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Old 11-17-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
vvolf27
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Default Hello, new to wine making

Hello All,

I am new to the whole idea of making wine at home.

I have not even bought a kit, but plan to do so very soon. I did a quick search, but did not find anything.

Just wondering if you guys/gals had any suggestions for a complete wine making kit. I also noticed people talking about stagging as I will learn about, but most kits seem like they come with 2 larger sized bottles. I found one site that sells a complete kit for about $150.00, it has 2 large bottles (carboy?) and 24 wine bottles. If I wanted more than one batch going at a time, since it would seem most wine needs to sit at least 6 months to a year. What is your suggestion and a average price point for the needed materials.

From the sounds of things I can't wait to try the Apfelwein.

Anyway, nice reading what I have and I hope to be producing some good wine in the future. Me and the wife want to do this together. Plus we already talked about planting grapes before wine even came up. So maybe in the future I'll make some out of my own grapes!!

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Old 11-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Hello VVolf27,
Welcome. I am also somewhat new to the making of wine. Currently I have my second batch bubbling away. Both my first and second were from wine kits. If you have brewed beer at all you may be tempted to use some of your other equipment, but from everything I have been told that would be a bad idea. Also good thought on more than one carboy. If you are going to be patient, then racking it into the second carboy to bulk age for a month or three is a good idea. Also almost all wine kits that you can buy make 23L/6gallons, which means that you will need at least 30 bottles. Now the most difficult part, selecting the wine kit. If you do decided to use a kit which is highly suggested over that of just buying things mashing them and hoping for the best, your going to have a nightmare without this information. You will start to notice that there are huge price disparities between different kits, and it will make absolutely no sense. Now we know of the 'snob' effect in wine, that is more expensive wine is 'perceived' as better, and you would initially assume that the more expensive kits would be better. What you are looking for is the quantity of grape juice concentrate. I had no idea until I stumbled across this site which laid it out perfectly for me: http://www.finevinewines.com/how-to-choose-a-wine-making-kit.html

Once you read that you should be easily able to select a kit. Just to let you know both the merlot that I made, and the Pinot Noir that is going came from 10L kits, and cost around $100. My merlot was amazing, even more than I thought I could achieve, and the Pinot Noir is looking very good also. My suggestion is to get a 10L kit for your first and follow the instruction so that you understand, and then move on from there. Also get a few people you can give wine to, because 30 bottles of wine doesnt sound like a lot, but it is. Hope this helped.

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Old 11-18-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Making wine from kits is farily straight-forward and gives you really good results. There are tons of wine kits out there, so just pick one that looks good to you. IMHO, you get what you pay for! If you're going to make a Pinot that you wish to cellar for a few years, make sure you get a good quality kit.

Most of the kits I have seen come with a bag of juice that already has the acidity, pH, and sulfites added. No need for further testing which is a plus! I have also got a 6 gallon bucket of straight up juice, but it was still balanced out so there were no acid additions or anything like that needed. It's very simple to make. Pour the wine in the bucket, pitch yeast, let sit.

Follow the instructions that the manufacturer gave you to a T. This is essential. When making a kit, you have to follow their directions. This means racking when you're supposed to, degassing when you're supposed to, etc. They're pros at what they do and give you the instructions to ensure the best quality wine is made.

A little later on, you can get into strictly juice with no additives, country wines (made from fruits), or other wines. Over the past year I've really dove into my wine making. I think the "science" part of wine making is actually much more fun, and more work, than beer making. Best of luck to you!

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, but I think I might have misspoke. I have no wine making equipment at all. I have found what they call beginner wine making kits and complete kits that come with the equipment I need.

I have seen the kits that come with the ingredients to make wine and will probably start with one of those.

But I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on where to by the equipment to make wine!! Would to carboys be enough? I do think I would like to age wine from every batch at least 6 months!! Maybe not the whole batch, but some of it.

So I guess I am looking for suggestions on what equipment or any specific manufacture to choose. What things sound really great, but are not really needed. Things that you must have to even begin thinking about making your first batch!

Like I said I am a total newbie to this.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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Well sorry about that... I use two site for buying beer/wine ingrediants. First of all if there is anything local to you, I would check that out since the shipping on equipment may be more expensive. Secondly you'll get into a slight turf war as to glass/plastic (food grade) carboys. Some like to use glass siting that even high food grade plastic is slightly gas permeable and therefore your wine could oxidize. Others say that since good wine is aged in oak which is also slightly gas permeable its okay. The otherside will come back and say it picks up plastic and back and forth so on. Either way whatever you want you need to choose. I have 4 glass carboys that are 6 gallon and 4 that are 1 gallon. This is just what I had happened to pick up. Other than that all the equipment kits are the same. You want a 7-8 gallon plastic primary fermentation bucket (ferments 6 but with enough headspace to prevent messes) You need a racking cane, some tubing, a carboy or two, some sanitizer and a corker. Anything else is just icing on the cake. Now if there is nothing close to you or you want internet price comparison, here are two sites that I use for my beer and wine supplies. The first, www.beerwine.com has more equipment and ingrediants however some things are more expensive. The second, www.homebrewers.com I have recently found and they are cheaper though they have less variety. Hope this helps to answer your question this time around.

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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thank you very much zeppman! just reading around a bit what do I need to take measurements? the 1.108 I read about it needs to be .998. What tool measures that?

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Old 11-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvolf27 View Post
thank you very much zeppman! just reading around a bit what do I need to take measurements? the 1.108 I read about it needs to be .998. What tool measures that?
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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Thank you, doing a little more research I just figured that out. Also found a local store that sells supplies. Will have to go check them out.

Would any of you suggest Apfelwein as a second or even first attempt? Thats stuff sounds really yummy!!

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Old 11-18-2009, 05:32 PM   #9
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If you have no equipment to start, Northern Brewer is running a 10% off sale on their kits. http://www.northernbrewer.com/winemaking/winemaking-starter-kits. Their basic kit would be less than $100 with a plastic carboy, just over for glass (get the glass, IMO). I'm just getting into winemaking myself, but the kit seems pretty complete and not a bad deal (the 6g glass carboy alone retails for about $40).

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Old 11-18-2009, 06:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for the link. I found this beginners kit a couple days ago. Whats the major difference?

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=7628

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