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Old 05-30-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default Cheap Red wine Kit (5-6 Gal batch) for beginner..

I am looking into making a red wine from a kit, using my bear equipment (may have to buy a larger Primary).

Anyway, has anyone tried a kit recently that tastes good 6 months down the line?

Would like to (if it works out) give nice Xmas gifts.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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The cheapest kits I can think of that are actually pretty good are those "Vinter's Reserve" kits. I've seen them for $57-$75 in different places.

They aren't very complex, but are very drinkable as a table wine. I'd compare the quality to a $5-$7 bottle of red wine, like maybe Little Penguin or one of those.

You will need a 6 gallon carboy for secondary, but the rest of your beer stuff should work fine. (Kits make 6 gallons).

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Yooper, 2 questions.

1-If I made a 5gal batch from a 6 gallon kit, what pitfalls await me.

2- If I use 2 3gal carboys, (pitfalls)?

Thanks!

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOctober View Post
Thanks Yooper, 2 questions.

1-If I made a 5gal batch from a 6 gallon kit, what pitfalls await me.

2- If I use 2 3gal carboys, (pitfalls)?

Thanks!
1. Well, the acids/flavors/etc are already balanced for 6 gallons. I wouldn't do it with a kit. They really work great, when used as designed. The pH and all that is already fixed for you.

2. That's fine. Just make sure to degas both equally, and to try to split up the additions evenly.

You only need the carboy after about 5 days of primary. Then the clearing, degassing, etc, is all done in the carboy. It's really, really easy! Winexpert has their kit instructions online, if you want to take a look at the procedure and the timeline.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks again!

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Old 05-31-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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Will RedOctober need 2 carboys to allow racking, or will bottling by Christmas be a short enough time on the lees for it not to matter?

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Old 05-31-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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I have been drinking Montepulciano for years. Did 2 days of looking and found this gem.

Great reviews, will go for 5 gal on this kit to kick abv.

http://www.amazon.com/Vino-Italiano-.../dp/B001ELJK7I

1-Should I add a nutrient?

2-One other thing, this will be my first wine so I have a silly question, may i rack to a bottling bucket to degas? Or is this a bad idea re: oxygen/infection?

After degas, I would return to 5 gal carboy.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-01-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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There are better kits available, but for a first, it will make wine.

Quit thinking of 5 vs. 6 gallons. Kits are built to make 6 gallons, they are blended to make 6 gallons, they are balanced to make 6 gallons. Understand?

Besides, the ABV is a percentage, so 1 ounce at 13% ABV = 6 gallons at 13% ABV. The yeast will make the alcohol up to its tolerance than quit.

Degassing in a bucket is fine, just don't let it sit after, as there won't be any CO2 to keep oxygen out. A vacuum degassing device is probably the best mechanical way to do it, time is the best overall way.

Enjoy.

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Old 06-06-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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Amazon kits are fine but you get what you pay for. I've made of few of them in 5 gallon batches with no problems. Several I've tweaked for the fun of it.

Lots of different suppliers of wine kits, Cheeky Monkey brand finishes fairly quickly so if you want a kit you can drink soon after bottling check them out. Most kit wines benefit from several months bulk aging in carboy whick seems to allow them a chance to degas a bit more. I figure on 6 months from first starting a kit is a decent target to open a bottle.

Difference between a $50 and a $70 kit is noticable but both drink just fine.
Cheaper kits can benefit from some oaking.

If you only have one carboy available can always rack to the primary, clean carboy, and rack back into carboy.
Drill attachment works wonders for degassing.
Plastic carboys easier to handle but won't work for vacum degassing. I use glass for initial stages of degassing and age in plastic.

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Old 06-06-2011, 04:19 PM   #10
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My advice would be to buy a better kit and give it as gifts the following year. If you spend $60 and make wine you get a drinkable passable bottle of wine. If you spend $100+ you can get a wine that competes nicely with some of the higher end wines $25. It is a bit of a multiplier effect in that you spend $2 more per bottle but get a wine worth $20 more per bottle in retail numbers. If you brew beer then wine kits are something you can do in your sleep. You can also buy kits that are all juice and come in a bucket that is used as the fermenter.

I did the RJ Spagnols limited quantity Malbec Syrah from Mendoza, Argentina a bit over a year ago and it is a great wine at this point. I only paid $100 for the kit so I did ok!

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