exactly, so take my .02 for what its worth.

KBentley57 01-13-2013 02:13 AM

When it comes to the kits, get the most expensive one you can afford. The more expensive ones come with more solid matter, which makes for better wine. Generally, the cheaper (60-90)$ kits come with only juice (9L) and maybe oak powder, and no skins. They are ok, but not the greatest. The (90-120)$ range is generally better (12-16L), but if I were going to show the love, I would drop about $150 on a good cab kit. I just started the Eclipse Lodi 11 cabernet kit, and it seems very nice. They are about $160-175 online, and it comes with 18L of juice, grape skins, oak shavings, oak cubes, bentonite and finings, and the wine labels, which is just a nice bonus. One of those combined with some Lalvin RC-212, and about a year and a half of time will make her very happy indeed :).

Yooper 01-13-2013 02:18 AM

I really like the Cellar Craft Showcase kits. They are in the $150-$160 range normally, but use more juice (less concentrate), and have grape skins in the kit to ferment on. I've also used En Primeur with good results, but I still prefer the more expensive-ish Cellar Craft kits.

For a more moderately priced kit in the $100 range, I think Cellar Craft has a few of those kits as well.

With wine kits, you really do get what you pay for. A $60 kit will make a "Two Buck Chuck" type of wine while a $160 kit will make something more like a $20 bottle of wine.

The kits all make 6 gallons (30 bottles), so you need a 6 gallon carboy.

vNmd 01-13-2013 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by KBentley57 (Post 4779218)
I just started the Eclipse Lodi 11 cabernet kit, and it seems very nice.

I picked up that box yesterday. I have a Riesling fermenting now, but that will be my next batch. Any surprises for this one or was it straight forward? I have not done one with skins yet.

bullinachinashop 01-13-2013 10:58 AM

Leave it on the skins for 10 days before u transfer. Also, don't do any topping up after transfer. Winexpert has new instructions on the Kits that I just read the other day. Ill see if I can find it and post a link.
Here it is

vNmd 01-13-2013 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by bullinachinashop (Post 4779860)
Winexpert has new instructions on the Kits that I just read the other day.

Funny, I was about to post a question about using a 5 gal carboy after the primary instead of topping off a 6 with water. I notice they discourage bulk aging. I will probably still leave it in the carboy an extra month or two. Thanks for the info and the link. I am sure the lodi cab 11 I just bought won't have the latest instructions and I probably would have watered it down. This thread just keeps getting better and better.

Thanks again:mug:

KBentley57 01-13-2013 05:45 PM


I don't think there is much to go wrong with this one. I usually skip the bentonite and all other finings though. I'll do that down the road if it's necessary. Don't forget to add 6 gal of water, then the skins! otherwise it will come out too strong. My kit had an OG of 1.100. You'll want to check your OG on probably the second day, otherwise the thick material in the grape skin bag probably hasn't had enough time to disolve out, it's pretty gooey. I also used a different yeast - it comes with EC-1118, which would work, but I find the RC-212 better suited for reds. I did use the oak shavings in the primary though, and will use the oak cubes provided in the kit. I just racked to a carboy today, after a 7 day primary. It's still going along, nice bubbles still rising. I age my kits for as long as it takes to become clear on its own. I've never had one not clear that way. If needed after more than 6-9 months, there is always super kleer.

Perhaps we should make a separate thread over in the wine section so that we can compare our notes as it goes along?

vNmd 01-14-2013 11:58 PM

Thanks for the info. I am probably a couple weeks out from starting this one. I just put a white together as well as a batch of Apfelwein so I am out of space and buckets. I just racked an Australian Cab this afternoon. Smelled and looked really good. I am really looking forward to this next one, especially with the info you gave (I need more everything).

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